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9
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128 views

Intentionally using a grace period on a rental

I recently rented a bike for a few hours, and the person in charge of the rental told us that we have "X number of hours, and a 15 minute grace period," followed by the warning that if we don't return ...
9
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0answers
182 views

Eating out Friday night of Chanukkah

If one is lighting Chanukkah candles inside (for whatever reason) relying on the publicization to himself and his family, then what should he do on Friday night if he is eating out? Must he make the ...
8
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0answers
63 views

Does Beis Din have the authority to quarantine?

In light of the recent discussions about the legality of quarantining potential Ebola patients, I was wondering if Halacha has the mechanism for such a thing. In an autonomous Jewish society, in ...
8
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0answers
83 views

Participating in a non-Kosher food co-op

A food cooperative is a member-owned food store. It is typically set up that in order to shop there at discount prices, each person can become a member if they agree to volunteer a certain amount of ...
8
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0answers
102 views

Selling Hametz on Ebay

Can I sell my chametz via eBAY? I have no expectation that I want to buy it back. I would pack it and ship it before Pesach, so it's definitely not in my posession during Pesach. Is this problematic ...
7
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90 views

*Asher Bamayim* (אשר במים) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as plant, animal, bird, or asher bamayim*, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew ...
7
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0answers
43 views

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, ...
7
votes
0answers
53 views

Is there any halachic problem with an ark having a “lazy susan” for the Sifrei Torah?

Our shul has a small ark. There is room for 4 Sifrei Torah with 2 on each row. As a Ba'al Kri'ah / Gabbai, I find it difficult, sometimes, to shuffle Sifrei Torah between the front and back row, esp. ...
7
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82 views

Onen and Meis Mitzvah

If an onen comes across a mas mitzvah (let's assume there is either another person to be involved with the onen's personal mas or there is more time to be involved with his mas later), is the onen ...
7
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0answers
108 views

Counting towards a Keriat HaTorah one who accidentally ate

We have Halacha that at least 6 people need to be fasting in order to read the Torah in a fast day. However, let's say there are 10 people and 5 are definitely fasting and one who accidentally ate ...
6
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0answers
25 views

Is one allowed to bid on a house if he knows another Jew has already made an offer?

This question is related to the halachic concept of ani hamehapech b'charara, or tortious interference, which I happened to just come across in studying Mishnah Peah. If one has been looking at a ...
6
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0answers
48 views

Is there a problem with saying “for Pete's sake”?

Is there a halachic issue with invoking the name "Peter," or, as is more commonly used, "oh, for Pete's sake!," which I assume is a reference to Saint Peter. ( Wikipedia agrees with this conjecture, ...
6
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0answers
90 views

Napoléon's Sanhedrin

In 1806, Napoléon Bonaparte convened a synod of French rabbinim (mainly Alsatiens and Bordelais) to ascertain halachic opinions on a set of questions. What is the halachic standing of this synod's ...
6
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0answers
48 views

How much of the standard תורה service is done on שמחת תורה?

I've seen a number of Simchas Tora customs in Ashkenazic practice and/or prescribed by Ashkenazic prayer books. Specifically, I think I've seen both sides of each of the following dichotomies, ...
6
votes
0answers
55 views

Beam for s'chach with wood glue + embedded screws

Let's assume that there is a lechatchila to not use metal object that are mekabel tumah (susceptible to tumah) for something that supports the s'chach ("maamid"), which can be avoided by using ...
6
votes
0answers
51 views

punishment for instigating a crime, intentionally

Is someone who causes another person to sin liable for that sin as if he did it himself? (Please also consider someone scheming, who intentionally plays stupid people, causing them to kill each ...
6
votes
0answers
30 views

Skipping parts of pessukei dezimroh to get to work on time?

Kitzur shulchan aruch states that if a person is afraid of being late to recite shmonei esreh with minyan, it is allowed to skip some parts of the pessukei dezimroh... Does this apply to a person that ...
6
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0answers
48 views

Giving to a “mission” collection

In some religions, people accept upon themselves some kind of "mission" to do whatever act to help others. In many cases, it involves collections to send to the poor, or to 3rd world countries. The ...
6
votes
0answers
31 views

Lashon Harah for anonymous to'eles

Necessary background: Lashon Harah (slander) is prohibited, unless it is for a to'eles (constructive purpose). Can I say Lashon Harah that would be available to everyone, would be beneficial for some ...
6
votes
0answers
95 views

Does halakha count primates as “almost human”?

I have read that the although the halakha requires koah gever (human strength/exertion) for pouring water over hands for n'ttilath yadhayim but it says explicitly in the Mishna that a qof (monkey) may ...
6
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0answers
77 views

Benefiting from channukah candles in a mirror

One is not allowed to "benefit" from the lights of the channukah candles. Rashi says the reason is in order that it should be recognizable that these candles are light for the mitzvah in order to ...
6
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0answers
122 views

Entering / Davening in a Karaite synagogue

Is one permitted to enter and/or daven in a Karaite synagogue nowadays (according to Rabbinite law)?
6
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0answers
147 views

Is it forbidden for a Jew to read the writings of Baruch Spinoza?

The cherem against Spinoza says the following: The Lords of the ma'amad, having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Espinoza... We order that no one should communicate with him ...
6
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0answers
193 views

Can a garment be assur for men and women because it is both beged ish and beged isha?

I've been wondering about garments like the frilly pink/purple yarmulkas and talleisim used in liberal Judaism. Since yarmulkas and talleisim are probably normally beged ish, and pink/purple frilly ...
6
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0answers
70 views

Are placebos permitted without telling the person they are getting one?

Does Judaism allow placebos where the person thinks it does something, and is thereby cured, even though the item does nothing? Is this gnevas da'as (or some other issur), or because it can help them ...
6
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0answers
95 views

Is Juneau, Alaska — surrounded by natural barriers — a natural eruv

I recently visited Juneau, Alaska. It is a small city of 35,000. The city limits are quite large, however -- 3,225 square miles -- but much of this area is separated from downtown Juneau on Douglas ...
6
votes
0answers
113 views

Thinking about Purim Torah in the bathroom

It is not permitted to think about Torah in the bathroom regularly, but what about Purim Torah, which is certainly not real Torah study, but still often refers to actual Torah? One might think that ...
6
votes
0answers
380 views

Fresh fish need hechsher

Does fresh fish from a supermarket or fish market require a hechsher? I would be tempted to believe that a fish known to be of a kosher variety would not need certification since there is no shechita ...
6
votes
0answers
114 views

Father being Matir Neder for himself: does it affect the family?

If a father is Matir Neder on a minhag (gebroktz, let's say) for himself for a valid reason, does that include his whole family? Are they now also permitted to eat gebroktz because that is now the ...
6
votes
0answers
129 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
6
votes
0answers
183 views

Prosthetic limbs in halacha

What is the status of prosthetic limbs in halacha in terms of being considered part of the body? Is it considered: As if I were born with it? As a living piece of flesh, but not a piece of me? ...
6
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0answers
116 views

American Idol and HaMalbin Pnei Ḥavero BeRabim

(Inspired by this question) Is watching televised talent shows, such as "American Idol", which are known to invite contestants to embarrass themselves in front of millions, and even have judges whose ...
5
votes
0answers
50 views

Is the mourning for a late relative dependent on the state of their relationship before death?

Are the halochos (laws) about observing mourning rituals for a relative (e.g., shiva, shloshim, etc.), affected in any way by the state of the relationship between the mourner and deceased before his ...
5
votes
0answers
27 views

Containers and wine

Is there any outer container (a frame or box, perhaps) into which an open bottle of non-mevushal wine can be placed that will shield the bottle in such a way that, if a non-Jew (or heretic) casually ...
5
votes
0answers
38 views

How big can a chanukia get?

I recently saw this story about students at YU who lit up their dorm windows to turn the entire building into a giant chanukia (just the form, not a real one). That inspired a question: Exactly how ...
5
votes
0answers
31 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
5
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0answers
46 views

Is one allowed to kill false witnesses to his own capital crime?

Reuven and Shimon conspire to execute Levi in Beis Din (court) for killing Yehuda by their testimony. Levi asks around and there are no witnesses who will come forward, and a few people told him that ...
5
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0answers
43 views

Does a sotah make a bracha?

Before drinking the sotah water does the woman make a blessing? If so would it be shahakol or something else?
5
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0answers
42 views

Beracha achrona on yogurt?

Do you make a boreh nefashot on yogurt according to sepharadim? Is it treated like a liquid, like ice cream, or as a solid? This is in relations to the time needed to eat it. If it's liquid, you ...
5
votes
0answers
111 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
48 views

Corporations, Jewish Shareholders and Interest

How many Jewish shareholders does a corporation or bank have to have in order for the prohibitions on lending or borrowing at interest to apply? Is one Jewish shareholder sufficient, or does it ...
5
votes
0answers
57 views

How far do I have to go to take care of myself?

The mitzvah of V'nishmartem (Devarim 4:15) requires a person to take care of their health (Shulchan Aruch C.M. 427:8, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 32:1). How far does this go? Do I have to exercise daily? ...
5
votes
0answers
60 views

Havdalah: mistake in the bracha

If a person saying havdalah began the last bracha (benediction) without mentioning sheim umalchus (God's name and dominion) i.e. he said ברוך אתה השם המבדיל בין קודש לחול וכו׳, skipping אלוקינו מלך ...
5
votes
0answers
123 views

Extended fasting on 10 Av

The Bavli (Taanit 29a) teaches that the Temple was set aflame on the ninth of Av in the afternoon and it burnt until sundown on the tenth of Av. The Yerushalmi (Taanit 4:6) records that because of ...
5
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0answers
61 views

Do the laws of Ribis apply to loans of virtual currency?

If a Jew lends a player in a multiplayer online game money, and he knows without a doubt that that player is Jewish, does the prohibition of ribis apply? (After all, the only thing that changed was a ...
5
votes
0answers
120 views

Can a man miss tefilah with a minyan because his wife is overwhelmed with the children?

Assume a scenario where a man's wife requires extra help at home during a busy part of the day and requests that her husband skip minyan (and daven alone) in order to help her. (For example, let's say ...
5
votes
0answers
218 views

Is it a Mitzva Deorayta (Biblical Commandment) to serve in the IDF?

בס"ד What do the contemporary poskim say about the serving in the IDF? Do they consider it a Biblical commandment (mitzva de'orayta) if one chooses to serve? I am obviously not talking about the ...
5
votes
0answers
92 views

eBay Judaica auctions

I occasionally check eBay for assorted items; this is typically for the science half of my life, but I sometimes find Judaica which probably should not be sold there. For example, I know that in the ...
5
votes
0answers
60 views

Is there such a thing as “Veset Halom”

One friend of mine told me that his wife always sees a special dream before her veset. Always the same one. Could such think be counted as veset kavua? I understand that technically a dream doesn't ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

Writing the woman's name in a kasubah or get: Plonis *ben* Ploni

Instead of writing the name of the kallah (bride) Rivka bat Chaim (for example) it was written Rivka ben Chaim. In such a case what's the halacha? By a kasubah is it valid? Does it have to be written ...