Just Asking – Halachic Questions via Text Message

Due to the space limitations of a text message, please note that it is particularly important to read carefully, pay close attention to the context of the question, and use the answers as a springboard for further study.

Q: Can a person say kadish for his in-laws?
A: Yes

Q: I noticed this morning that my Polo shirt  is formed into four corners at the bottom. Can it be worn without tzitzit?
A: They are only considered “corners” that require tzitzit if the slit in between makes up at least half the length of the shirt from top to bottom (Shulchan Aruch 10:7).

Q: Do the two foods of Mishloach Manot have to have two different berachos?
A: No, as long as they are not identical, e.g. two types of meat (Aruch Hashulchan 695:14) & even white and dark meat chicken are considered different (Letter from R. SZ Auerbach).

Q: What do you do when you have to send Mishloach Manos to so many people. Years ago u sent it to only two and now that so many organizations do it as a fundraiser it is very costly???
A: Actually, unlike Matanot La’evyonim where you must give to two needy people because it’s a mitzvah to distribute tzedakah to more people, since Mishloach Manos can be given to anyone (even someone that’s not needy) you only need to give the two foods to one person. But it is still true that the more people you send to, the better. It’s nice to give tzedakah to organizations but it doesn’t necessarily have to be connected to Purim (and if the organization sends out cards rather than a gift basket, you just have to make sure to still give at least one person an actual Mishloach Manos on Purim to fulfill the mitzvah).

Q: Does dried kiwi need a hechsher?
A: No, as long as it contains nothing but sugar and preservatives.

Q: Does a mourner send Mishloach Manot?
A: Yes, even during Shiva a mourner is obligated to perform all mitzvot, even Rabbinic. Nevertheless, it should not be elaborate.

Q: May one send Mishloach Manot to a mourner?
A: No, since the mitzvah can be fulfilled by sending to others. It is OK to send to the mourner’s family (R. Elyashiv).

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