Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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4
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0answers
84 views

Is there a chazakah (halachic presumption) that an Eruv is down after a blizzard?

I remember, I was once at shul Friday night, and it was just starting to snow and it was predicted to be a huge blizzard. The Rabbi got up and announced that tomorrow people should work under the ...
2
votes
1answer
24 views

Writing Responsa in English

I was reading the introduction to Rabbi Yehuda Henkin's book "Responsa on Contemporary Jewish Women's Issues" and he wrote something that I found interesting: Whether Halachic response should be ...
2
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0answers
46 views

Placing Tefillin on the floor

I've been taught since little that one can't place a pair of Tefillins on the floor, and that one must carefully avoid not dropping them. But what is considered being on the floor? For example, can I ...
0
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1answer
80 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 ...
11
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3answers
597 views

Why has the Mishnah Berurah become the Authoritative Halachik Work instead of the Aruch haShulchan?

Hirhurim just had a post about this topic, where he discussed some reasons that people should follow the aruch haShulchan. Yet in many circles, people just follow the Mishna Berura and rarely even ...
1
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1answer
74 views

Can one use an Eruv if the Rabbi who built it says its down?

If a Rav Hamachsheir of an Eruv, the Rabbi who built it and supervises its use, sends out a message that he holds that the Eruv is down because of a particular reason (reason X), and should not be ...
3
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2answers
121 views

Why does the Mishna/Gemara so rarely mention the practical Halacha?

The Mishna frequently mentions different opinions. Some opinions are generally rejected Halachicly (Rabbi Elazar, Beis Shammai). Why doesn't the Mishna mention who the Halacha follows (in general). ...
1
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2answers
58 views

Homeopathic or unscientific medicine on shabbos

On shabbos there is a rabbinic prohibition against doing many medicinal things. Is the whole requirement that he is doing it for medicine and that it looks medicinal, or must it actually be ...
10
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3answers
215 views

Why was a bat kol able to settle the dispute between Battei Hillel and Shammai?

Eiruvin 13b recounts an argument between Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai. The argument grew very heated until a bat kol intervened and stated the famous line elu v'elu divrei elohim chayim ("These and ...
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2answers
99 views

Can someone stop being supported by his father without his father's permission?

From the shulchan aruch (yora deya 240.5 end) אֲבָל חַיָּב לְכַבְּדוֹ בְּגוּפוֹ, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁמִּתּוֹךְ כָּךְ בָּטֵל מִמְּלַאכְתּוֹ, וְיִצְטָרֵךְ לְחַזֵּר עַל הַפְּתָחִים. וְדַוְקָא דְּאִית ...
4
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2answers
41 views

Does the use Rabbi Yishmael's principles retain the de'oraiso character of the original statement?

If we use one of Rabbi Yishmael's 13 principles of interpreting the Torah to learn from a Torah law (de'oraiso), does the inferred law also have the status of a de'oraiso? (Related: Where can I find ...
8
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2answers
179 views

What does it mean that a blind person is “Patur” from mitzvot?

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 ...
1
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0answers
19 views

How does a chiyuv due to chinuch work? [closed]

We frequently see statements in halacha like "the minor's obligation to do the mitzva is only rabbinically imposed (mid'rabanan), because it's only because of chinuch (=the obligation to educate one's ...
4
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4answers
97 views

Biblical versus rabbinic transgressions

Does the distinction between biblical versus rabbinic transgressions have implications or consequences today? In the past, the punishment for them was different I believe.
3
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1answer
91 views

Under what circumstances can Ashkenazim rely on Sephardic poskim?

Is there any reason an Ashkenazi Jew should not hold by the psak of a Sephardi rov--or vice versa--for decisions relating to general matters (not ostensibly to do with particular minhagim)? If so, ...
5
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4answers
146 views

Weighing mitzvot/aveirot

I apologize for the somewhat vague question; it was difficult to write. I would welcome any specific editing suggestions. What matters in the calculation of a person's righteousness? Is it: Number ...
5
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2answers
115 views

If two rabbis tell you opposite things which do you listen to?

If you ask two rabbis the same question and they give you opposite answers (one says mutar the other says assur). Which do you listen to?
2
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2answers
81 views

If you were born one sect (Ashkenaz) but wanted to become another (Sephardi), do you have to go through conversion?

I encountered a man who found out he was Jewish with Ashkenazi lineage, but for personal reasons converted to Sephardi. Never heard of this before. I remember learning there are several halachot in ...
7
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2answers
125 views

What is the basis that allows Rabbis to create laws?

I understand that the Torah gives instructions to obey Judges for legal cases and questions, but what is the basis that Rabbis have for creating new laws, such as for celebrating Chanukah with a ...
2
votes
1answer
260 views

Breaking Shabbos to keep future Shabbos(os)?

The reason we allow someone to violate shabbos to save a life is because of the principle "let him void one shabbat so that many future shabbosos will be kept". What are the parameters for this ...
4
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1answer
70 views

Hillel's formulation of the Golden Rule

Hillel said, "That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. This is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary; go and learn it." - Babylonian Talmud, Shabbat 31a This is similar to the ...
13
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1answer
264 views

Can one follow the Mishnah Berurah without asking a shaila?

When one has a question in halacha and finds an answer in the Mishneh Berurah (or Aruch HaShulchan, or similar work), why can he follow the answer provided? Why doesn't he need to ask his rabbi first? ...
4
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2answers
133 views

A fence within a fence

There is a well known dictum that a lot of rabbinic enactments were created to 'create a fence' around the major sin; the idea being that if someone does something that would be Biblically permitted ...
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3answers
3k views

Why can't electricity be manipulated on Shabbat?

Why can't we use and change electricity on Shabbat and YomTov? By this I mean why can't we turn on and off lights...? I'v heard Rabbis say that its because you can't complete a circuit on Shabbat, ...
3
votes
2answers
158 views

Immoral Halacha

In a conversation concerning the normal sensitive halachic issues, e.g. gender roles, homosexuality, etc., I recently heard a rabbi state that they found parts of halacha and the torah unethical and ...
4
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2answers
90 views

Arba Misos- 1 Mitzvah or 4?

Tosfos on Makos 2a (Kol Hazomemin) brings a Tosefta which says that if you can't give someone their destined Arba Misos (meaning the one their Aveira warranted), you can give them a different one, ...
2
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1answer
107 views

How does one avoid mysticism?

If someone is a strict Rationalist, and does not believe in many forms of Jewish mysticism, how does one go about avoiding it? I ask because kabbalistic mysticism has infiltrated many halakhoth and ...
0
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1answer
19 views

Audio Shiurim on Halacha Theory

While there are plenty of websites that are offering audio recordings on "what the halacha is," i haven't found any that help teach you how you as an individual can learn about the halachic process to ...
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0answers
17 views

Status of a functional Male with hidden functional Female internal organs [duplicate]

I've found out this condition where a Male has a certain genetic condition where the primitive female organs, present in every foetus, are not absorbed and develop as "usual". A documented case in the ...
1
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1answer
48 views

What is the Jewish religious authority during the galut? [closed]

During the galut (after the second temple, ie our times), what is the Jewish religious authority according to halakha? A Great Assembly of Rabbanim? Something else?
1
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0answers
16 views

Why does the shulchan aruch start with how to conduct one's self in the morning and not the night time? [duplicate]

The mishnah in brachos goes out of it's way to discuss why it stated with the night time shema b/c in the posuk it says when you lay down and when you rise up.. Why then when it comes to practical ...
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0answers
34 views

Implication of uncertain letters in the Torah

I learned that there are a number of uncertain letters in the written Torah This article lists 12 (counts vary). (1) Bereishit 4:13 "Mineso" (E&T w/o Vav) (2) Bereishit 7:11 "Ma'ayanos ...
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0answers
32 views

What prayers are obligatory on a daily basis? What prayers are obligatory on Shabbat? And who decides what's actually obligatory?

When you go through a siddur you see lots of prayers, but never a mention of what's actually obligatory. Having seen the Rambam siddur, it seems like we have a looooot more prayers now, but are they ...
2
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1answer
149 views

Can a woman uncover her hair for the sake of employment?

I am aware of many poseqim who hold that in order to get and hold a job, it is permissible for men to remove their kippoth during the interview and their workday. Can a woman who badly needs ...
0
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1answer
34 views

How many types of reshut exist?

I know that there is a public domain (reshut ha-rabbim) and a private domain (reshut ha-yahid), but are there other types of reshuyoth mentioned in the halakhah of carrying on Shabbat?
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148 views

Are there Published Legal Defenses Resolving Objections Against Rabbinic Authority?

Are there Rabbinic "apologetic or polemic works" that focus only on the rational validity, and logical objections raised by other Jews1 -- against: (1.) the Rabbinate's authority in Judaism over other ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Observant Jews' view of the mind of God in relation to rules

Is it the view among observant Jews that God in fact cares about all the intricacies of observance? (as opposed, say, to what is in a person's heart and mind).
3
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0answers
44 views

Is the concept of Safek D'oraisa l'chumra relevant when dealing with a machlokes d'oraisa / d'rabbanan? [duplicate]

There are cases where Rishonim disagree as to whether a particular law is from the Torah or a Rabbinical decree. In such cases, must one be strict due to the possible violation of a Torah prohibition? ...
3
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0answers
44 views

Is lighting a new flame on Yom Tov a Biblical or Rabbinic prohibition?

Is lighting a completely new fire on Yom Tov a Biblical or a Rabbinic prohibition? Please cite your sources.
2
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0answers
20 views

Can the shaliah tsibbur intend the hazarah to be his own tashlumin? [duplicate]

If someone was unable for some reason to daven shaharith and is thereby eligible to pray a make-up prayer (tashlumin) at Minhah, but then ends up being asked to be shaliah ssibbur when he gets to ...
12
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1answer
130 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
61 views

Source for Rabbis being able to say not to do a Deoriata

What is the source for Rabbis being able to say that one is not allowed to do a mitzvah deorita? Examples that come to mind are blowing shofar on Rosh Hashana on Shabbat, lulav on Sukkot (at least ...
6
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0answers
52 views

Losing concentration in the middle of the first blessing of Shemoneh Esrei

First, a little background information: According to halakhah, there are two types of berakhoth: "long" and "short." "Long" *berakhoth" are those that have a pethihah ("opening", i.e. "Barukh Atah ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

Practical עשה דוחה לא תעשה

There are a few examples frequently offered for the rule "עשה דוחה לא תעשה": Someone whose garment has four corners and linen can nonetheless put wool tzitzis on it. This is unlikely nowadays, when ...
5
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2answers
68 views

logic behind kol kavua k'mechtza al mechtze

there is a principle in halacha regarding doubts that if something is separated from a kavua (fixed place) it is treated as 50/50% chance even if the permitted is the majority. but if it is found in ...
34
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10answers
3k views

Why is it necessary to ask a Rabbi?

In various places on this site, including the FAQ, we have the following disclaimer: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly ...
9
votes
4answers
108 views

Why can't we distribute mitzvah obligations around the community?

How do we know from the Torah that it would not be sufficient just to have some people doing davening, others doing negel vasser, others doing tzitzit, others doing chachnosas kallah, others doing ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Did the Ramban say that mitzvos d'Rabbanan are only obligatory in the Land of Israel?

I've heard (maybe seen also?) that the Ramban (Rav Moshe ben Nachman, Nachmanides) said that Rabbincal Commands are only obligatory while in the Land of Israel. Is this true? (If so) Where is it ...
9
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3answers
112 views

Why does “aseh doche lo saaseh”?

There is a halachic principle that עשה דוחה לא תעשה - when a positive and negative mitzvah conflict, we obey the positive one. The Talmud learns this out of pesukim, but what is the ...
12
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1answer
271 views

What determines the sorts of cases in which one can deliberately not know the facts?

Halacha depends on the facts of a situation. Generally, when one cannot know the exact facts, he is expected to assume that they are as usual (rov), or as they were when last checked (chazaka). When ...