Shailos for Rabbi Willig
Conference Call #25
- Should woman be encouraged or discouraged to have a mezumenet when 3 adult women are eating together with no men around?
- In my previous Congregation the community rabbanim brought all their shatros to the menahel of the Vaad who managed the sale. Now I am the sole Orthodox rabbi of a community, recently the local Conservative rabbi shared with me that all the rabbis (meaning my predecessor and other Conservative rabbis) sell their chametz to the custodian that works at the local Federation. My predecessor is out of the picture, should I be concerned how the custodian understands the sale of chametz by these rabbis? Should I separate myself from them and find a different custodian? Or, have my own private understanding with him? On the one hand he may tell the other rabbis that I am doing something different and upset them and affect my role in the community. On the other hand, if I find a different custodian, it may upset them even more as well as the custodian (and the Federation)?
- Could Rabbi Willig please discuss the entire procedure for mechiras chametz? Thank you.
- This past Shabbos’s tragedy have prompted many bale batim to ask me how we are to understand it and what should our response be.
- I am fortunate to be in a growing shul with many young adults and college age kids all home for Yom Tov. It has become most obvious that during the Yizkor service the hallway has become quite loud; some see it as a Kiddush break,others do not return to mussaf on-time or at all. Does rebbe have a suggestion in dealing with this?
- An electrician once told me that even the American platas are crudely constructed and not intended to be on for all 25 hours of Shabbos. In the aftermath of the horrific tragedy in Flatbush this past Shabbos, which was believed to have been caused by a malfunctioning plata, is it mutar for a person to set their plata (that has no buttons or knobs) to go on via a timer on Shabbos morning?
- Should one be makpid to daven Maariv after tzeis on Leil HaSeder or can one daven earlier so long as he begins the seder after tzeis?
- Can a person kasher their glass stovetop? If yes, how?
- An elderly couple are making Pesach at home after many years. When they went through their silverware, they do not remember which pattern isdairy, and which is fleishig. Their children live in Israel and also do not know. One of the children told me that he is not sure if any of the silverware were ever toiveled, what should we do in this situation?
- I am in a blend type shul of Baalei Batim and Bnei Yeshiva where the prayers for U.S., Eretz Yisroel (Medina), and Tzahal, have always been said. The talking during these tefillos is quite significant and had become a noticeable Chilul Hashem. In order to achieve decorum, I started asking people to "rise for the national Mi Shebeirach's" subtly or not so subtly indicating that these Mi Shebeirach's are relevant to all of us, and should be given proper respect. I felt that based on Mispallel Bishloma shel Malchus, and "even if you don't serve in IDF, we certainly are all responsible to daven for the soldiers" that I was well within responsible bounds to ask people to rise so as to achieve decorum. The strategy to achieve decorum has worked wonders, and BiliAyin Horah the shul is at almost perfect decorum. But I got a bit of push back from some raised in yeshiva as to how could I possible accord such honor to these prayers. One respected yeshiva person will make sure to sit down, one will somewhat audibly recite tehillim, and another only objected privately. Can Rebbe share thoughts on this topic?
- Is there any type of Sirara which is inappropriate for a Ger to have? Often Geirim when converted as children grow up to excel in yeshiva and can enter Rabbanus and Dayanus. Is there any restriction with a Ger issuing rulings of discretion such as a Kinas in a communal setting, deciding the amount for child support, or deciding at what point the hashgacha should be pulled from an eatery for a violation- to make a point?
- Unpacking their Pesach china, a couple found a few plates had broken and were seeking to replace them to complete their set. They found a company on-line that has used pieces of their pattern for sale,(it is assumed that hot treif were eaten on it), the company says they have had them in stock for at least 5 to 7 years(and that the pattern has been discontinued for 9 years). This is not expensive china (porcelain), but meaningful to them. Can rebbe review these halachos; can they be purchased, koshered and used?
- As chaplain in the not-for-profit (or even the for-profit) world,
- What defines a ‘Jewish’ institution with respect to ownership/sale of chametz? Is it a majority of trustees? Other? For example, does a hospital need to sell its chametz?
- Can a concerned employee (or even a patient) act on their behalf in this regard without knowledge of senior management (assuming it’s too late to secure appropriate shlichus or they wouldn’t agree)?
- Is there any problem to make a sale when it may not strictly be required?
- 1) What types of chametz must one remove during Bedikat Chametz? Of course, because of Issur BeMashehu, eating areas such as kitchen tables (and probably even kitchen floors) need to be rid of even small crumbs. However, from a strict halachic perspective (as well as a practical perspective for non-eating areas such as bedroom floors), what is the shiur? If this is a Kezayit, would we use the literal size of an olive we tend to find in modern times (such as in a Goya olive jar)? Would we use whatever shiur we tend to use in general for bracha achrona, such as that of HazonIsh or R' Chaim Noeh? Is a complete Chametz food item, such as a Ritz cracker considered to be an item of Chashivut that would require removaleven if smaller than a kezayit?
2) What is the mechanism by which a congregant includes or excludes items or areas from his or her sale of Chametz? For example, a congregant who is going away for Pesach may want to exclude a small room from the sale in order to obligate himself in Bedikat Chametz on that room. And all congregants need to exclude those items that are being destroyed (by fire, dietary consumption before the Zman, garbagedisposal or other means). It would seem preposterous that we would be burning Chametz that had already been included in the sale to the Non-Jew, so how do we exclude this? Is it necessary for the congregant to tell the presiding Rabbi that they plan to exclude certain rooms or items, or is the congregant having them in mind (DaatMakneh) enough?
3) Supposing anindividualdoes a halachically insufficient job in bediqat chametz, or does not perform Bediqa at all, does Mechirat Chametz exempt them from the Chiyuv to perform bedika after the Mechira has already been performed?
4) In practical terms, what are the required shiurim of matza (machine or hand) and maror (and even charoset) to be eaten at the seder? Is it necessary to eat two ketzaytim (one for 'motzi' and one for 'matza') for both motzi-matza as well as Afiqoman?
5) Some Sephardim and Yemenites produce Soft matza, which is similar to pita bread. This would seem to have the advantages over our familiar hard matza, in that it may be moredigestible, tastier and edible, and is thicker as well, so it may be easier to eat a correct shiur. (a) What is the correct shiur to be eaten from this amount of matza? (b)I have heard different opinionsregarding whether this matza may be used on Pesach by Ashkenazim. What is Rav Willig's shitah?
(6) After Pesach, Is it permitted to purchase items which may not be chametz gamur, such as ketchup made with vinegar (being that we don't know what the source of the vinegarwas)from a Jewish owned store that did not sell its chametz, since this is a safeq on an issur deRabonon?