Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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1answer
60 views

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 ...
5
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3answers
256 views

How can we just make our chametz ownerless?

I'm trying to understand the "legal fiction" wherein we declare any chometz we have as ownerless like the dust of the earth. Is this halachically acceptable? How can a person declare something in his ...
6
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2answers
120 views

Which takes precedence - dina d'malchuta or halacha? What about minhag yisrael?

A more practical ramification of Is a ban on government workers wearing religious symbols a gezeirat hamalchut for which one would be obligated to give up his life? If the law of the land (dina ...
2
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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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0answers
25 views

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 ...
5
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2answers
156 views

What is the logical explanation for קם ליה בדרבה מיניה?

HodofHod: In essence, the idea is this: If a person does one act, and with that one act incurs two different kinds of penalties, we only apply the stricter one. So if a person (for example) ...
2
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1answer
78 views

Shin of tefillin mentioned in the Gemara originally a reference to the division of the compartments of the Shel Rosh?

The source for [at least one of] the Shins on the tefillah shel rosh is the Gemara (b.Menahoth 35a): ואמר אביי שי"ן של תפילין הלכה למשה מסיני וצריך שיגיע חריץ למקום התפר רב דימי מנהרדעא אמר כיון ...
3
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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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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 ...
2
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1answer
74 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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0answers
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? ...
3
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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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2answers
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?
3
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3answers
130 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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2answers
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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0answers
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 ...
8
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1answer
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 ...
4
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1answer
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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0answers
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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3answers
213 views

Are “Halacha To Moses from Sinai” Undisputed?

I was listening to a lecture in my synagogue in which it was mentioned ( correctly or incorrectly - I don't know ) that a הלכה למשה מסיני - Halach to Moses from Sinai is a law that has never been ...
5
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2answers
239 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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5answers
498 views

Can we argue with gedolim when we are sure that we are right?

I recently saw a teshuva by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Ohrach Chaim Volume 1 Teshuva 109, that quotes a letter from Rabbi Menashe Klein asking a question on Rabbi Moshe's psak but saying that he does not ...
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1answer
128 views

Disagreeing with one's rebbe

We all have Rabbeim that we ask questions to. Is one allowed to disagree with his rebbe if he feels that his rebbe's viewpoint is incorrect?
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0answers
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 ...
3
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3answers
97 views

Which opinion of the Rambam is followed, the Mishneh Torah or the Responsum?

If there is a contradiction between something the Rambam wrote in the Mishneh Torah and his responsum letters, which is considered his final ruling? Is there a general rule or is it a case by case?
9
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1answer
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 ...
3
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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 ...
7
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9answers
715 views

Kabala in Halacha

Which of the major authors or codifiers of halacha. . . a) refer directly to or quote from kabala in their legal discussions? b) employ conclusions based only on kabala in their legal argumentation ...
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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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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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0answers
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 ...
0
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1answer
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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0answers
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 ...
13
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4answers
240 views

At what point do we reject a minhag?

I was learning the halachos of berachos on things that are ground up, and it seemed pretty clear to me that the blessing on chocolate should be ha'etz. I found discussion in some more contemporary ...
3
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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 ...
4
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0answers
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 ...
1
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3answers
248 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 ...
5
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0answers
43 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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0answers
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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0answers
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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3answers
543 views

Mah Nafshach - Is hair part of the human body or not?

Inspired by this answer, I'm curious. We hold that hair of a married woman is 'Ervah (ערוה). Yet it is not 'Ervah for an unmarried woman. According to the Gemara in Shabbath (Bab. 95a), braiding the ...
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0answers
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. ...
11
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1answer
105 views

How to determine common practice for halachos that are impacted by it

Certain halachic issues are informed or even determined by the social standards of the (non-Jewish) society in which one lives. Examples include what falls under the prohibition of cross-dressing (see ...
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17answers
676 views

SE Challenge: Halachot in which rulings range from permissible to Torah violation?

Inspired by my previous question regarding heating up soup on Shabbat, I present a challenge to the Judaism StackExchange community -- List halachot which have halachic decisions ranging from ...
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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 ...
4
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0answers
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 ...
4
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1answer
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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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 ...
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4answers
1k views

Why is a woman allowed to get pregnant?

This should be taken as a bit of a light hearted question (but not a Purim Torah by any means, I am looking for a real analysis), inspired by a discussion in chat. Why is a woman allowed to get ...
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0answers
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, ...