Ordering Black Coffee at Starbucks?

Anash.org feature: Dayan Levi Yitzchok Raskin, Rov of Anash in London, explores interesting Torah questions and halachic dilemmas including demanding a refund for a pulled hechsher, paying a substitute less, tablecloth when eating, and a black coffee at Starbucks.

The following issues are discussed by Rabbi Raskin in this week’s episode:

  1. In Tanya, the Alter Rebbe addresses eating early morning before a personal fast “some three hours before sunrise”. Does the same apply to communal fasts?[1]
  2. When the angels visit Avrohom Ovinu, they enquire about Soroh Imeinu. Our sages say that they wished to give her Kos shel Brocho. But Rashi writes that, since Soroh became temeioh, Avrohom did not serve bread. So, what was the call for the wine?[2]
  3. May I give the honor of Kvater to a couple who aren’t observing Taharas haMishpocho?
  4. On Monday morning in Shul someone approaches me after Shmoine Esrei saying that he had forgotten to say the Morning Brochos, including Birchos haTorah. What should he do now? As an extra measure, I arranged that he be called up to the Torah:[3]
  5. My parents are divorced. My mother asks me to say Kaddish in memory of her late father ע”ה. Must I get explicit permission from my father to do so?[4]
  6. Recently the Hechsher was withdrawn from several lines of imported food. Are customers entitled to a refund?[5]
  7. I have been teaching in a high school for several decades. Occasionally I need to take off work and I get a substitute. If I pay my sub at a lower rate per hour than what I am paid, may I accept the full payment per hour?[6]
  8. My non-Jewish decorator wishes to collect his equipment from my house on Shabbos. Is that permitted?[7]
  9. Is there a requirement to use a tablecloth for the table where one is dining?[8]
  10. May I go to Starbucks to have a black coffee?[9]

To listen to Panorama of Halacha on a podcast, click here.

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  1. [1] תניא אגה”ת פ”ג; ס’ המנהגים ע’ 45; סדור ספירת העומר; יומא לד ב..
  2. [2]  ראה ב”מ פז א.
  3. [3] ראה שוע”ר סי’ מז ס”ו; משנ”ב שם ס”ק יז.
  4. [4] ראה רמ”א או”ח סי’ קלב ס”ב; אוצר כבוד אב ואם סי’ רמ אות שנב משו”ת בצל החכמה ח”ד סי’ כב.
  5. [5] ראה שו”ע חו”מ סי’ רלד.
  6. [6] .
  7. [7] ראה שוע”ר סי’ שכה ס”ג.
  8. [8] קיצור שו”ע סי’ מב ס”ב, ומקורו בשל”ה (פ סוף ע”א).
  9. [9] קצור שו”ע סי’ לח סי”ב; פתחי תשובה יו”ד סי’ קיד סק”א בשם שו”ת פנים מאירות ח”ב סי’ סב.

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  1. Al Pi Pishuto Shel Mikra, The only answer which makes sense is that it was other bread, but not the special three loaves he baked in their honor. After all, not everything on the menu was mentioned in the Posuk, Such as mustard.

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