Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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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 ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Praying in a mosque that used to be a church?

So I understand that it is NOT permitted to pray in a church building. I also understand that it IS permitted for a Jew to pray inside an Islamic masjid (pop., "mosque"). According to halakhah ...
11
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2answers
168 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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0answers
30 views

Losing concentration in the middle of a berakhah arukhah

It is a fact that all berakhoth require kawwanah (le-khatehhilah). However there are berakhoth for which kawwanah is me'aqqev - and it is this type of berakhah that is the primary subject of this ...
5
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1answer
75 views

How to answer practical questions on the street

I don't know how common this is, but I've occasionally been approached on the street by regular people whom I do not know (who presumably make the assumption that since I wear a kippah, I'm a rabbi) ...
8
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1answer
798 views

What if the Kohen Gadol accidentally kills someone?

An ordinary person who accidentally kills someone has to go to an Ir Miklat (city of refuge) until the Kohen Gadol dies. But what if it's the Kohen Gadol himself who accidentally kills? He would ...
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3answers
210 views

Is one allowed to be Machmir against a psak?

The Halacha follows Rabbi Yehoshua that a Mamzer is only if one marries an Erva that is Chayav Kares. The Halacha follows the opinion that the descendants of a non-Jew living with a Jewess are ...
0
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3answers
57 views

Can one Shecht with a Wire

Can one ritually slaughter with a wire? Why or why not? The Talmud says that any implement may be used, so according to that a wire would be fine. Are there any technical problems that would ...
4
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0answers
44 views

Is it forbidden to teach Torah to non-Jews on Mi Yodeya? [duplicate]

I have noticed that many Christians and Messianics post questions on Mi Yodeya and I'm wondering if the prohibition of teaching the Torah to non-Jews would apply in a forum like this or if it only ...
4
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5answers
385 views

Using money on Shabbat

It is a thoroughly well-known feature of the halakha that one may not use money on Shabbat, and there are maybe a dozen questions on this website alone that seem to presuppose familiarity with that ...
2
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3answers
403 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 ...
2
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4answers
647 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

Is it allowed to tie tzitzit using a cow hitch?

Would it be permitted to attach tzitziyot using a cow hitch (a way of attaching a rope or lead without use of a knot - pictured below), in order to be able to remove them before washing a garment so ...
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2answers
84 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?
1
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2answers
96 views

Why doesn't regular handwashing work for prayer and eating bread?

I know that the halakha requires n'ttilath yadhayim before the recitation of sh'ma, before t'phila, and before and after eating bread (cf. Hilkhoth B'rakhoth 6). And I also understand that n'ttilath ...
2
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1answer
33 views

What is the rationale behind tashlumin?

I understand that according to Masechet Brachot and the normative halacha, in certain cases, one who unintentionally missed saying a prayer service may "make up" that service by reciting the Shmoneh ...
2
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2answers
71 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?
4
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1answer
54 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 ...
0
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1answer
66 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? ...
6
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2answers
295 views

How can all the great rabbis' practices be accepted by Hashem? [duplicate]

This may seem like a child's question, but it's one I never thought to ask as a child, so I never learned the answer. Rabbinic traditions — even within continuous geographical lineages amongst ...
5
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3answers
130 views

Is “pikuach nefesh” on shabbos “hutrah” or “dichuya”?

Whenever two mitzvos come into conflict with each other, and one is given precedence over the other (such as in the case of מילה on Shabbos, or any עשה דוחה לא תעשה), there is usually discussion over ...
5
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1answer
59 views

What's the source that worldwide acceptance of psak makes it binding forever?

The Rambam writes in the introduction to Mishna Torah נמצא רבינא ורב אשי וחבריהם, סוף גדולי חכמי ישראל המעתיקים תורה שבעל פה, ושגזרו גזירות והתקינו תקנות והנהיגו מנהגות ופשטו גזירותם ותקנותם ...
6
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2answers
101 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?
2
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4answers
298 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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0answers
19 views

What happens when food or vessels or a tent become Tumeh? Do they transmite Tumeh to others? [closed]

What are the ramifications of vessels of food that become tumah? What happens if some one eats Tumeh foods or touches a vessel or article of clothing or tent that is tumeh? Do these things transmit ...
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1answer
40 views

Differences in psak

Why do we learn Gemara, where each opinion gets equal weight and the strongest opinion wins, and we are thus taught not to be peti, but to only accept a true answer, while today, its enough that one ...
2
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1answer
95 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 ...
4
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1answer
97 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 ...
1
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1answer
60 views

Is Warhammer (and similar games) an issue of avoda zara?

Are tabletop wargames, such was Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, and Kings of War an issue of avoda zara? To play the game you first have to purchase miniature figures of different races. Some are human, ...
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0answers
35 views

why is Birkat Hamazon said after eating just a small piece of bread?

Berakhot 21a:8-9: Whence is it that Grace after meals is ordained by the Torah? As it is said, "And thou shalt eat and be satisfied and bless the Lord thy God" (Deut. viii. 10). The verse ...
1
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1answer
43 views

In how many of the 613 mitzvot are women obligated?

Women are exempt from some of the 613 mitzvot. How many of the 613 mitzvot apply to women? Is there a list (or lists)? Online? (To clarify: Ignore other factors, such as geographic location; include ...
4
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1answer
53 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 ...
19
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4answers
2k views

Why are Shabbat loopholes a good thing?

I'm not Jewish but do know that strict observance of religious laws is important in Judaism. I recently visited one of our suppliers in Israel and the hotel and office block had sabbath elevators. ...
1
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1answer
77 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
votes
3answers
257 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
155 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
71 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 ...
6
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2answers
158 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) ...
4
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1answer
51 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
75 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 ...
3
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1answer
90 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 ...
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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0answers
72 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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0answers
93 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 ...
8
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3answers
227 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
262 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
512 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
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 ...
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?