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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76. Praying with a Minyan

December 12, 2011, by

12:7 One should always try to pray with a minyan, which is considered “an auspicious time” (“eis ratzon”). This is reflected in a number of places in Tanach, including Isaiah 49:8, where God says “’I will answer you at an auspicious time,” i.e., when we pray together as a community. God will not reject the […]

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75. Washing the Hands for Prayer

December 12, 2011, by

12:5 Before praying, a person should wash his hands to the wrists. Even though a person already washed upon arising, if he touched any bodily part that is normally sweaty or if he scratched his head, he must wash again before praying. A person on the road (OC 92:4) must travel even four mil ahead […]

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74. Using the Bathroom Before Prayer

December 11, 2011, by

12:3 Koheles tells us (4:17), “Guard your feet (or legs) when you walk to the House of God.” The Talmud in Brachos (23a) explains that “legs” is a common euphemism for our bladders and bowels (based on the location of their exit points). Therefore, a person should tend to his bathroom needs before praying. If […]

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73. Preparing for Prayer

December 10, 2011, by

12:1 The Navi tells us (Amos 4:12), “Prepare to meet your God,” meaning that one who is going to stand before God in prayer should prepare himself by dressing properly, like he would before meeting with a government official. Even when davening alone at home, one should dress in such clothes. If one is in […]

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72. Kissing the Mezuzah

December 9, 2011, by

11:24 Since the mezuzah is intended to remind us of the unity of God, one should kiss the mezuzah upon entering and exiting. It is not appropriate to touch the parchment directly; it should be covered. When leaving the house, one should place his hand on the mezuzah and recite, “Hashem is my guardian; Hashem […]

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71. The Importance of the Mezuzah

December 8, 2011, by

11:22 If a Jew moves out of a house and is aware that another Jew is moving in, he should not take the mezuzos with him. The mezuzos should be left for the new tenant, who is expected to pay for them. 11:23 One must be very careful with the mitzvah of mezuzah since it […]

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70. By When the Mezuzah Must be Placed

December 7, 2011, by

11:20 A cellar door set in the ground does not require a mezuzah. This is because a doorpost must be upright to require a mezuzah. 11:21 A person who rents a house outside of Israel has 30 days to affix the mezuzah. This is because it is not considered a permanent dwelling until he has […]

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69. Where Not to Place a Mezuzah

December 6, 2011, by

11:18 A place where children may occasionally bathe or urinate should have its mezuzah covered. If a room is regularly used for such functions, like our bathrooms, a mezuzah is not affixed at all. 11:19 A room, or even a courtyard, that is shared with a non-Jew does not require a mezuzah.

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68. More Types of Structures

December 5, 2011, by

11:16 A gatehouse is a small building occupied by a watchman. A balcony is a type of outside porch that goes up to a higher floor, like you see in motels. Structures such as these do not require mezuzos, as they are not designed or fit for serving as residences The same is true of […]

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67. Structures That Might Not Require a Mezuzah

December 3, 2011, by

11:14 A house that is not built for permanent residence, such as a succah or a stall in a flea market, does not require a mezuzah. A store that permanently houses merchandise, however, does require a mezuzah. 11:15 A porch that has three walls and a ceiling but that is open on the fourth side […]

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