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March 05 Kosherpages launches 

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Washing one's hands

Wednesday, 18th September 2019


Before washing one's hands prior to eating bread, it is important to ensure that the table is set and ready for the meal and that the bread, salt and bread-knife  is already on the table. If one is simply eating a piece of bread or a sandwich and not setting the table, it is important to make sure that the bread or sandwich is prepared and ready to eat immediately after washing the hands. 

Before washing, it is important to check and make sure that a towel is available with which to dry the hands. All of the above is to ensure that there isn't even a short Hefsek (interruption), between the washing and the eating. 
The blessing on the bread should be recited as soon as possible after the washing.

It is forbidden to talk between the washing of the hands and the reciting of the blessing, even a short comment and even talking words of Torah is forbidden.

Saying words that are necessary for the reciting of the blessing such as saying "salt" or "knife" to indicate that those items are needed, is permitted.


Thursday, 12th September 2019

Every doorway of one's house is obligated in mezuzah. Even if a room has several doorways, each one is obligated in having a mezuzah.

The mezuzah should be put up on the doorpost which is to one's right upon one's entering the room.

While Sephardim place the mezuzah straight up[14], Ashkenazim place it on a slant, with the top leaning towards the inside and the bottom towards the outside.

The mezuzah should be placed at the beginning of the upper third of the height of the doorway. If it is not in the top third it isn't kosher.

If a doorway is very tall, according to Ashkenazim, one should put up the mezuzah at shoulder height.  However, according to Sephardim, one should place it in the upper third in all circumstances.

One should have one's Mezuzot checked by a sofer (Scribe) twice in seven years, or once in every three and a half years, and it is a praiseworthy practice to check them every year.

If one's mezuzah became wet one should check it immediately.


Tuesday, 3rd September 2019

Some people have the custom to get their Tefillin (phylacteries) and Mezuzos checked yearly during the month of Elul.

At the very least one should check ones Mezuzos twice every 7 years.

Tefillin that are used daily, do not need to be checked unless they get wet. However, one should check them every few years since they do wear out eventually.

Tefillin that are only used occasionally should be checked twice every 7 years.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 128:3, 11:25, 10:26

Tefilas HaDerech

Thursday, 15th August 2019


One usually says Tefilas HaDerech (traveller’s prayer) only once a day.

If one arrives at one's final destination for the day, and subsequently decided to take another trip, then one says Tefilas HaDerech again.

One who travels through the night says Tefilas HaDerech on the second day without the final Brocho (Blessing).

When Tisha B'Av falls on Shabbat

Friday, 9th August 2019

When Tisha B'Av falls on Shabbat:

  • The fast is postponed until Sunday.
  • There is no special Seuda Hamafseket before the fast.
  • Some of the laws of Tisha B'Av begin only at nightfall on Saturday night, instead of at sunset.
  • Havdalah is postponed until Sunday night.


Thursday, 1st August 2019

One who accidentally drank or ate during a fast day still must continue to fast.

Fast days were instituted in remembrance of the tragic events which occurred thereupon. Therefore, even if a person accidentally breaks the fast and will no longer be able to recite "Anenu" (a prayer which is combined with the sixteenth blessing of the afternoon service's "Amida" prayer), the prohibition against eating and drinking continues to be in effect.

One who has performed one transgression is not permitted to perform additional transgressions (Shulchan Arukh 368:1). 

There is no need, though, to fast on a different day as recompense for the fast he broke, for the obligation to fast applies only to the particular day designated by the Sages.

When Tisha b’Av falls on Shabbos

Thursday, 25th July 2019

This year Tisha b’Av falls on Shabbos.

The usual seudah ha-mafsekes (last meal before the fast) restrictions do not apply on Shabbos. At the last meal before the fast - which is seudah shelishis on Shabbos - one may eat meat and drink wine and consume whatever food he desires. One should not, however, specifically say that he is eating in order to have strength for the fast, nor is it permitted to swallow a pill that makes it easier to fast, since he would then be preparing on Shabbos for a weekday. 

Eating seudah shelishis with family members is permissible. Company, however, should be avoided - unless one usually has company for seudah shelishis.

No preparations for Tishah b'Av may be made until Shabbos is over. Tishah b'Av shoes or Kinos [unless studied on Shabbos] may not brought to shul until nightfall, even in an area with an eiruv.


Thursday, 18th July 2019

Shaimos - Torah books and scrolls - are sacred and must be disposed of in a respectful manner. These are usually buried out of respect.

Wedding invitations, Charity letters and Jewish newspapers often have reference to the name of G-d at the top.

However, unless they have the actual name of Hashem (G-d) written out properly,  invitations, newspapers , Tzedaka letters etc. with Torah written on them  can be double wrapped in 2 plastic bags and either discarded directly, according to many Rabbis, or according to the more stringent Rabbis they may be left out at the curbside for the rubbish collectors to discard of, so it will be done indirectly.

Birchas HaMazon (Grace after meals)

Friday, 12th July 2019

Birchas HaMazon (Grace after meals) should be recited sitting down, even if the eating was done while standing or walking around, as bentching (saying grace) whilst standing or walking cannot be done with proper Kavanah (concentration). 
Even those listening to the bentching from another person and being Yotzei (fulfilling the grace) with their bentching must be sitting. 
However, if it was recited while standing or walking around [within the room where he/she ate],  he/she has satisfied their obligation.
Moreover, if  one is walking to a destination and stopping to bentch will cause him/her to arrive late, the Bentching may be said while walking, provided that the eating was also done while walking.
If one ate in a car, bus or train, he/she must sit and bentch in his/her seat.

Sharing a table

Thursday, 4th July 2019

Two acquaintances are not allowed to share the same table, if one is eating a meat meal and the other is eating a milky meal.

This applies to friends, family and even casual acquaintances who wouldn't feel comfortable sharing their food.

If there is some sort of separation on the table, then they are allowed to share the table. For example, if they each have their own place mat, or there is something between them on the table that normally is not on the table.

They should not share the same cup, jug or bottle, since food can get stuck on it and passed from one to the other.

They also should not be sharing the same loaf of bread. The custom is that they do not even share the same salt cellars.


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