Shailos – Psak Halacha Hotlines

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  • This topic has 59 replies, 15 voices, and was last updated 11 months ago by ujm.
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  • #1403801
    slominer
    Participant

    What Shailos / Psak Halacha hotlines are available?

    #1403831
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Halacha Hotline of the Five Towns and Far Rockaway Community (google for the telephone number)

    Sunday-Thursday (regular hours) 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM and 6:30 PM – 10:00 PM

    Erev Shabbos / Erev Yom Tov – From 4 hours before Candle lighting until 1 hour before candlelighting

    Motzaei Shabbos / Motzaei Yom Tov – 1 hour after Maariv – 3 hours after Maariv

    They do have poskim available for “emergencies”.

    MODERATOR: Not sure if this is allowed so please edit it if it is not: 516-239-2500

    #1403864
    Joseph
    Participant

    What kind of shailos do they pasken via telephone?

    #1403908
    picture this
    Participant

    Lakewood Bais Hora’ah: 732-363-1616
    A Rabbi usually answers right away, otherwise you get called back promptly.

    Halachah Institute of Toronto: 416-535-8008
    There is often a Rabbi manning the phone, otherwise you can leave a message and have your call returned within a few hours.

    #1403920
    Joseph
    Participant

    Why would someone call a hotline instead of their own Rov?

    #1403927
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    joseph: Your Rov is travelling and the Rov he arranged to answer shailos is not available.

    #1403930
    klugeryid
    Participant

    Their rov is giving a shiur and they need an answer right away
    Their rov is on vacation
    Their rov is not picking up the phone and is not telling them why

    #1403932
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “What kind of shailos do they pasken via telephone?”

    I would think any, other than dinei mamamnos which would require hearing both sides. (though IVe never called)

    “Why would someone call a hotline instead of their own Rov?”
    1) his Rav isnt available and it cant wait
    2) His Rav doesnt know and directed him to the hotline
    3) It is a question that he feels uncomfortable to ask his rav
    4) He doesnt have a Rav (the answer to your other thread is yes there are many such people)
    5) It didnt sound like the Rav got it right
    6) He knows his Rav is machmir on this issue and he wants a kulais hoping for a kula

    Im sure there are dozens of others i’ll add if I think of others

    #1403939
    Joseph
    Participant

    ubiq, your 5 and 6 sound like rabbi/psak-shopping.

    #1404037
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “your 5 and 6 sound like rabbi/psak-shopping.”

    no thats reason #7 He got a pesak he doesnt like so he is looking for another one. Which I delibratly left off, since I was only listing valid reasons
    At any rate I’m glad I was able to provide 4 answers that you are ok with

    #1404042
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    How is 6 different than 7?

    Also, if I didn’t think my rav got it right I would either do enough research to be knowledgeable enough to discuss it with him, or go to a posek I knew to be at least as big, but not to a random posek on the phone.

    #1404041
    slominer
    Participant

    Do all of the hotlines answer taharas hamishpacha and isha shailos or are their specialized hotlines for that?

    #1404053
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Call and ask them! If they don’t they will tell you.

    #1404058
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “How is 6 different than 7?”

    6 is before asking. Eg he knows his Rav is generally machmir on say hilchos shabbos so he asks these questions to another Rav/hotline (His Rav may even have told him to do this, I know of a Rav who is machmir with “family planning” sheilahs, when someone approaches starting to ask a question he says “go ask so and so” not becasue he doesnt know (reason #2) but because he is generally machmir (reason #6)

    This isnt the same as asking and getting a pesak and then asking for another. (reason #7)

    “Also, if I didn’t think my rav got it right I would either do enough research to be knowledgeable enough to discuss it with him, or go to a posek I knew to be at least as big, but not to a random posek on the phone.”
    oh me too. I was giving possible reasons why someone might use a hotline.

    #1404077
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Seems like this would be more useful if they provided some indication of which hotlines are likely to offer chumrahs/kulahs on specific areas of halacha. This would facilitate Joe’s concerns about wasting time shopping around or cherrypicking before a poishete yid with limited time gets a Rav or Posek on the line who will provide the “right answer”

    #1404200
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    My hotline will have a menu – “Press 1 for a heter, press 2 for a chumra, or press 3 for the actual din”.

    #1404213
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    DY
    Whats so strange about that?
    You’ve never heard a Rav pasken that x is mutar meikar hadin, but it is better to be machmir. Or it is better to avoid doing y but if needed can be someich on mekilim etc..

    For the “actual din” you dont need a Rav at all. Pretty much all seforim are scanned online. All we need is to design a computer program with general klalei hapesak as to whom to follow when theres machlokes Shach and Taz, Favor Remah for Ashkenazim etc And presto you dont need a Rav at all You will get the “actual din” It might not be able to guide in the actual situation which ,might warrant a kula or chumra but it can certainly tell you the “actual din”

    #1404228
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    DY….brilliant in its simple elegance and total transparency. Perhaps when you move beyond the beta version and roll out the actual product you might add a fourth option for “Joe’s World”…..

    #1404456
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    You’ve never heard a Rav pasken that x is mutar meikar hadin, but it is better to be machmir.

    Of course, but not on demand.

    #1404499
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “Of course, but not on demand.”

    I have. As mentioned Ive had more than one Rav tell me to ask a specific question to so and so.

    For example imagine the following question:
    “Reuven was raised in a home where they kept kosher, but weren’t makpid on chalav yisrael. He went to the right in life, choosing a lifestyle that is quite different from his parents. They don’t approve.
    Now he is visiting his parents. His parents keep offering to out on movies for the kids, and they keep declining politely. It’s not easy. Now his mother serves the kids breakfast.
    The milk is OU D, chalav hacompanies. Should Reuven increase the machlokes in order to be a baal nefesh, or should he rely on the heter? And if his mother went out of her way about bought heimishe milk and cereal, should he push further and insist on plastic keilim?”

    He knows his Rav holds Chalav Stam is categorically assur. I think it is wholly appropriate to ask someone else (before asking his Rav) in such a situation.

    #1404513
    Joseph
    Participant

    If his Rav holds Chalav Stam is categorically assur and he’s a member of that kehila, then Chalav Stam is categorically assur for him. Full stop.

    #1404518
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    BTW
    Even if you disagree, and feel that is not appropriate.
    IT is certainly an answer to Joseph’s question “Why would someone call a hotline instead of their own Rov?” Perhaps it is a wrong reason, but it is a reason nonetheless.
    So at any rate, Ive still listed provided 4 reasons that we agree are valid. 2 that are debatable. And one that we agree isnt a valid reason.

    #1404519
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “and he’s a member of that kehila,”
    who says he is?
    He has one shul he davens shacharis another for MAariv Mincha is at a minyan next door to his office . Friday night is another shul. And Shabbos day is a 5th exccept Shabbos mevarchim when he goes to the shul he davens in yet another shul in because they have a chazan .

    which Kehilla does he belong to?
    More importantly , why do you get to decide? He has his Rav (where he davens Maariv during the week, he loves that he gets to ask his 24 shaalas a year after Maariv) Meheche tesi that he HAS to follow every pesak from this Rav?

    #1404547
    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    If an accepted chumra can become mesora then why can’t an accepted kula become a mesora?

    #1404551
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    He knows his Rav holds Chalav Stam is categorically assur. I think it is wholly appropriate to ask someone else (before asking his Rav) in such a situation.

    So I guess I have my first customer.

    #1404552
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    If an accepted chumra can become mesora then why can’t an accepted kula become a mesora?

    It can and often does.

    #1404559
    Takes2-2tango
    Participant

    Please name 5 kulas which became mesora in the past 100 years?

    #1404557
    slominer
    Participant

    <“It can and often does.”>

    What were a few prominent examples of this?

    #1404569
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Note: I’m not claiming that these are all correct, but there are some groups who consider these kulos to be part of their mesorah.

    1) Eruv in cities with fewer than 600,000
    2) Chodosh – the Bach’s heter
    3) Sukkah on Shmini Atzeres
    4) Peah nochris
    5) Small shiurim (cf. Chazon Ish’ shiurim)

    #1404570
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    (although not all in the last 100 years – I’m not sure why that makes a difference)

    #1404586
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    Accepted kula – to eat gebrokts.

    Accepted chumra – not to eat gebrokts. (probably started within the last 300 years)

    #1404605
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “So I guess I have my first customer.”

    I am definitely not the first. Ive heard this from many rabbeim over the years. Including my own Rav

    #1404617
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Accepted kula – to eat gebrokts.

    There is no mesorah to rely on a kula to eat gebrokts. It’s not assur to begin with unless you (or your family or community) took on a chumra.

    #1404622
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Ubiquitin, in that case, why would you even ask a shailah?

    #1404625
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “in that case, why would you even ask a shailah?”
    In what case?

    I didnt realize this was controversial. You agree there are situations where “x is mutar meikar hadin, but it is better to be machmir.” I assume you agree too (Though you didnt outright say it) that there are situations where we are generally machmir but there are acceptable mekilim.
    now even in those cases if there are no acceptable mekilim then (by definition) a frum person wont be meikil. But there are times where situation may be difficult, and a Rav may not feel comfortable “giving a heter” (this isnt neccesarily my #2 above, the Rav may “know the halacha” but doesnt feel comfortable answering such life altering shailas perhaps this is reason #8, though perhaps for such a life altering shaila a phone hotline isnt the best alternative) or he is machmir in those cases so he’ll send to someone else. This happens often with family planning shailos, certainly almost every question involving infertility . For example The Satmer Rov was quite machmir. As you may know, there are several organizations that aid many people including Satmer chsidim who are often sent by their own community to other Dayanim. Again if there is no room to be meikil, then a frum person wont be., but he will ask a sheilah.

    Back to our friend Reuvein. IF the case involved Neveila, then he wont eat it. He generally doesnt eat Chaalv stam but this is a pressing situation so he wants to know if an exception is appropriate. He also wants to know if he should say hataras nedarim. Of course he would ask a shaila

    #1404629
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I think you are mixing up two things. You are discussing asking your rav, and the rav referring you to a different rav. Yes, this happens; it’s happened to me.

    I am talking about someone who knows what his rav will say, so he doesn’t ask him, but rather asks a rav who he knows will give him a heter.

    And yes, of course calling a random hotline for a life altering psak is ludicrous.

    #1404630
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    One person’s kulah is another’s chumrah….there are so many inyanim where varying degrees and forms of observance span a broad spectrum. What passes for hidur mitzvah among some is the baseline or starting point for others. A simple recognition of these variances w/o being judgemental would go a long way towards breaching the gap that seems to arise over so many nonsensical issues. Recognition does not mean “acceptance”, “endorsement” etc. It simply means that others rely upon a different rav with a different view.

    #1404722
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    And yes, of course calling a random hotline for a life altering psak is ludicrous.

    I have inside information about these halachic hotlines and I can assure that people DO call with life altering situations, some of the questions frankly are quite ludicris (Like the husband and wife disagreeing to evacuate Hurricane Sandy. The wife wanted to leave and the husband to stay)

    #1404739
    Joseph
    Participant

    ZD, how do you have “inside information”?

    #1404772
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “I think you are mixing up two things…”
    I’m not mixing them up, Ithink they are analagous. I dont see the difference between a Rav sending for a different pesak when he holds the “actual din” is lechumra and skipping the Rav, when you already jknow what he will say.
    I can here the difference and not trying to convince you that you are wrong. If yo udont think that is a valid reason, great! dont call for that reason. There are stil lother reasons why a hotline is useful..

    “And yes, of course calling a random hotline for a life altering psak is ludicrous.”
    They arent complelty “random” as you probably know the Far Rockaway one is under the Rav binyomin Forst’s leadership

    #1404785
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I dont see the difference between a Rav sending for a different pesak when he holds the “actual din” is lechumra and skipping the Rav

    First of all, if he didn’t acknowledge the other psak as legitimate, he wouldn’t send you there.

    Second, if the rav would agree with you that you can skip the second rav, why is he telling you to go to him?

    Every bais horaah/hotline is under a big posek, but he’s not answering every shailah – that’s why there’s a bais horaah.

    And the poskim answering for the batei horaah aren’t as big, otherwise people would be calling them directly.

    I’m not saying they don’t serve an important function, but they shouldn’t be for certain types of shailos.

    #1404889
    twisted
    Participant

    <but not a random posek on the phone>
    I can testify that some of them are not “random”. I was in the daled amos of one such, while engaging in a hechsher mitzva on a erev yom tov. His phone did not stop ringing and I was impressed with his warmth and broad shoulders. I have be zoche to be in “fly on the wall” situations with some of our treasures of kodesh.

    #1405015
    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    I think that most people who call Psak Halacha Hotlines do not have their own Rav to call, or it’s a question they are not comfortable asking someone who might know who they are. I know the second one happens because I did that once.

    Personally, I wouldn’t recommend calling a hotline unless it’s for something very basic or unless you know who the Rav is answering the phone and he’s someone you would be comfortable asking a sheilah to in general.

    #1405051
    ubiquitin
    Participant

    “First of all, if he didn’t acknowledge the other psak as legitimate, he wouldn’t send you there.”

    True, then again My Rav recognizes Rabbi Forst as legitimate, and presumably Rabbi Forst recognizes his hotline as legitimate. so I still dont see the difference.

    “Second, if the rav would agree with you that you can skip the second rav, why is he telling you to go to him?”

    I’m not sure what you mean, Im not skipping the second Rav. my scenario is where my Rav is machmir on Chalv yisroel/Family planning/opening bottles on Shabbos etc. My Rav agrees that there are legitimate poskim that are meikil on these things.
    I dont understand the difference between Asking my Rav who I KNOW will tell me go ask so-and-so. and just going ahead and asking so-and-so on my own. I do admit that who the “so-and-so” is matters and that not all 3 of those examples are on equal footing. but at least for SOME of them (eg chalav yisroel) Rabbi Forst, and anyone he deems worthy is a legitamte “so-and-so”

    “Every bais horaah/hotline is under a big posek, but he’s not answering every shailah – that’s why there’s a bais horaah….And the poskim answering for the batei horaah aren’t as big, otherwise people would be calling them directly.”

    forgive me, perhaps I am naive. but Doesn’t the One overseeing the bais horaah, vet those who answer the shalos. And doesn’t that vetting include them knowing what questions are above their “paygrade”

    “I’m not saying they don’t serve an important function, but they shouldn’t be for certain types of shailos.”
    Agreed. but chalav Yisroel, I think they can handle

    #1405096
    GAON
    Participant

    Daas,
    5) Small shiurim (cf. Chazon Ish’ shiurim)”

    A quick הערה, isn’t it the other way around, the Chazon Ish is relatively a new chumrah. The first one to mention anything about נתקטנו השיעורין is the נודע ביהודה בספרו צל”ח, until then each and every Jew followed the smaller shiur of the Shulchan Aruch.

    #1405104
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Perhaps you’re correct regarding the semantics. My point was that the Chazon Ish’ shiurim aren’t accepted as being meikar hadin (although certainly some are machmir at least for a d’Oraisa) because the mesorah was smaller shiurim.

    #1405107
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    True, then again My Rav recognizes Rabbi Forst as legitimate, and presumably Rabbi Forst recognizes his hotline as legitimate. so I still dont see the difference.

    If your Rav was looking to help you find a kula, I would think he would send you to a specific posek, not a hotline.

    I’m not sure what you mean, Im not skipping the second Rav.

    So then we agree that my hotline, where you get whatever answer you want by pressing a button, is ludicrous, because that’s the same as skipping the second rav.

    #1405177
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    The issue with the Hotline is the person behind doesnt really know the person and in many shaliahs there is more than one opinion

    #1405184
    iacisrmma
    Participant

    zd: Certain types of shailos does not call for the poseik to know you. If I put open fleishigs to warm up in my milchigs toaster oven and I ask how to kasher it, does the rov have to know me to give an answer? –

    #1405197
    zahavasdad
    Participant

    Since I happen to have some inside information I can tell you for certain that while many of the Shallias are not really dependent on the person. I can tell you that many ARE dependent on the person. And you dont know what the question entails until you get it

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