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5
votes
2answers
560 views

Under what circumstances may one eat or drink on a fast day?

When and for what health reasons should we break our fasts? (assume the person is not elderly or pregnant.)
8
votes
3answers
352 views

Earliest time to make an Eiruv Tavshilin

When's the earliest time one can make an Eiruv Tavshilin on erev yom tov?
29
votes
3answers
1k views

May one use a computer script or robot to do something specifically on Shabbos/Yom Tov?

May one run a program or machine that will operate on Shabbos, either by setting a timer to activate once Shabbos has started, or by leaving it running continually? What if the action is one that is ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Newspaper delivery on Yom Tov

Is getting a Paper delivered on Yom Tov allowed? If not what may be done with it upon Delivery? as always (CYLOR)
5
votes
1answer
109 views

What would be the law with regards to the Sukka in Manhattan?

A few members of a community board in Manhattan do not want to give permission for a Sukka in a park (because of 1st amendment issues). According to the Shulchan Aruch Harav, one cannot make a ...
3
votes
1answer
272 views

If I accidentally write Hashem's name, can I fix it?

Specifically, if I intended to write a tzadei (צ) and I begin by making the two top yuds (') [Hashem's name] - can I complete my tzadei?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Wine made/handled by non-religious Jews

Assume for the purposes of the question that all circumstances are the same as if the wine had been made/handled by non-Jews. I don't want answers regarding whether it is Mevushal or whether Mevushal ...
9
votes
2answers
263 views

How to blow a t'rua

How does one effect a t'rua when blowing a shofar on Rosh Hashana? The airflow must be stopped and started repeatedly in a short time, but it can, I suppose, be stopped either at the glottis, at the ...
11
votes
8answers
521 views

How do you extend the sound of a daleth in Shema?

How does one extend the sound of the daleth in the echod of the shema as prescribed in OC 61 (6)?. The letter as we say it does not seem to allow extension. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalet ...
13
votes
2answers
493 views

Polyphasic Sleep and Halacha

I recently read an article on polyphasic sleep and I'm quite interested in experimenting with it. The article advises the Uberman approach which advocates 20-30 minute naps every four hours, meaning ...
11
votes
3answers
863 views

Peanut butter Bracha

What Brochah or Blessing is said when eating plain Peanut butter? Does the chunky variety (with pieces) versus regular make a difference? I am referring to a case where it is eaten on a spoon, with ...
12
votes
2answers
608 views

What does “prohibited l’chatchila” mean?

To me the phrase prohibited l’chatchila seems a bit confusing. Can someone explain what this means in plain and simple english? (context: someone says "action X is prohibited l’chatchila")
6
votes
2answers
177 views

Is one allowed to cancel a check?

If I give a check to someone (as a gift) and I change my mind, am I halachically allowed to cancel it, or do we say that the check is a shtar, and by signing it is considered as if I gave him the ...
6
votes
2answers
183 views

Fulfilled the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah then lost the Sefer

Suppose a person had a Sefer Torah written in order to fulfill the Mitzvah (Devarim 31:19) and then the Torah got lost, has he still fulfilled his mitzvah, or is he required to write another one?
5
votes
1answer
87 views

Maasar that was set aside, and then stolen

If a person sets aside his Maasar in a seperate account, which was then stolen, or the bank folded and now it is worthless, does he have an obligation to replenish this account, or once set aside he ...
5
votes
3answers
284 views

Does consuming raw meat make one Fleishigs?

If one is making meat, and while the meat is still raw licks his/her fingers, does s/he become Fleishigs (to wait the appropriate amount of time before eating dairy)? Essentially if we boil (excuse ...
2
votes
1answer
727 views

Does one make Birkas Hatorah/Hashachar before alos hashachar?

As per this question, it seems apparent that one doesn't make the morning blessings until at least alos hashachar. However, in Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum's book "The Sweetest Hour: Tikkun Chatzot," on ...
16
votes
1answer
755 views

According to Halacha, does one have to bury teeth?

Is there a halachic obligation to bury teeth that have fallen out, just as one buries other body parts that become detached? If not, why? Does the same apply to detached skin? Or hair? Related: Do ...
8
votes
3answers
386 views

Saying 100 Berachoth in a day

What is the source for the idea that one should say 100 Berachoth in a day, and how serious of an obligation is this? Is it mandatory, is it laudatory, or is it merely a nice idea?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How much does one have to eat to become Fleishigs?

Is there a minimum amount of meat or chicken required to be eaten in order to change one's status to being "fleishig" (i.e. so that he would have to wait before eating dairy)? [same question can be ...
9
votes
1answer
258 views

Yom Kippur - nicotine patch

Is there any problem with wearing a nicotine patch on Yom Kippur or any other fast day? (sources please)
16
votes
1answer
946 views

What is the meaning of psak?

I have asked many people this question, and not yet got a comprehensive answer: What is psak? Like, let's say I have a certain piece of food of uncertain status. If I ask my 6 year old kid if it's ...
5
votes
2answers
509 views

Yichud and the help

Is one allowed to be in an apartment with the door unlocked or opened with a maid or cleaning lady when few people walk by but there is a chance someone can walk in and does it make a difference if ...
7
votes
3answers
197 views

When does counting 100 Brochos per day start and end?

There's a Halacha/Mitzvah to say at-least 100 Brochos a day. My question is: what does the term "day" mean in this regard. Does a day start at night, and end the following night (as is the case in ...
8
votes
2answers
200 views

Source for the Text of the Get (bill of divorce)

Where does the exact text come from? Is there a particular Rishon who writes it in full? The Talmud in Gittin discusses the text at length, but I don't think it lays down the exact text. I've seen the ...
2
votes
1answer
518 views

Eiruv in Manhattan?

There are two ways one could build an Eiruv on an island: One build walls, Tzuras Hapesachs, etc. One relies on the "natural" walls. This hetter applies only if The ocean does not bring up ...
15
votes
3answers
996 views

Is it better to kill 1 person or let 5 die?

I was recently reading about the Trolley Problem A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, ...
12
votes
2answers
454 views

Why does writing on Shabbos need two letters?

In order to transgress "writing" (כותב) on Shabbos, (m'd'oraysah) one must write two letters. (See for example here.) Why is this so? Shouldn't writing anything still be considered writing? For ...
3
votes
1answer
303 views

The Rambam's Nekudah Neflah (נקודה נפלאה)

I heard two people learning about Issur Kolel and Issur Moisif. They kept talking about the Rambam's Nekudah Niflaah. What is it?
8
votes
3answers
119 views

Are בישול on Shabbos and בישול of Meat and milk the same?

Are the qualifications for being called בישול (cooking) the same for Shabbos (e.g., frying is a question in Halacha if it is recognized as Cooking to say אין בישול אחר בישול - there is no such thing ...
6
votes
1answer
154 views

Sand art on Shabbos

Is it Hallachicly permissible to make Sand art on Shabbos or is it prohibited on Shabbos and if so what prohibition are you doing maybe writing?
22
votes
3answers
773 views

Providing wine for Christian ceremonial purposes: in the 8th century, what did the rabbis write?

Under Charlemagne in the 8th century and the Carolingian emperors, Jews were official importers of exotic foods from the Holy Land;[1] they also provided wine for Christian mass. At the time, what ...
15
votes
3answers
479 views

Is there a source for not requiring Tevilah for the first use?

I have heard (as I'm sure many others have) that one can use a utensil one time before Tevilah. At the same time, I've heard that this is a common misconception. Is there anyone who holds that this ...
8
votes
1answer
127 views

Limits to Financial Dina Dmalchusa

What are the limits of Dina Dmalchusa (specifically financial Dina Dmalchusa, unlike this question which deals with non-financial dina dmalchusa)? In general, dina dmalchusa means one must pay taxes ...
16
votes
3answers
519 views

Is a contract over Chat/IM/SMS “written” or “oral”?

Halakhically, is a business transaction conducted over Chat/IM/SMS a "written" or "oral" contract? Chat is oral-style communication in a textual medium. Does the fact that it's actually written over-...
9
votes
3answers
309 views

Eating before Davening with a Minyan, or Davening at home and not eating till later?

You wake up in the morning and are famished. In order to have strength to go to Shul you need to eat prior to Davening. However, if you were to Daven without a Minyan at home you would not have to eat ...
5
votes
2answers
514 views

Meat at a Seudat Mitzvah

Is there any unambiguous source which says it is a halacha to eat "meat" at a Seudat miztvah? I am aware of the many opinions which says that meat is only optional. I'm looking for sources which say ...
11
votes
4answers
585 views

DNA and Jewish Law

Why isn't DNA seen as a valid source of Halachic decision making? Is it because it's too small for the naked eye? A margin of error problem? What? Normally, physical evidence is plenty of information ...
8
votes
5answers
384 views

Learning History on Shabbos

Is there a Halachic problem to read and or learn the topic of History on Shabbos for enjoyment purposes? and why?
4
votes
1answer
78 views

Sofer STA"M who stole money

If a sofer takes money for a Sefer Torah and does not supply it, are the STA"M he writes after that considered kosher?
2
votes
1answer
151 views

Could the 'air conditioner' shown here be run during shabbat?

I saw this DIY video, and was wondering if such a fan could be run before shabbat started and left running as shown? The video on this page (Ignore the article): http://electronics.howstuffworks....
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Do surgically removed body parts require Kevurah?

If one has surgery (may it never be necessary) that requires the removal of an organ of the body (e.g. a gallbladder or appendix), is burial required? Or can the body part simply be discarded?
3
votes
1answer
131 views

Wirelessly recharging a light-emitting diode on Shabbos

Could one use wireless recharging technology (see http://home.howstuffworks.com/question292.htm) to power a light-emitting diode (which does not have a filament that gets hot (see http://oaicorp.com/...
6
votes
1answer
215 views

Name of adoptive father in the Ketubah

I know that an adoptive parents is considered as a real parent. But normally the adoptive parents raises the child from a very young age, in this case it is different. A Jewish father bring up his son ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

How can one who contradicted witnesses use those witnesses later?

Case 1 Plaintiff Reuvein made a claim against Shimon that Shimon owes $100 to Reuvein through a loan. Shimon said: "I never borrowed anything from you". Reuvein brought two witnesses (Pair A) that ...
17
votes
2answers
443 views

Does Down Syndrome make one a Shoteh?

I had a very strange experience and I would like to know what halacha thinks. I was in shul on Shabbos, and an adult with Down Syndrome ripped by opening the box of tissues. I was not going to say ...
8
votes
2answers
217 views

What is the source for washing Mayim Acharonim with only a few drops of water?

OC 181 (4) MB [10] says that when washing mayim acharonim one must wash up to the second knuckle and using a few drops does not fulfill the mitzvah at all. Shulchan Oruch HaRav 181 (4) says there is ...
28
votes
1answer
869 views

Is a Jew allowed to participate on Christianity.SE?

I was browsing meta.Christianity.SE recently when I noticed a question with a rather obvious (and good) answer that had not been posted. I was about to go ahead and answer it when I realized there ...
8
votes
2answers
242 views

Stipulations based on “correct” halacha vs. “לא בשמים היא”

It is my understanding that halacha is determined by individual p'sak. That is, there is no divine body of halacha which we are trying to determine with poskim issuing their p'sak based on what they ...
8
votes
2answers
390 views

Why when washing for bread do we splash twice?

Is there any particular reason the procedure for washing hands for bread includes pouring the water twice on each hand? Isn't once enough?