- Question: Why do you need to check on all the mezuzahs of your house and can’t rely on a chazaka after 3 of them are still found to be kosher?
A. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 291:1) says an individual household should check there mezuzahs twice every 7 years and mezuzahs of the public twice every fifty years.
B. A chazaka is an assumption or pattern that is established after 3 times so if 3 mezuzahs were found to be kosher why can’t one assume that all the rest of his mezuzahs in his house are kosher?
Answer:The Birkay Yosef and Pischei Teshuva (1) both say that you have to check all the mezuzahs put up the same time as the 3 because not all the locations are the same, environment differences, colder, warmer, rain, snow, etc.
- Question: Why isn’t there a difference between lefties and
righties when putting up a mezuzah as there is when putting on tefillin?
A. Lefties put tefillin on their right arm and righties but
tefillin on their left arm.
B. Rebbe Akiva Aiger quoting a Mordechai says that even if one’s
stronger leg is his left one, that is what he normally comes in with (meaning
he starts walking with his left foot, so when walking through a doorway he
would assumingly step in starting with his left foot) still the mezuzah should
be placed on the right side and it is not like tefillin.
C. Most people in the world are righties.
Answer: Rebbe Akiva Aiger answers in Yoreh Deah 289:2 that mezuzah is protection for everyone in the household not just for the one who puts up the mezuzah.
- Question: Why do some hold one can make a shehecheyanu on buying new
sefarim but not on a new pair of tefillin?
The Magen Avrohom (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 223:5 brings the opinion of the
Birkas Rm”m, but argues on him, who holds you do make a shehecheyanu on new
sefarim but not tefillin. The Mahar”I Bei Rav brought in the Be’er Heitiv says
you even make a shehecheyanu on buying a Sefer Torah.
The Rambam says you make a shehecheyanu on Tzitzis and tefillin just like you
make a blessing on doing an mitzvah from time to time like lulav, Chanukah
light, shofar etc.
c. The Tur argues and says you say a shehecheyanu on tzitzis because you bought new vessels or clothes. But not on tefillin because mitzvos are not to get personal benefit from.
Answer: The excitement of acquiring sefarim is not just in order to learn them which would fall into the category of mitzvos are not for personal benefit but there is an excitement in enlarging ones collection of sefarim and now having this specific Sefer or set, or a whole Sefer Torah added to his collection, that excitement according to these opinions would obligate a shehecheyanu but most people are only excited to get a pair of tefillin because now they can perform the mitzvah.
- Question: How should it be possible to differentiate between verses
in a Torah scroll?
a. The Rema in Yoreh Deah 274:7 says an idea that the Shach (6) says should be done but not too much, to indicate an end of a verse, since one cannot write periods in a Torah scroll.
Answer: Make a little space between each verse.
- Question: Why can a judge help a litigant who is trying to say
something but is having problems articulating but if he says he is owed a
lesser amount then what he really is the judge cannot correct that?
(A) The Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat siman
17) says in si’if 9: “If a judge sees a winning argument for one of the
litigants and the litigant is trying to say it but does not know how to
properly put his words together or they see he is having a hard time trying to
save himself with truthful claims and because of anger and frustration he is
forgetting things or mixing things up out of foolishness, then a judge can help
him and prepare the beginning of his statements because of the concept of
‘opening the mouth for the mute’. But he has to be very careful not to act like
In si’if 12 The Rema says that if a claimant has a claim on his friend over a
smaller amount of money and the judge sees that he is actually owed more money
technically than what he is asking for, the judge can’t poskin that he should
get more than what he is asking for and if he does it is a mistake in judgment
and the extra money must be given back.
(C) The Shach (15) says we are not dealing with a case where he explicitly forgoes part of what he is owed, neither does it make sense that we know for sure that he is unaware of his mistaken claim.
Answer: In the latter case we don’t know whether he purposely is asking for less or not so the judge can’t say anything. But in the first case it is obvious that he was trying to say something it was just not coming out correctly so the judge is allowed to help him.
- Question: Why is it forbidden to take a sefer and put it underneath
the Sefer you are learning from to prop it up in order to learn better but if
the Sefer is already on the table you can put your Sefer on it so you can see
(A) The Taz (Yoreh Deah 243:19:13) says it is a greater disgrace of a Sefer to take it and use it as a shtender to prop up the Sefer you are learning from then to hold it on your lap even while learning, as it says in the Rema si’if 7, but if the bottom Sefer was already on the table it is definitely permissible to place the second Sefer on top of it.
Answer: By actively taking the Sefer to use it as a shtender that is blatantly showing disrespect whereas just putting the Sefer down on one that is already on the table isn’t a show of disrespect and therefore is definitely permitted.