Q&A-Sin Causing Pain, Kedoshim & Modern Bathroom Halachos

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Breitowitz, of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem, discussing the most common questions about Judaism.

To submit questions, feedback or for sponsorship opportunities, contact us at: podcasts@ohr.edu

  • What did Shem and Ever learn that was able to occupy Yaakov day and night for 14 years?
  • The kosher vinegar scandal in the 1980s. I assume the Rav knows about the details, but in short it was discovered that a commonly used ethyl alcohol was accidentally labeled kosher despite coming from grapes which lacked insufficient supervision (Stam Yayin).
    If anything, kashrus industrialization has become more widespread. If the same case would have happened today (or if the Rav was pasking then), would we have to kasher all of our keilim?
    Although bitul would have been the easiest answer, it seems to me that wouldn’t apply because the taste of all the products is affected strongly (I assume) by a sharp ingredient like vinegar.
  • How does Yotzei v’Nichnas work for Masgichim if they are under lockdown and can’t get to production plants (especially in Italy, Asia, etc.)?
  • The Abarbenel in Parshat Tazria says that a yoledes brings a chatos because “Ein Yesurim Belo Avon” “vhayoledes savlah tzarah sacanah milsah al avanmi”. This implies that every woman that gives birth has suffered pain in doing so. Would this mean that a woman that has never done an avairah wouldn’t be able to give birth? How can we understand this?
  • It is very confusing for me to know which papers are considered sheimus and require burial and which can be discarded. For example tests my children take and other school work that contain some type of Torah thoughts, pamphlets and magazines that have within them Torah content.
    I was told by someone over the phone at OU Israel, when asking what to do with their weekly booklet, that I can wrap it in a plastic bag and discard it with the other recyclable papers (there is a bin for recycling papers next to the garbage been here in Israel)
  • Can one who stopped grooming at the beginning of sefira get a haircut or shave this Friday because this Shabbos is also Rosh Chodesh?
  • What exactly is and is not allowed to be said or thought in a modern bathroom? I understand that neither Hashem’s name nor a pasuk from the 5 books of Moshe should be said (& preferably not thought either). However, Hashem exists literally everywhere, he is permeating our existence, he is also the bathroom itself! What precautions are chumras and what is the ikar that we are not supposed to think or say in a modern bathroom?
  • Is it minhag yershalyuim to wear stockings, if the community you are involved in is kollel?
  • Can one daven with a minyan where the chazzan wears a messiach badge with the crown and flag ?
  • Why are people that were killed because of they are Jews for example in the Holocaust referred to as kedoshim if many were Sinners and rejected their religion and if given the choice would reject Judaism to save their lives?
  • How is a person yotzei the mitzvah of peru u’revu, and how would one apply the gemara in berachos that seemingly talks more about davening to have a son?
  • If, Chas VeShalom, a War breaks out in Eretz Yisrael, would it have the din of milchemes mitzvah and if so would Yeshiva bochorim be required to fight?
  • Does the concept of not studying TaNaCh after sunset until chatzot apply on Shabbas and Yom Tov too?
  • Can you read mispacha magazine in the bathroom?
  • What is Hashem’s Shechina?
  • Is someone allowed to generally clean/organize their house/room on shabbos ?
  • How do we understand the concept of Suffik D’Rabbanon L’Hakel? Why are we more meikel? Especially for “easy” d’rabbanon like Sefiras Ha Omer, if it’s a suffik, why was Chazal Meikel?

TAZRIA-METZORA 5780

(Produced by: CedarStudios Podcasting 2020)

Q&A- (COVID-19)-Daas Torah, Ketores & Rodef

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Breitowitz, of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem, discussing the most common questions about Judaism.

To submit questions, feedback or for sponsorship opportunities, contact us at: podcasts@ohr.edu

  • Corona related:Should one reduce the spend on shabbos and yontiv based upon presumed upcoming diminished income? 
  • Could someone who has corona and defies quarantine be considered a halachic rodef?
  • Any consideration of internet usage for remote minyan (is there any such thing halachically conceivable?)
  • How can we relate, if possible, the current situation of the world, to the Torah concept of when Yaakov is down, Esau is up and vice versa, when it seems like both are down?
  • Do others besides the balhabais, who aren’t getting a kzayis from matzos the brachos were made on, need to eat 2 kzeisim?
  • How does one ask a Rav if they are willing to guide them in Hashkafa long term?
  • Do we have the koach of ketores today, either through tefillah, reading parsha of ketores, or something else, to help stop the magefa?
  • How should a guy approach Shidduchim during COVID19? How should we pace ourselves?
  • Can you recommend any seforim to learn just what the average baal habas needs to know for Pesach?
  • With Hakaras hatov to HK”BH for having survived the C-Virus with only relatively mild symtoms, now I would like to give…  Volunteer or money?
  • What’s the best action someone can take right now to bring Mashiach?
  • Given that Eisav did teshuva, is it possible that he was made out to be more of a rasha then he really was?  
  • Do converts in the process of conversion receive any reward for observing mitzvahs before completion?
  • What is daas torah and how do you know if someone has it?
  • When Moshiach comes, will all minhagim be unified? Will there still be an idea of a chumra?
  • Does it make sense to learn tanach exclusively before starting gemara?
  • How does a chozer b’teshuvah, who didn’t grow up with certain minhagim, make a decision to take them on or not?
  • Nusach Sefard has a perek to say inlue of Borch Hu when davening alone, is there such a thing to say during the week also by maariv?
  • Can there be a virtual siyum for taanis bechoros?

TZAV 5780

(Produced by: CedarStudios Podcasting 2020)

Q&A- Cremation, ZOOM Seders and COVID-19

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Breitowitz, of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem, discussing the most common questions about Judaism.

To submit questions, feedback or for sponsorship opportunities, contact us at: podcasts@ohr.edu

  • Can we have a zoom Seder with family? 
  • The Chayei Adam in siman 5 brings a story of a very righteous man who is ultimately judged to gehinnom because of the many times he said shem Hashem without kavana. For many of us having kavana for every shem Hashem is very difficult.
  • Why did chazal include so many shemos in davening, if it would be such a michshol for so many?
  • On Seder we do Kadesh then Urchatz. This goes against “Sur Meh Ra Ase Tov”. Can we apply this all year or only Pesach?!
  • Is it better to just not say shem Hashem except when absolutely necessary?
  • If I can’t see or smell tzoa can I say Shem hashem near it?
  • Can I sell my chometz over the phone?
  • What should one do this year regarding toveling new keilim, considering the lack of accessibility of  mikvaos?
  • Why can’t I wear tefillin at night if the Torah says to?
  • Are the new governmental laws against minyanim halachicly binding? Any difference in israel vs chutz laaretz?
  • When Moshiach comes will we have no more struggles?
  • Was the yehudah HaChosid really a forgery like Rav Moshe said – Yehudah Hachosid states Dovid took parts out of Torah…?
  • Do ladies have to shower after the mikvah in these times ? 
  • Is there any way to avoid the taanis bechorim this year?
  • Since we can’t gather for a siyum for the fast of the first born, what is ok and not ok to make a siyum on?  
  • Can one fill up heated water in a crockpot before Shabbat, leave it on a low setting and warm cooked food during Shabbat?
  • Are there any halachic leniencies  for people who’ve never made pesach before because of the pandemic?
  • Are employers responsible to continue paying workers during the government shutdown?
  • If I am on a ship during shabbos and am not allowed to light a shabbos candles how can I make up for this ?
  • If a Jew borrowed a new pot from a goy to circumvent toiviling, and the goy converts, are the pots then non kosher?
  • Why do some women want to wear tefillin and are they allowed to?
  • Right now, some countries are cremating the dead because of COVID-19. What is the Jewish position on this?
  • How does one define someone being his “rebbi”, even not a rebbi muvhak, regarding doing “heseba” in front of them?
  • Is shnayim mikra a stronger chiyuv now that we cant listen to leining in shul?
  • Can one use a timer that is preset for their warming plate or crockpot to heat up cooked food to make it hot on Shabbat?
  • What does a person do if they have to sit Shiva not being able to have a minyan during corona virus?
  • If a non-jew is in the conversion process when mashiach comes. Will they be able to finish their conversion?
  • Can the rav do regular q and a streams?  this has been very very enlightening
  • Is there any halachic difference between limud hatorah on digital mediums versus in person? why is it different than tfilla?
  • Why is conversion under the GPS/RCA in the US? Why can’t one convert with any orthodox rabbi  in the US/Israel?
  • Should we be concerned that this physical distancing may be similar to that of the Nazi Ghettos?
  • Nus’ Sfard has a pusek for Friday night if davening as a yachid for instead of Borech Hu. Can we say it during the week?
  • Should we be mourning now over not being in shul or should we be happy we’re in our homes uplifting it?
  • What if you accidentally ate something not kosher?
  • Can a nesspresso machine be kashered for pesach?

VAYIKRA 5780

(Produced by: CedarStudios Podcasting 2020)

Q&A- Pandemic, Leaving Yeshiva & Shabbos

Pesach Podcasts Coming Soon!

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Breitowitz, of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem, discussing the most common questions about Judaism.

To submit questions, feedback or for sponsorship opportunities, contact us at: podcasts@ohr.edu

0:00 – How did Avraham Avinu mekariv people?

8:36 – A question on the Corona pandemic, should bochurim be leaving yeshiva?

13:47 – Difference in nusach of Aleinu, Ashkenaz vs Sefard

15:58 – Sukkos bezman HaBeis Hamikdash

19:33 – Why is it disrespectful to walk into a shul without shoes?

25:27 – Can we say there are world leaders that are being controlled by Hashem?

33:15 – Was Adam Harishon comprised of all the neshamos?

36:11 – What if Adam didn’t eat from the tree?

41:44 – Is Hashem forcing us into our homes to keep Shabbos and bring Moshiach?

47:10 – Does Rav Chaim Kanievski have ruach hakodesh? And what is it?

49:57 – What are we allowed to ask for on Shabbos?

52:23 – How do we discern which sects of Judaism are supported by Hashem?

54:47 – Is it mutar to wear womens clothing on Purim?

VAYAKHEL-PEKUDEI 5780

(Produced by: CedarStudios Podcasting 2020)

Q&A- Coronavirus, Prayer & Purim

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Breitowitz, of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem, discussing the most common questions about Judaism.

To submit questions, feedback or for sponsorship opportunities, contact us at: podcasts@ohr.edu

0:00 – Does a Mamzer have a mitzvah of Pru Urvu

1:52 – The machlokes on how the third Beis Hamikdash will be built

4:37 – The proper volume for the first line of Shema, and the proper volume for answering Kaddish

6:30 – Why do we use Hebrew names when we daven for cholim

11:29 – What is Hashem’s message with sending the virus, and how do we respond to it

28:00 – getting paid to teach Torah

40:47 – How many hours did the Rambam sleep each night?

41:20 – Shabtai Tzvi, Rav Yaakov Emden, Rav Yonasan Eibshitz

50:41 – Is Hashem truly undefinable?

54:04 – Why is Midbar translated as wilderness instead of desert?

55:14 – Why was Rabbi Nattan Slifkin put in a ban?

01:03:20 – Sheitels

01:06:10 – What should a person think about in the Mikvah?

01:07:41 – Is there an inyun to davening close to the Kotel wall?

01:09:43 – Can Kosher food be brought into a Kosher restaurant that says “no outside food”?

01:11:01 – Hashem’s knowledge and essence as one

01:15:41 – Should a bochur read Morei Nevuchim and does it have to be respected as a kadosh sefer?

01:20:00 – The proper position for sleeping, lying down, or reclining?

01:23:12 – What’s pshat with saying “vetargileinu bTorasecha”?

01:26:55 – The proper approach to drinking on Purim

01:31:19 – The chiyuv of Tefillin

TETZAVEH 5780

(Produced by: CedarStudios Podcasting 2020)

Q&A-Chassidim, Smoking & Alcohol on Purim

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Breitowitz, of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem, discussing the most common questions about Judaism.

To submit questions, feedback or for sponsorship opportunities, contact us at: podcasts@ohr.edu

0:00 – Why in the second paragraph of Shema do we not say “bechol meodecha”

3:25 – A Question on Maseches Brachos

8:27 – Why were Chassidim allowed to create a new nusach?

12:52 – If Hashem knows everything that will happen how do we have free choice?

20:28 – Could I borrow something without permission if I know my friend would let me?

24:17 – How did Ashkenazim become the majority over Sefardim?

27:47 – Why do people wait 6 hours between meat and milk?

33:41 – Rambam on Hashem’s knowledge and essence

34:49 – Liability for car accidents

39:31 – Is smoking permitted if you have to perserve your life, and can you smoke on Yom Tov?

47:33 – A question about the mishkan

48:57 – The Dairy industry, tzar baalei chayim, dairy kashrus

56:15 – Are we supposed to literally be “marbim besimcha” during Adar?

59:04 – When Rabbi Akiva said “zeh klal baTorah” does klal mean THE klal or A klal? Definition of klal.

01:01:54 – Why don’t we learn kaballah?

01:09:40 – A question on Chassidus, Kaballah, the sources of Sifrei Chassidus

01:17:20 – A question on the story of Acher

01:21:50 – Why do we not do kiddush at the third Shabbos meal

01:25:53 – What should a person work on to be ready for marriage?

01:28:50 – Drinking alcohol on Purim

01:32:27 – What areas of Torah are most appropriate to learn in preparation for marriage?

01:33:47 – Olives and memory? The Gemara in Horiyos

01:35:40 – Can we say tachanun during kriyas haTorah?

TERUMA 5780

(Produced by: CedarStudios Podcasting 2020)

Q&A-Electronic Transmission, Intellectual Property & Dybukim

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Breitowitz, of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem, discussing the most common questions about Judaism.

To submit questions, feedback or for sponsorship opportunities, contact us at: podcasts@ohr.edu

 

0:00 – Yimos HaMoshiach, Beis Hamikdash, Tchias Hameisim, Olam Haba, Gan Eden

4:45 – Hiddur Mitzvah, is there objective beauty?

17:00 – A Question on Hiddur Mitzvah for Channukah

21:12 – Would a minyan where everyone needs to say tashlumin have a chazaras hashats for the tashlumin?

23:16 – According to Rav Chaim how do you make a bracha on a safek kosher etrog?

25:19 – Hearing Brachos or Torah reading over the phone

28:35 – Does the sound of the shofar affect the Halacha

30:01 – Do we make Brachos on the mitzvah or on the object

31:04 – Is it permitted for multiple people to make a bracha on one lechem mishnah

34:44 – Is digital theft prohibited?

39:47 – Drinking the wine or grape juice on which kiddush was made?

42:02 – The Sanhedrin being infallible, lo baShamayim he, how could the Sanhedrin make a mistake?

47:22 – Are grasshoppers kosher?

57:10 – How do aveiros affect mitzvos?

01:03:45 – When should tefillin be removed on Rosh Chodesh?

01:06:33 – Menatzpach

01:08:36 – Thoughts on Rav Yehuda HaLevi Ashlag

01:12:17 – Can souls attach themselves to existing human beings?

01:14:04 – controlling charata on aveiros

01:18:42 – Taking on an optional fast

01:21:45 – The machloket of the authorship of the Zohar

01:27:20 – Does Torah support or deny that we are in a base reality?

01:32:29 – What to do if you are in the middle of tachanun and they begin Kaddish

01:33:36 – Praying to Hashem to understand the Torah of a Rishon or Acharon

01:35:27 – Thoughts on the shidduch crisis

01:39:00 – The Ramban on Kilayim, how much can we tamper with Hashem’s briah?

01:44:40 – How could the Torah say bad things about Jews? Is this not Loshon Hara?

MISHPATIM 5780

(Produced by: CedarStudios Podcasting 2020)

Q&A-Modern Science, Reward & Boycotting Germany

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Breitowitz, of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem, discussing the most common questions about Judaism.

To submit questions, feedback or for sponsorship opportunities, contact us at: podcasts@ohr.edu

00:31 – What are the Galgalim?

9:52 – How will we do mitzvos when Moshiach comes? How will Halacha change?

14:06 – Why does the Torah call Yitro before he converted?

15:57 – Why do people take three steps back in the middle of kadish before the amida of mincha and maariv?

19:40 – How do we reconcile that Chazal have made observations of the world which seem to be wrong according to modern science?

32:33 – Did Yitro come before or after Matan Torah?

35:00 – The Mesorah, the destroyed parts of Torah

41:30 – Who redacted the Gemara?

48:52 – Why did Reish Lakish become weakened right when he agreed to learn Torah?

52:20 – A question on the Parsha

54:45 – Why the issur of chicken and dairy but no issur on pareve ice cream and meat?

01:00:06 – Why do we do the order of aliyos as Kohen Levi Yisroel?

01:02:02 – Question on the Parsha

01:07:14 – What will be of the yetzer hara when Moshiach comes? Will we wear kippahs? What Nusach will we daven?

01:09:45 – The differences in nusachs of the Torah

01:13:33 – What is the purpose of Moshiach if we won’t have a yetzer hara?

01:19:23 – How do we live in Emes? Nefesh Hachaim on how Man was created

01:22:30 – Is it possible for someone to get reward for someone else’s deed? Learning for the zchus of a niftar, etc.

01:29:15 – Praying to Hashem for Yiras Shomayim

01:32:27 – Why not just learn Shas once?

01:36:44 – Putting time into Chumash vs Gemara

01:38:26 – Boycotting Germany?

Yisro 5780

(Produced by: CedarStudios Podcasting 2020)

Q&A-Beauty, Idolatry & Islam

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Breitowitz, of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem, discussing the most common questions about Judaism.

To submit questions, feedback or for sponsorship opportunities, contact us at: podcasts@ohr.edu

0:00 – Lending a car to someone, and they get a fine

2:04 – Question on Parshas Bo

4:24 – The Jewish view of beauty, Pirkei Avos on beauty

8:21 – Why are there other religions/idolatry?

13:38 – How do we decide when to follow minhagei HaGra?

18:43 – The Cherem of the Morei Nevuchim

24:29 – Midrash on the splitting of the sea

28:21 – Can you postpone a bris if it might cause guests to be mechalel Shabbos?

30:30 – To what extent do we take Agaddeta literally or not at all?

39:39 – Question on Parshas Bo

41:10 – Teaching Torah to a non-Jew

48:39 – Why do some parts of the Gemara make it seem like the Amoraim had poor middos?

54:37 – The two different quail stories

56:54 – Do the restrictions on a king for wealth apply to people?

01:02:30 – Did the sea split after Nachshon or after Moshe spread out his hands?

01:04:34 – The concept of a Ben Pakuah

01:07:40 – Does the water for Pesach Matzos have to be left overnight?

01:09:39 – Where does Islam and its ideas come from? What will happen to the Ishmaelites in the era of Moshiach?

01:12:17 – How could there be a place called Dan in Avraham’s time when there was not yet a shevet or person called Dan?

(Produced by: CedarStudios Podcasting 2020)

Q&A-Matchmaking, Homosexuality and Sotah

Rabbi Dr Yitzchak Breitowitz, of Ohr Somayach Jerusalem, discussing the most common questions about Judaism.

To submit questions, feedback or for sponsorship opportunities, contact us at: podcasts@ohr.edu

0:00 – Making a shidduch for non-religious friends, making a shidduch for Goyim

3:48 – Cherem of the Baal Hatanya and early Chassidus, Rebbi Nachman

14:08 – Question on Hilchos Kiddushin: Asking a woman to marry and handing her a ring

18:31 – Is there a yezter hara for homosexuality?

25:11 – Relationship between Man and Wife, the effect of a woman on her husband

29:58 – How could it be that Rabbi Yosef Caro learned with a Malach?

36:06 How does Lo BaShamayim He make sense

43:48 – What’s special about Shabbos if you spend the whole day learning

46:36 – Tainted money and korbanos

50:25 – Jew reading the christian bible or apikorsus

59:56 – Is the copper snake a graven image?

01:02:16 – Is there a commentary on the relationship between Acher and R’ Meir

01:03:30 – Learning on Shabbos or sleeping on Shabbos

01:04:50 – A Question on Sotah

01:06:37 – How can an eclipse be a bad omen if the eclipses run on a cycle

01:13:13 – The Kuzari on the copper snake

01:13:37 – The Ramban on plowing with an oxe and a donkey together

01:14:25 – A question on Maseches Brachos and dreams