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16
votes
1answer
953 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
524 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
202 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
532 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
1k 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
460 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
306 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
776 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
483 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
128 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
526 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
515 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
592 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
385 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
152 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
216 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
106 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
446 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
218 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
872 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
246 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?
14
votes
2answers
173 views

Sukkah in the Soviet Union

The opinion of the Shulchan Aruch Harav is that one isn't allowed to build a Sukkah on public property (because it is considered stolen). In the Soviet Union all property was nationalized and they ...
4
votes
1answer
309 views

Cooking meat and milk in the microwave

Would cooking meat and milk in the microwave be prohibited on the biblical level or just a rabbinical level prohibition?
12
votes
3answers
623 views

Limits to Dina Dmalchusa Dina

What are the specifications of Dina Dimalchusah? A more targeted question to answer would be: If I ripped off the label of my mattress — the label that says its removal is punishable by federal ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Does a fathers obligation to teach his sons a parnassah extend to his daughters too?

A father has an obligation to teach his sons Torah, a parnassah and to swim. To what extent do these obligations extend to his daughters too? (edited to include my explanation from the comments) As ...
6
votes
2answers
142 views

Brochos Listed on Food Packages

I noticed that many times there are Brochos listed on food packages (e.g. "ברכתו מזונות"). Is there any standard with regards to who is supplying the Halachic data? Is it generally the Hashgacha (...
20
votes
1answer
307 views

a wheelchair user's taking “steps” before sh'mone esre

The Shulchan Aruch, OC 94:5, writes: Suppose someone is sitting on a boat or wagon [and saying sh'mone esre (amida)]. If he can stand up when he reaches the point of bowing, he should stand, so as ...
1
vote
2answers
236 views

At what point is a child considered living

Does life begin at conception, or does Judaism take a different view? At what point does life begin?
14
votes
2answers
826 views

Morning After Pill in Halacha

Is the morning-after pill considered an abortion in Halachic terms or does it have another status, and, if the latter, may it be used?
8
votes
1answer
453 views

Is abortion of a gentile child of a Jewish father permissible?

If a Jewish man were to father a child with a gentile would they be allowed to consider an abortion or would that be disallowed in the Halachic literature ?
10
votes
2answers
319 views

May a woman freeze her ova?

Is a woman allowed to freeze her own ova if she is coming to the later years of her life and is afraid she will miss her opportunity to have her own children naturally or otherwise, or is that frowned ...
4
votes
1answer
137 views

Gender Choice in Halacha

Is it Halachicly allowed to chose the gender of your child or does Halacha frown upon this practice?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How long is the required suspension of marital intimacy after childbirth?

How many days a must married couple refrain from intimacy after their baby is born?
16
votes
3answers
385 views

How long can you say Asher Yotzar if you forgot?

If you forgot to say Asher Yotzar and remember a while later, is there a time limit as to when you are allowed to say it?
9
votes
1answer
120 views

Does a child tear Kriyah at the Kosel?

Does a kid under Bar/Bas Mitzva have to tear Kriya when they go to the Kosel?
20
votes
3answers
371 views

Can I lend out a Library Book?

I just borrowed a wonderful book from the local library (let's assume Jewish library - but does it matter?). My friend sees the book and wants to read it. My library lets me keep the book for a week, ...
5
votes
1answer
194 views

Car falls into my ditch- I'm not responsible?

Halacha dictates that if someone were to dig a huge hole in the middle of the street and a car fell into it, he would not be responsible to pay for the damage to the car. The language of the Talmud ...
1
vote
2answers
105 views

Scratch on a car: liability if panel was later paid by another

If someone scratches my car door and then later a second person knocks it off completely and the second person has to compensate, is the first person who scratched the door still responsible to pay me?...
5
votes
2answers
159 views

Law against putting people down?

I recall hearing a few years ago about a law in scripture regarding one's speech that had a particular Jewish interpretation that resonated with me. The problem is, I don't remember what it was called,...
4
votes
2answers
154 views

"Oseh ma'aseh braishis” on a rainbow. Is this a brocho levatoloh?

Someone made the brocho of “oseh ma'aseh braishis” on a rainbow. Is this a brocho levatoloh? What sources deal with this issue please? (I have posed the shaaloh to my Rav.)
5
votes
1answer
161 views

What portion of his income would a Jew following the sacrificial laws give?

Christians are often told that tithing is a practice established in the law of Moses, and may be expected to respect this as a baseline for giving. But as I read through the Pentateuch, I see quite a ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

saying בריך שמיה before הוצאה [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is B'rich Shmei said while the Torah sits in the Aron, or as it's held (by whom?) I know that the Shaare Efrayim and Igros Moshe say that the congregation should ...