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…

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…

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…

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…

Cooperative Garden

Originally posted on Sefardi Beit Sefer:
The Laws of Shevi’it in a Cooperative Garden This year (5775) is the Shemitta year. In previous Halachot, we have already explained the basic laws of Shemitta including the fact that one may not plant in or work (in any manner) any land within the Land of Israel unless…

Some Detailed Laws Regarding Shevi’it Produce

Originally posted on Sefardi Beit Sefer:
In the previous Halachot we have explained that fruits and vegetables that grow in fields owned by Jews in Israel during the Shemitta year retain the sanctity of Shevi’it. We have also explained that one may not cause loss or destruction to the fruits of Shevi’it. Peeling Shevi’it Produce…

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…

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…

Erev Yom Kippur

The Mitzvah to Eat on Erev Yom Kippur The Torah (Vayikra 23) states: “And you shall oppress yourselves on the ninth of the month at night,” meaning that the obligation to fast on Yom Kippur begins from the night of the tenth of Tishrei. Our Sages (Berachot 8a) inquired about the language of the verse,…

Laws of Yom Kippur

Eating and Washing One’s Self Yom Kippur Some Laws of Yom Kippur All are obligated to fast on Yom Kippur, including pregnant and nursing women. Any woman whose health is at risk due to the fast should consult a prominent Torah scholar who is well-versed in these laws and he should render his ruling whether…

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…

The Fast of Gedalya this Year (5775)

The Fast of Gedalya is on the third of Tishrei, which is the day Gedalya ben Achikam was killed, the remaining flame of Israel was extinguished, and, as a result of his murder, their exile came about. All this is recorded in the book of Yirmiyah (Chapter 40 and on). This year (5775), the third…