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Should you ask a stranger in your shul if he is Jewish?

We've had a few questions similar to this one that deal with assuming that you have a minyan, when in fact you don't. Shuls are, generally, open to anyone. We usually assume that when a stranger ...
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86 views

Is altering human genetics wrong in Judaism?

So, our colonists of the oceanic planet Mayim (yes, that's its name), of whom every single one is a Jew, have encountered a problem: there is no more room on the buoyant-colony-thing that they live ...
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122 views

Names with origins of avoda zara

I gave my daughter a second name after my father's, for which I came up with a female version. I saw that the name does exist, but I never bothered to see the origin for some reason. Now, after five ...
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28 views

What is involved in “shnayim mikro v'echod targum” for someone travelling from outside the land to Israel when the sedrahs are different?

What are the principles involved in “shnayim mikro v'echod targum” for someone travelling from outside the land to Israel when the sedrahs read in those places are different. (I have already asked my ...
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85 views

Does the chametz sales contract need to be enforceable under secular law?

We go to great lengths to ensure that our pre-Pesach chametz sale is effective according to halacha. Thus, we effect the sale via various means of acquisition: kinyan kesef, kinyan sudar, kinyan agav ...
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91 views

May a nutrition scientist perform research on chametz as part of his job on Hol Hamo'ed Pesach?

For this question, I am interested only in the aspect of handling the chametz and "benefitting" from it on Hol Hamo'ed, not any problems, possibly of going to work. (Let's assume that if the worker ...
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53 views

Why are we so concerned about mistaking meat on Pesach?

The Shulchan Aruch in siman 469 and 476 lays out the concerns we have that someone might mistake you main course for a real Korban Pesach. This includes not saying 'this meat is for Peasach' and not ...
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143 views

How is one allowed to say a bracha in a Mikvah?

There's an argument (In Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman 200) if women say their Bracha in the Mikva itself. According to the Sefardim, they do it clothed (but can do it with water up until the neck), ...
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46 views

Do the Havdalah flames have to join into one?

I know that Havdalah candles are supposed to have multiple wicks, in order to form a "torch". My question is, to what extent do the flames generated from the wicks need to work together to form a ...
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86 views

Different Washing for Eating Bread and Going to the Bathroom

Why is there a different style of hand washing for after going to the bathroom (alternating between hands) and before eating bread (consecutively on each hand)?
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64 views

Is a psik reisha d'lo nicha or d'lo echpat judged against a communal standard?

If I perform an action on Shabbos which will cause a secondary (forbidden) action, the secondary action is assessed as to whether it is desirable, detrimental or neutral (as per Difference between ...
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44 views

Does Torah reading need to be repeated if you said it with an “assumed” minyan?

I'm not good with the title for this scenario: Suppose that there where 10 men in the shul - 9 everyone knew, and the 10th no one knew. He wore a yarmulka, so everyone assumed that he was Jewish. ...
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48 views

Is judging others unfavorably a prohibition?

Is judging others unfavorably a prohibition? If so, what is the source for it? Also, do any of the sages offer any advice for overcoming judging other unfavorably?
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165 views

What should you do if you washed and planned to have a meal with bread but realized that the bread went bad?

Say you had in mind to have a regular meal with bread. After washing and saying homotzi lechem min harataz and taking a bite of bread, you realize that the bread is bad. Now all you have left to eat ...
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175 views

Shochtim who learned from translated materials

The Maharil in his Tshusvos Chadashos ("New Responsa," mentioned here), writes (Siman 93) that the custom is not to give kabblah to shochtim who learned the laws shechita in German (translated ...
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59 views

Is there an obligation to reattach a severed body part?

If a part of a person's body is severed for whatever reason, is there an obligation on the person who lost it to reattach it?
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74 views

Issues of lifnei iver with an inaccurate clock

Is there any problem with lifnei iver (giving bad information) in having an inaccurate clock that someone else will look at? I'll examine a few cases here. The clock is a few minutes off. I don't ...
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95 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 ...
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49 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 ...
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45 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 ...
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101 views

What defines a “בהמה” (also “חיה”)?

As discussed in *Dag* (דָג) in kashrus halacha, *Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha, and *Of* (עוֹף) in kashrus halacha, there are different rules used to determine the kashrus status of ...
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132 views

Do i have a responsibility to report users breaking the rules?

If I know that a certain user of a website is breaking the rules, can I just turn a blind eye, or must I report it? Also, Does it matter what kind of rule it is? (E.g. No swearing vs. age ...
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59 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 ...
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38 views

What to do with discarded shemittah produce of co-workers

I currently work in an environment where colleagues (irreligious and/or not Jewish) are consuming produce that has shemittah sanctity. They often throw their left over food directly in the bin with ...
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155 views

Are Samaritans viewed as adherents of Judaism?

Shalom, In Judaism, particularly from an Orthodox perspective, are Samaritans seen as fellow Jews? Sometimes I see their religion referred to as 'Samaritanism', sometimes as Judaism. Also, is ...
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110 views

Can a Jewish owned business sponsor (or own) a non-Jewish football team?

In recent years, big businesses (including the airlines Emirates, Etihad and Qatar) and wealthy people (including Sheik Mansour) from UAE and Qatar have been sponsoring or purchasing some of the ...
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442 views

How hungry does a Jew have to be to eat non-kosher food?

I understand that Jews are allowed to eat non-kosher food in order to save their lives. My question is, how long does a Jew have to be deprived of food, before he or she is allowed to eat non-kosher ...
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80 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 ...
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94 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 ...
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167 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 ...
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172 views

Waiting six hours when chicken became meat

Poultry was once not considered fleishig. If someone had eaten chicken immediately before the rabbis decreed that poultry was fleishig, would he have had to wait his customary number of hours before ...
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108 views

Blessing on Immersing Vessels to Purify Them

A Mikvah can be used to purify humans or certain vessels which have contracted ritual impurity (Rambam Mikvaot 1 (English)). When humans use the Mikvah to purify themselves they recite a blessing ...
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40 views

Badikas Chamatz in courtyards of cities today

Shulchan Aruch HaRav says: קרקעית החצר אין צריך בדיקה לפי שעורבין ושאר עופות מצויין שם והם אוכלים כל חמץ שנופל ואפילו אם ידוע לו שיש שם בחצר ודאי חמץ אין צריך ליטלו משם בשעת בדיקת ליל י"ד ואפילו ...
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126 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 ...
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63 views

Immersing a dish used for a gift

(Based in part on this question.) If I purchase a new dish that would require immersion, and I use the dish FOR a gift (I bring brownies on the dish to my Jewish neighbor), and I do not intend to ...
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73 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 ...
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211 views

Would Harry Potter be killed as a sorcerer?

Before asking my question, I'd like to make it clear that this is being asked in all seriousness, and not as some form of satire or "Purim Torah". I think there is a precedent for asking halachic ...
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207 views

What does “p'ruath rosh” actually mean?

It says in the halakha that a married woman may not go out into the public market place with "p'ruath rosh." I have heard that this means "with uncovered head," but this does not seem to match up ...
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47 views

Can a store owner avoid hashavas avaidah?

If a Jewish person owns a store where the majority of patrons are Jewish (let's say a pizza store) can he post a sign which says all lost items will be discarded after 30 days, or something similar, ...
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60 views

responsibility for passing on a virus (medical)

Would one be obligated to pay any of the five types of damages paid upon wounding someone, if they were to infect that someone with a viral/bacterial disease, whether through: Peshia (negligence)? ...
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230 views

Should you refrain from putting ash on your forehead if your wedding coincides with Ash Wednesday?

Some brides/grooms have a custom to put ash on the forehead at their wedding as a remembrance for the destruction of the temple. Is there any halachic discussion about avoiding this practice if the ...
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130 views

Referring to Gentile Priest as “Father”

Is it permissible to either refer to or address a gentile priest as "Father XXXXXXXXX"? What alternatives might there be?
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97 views

G-d's name on screen readers

People who are blind or hard-of-seeing often interact with computers using devices called "screen readers". These screen readers will read aloud the words that are written on the screen (or in the ...
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145 views

When may a person take down his Succah?

When can I take down my Succah? Suppose that after Chol HaMoed begins one is traveling for an extended period and would not like to leave the decorations, s'chach and sides up because they are likely ...
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75 views

Can an Israeli work in public on second-day yomtov if there are non-observant Jews around?

Shulchan Aruch says an Israeli Jew who is just visiting non-Israel should not work in public on the second day of Yomtov so long as he is in "yishuv" (and commentaries explain "yishuv yisrael") -- a ...
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87 views

Is a renter allowed to withhold rent if the landlord does not fulfill his duties?

If a landlord drags his feet on fixing things in his property, is the renter allowed to withhold rent until he does so? Alternatively, may the renter bring someone to fix it himself and pay from the ...
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182 views

Women tefillah groups

What would be the halachic problems the people have with women's tefillah groups/"minyanim"? I mean when a bunch of women all get together to daven together. They do everything that men would do, ...
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183 views

After-death care of a non-Jewish relative

If a Jew has been entrusted with the after-death care of a non-Jewish relative, what should be done? Specifically, if the non-Jewish relative requested to be cremated after death, can or should a Jew ...
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83 views

Would adding buttons and button holes to a tallis gadol disqualify it?

I've seen fitted tallisim katanim with buttons connected the front and back for smooth wear. Could you also add buttons and button holes to a tallis gadol to hellp it stay on? Or would that ...
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85 views

Can one use potential wind power to transport on Shabbos?

Would it be permitted to set a cart with a sail in a reshus hayachid with the intent that if the wind picks up, it will carry the contents 1) into a reshus harabbim, or 2) through a reshus harabbim ...