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Purchasing Tax Liens

May a Jew purchase a tax lien when the tax delinquent is Jewish, or is that taking ribbit? Background: In about half of US states, tax authorities auction off tax liens (unpaid taxes create liens on taxpayers property) to the public. After purchasing the tax lien (approximately for the amount due to the government), the buyer is entitled to ever-increasing charges. If, after a set time, the debt is unpaid (most redeem their property before then), the buyer can foreclosure on the property and fully acquire it. As I understand from some research, the system works somewhat differently in different states/localities.

Making Up a Tefilla Missed to Help the Sick

I spent all afternoon in the emergency room with my mother and did not daven Mincha. Can/should I daven a second Maariv as tashlumin (makeup prayer)?

Putting on Tallit and Tefillin in Early Morning

During certain times of the year, I have to daven significantly before sunrise. What should I do about putting on tallit and tefillin (=t & t), as I start davening before the time for those mitzvot?

Dessert after Birkat Hamazon

A friend of mine always eats dessert after Birkat Hamazon in order to avoid questions about whether he should make a beracha on dessert. Is that appropriate?

How Much Should the Mezamen Recite Aloud?

I learned that the mezamen (= mzm leader of zimun) should recite, if not all of Birkat Hamazon (=BHM) aloud, at least the first beracha and the ends of berachot. Most people do neither. What should I do and/or tell others to do?

Differences of a Second Marriage

At a second marriage for both chatan and kalla, what is different from at a regular wedding?

Non-negotiated Fees

When a service provider and a hirer do not discuss the fee in advance and disagree later, what does Halacha say about resolving the disagreement?

Rings, Watches, and Tefillin

I wear a wedding ring and a watch on my left arm, and I do not like taking them off. Is it permitted to keep them on when I put on tefillin?

When a Non-Jew Clicks a Door Open on Shabbat

My shul has a guard station near the entrance. The non-Jewish guard has instructions that, on Shabbat, he should get up to open the door for people manually. Sometimes he electrically clicks the door unlocked. When that happens, may I enter, or should I wait for him to get up and open the door?

Lighting Candles when Staying at Anothers House

I am traveling to the US on Chanuka; my wife will be staying home. When I will be staying with family and/or friends, can/should I light there regularly?
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