Halacha Series

Purim – The Halachot of Mishloach Manot

By Rabbi Mansour (dailyhalacha.com)

The Megilat Esther states that the Jews celebrated their salvation by “Mishloach Manot Ish L’re’ehu,” delivering dishes one to another. This is the source for the Misva to give Mishloach Manot on purim.

The Halacha requires giving two distinct items to one person. This is derived from the wording of the Pasuk. The word “Manot”-dishes is in the plural form, indicating two or more different dishes. Therefore, one may not give two portions of the same item.

Even if both items were packaged together, they are considered separate. Although, the Ben Ish Hai (Rav Yosef Haim of Baghdad, 1833-1909 in Torah Lishma, Parashat Tisaveh) ruled that each item must be in separate vessels, Hacham Ovadia ZT”L is lenient, in accordance with the majority of the Poskim and the accepted custom.

The Halacha requires that Mishloach Manot be comprised of food. It is not acceptable to give money or other valuables. Although, Hacham Ben Sion permitted giving a voucher to eat a meal in a restaurant, assuming that the recipient would eat two different dishes there on purim.

The food must be fit for consumption. Therefore, one does not fulfill the Misva by giving items with sub-standard Kashrut. If one gave candies to a diabetic, he fulfilled the Misva, because even though the recipient cannot eat them, he can pass them on to his children etc.

Women are obligated to give Mishloach Manot. Modesty dictates that women should give to other women, whereas men should give only to men. Special caution is required that men should not give to unmarried women, to avoid an issue of Kidushin, i.e. the gift may have marital implications.

Boys and Girls over the age of Bar […]

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Halacha Series Week 5 – How to conduct yourself after shabbat

How to conduct yourself after shabbat

By Aharon Gabbay


Maran, HaRav Yosef Karo says in Orah Chaim 299/1 that when it hits nightfall (or, adds the Mishnah Berurah, when you daven maariv) on shabbat afternoon, one cannot continue or begin to eat or drink, (except water) until they have performed or heard the havdallah. Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach adds that tea is allowed similarly to water. However, Chacham Ben Zion Abba Shaul says that tea or coffee are not allowed. Maran adds that this ruling does not apply if one is eating the same meal from before nightfall through to after nightfall (a common example being seudah shelishit) and one does not have to stop eating in this case.


Maran adds that if one forgot to perform/hear havdallah then they have till Tuesday to say it, but this is only regarding the wine, the besamim (smelling spices) and fire are specifically only for motsai Shabbat. The reasons for this is that the gemarah in Pesachim 54b says that man made the first fire on motsai Shabbat by knocking two rocks together, the reason for the besamim is that we need a pleasant smell because of the departing of our secondary soul which accompanies us on shabbat.


Maran continues and says that one can only start doing melachah (weekday activities) before havdallah, if havdallah was said/heard in “atah chonen” in arvit of motsai Shabbat. If one needs to do melachah before doing havdallah then it is sufficient to say aloud “Baruch hamavdil Ben Kodesh uben chol”(blessed be the one who seperated holy from mundane). The Mishnah Berurah explains the reason this works is because initially all that is required is to have a recognition that it is the […]

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The Moroccan Dilema

Halacha Series Week 5

By Aharon Gabbay


The Amidah on Shabbat has less berachot (blessings) than in the week. To add berachot there is a Moroccan minhag (tradition) on Shabbat evening and morning before making hamotsi (the blessing made on bread) in both meals to make several ‘extra’ berachot on various foods. This is a beautiful minhag admired by many, however there is an issue which arises during the fulfillment of this minhag but first, some ground rules have to be set first.


When one eats a k’zayit (28g) of any food they have to do a berachah acheronah – after beracha. For foods made from any grain, al hamichya is said and for any other foods, borei nefashot is said. When one has a hamotsi meal everything they have eaten is consolidated into one beracha – Birkat Hamazon or benching. The other after berachot should not need to be said in this instance.


The issue arises when one is about to eat bread and make hamotsi and then later bench, and just before they eat 28g or more of another type of food. When one does this they have entered into a situation where they both should and should not make a berachah achronah. Therefore, one should consume less than a k’zayit of each berachah since he enters himself into a safek (doubt).


Nevertheless, if one did do this they should not say the berachah acharonah required since there is a ruling of safek berachot lehakel. This means that when there is a doubt in whether or not to make a beracha, we should not make it. This is derived from the law not to say Hashem’s name in vain.

There is also a Halacha that one should not […]

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Pronouncing Shabbat

Halacha Series Week 4 – Pronouncing Shabbat
By Aharon Gabbay

The Gemarah in Pesachim 106a brings the pasuk in the Torah which says “zachor et yom hashabbat lekadsho” – remember the holy Shabbat to sanctify it. The Gemarah explains that there is a mitsvah to pronounce/remember the shabbat day, the Gemarah expounds that this should be done over wine/kiddush. The Gemara also teaches us that this also applies to women just as much as men even though its a time bound Mitsvah (women are exempt from time bound Mitsvot and one might think women are not obligated to do the Mitsvah of Kiddush).

Maran HaRav Yosef Karo says in Orach Chaim 271/1 that when one comes home Friday night (from Arvit in Shul), they should eat their meal immediately. This is because (as explained last week) when one performs kiddush it must be preceded by a meal and since you have to pronounce shabbat immediately, consequently you should have a meal immediately.

The Mishnah Berurah brings the opinion of the Rambam (Maimonadies), who says that in the tefillah of arvit one has already pronounced the shabbat “Min Hatorah” (according to the obligation from the Torah) and to pronounce on wine at home would only be a “derabanan” (according to the obligation set by Rabbanim, an obligation from the Torah is of higher precedence). And so the Mishnah Berurah explains that for this reason, if in a case where one is not hungry then they could delay waiting and not eat straight away.

Furthermore, a katan shehigiya lechinuch (a child that has reached an age of performing mitsvot solely for practice) cannot say Kiddush on wine for an adult female. This is because the adult’s […]

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One Or Two Amidahs?

Maran, HaRav Yosef Karo in Orach Chaim 124/4 says that during Chazarat Hashatz (repetition of the Amidah), if there are not 9 people concentrating on the Berachot (blessings) and replying, then the Berachot are close to levatala (said in vain). The Mishnah Berurah adds that for the same reason one must not say tachanun or learn in this period of time and not only that they should not say the words along with the Chazan so that they can concentrate on what the Chazan is saying. It would appear from here that 9 people are required to reply to all the Berachot.

However, Maran earlier in 55/6 says that if 1 of the 10 has begun to pray his own Amidah, or he is sleeping, it is permissible to begin starting the Chazarat Hashatz. This appears to indicate that at least 8 are required to reply to all the berachot. Not only that, rather the Mishnah Berurah says that as long as a majority (6) are answering that would be sufficient. However the Mishnah Berurah recommends not to rely on this since there are many stringent opinions, furthermore the Beer Hetev says that only lacking 1 is permissible and not more. Nevertheless, there is definitely reason to say that only 6 replying to the Berachot are sufficient.

The Kaf HaChaim addresses these 2 Halachot and says they are not contradictory as 55/6 is referring only to the fact that there is the Shechina in the room. This is not clear (to me) as to why Maran would speak about this here (when it is a halachah sefer) but what is clear is that the real number required to be answering is 9. Furthermore, the Ben Ish […]

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