Questions connected to laws that were instituted by the Rabbis (not Biblical).

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17
votes
5answers
783 views

Halachic Restrictions not in the Torah, and “shall not add”

How can halachic restrictions that are not in the Torah be reconciled with the Deuteronomy 4:2 passage, which says, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from ...
3
votes
2answers
134 views

Who Commanded Us, and For What?

Whenever a Jew performs an activity that is mandated by the Torah, s/he recites the blessing that acknowledges God, "אשר קדשנו במצוותיו" (who sanctified us with his commandments), and who commanded us ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is Maris Ayin?

What is the precise definition of Maris Ayin, and to what cases does it apply? (i.e. what are the parameters for applying it)
24
votes
2answers
538 views

Can a gentile break shabbos only on a Rabbinic level?

A non-Jew is forbidden from observing Shabbos. When someone is in the process of converting, we advise them to keep the entire Shabbos besides for doing one forbidden activity. A common practice is to ...
11
votes
5answers
350 views

The authenticity of rabbinic literature

I am studying the history of various branches of Judaism. I understand the position of rabbinic Judaism that parts of the laws were oral and not written. But this alone would not justify the ...
9
votes
3answers
409 views

why do we say Pesach seder brachot both nights?

During the Pesach seder, but not during the rest of Pesach, we say b'rachot for the mitzvot of matzah and maror. (I mean the "asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav" b'rachot.) So it seems that we are only ...
8
votes
2answers
191 views

Why did God give the Rabbis so much power?

The Torah demands that we adhere to the laws implemented by the Rabbis (I think the source is "don't veer from what they tell you to the right or to the left"). This has given the Rabbis far-reaching ...
11
votes
3answers
380 views

When do rabbinic enactments apply if the given reason no longer does?

Often we find gezeiros d'rabbanan designed as preventative measures against more serious transgressions. However, if nowadays the reasoning behind the gezeira does not apply, it seems that sometimes ...
5
votes
3answers
149 views

Rabbinic prohibitions among Noachide laws

Are there Rabbinic prohibitions on non-Jews in the context of the 7 Noachide laws? e.g., would they have gezeirot like yichud or negia in order to prevent ariyot?
8
votes
1answer
123 views

Has anyone declared a time of oppression regarding the four Temple fasts?

The Sha'ar haTziyun (OC 550 sk 9) speculates if in his day (~1900 CE) there was enough oppression of the Jews to warrant declaring the fasts of 10 Tevet, 17 Tammuz and 3 Tishrei into full fledged ...
3
votes
0answers
173 views

To what extent is homosexuality forbidden among non-Jews?

All homosexual behavior is forbidden among Jews, but some actions are clearly Torah prohibitions (e.g. mishkav zachar), while some might be Rabbinic in nature (e.g. lesbian relations). Are all of ...
12
votes
1answer
247 views

Why don't Rabbinic fasts end by Ben Hashmashot?

There's a doubt in the Gemara when the new day starts, at sunset or at three stars (Ok, and there's Rabbi Yossi's opinion). When it comes to Shabbos (or any other biblical time), we have to be strict ...
12
votes
4answers
386 views

Milk After Fowl

If eating milk and chicken is only a rabbinical prohibition, why don't we find that we are more lenient with regards to it. For example, why don't we wait less time between eating chicken and milk? ...
4
votes
3answers
239 views

Is it allowed to prepare for maariv after Shabbos during the rabbinic tosefes Shabbos?

The time to daven maariv on Motzoei Shabbos is some period (where I am it’s around 15 minutes) after the stars come out. This period is called tosefes Shabbos. In many shuls, the shaliach tzibbur ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Making a Berachah on rabbinically prohibited foods

Should one refrain from making a Berachah on rabbinically prohibited foods, or does that rule only apply to biblically prohibited foods?
1
vote
1answer
90 views

What is Ezra's Immersion / טבילת עזרא

What is Ezra's Immersion / טבילת עזרא and: Why was it canceled? How was it canceled?
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Why do we make blessings on mitzvot d'rabbanan at the second seder?

As far as I know mitzvot such as eating marror or saying hallel at the Pesach seder are only rabbinic (the marror was biblical previously but I am told that is no longer so). If this is the case and ...
1
vote
2answers
261 views

How was Tevilas Ezra effective in limiting conjugal relations?

Many go to mikve (perform ritual immersion) every morning. One reason for this is voluntary continuation of a cancelled decree, Tevilas Ezra, meant to limit conjugal relations by requiring immersion ...