Watch: Panorama of Halacha feature: A weekly shiur by Dayan Levi Yitzchok Raskin, Rov of Anash in London, explores interesting Torah questions and halachic dilemmas.

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

  1. In celebration of Shabbos Shiroh, the Maharal of Prague would gather the children and tell them about the Splitting of the Sea, the fruit trees at the sea, the fruit of which were plucked by the children, who shared the food with the birds – who joined in the singing of שירת הים. Accordingly, the Maharal had grain distributed to the children, to feed to the chickens and the birds.[1] Why is this custom not upheld nowadays?[2]   
  2. Our cat has caught on that whenever I take a snack, he’s entitled to be fed first. Is he right, or is it only for main meals that animal feed takes precedence?[3]
  3. This coming Monday is the 15th of Shevat. Do all exotic fruit warrant the brocho of Shehecheyanu? [4]
  4. At the end of many Kehos sidurim there is chart depicting the line of transmission of the Torah, from Har Sinai until the Shulchan Oruch & commentaries. The chart lists the Baraysa above the Tosefta. Other sources imply that the Tosefta is earlier.[5]
  5. Before Hodu, we read the Baraysa of R’ Yishmoel, listing the 13 methods for extrapolation of Halocho from the Written Torah. Why is this text part of Davening?[6]
  6. There is a widespread custom for pregnant woman refraining to go to a cemetery. What about visiting the Rebbe’s Ohel?[7]
  7. For many years, a local Jewish centre had on display a framed sheet of parchment that was a fragment from a Sefer Torah that was vandalised during the Holocaust. That centre has now closed and have given us the said frame. Are we permitted to put it on display, or should be placing it Genizah?[8]
  8. Follow-up on Mezuza Dilemma.

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[1] ספר השיחות תש”ב ע’ 73. מנהג זה מוזכר – לשלילה – במגן אברהם סי’ שכד ס”ז, ובשוע”ר שם ס”ח. העולת שבת מקיל לתת אוכל בחורף דלא שכיח להו מזון.

[2] היכל מנחם ח”ב ע’ לו; התוועדויות תשמ”ט ח”ב ע’ 270.

[3]  ברכות מ א: אסור לאכול; גיטין ס א: אסור לטעום. בשוע”ר סי’ קסז ס”ט: אסור לאכול. [אע”פ שהמג”א, וגם הראשונים כתבו “אסור לטעום”]. בשוע”ר הלכות צעב”ח בקו”א ג כ’ שזה דין דרבנן. והכי משמע בחרדים. איתא בסי’ תרלט סי”א שעד כביצה נחשבת אכילת עראי. [מעשה בחסיד ישיש שהלך רגלי לליובאוויטש, כי לא רצה לערוך דין-תורה עם סוס].

[4] סדר ברכת הנהנין פי”א הי”ב; פסקי תשובות סי’ רכה ס”ק יז.

[5] כללי התלמוד בסוף מסכת ברכות.

[6] סדר רב עמרם.

[7]  שבט מוסר פכ”ד; שמירת גוף ונפש סי’ קמג הע’ ד; ס’ ‘מנהגים והנהגות לחסידי חב”ד’ ע’ 628.

[8] שו”ת אגרות משה או”ח ח”ד סימן לח.

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  1. My understanding is that the connection between רבי ישמעאל אומר to Korbonos is that that is the first Braysa in Toras Kohanim (on Chumash Vayikrah), hence the connection to Korbonos.

    The resemblance to the מן is written in connection with the custom of eating חיטין שלימים מבושלים בשבת שירה mentioned in ב”ח או”ח סי’ רח ד”ה ומ”ש והתוספות as the ספר נחל קדמונים end of פרשת פקודי writes that the מן was like wheat kernels.

    When the rebbe mentioned the idea that nowadays people don’t own live chickens, he is perhaps justifying the Maharal Meprag per the שיטה of the ביאור הלכה in סימן שכ”ד who writes: ויוני” בייתות – שמגדלות אותן בבית וכ”ז מיירי כשהם שלו כן מוכח מא”ר ולענ”ד אין זה ברור דכיון שהם של ישראל ואינם אוכלין מהפקר כי היכי דמותר לבעליהן להכין להם מזונות ה”נ מותר לאדם אחר” which means that feeding chickens on Shabbos -even if they don’t belong to him- is not a problem, and that that’s was (לכאורה) the Maharal’s opinion.
    Also, the אשל אברהם סי׳ קסו,ז says that having kids feeding the birds is no problem.

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