NOTE: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends. // Jewish law. Specifically, the legal process beginning with the written Torah and continuing ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

0
votes
0answers
1 views

Lighting the Chanuka menorah in my moving trailer

If I live in a trailer, can I light the menorah by the window of the trailor while it's moving (driving down the highway, lets say) and be yotzei the mitzvah of lighting the Chanuka ner?
3
votes
0answers
17 views

Are you allowed to take pills with gelatin [duplicate]

According to Halacha, are you allowed to take pills that are covered with gelatin? It's an antibiotic for acne.
4
votes
0answers
17 views

Can one light a Chanuka Menora using fiberglass wicks

A friend of mine posted this picture of her Dad's Chanuka Menora. Obviously it's not using olive oil, but that's no worse than using candles. In these lamps the wicks are simply fiberglass pipes ...
6
votes
2answers
39 views

Cannibalism, Jew or Gentile?

Suppose one is stuck on a deserted island with two people, one Jewish, and the other a gentile. If, G-d forbid, both of them died and one were forced to become a cannibal to survive, which person is ...
-1
votes
1answer
29 views

Passing gas while listening to a Jewish song on my MP3 player

In Hilchot Kri'at Shema 3:14, Maimonides wrote: If one is reciting [the Shema] and passes gas, he should stop until the odor subsides and resume his recitation afterwards. The same applies to one ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Chanukah Bushes?

Every year, I hear people (typically heterodox or jokers) talking about "Chanukah bushes" (likely a parallel to Christmas trees). Now, beyond the obvious of this not being a traditional practice, ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Does anyone hold that you could be “masneh al mah shekasuv baTorah” in all cases?

The gemara on Bava Metzia 94a brings a discussion about "מתנה על מה שכתוב בתורה," about someone who makes a condition that is contrary to something that is written in the Torah. דתניא האומר לאשה ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Can a person (or cat) be both alive and dead at the same time? (Schrödinger's paradox)

Related: Schrödinger's cat and yibbum That question assumes that Schrödinger's paradox is possible, and that someone can be both dead and alive at the same time. So, is that actually true ...
7
votes
1answer
26 views

What primacy to give to learning halacha?

Consider a person who follows all of the halachos (he is aware of) that are involved in daily living. Any free time that he has is devoted to learning Torah. This person, however, is not proficient at ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Taking off a hat cover before praying

It is clear that one should remove his coat before praying, as one should not rush straight in from the outside to pray. (Insert source here!) Hats are often sensitive to rain, and special hat-shaped ...
2
votes
0answers
13 views

Sigd prostration

Would prostration pose a halachic problem for a non-Ethiopian Jew who decides to participate in Sigd? Clearly the worshipers are prostrating themselves to none other than the One Jewish God. Is the ...
6
votes
1answer
35 views

Menorah 20 Amos above ground level

One does not fulfill his or her obligation of lighting the menorah if it is 20 Amos above since it is not easily seen. The Rambam in Hilchos Shabbas 17:15 writes that a beam over a mavoi with ...
3
votes
1answer
78 views

Learning Torah on Christmas

Can one learn Torah on Christmas day? I've heard there are a number of opinions on this: what are their sources? I've heard that Chasidim don't study anything Xmas night as well as the 6th of ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Difference between books called “Shulchan Aruch”

Can someone explain the difference between these four books called "Shulchan Aruch"? The Shulchan Aruch stam Shulchan Aruch Habahir Aruch haShulchan The Tur Shulchan Aruch
5
votes
1answer
41 views

Is human placenta kosher?

There is, apparently, something called placenta encapsulation which means making pills out of a placenta postpartum for the purpose of digesting placenta. People claim that these pills offer unique ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Does a meis mitzvah acquire the land he's on even in the Temple?

I'd like to understand the concept of meis mitzvah a bit better. Specifically: there is a decree that a meis mitzvah acquires the place he or she is on to be buried there, even if it is private ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Do brachos on seeing have to be made within four amos?

Is there any source that says that in order to make a bracha for seeing e.g., a sage of Israel, a sage of the nations, or an unusual animal, one must be within four amos of the person/thing? I found ...
5
votes
0answers
25 views

Containers and wine

Is there any outer container (a frame or box, perhaps) into which an open bottle of non-mevushal wine can be placed that will shield the bottle in such a way that, if a non-Jew (or heretic) casually ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Berur halachah - what is this called in English?

I'm translating an article concerning the need for a "berur halachah" in order to determine the legal status of individuals with mental retardation. How would say "berur halachah" in English? ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

May Kohanim visit Hayden Planetarium in NYC?

May Kohanim visit Hayden Planetarium in New York City? The planetarium in question is adjacent to the Natural History Museum. Issues in question are presumably sof tumah latzeit (the idea that the ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

May my wife wear my jacket to keep warm?

The Sefer HaChinuch #564 writes that it’s forbidden for a woman to wear men’s clothing. If it’s cold outside, is a woman allowed to wear a man’s coat to keep warm? If #1 is a problem, are any ...
5
votes
2answers
79 views

What to do in a case of no siddur available and additions to the Shemoneh Esrei?

(Feel free to write a better title.) Today i ended up getting to shul too late for mincha, and having to daven outside (still within the proper time). Now, i know shemoneh esrei by heart, and even ...
2
votes
2answers
184 views

Can one use Chanukkah lights/candles for a mitzvah?

One is generally not allowed to benefit from the light of the Channukah candles (see discussion here) but does that include using the light to perform a mitzvah? Note: I'm pretty sure that this is ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Assuming Christianity is Avodah Zarah (RamBam), can I get my car fixed by a gentile right before/during Nittle Nacht?

Assuming Christianity is Avodah Zarah (RamBam), can one get his car fixed by a gentile, with a new part, put in, over Christmas? Obviously, there's no way to know whether the mechanic will work on the ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Why Does the Rambam Assert That It Took Eight Days To Obtain Pure Oil? [duplicate]

Background In a previous post regarding the quantity of oil sufficient for one day’s lighting of the Menorah the answer given was the quantity of oil is more than one liter, but not more than two ...
5
votes
1answer
421 views

May Jews sell wine to Christians for them to use in their religious ceremonies?

(This question is based on an older one which Rabbi Levi Cash posted a few years ago.) Under Charlemagne in the 8th century and the Carolingian emperors, Jews provided wine for Christian mass. But I ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Is modern-day Lebanon considered part of Eretz Yisrael? [duplicate]

Related to What are the Halachic boundaries of Eretz Yisroel? but that doesn't address my specific concern. Is modern-day Lebanon considered part of halachic Eretz Yisrael? Believe it or not, there ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

How long do you really need to keep your sideburns?

I've seen multiple sources that seem to indicate that one MUST keep his sideburns to either The bottom of the ear The bottom of the ear cartilage To the jaw bone, around the middle of the ear. ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

Bentching in a different place than where you started eating

If you ate a meal by the table and finished it on the couch (in the same living room), can you bentch by the couch or must you go back to the table to bentch?
6
votes
3answers
164 views

Siding with your father in an argument between parents

According to the laws of respecting your parents, a child may not tell his parent that he/she is wrong. (Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 240:2) Now, if both father and mother are arguing about something ...
2
votes
2answers
33 views

If צאת is late, then פלג is late. When does one light the מנורה on Friday?

One cannot light the Chanuka lights before p'lag hamincha (Shulchan Aruch 672:1), not even on Friday evening (Mishna B'rura 679:2). If he did so, his lighting is invalid (Shaar Hatziyun 672:4). P'lag ...
6
votes
1answer
65 views

How is the sex of a baby born with unclear genitalia determined?

A baby may be born with a penis but no testicle. The hospital would do genetic tests to determine whether the baby was genetically female or male. In the case of a genetic female born with a penis the ...
4
votes
2answers
196 views

Do I need a menorah?

It's been common practice for a very long time (perhaps as early as 60 years after the Chanukah miracle) to use a menorah (aka "chanukiyah") to light the Chanukah candles with. Do I need a menorah to ...
7
votes
1answer
61 views

closing car doors on shabbos

Is there any problem involved in opening or closing a door of a parked car (without a battery) on Shabbos? Is a car muktzeh? Let's assume no keys are involved to avoid the problem of carrying. To ...
5
votes
1answer
171 views

Yichud in a car?

The sages prohibited a man to be secluded with a woman alone inside a room with a locked door. Does the prohibition of yichud apply in a car that is locked?
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Is there a problem with two people lighting a double chanukiah?

Is there a problem with two people lighting from a chanukiah that has two Shamashes and 16 candles? Say, Shamash, 8 candles, Shamash, 8 candles, all on one structure?
2
votes
0answers
26 views

May Jews create sculpture, and under what restrictions?

I do not know if a realistic or abstract freestanding or hanging sculpture of any creature as art (for a museum or store) is permitted me to create or for Jews to view, or whether it would be ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

Is glazed porcelain considered earthenware or glass for building menorahs?

This is a more specific question related to the one of "what can a menorah be made of?" Glazed porcelain has a layer of essentially what becomes glass after the glaze is fired. Bare porcelain would ...
3
votes
1answer
34 views

May a chanuka menorah be any shape? [duplicate]

This is a more specific asking of "what may a menorah look like", whose answer only regulated candle height. So long as the artist is mindful regarding the prohibition against idols, may a menorah ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

What may a menorah look like?

I'm designing a menorah to build for next Channukah. Are there anything about the Law on how a menorah should look, other than that it holds 9 candles? Must it exactly resemble the traditional ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Is there a halachic problem with saying “Christ” as a name?

Since (according to the Gra (YD 157:3), cited in this answer), there is no issue in saying the name "Jesus," would there be an issue in saying the name "Christ"? This name might be more problematic ...
5
votes
1answer
59 views

Homebrewer then converts; are there leniencies that allow him to drink the beer he made?

Suppose a gentile is a homebrewer who later converts to Judaism. Fermentation and aging can be long-running processes, so even if he knew to anticipate the problem and ceased homebrewing activities ...
3
votes
2answers
393 views

On Shabbat, if one can't sleep, may one consume valerian tea? Valerian root powder? Other non-prescription remedies?

Occasionally, on Shabbat, I've had trouble sleeping. The Doctors Book of Home Remedies (Rodale Inc., 2010) includes a section about insomnia, which includes a long list of home remedies. Please note ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

Cooking nat-bar-nat food in an opposite-type pot

The Star-K writes: If one ate pareve food that was cooked in a fleishig [=meat] pot, one is not required to wait six hours before eating dairy. However, one may not eat this food together with ...
-1
votes
1answer
38 views

Tefillin right before sunset [closed]

If one misses laying tefillin during shakrit, and realizes 5 minutes before sunset that he needs to lay them (particularly for two sets) then he lays Rashi before sunset. How should he proceed after ...
5
votes
0answers
38 views

How big can a chanukia get?

I recently saw this story about students at YU who lit up their dorm windows to turn the entire building into a giant chanukia (just the form, not a real one). That inspired a question: Exactly how ...
4
votes
1answer
92 views

Can you omit wearing a yarmulka for a job interview?

When going to a job interview, if a person suspects for whatever reason, that he may be unfairly discriminated against if he wears a yarmulka, is he allowed to omit wearing it? Would this be ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Can one buy a slave nowadays?

Assuming that there's no legal issues (like the slave doesn't mind, or doesn't know that he can run away), can one buy a slave nowadays in America to have the laws of an Eved Kenaani?
1
vote
1answer
163 views

May I temporarily enslave myself, to avoid missing a positive time-bound commandment?

If I know I will be unable to do a positive time-bound commandment, may I sell myself to another Jew until the obligation passes?
3
votes
1answer
351 views

Chanuka candles if missed the night

If someone, not on purpose, did not light chanuka candles at night, should he light during the day? With or without a brocho?