Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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129 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 ...
3
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1answer
68 views

minhag means law? when in shulchan aruch

When the Ramo writes and "so is the custom (vchain nohagin)" do we understand that to mean that this is his ruling regarding the law or that he is not giving his opinion about the law but is just ...
3
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1answer
27 views

Are enclosed modes of transportation domains?

Do the laws that pertain to domains apply the same way to enclosed modes of transportation? Eg: If one begins a meal on a high speed train in one city, but finished the meal in another city, does ...
3
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147 views

Halacha and danger to life

Suppose there is an halachically prescribed, commonly-practiced action, which has been demonstrated scientifically to lead to death of the action's object and/or subject with a certain low probability ...
3
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1answer
240 views

How does Kavush work?

The Halachic principle of Kavush states that leaving something in liquid for 24 hrs transfers taste, and therefore it alters the status of the thing with which it is exchanging tastes. However, ...
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1answer
49 views

When the Moshiach establishes the messianic kingdom of Yisroel, will the halacha binding on every Yehud be Sephardi, Ashkenazi or something else?

When the Moshiach establishes the messianic kingdom of Yisroel, what type of halacha will come into force over the nation? Sephardi, Ashkenazi, Mizrachi, psak Rambam, or something else? Or will ...
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114 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
63 views

Why are the laws of honoring parents in Hilchos Mamrim?

The Rambam places the laws of honoring parents in Hilchos Mamrim (5th and 6th chapters). Why there? What does כיבוד אב ואם have to do with Beis Din?
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3answers
131 views

Source of the term בכתמים שומעין להקל

In the halachos of Niddah, there is a term which I have come across not infrequently. The term is בכתמים שומעין להקל, which roughly translated means "in [the halachos of blood] stains we listen to ...
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100 views

concept of Breira unknown to the Tana'im?

Breira is the concept that a choice can be made in the future that will retroactively determine the state of something in the the present (assuming I understood and articulated it correctly). There is ...
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2answers
94 views

Halachah: What's the difference between this site and looking up a question in a book?

Per our oft-cited FAQ, and our frequent use of the disclaimer to consult one's own rabbi in matters of practical Halachah, we do not, as a matter of policy, accept questions, or provide answers, ...
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202 views

Must one go according to his/her opinion (leshitato)?

Imagine that a Halakhic Decisor (decider?) maintains a certain Halakhic position or Hashkafic belief. [I am assuming that such thing as a Hashkafic Decisor exists.] Anyway, is it imperative that s/he ...
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121 views

Hakaras HaTov in Halachah

Hakaras HaTov (Gratitude) is a very important trait in Torah. Can the principle of Hakaras HaTov create a situation where what is otherwise prohibited becomes permitted?
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99 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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22 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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2answers
73 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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87 views

What to do when the Rabbi is on vacation

If a person has one Rabbi to whom they ask all of their questions, and that person is unreachable, for whatever reason, and an urgent, time-sensitive question arises, what should their course of ...
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46 views

Tosefta vs. Toras Cohanim

This past Shabbos someone said over to me a particular sugia they were learning in Taharas and a maklokes Rishonim (an argument between Rishonim, medieval rabbis) in a particular analysis. One Rishon ...
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123 views

makhloket poskim and hatarat nedarim

Recently, the OU decided to certify quinoa for Pesach. Formerly, the OU held by the view of Rav Yisroel Belsky that quinoa is kitniyot, or at least that Rav Belsky's view created sufficient doubt to ...
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42 views

What is a “time of kingdom's decree”

The gemara in Sanhedrin 74 talks about a time of oppression, during which even for "light mitzvot" one must die. What exactly constitutes such a time? Is it any time when the government makes a ...
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2answers
301 views

How can we use grape juice instead of wine?

There are many rituals for which we use wine. I would think that wine means a fermented grape product, or at least a fermented fruit product. On what basis do so many people use grape juice instead of ...
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414 views

Doesn't the wide use of Sheitels among Orthodox Jewish women prove that hair no longer retains the erotic status that it once had?

In reading scores of halakhic material on the subject of kisui rosh le-nashim throughout the ages, I have found that there are essentially two views as to the nature of the obligation for a woman to ...
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4answers
658 views

Is it permissible to cheat at board games?

Board games have absolutely no value - there is nothing won and nothing lost. In such a situation is it permissible according to halakhah to cheat? I am asking, not to find a reason to be deceitful ...
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2answers
130 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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129 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
117 views

How do we treat a י"א in the Shulchan Aruch?

Is there a general principle for how we treat a י"א = יש אומרים (yesh omrim, "some say") cited in the Shulchan Aruch for the purposes of determining halacha? If not, are there examples of two halachos ...
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4answers
300 views

Why aren't we Mahmir (stringent) with just Mikvah when ruling leniently on a technicality in Niddah cases?

I know from experience and some introductory study of the laws of Niddah that rabbis typically try to find leniencies wherever possible in issues of family purity. In many instances, a Posek will rely ...
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3answers
203 views

Keeping up with “local” standards of modesty and dress - of religious Jews, or of society at large

In dealing with issues relating to Tzeni'uth (modesty) and clothing, a lot depends on "local" standards of dress. For example, the RaMBa"M (here) explains that in places where women do not normally go ...
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1answer
126 views

What is the source for “the custom of our forefathers is in our hands”?

Where does "minhag avoseinu byadeinu" as a halachik concept, which is commonly cited as the source for keeping two days of yom tov outside of Israel, originate from?
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110 views

What is the religious significance of the existence of many denominations and sects?

For much of the past 2000 years, when most of contemporary Halacha was being formulated, there was only a single denomination\sect of Judaism. (Leaving aside Ashkenzi vs Sephardi, which is mostly a ...
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76 views

Do any poskim recommend giving a conditional divorce?

For someone who married without a halachic pre-nuptual agreement, are there any halachic authorities who recommend giving a conditional get (bill of divorce) which stipulates that it would go into ...
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1answer
72 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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1answer
75 views

Why don't we wear tefillin on Yom Tov sheni?

In Hilkhoth Tefillin 4:10, the Rambam states the basic and well-known halakhah that "...shabbathoth wi-yamim tovim enan zeman tefillin..." (Translation: "Shabbat and Yom Tov are not times for ...
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3answers
77 views

Does a wicked king of legitimate lineage have the full status of a king?

Does a wicked king - let's say he violates the "Big 3" - have any Halachic authority as a king? I am referring specifically to those laws which the king is theoretically entitled to enact, and which ...
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1answer
65 views

Appointing women as representatives of the congregation

There is a principle recorded in the Mishna, Rosh haShana 3:8, to the effect that a person can only vicariously exempt others from their responsibilities if he shares the same responsibilities that ...
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2answers
522 views

Yalkut Yosef or Mishneh Torah for a Sephardic Jew?

My Hebrew is rusty and my knowledge of all the halachot is equally rusty. I want to take on a new project to complete either one of those compilations. For someone coming from a Sephardic heritage, ...
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101 views

Can a Rishon argue on a Gaon?

On one hand, I've seen a rule from the Acharonim (I've also seen it in a Shach on Choshen Mishpat also but I can't remember where) that whatever the Gaonim say is "Divrei Kabalah" from the time of the ...
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78 views

Is rape considered yehareig v'al yaavor?

Since Deut. 22:25-26 equates rape with murder, would a man be required to give up his life rather than commit rape?
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1answer
37 views

Why did the people have to respond twice “It is sanctified” when Sanhedrin declared Rosh Hodesh?

Ramba"m (Maimonedes) Hilchot Kid. Hachodesh 2:8 says: Afterwards - i.e., after [the witnesses'] testimony is substantiated - the head of the court declares, "It has been sanctified." And all the ...
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1answer
126 views

Is there a penalty or measure of restitution for geneivas daas?

With the crime of stealing (geneiva), the Torah is very specific about how the theif must pay as a penalty for his crime (e.g. depending on the circumstances, the thief could be liable for double the ...
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1answer
91 views

Does “burning” water fall under the Av Melachah of “bishul” on Shabbos?

If water that falls onto a hot plate on Shabbos immediately "burns" up and evaporates, does this fall under the Av Melachah of bishul? (The pracitical application of this I want to leave aside. ...
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2answers
290 views

Paskening from Talmud vs. Shulchan Arukh

Sometimes poskim will pasken from the Talmud (gemara) instead of the Shulchan Arukh. However, I thought that we pasken from the Shulchan Arukh and not from the Talmud. What is the proper way for ...
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1answer
107 views

The power of a seudat mitzvah to obviate minhagei aveilus

The prohibitions which Ashkenazim take on themselves during the nine days seem to spring from post-Talmudic thinking and application of the notion of "reduced joy." For some reason, the particulars ...
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1answer
72 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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1answer
55 views

What do we do with Chazaka's that don't seem to hold?

Inspired by this comment, there are Chazaka's (presumptions) and principles of נאמנות (trustworthiness) in Halacha that no longer hold in our practical experience. One example is עד אחד נאמנן ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Eating new grains on the 17th vs the 18th of Nisan

The Shulhan 'Aruch (OC 489:10) states: אסור לאכול חדש אף בזמן הזה בין לחם בין קלי בין כרמל עד תחלת ליל יח בניסן ובארץ ישראל עד תחלת ליל יז בניסן "It is forbidden to eat new (grains) even ...
2
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1answer
55 views

Limits to sale of חמץ

I'm looking for the outer limits of what is considered a valid sale of חמץ. We do use some tools (Shtar, Halifin) to effect the sale and make sure it's "legitimate". As two example issues of this ...
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1answer
63 views

Parameters for brov am?

What are they parameters of brov am hadras melech? is it a requirement or a hiddur? does it apply equally to men, women and children? why does it not seem to apply to zimun (preferable to split into ...
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1answer
73 views

דבר לח (liquid) is not a חיבור (connection)?

According to (חוות דעת (צ"ב כ׳, a דבר לח (liquid) is not a חיבור (connection), and, therefore, if there's spilled milk on the ground and a hot meat pot is placed on it, we don't need 60x the volume of ...
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1answer
164 views

Ma'ariv is obligatory?

Berachoth (4b) states conclusively that Ma'ariv is compulsory (לאפוקי ממאן דאמר ... רשות; קמ״ל דחובה). But one of the accepted premises when comparing Ma'ariv to other Tefilloth is that Ma'ariv is ...