NOTE: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends. // Jewish law. Specifically, the legal process beginning with the written Torah and continuing ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

16
votes
2answers
542 views

Halachot of Shul Mechitzot

What are some good books, articles, websites, or seforim for learning about the Halachot of constructing and maintaining a Shul Mechitza (the barrier between the men and women sections)? Issues ...
0
votes
0answers
28 views

What is the halachic source for Achdut Yisrael?

The concept of Achdut Yisrael is often addressed from a spiritual and emuna perspective - for example the 4 minim being symbolic of achdut yisrael. In this respect I ask 3 separate yet related ...
6
votes
3answers
587 views

Why still keep two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel?

Why do we continue to keep two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel? The reason for two days was revelant during the temple era as we needed two witnesses to see the new moon. But today, with no Temple ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

Transgender erva

Men's Health magazine has been in the news lately because of a contest in which people can vote on who will be on the magazine's cover. Currently leading in the voting is a transgender person who was ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Making very loud drumming noise during davening

Many leaders and congregants in my shul bang with their hands on the shulchan and on their siddurs and stomp their feet in what is supposed to be the rhythm of the prayer's melody. The noise is ...
3
votes
1answer
26 views

Answering to zimmun twice

In a Suda shlishit of 30 people, one person had to leave and 9 answered to his Zimmun "Nevarech elokeinu...". What should these 9 people answer to the general Zimmun later on?
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Why do women wear ponytail elastics on Shabas?

So I was studying the start of Bame Isha in the Bavli (Shabas 57), and it seems a woman can't wear a tight strap or string in her hair outside (of an eruv) on Shabas (lest she remove it out of doors ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Person in Eretz Yisrael making Eiruv Tavshilin for Bnei Chutz L'Aretz

This might seem like a "funny" question. I don't think this would be permitted and I really have no basis to think why it should be however I'm trying to work out why this wouldn't work (or perhaps ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

What's the difference between נכסי צאן ברזל and נכסי מלוג?

What's the difference between נכסי צאן ברזל and נכסי מלוג? Is there more than one difference. When asking a prior question for what the Hebrew term for "living trust" was i got those two as a response ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Putting the head down for Tachanun with a non-cloth covering

Inspired by this question. The answer there says that you should use "a cloth and not merely one's hand, because a person's own flesh can't be considering a covering for itself." What is the status ...
4
votes
2answers
566 views

Are (opaque) stockings under a skirt considered enough to cover ervah?

This is a question about skirt lengths. From this answer: The halacha is that "tefach b'isha ervah" - a tefach (about 3.5 inches) uncovered on certain parts of a woman's body is ervah - ...
2
votes
1answer
307 views

Can I tuck tzitzit into the fabric square corners?

These are Neatzit, a tzitzit undershirt. In dealing with a child who fidgets and therefore picks at the tzitzit, such that at the end of the day, they are entirely undone, can I tuck the tzitzit ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Which insects are not kosher?

In Vayikra (11:23) it says: But all winged swarming things, which have four feet, are a detestable thing unto you. On which Rashi (quoting Toras Cohanim) says: Go and learn if there was 5 its pure ...
3
votes
2answers
114 views

Birchas Illonos questions

From when until when are you allowed to make the bracha,and what is optimum?
8
votes
1answer
92 views

Correcting one's father or one's rav when he is leyning

The Shulchan Arukh (YD 240:2) rules that one is never allowed to contradict one's father in his presence, and that when it comes to one's rav (or one's father if he is a Torah scholar; YD 242:1-2), ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Solar Power on Shabbos

What's the deal with using solar power on Shabbos? Cooking is permitted, but what of the following cases: 1) Heating water (Dud-Shemesh style) 2) Solar-powered watches 3) Solar-powered toys What ...
3
votes
0answers
48 views

Is there a problem of image projection on Shabbat?

There are night lights which don't just emit light but project an entire image (example). If such a device is plugged in before Shabbat, would there be a problem of closing window shades or doing ...
2
votes
1answer
31 views

Halachot of burial vs. minhagim thereof

This answer gives a rough estimate that about 90 percent of hilchot kevura (laws of burial) are based on local minhag, rather than actual halacha. Taking this into account, the next logical conclusion ...
2
votes
1answer
29 views

Questions about the fence dividing a subdivided field

Mishna Bava Basra 7:4 says: האומר לחברו חצי שדי אני מוכר לך--משמין ביניהם, ונוטל חצי שדהו. חצייה בדרום אני מוכר לך--משמין ביניהם, ונוטל חצייה בדרום. ומקבל עליו מקום גדר, וחריץ ובן חריץ. וכמה ...
11
votes
1answer
106 views
+50

Do you have to consider neighbors when building a shul?

Are there any halachic obligations to consider the averse effects that building a shul may have on Jewish neighbors? This may include things like lowering property value, noise and other disturbances, ...
4
votes
2answers
73 views

What were the Rambam's sources?

In the introduction to the Mishneh Torah, the Rambam indicates that his compilation of the entire Oral Torah is derived from a few key Jewish texts: ואין צריך לומר הגמרא עצמה הבבלית והירושלמית ...
3
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
36 views

Lashon Hara about one of a group

I've often heard people say something like, "Someone was talking during davening today" while being careful to avoid naming the person. From here I might guess that it is not considered lashon hara if ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Non-lishmah parchment

I was learning the first two chapters of Rambam's Hilchot Megillah v'Chanukah before minchah last Shabbat. In one of the halachot of Ch. 2:9 the Rambam discusses that megillot need not be written on ...
6
votes
2answers
121 views

Does the existence of insurance affect end-of-life Halacha?

Consider the following case: A baby is born with severe congenital defects. The doctors say that if nothing is done to address them, the baby will die within days. They also say that there's a series ...
3
votes
0answers
34 views

Are there any responsa that encourage or require maintaining health insurance?

Are there any responsa in the literature that either encourage or require people to maintain health insurance, perhaps as a fulfillment of the obligation to guard one's health, or in line with any ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Can one Shave the hair on his neck during Sefira?

During sfira (and the 3 weeks), I find that my neck gets extremely uncomfortable and itchy from not shaving (and not very presentable). Is it permissible to "clean up" or even out my beard by shaving ...
2
votes
2answers
128 views

Shabbat afternoon, when lounging on the couch, is it OK to wear sweatpants?

"Your Shabbat activities shall not be like your weekday activities". From this we learn that we should dress differently on Shabbat. Say you finished the meal and want to sit and read by the couch. ...
1
vote
2answers
34 views

Saying Hamapil after Alos Hashachar

If one was up all night and went to sleep after Alos Hashachar does one still say Hamapil?
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Is it a problem to eat animal leftovers

Is it true that there is a Jewish custom not to eat after animals (even if not mius issue (ie the person eating does not know)) ie if a rat ate a peace of a fruit I can't just cut off that part and ...
3
votes
4answers
85 views

Does a b'chor need to fast if he didn't partake in food from the siyum?

If a b'chor attended (or made) a siyum on taanis bechoros but did not partake of any food does he need to fast?
1
vote
2answers
49 views

Can you make chometz ink on Pesach?

My cousin would like to know about the permissibility of making ink on Pesach. The ink recipe includes flour, fruit juice, vinegar, and a little water. According to my cousin, it's not ראוי לאכילת ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

Kidushin with food from someone else's banquet

I heard that a person can perform kidushin with the food of someone else's banquet, when he's been invited as a guest. Is this true? If so, why? (Do the owners of the banquet relinquish ownership ...
4
votes
0answers
27 views

Does the chametz sales contract need to be enforceable under secular law?

We go to great lengths to ensure that our pre-Pesach chametz sale is effective according to halacha. Thus, we effect the sale via various means of acquisition: kinyan kesef, kinyan sudar, kinyan agav ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Does baby toothpaste need a hashgacha?

According to Rav Yisrael Belsky (and based on the reasoning of Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky) toothpaste which contains non-kosher ingredients (such as animal-derived glycerin) is only kosher when the ...
3
votes
3answers
88 views

Witnesses and the Ketubah

I heard from a chief rabbi of an Israeli city, who was officiating at a wedding I was at, that a Ketubah must be signed by two witnesses who are shomer mitzvos. What is the legal definition of this ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Holly Jolly Sukkos

An idol used by an idolater is assur b'hanaah (roughly, forbidden for use) and only loses that status if an idolater physically annuls it's "consecrated" status, e.g. by damaging it. Similarly, ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Vegan tekheileth

Does the oral tradition that identifies the hilazon as the source of tekheles necessarily indicate that one could not create the indigo-colored wool by other means? The gemara certainly indicates that ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Bracha on avocado / sashimi “boat”

A take-out place near where I work makes an "avocado boat". A whole avocado is peeled, pitted and cut in half. One half is placed on the bottom of a tray and filled with brown rice and assorted ...
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Is scaring someone allowed?

Is scaring or startling someone for no reason allowed? What if there is a reason, such as helping them get rid of the hiccups? By scaring I am referring to causing someone to be afraid, such as by ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Is there Ribis in America?

Rav Moshe Feinstein, z"l, is lenient with regard to allowing the loaning of money to a corporation because he maintains that the prohibition of ribis (usury) only applies where there is a shibud haguf ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

Pursuing pluralist purpura

According to most rishonim (and the simplest read of the extant Talmudic texts) the tekhelet string is dyed in its entirety. However, the Rambam maintains that only half the string is dyed such that, ...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Watering Synthetic Grass on Shabbat?

Is there a problem of watering synthetic grass on Shabbat- If the synthetic grass has gaps or "holes" whereby the water can leak through to the earth underneath it? What if the earth underneath ...
2
votes
2answers
49 views

Saying the Ribono Shel Olom after counting the Omer

If one is no longer counting the Omer with a Brocho can one still recite the Ribono Shel Olom prayer?
1
vote
1answer
48 views

GE Shabbos / Yom Tov mode on ovens - Machlokes

In this question How does Shabbos/Yom Tov mode on a stove work? it discusses how the Shabbos / Yom Tov mode works. I have recently heard that there are Rabbi's that do not allow using this mode. Does ...
5
votes
1answer
501 views

Criteria to be considered a gentile for the purposes of selling chametz?

I understand that for some tasks or jobs (particularly those relating to kashrut), Judaism ritually requires more than the criteria of matrilineal descent to qualify as a Jew. E.g., as I understand ...
5
votes
1answer
167 views

How to check blood sugar on Shabbos

Diabetes is a חולי שיש בו סכנה, an illness that poses a danger to life1. As such, everything necessary for caring for diabetes must be done on Shabbos, even if it includes איסורי תורה. (see Shulchan ...
8
votes
3answers
659 views

Edim Zomemim - Why Not Believe Them?

There is a concept of Edim Zomemim (Wikipedia has it translated as "Collusive Witnesses") (עדים זוממים). Basically, if two witnesses testify about someone, and then two other witnesses come and say ...
6
votes
1answer
43 views

If a chazzan has to repeat Shmoneh Esrei, can he use the chazarat hashatz for that?

Let's say a chazzan makes a mistake in his personal Shmoneh Esrei that he would have to repeat it for (e.g. missed yaaleh vyavoh). Can he use the chazarat hashatz as his required repetition, or must ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is it permissible to flush a toilet on Shabbat?

I have been reluctant to ask this question on this website because it sounds so ridiculous, but as Rabbi Hillel said in Avot 2:6 "one who is bashful cannot learn" so here goes... Why is it ...