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Jan
23
comment What are the sources of saying a beracha before a cigarette?
I understand that and recognize the question was very specific - but my comments were for the minority of people who smoke who may either think that it is halachically acceptable or try to justify it. I was just pointing out that these opinions tend to be from before the time the dangers of smoking was universally recognized in the medical community and therefore these opinions are irrelevant as to halacha l'ma'aseh. The opinions that permitted smoking would, without exception, almost certainly have forbade it had they been aware of the dangers to the smoker and to others in their vicinity.
Jan
21
comment Lechatchila (To begin with) can the gabbai call someone to do Hagbah when he knows that person will not display the ktav (writing)
@CashCow It seems that only one who is able to do Hagbah properly on his own should do it. The Sha'arei Ephraim concludes "and Chazal were very strict about this that the mitzvos be done by someone who is able to fulfill it as it was instituted."
Jan
21
comment What are the sources of saying a beracha before a cigarette?
I wrote a more detailed comment on the above question. The comment is relevant to the practical halacha - since smoking is dangerous to the health, it is forbidden, and according to many opinions, it is forbidden to make a b'racha on something that's dangerous to the health - which is critically important (people shouldn't get the wrong idea that smoking is okay halachically - because it is forbidden). The K'sav Sofer lived prior to when the medical field (and the general population) was aware of the dangers of smoking (for oneself and others). I noted the practical halacha so people are aware
Jan
21
comment What are the sources of saying a beracha before a cigarette?
Concerning the halachic prohibition of smoking, I would refer you to the 2nd answer at this link- judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/10513/…
Jan
21
comment What are the sources of saying a beracha before a cigarette?
It is halachically forbidden to do anything that would harm one's health. It is forbidden to smoke cigarettes due to the health issues related. According to some opinions it is forbidden to say a b'racha on anything forbidden because of "בוצע ברך - נאץ ה'". It is a major sin to harm one's health. We should take into account when the Teshuvah was written - before doctors knew of the extent of the danger of smoking. Concerning the halachic prohibition of smoking, I would refer you to the 2nd answer at this link- judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/10513/…
Aug
28
comment What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?
@DoubleAA Thanks for pointing that out. The Ba"Ch quotes the Gemara and is even more explicit - when he notes one might think that there is no issue with hair (and some of the other Ervah) and then notes that these pesukim clearly demonstrate otherwise - that there is an objective source.
Aug
28
comment What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?
@DoubleAA While I presented the source in Hebrew for your benefit, just to paraphrase for others. The Bach (Rabbi Yoel Sirkis - known by the acronym of his work "Bayis Chadash" - Ba"Ch), quotes verses from the Book of Yeshyahu and Shir HaShirim, with respect to the Shok, a (married) woman's hair and voice (when singing) to demonstrate clearly that the places of Ervah are objective (objective Ervah does exist). I'd recommend checking out the source in full as I reference the link above. Thank you for your question and efforts to arrive at a source. I'm happy to have helped demonstrate otherwise
Aug
28
comment What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?
@DoubleAA Here's a source - the Bach (1561/62-1640) an early Acharon who wrote about 400 years ago (Siman 75, S"K 2) beta.hebrewbooks.org/tursa.aspx?a=oc_x187: ונראה דנקט שוק דאפילו פחות מטפח נמי חשוב ערוה וכדנפקא לן (כ״ד ע״א) מקרא (ישעיה מ״ז ב) גלי שוק עברי נהרות וכתיב (שם ג) תגל ערותך דמשמע כל שוק הוי ערוה אפילו פחות מטפח...מה שאין כן שוק שלה אי לאו דגלי לן קרא דערוה היא, וכן קול ושער הוה אמינא דאין לחוש להן אפילו באשת איש, אי לאו דכתיב קרא (שיר השירים ב׳ י״ד) כי קולך ערב, ושערך כעדר העזים (שם ל׳ אי) דמדמשבח לה קרא בגוייהו שמע מינה תאוה הוא, והכי מוכח להדיא ממה שכתב רש״י וז״ל שוק
Aug
27
comment What are “universal minimum” standards of tznius for halachic purposes?
@DoubleAA Are you looking for a Rishon that defines "Zero'a" and "Shok" (for example, while using language such as "everyone agrees that such is the definition"). Why would one think that these standards mentioned in the gemara are subjective (based on societal "norms") rather than objective? It's clear from the gemara that this is what "ervah" is, rather than something relevant to a given time period (for example).
Jun
20
comment Telling G-d Lashon Harah
shmirashalashon.blogspot.com/2006/12/…
May
22
comment Do primary sources unequivocally record coming of the Moshiach and establishing world order
@Adel Are you referring to my answer or to the comment on my answer? In my answer I quoted the Book of Yeshayah (Isaiah), certainly a primary source. In the Tanach, there are numerous primary sources for the Mashiach and the Messianic era. In fact, religions that followed Judaism pick up many ideas from Judaism. For example, Islam's belief in the Messiah (Mahdi) was preceded by Judaism and the prophecies of Jewish prophets by roughly 1500 years (and this is just in reference to those prophets). For example the non-Jewish prophet Bilaam prophesied about the Messiah (as recorded in The Torah):-)
May
21
comment Belief that a dead man will be the Messiah - Kfira?
@Jewels While the belief about Lubavitchers that the 7th Lubavitcher Rebbe is (and/or will be) the Mashiach is quite common, I'd recommend you take a look at a book on the subject - amazon.com/Rebbe-Messiah-Scandal-Orthodox-Indifference/dp/…. If you review this book, you will see that while certainly more commonplace (and a very significant issue), the belief of the Rebbe being the Mashiach is still 2nd to a much more significant problem, that while certainly less prevalent, would have major implications on many areas, including kashrus, eidus related issues, among others.
Apr
25
comment Rabbinical suppport for reducing noise at weddings
Absolutely. I would suggest contacting Gedolim and encouraging them to address this issue. Often, some important issues may not receive the attention they deserve, but when a "light" is shined on the issue and attention is called to it, it can quickly get the proper attention. This is also something important I have wanted to have changed for a while (and briefly tried). יישר כוחך and הצלחה רבה for you and any who try to get this issue properly addressed!
Apr
25
comment When Do We Finish Bowing in the Aleinu?
Basically, we bend the knees during the words "ואנחנו כורעים" and bow during the word "ומשתחוים" (Shulchan Shlomo: Siman 132, Sif 2) See my answer below for more.
Apr
25
comment Rabbinical suppport for reducing noise at weddings
@DanF - You are correct about how breaking the glass often (inappropriately) STARTS the music... As we know, breaking the glass is a reminder of how we should limit our simcha in light of the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, so it is strange that many people take the glass breaking as a "sign" to yell out "mazal tov". I heard of a wedding where the glass was broken earlier (perhaps to avoid it being used as a sign to start the merriment but perhaps also because we are supposed to be reminded at the beginning to put Jerusalem and the Beis HaMikdash above our happiness (Tehillim: 137, 6)).
Mar
13
comment Tanis Esther start on the ELAL flight
Based on Igros Moshe (as quoted in the top link), it appears that his opinion is that the fast ends at Tzeis depending on your location. (See last paragraph in the right column - hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14676&st=&pgnum=410) My Zmanim has a link you can use (if you log in) where you enter your flight info. and it gives the zmanim range based on the flight and actual departure time. Apparently, going east would shorten the fast (and would cause the fast to start earlier) while going west would lengthen the fast (and cause it to start later). Tzom Kal - Have an easy fast.
Feb
11
comment Does an incomplete oath count?
Right, I was thinking that just saying the words quoted, since it doesn't verbally include any prohibition (or statement otherwise) or even specify anything else beyond the statement, that it wouldn't be considered a shevua. However, this is just what I'm thinking, without having looked at any sources to determine what the halacha would be.
Feb
10
comment Does an incomplete oath count?
In terms of creating prohibitions. Again, without actually saying anything aside from what was quoted in the question (in other words, not actually making any statement creating any prohibition or saying that anything should happen/be effected). Stopping short of saying anything beyond the quoted words.
Jan
15
comment Kissing the hand to catch a cold?
@Aryeh Yes. Offer the rabbi constructive criticism in private while showing him respect. Softly rebuking the rabbi is in line with the mitzvah of rebuking a fellow Jew so he does not sin, as it says in The Torah הוכח תוכיח את עמיתך ולא תשא" עליו חטא" (Vayikra: 19; 17). In addition the prohibition of "לא תעמוד על דם רעך" - not standing idly by the blood of your fellow" (19; 16) also refers to protecting others from monetary loss or other harm. (See Rambam Sefer HaMitzvos - Prohibition # 297)
Jan
15
comment Kissing the hand to catch a cold?
@msh210 Perhaps. However, if what he has is not communicable (e.g., asthma) and he says he feels sick, he should clarify that he has something non-communicable like asthma. Typically when someone acts sick and says they are sick, it is because they have something communicable and others should be wary to avoid coming into contact with that person. At the very least, they should be chosheish that the person truly has something that can be caught.