The Rights and Wrongs of Writing

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow In 2010, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin delivered a highly anticipated speech to around 1,100 supporters at a Tea Party Convention. However, she couldn’t get through it without a few notes scrawled on her hand. She famously wrote on her hand the words: energy, budget cuts, tax, and lift American spirits. The […]

Can You Save Me a Seat?

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow The following article is based on Gittin (11b-12a) and Chashukei Chemed on Bava Metzia (10a). The article is intended to engender discussion and not to provide halachic guidance. Please see the sources for practical rulings. Boruch was waiting at an Egged bus stop. There were throngs of people there. Worse still, he […]

Down In The Dumps

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow “Dumpster diving” is the practice of sifting through commercial or residential trash to find items that have been discarded by their owners but which may be useful to the dumpster diver. The practice of dumpster diving is also known as urban foraging, binning, alley surfing, curbing, D-mart, dumpstering, garbaging, garbage picking, garbage […]

A Kohen and His Colorful Socks

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow There are many complex halachos about interrupting one’s prayers for various responses. At some points in davening, it is forbidden to respond, “Boruch Hu u’baruch Shmo.” At other points, one cannot even respond amein. At some points, virtually every response is forbidden. Which point during davening would one assume would be most […]

Can One Daven in Klingon?

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow Every once in a while, one reads an article that is life-changing. There may be a halacha article that raises important points the reader was not aware of. Sometimes, there is a new pressing halachic question that has as of yet not been addressed. Suffice it to say, this is not such […]

Saying Amein to Birkas Kohanim

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow Rabbi Shragga Kallus delivered an enthralling and engaging lecture filled with Torah riddles. One such riddle was: “What are two scenarios where a person would answer ‘amein’ in the middle of his private Shemoneh Esrei?” Typically, all responses are forbidden then. He offered two scenarios. One is relatively rare (still valid as […]

The Power to Withstand the Pressure

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow HaRav HaGaon Avrohom Kanarek, zt”l, of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in Yerushalayim taught Torah for many years in a humble and unassuming way. He shied away from kavod. Once, on Simchas Torah, the bochurim tried to dance around him. He ran away so quickly, that no one would have guessed that he was […]

Is Olam Haba for Sale?

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow A few years ago, a Jewish individual put his portion of Olam Haba, the World to Come, up for auction on eBay. The bidding started in the morning at 99 cents and had jumped to $100,000 by the afternoon. (Before the bidding ended, eBay removed the item due to rules that items […]

Mazal Tov So-and-So!

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow Mazel tov on the completion of Nazir! In recent years, some organizations have been publicizing their conclusion that it is perfectly fine according to Jewish law for men to marry women who are older than them. However, one could argue that the Gemara in Sotah (2a) seems to imply that if one […]

Grave Concerns

Rabbi Avrohom Sebrow True events and several recent passages in Nazir inspire the following story. Boruch Cohen and Shimon Levi board a plane together somewhere in the United States. They discover their seats are next to each other with a third traveler occupying the remaining seat in the row. Boruch to the third traveler: Hi! […]