A Little Clarity – Halachic Questions via Text Message

Q: What are the steps in frum dating?

A: There are different steps for different communities; the following is intended for someone that becomes religious as an adult.  First, it is very important to become part of a religious community.  In this context, a bigger community will eventually lead to more dating opportunities.  In general, since the idea is to find a partner for marriage, frum dating is relatively goal-oriented.  That makes the focus of the dating somewhat more intense – so the couple can get to know each other sooner.  If they determine that they are not suitable for each other, they move on quickly.  Assuming there is positive chemistry between the two, the process will ideally allow the couple to ascertain if their personal, family, and community life goals and values align.  Physical contact is reserved for after the wedding. In religious communities, when the dating-for-marriage process is sometimes started as early as 19 and 20, thorough vetting to weed out obvious incompatibility is done by the families before the couple even agrees to meet for the first time.

Q: Was wondering, as I am Vegetarian, if I need to Kosher my home.

A: Since there are many products that are vegetarian but not kosher, generally any kitchen that has been used with food that doesn’t have kosher certification must be kashered. If you have only used fresh vegetables and products that have kosher certification (e.g. wine, cheese, vinegar, etc.) and everything (e.g. pots, spoons, oven, etc.) were purchased brand new, then kashering wouldn’t be necessary.

Q: None of my appliances nor pots are new. I am only renting an apartment. Can I just boil everything? I bought an oven cleaner. Also, the prior tenant was not Jewish.

A: Oven: Clean well and leave on highest temp for an hour. Clean pots and cutlery can be immersed in boiling water; dishes generally cannot be kashered. Boiling water can be poured on surfaces like sinks and tables. Anything that solid food is directly cooked in without a liquid medium (e.g. frying pans) should be replaced.

Q: Did you know Israel has vegetarian products that are kosher for Pesach?

A: Yes, vegetarian products that are kosher for Passover are quite common in Israel – don’t forget anything that is pareve or dairy is by definition vegetarian.

Q: Need to replace inserts in Mazzuzah’s. I have prayer. Can I do the prayer for the outside main door and then just post the remainder inside?

A: Yes that is actually the correct way to do it; one blessing is said when putting up multiple mezuzot.

Q: Does the Grand Canyon qualify for the brocha oseh maasey berayshis for us from outside the area?

A: Even though the Shulchan Aruch only states that the special blessing recited upon seeing many wonders of creation would be applicable to impressively high mountains, the commentaries explain that the list is only partial and the blessing should be recited upon seeing impressively deep canyons as well (Mor Uketziah 228).  A resident who sees the Grand Canyon regularly would only make the bracha the first time he sees it.

Advanced:

Q: Not exactly sure what you mean by a wrap but should it not have been emphasized that it depends if they are being koveya seudah or not? Can’t imagine something being more “pas haba b’kisnin” than a wrap! [And therefore if wraps are eaten as a meal, then everyone would agree that they would require hamotzie.]

A: Regarding a wrap – which is a very thin flour based but non-liquid dough product – the opinions that hold it’s mezonos understand that since it is so thin it doesn’t have the appearance of bread (tzurisa d’nahama) and it therefore is not bread at all but rather like a crepe or a blintz (even though those are made from a liquid batter). On those products one never makes hamotzie, like pasta and oatmeal which are mezonos even when eaten in large quantities or as a meal, and the same applies to wraps.

Q: I don’t know the metzius by the garlic heads but even if it is not muchzak, if it is matzui it needs bedika miderabanan.

A: Regarding the heads of garlic – that is exactly the question. The question isn’t if they are muchzak or not – it is clear that the infestation is found too infrequently. The question is, rather, whether or not there is a miut hamatzui which would require bedikah to take place.

 

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.  Some of these questions were asked via other forms of social media as well.

If you would like my phone number to submit questions, please leave a comment and I will send it to you.

 

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Filed under Halachic Issues, Text Message Halacha, Theological Issues

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