A Little Clarity – Halachic Questions via Text Message

photoDue to the space limitations of a text message, please note that it is particularly important to read carefully, pay close attention to the context of the question, and use the answers as a springboard for further study.

If you would like my phone number to submit questions, please leave a comment and I will send it to you.

Q: Can I send out cards on Purim instead of mishloach manos?

A: Although it is good to support a worthy cause that sends out Purim cards as a fundraiser, the mitzvah must be fulfilled by giving two different foods to at least one person.  A card will therefore not do the job.

Q: Do the two foods of Mishloach Manot have to have two different berachos?

A: No (despite the common myth), as long as they are not identical, e.g. two types of meat (Aruch Hashulchan 695:14) & even white and dark meat chicken are considered different (Letter from R. SZ Auerbach).


Q:  May one write vowels and trop in a megillah to make it easier to read on Purim?

A:  No – and it is better to read it without trop than to write the trop in (Aruch Hashulchan 691:14).  If it was done, however, the megillah is not disqualified and may be used.

Q: I have a colonoscopy scheduled for the day after Purim, and on Purim I will be restricted to a clear liquid diet until I drink the prep beverage in the early evening.  Will that conflict with celebrating Purim?

A: If a colonoscopy must urgently be done due to medical considerations then it obviously cannot be delayed due to Purim.  However if one has flexibility as to when it may be done, then it would seem that it should not be scheduled in this way since it would preclude one from having a festive meal on Purim which is one of the mitzvot of the day.

Q: Can an avel (someone in mourning) attend a Purim seudah?

A: The widespread practice is for an aveil to make the Purim seudah in his home, however there is a legitimate opinion that sees Purim celebration as an exception to the usual rule and permits participation even outside the home without reservation (שו”ת אור יצחק).


Q: If someone gives me mishloach manos, do I have to give them back a reciprocal gift?

A: It is nice to do so but not necessary (see Guidelines).

Q: Does sea salt need a hechsher?

A: No, as long as it doesn’t have any added flavorings.




Source: Rabbi Isaacs Blog

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