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10
votes
2answers
101 views

Jewish Minecraft instructions?

My 8 year old son wants to build a mizbeyach or a simple beit hamikdash structure on Minecraft. I know nothing about Minecraft and he is not great at it, though he uses it a lot. Does anyone know how ...
6
votes
3answers
110 views

What are the halachic considerations that might come up when designing and building a house

I'm curious what are the Halachic considerations that need to be taken into account when building a house. A few possibilities that come to mind may include: position of the bathroom (Rambam, ...
3
votes
3answers
74 views

How did the Kerashim / Beams of the Mishkan remain upright?

The beams that constituted the walls of the Mishkan seem to be free standing. They did have rings at the top to hold them to each other and there was the 2 outer bars and one inner bar that also acted ...
9
votes
1answer
120 views

Where would a mezuzah go on a completely round doorway?

I’ve recently come across the site of a construction company making houses modeled after hobbit holes. I don’t know how this company is going to shape the doorways, but the image below is how they’re ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Is there nowadays any advantage in having an Ark which is movable?

The Mishnah in Taanis 2 (1) refers to the practice of taking the Ark out of the synagogue into the the town square on the more serious fasts for rain and putting ashes on the ark: סדר תענייות כיצד:...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Does a succah require a definitive roof?

Let's say your entire succah is made from very large bamboo poles, which are eligible to be used for schach. You decide to make a true 3-sided pyramid, where you lay the poles at an angle making a 3-...
2
votes
2answers
64 views

May a 3 sided pyramid (almost) be used as a succah?

Talmud succah states that a succah must have a minimum of 3 sides. Can a person build a 3-sided pyramid, but rather than a "full" pyramid, where all the sides meet at the same point at the top, let's ...
6
votes
1answer
75 views

Mezuzah on window

Many homes have a porch over the first level which is only accessible by going out and back in through a window on the second level. Would this window/doorway require a mezuzah? Is there something ...
5
votes
0answers
21 views

Apartment buildings higher than the shul

Shabbat 11a states that a city in which houses (but not towers or castles/fortresses [unsure about the translation]) are built higher than the synagogue will eventually be destroyed. ואמר רבא בר ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

What is the ideal design of a synagogue?

What guidance is given for ideal qualities of a synagogue? (eg what shape) Since most buildings require a degree of compromise, are we told which architectural features should be actively avoided? ...
3
votes
0answers
57 views

Where does the zecher lechurban go in an apartment building?

(A zecher lechurban here refers to the part of a house that is intentionally left unfinished to commemorate the Temple's destruction.) In an apartment building, does there have to be a zecher ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Opposite vs. closer regarding the amah-by-amah

The gemara in Bava Batra 60b records a takkana d'rabanan (Rabbinic enactment) to leave a square cubit unfinished in one's house in commemoration of the destruction of the Temple (codified in the ...
0
votes
1answer
107 views

Genesis 39:20 Potiphar's prison

Was the prison into which Joseph was placed (Genesis 39:20) located in Potiphar's basement?
4
votes
0answers
64 views

Can you carry an object from the step outside your house inside your house?

According to the laws of carrying on shabbos one may not carry from one domain to another aside from a makom petur ("exempt area"). A makom petur is less that 4X4 handbreadths and more than three ...
2
votes
1answer
165 views

“Pulpit” on the Bimah

In most Orthodox Ashkenazi schuls, it is customary to have a lectern (the amud) at the front of the room, below the duchan, from whence the baal tefillah leads. Typically, I have noticed that it is ...
13
votes
2answers
149 views

Why didn't the Israelites build Yechezkel's temple when they returned from exile?

G-d gave Yechezkel the blueprints for what is now known as the third temple. Later the Israelites returned from exile and built the second temple... according to the blueprints of the first one? Why? ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Kohen-accessible Cenotaph

Scenario: An architect is building an extension onto a cemetery. As it will engulf the section traditionally reserved for Kohanim, he wishes to build an "overpass" with cenotaphs holding the ...
2
votes
0answers
41 views

Hagbah in a partitioned room

Over Yom Tov I was in a shul which was converted from a house into a shul. The sanctuary was divided by a walled staircase, such that one could not see from one part into the other, like so: | | ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Questions related to shul structure

I am seeking sources related to the origin of the physical structure of a shul. Specifically: Placement of the ark in the front of the shul. Torah reader's bimah - I've seen 3 arrangements: Most ...
13
votes
4answers
533 views

Why was שמאי holding a ruler?

The Bavli, Shabas 31 amud 1, has two stories in which a gentile came to Shamay asking to be converted to Judaism, upon which Shamay "pushed him with the construction cubit in his hand". Rashi explains ...
11
votes
1answer
373 views

Was the Shamir worm used for the second Beis Hamikdash?

Shlomo Hamelech used a 'Shamir' worm to quarry and cut the stones for the first Beis Hamikdash. Did they still have this worm for the second Beis Hamikdash? If not, how were the stones cut (as no ...
5
votes
1answer
317 views

Why was Batsheva bathing on the roof

In 2 Shmuel 11:2 it says that Dovid saw אִשָּׁה רֹחֶצֶת, מֵעַל הַגָּג Why was she bathing on the roof? Was that common practice? I always assumed that bathing in the ancient world (besides for ...
5
votes
2answers
125 views

Prayer in the “House of the One”

I recently read this article on the new "House of the One". The building will feature three separated spaces for prayer: a mosque, a church, and a synagogue. There will be a central courtyard, but ...
4
votes
0answers
79 views

Can one declare an area to be “not a shul” if it is in the same room as a shul?

Recently, my congregation moved into a temporary space while a new building is under construction. This space is essentially a single large room into which all the various elements of the old building ...
3
votes
2answers
247 views

Explanations from חז״ל for Noah's ark?

Today, a very learned friend of mine and I were discussing the difficulty of the literal interpretation of Noah's ark. That is, we could not fathom how multiple samples of every animal on earth could ...
4
votes
0answers
99 views

Where exactly should the amud be placed?

In some synagogues I have seen the amud (lectern) from where the chazan (prayer leader) stands to say the prayers, placed a few feet in front of the aron (cabinet) where the torah is kept or between ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Washing station where one eats

We have a small synagogue: the room where we pray gets converted into the dining area. The back wall of the room has a washing station already. There is some money to update the synagogue, and some ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Building on top of an aron kodesh

Are there any halachic parameters regarding a building which has an aron kodesh in it and what may or may not be built on top, meaning on the floors above? For example it would seem to me that it ...
16
votes
0answers
219 views

Why was the side door to the hechal unlocked so oddly?

The hechal (central room) of the bes hamikdash had its main entrance on its eastern end. To either side of that entrance were cubicles, and the main-floor cubicles on each side had a door to the east ...
2
votes
0answers
212 views

Why was the Israelite section in the Beis Hamikdash so small?

The size of the Ezras Israel (where male Israelites are allowed) is 11 Ammos (cubits) long while the Ezras Nashim is so big (135x135 cubits). Yet, it was the men who had to be Oleh Regel (when the "...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

Who needs a fence around their roof?

I recently called an exterminator to remove a hornets' nest in a tree overhanging my roof. Since my roof is slanted, with no direct access to it, and it starts at about 9 feet off the ground and peaks ...
2
votes
0answers
200 views

How is a ten tefachim wall hard to use?

The Gemara in Eiruvin 77a says that when a ten tefachim wall is between two courtyards, but is less than that to one courtyard (the floor of the courtyard is heigher), we give it to the one which is ...
2
votes
1answer
166 views

Mikvah with three additional chambers

I was looking at documentation of a mikvah being constructed, and it confused me. In addition to the immersion pool, this mikvah had three additional chambers. From what I have gathered, they appear ...
3
votes
2answers
64 views

Doors and Doorways in Parshat Vayeira

In this weeks parsha of Vayeira, I counted 6 references to the words דלת and פתח, all in the story of Lot and Sodom. I don't believe this is a coincidence, since its all about standing in the door, ...
8
votes
1answer
319 views

Filling a Mikvah from the Faucet

I read a book by Rabbi David Miller (1869 – 1939) ( he had semicha from Rabbi Isaac Elchanan of Kovno ) , The Secret of the Jew, which says you can fill an empty mikveh straight from a faucet (see ...
4
votes
0answers
71 views

Are adjoining Sukkoth ok?

Is there any reason* neighbors could not build adjoining Sukkoth? What I mean is, suppose there were four** row houses, which shared an open patio/courtyard with four** row houses behind them, and ...
7
votes
4answers
392 views

Sukkah floor ideas?

I saw this question posted to a community email group, and it was interesting enough that I thought I would (adapt and) post it here. Does anyone have any clever ideas for what to use for a Sukkah ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Tetragrammaton on Aron Kodesh

I recently began my freshman year at a major US university. While in the university's Hillel for a meeting (I.e. not for davening), I saw the Aron Kodesh had engraved on it , fully spelled out, the ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the easiest and cheapest way to build a kosher sukkah?

I'm looking to build an 8ft x 10ft x8ft(height) sukkah. How can I do that in the easiest (requiring little to no handiman skills) and cheapest way possible? I have 1 wall of my home which I can use as ...
4
votes
1answer
131 views

Taking down a Mezuzah from a door that was sealed off

If someone sealed off a door in their home when doing construction, in a way that the door can no longer be used, can the mezuzah that is there now be taken down since the down since the door is no ...
3
votes
0answers
64 views

Going through a window — causes to forget?

Someone told me today that they heard that going through a window to get from one place to another (from one room to another or from outside to inside or vice versa) is one of the things that causes a ...
7
votes
2answers
189 views

Mezuzah on a Two-Room Bathroom

This question is a bit complicated: Let's say I have a two-room bathroom. The first room is a room with sinks and mirrors and the second room has the actual toilets. The first room and second room are ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

An Arched Tzuras Hapesach

A fundamental element of an eruv is the tzuras hapesach, which is defined here as, "[a] doorway opening. The construction of two doorposts and an overhead lintel." Can one make a tzuras hapesach ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

What is a “sealed house”?

The Gemara (Bab. Shab. 146b) discusses certain rules that pertain to a house that is entirely sealed. What kind of house is entirely sealed? If it means what it seems to mean, that it has no entrance ...
9
votes
5answers
326 views

What's a floor?

There are certain laws pertaining to a floor. For example, if a Sefer Torah is dropped on the floor, one is supposed to do some sort of atonement (eg., most famously, fasting for 40 days). What is ...
9
votes
1answer
362 views

What shape were the branches on the Menorah in the Beit Hamikdash?

What shape were the branches on the Menorah in the Beit Hamikdash? I have seen the diagram by the Rambam where he depicts it with angular branches. I am looking for sources in halacha (i.e. sources ...
6
votes
2answers
309 views

Exact model of the Beis Hamikdash?

There is a "classic" model of the Beis Hamikdash (I think it's from the HolyLand model). Are there any sources for the decisions taken in the model (for example, what components were done based on ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Are you allowed to make, buy and sell trumpets?

The torah forbids creating artifacts used in the beis hamikdash (based on the verse lo taasun iti (Exodus 20:19), see Talmud Avoda Zara 43a, Rambam Beit Habechira 7:10 and Shulchan Aruch YD 141:8). ...
2
votes
0answers
120 views

Putting up scach before walls of sukkah

If one puts up the scach of the sukkah before building the walls then the sukkah is pasul (See Rama OC Siman 635 Sif 1.) If however a tefach of a wall is put up next to the scach (somach to the scach) ...
8
votes
5answers
350 views

Why build migdal bavel in a valley?

If the point of migdal bavel was to reach the heavens, why not build it on a mountain instead of a valley? וַיְהִי כָל הָאָרֶץ שָׂפָה אֶחָת וּדְבָרִים אֲחָדִים:(ב) וַיְהִי בְּנָסְעָם מִקֶּדֶם ...