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Have a question? Send it in! Questions are answered by Rabbi Bartfeld.

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# 2251 Oh Say Can You Sing?
Q. B"H Shalom, Dear Rabbi,
Would it be ok to use the tune of the American national hymn (or the Canadian) for davening, such as Lechah Dodi or any other part of davening? (Perhaps as Hakarat hatov, close to Independence day. Albeit it is an exile, Jews are welcomed to worship Hashem!)
Is there a guiding rule with regards to using tunes in davening?
Thanks.

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that although our sages encouraged us to pray for the peace of the land (Pirkei Avos 3: 2) and many shuls recite a special tefila on behalf of the national government, singing the national anthem as part of the liturgy may be incorrect and out of place. Some may even consider this irreverent and disrespectful, and should be avoided.
In principle the tunes singed in shul, should echo holiness, respect and devotion. True, some of the nigunim and tunes we often sing, may have had their origin in not a totally kosher background, and were then incorporated and given kedusha and holiness, still common sense and good judgment are imperative in not turning the service into a humorous and undesired comedy.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/12/2019 5:54 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2250 A Teshuva to do Teshuva
Q. A shul has a rather recent takana that no aliya to the Torah should be given to someone who does not keep Shabbat. Recently a group of youngsters were engaged on being mekarev a friend who's family are longtime members of that congregation, but are not frum yet. Since they feel that there is a great possibility that the still un-frum friend may become a true baal teshuva can they give him as a necessary encouragement an aliya? If he accepts, is that considered disrespectful to his father, who does not get one?

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that as long as the son accepts to not desecrate Shabbos openly, he can be given an aliya. The fact that the son does get called to the Torah then, is an encouragement to his father to follow him.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/12/2019 3:09 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2249 Doesn't Add Up
Q. We became accustomed in our shul to announce when reading Parshas Ki Teitze, that one should have in mind to comply with the mitzva of remembering Mechias Amalek (the destruction of the Amalekites), since positive mitzvos require kavana (intention). Should we then add and follow up by announcing having kavana when remembering the Parah before we read Chukas?

A. On question 1651 we mentioned the reasons why some Poskim maintain that reading Parshas Parah is a Biblical obligation: namely: According to the Staipler Gaon zt’l (Bircha Peretz, Chukas, end of Shiurin Shel Torah), it derives from the posuk (end of Metzora); You should warn from becoming contaminated. The Torah obligates Beis Din to separate the nation from becoming impure.
Meshech Chochmo (Chukas) writes that it originates from the separation required by the Torah to isolate the Cohen Gadol before Yom Kippur and the Tamud (beginning of Yuma) equating it to the process of the Parah Aduma.
Artzos Hachaim and Emes LeYaakov (Beshalach 15: 25) mention it is included in the remembrance of the making of the eiggel, (Devarim 9: 7); since the Parah Adumah redeems the sin of the golden calf.
Aruch Hashulchan (685: 7) maintains that it is based on the posuk that Parah Adumah is an eternal law (chukas olam), even when we don’t have access to the ashes, we can still read it.
However, Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that in this case, we should endeavor to maintain our eatablished minhogim and traditions and it suffices with what our Sages instituted already, So there is no need to further expand on what is already well instituted.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a.


Posted 7/12/2019 2:57 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2248 Really! Again?
Q. Regarding the minhag of fasting erev Shabbos Parshas Chukas (one who is accustomed to do so or made a neder to do so), one fasted in Israel and then came to Canada or America where the parsha is leined a week later. Does he need to fast again?

A. See prior question (2247) on the reason for the fasting Erev Shabbos Parshas Chukas. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that in this case, he does not need to fast again.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/12/2019 2:24 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2247 Fast Talk
Q. What is the source for some fasting on Erev Shabbos Parshas Chukas? Why would there be a fasting day on Erev Shabbos when we usually avoid it?

A, Magen Avrohom (580: 9) and Mishna Berura (580: 16) quote the Tanya, that on Erev Shabbos Parshas Chukas, yechidim or some individuals accustom to fast. (Oz VeHadar Mishna Berura explains that it refers to the Arizal's teachings (Shaar HaKavannos of Rav Chaim Vital, Drushei Tikkun Chatzos 1 and Pri Eitz Chaim, Shaar Tikkun Chatzo 3).
The reason given, is that on that day (in the year 1242), twenty (or twenty four) wagons replete of Sefarim Gemaros. Talmudic literature including many works of the Baalei Tosafos and other priceless and irreplaceable manuscripts, (it predated the printing age), were burned in Paris by agents of the Church and King Louis IX.
Magen Avrohom adds that it is “worthwhile for every Jew to cry for the burning of the Torah.” He then proceeds to tell of a customary annual fast specifically for this purpose, on Erev Shabbos Parshas Chukas.
Additionally on year 5408 (Tach) - 1648, two great European communities were destroyed.
The cause that it was instituted on the day of the week (Erev Shabbos) rather than on the day of the month, as all other days of fasting are, is because it was spiritually revealed to them that they should fast then, by using the Targum translation on "Zos Chukas Hatorah"
Moed Lekol Chai (quoted by Nitei Gavriel - Bein Hamtzarim 1: 1: 3) mentions that on that Friday, as he remembers from his younger years in Izmir, people would refrain from leaving home and would try to arrange all that was needed for Shabbos on the prior Thursday. Even in his present day, he adds. people avoid traveling from city to city. He further quotes from Kisvei Hakodesh, the tradition to awake early and recite the Kina or lamentation of "Shaali Serufa Baesh."

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/12/2019 2:19 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2246 Like a Kid in a Candy Shul
Q. The candy-man in our shul gives out lollipops of different colors to children on Shabbat, often more than one if they so request. Is it permitted for him to give a candy of one color to child who is already aware of the Shabbat prohibitions, when he asks for a second one to be eaten later, if it is of a different color? Would that not be a case of borer (sorting and separating) mixed items for later use, that is prohibited?

A. Poskim view grapes and other fruits of different colors as being two different kinds of mixed items, even though they are the same fruit, in regard to the prohibition of borer. To be permitted to choose, one would have to choose the one wanted and for immediate use. (Pri Megodim 319 : 5, see also Mishna Berura 225: 14, regarding the brocho of Shecheyanu).
However, they are lenient in regard to candies, where the taste and shape is basically the same and only the color is different. If so. one is not choosing different mixed items, and is therefore permitted. (Piskei Teshuvos 319: n. 152). See also question 2226.
Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that if the taste is similar, it is permitted.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/12/2019 2:07 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2245 All In Good Time
Q. A Kolel family lo alenu tragically lost a baby by smoke inhalation some years ago in a house fire, the rest of the family B'H survived. They sued the manufacturers of an appliance that caused the fire and recently won a very large settlement that practically turned the formerly necessitated and in financial problems family, into a very wealthy one.
The would like to know what Horav Miller's holds in regard to making a seudas hodoah, due to the extremely contrasting issues involved; what is the correct thing to do?

A. Shulchan Aruch (O.H. 223: 1) rules that if one loses his father and also receives an inheritance, he should first recite "Dayan Haemes" followed by "Shehecheyanu." Mishna Berura (ibid. 9) adds that even though he would have preferred to have his father alive and not receive the inheritance, he is still permitted to thank Hashem for the gift received even when mixed with pain.
However, Halichos Shlomo (23: n. 33) advises to recite the brocho after the end of aninus in private, so it may not seem like a lack of respect to the deceased father.
In regards to the brocho of Hagomel, to thank Hashem for being saved in an accident, the survivors recite and thank Hashem, even when close relatives did not.
Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that they should contribute significantly to a Torah institution that may dedicate a place that carries and the name and remembrance to the neshama of the deceased baby. When it is inaugurated, the seuda should also be a seudas hodoah to thank Hashem for the chesed received.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/12/2019 1:57 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2244 What Can I Tell You?
Q. When the economic situation of a family is known widely in the country they reside, can someone inform others of it in a different country? Is this a case of an item that is already publicly and openly known to many (Apei Tlassa) that one is permitted to further divulge, and there is no Lashon Hora'a prohibition, since besides today's great availability of travel, the constant internet contact and accessibility of information everywhere, this information can be gained easily.

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that it may be, but it still has to meet all the requirements that the Chofetz Chaim cites are needed to be able to further disclose in such a case, the information to others. (See Shemiras Haloshon klal 2).

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/12/2019 1:41 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2243 Expounding the Spread
Q. Someone that has from very dry skin on his hands and thus suffers greatly, can he put some Vaseline on them on Shabbos?

A. Poskim disagree whether rubbing Vaseline is included in the Biblical prohibition of Memareach or smearing (a tolda or subordinate melacha of Memachek. O.H.314: 11). Some argue that it is not thick or dense enough and the prohibition is only Rabbinical, while others even permit on the onset. (Tzitz Eliezer 7: 30, Beer Moshe 1:36 -2: 59, Piskei Teshuvos 314: 11, Shiurei Tahara p. 217, Shemiras Shabbos K. 40: 2, et al). There may be Halacha differences on just applying or dubbing the cream without smearing it and also doing it with a shinui or in an unusual way.
As far as prohibited refuah on Shabbos, it may be permitted due to the significant pain involved. (Shulchan Aruch O.H. 327: 1 - 328: 22, Mishna Berura ibid. 70). See question 2219 regarding very painful dry lips.
Horav Shlomo Miller's opinion is that one should avoid using Vaseline and rather obtain a liquid hand lotion, that may provide an even better result.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/12/2019 1:33 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2242 A Hot Water Test
Q. Our water kettle stopped working on Shabbos and we went to the neighbors to get some hot water. Can you cover the utensil with a towel to keep the water hot? Can you use a thermos flask if you leave it uncovered?

A. Shulchan Aruch (O.H. 257: 5) rules that the Rabbinical prohibition of hatmono or insulating food on Shabbos applies only to a keli rishon or the vessel the food was cooked in. If it was transferred to a secondary vessel or keli sheni, it may be insulated and kept warm with materials that do not increase the heat of the container.
Many Poskim are lenient in the use of a thermos flask, even if lid covered, as it is a secondary utensil. (Chelkas Yaakov O.H. 84, Igrois Moshe 1:95, Betzel Hachochmo 2: 74: Be'er Moshe 1: 12, Minchas Shlomo 2: 8, et al.).
Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is similar

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/12/2019 1:12 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2241 What Was the Name Again?
Q. In a simcha of a large family that share one grandfather, there may be cousins that share the same name. What is to be done if there are 2 people with the same name and the name was called for an aliyah?
Who is to receive the aliyah?

A. Obviously the aliyah was intended for one single individual and he should be the one receiving it. The same would apply on a large shul, with member individuals being called by the schedule of a list.
However, Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a advises, that if both individuals went up to the bima, the one that was not the chosen, in order not to be embarrassed publicly should remain by the bima, and be given if possible another kivud. The above being similar to a Yisroel who was called in place of. a Cohen, and then the Cohen arrived. (Shulchan Aruch O.H. 135: 6, Mishna Berura 22).

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/12/2019 1:01 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2240 Say Yes to the Yeast?
Q. B"H Shalom. Dear Rabbi,
Recently, scientists in Israel were able to reproduce wine and beer from remnants of yeast they had found in jugs (estimated to be from 850 BCE found in Gath near Yerushalayim!)
1.Would it be halachically permissible to drink?
2. What if they were to reproduce wine?
There is no specific information as to who touched or prepared it.
Thanks!

A. Yeast is a microscopic fungus or an organisms too small to see with the naked eye. Each granule is a clump of single-celled yeasts, that are indeed alive just like plants or animals, that metabolizes carbohydrates (sugars) into carbon dioxide gas and alcohols. It is used as a leavening agent in baking. The carbohydrates turn into carbon dioxide and cause the dough to expand. Yeast is also used in the fermentation of alcoholic beverages such as wine, beer and spirits.
MBio, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology, (May 2019) reported, as quoted by Israeli press, that researchers have detected newly found yeast strains, that were used to make beer as much as thousands of years ago; and whose microscopic descendants still survive in the clay of the vessels used to produce or store the drink. The yeast may have spent at least some of that time in spore form, says Ronen Hazan, a microbiologist from the Institute of Dental Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Or, when circumstances were inauspicious, the cells may have simply gone into low-metabolism mode, breathing, eating and procreating extremely sluggishly. Either way, the colonies of yeast survived thousands of years to make it to this day.
More importantly, these hardy single-celled microorganisms are still capable of producing the alcoholic beverages they once fermented for kings, pharaohs and the simple folk of the Levant, thousands of years ago. The team of archaeologists and microbiologists brewed various kinds of “aromatic and flavorful beer” using yeast strains that were extracted from ceramics found at different archaeological sites across Israel.
Yeast is a cluster of microorganism and is not by itself a prohibited item, such as an insect. It is similar to harmless bacteria and other microorganisms, that cannot be seen with the naked eye. Its chametz status is dependent on the host on which it was grown. If non-chometz nutrients, such as molasses and high fructose syrups were used, it can be certified as non-chometz. Kosher L'Pesach wine must be fermented by yeast that did not grow on grains.
In general, other factors are also of kashrus concern even for non-Pesach use, such as vitamins, other additives, and the processing equipment as well as the transporting vessels used, for the finished yeast product to be certified as kosher.
Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that the wine or beer created by using the centuries old, surviving yeast spores organisms to ferment them, is kosher. Even if the original nutrients were questionable, such as chometz or prohibited wines. Since after such an extended time, they were certainly already totally consumed, entirely dried or completely decomposed.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/5/2019 7:30 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2239 The Rack on the Rack
Q. Does one have to tovel (immerse in a mikva) the metal racks inside a stove oven? With a brocho?

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that, even if occasionally someone places food directly on the oven racks, (such as when placing chalos to warm them), although there is no need to tovel the racks, and so is the minhag haolam and common tradition, if one desires to be machmir, he should immerse them without a brocho.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/5/2019 2:45 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2238 Policing the Police?
Q. When one sees Israeli authorities acting in a violent and life threatening manner towards chareidim or any other yiddin, is it permissible to inform the American/Canadian embassy of their actions or any other human rights organization? Is this permissible or is this in the realm of mesira?

A. If there is a possibility of saving people from injury at those demonstrations, Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that it is permissible. An accurate feeling of common sense is necessary to avoid creating a Chilul Hashem. As cases are different, and other issues may also apply, a local competent Rov should also be consulted

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/5/2019 2:29 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2237 On Safe Hands?
Q. A person who is extremely terrified when having a blood test and he will literally pass out, is he allowed to hold (or squeeze) the nurse's hand for emotional support to avoid fainting?

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that if a male nurse is not available. he should use a glove (thick) and in need even a towel.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/5/2019 2:21 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2236 Ten Out of Ten
Q. One who came to shul among the first ten, but stepped out to wash his hands or to relieve himself in preparation for prayer, and someone else came in. Who has the zechus of bringing in the Shechina - the person who was originally the tenth, or the next person?
If a shul has a takana that they give preference for aliyos to the first ten people that come; in the above case. who is the chosen one?

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that if he stepped out to fulfill a tefila requirement, his exit does not nullify his early attendance and he maintains his status of being from the first ten.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/5/2019 2:14 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2235 A New Old Shaila
Q. One who has only chodosh bread on the first night of Sukkos. Is he allowed to eat it or no? If yes, how much should he eat? What about having only chodosh bread for the Shabbos seudos?

A. Chodosh, literally "new", are products made from new grain, that was planted close to, during, or after Pesach, thereby taking root after the time of the omer sacrifice, and are not permitted to be eaten until the following Pesach. Some have the tradition to abstain from them. Mishna Berura (O. H. 489: 45), writes that most do not abstain from chodosh in our days, since they consider that it only applies in Eretz Yisroel. However, he adds that a baal nefesh and conscientious consumer should strive to adhere to the laws of chodosh. Many see it in by today's standards, as kosher vs. glatt kosher.
Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that if one is particular not to eat chodosh, and cannot find yoshon, he should abstain from eating bread. He may however, eat a proper shiur from mezonos that are Yoshon. The same would apply to the Shabbos seudos.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/5/2019 2:05 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2234 A Light Bulb Moment
Q. Someone forgot to remove the light bulb from the refrigerator before Shabbos. If it is not possible to get food from a neighbor or from somewhere else. Is it better to open the door with a shinui, or take money and go to the store and buy food (in a place where there is an eruv)?

A. If there is enough food outside the fridge to eat a simple seuda, such as chalos, hot soup, cholent, etc. that should suffice, and the fridge should not be opened.
Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that a Gentile should be asked to open that door, if truly needed, such as for having milk for young children. If no Gentile is available, one may ask a child who is unaware of the fridge light, to take out something out of the fridge, and then one should keep it slightly open for the rest of Shabbos.
Buying in a store involves a number of prohibitions besides ma'aras ayin and chilul Hashem.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/5/2019 1:42 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2233 Put to the Test
Q. There is a concern in Jewish law or custom that advises to refrain from certain parameters of medical testing. If a doctor recommends a stress test (heart) out of general concern due to age and family history of a patient, but not out of any specific concern, due to any reason in Jewish law or custom, should one refrain from doing the stress test (walking fast on a treadmill and when heart reaches stress level, doctor measures heart health)?

A. Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that if the good doctor is well aware and familiar with the condition of his elderly patient, and recommends the test, to ensure his general health condition, one can rely on his judgment on this issue, as he does with the rest of the treatment. One can and should consult with the doctor and voice any concerns. He may also seek another valid medical opinion.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/5/2019 1:38 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)


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# 2232 A Lesson in Teaching
Q. A teacher employed at School A concurrently subs on contract an identical course at School B for a few months of someone's maternity leave. The teacher's tests are proprietary and were developed before and independent of School B. School B never stipulated that it would expect said test to become its property and had such stipulation been made before starting, the teacher would never have agreed to teach there. Does school B have any right to force the teacher to hand over any test in that teacher's possession that the teacher developed at School A and before teaching at School B? Is School B obligated to pay the teacher any outstanding classroom period teaching session payments regardless of the issue of which party keeps the tests?

A. Although from the way this question is presented, it would seem that the teacher, does not have to turn over the tests of School A to School B, experience teaches that when you are dealing with monetary issues and different parties, there is often different stories and opinions, as to what was said, agreed and understood.
Therefore, as with similar questions, Horav Shlomo Miller's Shlit'a opinion is that all concerned parties present their case to a Rov or Beis Din they all agree to consult and will hear them all.

Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit'a


Posted 7/5/2019 1:30 PM | Tell a Friend | Ask The Rabbi | Comments (0)



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