4
votes
1answer
49 views

Is there a halacha for writing a biography of a gadol? If so, what is it?

I was thinking of writing a magazine article on a rabbi I knew well before his death some years back. I wrote to his son to see if he could help me with stories, history, photographs, etc. He ...
6
votes
3answers
147 views

Reading books about Avodah Zarah

Is it permissible to read books about Avodah Zarah? Is it permissible to read Greek mythology for informational purposes, seeing as it's not particularly tempting to anyone nowadays? Is it ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Returning a Library Book on Shabbat

When I return a book I put it in a bin, and a (non-Jewish) worker later takes it from the bin, and scans it into the computer as "returned." As such, can I return a library book on Shabbat?
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Secular sources with Torah wisdom

Some secular books have a hefty amount of wisdom that we find in our Torah sources. For example, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has a lot of almost verbatim lessons from Pirkei Avos, although ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

What is the stance on reading and writing non-Jewish literature?

So, I'm guessing that secular study books (e.g. Biology, Math, etc) are fine and I've heard that reading something like Fantasy is not. What genres of literature are allowed and not allowed to be read ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Halacha for a lending library dealing with publishers' stipulations

I operate a free book-lending library which is funded by donations of money and of books. Somebody donated some books to the library that state inside that it is not permissible for libraries to lend ...
4
votes
0answers
144 views

Would Harry Potter be killed as a sorcerer?

Before asking my question, I'd like to make it clear that this is being asked in all seriousness, and not as some form of satire or "Purim Torah". I think there is a precedent for asking halachic ...
5
votes
0answers
129 views

Is it forbidden for a Jew to read the writings of Baruch Spinoza?

The cherem against Spinoza says the following: The Lords of the ma'amad, having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Espinoza... We order that no one should communicate with him ...
6
votes
2answers
84 views

Are there any books which specifically deal with the laws of an Aguna? Preferably in English?

I know where it is written in the Torah that a man needs to write a document for his wife in order to divorce her, but I want to know if there is a thoroughly explained book written on the topic of ...
5
votes
3answers
224 views

Is one allowed to fold the corner of a book on Shabbos?

An easy way to keep a bookmark is to fold the upper-right corner of a book (aka Dog ears) Is such an action permitted on Shabbos?
8
votes
5answers
285 views

Learning History on Shabbos

Is there a Halachic problem to read and or learn the topic of History on Shabbos for enjoyment purposes? and why?
6
votes
1answer
102 views

Less disgraceful placement of a sefer kodesh?

Suppose I find myself in a public building, in need of a restroom, with a chumash in my hand that is too large to fit in a pocket. Outside the restroom, in a painted cinderblock hallway, there is no ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

Why can people write Torah sheBal Peh nowadays?

This is a follow up to: Why was Torah sheBal Peh not allowed to be Written?. The Gemara in Temurah (14b) states that one may not write Torah sheBal Peh. It then states an exception that was made so ...
4
votes
1answer
108 views

Answering others' sh'elos

Would it be surprisingly improper for the author of a legal responsum to publish his own answer to a question asked, answered, and published by another such author because he believed he had a better ...
2
votes
5answers
265 views

Untrustworthy sifrei halacha?

I have noticed that there are a few popular printings of the Mishna B'rura that come with footnote references to the Chazon Ish on each halacha where the two disagree (example). I have also noticed a ...
3
votes
2answers
126 views

sitting on a table with sifrei kodesh on it

Is there a halachik problem with sitting on a table or surface that has siddurim/chumashim on it? What about other sefarim? What about putting one's feet on a table that has such books on it?