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3
votes
1answer
87 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
34 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
40 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
485 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
274 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
105 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
97 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
57 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
205 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
43 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
41 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
40 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

House of David and Cedar Trees

2 Samuel 5:11 JPS And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar-trees, and carpenters, and masons; and they built David a house. Does the Bible tell us how Hiram of Tyre brought ...
4
votes
0answers
49 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
95 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
118 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
51 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
114 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
57 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
187 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
70 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
187 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
100 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
619 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
94 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
55 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
144 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
107 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
59 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
274 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
244 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
235 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
122 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). ...
1
vote
0answers
103 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
299 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
177 views

Is there a way to expand a canvas Sukkah?

After playing around with ideas for seating in my Sukkah, I began to wonder, what if I just expanded it? The problem is that it's made of canvas, which is wrapped around a metal frame. This does not ...
2
votes
1answer
413 views

Large gap in Sukkah wall(s)

I happened to see this design (or see below) for a pergola, and I thought, "What an easy way to have a Sukkah frame up all year round!" But then, when I noticed that it only has a depth of four ...
-2
votes
2answers
113 views

Why does Yona build a non-kosher succah?

In Yona 4:8 why does Yona build a succa that allows more sun than shade?
5
votes
1answer
210 views

Did Noah's ark have a deck?

Noach's boat is called a teva, which as far as I know means "box". (The same word is used in later Hebrew for coffins and closets (as in "hayored lifne hateva").) It's described, at least according ...
9
votes
1answer
259 views

Temple mount: wall around court of the gentiles?

In looking of these two models of the temple mount, Alec Garrad model and Israel Museum model, they differ on one major point. In the Garrad model there is another wall on the temple mount that I ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Why do we have a Ner Tomid in Shul and on what are modern designs based?

It is customary for synagogues to have a Ner Tomid, a light burning always near the front of the synagogue. 1) Why do we have a Ner Tomid? 2) If it is a reminder of the “ner maarovi” which was one ...
3
votes
1answer
234 views

What kind of Mechitza is required when the women daven on the second floor?

Many times I have seen Shuls where women pray on a balcony on the second floor. What kind of Mechitza do they need? Is it enough if one can't see them (for example, if the angle is such that they ...
8
votes
1answer
141 views

How does a door hit against a lintel (משקוף)?

Rashi in several places (Gen. 41:6; Ex. 12:7, 21:25; Lev. 26:36) writes that משקוף ("lintel") is related to the Aramaic root שקף ("beat"), "because the door beats against it." How so? Doesn't the ...
4
votes
0answers
103 views

Prayer in a chapel (bes midrash room) vs. in the main synagogue

Some synagogues have a room for prayers that's used on a regular basis: weekdays, Shabasos, holidays. If there are two simultaneous minyanim, then one will be elsewhere, of course, but otherwise the ...
8
votes
3answers
129 views

Why are Mikvas built low to the ground?

I have noticed that almost all Mikvas are built into the ground (either as a basement or on the first floor). Why is that? I have heard that it could be an ease-of-use issue (one doesn't have to climb ...
6
votes
2answers
253 views

Keilim Mikva design

I live in a neighborhood where it is difficult to find a Keilim mikva. Are there any designs available for how to build one? Is it as hard to build as a human mikva?
7
votes
1answer
250 views

What are the standards for bathroom design?

Starting from scratch in building a multiple occupancy bathroom, what standards should be maintained in its design and construction? There are plenty of relevant halachos regarding modesty and proper ...
8
votes
3answers
159 views

Mezuza on an elevator?

Today I walked into a building and discovered that someone had taped a mezuza onto the "doorpost" of the elevator. The elevator is about 1m x 1m square - way too small for a room to justify having a ...
7
votes
3answers
292 views

How is an eruv string usually attached to a lechi (pole/upright)?

I know that when building an eruv, the string has to go over the top of the lechi (pole/upright). This document had some great illustrations. I'm just curious, which method is most durable? Which ...
2
votes
2answers
211 views

Milchig / Fleishig Arrangement

When designating which sink in a kitchen is Milchig and which is Fleishig, is there any preferred method for which should side should be which. (Eg left meat and right milk, or vice versa)? What about ...