Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

learn more… | top users | synonyms (3)

2
votes
2answers
73 views

חזקה מעיקרה vs ספק

I am in the middle of מחלוקת with someone as to, if I originally had a חזקה and now there's a ספק to whether that status is still true, whether I maintain that original status or my status changes to ...
5
votes
1answer
178 views

How should one decide which Halacha to follow?

There are so many different halachot and custom nowadays, I have a lot of questions on how should one decide what halacha to follow. Let's say I have an halacha question. The way I see it, I have ...
6
votes
3answers
268 views

Who Commanded Us, and For What?

Whenever a Jew performs an activity that is mandated by the Torah, s/he recites the blessing that acknowledges God, "אשר קדשנו במצוותיו" (who sanctified us with his commandments), and who commanded us ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Arising in the morning and baal t'shaktzu

Im learning about getting up in the morning and learned that one must wash their hands before anything else otherwise they will violate the prohibition of baal t'shaktzu? What is baal t'shaktzu?
2
votes
0answers
25 views

Interrupting a rabbinical mitzvah to perform a Biblical mitzvah [duplicate]

In general, one does not interrupt a mitzvah (with the exception of Torah study) in order to do another mitzvah. However, this answer, in its citation of the Ran, alludes to some complications of this ...
5
votes
0answers
56 views

What is a shevut d'shevut, and why is it permitted?

I understand there is a notion called shevut d'shevut (and the related gezeira l'gezeira), whereby, in some cases, one may violate a rabbinic prohibition if and only if this is achieved through ...
0
votes
1answer
101 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 ...
-5
votes
1answer
55 views

Is Halakhic law man-made?

I heard it is. I heard that the Torah only states what is wrong (adultery, stealing, killing, etc.), but it doesn't establish any punishment for it. So some men decided to assign stoning to the crime ...
4
votes
2answers
37 views

What is the source of the obligation to listen to the Sanhedrin once it left Jerusalem?

The source of listening to the high court typically comes from Devarim 17:8-10: If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

What exactly were they (planning on) doing wrong here (yShabbat 16:1)?

אע''פ שאמרו אין קורין בכתבי הקודש אלא מן המנחה ולמעלה אבל שונין ודורשין בהן׃ צרך דבר נוטל ובודק׃ דלמא רבי ורבי חייא רבא ור' ישמעאל בי רבי יוסה היו יושבין ופושטין במגילת קינות ערב תשעה באב שחל להיות ...
1
vote
1answer
156 views

why is flatulence forbidden in tefillin and during prayer

Why is flatulence forbidden in Tefillin and during prayer? Is it because partials of the feces get stuck to the body so now you do not have a clean body? or what?
6
votes
2answers
66 views

Reward and punishment for indirect mitzvot and averot

If I create something with a certain purpose, and it's used for another purpose (good or bad), do I have a share in the mitzvot or averot people made with my creation? I'll give three examples to make ...
-1
votes
1answer
41 views

Moshiach or gan eden [duplicate]

What is the purpose of everything, our Torah and mitzvos. Is it to go to gan Eden in olam haba or is it to bring moshiach? Whenever I ask people usually I get either answer. Can someone clarify like ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

Can I make mikveh rainwater by condensing steam? [duplicate]

Since rain is caused by water evaporated from oceans and rivers which later condenses from clouds, can rainwater for a mikveh be synthesized by creating steam and then condensing it?
0
votes
2answers
118 views

How to Reconcile if/when the Jewish Day Was to Begin at Sunset?

Question: Are there any historical documents that detail the differences in opinions on when the "Jewish Day" began? (Perhaps between Sadducee and Pharisee/Rabbinic definitions, etc). What the ...
1
vote
2answers
143 views

Reshus Horabim Today?

The most lenient shita for a reshus horabim i have ever heard of is that 600,000 people must pass on the road EVERY day. Do any roads with daily CAPACITY for 600,000 people exist today? Do any roads ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

Is this an effective means of being tested on Talmud [closed]

I'm in tenth grade and I'm concerned that the way we are tested Talmud in school is not effective. You see, we learn a small sugya of Gemara and then learn through a multitude of Rishonim and ...
3
votes
3answers
705 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, ...
36
votes
11answers
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Why do we refer to Chazal as a monolithic group?

In discussions of Torah, halacha, etc., people often say, "According to Chazal..." as though all the thousands of rabbis of an 800-year period spoke with one voice. But you almost never hear people ...
4
votes
3answers
113 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?
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Tzitzis put on a borrowed garment that is later acquired. Take them off and reattach them?

From Torah Law, I need only put tzitzis on my own four-cornered garment. From Rabbinic Law, I need to attach tzitzis to a borrowed garment only after 30 consecutive days, see Oruch HaShulchan, O Ch ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Zaken Mamrei vs. Par He'elem Davar

This past weekend I was reading through the Torah Temimah on Vayikra and a paradox occurred to me. The Zaken Mamre is specifically applied to one who is in a position of authority over a community. ...
8
votes
1answer
126 views

How do you weigh authority in halacha?

Are there any hard and fast rules as to how to assign relative importance of one authority over another in formulating a psak halacha? For example if the Rambam and the Rashba argue over a specific ...
2
votes
2answers
53 views

Understanding a qal vechomer in the Mishna

This is a fairly long-handled question, but it boils down to a desire to understand R' Shimon's qal vechomer in the Mishna, Negaim 10:2. Usually, for a qal vechomer to work, there needs to be a ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Suicide to prevent Zombification

This is a serious question which deals with what is now a fictional construct, but one that has ramifications and which has been dealt with (in other situations) by halachic discussion such as this ...
3
votes
1answer
80 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

An obligation to intervene?

I was posed a hypothetical question about medical ethics today. I am not looking for a psak as much as for sources on the discussion about halachic responsibility. Case 1: You are personally told by ...
5
votes
3answers
186 views

Prior to the Men of the Great Assembly (and after Moses, our teacher), could halacha be decided by prophecy?

I think that I remember hearing that during the times of the Men of the Great Assembly, it was decided that prophecy would no longer be used to determine halachic rulings, i.e that before then it was ...
7
votes
1answer
121 views

When and how was the Shulchan Aruch accepted

After the Shulchan Aruch was put together by the Beis Yosef and then following that with the glosses of the Rema, when did this sefer became "accepted" as the basis for deciding halachic matters in ...
4
votes
1answer
38 views

Why are there not metalworking avos m'lachos?

We find that the avos m'lachos (classes of forbidden activity on shabas) are based upon the labors associated with the mishkan (tabernacle) in the mishna (e.g. Shabas 11:6) and g'mara (e.g. Shabas 97)....
3
votes
1answer
323 views

Biur Chametz and hefsek

On the evening of the day before Pesach, we search for Chametz and put aside what we find so that we may destroy it in some way the next morning. Before we start, we make the bracha "al biur chametz" (...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Same Rabbi (Posek) for husband and wife

Does a husband a wife need to have the same Rabbi (Posek) or can they have their own Rabbi's?
2
votes
1answer
113 views

When the Messiah comes, will the decisions/laws of Chazal still be in effect?

When the Messiah comes, will the various decisions and laws established by ChaZAL (i.e those after prophecy departed from Israel) still be in effect, or will the return of prophecy nullify the ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Machlokes Deoraisa vs Muttar - non-Jew vs Jew

If one Rav paskens somemthing is Asur Deoraisa and another Paskens totaly mutar, beshas hadechak is it better to get a non jew to do it or a jew whose rav holds its muttar? For example, if a certain ...
-1
votes
1answer
80 views

Can a public road include an underground area below it to qualify as a Reshut Harabim?

On Shabbat, one may not carry in a Reshut Harabim. Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 81:2 says that there is an opinion that a road not having at least 600,000 people passing by it daily would not be considered ...
0
votes
0answers
76 views

Was Gematria taken from other cultures?

The wikipedia entry of gematria starts by stating the following: Gematria [...] is an Assyro-Babylonian-Greek system of code and numerology later adopted into Jewish culture that assigns numerical ...
3
votes
2answers
39 views

Relative status of biblical and rabbinic transgressions

In the opening chapter of Sefer Tanya, the rebbe notes that failure to perform a positive biblical commandment is worse than performing a rabbinic transgression. In his words: “Even one who ...
3
votes
2answers
130 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). ...
13
votes
4answers
307 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
67 views

How much weight must we give to the Council of Sages opinions

As I understand it, there is no hierarchy within Judaism, per se. In fact, following a controversial decision by Rav Elyashev, he mentioned to a friend of mine that his rulings really only apply to ...
5
votes
2answers
319 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
93 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
34 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
640 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
86 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
67 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
votes
3answers
237 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
101 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
votes
2answers
46 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 ...