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Questions answered to date: 1989

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Showing Questions in 'Halacha (General Jewish Law)'

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Question No. 190
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question Regarding the previous question that I asked (175-attending wedding of relative marrying a gentile), would it make a difference if I was conspicuously absent from the ceremony and arrived noticeably late just to the party afterwards, and I make it clear to anyone who asks that I wish my cousin a long and happy life, but I chose to be late because I cannot condone it" Thank you again. Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 180
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question Recently, Hareidi rabbinic leaders publicized harsh words concerning a editor of a particular newspaper / periodical in Bnei Brak. Similarly, at times, an announcement is published to not patronize a given store for a given reason. How does this jibe with the concept of Al Yalbin pnei haveiro be'rabim? I have heard even frum Jews say that publicizing someone's name or business in such a fashion is wrong and uncalled for. Please clarify. Thank you Zelig Kane, Bet Shemesh
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 178
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question We hosted an Israeli Merchants' Fair in our shul, where tens of Israelis come to a community to sell their wares. Ours was held on Saturday night and Sunday and the merchants needed to be hosted by the community for Shabbat. Several of them specifically requested to be with non-shomer Shabbat families. Are we allowed to fulfill their request knowing that by doing so, we are, in a sense, encouraging, or at least turning a blind eye, to chilul Shabbat and also preventing whatever shmirat shabbat they would have done, had they been placed in a shomer-shabbat household? Thank you, Brian
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 177
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question Is there a halacha or "inyan" not to kiss or hug one's child of the opposite gender after a certain age? If yes, what is the source? Thank you Yisrael Kaniel, Bet Shemesh
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 175
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question My cousin is intending on marrying a gentile. Normally, I would not even consider attending, but I am very close to my aunt and uncle and they will be very hurt if I do not attend. In addition, my uncle has a very negative attitude towards orthodox jews and not to attend would make him more bitter. What does the Rav feel I should do. Thank you anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 171
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question Please could you clarify for me the Halacha regarding employing Arabs in public areas. According to the polls, over 80% of palestinian Arabs support the killing of Jews and most if not the the terrorist attacks inside Israel have been aided by Israeli Arabs. Can we take a chance and assume that a particular Arab is not a danger. Even if he is against attacking Jews what is stopping the terrorists demanding from him information as to when is the busiest time when Jews are at is place of work or in his area. It seems a real risk employing any Arab today. Another aspect is that I have seen on many occasions Arabs in supermarkets talking ot religious Jewish girls and joking with them. Surely this is not allowed and what do the Gedolim say about it? Thank you Eliyahu Levine, Bet Shemesh
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 168
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question There are many different minhagim and kabbalistic rituals practiced in different communities and groups. If one is in need of something important (parnassah, children, shidduch, etc.), is it recommended to adopt one of these customs on oneself as an extra z'chus, and is there any guidelines as to which minhagim are authentic and which ones are completely bogus and inappropriate? Thank you. Moshe Peretz Mann, Eretz Yisrael
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 166
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question What is the Halacha about a Torah scoll dropping on the floor. The Eits Hayim touched the floor, and the Torah mantle was partially disturbed. What is the responsibility of the cong, the Rabbi and the Cantor? The Torah fell off a shelf where it is always placed during the Haftarah. The Torah fell about two minutes after the Sefer had been placed on the shelf. Thank you Hazzan David Tilman, Elkins Park, Penn
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 158
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question Hello Rabbi Leff I have a friend who's mother is Catholic and father is Jewish. He chooses to follow the Jewish religion, but does not believe that it is the mother that determines the child's religion. He claims that he read that this law has just came into existence not more then 200 years ago. I am not a chacham, but I do believe this halacha has been around a lot longer then that. I am trying to locate in any jewish text where it is stated that the child's religion is determined via the mother. Any information you have on this would be of great help for if I have i leg to stand on, their is a chance he will go through with a Giur. Thank you David Pinchas, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 151
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question At the company where I work one of the employees placed an order for a tool for use by another employee, who really wants it for personal use. The guy placing the order knows this, and gave me a knowing little 'sshhh'. It's not a very expensive tool. Should I do something about it? Thank you. Shlomo Zalman Jessel, Moshav Matityahu
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 143
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question There are a variety of glow in the dark stickers made for childrens' rooms. Is there a halachic problem of putting up such stickers in the shapes of the moon and the stars? What about lights or other decorations in these shapes Thank you. David
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 142
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question My grandmother is 100% sure that she was named after a male relative, Yedidya. He had died young so she was named Yedidya Alta. Since her parents were not religous, I assume they just told the Rabbi that they were naming after a Yedidya and he assigned the name to my grandmother. I've also assumed that the Rabbi would have changed the name to a feminine form like Yedida. Since she is not yet religous and her parents were not, the name was never really used and she never would have noticed if it was Yedidya or Yedida. I recently found her ketuba and her name there is listed as Chana. The ketuba was written in a Rabbi's office some time after my grandparents had eloped. I figured the Rabbi may not have even been a shomer mitzvot, just took them in, wrote a ketuba without paying attention to details and sent them on their way as quick as he could. This was reinforced by the fact my grandfather's name in the ketuba does not say Halevi, which he was. Her English name is Anne and I guess this Rabbi saw a young unreligous couple, asked my grandfather what his name was, and assumed what my grandmother's name was based on her English name, Anne. My grandmother says the Rabbi never even asked her for her her name. My grandmother is still a very sharp woman and I believe she would remember this event correctly. In addition, I recently, I discovered this Rabbi is the great-granduncle of a close friend of mine so I know now that he was a shomer mitzvot, although my other assumptions may still be correct. When I doven for my grandmother (amush) or need her Hebrew name for other things, should I be using Yedidya Alta, Yedida Alta, Chana, or some combination? I know many mekubalim are very meticulous about calling a person by their true name which reveals their essence - I want to be sure that I give her the proper respect she deserves and ensure that my tefillot for her are said in a proper manner. Thank you. Concerned grandson
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 138
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question We have a major problem in my Synagogue, which causes a lot of argument: I thought perhaps you could help us to resolve it. Some of those who daven at the daily minyan have been doing so for many years. They have their regular parking places in the car park. One man has decided that he will park wherever he chooses, claiming that noone has any greater right to any given parking place than anyone else. This causes much irritation and fighting. Who is correct in Jewish law? Thank you. Arnie Ross, South Africa
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 137
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question The Magen Avraham (156:2) states that if one says a statement but does not attribute it to the person who said it, he transgresses a negative commandment. In relation to this Magen Avraham, please would you kindly answer the following questions: 1) If one heard that there was a statement made in the Gemorah by an Amora but cannot remember which Amora said it, can he say over the statement by saying "Chazal say...."? 2) If one learnt a dvar halocha and wants to teach it to his friend, does he have to say exactly who taught it to him or where he learnt it? 3) If one's rabbi gave a drosha and mentioned a dvar Torah from a particular Chacham, and now wants to tell his friend what his rabbi said, is it sufficient for him to mention the dvar Torah in the name of his rabbi or does he have to give it over in the name of the Chacham? 4) If one heard a dvar Torah but cannot remember who told it to him, can he still give it over? 5) Does the transgression apply to divrei Torah alone or does it apply to secular statements too? Thank you. Jonathan Fox, Johannesburg, SA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 135
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Early 2003
The Question Am I allowed to listen to non-Jewish music? Thank you. Anonymous  
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 130
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Late 2002
The Question I realize that one is not supposed to make a neder (vow). Is it halachically forbidden from doing so? If so, why? Is it similarly forbidden to promise something? Is a promise necessarily a vow? Is there a difference between promising to do something in the future or promising something will happen in the future (which is always uncertain)and promising that something already happened (eg. if someone doesn't believe me when I tell them that something happened, can I say, "I promise it happened."?) Thank you. Anonymous  
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 129
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Late 2002
The Question Someone recommended a person to me as a potential rommmate (let's call him Y.), and I accepted him into my apartment. It turned out that Y. is irresponsible, does not pay his bills, has no work (and is not doing anything practical about it), and appears to be generally dysfunctional and in need of help. Is it appropriate to tell the person who recommended Y. the truth, so that he will not recommend Y. to anyone else? Or is this leshon hara? Thank you. Anonymous  
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 128
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Late 2002
The Question Is it permitted in any way to reuse what's left in a Kiddush cup, or does it become unfit for use for subsequent kiddushes? If a Torah observant Jew drank from a bottle of kosher wine or grape juice, does it cause the rest of what's in the bottle to become unfit for kiddush? Thank you. Baruch Slater
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 127
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Late 2002
The Question There are people in Har Nof going to playgrounds on Shabbos and giving the children popsickles if they'll repeat the Chabbad "yechi." My questions are any of the following: 1. What's the Rav's opinion of the "yechi" 2. Do I have a halachic claim against them if I don't want my kids approached in this manner? 3. What does the Rav advise I do in this situation? Thanks very much! Dov Krulwich, Har Nof, Jerusalem
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 116
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted Late 2002
The Question Why does the torah prohibit cutting peyot (hair on the corners of males' heads)? Menachem Hojda, Oak Park, Michigan
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


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