Author: Rav Tzadok

Is computer work problematic after Mincha on Erev Shabbos

Question My wife is in charge of the Israeli branch of a US company, and the US company recently put out guidelines in terms of working Erev Yom Tov. One of her workers claims that it is prohibited to work after mid-day on Erev Shabbos and Erev Yom Tov. I don’t know how the halacha lemaseh regarding the following: What is considered “Prakmatia” (about which we are generally lenient? Does this computer work that our employees do fall under that heading? Are we accustomed in guarding this prohibition to do melacha on Erev Shabbos and Erev Yom Tov nowadays? If we...

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Cleaning for Pesach

While cleaning for Pesach, the most fundamental aspect of knowledge we need is a clear definition of what we are looking for. Although it is true that for many, Pesach cleaning is just an excuse to do a thorough “spring cleaning”, we will see that the Torah has very specific definitions of what we are supposed to be looking for and what we should be focusing on cleaning. Defining Terms There are a few verses that are important to be familiar with in order to have a greater level of clarity in this issue: For seven days you shall...

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Is Gematria For Real?

Question: What aspect of PRD”S (Pardes) is gematria part of? Answer: There are two basic systems of rules for biblical exegesis or darshanning: The 13 principles of Rebbe Yishmael, from the Mechiltah D’rebbe Yishmael, like that which we say before pesukei d’zimra every day. This is the classic system of exegesis which forms the foundation of all halachic drash. The 32 principles of Rebbe Eliezer ben Rebbe Yosi Haglili, appearing in a Braisa referred to by Rashi and other Rishonim. This is a broader system which also incorporates middos used to expound on Aggadic meanings of the Torah. Gematria...

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Using Skype for Publicizing the Miracle on Channukah

Question: If someone  lives alone, even though there’s a machloket Shiltei Giborim and Magen Avraham whether he can recite a bracha on the candles of Channuka without any pirsumei nisa (publicizing of the miracle), what if he did it over skype when someone else saw his lighting? Would the Magen Avraham agree that he can make a bracha under such circumstances? This is assuming of course that the person can’t find any other person physically around here to light with. Answer: I don’t know the answer in terms of how to relate to skype as a vehicle for pirsumei...

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Ashkenazim Using Sephardic Mezuzos

Question: My wife and I are both Ashkenazim and recently moved into a new apartment in Jerusalem.  When checking the klaf of our mezuzos we were told that they were beautiful and kosher klafim although they were written in the style and custom of the Sephardic. Should we specifically replace them with Ashkenazi style klafim?  What if money is a factor? Answer: The halacha is not discussed regarding a mezuzah. However, regarding a Sefer Torah the Tur1)Yoreh De’ah Siman 274, The Tshuvos HaRosh2)Klal 3 Siman 11, The Nodah Beyehudah3)First Edition Yoreh De’ah Siman 80; and Second Edition Yoreh De’ah...

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