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Daily Halacha Podcast - Daily Halacha By Rabbi Eli J. Mansour

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Daily Halacha Given Daily by Rabbi Eli J. Mansour. Please check back frequently to get the latest Halacha.

Daily Halacha Given Daily by Rabbi Eli J. Mansour. Please check back frequently to get the latest Halacha.
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Daily Halacha Given Daily by Rabbi Eli J. Mansour. Please check back frequently to get the latest Halacha.




Swimming During the Three Weeks

Is it permissible to swim in a pool or in the ocean during the Three Weeks, the period from Shiba Asar Be’Tammuz through Tisha B’Ab? According to the practice of the Sepharadim, it is permissible to swim – both in a pool and in the ocean – during the Three Weeks, and even after Rosh Hodesh Ab. The prohibition against swimming begins only during the week of Tisha B’Ab, meaning, from after the Shabbat that immediately precedes Tisha B’Ab, until after Tisha B’Ab day. This year (5771), then,...


"She'hakol" and "Boreh Nefashot" if One is Drinking Intermittently in One Location

It sometimes happens that a person is staying one place for an extended period of time, during which he occasionally drinks. A common case is the night of Shabuot, when a person is inside the synagogue for several hours, and intermittently drinks tea or coffee throughout that time. In some communities, people spend several hours in the synagogue attending classes Sunday morning, and drink beverages intermittently. Hacham Ovadia Yosef, in his Yehaveh Da’at, writes that if a person in this...


Using for Kiddush or Birkat Ha'mazon a Cup of Wine From Which One Had Drunk

A cup of wine over which one recites a Beracha – such as the cup used for Kiddush or for Birkat Ha’mazon – must not be a "Kos Pagum" ("defective cup"), which means that it must not have been drunk from. If somebody had a full cup of wine at the table during a meal, and he took a sip of wine from that cup, that cup may not then be used for Birkat Ha’mazon. One may, however, "repair" a "Kos Pagum" by pouring wine or water into the cup. Even pouring just a single drop into the cup renders it...


If the Group or Part of the Group Recited Birkat Ha'mazon Without a Zimun

If a group of three or more people ate a meal together with bread, such that they are required to recite a Zimun before Birkat Ha’mazon, but they mistakenly recited Birkat Ha’mazon without first reciting a Zimun, they can no longer recite a Zimun. The Zimun can be recited only before Birkat Ha’mazon, and so if the group mistakenly recited Birkat Ha’mazon before reciting the Zimun, they cannot then recite the Zimun afterward. This applies as well if three people ate together and two out of...


If Three People Ate Together and One Needs to Leave Early

If three people ate together – regardless of whether they began eating together, or if two began eating together and were then joined by a third – they are required to recite a Zimun before Birkat Ha’mazon. Zimun is so important that if two people ate together, it is a Misva for them to try to find a third person to join them in order to obligate themselves to recite a Zimun. The Mishna Berura says that even if seven people ate together, it is a Misva for them to try to find three more...


Insight Into the Text of the Zimun

If ten or more men ate together, the Zimun is recited with the Name of Hashem, and the leader announces, "Nebarech Elokenu She’achalnu Mi’shelo" ("Let us bless our G-d from whom we ate"). The Tosfot Yom Tob (Rav Yom Tob Lipman Heller, 1579-1654), in his commentary to the Mishna (Masechet Berachot, chapter 7), notes the distinction between this text and the text used when one receives an Aliya to the Sefer Torah. The person who receives the Aliya begins by announcing, "Barechu Et Hashem...


Making a Zimun in a Moving Vehicle, Boat or Plane

If three people eat together and have bread, they are required to recite the introductory Zimun before Birkat Ha’mazon. If there are fewer than ten people participating, they recite the simple text of the Zimun, which does not include the Name of Hashem, whereas if ten or more people participate, they recite "Nebarech Elokenu" and "Baruch Elokenu," including Hashem’s Name. The Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 193:3) addresses a case which might at first not seem very relevant nowadays, but is...


Should Abridged Texts of Birkat Ha'mazon be Printed in Siddurim?

Length: 8:10 Birkat Ha’mazon is one of the only, or maybe even the only, Beracha that we recite which is required by the Torah itself, and not enacted later by the Sages. The source of this obligation is the verse in the Book of Debarim, "Ve’achalta Ve’sabata U’berachta Et Hashem Elokecha" – "You shall eat and be satiated, and you shall bless Hashem your G-d." More specifically, the first three Berachot of Birkat Ha’mazon are required on the level of Torah obligation. The Talmud teaches us...


The Requirement to Eat Bread at Se'uda Shelishit

Presented by Rav Gidon Ben Moshe of Jerusalem If a person forgot to include "Reseh" when he recited Birkat Ha’mazon after one of the first two Shabbat meals, he must repeat Birkat Ha’mazon. This Halacha is based on the rule that when a meal with bread is obligatory, one does not fulfill Birkat Ha’mazon after that meal if he omitted the required addition. Therefore, since the Shabbat meals are obligatory, one who forgot to add "Reseh" in Birkat Ha’mazon after one of the Shabbat meals is...


Making a Zimun When a Third Person Joined After the First Two Finished Eating

The Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 193:2) writes (listen to audio recording for precise citation) that a Zimun is required before Birkat Ha’mazon even if only two people sat down together to eat, and only later were joined by a third person. Even though the first two people did not initially plan on eating together with the third individual, the three of them nevertheless form a Zimun, since in the end there are three people together at the meal. It goes without saying that if all three sat down...


The Importance of Using a Cup of Wine for Birkat Ha'mazon; Adding Three Drops of Water to the Cup

The Shulhan Aruch writes that when three or more people eat together and recite a Zimun before Birkat Ha’mazon, they should use a cup of wine for Birkat Ha’mazon. This means that the one who leads the Zimun holds a cup of wine during Birkat Ha’mazon, and then after Birkat Ha’mazon, he recites the Beracha of "Gefen" and drinks the wine. Unfortunately, many people do not observe this practice. It is important to understand that just as we use a cup of wine at a Huppa, Berit Mila and Pidyon...


If One Ate Half a "Ke'zayit" of Fruit Requiring "Al Ha'etz," and Half a "Ke'zayit" of Other Fruit

Presented by Rav Gidon Ben-Moshe of Jerusalem If a person ate a "Ke’zayit" or more of fruit that requires the recitation of "Al Ha’etz" – such as dates, figs or grapes – and also a "Ke’zayit" of other fruits or vegetables, he must recite both "Al Ha’etz" and "Boreh Nefashot." Hacham Ovadia Yosef ruled that in such a case, the individual should first recite "Boreh Nefashot," since it is possible that the Beracha of "Al Ha’etz" – which includes the generic phrase "Tenubat Ha’sadeh" ("the...


Must All Three People Have Eaten Bread in Order to Recite a Zimun?

When three people eat bread together, they are required to recite the introductory Zimun before Birkat Ha’mazon. The Shulhan Aruch writes that it is a Misva to try to arrange that a Zimun will be required. This means that if two people eat together, it is a Misva for them to try to find a third person to join them so they can recite a Zimun. Of course, in such a case, this third individual must also eat. In order for a Zimun to be recited, it does not suffice for the third person to be...


The Obligation of Zimun Before Birkat Ha'mazon

When three people eat bread together, they are required to recite the introductory Zimun before Birkat Ha’mazon. The concept of Zimun is that we prepare ourselves for the Misva of Birkat Ha’mazon. When it comes to other Misvot, we prepare for the Misva act by reciting a Beracha. For example, we recite a Beracha before putting on Tefillin, and we recite a Beracha before shaking the Lulab. The Misva of Birkat Ha’mazon, however, is itself a series of Berachot, and so we need something else to...


The Abridged Birkat Ha'mazon - The Modern-Day Relevance of an Ancient Practice

The Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 191) writes that the Sages instituted an abridged version of Birkat Ha’mazon to be recited by workers who are being paid wages for a full day of work. Since their time belongs to the employer, the Rabbis allowed the workers to recite a shorter version of Birkat Ha’mazon. The workers recite the entire first Beracha, and then a brief combination of the second and third Berachot. The fourth Beracha, which to begin with does not constitute a Torah obligation, is...


Laws and Customs Relevant to the Final Portion of Birkat Ha'mazon

The text of many editions of Birkat Ha’mazon features a prayer in the "Ha’rahaman" section that reads, "Ha’rahaman Hu Yefarnesenu Be’chavod Ve’lo Be’bizui, Be’heter Ve’lo Be’issur, Be’nahat Ve’lo Be’sa’ar" – "The Merciful One shall sustain us honorably, and not disgracefully; permissibly, and not through prohibited means; easily, and not with distress." The Ben Ish Hai (Rav Yosef Haim of Baghdad, 1833-1909), in Parashat Hukat, writes that the phrase "Be’heter Ve’lo Be’issur" should be...


When is the Word "Magdil" in Birkat Ha'mazon Replaced With "Migdol"

Towards the end of Birkat Ha’mazon, we recite the verse, "Magdil Yeshu’ot Malko" (Tehillim 18:51). On Shabbat and Yom Tob, however, we recite instead the verse, "Migdol Yeshu’ot Malko" (Shemuel II 22:51). Some Rabbis explained that this change is made because David wrote the verse, "Magdil Yeshu’ot" before he became king, and the verse, "Migdol Yeshu’ot" after he became king. As such, the phrase "Migdol Yeshu’ot" is associated with royalty, and it is therefore appropriate to recite this...


Until When Can One Recite "Asher Natan Shabbatot Li'mnuha" in Lieu of "Reseh" in Birkat Ha'mazon?

If one forgot to add the paragraph of "Reseh" before "U’bneh Yerushalayim" in Birkat Ha’mazon on Shabbat, and he realizes his mistake immediately upon concluding the Beracha of "Boneh Yerushalayim," he can recite right there and then a special Beracha, "Baruch Ata…Asher Natan Shabbatot Li’mnuha…" This Beracha appears in some Siddurim, and may be recited in this case in lieu of "Reseh." In the parallel case on Yom Tob, where one forgot to add "Ya’aleh Ve’yabo" and realizes his mistake right...


If Somebody Remembered "Reseh" But Forgot "Ya'aleh Ve'yabo" in Birkat Ha'mazon on Yom Tob Which Fall

The accepted Halacha, based on the ruling of the Ben Ish Hai (Rav Yosef Haim of Baghdad, 1833-1909), in Parashat Hukat (21), is that if a person forgot to add "Ya’aleh Ve’yabo" in Birkat Ha’mazon on Yom Tob, he does not repeat Birkat Ha’mazon, unless this happened on one of the first nights of Pesach or one of the first nights of Sukkot. Although the Shulhan Aruch ruled that one repeats Birkat Ha’mazon in this case on any Yom Tob, Halacha in this instance follows the Ben Ish Hai’s...


If a Woman Realized After "Boneh Yerushalayim" at Se'uda Shelishit That She Had Omitted "Reseh"

If a woman was reciting Birkat Ha’mazon after Se’uda Shelishit on Shabbat, and she realized immediately after reciting "Boneh Yerushalayim" that she had forgotten to recite "Reseh," she should just continue with Birkat Ha’mazon. A man in this situation should recite at that point the special blessing of "Baruch Ata Hashem Asher Natan Shabbatot" (which is printed in many Siddurim). When it comes to a woman, however, since women’s obligation to recite Birkat Ha’mazon is not as certain as men’s...