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Learning during KaddishI give a shiur to a few people before Shacharit and aim to finish when davening begins, with Rabbi Yishmael/Kaddish D’Rabbanan. Sometimes we are not quite finished then, in which case, we try to answer Kaddish’s main recitations, although we sometimes get caught up and fail to respond. Someone complained that continuing to learn during Kaddish is assur and a disgrace to Kaddish and the people listening to it. I don’t see it that way but said I would ask.
It is good that you plan to finish by Kaddish. Hopefully you learn with your tallit and tefillin on and have davened up to there. It would be a shame to either need to skip parts of P’sukei D’zimra, speed through it, or be behind the tzibbur. We will focus on Kaddish, as you ask.
There are three possible objections to a shiur continuing during Kaddish: 1. Listening/answering Kaddish has innate precedence over learning; 2. The learning can transmit one’s rejection or disregard for Kaddish’s content. 3. The learning can disturb those trying to focus on Kaddish.
1. One may/should answer the main responses of Kaddish, Kedusha and Barchu in the midst of almost any part of davening (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 66:3). The only debate is whether this is so if one who is davening in one minyan should respond to what he hears from another minyan. On the one hand, there is no Kaddish quota, so that any prompt makes responding important (Igrot Moshe III:89). Others say that the sources on non-participants responding are to permit answering, not obligating it, and so in multi-minyan locations (e.g., the Kotel) one does not have to harm his tefilla by having his focus wander from minyan to minyan (see Tzitz Eliezer XI:3; Yabia Omer VI, OC 20).
Only the study of the loftiest scholars (see Shabbat 11a) can push off the normal requirements of tefilla (Igrot Moshe OC II:27). Some people opt to learn Torah during chazarat hashatz, and even there most poskim oppose it (Mishna Berura 124:17; Kaf Hachayim, OC 124:16). On the other hand, the problem may be that less learned people will speak/not listen without a good reason (Mishna Berura ibid.). Therefore, some permit learning Torah in one’s head (see Dirshu 124:27). However, during Kaddish and Kedusha, one’s mind must be only on them, not learning (Mishna Berura 125:1).
2. If one is among a minyan who are up to Kri’at Shema, he must say the first pasuk along with them, even if he has already recited Kri’at Shema, in order to not appear reluctant to recite his allegiance to Hashem (Shulchan Aruch, OC 65:2). Poskim extend this idea to other central parts of davening, including such a major joint recitation of praise to Hashem as Kaddish (see Igrot Moshe ibid.). When one is at a minyan, not answering a different minyan need not look a rejection (Tzitz Eliezer ibid.). However, in your case, learning audibly in the beginning of your minyan is publicly indicating that joining everyone in declaring praise of Hashem is not at the top of your priorities, which is included in this problem.
3. The local rav or gabbai can best consider the technical and communal elements of what is an unacceptable disturbance to others. However, the concept is generally applicable. We note that the Mishna Berura (566:12), regarding the minhag to collect tzedaka on a fast day as a “kofer nefesh,” says that the gabbai should not go around announcing it during chazarat hashatz because it disrupts concentration.
The remaining question is whether these matters apply to the entire Kaddish or just the public’s responses. Regarding chazarat hashatz, l’chatchila one is to listen to every word but answering the berachot (while knowing which one is being said each time) is sufficient b’di’eved (Mishna Berura 124:17). However, regarding Kaddish, the need to listen to every word seems stronger (Mishna Berura 125:1).
In terms of bottom line, your shul-mate is right. Since stopping learning “on a dime” is difficult, try to stop a little earlier, making Kaddish the absolute endpoint.
Do All Who Ask Really Get Matanot La’evyonim?What is the operative result of the concept of kol haposhet yad notnim lo (= kpynl – whoever extends his hand to receive is given)?
There is little discussion in the poskim on kpynl but two sources in Chazal touch on it. The Tosefta (Megilla 1:5, cited in Bava Metzia 78b), in discussing that money earmarked for Purim should be used for it, says that we are not medakdek (exact) in the matter; it does not explain what that means practically. The Yerushalmi (Megilla 1:4) says we are not medakdek on the mitzvot (Ritva, Bava Metzia ibid. – money) of Purim. It adds, “but rather kol haposhet yad notnim lo.” The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chayim 694:3) codifies these words in the siman that discusses matanot la’evyonim (=mtlevy).
Rashi (Bava Metzia 78b) says that the case discussed there is a gabbai tzedaka who collected money to be used by the city’s poor for seudat Purim. If the Yerushalmi and Shulchan Aruch also refer to that, it is unclear if kpynl is a halacha of mtlevy. Specifically, the sources imply that the public collection was in addition to people’s personal practice of mtlevy. The fund was a form of public tzedaka, which we find for example regarding making sure the poor have wine for the seder (Pesachim 99b) or ma’ot chitim. Accordingly, the gabbai of these funds is instructed to give to whoever requests it.
What need is there for a special collection for the Purim seuda of the poor if that is the main purpose of mtlevy (see Mishna Berura 694:2); wouldn’t all the townspeople’s mtlevy suffice for one meal for them? There are a few possibilities. 1) According to many, a mere peruta suffices for mtlevy (see ibid.), so that the poor might not have received from mtlevy enough for a nice meal; 2) The poor person has the right for a fancy meal that even average mtlevy will not cover (Bava Metzia 78b may imply this; see Ramban ad loc.); 3) For various reasons, some evyonim will not receive, so the gabbai ensures all have enough.
Some understand kpynl as relating to mtlevy. The Ramban (ibid.) says that in light of kpynl, there is a minhag (mentioned by the Shulchan Aruch ibid.) to give on Purim even to non-Jews. The Beit Yosef (OC 694) cites objectors, since mtlevy is supposed to go to Jews (all agree that tzedaka money may go to non-Jews – see Gittin 61a). This (from Shulchan Aruch’s author) implies that kpynl can be relied on to fulfill mtlevy. The Ritva (Bava Metzia ibid.) explains that we need not be exact and ensure that the intended recipients of mtlevy (the poor) receive because the spirit of the day is to funnel happiness into giving, with one’s intention to include the poor, but that anyone who claims to fit suffices. (There is significant machloket on who is included in the intended evyon). According to this approach, kpynl is a leniency – one does not have to be certain the recipients are as needy as designed (Mikraei Kodesh (Harari) 11:3). Dirshu (594:16) claims there is a machloket between Rav Elyashiv (stringent) and Rav Chaim Kanievsky whether this is true. There is also an approach that willingness to embarrass oneself and request defines one as an evyon (see Moadim U’zmanim VI:106).
Some view kpynl as a stringency – one may not refuse to give Purim provisions to any poor person who asks for it (see Kol Meiheical VI, p. 328). But what if one already fulfilled the allotment of two evyonim? Possibly, while at that point it is only recommended to look for more poor recipients (Mishna Berura 694:3), it could be obligatory upon request. Alternatively, it is not mtlevy but a mitzva of tzedaka. It is never simple to refuse to give tzedaka (Devarim 15:7), but presumably this stringency means that even in cases one does not have to give (as much) (see Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 249:1; ibid. 251:10), one should do so on Purim (the degree is unclear).
To summarize, kpynl is either: a leniency that one may give mtlevy to anyone who claims to qualify, instructions for Purim to gabbaei tzedaka or individual tzedaka givers, or an extension of the minimum matanot la’evyonim obligation.
Purchasing Tax LiensMay a Jew purchase a tax lien when the tax delinquent is Jewish, or is that taking ribbit? Background: In about half of US states, tax authorities auction off tax liens (unpaid taxes create liens on taxpayers’ property) to the public. After purchasing the tax lien (approximately for the amount due to the government), the buyer is entitled to ever-increasing charges. If, after a set time, the debt is unpaid (most redeem their property before then), the buyer can foreclosure on the property and fully acquire it. As I understand from some research, the system works somewhat differently in different states/localities.
We have not found explicit discussion in classical poskim or contemporary halachic discussion of this exact case. To evaluate this possibly new question, we seek halachic parallels.
The closest parallel is loans that involve three parties – two Jewish and one not – which makes the existence of ribbit possible (see permutations in Bava Metzia 71b). The determining factor is generally whether the obligation and payment (perhaps even partially) are between two Jews (interest is forbidden) or only between each Jew separately with the non-Jew (permitted). The Rashba (Shut I:764) speaks of a case where a Jew owes a non-Jew with accruing ribbit and the non-Jew transferred his rights to the debt to another Jew. This is parallel to our case, as the taxpayer owes the non-Jewish government, and the government transferred its rights to a Jewish tax lien purchaser. The Rashba rules that if the non-Jew receives the money from the first Jew, even if he then gives it to the second Jew, it is permitted. If the money goes directly between the two Jews, it is forbidden. The Rashba, and the Rama (Yoreh Deah 168:10), who codified this opinion, imply that the prohibited case is only a stringency because of the severity of ribbit.
The Taz (ad loc. 12) makes two qualifications. The potential problem of ribbit is only on that which is accrued after the transfer to the Jew; the second Jew may directly take that which was coming to the non-Jew prior to the transfer. (If the original debtor was not entitled to pay early, all the eventual ribbit is considered previously accrued (Chavot Da’at (Chiddushim) 168:20), but in our case, the taxpayer can pay at any time.) The Taz also says that the relative leniency of the Rashba/Rama was only regarding a non-Jew’s partial/temporary transfer of rights to the second Jew, i.e., the non-Jew can pay off the second Jew and go back to demanding payment from the first Jew. In contrast, if the second Jew had obtained irrevocable rights to the loan, he has a full debtor/creditor relationship with the other Jew, so that taking additional ribbit is strictly forbidden. Although the Shach (Nekudot Hakesef ad loc.) takes issue on the Taz’s first qualification and somewhat on the second, the consensus of poskim is like the Taz (see Gra ad loc.; Chavot Da’at ibid.; Torat Ribbit 24:1).
The purchase of the tax lien appears to be like the Taz’s stringent case, making it forbidden to purchase a Jewish taxpayer’s tax lien. Since auctions list details of the taxpayer and his property, it might be possible to pick someone who is highly unlikely to be Jewish; such “profiling” is, of course, an inexact science.
However, we do not want to take a clear stand on this matter for a few reasons. 1) The laws of ribbit are very complex, and we do not preclude a future or unknown-to-us responsum convincing us otherwise. 2) Obligations created by government decree can have special qualities, and sometimes may be able to obviate the prohibition of ribbit (see Shut Ramban 46). 3) We do not know certain potentially impactful factors (some likely differ from place to place), including the degree of finality of the purchase, and who receives payment from the taxpayer. In the meantime, we cannot permit purchasing tax liens of a Jew. We add that the system appears to have some draconian provisions. This might make it appropriate to avoid on moral grounds.
We invite information/insight from our readership.
Making Up a Tefilla Missed to Help the SickI spent all afternoon in the emergency room with my mother and did not daven Mincha. Can/should I daven a second Ma’ariv as tashlumin (makeup prayer)?
The gemara (Berachot 26a) introduces the idea of tashlumin for tefillot missed “by mistake.” Those who missed intentionally are excluded. Rishonim posit that there is tashlumin for one prevented from davening (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 108:1). However, the Rosh (Shut 27:1, codified in Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah 341:2) rules that an onen (one between the death and burial of a close relative, who is exempt from positive mitzvot) who missed a tefilla does not make it up at the next tefilla. He explains that the onen did not forget but was not obligated in the missed tefilla.
The Derisha (YD 341:3) extends this exclusion from tashlumin to exemptions from tefilla due to pressing involvement in a mitzva (osek b’mitzva). Caring for a mother with acute medical needs certainly qualifies (see Sukka 26a and Mishna Berura 640:7).The Taz (YD 341:5 & OC 108:1) takes issue with the Derisha, arguing that an onen’s exemption is qualitatively different from that of one involved in a mitzva. The Derisha and Taz may disagree on whether mitzvot erase obligations, like aninut does (see nuances in Kehilot Yaakov, Berachot 15; Atvan D’orayta 13). Alternatively, they may argue on the breadth of the institution of tashlumin.
Given that the Rosh regarding onen appears to be based more on logic than Talmudic precedent, it makes sense to distinguish between the cases. During aninut, one may not use windows of free time to do mitzvot. In contrast, our entire day should be filled with various mitzvot, yet we seem to almost always fit in davening with a (set) minyan (see Ishei Yisrael 22:9, who advises doctors and nurses to look for opportunities to daven). Therefore, it makes a lot of sense that even if a certain mitzva could not be interrupted, osek b’mitzva does not make it considered that the obligation of tefilla at that time did not exist. Nevertheless, the majority of Acharonim, including some of the most authoritative ones (Shach in Nekudot Hakesef, YD 341, Magen Avraham 93:5; Eliya Rabba 93:4; Mishna Berura 93:8), rule that one does not need to do tashlumin in a case of mitzva involvement.
That being said, it might be good to do tashlumin voluntarily, an idea we find even in the following cases when tashlumin is not prescribed: 1. He purposely did not daven; 2. More than one tefilla has gone by since he missed. Poskim encourage doing tashlumin as a nedava (voluntary tefilla). The possible proviso is that when the case is further away from warranted tashlumin, the nedava must be done with a chiddush, i.e., additions to his regular Shemoneh Esrei. The Shulchan Aruch requires chiddush regarding #2 (OC 108:5), but not regarding #1 (ibid. 7). Since the requirements of chiddush are not trivial and perhaps difficult (see Shulchan Aruch and Rama, OC 107:2), we would not recommend it for the average person.
Regarding an osek b’mitzva, the Pri Megadim (MZ 108:1) says it depends whether the Taz’s opinion is strong enough to create a reasonable doubt whether tashlumin is needed; his inclination is not fully clear. It is an open question (see Yabia Omer IX, OC 90.6) whether there is an indication from the Rivash (140) like the Taz, and the Shevel Halevi (I:205) claims the Zohar supports the Taz. On the other hand, the Mishna Berura (108:2) rules that it requires a chiddush.
In your case, there could be reasons to require tashlumin. If your mitzva involvement began after the earliest time for Mincha, then according to almost all poskim, the subsequent exemption does not preclude tashlumin (Mishna Berura 71:4; the Birkei Yosef, YD 341:17 is equivocal). Also, while you had a right to err on the side of medical/kibbud eim caution and while one may use short breaks for ensuring his ability to continue the mitzva rather than tefilla (see Mishna Berura 71:13), if, in hindsight, you could have davened without compromising your mother’s care, tashlumin is called for.
Putting on Tallit and Tefillin in Early MorningDuring certain times of the year, I have to daven significantly before sunrise. What should I do about putting on tallit and tefillin (=t & t), as I start davening before the time for those mitzvot?
The starting time for Kri’at Shema (Orach Chayim 58), tzitizit/tallit (OC 18), and tefillin (OC 30), is called misheyakir (the time it is light enough to recognize certain things). There are many opinions as to how long before sunrise this is. The extreme opinions are as little as 30 and as much as 60+ minutes before sunrise; the most common opinions range from 40 to 50 minutes before. Because light depends on the angle of the sun under the horizon, many posit that latitude and season affect this time. Therefore, people need to rely on local calendars or some website, which will not represent unanimous truths (most of such resources are close to the general consensus).
Kri’at Shema starts at misheyakir apparently because this is when serious numbers of people start getting up (see Magen Avraham 58:6). Regarding tzitzit, the gemara (Menachot 43a) exempts “night clothing” from tzitzit because the Torah describes seeing the tzitzit. There are two pertinent machlokot on this matter. According to the Rambam (Tzitzit 3:7-8), the exemption refers to the time of the day, and it begins at misheyakir, which relates to the ability to see. Some (Rosh, Tzitzit 1) say that daytime clothing is obligated in tzitzit even at night, and others (Mordechai, Megilla 801) say that the starting time is alot hashachar (at least 72 minutes before sunrise). Because we view the first question as a safek, we wear tzitzit at night but without a beracha (Shulchan Aruch, OC 18:1), and while the Rama (OC 18:3) allows making a beracha from alot hashachar, this is not broadly accepted (see Mishna Berura 18:10).
Most Rishonim (see Beit Yosef, OC 30; the Rambam, Tefillin 4:10 is an exception) posit that the mitzva of tefillin applies at night, fundamentally. However, we must not put on tefillin at night (even without a beracha) out of a concern we may fall asleep and release gas with them on (Rashi, Menachot 36b). One who has already woken up and needs to put them on may do so early, in which case, when the time comes (misheyakir – Shulchan Aruch, OC 30:1), he handles the tefillin and then makes the beracha (Menachot 36a). We also find the idea of handling before the beracha regarding tzitzit that were put on early (Rama, OC 18:3).
There are two valid options: to wait to put on the t & t until their time comes or to put them both on at the regular juncture and make the beracha later (Mishna Berura 89:40), and the point to do it is between Yishtabach and Kaddish, not during P’sukei D’zimra (Rama, OC 54:3). If misheyakir comes before Baruch She’amar, which is more likely if one decides to use (this time of year) the order of Nusach Sephard, that is optimal. How many opinions one should satisfy and what to do about a safek whether misheyakir has come is debatable (see Piskei Teshuvot 30:(4)).
The halachic differences between waiting to put on and waiting for the beracha are small. Assuming misheyakir comes before Barchu (or there are other problems – see Shulchan Aruch, OC 58:3 and Mishna Berura ad loc. 17), the point to put them on and/or make the berachot is between Yishtabach and Kaddish. The main problem at that time, hefsek, relates to speaking, and either way the berachot are said then. There is only a slight advantage of having t & t on early in tefilla, and it is not much of a problem to have them on before their berachot for a good reason (see Shulchan Aruch, OC 8:10).
Let us examine practicalities. For one davening at home, a deciding factor might be which system is more likely to cause a mistake – forgetting to make the beracha at all or forgetting to put on t & t at the right time (if he remembered later, see Shulchan Aruch, OC 66:2). In a shul, friends’ actions may remind others. The rabbi has to decide whether to seek uniformity or have everyone decide for himself. If the former, there are various considerations to weigh.
Dessert after Birkat HamazonA friend of mine always eats dessert after Birkat Hamazon in order to avoid questions about whether he should make a beracha on dessert. Is that appropriate?
The practice of having dessert after Birkat Hamazon has various consequences. It can create a beracha rishona in cases that do not warrant them during the meal. After most desserts, there is a beracha acharona after Birkat Hamazon and not before it (see Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 177:2).
First we will look at whether this system could be halachically justified. A beracha l’vatala is when a beracha is either recited at a time/circumstance when it was not called for or was done in a critically flawed manner. There is a machloket whether this is a Torah-level (Rambam, Berachot 1:15) or Rabbinic prohibition (Tosafot, Rosh Hashana 33a). A lower level problem is what we call beracha she’eina tzricha (=bshtz) – a beracha that, at the time it was made, was called for, but one should not have put himself in that position.
The main Talmudic source for it is an opinion (Yoma 70a) that explains that in the kri’at haTorah in the Beit Hamikdash on Yom Kippur, they did not use a second sefer Torah because the switch of sefarim would have required another Birkat HaTorah, when this was not justified. The Orchot Chayim (Berachot 15) is one of the sources that apply it to berachot on food, in an almost identical case to ours – Birkat Hamazon before finishing eating, in order to make a beracha thereafter.
However, as the term she’eina tzricha (unnecessary) implies and the Orchot Chayim (ibid.) states, the problem is only when the additional beracha is created for no good reason. When, in contrast, there is a need for his actions, the beracha is not considered unnecessary. What qualifies as a reason? There is a machloket if one may make more berachot than should have been necessary in order to help get to the quota of 100 berachot each day (see Rambam, Tefilla 7:14-16 with Lechem Mishneh; Orchot Chayim ibid.).
The Shulchan Aruch (OC 174:4) comments that it is a safek whether one who wants to drink wine at a meal right after drinking Havdala wine needs to make another beracha. He rules that he does not make the beracha, out of doubt, but recommends having in mind when making the beracha during Havdala not to exempt the later wine, thereby justifying the second beracha. The Pri Chadash (Yoreh Deah 19:8) says that while one should not break a string of shechitot, which might stop the efficacy of the beracha toward subsequent shechitot, since there would be a safek if a new beracha is required, one should intend that his initial beracha not extend to shechitot occurring after speaking. In other words, while needlessly setting up the need for a beracha is wrong, the desire to not be in a situation of lack of a beracha due to safek justifies it. In fact, the Ohr L’tzion (II, 12:(10)), in the case of a certain dessert in where it is unclear whether it requires a beracha rishona, recommends eating it only after Birkat Hamazon. So there is room to entertain your friend’s system
However, we do not recommend your friend’s system, at least not broadly. If the halacha is clear, whether to make or not make a beracha, the suggested system, obviating the need to learn the halacha, is unfortunate. It is much better to learn halachot than to avoid the situations to which they apply. One of the major reasons to learn Torah is to get things exactly correct! This is especially so by berachot, where preciseness is valued (see Berachot 38a). That is why poskim discuss all sorts of dessert foods and scenarios and rarely if ever give his solution. For example, regarding a dessert of cake, we do not make a beracha only due to the possibility that cake counts as bread (Bi’ur Halacha to 168:8), and the poskim by and large do not recommend bentching first to remove doubt.
Furthermore, in cases which do not include doubt, an extra beracha is a bshtz. Only in unusual cases (e.g., one with memory problems), to be discussed with a rav, might using this system broadly be justified.
How Much Should the Mezamen Recite Aloud?I learned that the mezamen (= mzm – leader of zimun) should recite, if not all of Birkat Hamazon (=BHM) aloud, at least the first beracha and the ends of berachot. Most people do neither. What should I do and/or tell others to do?
There are two reasons for mzm to recite aloud parts of BHM.
The original institution of zimun was for only mzm to say BHM, with the others being yotzei by listening. The practice has developed that rarely is one person motzi others with reciting a text when not necessary. The reason is that being motzi is not easy, because it requires intention on both sides (Mishna Berura 8:13), concentration of the one listening (Beit Yosef, Orach Chayim 183), and likely also the latter’s understanding of the Hebrew text (Mishna Berura 183:28). The Shulchan Aruch (OC 183:7) says that although everyone should recite BHM, it is proper for the others to do so silently at the same pace that the mzm does it aloud, thus uniting them in a way that resembles full zimun (Mishna Berura 183:27).
The above is not a requirement, and the broad minhag is not to do so. Some explain the advantages. If they listen to mzm as they recite it, they may not concentrate well and might not have in mind to do be yotzei with their own recitation (see Avnei Yaakov 31). We do not recommend, in places it is unusual, for mzm to read the whole BHM aloud. Beyond the plusses and minuses, it is also likely to give the impression of “holier than thou.”
It is somewhat common to tone down the above by reciting only the ends of the berachot. While listening/responding to this is insufficient to be yotzei, there may be value in joining for BHM’s most important parts, and it gives people the z’chut of answering amen (see Shabbat 119b). It is positive to do this. If the responders do not keep pace with mzm, it is unclear if they should answer amen to mzm in the midst of a beracha (see Mishna Berura 183:30; Dirshu 183:24; Yeshuot Moshe III:19).
The other element of reading aloud applies only to the first beracha (“… hazan et hakol”). Rav Nachman (Berachot 46a) says that zimun ends before BHM’s first beracha; Rav Sheshet says that the first beracha is part of zimun. (It is not a full part of zimun, as we recite it even without one, but Rav Sheshet requires zimun to be connected to the beginning of BHM (Tosafot ad loc.).) One difference between the opinions is until what point one who stops eating to answer zimun has to wait before resuming eating (ibid.). The Shulchan Aruch (OC 200:2, based on the Rif and Rambam) rules like Rav Nachman. The Rama (ad loc.) paskens like Rav Sheshet, that one waits until hazan et hakol to resume eating. Likely, another difference between them is whether mzm recites the first beracha aloud (see Beit Yosef, OC 183).
We rule that we do not trust ourselves to be yotzei with mzm even for the first beracha (see ibid.). Still, the Mishna Berura (183:28) says that mzm should do at least that beracha aloud, so people can read along with him (they go ahead at the end of the beracha so they can answer amen) and get an element of zimun. So why doesn’t everyone do this?
Explanations begin with the fact that Rav Nachman is not a “rejected” opinion so that Ashkenazim can rely upon him in this regard (see Tzitz Eliezer ibid.). They may assume that their concentration on their own recitations is better that way (see Piskei Teshuvot 183:15) or for kabbalistic advantage (see Kaf Hachayim, OC 183:38). Still, we recommend for mzm to recite the first beracha aloud, when this is not a rare practice.
There is less reason to recite the first beracha aloud with a zimun of ten. The Tur (OC 200, accepted by Mishna Berura 200:9 and Chazon Ish, OC 31:2) says that in such a case, Rav Sheshet agrees that one who stopped can resume eating before the first beracha of BHM because by adding the Name of Hashem, the zimun is a self-standing beracha. If so, having mzm say the first beracha aloud is similar to his reciting all of BHM aloud.
Considering all the possibilities’ viability, you should not “correct” people.
Differences of a Second MarriageAt a second marriage for both chatan and kalla, what is different from at a regular wedding?
The following is an overview, regarding a second marriage for both chatan and kalla; some differences depend only on the kalla’s status. Some issues are affected by details or sensitivities, especially regarding issues that are less halachic or are the subject of machloket. A couple would discuss these matters with their rav/mesader kiddushin.
Tenaim – Many do not require a written tenaim document (see Hanisuin K’hilchatam 17:8).
Ketuba – A kalla who is not a betula receives half of what a betula receives for all three of a ketuba’s monetary elements (Shulchan Aruch, Even Haezer 67:1), and her status is referenced in certain places in the ketuba. Certain variables, especially not widely known facts (e.g., adoption, conversion), raise sensitivities during the public reading of the ketuba between the kiddushin and nisuim parts of the ceremony. The minhag of many is to not read the ketuba at a second time marriage (see opinions in Hanisuin K’hilchatam 17:24 and Nitei Gavriel 51:7).
Veil – The kalla going to her chupa with a veil is the sign of the wedding of a betula (Ketubot 15b), and the chatan covers her at “badekin.” There is no badekin at a second marriage (see Rama, EH 55:1; Chelkat Mechokek 55:8), although some have the minhag that someone else puts the veil on her under the chupa (Nitei Gavriel 51:3).
Chupa Location: The chupa is done inside and not under the sky (see Pitchei Teshuva, EH 62:1; Aruch Hashulchan, EH 55:24).
Yichud (the couple’s seclusion) – According to many (see Rama, EH 55:1), the nisuin is accomplished by yichud. Therefore, it is especially important that the kalla not be a nidda, which would prevent full yichud (Nitei Gavriel 51:10).
Minhagim that are unchanged: chupa, breaking of the glass, ashes on the chatan’s head; kalla circling the chatan.
Level of Revelry: The recommendation of poskim and the minhag is that, while joyous, the second wedding is less elaborate, which can find expression in several areas – Many do not have a band (Aruch Hashulchan ibid.); the food is less extensive (Hanisuin K’hilchatam 17:29); the kalla’s dress is less elaborate (Nitei Gavriel 51:2). These are general guidelines, not halachic dictates.
Participation of the couple’s children – Many have the minhag that their children not take part in the chupa (Nitei Gavriel 51:9). The decision should be left to the children (if old enough), without the couple’s pressuring or reading into their decisions.
Sheva Berachot – Sheva Berachot under the chupa are standard, but at meals, it is complicated. The gemara (Ketubot 7a) says that for such a couple there are sheva berachot for only one day. There are three feasible and supported possibilities what one day means (see Rosh, Ketubot 1:13 and its analysis in Chelkat Mechokek 62:6 and Beit Shmuel 62:5): 1) the first meal; 2) any meal eaten the first day; 3) it must be both the first meal and on the first day. The main differences are: A. After a night wedding, can there be a party with the sheva berachot recited the next day? B. If the chupa takes place at the end of the day and the meal takes place at night, are there berachot at the end of the wedding meal? The general approach is that there is doubt in these test cases, and we do not make berachot in a case of doubt (Beit Shmuel ibid.). Therefore, it is best to time things wisely. The Pitchei Teshuva (ad loc. 10) and Aruch Hashulchan (EH 62:33) cite opinions that if the yichud is at night, then even if the chupa was before, they can recite sheva berachot at night. The Ezer Mikodesh (to EH 62:6) is unsure if this is correct. If the meal was well underway during the day, sheva berachot can be recited at its conclusion at night (Aruch Hashulchan ibid.; Hanisuin K’hilchatam 17:35).Time together – The couple is supposed to spend happy time together, as opposed to going to work, for three days (Ketubot 7a). The kalla is able to allow the chatan to return to work early (Rama, EH 64:2).
Non-negotiated FeesWhen a service provider and a hirer do not discuss the fee in advance and disagree later, what does Halacha say about resolving the disagreement?
When we adjudicate such cases in beit din, we usually need to consider particular circumstances. We would give two pieces of advice. Discuss as many important matters as possible before work begins, and realize that compromise between the sides is almost always preferable to adjudication. However, it is good to also be aware of basic halachic/legal guidelines.
Two rules about monetary law and specifically employment law can compete in cases where some matters were not settled in advance: 1) We are to follow our society’s common practices (Bava Metzia 83a; ibid. 76a). 2) When there is a doubt whether one needs to pay and how much, he pays the least of the reasonable options (Bava Kama 46b).
When there is no discussion, the service recipient cannot normally say that he thought the service was being provided for free (Rama, Choshen Mishpat 264:4). But how much should the worker receive?
When there is one accepted fee, that is what he receives (Bava Metzia 76a). A rare example of an accepted fee in our days might be “shadchanus gelt” in certain communities. A fee used in a simple majority of cases does not constitute an accepted fee, (K’tzot Hachoshen 331:3), but a sweeping majority would enter the realm of minhag. When there are multiple fees, the lowest one is used (Rama, CM 332:4). An exception to this rule is when (one of the) sides use language that indicates they want to use an average rate (Shulchan Aruch, CM 331:3, based on Bava Metzia 87a).
Standards are not only set according to the time and place, but also the type of profession needed and the objective qualifications the worker possesses (Pitchei Choshen, Sechirut 8:(11)). For example, electrical work done by a licensed electrician is more expensive not only than the work of a babysitter but than a handyman who also does electrical work. Other factors are dependent on the case. Poskim discuss cases in which there was no explicit decisions but that the intention can be deciphered from the circumstances. For example when the sides gave different offers and did not agree, and only later the work started without resolving the matter of price, the one who initiated the new contact is likely to be assumed to have accepted the other side’s offer (see Pitchei Choshen ibid. (13), based on the Shulchan Aruch, CM 221:1).
The classic rules, including those above, produce some less standard applications in contemporary society. First, for many types of services, it is not possible for the worker to know how difficult and time-consuming a job will be, e.g., a car mechanic, computer technician. We can apply the K’tzot Hachoshen’s (ibid.) ruling that when it is not possible to determine price in advance, the average fee is appropriate.
Furthermore, there are also fields in which the service provider is the one who normally sets the price. Determining what fields fall into this category will also be a matter of local practice. Often when there is no discussion about the price, it is the shortcoming of both sides, which has its own complicated halachic consequences (see K’tzot Hachoshen ibid., Maharashdam CM, 335). However, when the hirer should have known that the worker would set his price and assume that the hirer will accept it or negotiate, that is what the hirer should do. The hirer cannot, then, object afterwards without prior warning. It is likely, even, that when he went into the process, the legal construct of giving trust to the person with whom you are financially interacting applies (see discussion in Living the Halachic Process VI, I-2).The exception to this rule would be if the worker makes an unreasonable or inconsistent charge or he does not provide commensurate service. Neither side should purposely refrain from discussing the fee in advance in order to seize an opportunity where he could negotiate later from a perceived position of strength.
Rings, Watches, and TefillinI wear a wedding ring and a watch on my left arm, and I do not like taking them off. Is it permitted to keep them on when I put on tefillin?
The mishna (Megilla 24b) criticizes those who place tefillin shel yad on their sleeves, for believing that since the Torah calls them an ot (sign), it should be visible to outsiders. We learn this pasuk as meaning that “it is an ot for you - and not for others” (Menachot 37b). Rashi (Megilla 24b) seems to say that the whole problem is that it should not be done primarily toward others. The Rosh (Shut 3:4), though, understands that, given that the tefillin shel yad do not require being exposed, they must be directly on the skin, like the garments of a kohen must be, thus forbidding a chatzitza (separation).
How broadly does chatzitza apply to tefillin? The Rashba (to Megilla 24b) raises the real possibility that it does not apply to a shel rosh or to the shel yad’s retzuot (straps) (Shut Harashba I, 827). However, he concludes (ibid.) that the practice is to be careful on the shel rosh, the shel yad, and the retzuot. The Rama (Orach Chayim 27:4) says that chatzitza is not a problem for retzuot. However, many commentaries (including the Taz 27:4 and the Magen Avraham 27:5) take issue on this claim, based on the Rashba’s conclusion that practically we do not allow chatzitzot. The Mishna Berura (27:16) accepts the following distinction (found in the Levush, OC 27:4 and Taz ibid.). There must not be a chatzitza under the part of the retzuot that are needed to tie the batim (tefillin boxes) down; chatzitza is not a problem for the rest.
There may also be other distinctions that are instructive here. The gemara (Menachot 35b) states that the retzuot must be long enough to be wrapped three times around the finger. Although there is a minority approach that this is just the required length of the retzuot but there does actually have to be such a wrapping (see Darchei Moshe, OC 27:5), the broad consensus is like the Rambam (Tefillin 3:12) that the finger wrappings are required based on this gemara (Shulchan Aruch, OC 27:8). In contrast, the idea of wrapping six or seven times on the forearm is only a post-Talmudic minhag, not a halacha (Beit Yosef, OC 27). Therefore, there is logic to claim that a watch on the wrist (bottom of the forearm) is a less problematic chatzitza than on the fingers (see Teshuvot V’hanhagot II:26). If, as is easy to do, one gets in the seven wrappings before passing over the watch, it is even better (Yabia Omer II, OC 2).
The ring also has special leniencies. Presumably, it is on the ring finger, and the retzuot go on the middle finger. Although many people do a wrap or a semi-wrap over the ring finger, this minhag is not found in the main halachic sources. Furthermore, the minhag is likely in order to “spell out” a dalet or a shin, not for the regular need to wrap the finger with tefillin (see Piskei Teshuvot 27:17). Therefore, it may make little or no difference if there is a chatzitza on the ring finger.
Additionally, it may be possible to put the retzuot beyond where the ring is. If there is only a slight overlap, then the Magen Avraham (27:5) raises a distinction (within the Rama’s opinion) between a large and a small chatzitza. On the other hand, this distinction does not seem accepted (see Mishna Berura 27:14). The idea of leaving the ring on all the time, which helps regarding netilat yadayim, likely does not help here (see Dirshu 27:(12)).
Despite all of the reasons for leniency, people are generally careful to remove their watch before wrapping on their tefillin. This is either a chumra or a way of showing extra reverence toward the dear mitzva of tefillin and is recommended by poskim (Teshuvot V’hanagot ibid.; Doveiv Meisharim II:37; see Pri Megadim, MZ 27:4). However, when there is any good reason to need to keep the watch or ring on (even more so if he is able to apparently avoid overlap with the ring), he may be lenient as is fine according to the regular application of halachic rules (Yabia Omer ibid.).
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