HaShoneh Halachos emails include two halachos per day, seven days a week (emails for Shabbos and Yom Tov are sent in advance). Material is based upon the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch, with occasional elucidation from the Mishnah Brurah abd other sources. The text is not a direct translation but a paraphrase into easy-to-read, conversational English.

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26. God’s Name in Vain

October 24, 2011, by

6:4 A person should be careful not to recite a blessing in vain or even to recite one unnecessarily. If a person makes a mistake and does so – or, if he utters God’s Name in vain in another context – he should immediately say “Baruch sheim kavod malchuso l’olam vo’ed” – ”Blessed be the […]

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25. The Name of God

October 23, 2011, by

6:2 When saying a blessing, a person’s mouth should not have food, gum, or even saliva in it. As Psalms 71:8 says, “Let my mouth be filled with Your praise.” God’s praise should fill our mouths, not share the space the foreign objects. 6:3 One may not pronounce the Name of God in vain. The […]

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24. Reciting Blessings

October 22, 2011, by

5:17 A man may not study Torah or daven if his heart is in a direct line of sight with his genitals with no barrier between the upper and lower portions of his body (such as a belt or an elastic waistband). This is true even if he is covered, such as by a beltless […]

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23. Nudity

October 21, 2011, by

5:15 One may not discuss Torah or other holy matters in the sight of genitals, neither his own nor another person’s, even a child’s. (The one obvious exception is at a bris.) Closing one’s eyes is not sufficient so long as it is in front of him; rather, a person should turn away so that […]

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22. The Name of God

October 20, 2011, by

5:13 We don’t have chamber pots like they used to but we still have bedpans. These are like a bathroom and one may not pray or learn Torah in their vicinity, even if they are clean. They must be removed or covered (and sliding them under the bed does not count as covering for this […]

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21. More About Cleanliness For Prayer and Study

October 19, 2011, by

5:11 If a person who is praying or learning Torah passes wind, he must pause until the offensive odor dissipates. The same is true if he is davening and a person in his vicinity breaks wind. However, if one is studying Torah, he does not have to wait because of a smell that comes from […]

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20. Waste Matter Found After Prayers

October 18, 2011, by

5:9 If excrement was found in a building where a congregation was praying, the shaliach tzibbur (prayer leader) needs to stop and wait for it to be removed because it is inevitable that someone will be within smelling distance of it. Even if it doesn’t affect the shaliach tzibbur reciting the prayers, it will affect […]

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19. The Cleanliness of Where We Pray

October 16, 2011, by

5:7 Excrement that has dried up to the point that it crumbles apart is considered like dirt (so long as it has also lost its offensive smell). If it is frozen from the cold, it is still treated as excrement since it will return to its previous state when thawed. Excrement covered by snow is […]

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18. Foul Smells

October 15, 2011, by

5:5 People with very small children expect a certain amount of bodily waste in their daily lives. For the purpose of these halachos, the waste of a toddler or baby who is old enough to eat food is exactly the same as an adult’s. There is room to be lenient with an infant who is […]

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17. Prayer in an Unclean Place

October 14, 2011, by

5:3 As we mentioned in 4:5, one would not be permitted to recite blessings or study Torah if he has excrement on any part of his body, even if it is covered by his clothes. While there are some authorities who may rule leniently in this matter, the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch urges erring on the […]

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