Question: May a person deduct necessary household expenditures, such as food and clothing, before giving maaser k’safim?

Short Answer: Some poskim allow a deduction for necessary personal and household expenses. However, the consensus of the contemporary poskim is to the contrary, that no such deduction is allowed.

A young avreich from Jerusalem fell ill and had to undergo a complex brain operation at a medical center located in the former Yugoslavia. In order to translate from English what the medical team was saying, the father of the avreich asked his friend R’ Yosef Rafoul, shlita, to accompany them on their journey. Upon arrival, they immediately made an appointment to see a top surgeon at the prestigious Institute for Neurosurgery in Belgrade, Serbia, who specialized in brain operations of the type required by the avreich. After days of exhaustive tests, the surgeon fixed a date for the operation.

Question: Should a Sefardi who is saying Kaddish in an Ashkenazi shul recite the Kaddish nusach for Sefardim or the nusach of the Ashkenazi shul? The same question applies in the reverse case – an Ashkenazi davening in a Sefardi shul?

Question: Two mourners are reciting Kaddish at different speeds. How should you answer Amen to their Kaddish?

 Short Answer: Although others disagree, the Mishnah B’rurah rules that if the two mourners are within “toch k’dei dibur” – three or four words from each other – then you may answer Amen to whichever mourner you want, and this will count for both of them. However, if they are more than three or four words apart, then you should answer Amen separately to both of them.

Question: When a parent tells his/her child that he/she does not want Kaddish recited for them, should the child listen?

Short Answer: While the simple understanding is that the child should obey the parent’s request and not recite Kaddish, many Acharonim limit this ruling to specific situations. In most cases, the child should probably recite Kaddish against his parent’s wishes.