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25
votes
4answers
6k views

Are children adopted by Jews Jewish?

I was adopted around the time I was three months old by my parents who are both Jewish. I do not know what religion my biological mother was, in fact I have very little detail about her at all. I was ...
23
votes
4answers
612 views

Maintaining Tzniut in Uncomfortable Social Situations

How can a teenage girl, who recently started practicing the laws of tzniut as well as feasible, balance those laws with the prohibition against embarrassing her family members, who are embarrassed to ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew once born?
19
votes
2answers
380 views

Naming after the living. Why is it considered bad?

This is a fairly straight forward question. I am under the impression that this is bad. This is why you don't see many Moishe Abromowitz, III. Why is this bad, and why isn't that practice carried ...
18
votes
1answer
440 views

Is a convert obliged to honor his parents?

Is a convert obliged to honor his parents? I understand that a convert loses all halakhic relationship to his parents upon being "reborn." Therefore, does the mitzvah of kibud av va'eim still apply?
18
votes
2answers
686 views

When (if ever) are converts still related to their relatives?

It is my understanding that when a person converts to Judaism, certain halachic relationships are severed. So I have a couple questions about this. Which relationships are severed? Is a convert ...
17
votes
3answers
380 views

Adoptee a Cohen or Levi?

If a Cohen or Levi adopts a non-Jew, upon their conversion are they a Cohen or Levi as well or are they a Yisroel?
15
votes
5answers
780 views

Prayer for Illness - Why use the mothers name?

Why when someone is sick do we say his mothers name not his father's?
15
votes
1answer
421 views

Is it ok for spouses to touch in public?

Are spouses allowed to touch one another in public (when the wife is not a niddah) or is this a violation of tzniut? I am asking specifically regarding touch that is not in any way sexual or even ...
14
votes
2answers
6k views

All people in world are Jews?

According to the Book of Genesis, Noah saved his family and representatives of every animal from a flood by constructing a boat. So since all of humanity should be descended from Noah, does that mean ...
14
votes
10answers
513 views

Yaakov Marrying Two Sisters

According to those that say the Avos kept the Torah beforehand (here), how was Yaakov allowed to marry two sisters? (Yes, I'm aware that there are many answers)
14
votes
5answers
330 views

Rabba bar bar Chana

There is a rabbi in the Talmud referred to as רבה בר בר חנה. Why is he called that way? It says that Rabba was the grandson of Chana. Who was Chana? Was it(?) a woman? Why wasn't he called after his ...
14
votes
2answers
268 views

Halacha of Yichud with half sibling

May siblings of the opposite sex that share only one parent be secluded (yichud) with one another? Does it matter which parent they share?
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Does a Jewish grandmother (mother's side) really get one accepted as a Jew?

My grandmother (mother's side) is 100% Jewish and even living in Israel. As far as I know, that makes, me a Jew, too. But it feels a little bit strange to say that I am Jewish just because my ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the halachic boundaries between a brother and sister?

Can they touch each other? Hug? Are they allowed to expose their legs, arms, etc., in front of each other? Can they swim together? Dance together?
12
votes
3answers
3k views

How to explain to friends/family that one will not attend an intermarriage

Suppose a friend or family member becomes engaged to a non-Jew. For the sake of this question, also assume that a trusted rabbi has been consulted and he has ruled (after considering any relevant ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Leniencies for someone keeping Kosher in a non-Kosher home

My family is not frum, but they do not eat non-kosher meat at home, although they do eat other not-certified-kosher products, including cheese. They don't mix meat and milk, but they do wash meat and ...
12
votes
1answer
214 views

Kibud Av v'Ach?

As I understand it there is an obligation (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 240:22) to honor an older brother similar to that of honoring one's father. Since the obligation to honor one's father can have ...
12
votes
1answer
368 views

if a convert later finds out she was Jewish anyway through her mother's mother, does she need a new ketubah?

If a convert (orthodox) later finds out she was Jewish anyway through her mother, does she need a new ketubah since the one she has says bas Avraham and giyorta? Would the answer be different if the ...
11
votes
1answer
962 views

Drinking cold kosher beverages in a non-Jewish relative's house

Let's say you're staying at a non-Jewish relative's house. He bought you kosher food because he knows you keep kosher. He buys you a drink such as milk. You see him pour the drink for himself into his ...
11
votes
1answer
229 views

Does a child own what he's implicitly given by his parents?

I assume that when a parent owns an object and a child uses it, it remains the property of the parent's absent any intent/declaration on the parent's part to grant it to the child (and absent an act ...
10
votes
1answer
231 views

How to call up a ger who converted with his father?

In general a Ger is called up as [name] Ben Avraham. However, what if the Ger converted as a child together with his parents? I would think it is the same but I recently saw someone who is in that ...
10
votes
3answers
213 views

Accepting parents' minhagim

Since the Conservative movement tends to take most of its minhagim from the German tradition due to its German roots, most Conservative Jews in America tend to practice the German customs (such as ...
10
votes
1answer
282 views

BT emailing non-observant family on Friday afternoon

A given person is Shabbat-observant; his/her immediate and extended family is not. May this individual write an email to his/her family (who live in Israel) when it is before Shabbat (where s/he ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How to keep kosher in a non-observant household

Many Baalei Teshuvah (returnees to Judaism) confront various conflicts regarding their interactions with non-observant family and friends. A big one, which has not been discussed here (AFAIK), is ...
9
votes
1answer
24k views

How many children did King Solomon have?

King Solomon [1 Kings 11 (4)] “had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines;” How many children did he have? Three. The question is referred to at ...
9
votes
1answer
854 views

Can a mother undress in front of her daughter?

Can a married woman with children undress in front of her daughter to try on clothes assuming she would be in undergarments?
9
votes
2answers
522 views

Mordecai: Esther's uncle?

The m'gila says clearly that Ester was "bas dodo", which seems to mean she was the daughter of Mord'chay's uncle, i.e., his first cousin. The targum renders this as "b'ras achvoy". Does that mean "his ...
9
votes
1answer
167 views

Didn’t the Ishmaelites know they were buying their second cousin?

In studying bereishis I have come up with questions about Joseph and his brothers that have long bothered me. One question is in parsha vayeshev, where we read how Joseph was sold by his brothers to ...
9
votes
2answers
171 views

Do the parents of a convert merit in the afterlife for their child's decision?

When my child was little, she wanted to know whether my parents, who are not Jewish, would go to Heaven. I explained to her that the righteous of all nations have a place in the world to come. But ...
9
votes
1answer
230 views

Yichud at night, if both of the woman's parents are home

Is it permissible for a man to be at a woman's home at night if both of her parents are at home, but sleeping? What if they are awake?
8
votes
1answer
82 views

What is the genealogy of Judah ben Bava?

Is Judah ben Bava, noted for continuing the tradition of ordination, the son of Bava ben Buta, the Rabbi who was spared by Herod?
8
votes
2answers
165 views

Respect: Parents and parents-in-law

Does the Respect required by the children for their parents is equally true for the parents-in-law ? I'm sure a son has to obey his father above his father-in-law if there is any disagreement between ...
8
votes
2answers
825 views

Naming your child using a dead relative's initial

Is there a Jewish tradition of naming your child using the first letter of the name of a recently deceased relative?
8
votes
1answer
284 views

Who should walk the Chosson and Kallah to the Chupa?

At the Chuppah in some weddings I've been to, the father and father-in-law escort the Chosson and the mother and mother-in-law escort the Kallah. In others, the mother and fathers each escort their ...
8
votes
1answer
92 views

Is there Kibbud to grandparents after the parent is niftar?

Is there an obligation to give respect (in the form of physical provision) to a grandparent whose child, your parent, died? For example, if Ruvein has Shimon and Shimon has Levi, and Shimon dies, is ...
8
votes
1answer
372 views

Can a convert mourn for their Jewish parents?

Consider someone who was born to a Jewish father and non-Jewish mother who then converted to Judaism with his mother. It seems pashut from the Shulchan Aruch that one who converts is considered a ...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

Why is Haman called an Agagite and not an Amalekite?

In Megillas Esther 3:1 Haman is called the Agagite which I always assumed meant he was a descendant of Agag the king of the Amalekite in 1 Shmuel 15:8. His lineage is confirmed in Megillah 13a as ...
7
votes
1answer
92 views

Saying loshon hara to a spouse or close relative

Are there any relationships within which loshon hara is permitted? I guess I mean loshon hara that is said for a purpose--but perhaps not purposes which would meet the strict halachic criteria for ...
7
votes
1answer
137 views

How much contact did Avraham and Yitzchak have after the akeidah?

The akeidah was a traumatic event for both Avraham and Yitzchak. Immediately after they appear to go their separate ways. After Sarah's death Avraham arranges a marriage for his son, which could ...
7
votes
1answer
172 views

Halakhic problem with indirectly effecting posthumous Mormon baptism?

Would there be any halakhic problem with using LDS resources to do family history research, if you knew it would result in deceased Jews being named in posthumous baptism rituals? Or is this ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Nudity at home?

I have read that Hashem hates public nudity, but what is the Jewish position on nudity at home in front of other family members? Obviously, the short answer is bad, don't do it. Modesty is a ...
6
votes
2answers
224 views

riddle about who 2 people in the torah are [closed]

Name 2 figures in the Torah that their mother is their sister, their aunts and uncles are dead, and their father is their grandfather.
6
votes
1answer
254 views

Who was the mother of Avraham's daughter?

According to one opinion in the Gemarah (Bava Basra 16b, also 141a), when it says Avraham was blessed with everything (Bereishit 24:1) it means that he had a daughter. Who was her mother?
6
votes
1answer
165 views

Why did Samson's parents not see the incident with the lion?

It says in sefer Shoftim (14,5-6) "And Shimshon and his father and mother went down to Timnas, and they came until the vineyards of Timnas, and behold, a young lion roared towards him. And there ...
6
votes
1answer
182 views

Was the Tzemach Tzedek related to the Metzudos Tziyon/Dovid? [closed]

The Tzemach Tzedek (of Lubavitch)'s father's name was Shalom Shachna Altshuler. Is he related to the Metzodos Tziyon?
6
votes
0answers
65 views

Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen to remove Nadav and Avihu?

There were many other people who could have been chosen to remove the dead bodies of Nadav and Avihu from the Mishkan (Vayikra 10:4). Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen for this task as opposed ...
6
votes
0answers
108 views

Naming after someone with added names

If someone R'L is sick at some point in their life and a name such as Refael is added should that name be included as well if one is naming their child after that person? Additional Question: ...
6
votes
0answers
134 views

Father being Matir Neder for himself: does it affect the family?

If a father is Matir Neder on a minhag (gebroktz, let's say) for himself for a valid reason, does that include his whole family? Are they now also permitted to eat gebroktz because that is now the ...
5
votes
2answers
363 views

Children attending a parent's wedding

Recently a relative of mine who is a widow got engaged. The children were told that the Minhag is that children do not attend a wedding of their parents. What is the source of this Minhag? What is the ...