Questions relating to the Diaspora, as in, outside of the land of Israel.

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What is the best way to avoid problems with buying shmittah produce outside of Israel?

Chabad.org writes: (edited for the question) Those who dwell outside the Land of Israel are impacted by the agricultural laws of Shemitah: Shemitah produce may not be exported out of ...
2
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1answer
47 views

Why are certain kosher meat / poultry parts hard to obtain in the U.S.?

Years ago, my parents could easily purchase these meat & poultry parts that I rarely see now: chicken feet cow / calf lungs goose & goose liver When I was in Israel, these animals or parts ...
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1answer
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Contact numbers for historic shuls in Upstate NY

There are several shuls in upstate NY, esp. in the Catskills region, that are on the Historical registry. When I visited some of these last summer, they were closed, and I could not locate any phone ...
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1answer
67 views

Did they daven after the destruction of the first temple?

I learned that tefilla was established in place of the korbanos after the destruction of the second temple. Did any sort of similar thing, meaning standardized prayer service, become instituted after ...
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July 4th celebrations in Halacha

Halachic issues around a secular holiday have been discussed here in relation to Thanksgiving, but what about July 4th (Independence Day in the United States)? Are there any issues with performing ...
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1answer
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Kilayim in Chutz la'eretz

What is the din with regards to kilei hayerek in chutz la'eretz? I see that many people have gardens in their backyards with vegetables right next to each other of different types.
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2answers
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Said “משיב הרוח”: continue “ומוריד הטל”?

Some, during the summer, say in the amida (sh'mone esre) ‏… מחיה מתים אתה רב להושיע מכלכל חיים בחסד…‏‎  (1) with nothing between "להושיע" and "מכלכל". ...
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63 views

Making the Brocha on the President of the United States

One of the conditions to make the brocha on kings is that they have the power to kill you (see Radvaz 1:296 as well as the Orchot Chaim Brachos 49 that say that this brocha is recited on any monarch ...
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Greek Ruins — Previous Sites for Pagan Worship

I know that Maimonides states not to enter places of idol worship. That being the case, is it permissible to visit Greek ruins that where once used for a pagan religion?
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197 views

Is there a U.S. or Canadian yeshiva that offers a Smicha program where the Rosh Kollel can accommodate the deaf?

My son is deaf. I am looking for a Smicha program for him where the Rosh Yeshiva has experience dealing with and accommodating the deaf. My son has a cochlear implant and has SOME hearing, so he does ...
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1answer
73 views

Rav Hirsch and Black Slavery

I once saw Rav Hirsch make a passing reference to black slavery in America in his Collected Writings, but no longer remember where. Does anyone know where this might be?
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Reusing the shank bone, second night

Is there any problem with reusing the shank bone that was used on first night Pesach for the seder plate on second night? Since it represents the qorban pesach, I feel like there is good reason not to ...
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3answers
209 views

Israeli making pizza on last day of Pesach in the Diaspora

A Jew who lives in the U.S. own a pizza store. He wants to be sure that he has plenty of fresh pizzas ready to sell as soon as Pesach is over. So, before Pesach, he sells his chametz to his Israeli ...
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1answer
50 views

When did daily birkas kohanim stop?

The original practice, from what I understand, was that kohanim would bless the congregation every day during the amida of shacharis (and of musaf and n'ila when they were said, and of mincha on a ...
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79 views

Why no 15-minutes-early clause in English rabbis' contracts?

Rabbi Yitzchak Reuven Rubin wrote in 2001: In fact, it wasn't long ago that every rabbi in England was required by contract to "present himself fifteen minutes before the time of Divine worship." ...
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65 views

Why don't Ramaniote Jews use the hei in names?

I am named after my grandfather and great grandfather on my mother's side, both of whom were Ramaniote. My name, therefore, is "Avram Mosh" (אברם מוש) instead of "Avraham Moshe" (אברהם משה). I've been ...
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2answers
100 views

How often does chanukah start before v'tain tal?

Outside of Israel, we start saying "v'tain tal oomatar livrachah" ("and provide dew and rain for a blessing") in the amida on the evening of December 4th or 5th (depending on the year). Chanukah ...
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1answer
98 views

Did Depression-era U.S. high-school boys attend Jewish schools?

I'm reading Chaim Potok's The Chosen and have come across (in chapter 1) the claim that, during the Great Depression, in Brooklyn, [e]very Orthodox Jew sent his male [high-school-age] children to ...
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1answer
179 views

Pronouncing the Cholam like a Tzeirei

The Litvish/Russian pronunciation of the Cholam sound is an /ay/ sound, similar (I think actually exactly the same) as a tzeirei. Are there any sources saying that it is a Halachic problem pronouncing ...
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3answers
594 views

Explaining to children why we don't celebrate Halloween

Without delving into the Pagan origins of Halloween (or even discussing it altogether - as it may not be allowed l'halocho), how would you encourage Jewish children who've celebrated Halloween in the ...
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2answers
97 views

What is the last meal during the period of sukkot, and the days following, for which sefaradim are required to sit in the sukkah?

What is the last meal during the period of sukkot, and the days following, for which sefaradim are required to sit in the sukkah? There are different minhagim with this issue. Which minhag do ...
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3answers
69 views

How can one find a Gemarah Havruta in NYC?

For someone that has some basic gemarah skills with experience in learning the gemarah together with Rashi and Tosefot, what's a good resource for finding a daily havruta to study with in Brooklyn, ...
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1answer
879 views

Does a Jewish wedding involve bridesmaids or groomsmen?

Are there such roles? If so, what purpose do they serve? If creating bridesmaids or groomsmen is a distinctly American (or Christian) cultural practice, then what are some reasons for or against ...
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1answer
72 views

Could the gathering of the Jews in Israel be metaphorical?

I have heard that a person is born every generation that has the potential to be the Mashiach, and Rambam said that the Mashiach will gather the dispersed of Israel. However, it is possible that not ...
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1answer
109 views

Niagara Falls does it require a Bracha if so which one?

Do you make a bracha when seeing Niagara falls, and, if a bracha is made, which bracha?
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169 views

Was the Reish Galuta considered the presumptive candidate for the Melech haMoshiach?

The Reish Galuta, or Exilarch, was, from the time of Zerubavel until the abolition of the office ca. 1000 C.E. (with interregna), a Jewish political leader descended from malchut beit David. In some ...
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1answer
63 views

Is West Hempstead in the Techum of Far Rockaway?

Is anyone aware what any of the poskim say regarding techum Shabbos of Far Rockaway in relation to traveling to West Hempstead?
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Can an Israeli work in public on second-day yomtov if there are non-observant Jews around?

Shulchan Aruch says an Israeli Jew who is just visiting non-Israel should not work in public on the second day of Yomtov so long as he is in "yishuv" (and commentaries explain "yishuv yisrael") -- a ...
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1answer
126 views

Preparing food for Yom Tov Sheni

Orach Chaim 503 says that one may not prepare from the first day of Yom Tov for the second day of Yom Tov. However, if one is going to eat even one piece of meat on the first day, they may fill up a ...
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3answers
142 views

Counting the omer with doubt before the fixed calendar

Currently, according to a previous question on this site, we count the omer without doubt: "Today is the Xth day of the omer" because we have a fixed calendar, and because counting with doubt is ...
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1answer
73 views

Are there any minhag and customs specific to Czech Jews and have they been documented?

I'm a baal teshuva with Czech Jewish ancestry. I have an interest in the minhag of my ancestors as well as in common cultural practices, and perhaps pass them on where I can. Have they been documented ...
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95 views

What tribe are the Bene Israel in India descended from?

What tribe(s) are the Bene Israel of India descended from?
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47 views

“Secular” studies in the Rhineland academies of the 11th-13th centuries

This is perhaps a fairly specific question, and I don't know if it belongs here or on the History stack exchange, but I would like to know more about the Rhineland academies that were headed by people ...
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1answer
97 views

Americans and Kippas [closed]

I'm from Israel, and when I just moved to the US, I went to one temple where things were different. I saw some women that wore kippot (plural kippa in Hebrew). Also, why is the kippa referred as a ...
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2answers
109 views

Why do some synagogues offer kidush and others not?

Some (orthodox) synagogues in the United States offer kidush after Shabas-morning services every week; others do not. Is this division roughly along 'type' of synagogue? For example, do most Young ...
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0answers
86 views

Selling land to Gentile to build Church

In YD Siman 151 it discusses the things that one is allowed and not allowed to sell to a gentile (for reasons that they might be used for Avodah Zara -- idol worship). I didn't see the following ...
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1answer
398 views

Did most Hasidic men wear the shtreimel and kapote in Eastern Europe?

I have heard that the shtreimel and kapote (and variations) were mostly worn only by the Rebbes, while most followers were too poor for a beaver-skin hat; most hassidim wore the ordinary clothes of ...
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0answers
105 views

Should a man remove his head covering during the national anthem?

The custom in the United States is to remove head coverings (and place them over the heart) during the recitation of the national anthem. Is there any Jewish reason for a man to, or not to, follow ...
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254 views

Is there a chief Rabbi of the United States?

Is there currently or has there ever been historically a chief Rabbi of the United States? If not, why not?
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370 views

What is the appropriate response of someone outside Israel during a war?

During a war or large scale military operation what are some of the best things for a person living in chutz l'arertz to do? Is saying tehillim and doing extra chesed enough? Should a person run to ...
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5answers
255 views

An Ashenazi kohain lives outside Israel. When it is not Yom Tov, can he bless the people in a Sefardi shul?

I am a kohain living outside Israel where the Ashenazi custom is that we only bless the people (duchan) on Yomim Tovim. Where I live, there are Sefardi shuls where the kohanim duchan on Shabbos and ...
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2answers
103 views

Chanukiyot inside or out?

Shabbat 22a says that the halacha is that we should place the chanukiyah outside, within a hand-breadth of the door, to the left. In Israel I've seen people do this, placing the chanukiyah in a glass ...
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1answer
172 views

V'Sain Tal U'Matar for someone from Eretz Yisrael in Chutz L'Aretz (and vice versa)

In Eretz Yisrael we start saying V'Sain Tal U'Matar on the 7th of Cheshvan. If someone from Eretz Yisrael will be in America on the 7th of Cheshvan and will be flying back to Eretz Yisrael a few days ...
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1answer
96 views

Does Kelayim apply to road cantaloupe/courgette?

A neighbour of mine, on the American east coast had a fire hydrant replaced in front of the house, right at the curb, and the fill used settled leaving a hole. He filled it with compost. Alas he now ...
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1answer
182 views

Historical Kippot

I want to know what kind of kippah would be worn by an "average" Jew in Manhattan in 1860. This is for an historical impression. In "real life," I am Conservative, but I know the movement did not ...
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1answer
141 views

Is the ketuba enforceable in American law?

The Ketuba is written in Aramaic, so it might not be easily understood by an English-speaking judge; however, it is still a contract. On the other hand, the ketuba is not (necessarily?) signed by ...
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2answers
300 views

Are you allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?

Is the US Pledge of Allegiance a form of oath or vow, and if so may one recite it? If one has recited it has one incurred any new halachic obligations?
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1answer
102 views

Modern Maaser and Terumah

Why is it that in modern times, we tithe maaser on non-agricultural income, but not terumah? Does it have anything to do with living outside of the Land of Israel?
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2answers
317 views

Can one join an army?

Is one allowed to join an army (let's say not the Israeli one) as doing so is putting oneself in a place of sakana? If one is not allowed to join an army in general, is one allowed to join an army ...
6
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1answer
188 views

Jewish views on patriotism/nationalism

I heard a lecture in which a rabbi espoused very negative views against nationalism in a July 4th speech. What are Jewish sources that counter his claim, that is, sources in which the Rabbis/great ...