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Is it ever permissible to break Shabbos in order to relieve someone of suffering?

Is it ever permissible to break Shabbos in order to relieve someone (a human or an animal) of suffering? I am talking about excruciating suffering, not merely discomfort, and I am not talking about ...
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How does deep snow affect carrying on Shabbos?

Thinking about the snow in Boston and the discussion at Shabbos 5a, if there was more than 10 tefakim (handbredths) of snow on the ground, would a reshus hayachad (private domain) extend from the soil ...
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Mistake when buying ring to get married with

The following case might perhaps be too localized however I'm asking it as a theoretical question in order to understand these laws in Choshen Mishpat and Evan HaEzer better. A Kallah (bride) went to ...
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107 views

Is it halachically permissible to click on contextual ads with no intention of buying?

Contextual ads are those ads you see when you do a search on Google. The advertisers only pay if someone actually clicks on their ad. It seems "pashut" to me that clicking an ad if you know you're not ...
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Answering Amen to quiet Berachoth

According to this answer citing RaM"A (124:11), you can answer Amen to any Berachah even if you don't hear it, so long as you know which one is being said. Does this apply only to Tefillah BeTzibur ...
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98 views

Ose shalom post shemona esre

Basic Background: Following the shemona esre prayer, the sages instituted concluding the prayer with the verse "yihyu leratzon" followed by "petira"- symbolically exiting from before G-d through ...
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358 views

Fresh fish need hechsher

Does fresh fish from a supermarket or fish market require a hechsher? I would be tempted to believe that a fish known to be of a kosher variety would not need certification since there is no shechita ...
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59 views

How does a recent bar mitzva “complete the weekly portion with the community”

When a person becomes bar mitva during the year, 98% of the time the community has already read 1 or even 50 weekly portions. Does the bar mitzva need to make up those portions? Would it matter if ...
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227 views

How obligated is one to say Kaddish for a deceased relative?

People often talk about an obligation -- Chiyuv -- to recite Kaddish at every opportunity for some time after the death of a relative. (Which relatives are obligated and for how long does not seem ...
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87 views

Shomronim and Halakha

Do the Baraitot brought down by Masechet Kutim and other random halachot in the Talmud that were said about "kutim" apply to the 750 remaining Samaritans in the world today (who currently live in ...
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67 views

On What Subjects Does One Say Birchas HaTorah?

Must one say Birchas Hatorah before learning Aggadata in the Gemara? Biographies like Shem Hagedolim (a biography of various Rabbonim written by the Chida)? Artscroll biographies?
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132 views

Late sunset times and Jewish observance

This question is distinct from other questions which ask how and when to begin Shabbat, etc. when there is no sunset. I am asking about places in which sunset occurs very late during certain times of ...
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276 views

Selling a house to a non Jew

Notwithstanding anti discrimination laws which may disallow a seller to only sell to other Jews exclusively. Suppose a Jewish fellow - living outside of Eretz Yisroel - lives on a block which is ...
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196 views

Can you fulfill Netilat Yadayim by dipping your hands in a sink?

According to the Gemara in Hullin on 107a, if there's a vessel with a hole in it, and there's a "stream" (more than a drip but not necessarily the "sheffoferet hannod" required for a real mikveh) ...
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139 views

Eating out Friday night of Chanukkah

If one is lighting Chanukkah candles inside (for whatever reason) relying on the publicization to himself and his family, then what should he do on Friday night if he is eating out? Must he make the ...
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The word 'Halakhah'

When and under what circumstances did the word "halakhah" (also spelled "halacha", "halachah" or, in Hebrew, הלכה) come to mean Jewish law?
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The shlock — halachic considerations

Let's say you bought or built your own shlock (rain cover) for your sukkah. What halachic concerns are there about operating it on Shabbos/Yom Tov? Might there be problems of boneh (building)? If the ...
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Must the entire decoration be within 4 t'fachim of the schach?

Inspired by Can too many decorations render a sukkah invalid? If there is a big decoration hanging from the schach, is it OK as long as the top is within 4 tefachim, or must the entire thing be ...
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What kind of responsibility do Mi Yodeya answerers have for people following halacha according to the site?

Here on Mi Yodeya, we are careful to remind people that they should not rely on this or any website for practical halachic decisions. Nonetheless, it is almost certain that some people take what they ...
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Holidays south of the equator

When Jews first started establishing communities south of the equator, they must have noticed that the holidays fell completely at the wrong times of the year. (For example, Pesach, referred to as hag ...
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50 views

Can Jews revolt?

I want to preface this question with the statement that I have absolutely no intention of starting a revolution against any government, so this is not off-topic as psak-seeking, and the NSA can just ...
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Is there any halachic problem with providing a service (e.g., matchmaking) to someone for free, when others pay for it?

I recently got an interesting email from a shadchan (matchmaker), which I've paraphrased here: I have a potential match in mind for you. However, it is a halachic problem if I set you up with this ...
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61 views

Liability for bed bugs

If one tenant in an apartment brings in bed-bugs (and that can be proven), and they spread throughout the building, and the other tenants have to vacate their apartments to be fumigated, or whatever ...
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Is one required to tie strong tzitzis knots?

In the comments here, you can find several suggestions of how to make sure your tzitzis knots will not loosen. Is one required to tie their knots this way, to prevent them from coming loose while ...
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Practical Halacha - Do the Israeli soldiers currently involved in Operation Protective Edge eliminate any parts of davening?

I assume that those driving the tanks, going in the tunnels, and otherwise in immediate dangerous situations either completely miss a prayer, or eliminate parts of it. Maybe they are saying "Havinenu" ...
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Literal “bigdei zeya” in the nine days

During the nine days, people do not wear freshly laundered clothing as a sign of mourning for the destruction of the Temples. This applies to shirts, pants, coats etc (all examples of regular ...
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When does a מעריב-misser say שמונה עשרה?

קצור שלחן ערוך‎ 21:1 describes what one should do who missed מעריב by accident: לאחר תפילת שחרית יאמר תחנון ואשרי ויתפלל תפלת שמונה עשרה לשם ערבית ואחר כך יאמר למנצח ובא לציון וכו׳ After ...
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A rebellious spouse in Beis Din today

The Rambam describes how to handle a case where a couple is divorcing and one spouse claims the other is rebellious (refusing marital relations) and the other is insisting that this is not the case ...
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54 views

how to clean up from one meal for another on shabbos?

if after putting all of the trash in the trash can there are lots of crumbs still left behind how should one get rid of these properly on shabbos? may one shake the crumbs outside (assuming its in ...
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Al Hamichya in one room and al hagefen in another room

If you eat cake in Room A and then proceed to drink wine in Room B both bracha achronas must be made in the rooms in which the food was eaten. Where and how do you make a bracha achrona. Here are the ...
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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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Can you say shechechiyanu on something you might return?

Say you bought a nice suit. Can you say shechechiyanu on it if there's a possibility that you might return it. If you already did say shechichiyanu on it, are you allowed to return it?
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Does anyone allow one to get married the night after Pesach Sheni?

Rivivos Efraim Volume 2 page 266 in discussing whether one may eat roasted meat on the evening after Pesach Sheni concludes as follows. ופוק חזי מאי עמא דבר, שעושים חתונות מפוארות באותו לילה ...
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What's considered shaving?

During periods of mourning, such as Sefirat Haomer and the three weeks prior to Tisha B'av, shaving is prohibited. What is considered shaving and what is allowed? May you pluck out a few hairs here ...
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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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Can you take and post pictures of people online without their permission?

Realizing that there is some concern with having one's picture taken in the first place; according to those who allow pictures of people to be taken, is there any halachic reason which would prevent ...
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List of Halachot LiMosheh MiSinai

Is there a comprehensive list of things in the Talmud that are "halachot limosheh misinai"- laws that were passed down from Moshe through the generations? An example of such is tefilin needing to be ...
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52 views

How long can יוצא ונכנס be?

In regards to kosher supervision, what is the largest single gap that a mashgiach can leave the premise and still be considered practicing יוצא ונכנס?
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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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37 views

Designating an item before shabbos for others- Snow Cones!

If I designate an item before Shabbos for an acceptable purpose, it can become not muktza for me. Can another person, who I did not have in mind when I made my initial declaration the use that item? ...
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Looking for a definition of oneg Shabbos

Yeshaya 58:13 states that Shabbat is called oneg (delight). I have seen several different items described as oneg shabbos including taking a nap, marital relations, enjoying food at the shabbat meals ...
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156 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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108 views

Are gold (or silver) jewelry charms considered avodah zarah?

Many years ago, I started to buy small gold charms specifically with Jewish symbols for my mother who added them to a necklace, much like gold charm bracelets circa 50 years ago. Among them were tiny ...
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Why is there seemingly such a disconnect between the Geonim and the Rishonim?

It seems that there was a disconnect or upheaval of some kind between the times of the Geonim and the times of the Rishonim and the hakhamim that these two eras contained. Shittoth regarding tefila, ...
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63 views

Benefiting from channukah candles in a mirror

One is not allowed to "benefit" from the lights of the channukah candles. Rashi says the reason is in order that it should be recognizable that these candles are light for the mitzvah in order to ...
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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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83 views

Slide Rule on Shabbos/Yom Tov

May a slide rule (mechanical device before calculators) can be used on Shabbos for Gemara calculations?
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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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101 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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Are adjoining Sukkoth ok?

Is there any reason* neighbors could not build adjoining Sukkoth? What I mean is, suppose there were four** row houses, which shared an open patio/courtyard with four** row houses behind them, and ...