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    Position of
    One’s Bed
    The Gemara says
    that a bed should
    be placed from
    north to south.
    One who does so
    will have male
    children, and his
    wife will not miscarry. The head should
    be to the north and feet to the south. Others say that there is no difference.
    This is quoted in halachah as well.
    The reason for this rule is that the Shechinah is to the east or west. When one is together with his wife, he should not face in
    the direction of the Shechinah, as this is a
    disgrace. Logically, this would only be an
    issue when one is with his wife, and there
    is no issue with a single person. However,
    the Rambam does not make any distinction, and the Shulchan Aruch says it is
    proper to be concerned about this even
    when one is not with his wife.
    The Zohar rules that the bed should be positioned from east to west. This is quoted
    by other poskim as well.
    Since the Zohar and the Gemara disagree,
    one may do as he wishes.
    Many homes do not allow the luxury of
    choosing positions, especially in the small
    quarters of a bungalow. Therefore, one
    may rely on those opinions that permit
    beds in the east-west position. One should
    place his head toward the east and feet toward the west.
    Even according to the opinion that one
    should place the bed north to south it is
    only an issue to sleep that way, but sitting
    on the bed is permitted even in the eastwest position.
    Drying Hands after Funeral
    The custom is to wash one’s hands after
    leaving a funeral or a cemetery. No utensil
    is required, but the practice is to use one.
    One may dry his hands after washing, although the custom is not to, in order not
    to forget about the deceased. In addition,
    the custom is not to take the utensil from
    the hand of the previous
    In the cold of winter he
    may dry his hands, but not
    in the summer.
    If one stood four amos
    away from the deceased
    or did not enter the cemetery, there is no need to
    wash. It is preferable not to
    walk into a home until one
    washes his hands. However, some permit entry
    into a public building like
    a shul or yeshivah before
    washing hands.
    Sweat and Washing Hands
    People sweat profusely in the hot summer.
    If one touches parts of his body which
    are usually covered, he has to wash his
    hands (when he wishes to learn, daven
    or make brachos) since it is common to
    sweat there. He does not have to wash his
    hands after wiping sweat from areas that
    are usually uncovered, since the air cools
    off the sweat. It is preferable not to touch
    a garment that one knows is very sweaty,
    such as a hat.
    If one is wearing a baseball cap while
    playing ball and touches the sweat under
    the cap, he should be careful to wash his
    hands before making a brachah on water
    at the game.
    If one wears his tzitzis on top of his t-shirt
    so that they do not get sweaty while playing ball, he may tie the ends of the tzitzis
    together so that they do not fly in different
    When to Remove the Tefillin
    One should not remove his tefillin before
    hearing three Kaddishes and four kedushos. The four kedushos are 1. Barchu
    2. safa berurah 3. the kedushah recited at
    chazaras hashatz 4. the kedushah of U’va
    l’tzion. The three Kaddishes are: 1. the
    half Kaddish at Barchu 2. the half Kaddish after Shemoneh Esrei 3. the Kaddish after U’va l’tzion. Accordingly, one
    should not remove his tefillin until after
    the Kaddish of Ashrei U’va l’tzion. Some
    base the reason on the writings of Kabbalah. Many poskim say that it is proper
    to wear the tefillin until after Aleinu if a
    Kaddish will be recited then. Others say
    that one may remove his tefillin after reciting Al kein nekaveh lecha in Aleinu.
    In the hot summer when the tefillin can be
    ruined from sweat, one can remove them
    after Ashrei U’va l’tzion and not wait until after Aleinu. Today, most shuls are air
    conditioned, so one should keep his tefillin on until after Aleinu.
    Walking to Shul with Tallis and Tefillin
    The halachah says that one should walk
    to shul while wearing
    his tallis gadol and
    his tefillin. If there are
    non-Jews on the way,
    he should put them on
    in the courtyard before entering the shul.
    Similarly, if he knows
    that he will pass filthy
    places on the way to
    shul, then he should
    put them on in the
    courtyard of the shul.
    Others mention that
    our streets are filled
    with people who are
    not dressed properly, and it is
    not proper to wear tefillin in
    the streets. Some say that if
    the weather conditions are not
    favorable (hot, cold, or raining), there is no need to wear
    them in the street. Others say
    that we are not on the level of
    the Arizal to wear them in the
    The Aruch Hashulchan says
    that the custom is to put on the
    tallis and tefillin in shul.
    In fact the custom of some
    gedolim was to walk to shul (and back)
    wearing the tallis gadol and tefillin.
    It is reported that Harav Moshe Feinstein
    zt”l held that if one does not wear the tallis
    and tefillin in the street, there is no need
    to put them on in the area before the shul.
    Rather, he can put them on in the shul itself.
    Bungalow colonies and camps are generally exclusively Jewish and are clean.
    Therefore, one should wear his tallis and
    tefillin to shul, but the custom seems to be
    On Shabbos, there is no inyan to wear the
    tallis to shul, since the concept is the tallis
    with tefillin.
    Covering Head with Tallis
    A shatz should always keep his head
    covered when davening even if it is hot.
    Some are lenient if it is hot, but he should
    keep his head covered during Krias Shema, Shemoneh Esrei, Krias HaTorah, and
    chazaras hashatz.
    Tefillin Falling
    Camps have limited space, and tefillin are
    often piled up on a shelf. This sometimes
    leads to an unfortunate situation where tefillin fall on the floor.
    Many poskim mention that one should
    fast the entire day if his tefillin fell on the
    floor. If one fears that fasting will interfere with his learning, some suggest that
    he learn more than usual instead of fasting. If others saw it fall there is no need to
    fast. Fasting is only required if the tefillin
    fell without the bag (and not in the tefillin boxes). Some give tzedakah in this
    scenario. If a young child under thirteen
    dropped the tefillin, neither he nor the father need to fast.
    In any case, due to the weakness of our
    generation many do not fast and instead
    give tzedakah, do teshuvah, etc.
    Sewer Back-Up
    Large cities rarely experience sewer backups. However, this unpleasant event does
    happen in bungalow colonies, and there
    are issues regarding saying brachos and
    learning. These halachos are very detailed, and we will only discuss how they
    relate to this specific point.
    The pasuk states, Your camp should be
    holy. Based on this, one is not allowed to
    recite words of Torah, Krias Shema, davening, or make brachos in the presence of
    filth such as excrement, urine, garbage,
    If the excrement is behind him he may
    not recite devarim sheb’kedushah until
    he distances himself four amos from the
    cessation of the smell. If it is on the side,
    it is considered behind him. One should
    try to turn his body so the excrement is
    behind him.
    If the excrement is in front of him, then
    he has to distance himself from the excrement until it is no longer visible. There is
    a dispute between the Rosh and Rashba
    if it is sufficient to enter a different room.
    The Rashba prohibits this as well, but the
    Rosh permits devarim sheb’kedushah as
    long as one does not smell the odor. We
    follow both opinions; therefore, if the
    excrement is in one room, one may not
    say devarim sheb’kedushah even if it is
    more than four amos away. If the excrement is visible, one may not say devarim
    sheb’kedushah even if it is in a different
    room (but thinking is allowed).
    Based on the above, people must distance themselves from a sewer back-up
    until there is no odor. Entering a building
    would not help if one can smell the sewage.
    People like to sit outside and learn. In
    many bungalow colonies, the bungalows
    are close to each other and each one may
    have their own garbage can outside.
    If a smell is emitted from the garbage can
    one must make sure not to learn there, and
    must distance himself four amos from
    where the smell stops. In regard to our
    garbage cans, the odor generally emanates from the bottom of the can and is
    considered out of vision; therefore, one
    does not have to move four amos from
    where the smell stops. Others argue that
    the garbage can is considered a separate
    location. Furthermore, the garbage is usually placed in a plastic bag. This limits the
    smell, and even a soiled diaper is mixed
    with many other items like paper. This
    prevents any issues of saying devarim