Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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What are the philosophical implications behind g'zerah shavah?

I am wondering about G'zerah Shavah. It is a rule that I have a hard time accepting, at times. I am wondering what philosophical and theological implications this rule holds. If it is assumed to be a ...
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1answer
60 views

Is Halacha a system of Civil Law or Common Law?

I often see halacha paskened differently between rabbis. Sometimes, a rabbi will cite a rabbinic opinion made by an aharon and other times a rabbi will cite the Talmud, Shulchan Aruch, or Mishneh ...
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31 views
+50

What is considered a picture for not davening in front of it

I heard that you can't daven in front of a picture What does this included? A mogen Dovid? A flag of israel? A lion? What if it is part of the paroiches or Aron kodesh .... Similar Davening in ...
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1answer
48 views

How did the Beis Din have the authority to relax the rules of Muktza?

Shulchan Aruch HaRav (O.C. 310:16) lays out the general history of the prohibition of Mukza (Based on Shabbos 123b): בימי נחמיה בן חכליה שהיו העם מזלזלים באיסורי שבת כמ"ש בימים ההם ראיתי ביהודה ...
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36 views

Ein Halakha K'niflag

This article cites a principle in the name of R. Saadya Gaon and Rambam that אין הלכה כנפלג. He cites כתבים לגר"י קאפח, ח"ב עמ' 557. Where can this be found in the writings of the Geonim or Rambam? ...
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1answer
78 views

Poisoning my own food?

I live in an apartment with roommates, I'm trying to determine who is stealing my food. I use the word stealing because each of us had have our own separate and color-coded cabinets, and I also label ...
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68 views

Game theory in the Tanaim

I read an article a while back (maybe over a year ago?) in the Mishpacha English Magazine (I'm pretty sure, although it may have been in the Ami) that discussed a certain machlokes Tanaim about how to ...
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2answers
240 views

Kosher switch and Grama according to R. Belsky's letter

Yeshiva World News published a letter from Rabbi Belsky saying that the Kosher Switch accomplishes nothing and is simply a regular melacha. My question is basically the same as this commentor. Is ...
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89 views

Ratio between gentile vs jewish persons for jews to consider

I am interested to know, according to written law, if there is something like a ratio or relativization to consider between people of the tribe and gentiles that a Jew is bound to. Is there's such a ...
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82 views

Understanding how halacha & mitzvot are derived

Since this isn't getting a lot of traction maybe I should approach the question differently. I know that mitzvot can be divided into two basic categories, d'rabbanan and d'oriata. Of the mitzvot ...
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39 views

Is there a difference between “Patur” and “Eino Chayiv”

When the Gemarah tells us that a Suma (a blind person) is "Patur" from Mitzvot, does that mean to say that he is completely outside the realm of Mitzvot, and will get no reward for doing them, or does ...
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201 views

What is the hallachic definition of randomness?

A new Shabbat-friendly technology, KosherSwitch, uses randomly timed light pulses to create various safeks, so that flipping the switch does not hallachically count as switching the light on, even in ...
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0answers
20 views

Half-Hallel in commemoration of the fallen Egyptians

There seem to be two separate explanations as to why we only say a "half" hallel on the intermediate and final days of Pesach. According to one opinion (as attributed to the Shibolet Haleket here) it ...
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1answer
64 views

Can later scholars make an issue of something that earlier scholars were not concerned about?

I know that this is a potentially broad subject but there seems to be a phenomenon where later generations of scholars (i.e. after the close of the Gemara; the Amoraim) come up with new halakhoth or ...
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55 views

Netilat yadayim without a keli?

It is known that the Sefer Halakhoth Gedholoth codifies that since only the descendants of Aharon HaKohen were strictly commanded regarding netilath yadhayim with a keli, it is therefore enough for a ...
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43 views

Do the laws of shmirat ha-lashon and the principle of diyyun le-khaf zekhut protect criminals?

I have heard many times people use the laws of shemirath ha-lashon and the principle of diyyun le-khaf zekhuth almost as an excuse to ignore crimes of theft, molestation, et al among religious people. ...
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14 views

Why does a hefsek make a person not yotzei?

There are situations where my fulfillment of an obligation depends on there being no interruption between the bracha and the action it covers (like between washing and making motzi) and there are ...
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3answers
91 views

What is the practical purpose of karpas?

I have had discussions with people who insist that karpas must be a small piece of diced vegetable (i.e. smaller than a ke-zayith le-Humrah), dipped in salt water, and nothing more. When I then ask ...
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36 views

Determining Normative Halacha

I don't really understand the process for establishing what "the halacha" is in a particular case. I know that there are rules in the talmud to decide whom the halacha follows when there are ...
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44 views

Why are “Chiddushei” seforim rarely cited in the Nosi Keilim?

I noticed that when quoting Rishonim, Beis Yosef/Nosei Keilim tend to focus on Poskim (Rif (and main commentary)/Rosh/Rambam, Mordechai, Teruma, Rabbeinu Yerucham, etc.) and responsa. Very rarely do ...
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64 views

Seforim who write “not for Psak”

Whats the point of Sefarim who print Piskie Halacha and then they write not for Lemasshe-whats the point then?
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1answer
84 views

How does “getting a heter” work?

I have heard of the concept of "getting a heter" to do something that is not ordinarily permitted, but I don't have a good idea of what it means. I am interested in explanations of what this process ...
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35 views

Is a psik reisha d'lo nicha or d'lo echpat judged against a communal standard?

If I perform an action on Shabbos which will cause a secondary (forbidden) action, the secondary action is assessed as to whether it is desirable, detrimental or neutral (as per Difference between ...
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25 views

What is the logic of the Shushan Purim davening and brachot? [duplicate]

Why is it that on Shushan Purim, when we do not say tachanun, we do not add the Purim paragraph to the amida or to the birchat hamazon? Why do the two not go together?
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88 views

Halacha when mashiah has come

We pray for mashiah to come. After mashiah has arrived, are those prayers eliminated or changed? Also, will Halacha itself be changed or eliminated?
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39 views

Why do the laws of kevod seforim apply to physical seforim but not digital?

I may have some trouble asking this question. I understand that the laws of kavod seforim (respecting holy texts; i.e., not bringing a book of Torah into the bathroom) do not apply to tapes, etc. ...
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1answer
83 views

picking and choosing halachic rulings

I have heard many times from Rabbinim and in lectures that to pick and choose rulings is forbidden. I would like a halachic source for this. I can understand that one should be consistent, but if one ...
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2answers
42 views

Why do different halachic authorities arrive at conflicting rulings?

Rabbi A says strawberries are ha'adama; Rabbi B says that strawberries are Ha'etz. The halachic texts are replete with such differences in "opinion". What's the underlying reason that different ...
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39 views

Was the Mishna Brurah meant to be learned straight?

Disclaimer - I do not intend to dispute common practices in Klal Yisroel, nor do I intend to criticize the incredible work of an incredible Talmid Chacham. The current practice in a considerable ...
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37 views

What is the source of the prohibition of not preparing on Shabbat for after Shabbat?

Preparing on Shabbat for after Shabbat is not one of the 39 melachot (Biblical categories of "work"). I gather that many prohibitions are gleaned from Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 58:13. However, the only ...
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61 views

Is becoming a “Talmid HaRambam” limited to the Rambam?

This answer explains (very nicely) the justification and practice of those who consider themselves followers of the Rambam, as opposed to any other opinion. In the cited responsa of the Beis Yosef, ...
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118 views

Binding answers for Halachic questions

I recall learning that one is not allowed to "venue shop" by asking a series of rabbis for a practical halachic ruling and following the opinion you like. I was taught that one should ask and be bound ...
5
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1answer
88 views

Why do we find specifically “Rambamists” as opposed to any other Posek? [duplicate]

This answer explains (very nicely) the justification and practice of those who consider themselves followers of the Rambam, as opposed to any other opinion. In the cited responsa of the Beis Yosef, ...
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1answer
58 views

Netilat Yadayim: Blessing Before or After?

These may not be the original sources for either shiTTah, but two early examples of either of them can be found in the Rambam, Mishneh Thorah - Hilkhoth Berakhoth 6:2 (mevorekh batteHiloh), and in the ...
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32 views

Disputes over Biblical Laws [duplicate]

I would like to compile an extensive list of Biblical laws that are debated by current halachik authorities in the Orthodox community as to whether or not they are Biblical laws, Ribbinic laws, or ...
2
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2answers
122 views

When did we start to be machmir?

When looking into the Talmud in the most places after bringing a machloket it says that the halacha is like x. On the other edge of the time when reading the Mishna Brurah it looks like he doesn't ...
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1answer
53 views

What was the Shita of the Rema

The beit yosef has a very clear Shita. There are 3 important poskim:rosh.,rif,and rambam. He goes after the majority of these Poskim in case of a machloket. When looking into the rema(darkei ...
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1answer
47 views

Halachic base of big loss (hefsed merube)

We see in the halacha many times that when we have a dispute if something is permitted or not and we pasken that it is not permitted, the halacha changes when there is a big loss. I understand it ...
3
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2answers
68 views

Why do we reject Rabbi Chiya's opinion?

The Gemara says (in Yevamos 42b-43a as well as other places) that "וכי רבי לא שנאה ר' חייא מנין לו". In context of Yevamos, it means that if there is an argument in a Mishna and a Stam in a Braisa, we ...
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83 views

What is/are the Halachic standard(s) of proof

This answer suggests a standard of "beyond a shadow of a doubt". That type of term is very popular from an English Law perspective, which has varying standards of "proof". Among them: Probable cause ...
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3answers
115 views

What is השמעת קול about?

Apparently, there's a prohibition against making noise on Shabbos. See Shabbos 18a: אבל אין נותנין חטין לתוך הריחים של מים אלא בכדי שיטחנו מבעוד יום מאי טעמא אמר רבה מפני שמשמעת קול But ...
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1answer
44 views

Poskening Leniently

For situations where a Rav is searching for a lenient ruling, such as in cases of major financial loss or aguna, etc., what are the guidelines that he must follow? Is he allowed to rule like a single ...
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1answer
101 views

Using Ethiopian oral law to resolve machloket

This question and particularly my comment on the question got me thinking. Assuming those who became the Ethiopian Jews received the oral law exactly the same as the rest of Israel, could we ...
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2answers
66 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 ...
2
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1answer
112 views

How are we to understand Lurianic Kabbalah?

We believe that the Torah is eternal and never-changing. And yet, the Arizal brought quite a number of innovations to our religion. Although none really change halacha, they certainly do build upon ...
6
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1answer
73 views

Aiding what you consider sin but he doesn't

There is an action. Let's call it "hoobling". Some pos'kim say hoobling is permitted and others say it's forbidden. (Note: not "say one should ideally be strict". They say it's forbidden.) Suppose ...
6
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2answers
176 views

Are Noahides obligated in the commandment of Yibum?

Regarding the subject of Yibum (Levirate marriage), what is the source, if any, that this is also an obligation on a Noahide? Many of the discussions on this Q&A site concerning Yibum connect to ...
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1answer
44 views

In what sense is Hanukkah “a Yom Tov like other yamim tovim”?

The Machzor Vitry (§234) finds a scriptural source for Hanukkah in Leviticus 24:2. That the stipulation that Israelites should collect pure olive oil for the menorah should follow on from a ...
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44 views

What's unique about the book Eglei Tal?

The book Eglei Tal was written by Rabbi Avrohom Bornsztain and deals with the 39 melachos of Shabbos. I was wondering what about this particular book is unique? Why would a person learn this as ...
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84 views

What defines a “בהמה” (also “חיה”)?

As discussed in *Dag* (דָג) in kashrus halacha, *Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha, and *Of* (עוֹף) in kashrus halacha, there are different rules used to determine the kashrus status of ...