[By Rabbi Yair Hoffman]
It has been over a year since the passing of Rav Ovadiah zt”l. In the past twelve months, however, some of his rulings that have not been printed in his Seforim have been compiled by his students. They are printed in a new Sefer entitled “Shulchan Yoseph” , with the approval of his three sons. The chief editor is Rabbi Refoel Aush, and the other three editors are Rabbi Netanel Yisroel Ohana, Rabbi Yaakov Yisroel Revach, and Rabbi Dvir Azulai.
What follows is a brief overview of some of the rulings in the new Sefer. We begin with the ruling which will be followed by the source in the Sefer itself. The Sefardic reader will hopefully forgive the Ashkenazic spellings. Please note that one should consult with one’s own Rav or Posaik regarding all of these matters.
After trimming one’s mustache there is no need for Netilas Yadayim, as it is not a place where sweat is found (OC #4, issued 14 Tishrei 5767). Similarly, if one is trimming a fingernail just because it is hanging but not with the intention of clipping one’s nails, no Netilas Yadayim is needed either (OC #5).
The prohibition of mentioning Hashem’s Name applies in all languages. Even though some are lenient in this, one should be stringent (OC #5).
The proper place for the tzitzis on the Begged is 4.5 centimeters from the corner (OC #8).
The age for training a child in tzitzis begins at age six (OC #12).
A sofer must be more G-d-Fearing than a Shochet, because a mistake is one that causes the negation of the fulfillment of the Mitzvah and a bracha lvatala for a long time. If a Sofer makes the same error three times or if he does so purposefully, he should eb removed. No apologies should be permitted in such a case. (OC #14).
A man that has a glued on toupee and he changes it every month – may place the Tefillin on the toupee (OC #15).
All Jews should recite the Korbanos and the Pitum HaKetores found in the siddur – even Talmidei Chachomim (OC #24).
After Taanis Esther after the shul has davened Maariv and it is after Tzeis HaKochavim, they are permitted to break the fast with fruits etc. But the Megillah should be read immediately (OC #222)
Even though there are those who say that a Shochet may no longer slaughter if he wears glasses, this was only back then when the glasses were not clean and clear, but now the prescriptions are very exact and one can be lenient. (YD #1).
When chicks or chickens are vaccinated, the vaccine should not be administered in the area of the neck on account of possibly hitting the veshet (the foodpipe). Rather, the injection should only be in the upper thigh of the chick or chicken (YD #7).
Before putting mint leaves in tea, one should check the leaves for bugs. Each bug is the equivalent of eating five kzaisim of pork. One may, however, leave the mint leaves out for twelve months and then spread them over the tea without examination, as after twelve months the bugs in mint leaves are no longer extant (YD #11).
The Blue Marlin fish, whose scales are not round but are comb-like in shape, is a completely kosher fish and there is no place to be concerned that the scale must be round like a fingernail (Ruling of Rav Ovadiah 20 Shvat 5764 – when the Blue Marlin was brought before him – YD #14). [This question was brought to YH by Mr. Saul Kessler of Far Rockaway.]
Canned tuna fish may not be eaten without a reliable Hechsher as there are other tameh varieties that are there as well (YD #15).
If someone is unsure whether he had eaten fleishigs (a meat food), he should be stringent and wait six hours (YD #20).
One may not cook milk and meat through a jacketed or closed steam system – even if there are separate cooking units for meat and milk. The steam connection even through the metal causes a problem of milk and meat (YD #21).
A woman suffering from leukemia who is receiving treatment in a hospital outside of Israel, and there is no kosher food available and the hospital does not allow outside food to be brought in, may eat of the non-kosher food because she is dangerously ill.
Egg powder that was imported from outside of Israel may be used, however, eggs that were opene overnight are forbidden to be used. (YD #31).
One should not study Torah in a school where the teachers are not G-d-fearing – even if the teachers are teaching true Torah. (YD #133).
One should not teach Aggadatahs that may seem strange to the public. Similarly, one should not teach tehm to young children (YD #134).
A Talmud Torah that is opening should not demand of the parents that they sign that they will be Sabbath observant. This does not bring them closer, rather it pushes them away. As far as the idea of a Talmid sh’aino hagun – this does not apply to young children whose parents bring them to a Talmud Torah (YD #135).
Someone who received a temporary job, such as a Chazan for the Yomim Noraim must still take off Maaser (YD #137).
In modern times, it is permitted to receive Tzedaka from a married woman if the amount is small such as approximately ten dollars a month (YD #138).
A gabbai that collects charity for a Yeshiva, one may not allow him to take a percentage greater than 49% (YD #139).
One is permitted to receive charity from a Christian organization that wishes to assist Jews as long as there is absolutely no connection to missionizing activities. One may accept charitable contributions from them b’tzinah (YD 140).
An artificially inseminated child may be circumcised on Shabbos when it falls on the eighth day, just like any other child (YD #163).
A woman who wishes to implant three embryo in her womb, but if they all succeed, one will have to be aborted – should only have two embryos implanted. (EH #12)
In regard to the leniency of “the husband is in town” regarding Yichud – if the husband is in town but in jail, the leniency is ineffective (EH #46).
It is proper for parents to try to wed their children before they reach the age of twenty, and to speed up the process as much as possible (however, he must of course be mature enough to handle a household properly). Even if the Roshei Yeshiva rule that the bochurim should delay and not marry at this age, it is forbidden to listen to them halachically, and their ruling is against the Torah (EH #48).
A person must always save up money to marry off his sons and daughters. This is not a manifestation of a lack of Bitachon, rather it is the obligation of proper hishtadlus – effort (EH #52).
If a person wishes to adopt a Rav and listen to his rulings, he may not do so if his rulings run counter to Shulchan Aruch or the majority of the Acharonim. This is because we rule that halachah follows the majority (CM #25).
The author can be reached at [email protected]