QUESTION: If one forgot to daven Mussaf (on Shabbos, Rosh Chodesh
Tov) and only remembered to do so in the afternoon, which should he daven
first - Mussaf or Minchah?
DISCUSSION: In most cases, Mussaf should be davened first, followed
Minchah. This is because the correct order of the tefillos follows the
order of the korbanos that were brought in the Beis ha-Mikdash, and the
Korban Mussaf was always brought before the afternoon Korban Tamid, which
was the last korban of the day.(1)
[The only exception to this halachah is the case of a person who is
required to daven Minchah at that particular time, e.g., before partaking
in a wedding or a Sheva Berachos meal. In such a case, since one is not
allowed to partake of such a meal before davening Minchah, it is
considered as if the time of Minchah has arrived and one should not daven
The halachah remains the same even if a man remembered to daven
Mussaf so late in the day that he would not have time to daven Minchah any
longer. He should daven Mussaf, and then daven Maariv twice, once for
Maariv and a second one as a tashlumin ("make up") for Minchah(.3) If this
happened to a woman, however, she should daven Minchah and omit Mussaf,
since she is obligated to daven Mincha and it is questionable whether she
is obligated to daven Mussaf altogether.(4)
QUESTION: If one began eating or drinking in a car, does he need to
another berachah if he wants to continue eating or drinking once he gets
to his home or office?
DISCUSSION: If he began eating or drinking while the car was in
stuck in traffic, he may continue eating or drinking once he gets to his
destination and no additional berachah rishonah is recited. This is
because eating or drinking in a moving car is not considered a kevius
makom, and continuing to eat or drink in another location is not
considered a shinui makom. The halachah remains the same even if he
initially had no intention of continuing to eat or drink once he arrives
at his destination.
If, however, he began to eat or drink in a parked vehicle with the
intention of finishing his food or drink before resuming the drive, and
then he changes his mind and wants to continue eating or drinking, the
halachah is as follows:
* As long as he remains in the car he may continue eating or drinking
without reciting an additional berachah.
* When he reaches his destination, he must recite a berachah acharonah,
and recite a new berachah rishonah if he wants to continue eating or
QUESTION: On Shabbos [or Yom Tov], is it permitted to discuss
e.g., to ask someone where he bought a particular item such as a suit or a
DISCUSSION: If the questioner is interested in buying a similar
it is forbidden for him to ask the question and it is forbidden to answer
him. If, however, the question is being asked as part of a theoretical
discussion with no intent to act upon the topic being discussed, it is
The same halachah applies if the questioner wants to know how much
that particular item cost. If the question is being asked because he is
contemplating buying a similar item, it is forbidden to talk about that on
Shabbos. If, however, he has no interest in buying such an item but is
just asking out of curiosity, it is permitted.(6)
Please note that while this type of conversation is not halachically
forbidden on Shabbos, it is still considered "idle talk." Shulchan Aruch
expressly urges us to minimize idle talk on Shabbos.(7)
QUESTION: Are pets muktzeh on Shabbos and Yom Tov?
DISCUSSION: The Talmud(8) states that it is forbidden to move
Shabbos. In Halachic terms, animals are considered like sticks and stones
which have no permissible Shabbos use and are muktzeh machmas gufo, severe
muktzeh, which may not be moved for any reason. This ruling is quoted by
the Shulchan Aruch(9) and most of the later poskim and no distinction is
drawn between farm animals and households pets; all are considered severe
muktzeh. Some poskim expressly include "playful animals" in this
There are, however, other poskim who do distinguish between farm
animals and household pets. In their opinion, a pet is considered like a
household item, similar to a toy or a picture, and is not classified as
muktzeh at all.(11) While it is advisable to follow the majority opinion
and not carry or move pets on Shabbos,(12) those who are lenient have a
halachic authority upon whom to rely.(13) Certainly, if the pet is in
distress, one may be lenient and move it or carry it.(14)
All opinions agree that it is permitted to touch (without moving) or
feed one's pets on Shabbos. It is also permitted to hold onto a leash and
walk a dog in an area which is enclosed by an eiruv.(15) It is permitted
to place a leash on a dog on Shabbos.(16)
QUESTION: Are there any mourning restrictions on a child, sibling
spouse of someone who is sitting shivah?
DISCUSSION: In Chazal's times, a child or a sibling of a mourner
shivah along with him, which meant that all of the restrictions that were
placed on the mourner were followed by his child or sibling as well.
Although today we longer conduct ourselves in this manner, it is still
customary in many communities that siblings, children and spouses(17)
participate in some limited way with the mourners.(18) Since this custom
was not universally accepted,(19) one should consult his rav to determine
his community's custom.
Even among communities that practice this custom, there are varying
degrees as to what is restricted. It is, however, generally accepted that
one does not attend weddings or eat any other meals outside of his home
including a seudas mitzvah of any type or meals which are social get-
togethers.(20) Also, one should avoid taking a hot bath or shower.(21)
[Others are even more stringent: Relatives do not change their clothes
(except for Shabbos), take a haircut, shave or cut their nails.(22)]
The poskim debate whether or not restrictions on relatives apply
when the mourner is sitting shivah in another city.(23)
All of these restrictions are in effect only from the day of the
burial through the end of that week; once Motzaei Shabbos arrives these
restrictions are lifted, even if the shivah began on Friday.(24)
1 Based on Mishnah Berurah 286:12, Aruch ha-Shulchan 286:17 and Kaf ha-
2 O.C. 286:4.
3 See Mishnah Berurah 286:13, Aruch ha-Shulchan 286:17; Da'as Torah 286:4
and Kaf ha-Chayim 286:36.
4 See Mishnah Berurah 106:4.
5 Entire Discussion based on Mishnah Berurah 178:42, as explained in
B'tzeil ha-Chachmah 6:73-74 and Vesain Berachah, pg. 148, quoting Harav
11 Minchas Shabbos 88:10, quoting Nezer Yisrael and Halachos Ketanos; Az
12 Minchas Shabbos, ibid; Yabia Omer 5:26.
13 Harav S.Z. Auerbach; see Shulchan Shelomo O.C. 308:74-4; B'tzeil ha-
Chachmah 5:33-34. There are conflicting sources concerning Harav M.
Feinstein's opinion on this subject; see Sefer Tiltulei Shabbos, pg. 119
and Igros Moshe O.C. 5:22-21.
14 See Mishnah Berurah 305:70 and Chazon Ish O.C. 52:16.
15 Under certain, very specific conditions, it is even permitted to walk a
dog with a leash in a public domain; see O.C. 305:16 and Aruch ha-Shulchan
16 O.C. 305:1, 8, 10.
17 Spouses participate in mourning only when when the deceased is either
their father-in-law or their mother-in-law; see Gesher ha-Chayim 19:5-3.
18 This custom is recorded by the Rishonim and quoted by the Rama Y.D.
374:6 and by almost all of the latter poskim, including the Chochmas Adam
161:5, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 203:2, Sha'ar ha-Tziyun 128:126, and Gesher
ha-Chayim 19:3-5, as common practice. [While Rama and other early sources
mention this custom concerning first cousins as well, contemporary poskim
rule that it is not customary nowadays to do so; Pnei Baruch, pg. 501.]
19 Knesses ha-Gedolah Y.D. 374 writes that this custom was not practiced
in his area at all. See also Aruch ha-Shulchan 374:16 who remarks
that "some" are not careful about these restrictions. Sefaradim, too, do
not practice this custom; Yalkut Yosef, Aveilus, 8:2.
20 Taz Y.D. 374:2 and Shach 7.
21 On Erev Shabbos, however, it is permitted to take a hot shower; Da'as
Kedoshim Y.D. 374.
22 See the various views in Divrei Sofrim 374:54 and Eimek Davar 72.
23 See Pischei Teshuvah Y.D. 374:4 and Gesher ha-Chayim 19:5-3. Harav S.Z.
Auerbach (Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchasah 65, note 80) and Harav Y.S.
Elyashiv (oral quote) rule leniently on this issue. See also Orchos
Rabbeinu, vol.4, pg. 116.