March 20, 2020
Question: We are in lockdown until Erev Pesach. A congregant asked about getting haircuts during Sefirat Hamoer since we likely won’t be able to get them before Pesach
Answer: It is mutar. Rav Willig says kal v’chomer from Chol Hamo’eid. Rav Schachter says it is ad sheyigaru bo chaveirav according to the Rav’s definition.
Question: A family claims to have a minhag to only eat ’18 minute matzah’, thinking this is to the exclusion of machine matzah, which they understand to have greater concerns about hametz with equipment not being cleaned between runs, etc. With today’s realities, is this a מנהג שטות? How are they supposed to relate to it if they are having more difficulty getting matzah of their preference?
Answer: It is only a chmura. Hataras Nedarim is not required (Dagul Meirivavah YD 214, Shach S”K 2 who explain that you are not trying to undo the neder, just act differently now because of unique circumstances)
Question: What do people davening beychidusdo about the two Yikam Purkans and the Mi Shebeirach that follows?
Answer: We leave all of them out.
Question: What’s the psak regarding a Chevra Kadisha doing a tahara on a meis who had Coronavirus?
Answer: Rabbi Zohn called Rav Willig yesterday and said that after speaking to Dr. Glatt there is no real danger. However, there is a greater danger of getting it from another member of the chevra kadisha. For this reason, it is best to minimize and expedite the tahara (the chevra know the details being referred to and Rabbi Zohn is the expert).
Question: What do people think about doing Kabbalat Shabbat until lecha dodi live-stream and not accepting Shabbat at that time?
(Addendum: Isn’t there an opinion that bo’i v’shalom is Kabbalat Shabbat?)
Answer: 100% mutar. Rav Schachter added that in Prague they always used to do it all the way up till Mizmor Shir. Rav Willig says k’dai to stop before Boi B’Shalom so it shouldn’t lead to a zilzul on a public level.
Question: What do people suggest for a person who needs to say birchat hagomel? Member thank god survived bad car accident virtually unscathed..can zoom create 10 for this purpose or similar to davar shebekudasha
Answer: Rav Schachter believes that the need for ten is because of pirsum (not because of davar shebakdusha) so it will work on Zoom.
Questsion: Rav Schachter quoted a שערי אפרים about what to do when a parsha is missed. Does anyone know where that is?
Answer: Shaar Zayin Sif Tes.
Question: A couple of people have asked me if someone doesn’t normally sell chomeitz gomur, would this year be different as they’re reluctant to dwindle too soon and generally be without. I presume hatoras nedorim needed if they do sell.
Answer: You may sell and don’t need hataras nedarim (Dagul Meirivavah YD 214, Shach S”K 2 who explain that you are not trying to undo the neder, just act differently now because of unique circumstances)
Question: We are about to enter chodesh Nissan where we would not normally have tachanunim
What would be appropriate to add to tefillah or have as as stand alone tefillah due to the current circumstances
Answer: Avinu Malkeinu
Question: Can people change their minhag re gebrochts or other minhag based pesach dietary issues of they find themselves in settings where they don’t control their own food situation (ie not in their own private kitchen)
Answer: If needed, it can be done. (Dagul Meirivavah YD 214, Shach S”K 2 who explain that you are not trying to undo the neder, just act differently now because of unique circumstances)
Question: As a Rabbi of a shul, I am planning to use an online Shtar harsha’a for Mechiras chometz. I will email a blank form to every member of my congregation. They will fill it out online and email it back to me. I have about 250 members. To print out 250 forms will take an extremely long time. Can I set it up in such manner that the form will be emailed to a special file which will store all the information. Then I would download the file onto a disk or flash drive. The disk will have all the information and it will be possible to print out all the forms off of the desk. I would then like to give the disk to the non-Jew when I perform the sale rather than giving him a few hundred papers as I have done in the past. Is this method acceptable?
Answer: Yes, it is acceptable.