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14
votes
3answers
433 views

Loshon Hara against an Online Identity

Does the prohibition of Loshon Hara apply when the target is an online name or identity, where the person behind it is anonymous, such as an anonymous user on this forum ?
9
votes
2answers
168 views

Is there a law against saying obscenities?

Is there a law against saying obscenities? If yes, what is considered obscene? Does it apply to any language or only to Hebrew?
5
votes
1answer
243 views

Fasting on Erev Shabbos/Yom Tov

Is it permitted to fast on Erev Shabbos or Erev Yom Tov? I've heard about people taking on fasts until chatzos, but no later. What is the halacha on this?
11
votes
3answers
537 views

If it rains on my sukkah and I put up a tarp, should I stay in the sukkah?

If it is raining on Succos is there any benefit in eating in a Succah covered with a (Schlack) tarp over eating in the house? (sources please)
3
votes
1answer
903 views

Is there some way to turn the electric stove on and off on Yomtov?

We use an electric stove to cook in our house, not fire or gas (aside from the occasional barbecue). To cook on first day Yomtov and more so on second day we would have to leave the stove on from the ...
8
votes
4answers
419 views

Can a Sukkah have all-glass walls?

Would a Sukkah that has walls that are completely transparent be kosher for use?
6
votes
1answer
546 views

Slant-roofed sukkah

This is the frame that I'm using for my sukkah. In the event that the bars forming the frame's roof cannot be removed, would they completely posul the flat sechach I might construct beneath them? If ...
10
votes
1answer
371 views

Eating in sukkah before or after sukkot

Is there anything problematic about eating in a sukkah after building it but before Sukkot starts? Or I guess likewise after Sukkot is over?
26
votes
7answers
6k views

Is one allowed to smoke Marijuana?

Not taking into account Dina D'malchusa, what are the Halachic problems with smoking marijuana? Is it allowed?
8
votes
2answers
420 views

Baldness as a disqualification for Kohanim

Is it true that most authorities say that baldness and left handedness disqualify a man for Kehunah? Does the same apply for Birchas Kohanim? And why?
18
votes
1answer
638 views

Who is Moshiach?

How do I know that someone is Moshiach? Will I just know? Are there requirements? If someone tells me that he is the Moshiach, is he to be believed. It would seem seem strange to say so.
8
votes
2answers
328 views

Does a tallis have to be of a certain color?

Are there any halachos which require a tallis to be of a certain color? I've seen talleisim of many different colors, but are there any actual rules with regard to the color as opposed to the material?...
6
votes
2answers
899 views

Taking down Sukkah decorations before the end of holiday

I know that if I am going to be traveling during Chol Ha'Moed, I know that I can not halachically take down my Sukkah or the Schach early. Does the same prohibition apply to the decorations?
7
votes
1answer
115 views

Diamonds in the coffee

A friend requests that you take a jar of Coffee to Israel and you happily oblige. On the way to your destination the jar cracks, so you just buy a replacement. Later you find out that the can ...
15
votes
2answers
185 views

The two stamp question

One man owns two of the only very expensive stamps in the world. Let us say each stamp was worth a million dollars. A second man comes along and destroys stamp one. The catch is that now according to ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

Bread in the freezer

The title of the question is tongue in cheek. There was a very kind family that was away for the summer and allowed their home to be used by a second family. The second family got there and found the ...
9
votes
1answer
503 views

Sukka in a covered balcony

I live in an apartment with a balcony that is fully covered by the balcony two floors above (the balconies are zig-zagged). This means that I cannot build a kosher sukka in my balcony. I don't have ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Why say tachanun in selichos but not in davenning when say a sandek is in Shul?

If someone (eg sandek, mohel) is in Shul (the synagogue) whose presence stops the kehillo (congregation) saying tachanun, why is it that we do say tachanun in Selichos but not in davenning (the prayer ...
7
votes
1answer
163 views

How high before a tree branch does not cause a problem for a Succah?

I have a lovely tree in the back yard, it must be 70-100 years old, maybe 15-20 feet around at the base. First branch is 32 feet up. I know since I used a 35 foot ladder to hang a swing from it, and ...
4
votes
2answers
169 views

In which cases are you exempt from eating in the sukkah?

Are we required to eat every meal and every food/drink under the sukkah? What if it is raining? Cold? What if there are too many people to all fit under the sukkah (we have lots of guests)? Those ...
24
votes
8answers
801 views

Is one allowed to smoke?

Nowadays, since there are studies that show that smoking is dangerous to health, is one allowed to smoke or is it violating "Venishmartem Meod Lenafshosechem"?
6
votes
2answers
73 views

Why are we strict during the 10 days of repentance?

The lone halacha in Shulchan Aruch O.C. 603: Even someone who is not careful about eating [pas akum], during the 10 days of repentance he must be careful. Since the S.A. didn't mention stringencies ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What Bracha do you make on (Kasha) buckwheat?

What Bracha Rishona and Bracha Achrona do you make on (Kasha) buckwheat?
5
votes
2answers
938 views

Why is this wine Yayin Nesech?

There is a letter of the Lubavitcher Rebbe where he writes a letter to a person whose brother said that not traveling on a Jewish owned ship is a "hard test" (which the person seemed to have failed). ...
23
votes
2answers
459 views

Is it a mitzva to escape the death penalty?

If someone is being led to his death by bes din (a Jewish court), is he supposed to try to escape, since, in general, saving one's own life is paramount? More: normally, we say that if someone is out ...
19
votes
2answers
459 views

Is it a sin to escape the death penalty?

If someone is sentenced to death by a Jewish court and is being held prisoner until the sentence can be carried out, if he escapes, is that a sin for him?
8
votes
1answer
107 views

obligation of someone who reads a Psak Din sign in the street

Suppose I read a sign in the street headed Psak Din which says that such-and-such a thing is forbidden (these signs never say such-and-such is permitted), with the names of a list of rabbis at the ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

When can you build the sukkah?

My wife and I love the holiday of Sukkot, as do many of our friends. We build the sukkah every year and have friends over for an evening meal, preferably on Shabbes - if someone else in our group of ...
4
votes
2answers
604 views

Can I use a Parabolic Mirror or Fresnel Lens to cook on Shabbat?

Shabbat 39a discusses cooking on Shabbat using the sun. It is permitted to roll an egg on a hot roof to cook it since this is not a typical way to cook, but you can't burry it in sun-heated-sand ...
7
votes
1answer
329 views

What to do when which side of the door to put the Mezuza on is unclear?

If someone has a house which has a room, and this room has two doors without a "heker tzir" (1) (like salon doors, or sliding doors, or no doors at all) and people walk into this room through one door ...
8
votes
2answers
697 views

Was “correcting” left-handed children something traditionally done by Jews?

In many societies, efforts are made to "convert" children who are naturally left-handed to using their right hands. As I understand it, modern neurology strongly frowns upon this practice. I recall ...
5
votes
2answers
587 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
2k 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
264 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
528 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
496 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
876 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
615 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
178 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
184 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
285 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
730 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
765 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
387 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?