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 ...

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8
votes
1answer
108 views

Honouring an older person

What sources are there for showing respect and honour to an old person who is not necessarily a talmid chochom or a parent?
5
votes
1answer
188 views

Halachos Related to Visiting the Kosel

When one is visiting the western wall, what are some specific halachos that he/she should be cognizant of? By "specific halachos" I mean halachos that only apply to the Kosel -- and not anywhere ...
9
votes
3answers
260 views

What is the Minimum Width of Tefillin Straps?

What is the minimum width of tefillin straps? For example: if one's tefillin straps partially tore, how much is required to remain for the tefillin to remain Kosher?
4
votes
2answers
209 views

Why is the right strap longer than the left strap by the Tefilin Shel Rosh?

What is the reason that the right strap is longer than the left strap by the Tefilin Shel Rosh?
5
votes
2answers
280 views

What is the proper length of the Tefilin Shel Rosh straps?

How long are the Tefilin Shel Rosh straps supposed to be? What is the minimum Shiur and what is the maximum?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

When does the prohibition against eating meat during the 9 Days start?

does the prohibition regarding eating meat start at night or in the morning? If this is unclear... On Rosh Chodesh (the night of, the night we say yala ve yavo) can we have meet for dinner? I know ...
4
votes
1answer
148 views

Keeping one or two days of Yom Tov in towns outside the biblically stipulated borders of Israel?

If you’re living in Amman, Jordan, I believe that you need to keep two days of Yom Tov. But if you’re in Eilat, you keep one day. Why?
3
votes
2answers
196 views

When a Bris is being done for a baby at the same time as his Pidyon HaBen

If a baby who is a Bechor had his Bris delayed to the 31st day, and now on the 31st day he is ready to have his Bris and it is also the day of his Pidyon HaBen - which Mitzva should be done first? Do ...
5
votes
3answers
342 views

When a Bechor's Bris is delayed beyond the day of the Pidyon HaBen

If a baby who is a Bechor had his Bris delayed beyond the 31st day - should the Pidyon HaBen be pushed off until the Bris is ready to be done? On one side you do not want to delay a Mitzva in its ...
35
votes
11answers
3k views

Why is it necessary to ask a Rabbi?

In various places on this site, including the FAQ, we have the following disclaimer: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly ...
11
votes
2answers
512 views

Halachic Considerations for Women in the IDF

For a religious girl going into the IDF very soon, there are a few questions that are often asked: Especially in active units, wearing a skirt while on base can be a problem: While crawling, ...
6
votes
2answers
637 views

Why do the laws of kitniyot still apply today to Ashkenazi Jews on Passover?

How did the tradition start? Why is it still around today? What is the basis for this Halacha (הלכה)?
1
vote
1answer
235 views

What was the 'evolution' of determining who is part of the Jewish people?

Starting with Abraham and continuing till modern halacha. how has the halacha regarding who is part of the Jewish people changed? What were the causes of the change, and the reasoning, and the change ...
4
votes
4answers
475 views

Fasting on the wedding day - when getting married right before or after a fast

When a person gets married a day before Yom Kippur or a day after Tzon Gedalya - does he/she have to fast two days in a row?
4
votes
2answers
158 views

Sheva Brachos at a Bris

If a Chosson & Kallah during the first week they got married attended a Bris, should the assembled recite Sheva Brachos after Bentching?
9
votes
3answers
678 views

What evidence is required to indicate mamzer status?

It seems to me that just about every possible shadow of doubt is used to prevent halachic rulings that would classify a person as a mamzer. From my understanding after having read this paragraph on ...
10
votes
4answers
406 views

What is the best way to visualize the Churban Bais HaMikdash?

It is now thousands of years since the Churban Bais HaMikdash. Many jews feel very comfortable in their surroundings. What is the best way for a person to visiualize the great loss of the Bais ...
3
votes
2answers
542 views

Davening Maariv at Shekiya / or after Plag HaMincha - repeating Kriyas Shema

If a person prays Maariv after Plag HaMincha prior to Shekiya is there any Halachic authority that holds he is Yotzei the Mitzva of Kriyas Shema and does not have to repeat it? What if he prays right ...
1
vote
2answers
306 views

Would the internet be considered muktzeh due to Nolad (a new thing)

There is a category of muktzeh on shabbat called Nolad. Nolad means literally, something that is born on shabbat. It is interpreted in the modern era, as meaning anything which you did not have ...
2
votes
2answers
192 views

Requirments for the Document of a Jewish divorce and its messenger

Does a "get" (Jewish divorce document) need to be written on a Klaf (parchment)? And what are the halachic requirements to be a shaliach (agent) for a "get"? May a man send a woman as his shaliach ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

May one swim on Shiva Asar B'Tamuz?

May one swim on Shiva Asar B"Tamuz? If not, why not? (sources)
5
votes
1answer
215 views

Halachically prohibited but nevertheless valid acts

The Magid Mishna on Hilchos G'zela Va'aveda 1:9 quotes the rule that מילתא דאמר רחמנא 'לא תעביד' - אי עביד לא מהני מידי Something regarding which the Torah said "don't do [it]" - if one does ...
2
votes
2answers
551 views

Can a person start swimming in the three weeks?

Someone told me that if a person did not swim prior to the three weeks, he may not start swimming during the three weeks? Is there a source for this? (sources)
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it okay to drive a car on the Sabbath?

The Five Books of Moses mention not stoking a fire on the Sabbath, if I remember correctly. By starting a car, I'd think I am stoking a fire. Is this okay to do for a Jew? Why or why not?
3
votes
2answers
312 views

Must I take maaser from my income nowadays?

I heard that we don't have to give maaser from our income nowadays because we are outside of Israel and without the Beit Hamikdash. Is this true?
6
votes
4answers
449 views

Kissing Tzitzis during Shema

There are those that kiss their Tzitzis during Shema at Shacharis as per Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 17:7 and the Kaf HaChaim 18 and there are those that do not. What is the source and reason for those that ...
3
votes
2answers
563 views

Which actions are prohibited even to save a life?

I know that many commandments, e.g. keeping Shabbat, not lying, etc., must be violated if doing so is necessary to save a life. For which commandments is this not true? Does it ever matter how many ...
7
votes
1answer
213 views

Amon and Moav today

The Halacha is that a Jewish woman may not marry a convert of Amon and Moav. Is there any way to know who is a descendant of Amon and Moav today?
3
votes
2answers
120 views

What qualities are necessary in a halachic wrapping?

There are occasions, e.g. a mezuza in a sometimes-unbecoming environment, in which we're required to cover a holy object with one or two wrappings to separate it from various environmental elements. ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Wearing Watches on Shabbat

What is a watch one can wear on shabbat? There are the analogue quartz watches with just one crown to adjust the time that (as far as I'm aware) most people would wear on shabbat (especially an ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

Is practicing Yoga against Torah?

What does Halacha and Halachic Authorities have to say about the permissibility of a Jew practicing Yoga? Is it Avodah Zarah? If it is problematic, are there methods of doing it where it would be ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Are there any halachic issues with cut flowers grown in Israel?

Produce grown in Israel is subject to many additional agricultural laws (shemita, terumah, maaser, etc.). Thus occasionally there are alerts about bell peppers, etc. for sale in American supermarkets ...
7
votes
1answer
175 views

Halakhic problem with indirectly effecting posthumous Mormon baptism?

Would there be any halakhic problem with using LDS resources to do family history research, if you knew it would result in deceased Jews being named in posthumous baptism rituals? Or is this ...
7
votes
2answers
594 views

Minimal requirements for bedtime shema

What is the minimal required text to say for the bedtime shema? Is it sufficient to say only Hamapil and the first paragraph of shema?
5
votes
1answer
172 views

Sheva Berachot at third meal

If sheva brachot occur at a seudah shlishit which finishes after sunset, is one allowed to drink the wine even though it is prior to making havdala? If yes, who specifically would be allowed to drink ...
7
votes
1answer
354 views

Can one play darts on shabbat?

Can one play darts on shabbat? And can one then do archery on shabbat, assuming there are no words or numbers on the target, and the bows remain strung throughout shabbat?
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Why does a girl become Bat Mitzvah at 12 years old?

We learn that a Bar Mitzvah is at age 13, since it says in Bamidbar 5:6: Tell the children of Israel: When a man (אִישׁ) or woman commits any of the sins against man to act treacherously against ...
11
votes
3answers
532 views

Why does earthly punishment start at 13 and divine punishment at 20?

Inspired by this question. The age when one is obligated to keep Mitzvos is 13 (for a male and 12 for a female). (See Avot 5:21 and Bartenura) After that age, Beit Din may punish them if they ...
8
votes
5answers
207 views

Is age a disqualification for Shechita?

Does advanced age disqualify a Shochet from being able to preform the ritual slaughter? If so what is the cut off age? Related question: What's the youngest that a shochet could be? (lower age ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a female be a Shochet? (slaughter animals)

Can a female slaughter animals according to Halacha? (sources)
4
votes
4answers
334 views

Are you allowed to get married the night going into Shiva Asar B'Tamuz?

Are you allowed to get married the night going into Shiva Asar B'Tamuz? If you have the Chupa prior to Shekiya can the wedding continue past sunset? (Sources please)
10
votes
1answer
264 views

What did a “don't-issue-rulings” semicha (ordination) look like?

Again from the biography of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein found in Igrot Moshe Volume 8 (emphasis added): Many approached [him] for ordination, and he was not difficult on them. Some ordinations were ...
12
votes
2answers
216 views

Does an improperly slaughtered animal render the Shochet impure?

In Vayikra 11:39 it says: לט. וְכִי יָמוּת מִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר הִיא לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה הַנֹּגֵעַ בְּנִבְלָתָהּ יִטְמָא עַד הָעָרֶב:‏ 39) If an animal that you [normally] eat, dies, one who ...
11
votes
4answers
889 views

Why do we say Shelo Asani Goy?

In Birchas HaShachar we thank God for not making us gentiles by saying "shelo asni goi". Why do we use the negative formation instead of thanking God for making us Jews by saying "she-asani Yehudi" ...
6
votes
1answer
108 views

Less disgraceful placement of a sefer kodesh?

Suppose I find myself in a public building, in need of a restroom, with a chumash in my hand that is too large to fit in a pocket. Outside the restroom, in a painted cinderblock hallway, there is no ...
61
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the halachic source for objection to gay (civil) marriage?

New York State is considering legalizing gay (civil) marriages, so tonight on our answering machine we received a message urging us to pray that it doesn't pass because gay civil marriages were, you ...
7
votes
1answer
169 views

Can one use a water butt(s) as a keli mikvah?

In my house we have a water butt connected to the gutter from the roof that fills when it rains. Could we use it as a keli mikvah if we connected two of them by a hose pipe so that the total water ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Is Exercise on Shabbos Allowed?

Is one allowed to do exercises on Shabbos? Are any types allowed? Some examples of different types: Lifting weights or heavy items Jumping jacks Taking a walk (long, but without Techum issues) ...
6
votes
1answer
281 views

Melacha on Shabbat - At which stage of removal does something become legal?

I had heard of something relating to melacha on Shabbat from an (orthodox!) rabbi who mentioned something really interesting. At a certain level of removal, one can indirectly perform melacha. It was ...
6
votes
2answers
379 views

For a man, does any four-cornered garment require tzitzit?

As far as hilchot tzitzit are concerned, are there many instances where a Jewish man would be required to affix tzitzit to a garment other than a tallit katan or gadol? A few "for-instances" would ...