בס"ד
Apr 20 2018, Iyyar 5, 5778
Torah reading: Tazria-Metzora

ASK THE RABBI

Up All Night

By Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin Do I have to wash negel vasser after being up all night? There are three reasons given for why we wash negel vasser in the morning: (1) Cleanliness: In preparation for davening since one may have touched a covered area of the body.1 (2) Sanctity: To prepare to serve Hashem by sanctifying the hands like thekohanim in the Beis Hamikdash.2 (3) Purity: … Read more

Undesired Surveillance

By Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin A tenant installed a surveillance camera for security, and is asking for reimbursement. Am I required to pay for something that I did not request? Halacha discusses a situation where a person plants his friend’s field on his own which resulted in a gain for the owner.1 If the field is … Read more

Unsolicited Tutoring

By Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin   An expert Gemara tutor came to a cheder to help struggling students whose parents asked for the service. One of the parents didn’t ask for the service but their child used the service. Do they have to pay? Halacha says that if someone receives unsolicited services, his obligation to pay depends on whether … Read more

Tzitzis on Blankets

By Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin   Does my woolen blanket require tziztis? From the posuk “ur’isem oso,” lit – and you should see them, Chazal learn that one is not obligated to wear tzitzis at night. The exact implication of the statement of Chazal is a dispute of rishonim: Some say that at nighttime one may wear any four cornered garment … Read more

Opening a Can on Shabbos

By Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin   There are three possible melachos involved in opening a can: (1-2) Binyan, Stira: Chazal say that in some instances the melachos of building and destroying apply to vessels.1 Some rishonim limit this to stable vessels made for long-term use, but not to flimsy containers.2 Others limit the prohibition to when the vessel is extremely large that it can … Read more

Lost and Found

By Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin   I found a pair of tefillin in an airport. Am I allowed to use it? A lost object that belonged to a Jew can be acquired by the finder if the object is found after the original owner has given up hope of finding it (yiush).1 If one finds the object before the owner … Read more

Pressure for a Shidduch

By Chaim Hillel Raskin Can I try to persuade a family to consider my daughter as a shidduch for their son? Background: There are two potential Torah prohibitions involved in purchasing a friend’s personal items that are not for sale: (1) Lo sisaveh – not to scheme ways of how to acquire a friend’s possessions, persuading him to sell … Read more

Driving After Candle-Lighting

By Chaim Hillel Raskin   I would like to travel by car to shul after lighting Shabbos candles. Is that allowed? Although the halacha is that lighting Shabbos candles doesn’t automatically cause Shabbos to begin,1 nonetheless the widespread custom amongst women is to accept Shabbos at candle-lighting. Thus if a woman doesn’t want to accept Shabbos then, she must expressly … Read more