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March 05 Kosherpages launches 

December 05 - KP goes national.

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January 07 - 1st B2B tradeshow

January 08 - 1st Kosher Lifestyle Show

August 08 - Parent & child networking event at the Odeon Manchester

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- Launch of new film review section

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November 08 - Launch of new Medical Blog By Dr. Martin Harris

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November 11 - KosherPages introduces the monthly competition

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Returning borrowed items

Thursday, 13th December 2018

When returning an object that you were asked to safeguard, or when returning a loan, it must be returned to the person who gave it to you.

Giving it to a member their household is not acceptable; if something happens to the item you would be held responsible.

However, giving it to the owner's spouse is permitted, unless you were explicitly asked not to do so, since spouses trust each other to look after each other's property.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 188:5

When Rosh Chodesh Tevet occurs on Shabbat

Thursday, 6th December 2018

When Rosh Chodesh Tevet occurs on Shabbat, the weekly Torah portion is divided into six Aliyot and read from the first scroll, followed by the Rosh Chodesh reading from the second scroll, which comprises the seventh Aliya. Kaddish is then recited, followed by the Maftir reading in the third scroll, for which we read the appropriate section for the given day of Chanukah. Kaddish is then repeated, followed by the Haftara for Shabbat Chanukah. If seven Aliyot were called for the weekly Torah portion, Kaddish is recited after that reading, as well.

Lighting Chanukah Candles

Wednesday, 28th November 2018

All Jews are obligated in the Mitzvah (commandment) of lighting Chanukah candles. 

This applies to men, women and children (who have reached the age of Chinuch - being educated - approximately 5 or 6  years of age), as all Jews were saved in the miraculous victory of the Macabbees over the mighty Greek army. Additionally, women are specifically  obligated in the Mitzvos of Chanukah, due to their being saved from the harsh decrees levied against them, via the heroic act of Yehudis, a woman.

The prevalent Minhag/custom is for the male head of household to exempt all the female members of the house (adults and children alike), through the lighting of his menorah.(Amongst Sephardim, the head of household exempts everyone in the house, even other males)

The females being exempted should make sure to be present and listen to the recital of the Brachos/blessings [and answer Amen] while the menorah is kindled.

 
If no man is available to exempt her, a women may light [and make the blessings over] her own menorah. A woman can also exempt other people with her lighting, when no man is available to do this. 

[Ashkenazic] Boys who have reached the age of Chinuch should preferably light their own menorahs [with all the Halachic details involved] and not rely on the head of the household's lighting.

Sharing a table

Friday, 23rd November 2018

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.

Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 46:6, 7

Bat Mitzva

Wednesday, 14th November 2018

On the day a girl reaches Bat Mitzvah, many have the custom to make a Seudas Mitzvah (a  festive meal that follows the fulfillment of a mitzvah) celebrating this milestone, just as a Seudah (festive meal) is made for a boy who reaches the age of thirteen, and allow this Seudah to take place in a Shul (Synagogue).

Others do not make a Seudah, and refrain from doing so in a Shul, rather a more modest celebration takes place in the girl's home or in her school together with her friends.

According to those opinions that no Seudas Mitzvah is made for a Bat Mitvah, it is proper for the girl to wear a new article of clothing on her twelfth birthday, and recite the bracha (blessing) of "Shehecheyonu" (a common Jewish prayer said to celebrate special occasions) on the clothing and have in mind that the bracha also be a praise for her reaching the milestone of her becoming a Bat Mitzvah.

Teeth on Shabbos

Thursday, 8th November 2018

If the teeth need to be brushed on Shabbos, it may only be done softly, with a dry brush which is designated for Shabbos use, in a way that will not cause bleeding.

Toothpaste may not be used according to Rabbi Moshe Feinstein and most contemporary Poskim.

There is a Shabbos Toothbrush and tooth wash on the market which  is OK, if necessary.

The brush may not be rinsed off after use, as doing so is preparing it for the next use, which will be after Shabbos.

Ma'aser

Thursday, 1st November 2018

When giving Ma'aser (a tithe - a proportion of your earnings given to charity) by cheque in a place where you know the cheque is usually changed at a money changer who takes a fee, does one need to add that amount to the cheque so that the recipient will get the full ma'aser?  
 
If the cheque can be deposited in a bank and thus be redeemed for the full amount, you have satisfied your obligation. The fact that the recipient may use an alternate method to cash the cheque, and thus lose a percentage is the recipient's choice, and not your concern. 

Gifts on Shabbos

Tuesday, 23rd October 2018

Gifts may not be given on Shabbos as it is considered like doing business. This includes birthday gifts, Bar Mitzvah gifts etc.

The exception to this rule is when the gift is for a Mitzvah (e.g. gifting someone a Lulav on Sukkos with which to fulfill the Mitzvah) or if it something necessary for use on Shabbos (e.g. a utensil or a food or drink brought for the hostess that is needed for the meal).

A way to give a gift, if necessary, is to have someone else to pick it  up and  be Koneh it (assume ownership) for the recipient before Shabbos, and then when it is handed to the recipient on Shabbos he is simply  taking something that is already his and no  transfer of ownership is taking place on Shabbos.

Alternatively, the recipient can take the gift but have in mind not to assume ownership of it at this time and only after Shabbos he can pick it  up again and be Koneh it.

Washing before bread

Tuesday, 16th October 2018

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.

Amen

Thursday, 11th October 2018

Upon hearing someone recite a Brocho (blessing), one is required to answer "Amen". There is no difference if the person reciting the Brocho is exempting the listener with the Brocho or not; the obligation to answer Amen is the same. 

The simple meaning of the word "Amen" , and the minimum one should think when  saying Amen after hearing a Brocho, is: "The Brocho that was just recited is true, and I believe it", for example when one recites a "Shehakol"  on a glass of water, by reciting "Amen" you are affirming that indeed it is true that Hashem (G-d) created everything with His word, and that you believe that Hashem can ,and does, create everything!

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