The Shavuos Diet

This special article for Shavuos deals with the custom of eating dairy products on Shavuos, and their proper separation from meaty foods. What is the source for the custom of eating dairy foods on Shavuos, and how is it performed? What is the optimal way to avoid mixing dairy and meaty? And what is the ideal way in which our time over the Shavuos festival should be spent? These questions are discussed in this week’s article?

The Halachic Status of Music: During the Year and in the Sefirah (Part 1)

Although it is well known that one mustn’t listen to music in the sefirah period, it is striking to note that this prohibition is not found in any early authority, from the time of the Talmud until the Mishnah Berurah! What, then, is the nature of the customary prohibition? When can one be lenient, and when must one be stringent? To answer these questions, we must first understand the halachic approach to music throughout the year, which is the subject of this two-part series.

Honoring Seder Night Pledges

This week’s article discusses the contemporary question of fulfilling promises—Afikoman promises. Is there a full halachic obligation to honor one’s Afikoman promise of Seder Night? Is there a difference between young and older children? Is the duress that a parent sometimes experiences in trying to retrieve the Afikoman a factor? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.

Biur Chametz the Easy Way— Laws of Selling Chametz (Part II)

This week’s article continues the discussion of the Sale of Chametz. How is the rabbi, or the person responsible for the sale, appointed by the individual homeowner? When is the sale to the non-Jew actually performed? How do international sales work? And what products should be included in the sale? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.

Biur Chametz the Easy Way: The Sale of Chametz

This week’s article is the first of a two-part series on the sale of chametz. What is the history of the chametz sale that has become so widespread? What was it initially intended for, and what does it achieve? Does one fulfill the mitzvah of tashbisu by selling one’s chametz? What are the benefits of a collective sale, and how should the purchasing non-Jew be given access to his chametz? How, indeed, must the chametz be treated over Pesach? These questions, and more, are addressed in this week’s article.

Vayeitzei – The Basics of Ma’aser Kesafim

In this week’s parashah we find the vow made by Yaakov Avinu to tithe everything he receives for the sake of Heaven. In this connection, we dedicate our discussion to the basic laws of maaser kesafim — some of which are actually extracted from the vow made by Yaakov. What is the special virtue of giving maaser? Why is it permitted to ‘test’ Hashem in this matter? What is the nature of the obligation to give maaser, who is obligated in doing so, and to whom may the maaser money be given? These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.

Bal Talin – Paying Wages on Time

In two places, the Torah writes about the obligations of an employer to pay his worker. In one place, there is a negative commandment not to delay payment – “Do not keep the wages of a worker with you until the next day” (Vayikra 19:13). In another place, there is a positive commandment to pay a worker on time – “Pay his wages that day, before the sun sets” (Devarim 24:15). In addition, the verse in Mishlei states “Do not tell a worker to come back tomorrow, and you have money to pay him” (3:28).
In this summary, the main issues of the prohibition, known as bal talin, are presented. This includes when to pay, the employer’s responsibility, hiring a worker through a third party, corporations and organizations, volunteered services, method of payment, and rentals.

Bal Talin – Paying Wages On Time – part 6: Different Types of Workers

In two places, the Torah writes about the obligations of an employer to pay his worker. In one place, there is a negative commandment not to delay payment – “Do not keep the wages of a worker with you until the next day” (Vayikra 19:13). In another place, there is a positive commandment to pay a worker on time – “Pay his wages that day, before the sun sets” (Devarim 24:15). In addition, the verse in Mishlei states “Do not tell a worker to come back tomorrow, and you have money to pay him” (3:28).
In this summary, the main issues of the prohibition, known as bal talin, are presented. This includes when to pay, the employer’s responsibility, hiring a worker through a third party, corporations and organizations, volunteered services, method of payment, and rentals.

08/11/2010

Bal Talin – Paying Wages On Time – part 5: Rentals

In two places, the Torah writes about the obligations of an employer to pay his worker. In one place, there is a negative commandment not to delay payment – “Do not keep the wages of a worker with you until the next day” (Vayikra 19:13). In another place, there is a positive commandment to pay a worker on time – “Pay his wages that day, before the sun sets” (Devarim 24:15). In addition, the verse in Mishlei states “Do not tell a worker to come back tomorrow, and you have money to pay him” (3:28).
In this summary, the main issues of the prohibition, known as bal talin, are presented. This includes when to pay, the employer’s responsibility, hiring a worker through a third party, corporations and organizations, volunteered services, method of payment, and rentals.

Bal Talin – Paying Wages On Time – part 4: Methods of Payment

In two places, the Torah writes about the obligations of an employer to pay his worker. In one place, there is a negative commandment not to delay payment – “Do not keep the wages of a worker with you until the next day” (Vayikra 19:13). In another place, there is a positive commandment to pay a worker on time – “Pay his wages that day, before the sun sets” (Devarim 24:15). In addition, the verse in Mishlei states “Do not tell a worker to come back tomorrow, and you have money to pay him” (3:28).
In this summary, the main issues of the prohibition, known as bal talin, are presented. This includes when to pay, the employer’s responsibility, hiring a worker through a third party, corporations and organizations, volunteered services, method of payment, and rentals.

01/11/2010

Bal Talin – Paying Wages On Time – part 3: Non Direct Employer

In two places, the Torah writes about the obligations of an employer to pay his worker. In one place, there is a negative commandment not to delay payment – “Do not keep the wages of a worker with you until the next day” (Vayikra 19:13). In another place, there is a positive commandment to pay a worker on time – “Pay his wages that day, before the sun sets” (Devarim 24:15). In addition, the verse in Mishlei states “Do not tell a worker to come back tomorrow, and you have money to pay him” (3:28).
In this summary, the main issues of the prohibition, known as bal talin, are presented. This includes when to pay, the employer’s responsibility, hiring a worker through a third party, corporations and organizations, volunteered services, method of payment, and rentals.

29/10/2010

Chayei Sarah – Halachic Aspects of the Shadchan

In line with the theme of this week’s Parashah, which includes the first shidduch recorded by the Torah, this week’s
article is dedicated to the halachos governing shadchanus. What is the principle behind payment of a shadchan, as
commonly practiced among Ashkenazi communities? When must shadchanus gelt be paid, and who is obligated to
make the payment? How are shadchanus fees divided between various parties involved in making the shidduch?
These questions, and more, are discussed in this week’s article.

Bal Talin – Paying Wages On Time – part 2: The Employers Responsibility

In two places, the Torah writes about the obligations of an employer to pay his worker. In one place, there is a negative commandment not to delay payment – “Do not keep the wages of a worker with you until the next day” (Vayikra 19:13). In another place, there is a positive commandment to pay a worker on time – “Pay his wages that day, before the sun sets” (Devarim 24:15). In addition, the verse in Mishlei states “Do not tell a worker to come back tomorrow, and you have money to pay him” (3:28).
In this summary, the main issues of the prohibition, known as bal talin, are presented. This includes when to pay, the employer’s responsibility, hiring a worker through a third party, corporations and organizations, volunteered services, method of payment, and rentals.

25/10/2010

Bal Talin – Paying Wages On Time – part 1: When to Pay

In two places, the Torah writes about the obligations of an employer to pay his worker. In one place, there is a negative commandment not to delay payment – “Do not keep the wages of a worker with you until the next day” (Vayikra 19:13). In another place, there is a positive commandment to pay a worker on time – “Pay his wages that day, before the sun sets” (Devarim 24:15). In addition, the verse in Mishlei states “Do not tell a worker to come back tomorrow, and you have money to pay him” (3:28).
In this summary, the main issues of the prohibition, known as bal talin, are presented. This includes when to pay, the employer’s responsibility, hiring a worker through a third party, corporations and organizations, volunteered services, method of payment, and rentals.

21/10/2010

To Drink or Not to Drink

In this week’s Parashah we learn of the potency of wine and the disasterous effects it can have. But what is the halachic status of wine and drunkeness? Does halachah distinguish between different degrees of inebriation? Aside from the question of “permitted or forbidden,” which further ramifications are there of drinking and drunkeness? These questions, and more, are address in this week’s article.

The Lulav

If the leaves lie against the spine, the lulav is mehudar.
If the leaves fan out to the side, but can be tied down to the spine, the lulav is kosher but not mehudar.
If the leaves fan out to the side, but cannot be tied down to the spine, the lulav is possul.