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

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22
votes
2answers
481 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
698 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
376 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? ...
11
votes
5answers
337 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
390 views

Clapping on Shabbos

Is one allowed to clap one's hands on Shabbos? Does it matter whether one is clapping to a beat or trying to get someone's attention?
11
votes
3answers
351 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
400 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
323 views

Amira Lakum: say you can't say?

One is not allowed to tell a non-Jew to do a melacha on shabbas, but one can hint and say "it is cold in here", hoping he will realize and shut the air conditioner. Is one allowed to explain to the ...
8
votes
2answers
183 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 ...
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)
7
votes
0answers
63 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
62 views

Does a fan or light on Shabbos need a Blech?

Obviously they wouldn't need a "blech" like we think of one, but would they need some sort of physical alteration to remind one not to adjust the knobs/switches on Shabbos? More specifically, to ...
6
votes
1answer
78 views

Why is there no decree against bathing in Chamei Teverya?

Gemara Shabbos says that originally one was allowed to bathe on Shabbos in pre-heated bath-houses. However, (in short) due to the fact that the bath-house directors would violate Shabbos (by heating ...
5
votes
3answers
144 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?
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Two types of preventative enactment?

I believe this is a strictly academic question. Correct me if I'm wrong. Many of the restrictions enacted by the Rabbis (as opposed to those extrapolated from the Torah) were done so in order to ...
4
votes
3answers
216 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
43 views

The Abolition of Vidui Ma'aser

Deuteronomy 26:12-15 details a confession that must be recited on the final yontef of Pesach, both on the fourth and on the seventh years of the agricultural cycle, at such a time as there is a temple ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

A fence within a fence

There is a well known dictum that a lot of rabbinic enactments were created to 'create a fence' around the major sin; the idea being that if someone does something that would be Biblically permitted ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Who established the Shema?

The Gemara in Berachos 12b says "They sought to establish [various passages] in the Shema" and "they establish[ed] the passage of tzitzis in the Shema" (Artscroll trans.) I had thought that the ...
4
votes
0answers
39 views

Proof from Mishneh that Hilchos Chol HaMoed is M'd'rabbanan

If one looks into the Tur and Beis Yosef at the beginning of Hilchos Chol HaMoed in Simana 630 you will find a big maklokes rishonim if malacha on Chol HaMoed is an issur d'oraisa, d'rabbanan, or ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

What is the punishment for Patur Aval Issur?

If one does something on Shabbos, say, that is patur aval issur (like an act of destruction) what is the punishment? I know that Beis Din (court) does nothing, but are there any sources for what the ...
3
votes
3answers
229 views

Arguments for Rabbinical Law

My friend does not practice Rabbinical Laws unless he fully agrees with the reasoning. He's totally fine with direct Torah Laws however. I'm running out of arguments to convince him. Any ideas?
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Was chicken originally considered pareve? If so, when and why was this changed?

I heard that chicken was originally considered pareve in the Bible, because it is a type of fowl (i.e. like fish it is pareve, as it is not 'meat'), and that only later was it changed to be meat ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

decree of two days of Yom Tov

The decree of keeping two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel is because Rosh Chodesh used to be determined by Beis Din and its messengers couldn't reach all of exiles in time, thereby requiring people ...
3
votes
2answers
39 views

Biblical versus rabbinic transgressions

Does the distinction between biblical versus rabbinic transgressions have implications or consequences today? In the past, the punishment for them was different I believe.
3
votes
0answers
142 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Can “Three D'Rabbanans be 'motzei' ”Two D'Rabbanans"

We know that when there is a case of someone that is obligated to perform a mitzvah m'drabbanan (and in fact there are 2 d'rabbanans together) they can't be "motzei" someone in the mitzvah who only ...
2
votes
2answers
141 views

How did Chazal know they were right about “who is a Jew”?

My question is predicated on the assumption that Jews were created by God as fundamentally different from non-Jews. (I am referring, for example, to the idea that Jews have a special type of soul. And ...
2
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
236 views

Why does the “Dorff teshuva” of the Conservative movement say that homosexual relations are a *rabbinic* prohibition?

In a teshuva issued by the Conservative Movement entitled Rituals and Documents of Marriage and Divorce for Same-Sex Couples by Rabbis Elliot Dorff, Daniel Nevins and Avram Reisner, it is claimed in a ...
2
votes
1answer
61 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?
2
votes
1answer
47 views

May one violate a derabonon to preform a Bris

May one violate a rabbinic prohibition (such as carrying a knife in a Karmilis on Shabbos) in order to perform a Bris Milah? (A Karmilis is a domain which a person can't carry stuff into or from a ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Sofek d'rabbanan by tevillah of an isha

Normally we say "sofek d'rabbanan l'kulo" and will be lenient in a case of a doubt that is only an issur d'rabbanan. I have heard that there are poskim who say this doesn't apply in the case when ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

Anti-libertarian-ism in Chazal

Most of the halachos of Choshen Mishpat have to do with one person's responsibilities viz-a-viz another person's rights. However, there is at least one halacha of which I am aware where Chazal told ...
2
votes
0answers
82 views

Who should observe Isru Chag?

I have been trying to understand Isru Chag. While there is a source in tehillim for the words and the gemara derives a notion of extra celebration, there seems to be little about the scope of the day. ...
1
vote
2answers
70 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
66 views

“Lo Plog” in Shas

In a case of a gezera or any other issur that might not apply to a particular person (for whatever reason) we often still say it does because of a "lo plog". In order that we shouldn't make ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Nazir: shaving on the start of the vow

I read that a nazir would shave his hair just prior to taking the vow because of a decree of the sages. Is it true? What is the source for this information?
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Halachic categorization of safek dioraisa…

Is the dictum of safek dioraisa l'chumrah (and its inverse safek d'rabanan l'kulah) a principle from the Torah, or a din d'rabanan? How does this change how we react in these sefeikah situations?
1
vote
1answer
166 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Why make the Kohen burning the Para Aduma rabbinically impure?

The Gemara says that we make the Kohen burning the Para Aduma (the red heifer) impure and then dip him in the Mikva. The reason given is that there is an argument between the Rabbis and the Sadducees ...
1
vote
0answers
68 views

Are Kol Ishah and seeing a woman's exposed hair rabbinic prohibitions according to the Shulhan 'Aruch?

According to the Shulhan 'Aruch (Even Ha'Ezer 21:1), it is: ואסור לשמוע קול ערוה או לראות שערה. והמתכוין לאחד מאלו הדברים, מכין אותו מכת מרדות. ואלו הדברים אסורים גם בחייבי לאוין.‏ Forbidden ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

Davar charif cut with meat knife — why not ossur?

The SA in YD Siman 97 Sif 1 (the makor is a braisa in Pesachim Daf 30) says that one should not knead together a dough with milk, lest someone come to eat it together with meat. If one did knead them ...
0
votes
2answers
106 views

Skin of chicken like chicken meat itself?

In terms of dinei baser b'chalav and other nafka minas for if something is considered baser or not what does the status of the skin on top of chicken have (the skin that is cooked together and often ...