Entering a Synagogue with a Weapon

Question: May a soldier or a citizen armed with a pistol or a rifle enter a synagogue with his weapon? Answer: The Mechilta (end of Parashat Yitro) states regarding the verse, “And when you shall build Me a stone altar, you shall not build it of hewn stone; for you will have waved your sword over it and desecrated it”: “Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar said: … Continue reading Entering a Synagogue with a Weapon

Behavior at the Western Wall

In the previous Halacha we have discussed the special reverence of the Kotel, the Western Wall, for Hashem’s divine presence never moves from this wall since the presence of Hashem is in the west. Hashem has sworn that the Kotel will never be destroyed, for it has been established by King David. For this reason, Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef zt”l writes that one who enters the … Continue reading Behavior at the Western Wall

The Kotel-The Western Wall

  Question: Does the Kotel (Western Wall) have any special sanctity? Answer: Our Sages (Midrash Shemot Rabba, Parasha 2) taught: “Hashem’s divine presence has never moved from the western wall of the Holy Temple.” Our Sages added, “The verse states, ‘Behold, he stands behind our wall’-this refers to the western wall of the Bet Hamikdash which Hashem swore would never be destroyed.” The Midrash Eicha … Continue reading The Kotel-The Western Wall

The Temple Mount

The Temple Mount ——————————— Clarification: As many of our readers have pointed out, an error was present in the last sentence of Sunday’s Halacha regarding cognac and brandy and should have read as follows: “Thus, there is certainly no room for leniency regarding this beverage (cognac/brandy) and one should point this out to those who act leniently for various incorrect reasons.” We apologize for the … Continue reading The Temple Mount

kashrut supervision?

Question: Is it halachically permissible to drink brandy, cognac, or champagne produced without kashrut supervision? Answer: In the previous Halacha we have explained the law that our Sages imposed a prohibition on a non-Jew’s wine and usually, the wine is not only forbidden to consume, it is likewise forbidden to benefit from. Regarding the above question, clearly, champagne is absolutely forbidden for consumption if it … Continue reading kashrut supervision?

Non-Jewish Wine

Question: If kosher wine is served at a kosher restaurant and poured by a non-Jewish waiter, is the wine forbidden for consumption? Answer: In olden times, idolatrous non-Jews would customarily pour wine as a libation offering to their various idols and deities. This was quite a common practice. Such wine is forbidden for consumption or to derive benefit from (such as by selling it to … Continue reading Non-Jewish Wine

Mashiv Ha’Ruach

The Laws of Mentioning “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” We Begin Reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach” “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” is a praise we recite to Hashem during the winter months within the “Mechayeh Ha’Metim” blessing of the Amidah as is printed in all Siddurim. We begin reciting “Mashiv Ha’Ruach U’Morid Ha’Geshem” in the Mussaf prayer of Simchat Torah (outside of Israel from Shemini Atzeret). This recitation does not constitute … Continue reading Mashiv Ha’Ruach

Motza’ei Yom Kippur-Unique Laws for this Year

Adding From the Mundane Onto the Holiness One must add some of the mundane weekday onto the holiness of Yom Kippur upon its exit, i.e. one should not end this holy day immediately with nightfall; rather, one should wait another few minutes. Thus, it is prohibited to eat or perform work on Motza’ei Yom Kippur (the night following Yom Kippur) immediately at nightfall; rather, one … Continue reading Motza’ei Yom Kippur-Unique Laws for this Year

The Ten Days of Repentance

  The Ten Days of Repentance The Gemara in Masechet Berachot (12b) states: “Rabba bar Chinena said in the name of Rav: Throughout the year, one recites (in the Amida prayer) ‘Ha’el Ha’Kadosh’ and ‘Melech Ohev Tzedakah U’Mishpat’ besides for the ten days beginning with Rosh Hashanah and ending with Yom Kippur when one recites ‘Ha’Melech Ha’Kadosh’ and ‘Ha’Melech Ha’Mishpat’.” This means that during the … Continue reading The Ten Days of Repentance