Ask The Rabbi

Ask the Rabbi #82

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Ask the Rabbi

11 November 1995; Issue #82

  • Postings and Toastings
  • Reflections of a Newborn
  • Answer to Yiddle Riddle
  • Subscription Information
  • Ohr Somayach Home Page

  • Postings and Toastings


    Chaya from Long Island wrote:

    I am shomeret Shabbat, but my family is not (however very respectful). My mother cooked something during Shabbat and plans on serving it later on in the week. May I eat it?

    Mordechai Perlman wrote:

    What is the Halacha about postings which are written and sent to a discussion group or digest list on Shabbat by a Jew? May another Jew read them?

    Dear Chaya and Mordechai,

    Food cooked on Shabbat becomes forbidden to the person who cooked it, but for others it is permitted after Shabbat. So in this case, Chaya, your mother is the one who is not allowed to eat the food. I asked Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, shlita, about this and he said that for your mother, even the pot needs to be 'kashered'(cleaned thoroughly, left for 24 hours, and then immersed in boiling water). You, however, can eat the food as soon as Shabbat is over.

    If you can do so respectfully - for instance, by offering to help with the cooking - see if your mother would agree to cook after Shabbat. If you can't prevent her without igniting 'flames of discord,' remember that the Torah says, "Don't ignite fire ... on Shabbat."

    As for your question, Mordechai, the same rule applies: You can read E-mail after Shabbat which was posted on Shabbat. The writer of the message, of course, would need to 'kasher' his computer (just kidding).


    • Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 318:1, Mishna Berura 5.

    Reflections of a Newborn


    Paula Sharfe wrote:

    Friends and I heard that one should not allow a baby in its first year to look into mirrors. We have been unsuccessful in finding a source for this and would appreciate it if you could help us. Thank you.

    Dear Paula,

    I've heard this as well, although there are differing versions of how long to keep the baby away from the mirror: During the baby's first year; until the baby get its first tooth; and for a boy until the Brit. However, I consulted Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, shlita, who knows of absolutely no source for this whatsoever and indicated that it is a mere bubbe maiseh ('Tall-Tale').

    Answer to Yiddle Riddle:


    Question: Some people once found a discarded, yet complete, Torah Scroll and wondered whether it was Kosher or not. If it was written by a competent, certified scribe it would be Kosher, but if by someone else, it would not be Kosher. They posed their question to the renowned Noda B'Yehuda, Rabbi Yechezkel Landau. His ingenious answer was simply "Minhag Yisrael Torah Hi" (which literally means "Jewish custom has the status of Torah"). What did he mean? (Hint: There is a widespread Jewish custom concerning the writing of a Torah scroll that could indicate whether or not the scroll had been duly commissioned by a Jewish community.)

    Answer: First sent in by Moshe Davis:

    It is a widespread Jewish custom that the scribe omit the last few letters from the Torah scroll, and at the completion ceremony allow several people the privilege of writing them. Therefore, by looking at the final letters of the Torah, it should be evident whether or not they were written by one person or several. If they were written by several people - evidence of Minhag Yisrael (Jewish custom) - then Torah Hi - it is a valid Torah scroll!

    • Written by Rabbi Moshe Lazerus, Rabbi Benzion Bamberger, Rabbi Reuven Subar, Rabbi Avrohom Lefkowitz and other Rabbis at Ohr Somayach Institutions / Tanenbaum College, Jerusalem, Israel.
    • General Editor: Rabbi Moshe Newman
    • Production Design: Lev Seltzer
    • HTMIL Design: Michael Treblow

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