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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

1
vote
2answers
37 views

In Hilkhot Teshuvah 3:7 the Rambam says one who believes in more than one ruler is a heretic. What is the basis for this?

In Hil. Teshuvah 3:7 of the Mishneh Torah (in his listing of heretics - minim), the Rambam makes the following statement: והאומר שיש שם מנהיג אבל הן שנים או יותר "The one who says there is indeed a ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

If a woman, whose husband is away, becomes pregnant, is she assumed to be adulterous?

If a woman's husband is away (e.g. for more than 9 months) and she is found to be pregnant (e.g. Tamar & Yehudah), is that sufficient grounds to declare that infidelity occurred?
3
votes
1answer
82 views

Ask a gentile to switch labors?

I understand that we are (generally) not allowed to ask a gentile to do m'lacha for a Jew on Shabas. Suppose he's going to do m'lacha anyway, but I want him to do it differently, or to do a different ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Is a mother who has just given birth allowed to travel within a month or so of birth?

This question was inspired by the account in Matthew of the events immediately following Jesus' birth. According to Matthew, Jesus was born in Bethlehem, but his parents took him away immediately ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Kadosh-status of fruit grown during shmita but picked afterwards?

If a fruit that has grown on a tree during the shmita year and is only picked in the 8th year (not a shmita year) does it have a kadosh (holy) status since it grew and was ready to be eaten during ...
0
votes
0answers
55 views

May a person daven in a NYC subway car that has a smelly person sitting there?

There's a saying in NYC: "If you're pregnant or elderly, you won't get a seat. But, if you smell bad, you can get a whole subway car." Sadly, the number of (homeless, usually) smelly people found in ...
2
votes
2answers
35 views

Are there any limitations for an inclusion blessing?

There is a rule that if you are eating multiple items that are in the same blessing category (e.g. shehakol) then you only say one blessing and have in mind the other items. Does this inclusion have ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Bracha on avocado / sashimi “boat”

A take-out place near where I work makes an "avocado boat". A whole avocado is peeled, pitted and cut in half. One half is placed on the bottom of a tray and filled with brown rice and assorted ...
6
votes
2answers
203 views

Visiting sites previously used for idol worship

Given the prohibition on entering a place of idol worship (Rambam, Peirush ha-Mishnayos, Avodah Zarah 1:3), when, if ever, is one permitted to visit a historical site that has been used as a place of ...
11
votes
3answers
493 views

Can a Sheitel be made out of one's own hair?

Suppose a married woman is able to create a Sheitel that is entirely made up of her own hair (detached, of course). Does that satisfy the requirement for covering her hair?
2
votes
1answer
103 views

GE Shabbos / Yom Tov mode on ovens - Machlokes

In this question How does Shabbos/Yom Tov mode on a stove work? it discusses how the Shabbos / Yom Tov mode works. I have recently heard that there are Rabbis that do not allow using this mode. Does ...
3
votes
0answers
220 views

Watering Synthetic Grass on Shabbat?

Is there a problem of watering synthetic grass on Shabbat- If the synthetic grass has gaps or "holes" whereby the water can leak through to the earth underneath it? What if the earth underneath ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Name two kids the same name?

Is one allowed to name two of his children (of the same sex) by the same name, so that the entire Jewish name of one child is the same as that of the other? I have never heard of any prohibition. On ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

Pawnshop Interest in Halacha

Suppose a Jewish fellow needs a loan of $50,000 and has been declined by the bank due to his credit record. The local Gemach can not lend such a large sum so he decides to give his expensive car as ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

Can a non-Jew visit a Jewish cemetery to see how it looks?

I want to know whether a non-Jew can, according to Jewish law, enter and visit a Jewish cemetery, to know what it looks like and what symbols and images are used in the cemetery, for personal ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Tying a Bow-Tie on Shabbos

Is one allowed to tie and wear a bow-tie on Shabbos? Bow-ties are not intended to remain tied between uses (I'm not even sure if it's possible to loosen it and slip it off the neck, like one can do ...
17
votes
2answers
398 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
472 views

Is a Cohen who had a vasectomy allowed to perform Birkat Kohanim?

Is Cohen who had a vasectomy allowed to Bless the congregation? Also marry? What happens if he does marry?
2
votes
2answers
27 views

How to understand the word zakai (exempt)?

Is the word zakai (exempt) (as opposed to hiav, guilty) different from the word mutar (permitted) or the word patur (actually a phrase, patur aval assur, without penalty but prohibited)? If so, how ...
7
votes
2answers
546 views

Who is a Shoteh?

In modern day language, what is a Halachic Shoteh? In other words, is someone who is schizophrenic, clinically depressed, OCD, etc. free from Mitzvos?
2
votes
1answer
51 views

What was the “danger” of concern that prohibited eating fish with meat?

This M.Y. answer lists a prohibition of eating fish and meat together because of sakana - it was dangerous. What was the danger at the time this prohibition was instituted?
2
votes
1answer
170 views

When one is home alone, does the Torah discourage the eating of bizarre food mixtures?

Note: If you're going to be eating a meal soon, you might not want to read this question, and you (especially) might not want to click through to the "Secretive food concocting" Wikipedia article. ...
4
votes
2answers
200 views

Should you say a blessing on diet soda used to swallow a pill?

The halacha is that you should only say a bracha on water if you're thirsty. All the seforim I've read agree on the following: if you're not thirsty, but you drink water in order to swallow a pill, ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Should I say all blessings aloud?

I find that most people have tendency to say most blessings (on food, going to the bathroom etc.) quietly to themselves. This may preclude others from having a chance to answer amen afterwards. Is the ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Can you daven mincha & ma'ariv in shul after making making Kiddush at home on Shabbat eve?

Let's say that you are the only qualified Ba'al Tefilah in a small summer community that has just 1 shul. (Yes, it does happen!) Shabbat starts late (around 8:15 PM, say). You have a disabled child ...
13
votes
3answers
374 views

Can the Jewish people have a king while in exile?

Assuming a time where appointing a Jewish king is possible, if a proper Jewish king was anointed would he continue to retain the status of king if the Jewish people were exiled from the land of ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

What is the shiur Hanaah?

How much Hanaah (physical benefit) must one have of things prohibited as an Issur Hanaah (things forbidden for benefit) like milk and meat, Kiley HaKerem (certain grape mixtures), or Avoda Zara ...
6
votes
2answers
480 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

Does jam have the halacha of duchka d'sakina?

The Chochmas Adom in 49:9 holds that all fruit have the halacha of duchka d'sakina, and that if you cut a fruit with a meat knife which was not definitively clean, you need to scrape off the outer ...
6
votes
1answer
208 views

Is it forbidden for a Jew to read the writings of Baruch Spinoza?

The cherem against Spinoza says the following: The Lords of the ma'amad, having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Espinoza... We order that no one should communicate with him ...
8
votes
5answers
195 views

Waiting Between Meat & Dairy According To The Geonim

It seems as though the Geonim - although disparate and diverse in their opinions on many issues - seem to be rather united on the understanding of the Gemara on the subject of waiting after meat ...
5
votes
1answer
182 views

Scheduling a USPS Pickup for Shabbos

So it turns out that the USPS has a feature where you can ask them to come and pickup a package. So you go online to their site, enter your information, choose a date for the pickup, and tell them ...
5
votes
4answers
199 views

Do blankets need tzitzis?

Blankets have four corners. So, do they require tzitzis?
5
votes
2answers
546 views

May Jews sell wine to Christians for them to use in their religious ceremonies?

(This question is based on an older one which Rabbi Levi Cash posted a few years ago.) Under Charlemagne in the 8th century and the Carolingian emperors, Jews provided wine for Christian mass. But I ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Do you make a new bracha on lightning & thunder when catching up to the same storm?

This M.Y. question cites Shulchan Aruch O.C. 227 that states that as long as it is overcast, one recites the blessing on lightning / thunder once (unless the storm continues into the next day.) If it ...
10
votes
2answers
161 views

Working for (non-Jewish) religious organizations

Is there anything in Jewish law restricting Jews from working for other religious organizations? Some examples: can a Jew work as a receptionist at a Mosque? As a gym teacher at a Catholic school? As ...
1
vote
4answers
158 views

What biblical positive mitzvot do we perform daily?

What biblical positive mitzvot do we perform often (daily or almost daily)? I am asking about physical actions we take rather than thoughts such as: "You shall love a convert", Devarim 10:19 "Love ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Are you allowed to extract buried Shemos?

I understand that the burying of Sheimos, in a sense, is similar to burying a dead body. I assume that in the same way that you cannot dig up a dead body except for some unusual situations, you cannot ...
3
votes
5answers
626 views

Can you use a pool for a mens mikvah

Is a pool allowed to be used as a mikvah for keri, for erev shabbos, and Shabbos day? If so does the filter have to be off? Since it is not only made of rain water i am having a doubt. Please answer ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Can a Jew work in non-kosher food warehouse?

Can a Jew work in non-kosher food warehouse? I mean to lift boxes from one place to another, to load pallets filled with boxes of non-kosher stuff. My question is about specific warehouse where there ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Why don't most American orthodox Jews send to public school?

Given the benefits of a public school education over private day school education, such as $0 tuition and technology and extra curriculars which many schools do not have, why don't most orthodox ...
0
votes
3answers
71 views

Kashruth Issues with Dog Food?

If someone is keeping a vegetarian/milk household, and then they acquire a dog that eats meat based dog food products, what potential Kashruth issues might arise? Would there be difference in Kashruth ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Feather in hat on shabbas

Can one go out in the street on shabbas(without an eiruv) with a hat that has a feather or pin in the ribbon? Is it considered a masuaei (load)?
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Do any halachot change for a eunuch?

Do any halachot change if a man becomes (or is born) a eunuch? For example is he rabbinically allowed to listen to a woman's singing voice or be exposed to other sexually stimulating things if he is ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

What is the meaning of “guf naki” regarding prohibitting women to wear tefillin?

I wish to preface that I know that there are various concerns both pro and against women wearing tefillin, and for some, this is a "hot" issue. For purposes of my question, please dispel personal ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

How do you decide how the aliyos should be arranged when there are not sufficient yisroelim in a minyan?

(This is a question based on an event. A shaaloh was asked. The object of the question is to examine the underlying reasons for the dinim in the situation.) A family minyan meeting once only on ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Can I sell a dollar from the rebbe that was given to someone else?

The Lubavicher rebbe had a practice of giving out dollar bills to people. If I were to have one originally given to someone else would it be permissible to sell such a memento?
0
votes
1answer
543 views

Cohen and Vasectomy Marrying a women who wants to have children

If it is prohibited for a women who want's to have children to marry a a man who had a vasectomy and the man told her before the wedding that he had the vasectomy and she had in mind to get invitro ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Depilatories- creams or “shaving powders” on Shabbos

Is it permissible to use Depilatories (creams or "shaving powders" which chemically dissolve hair) on Shabbos? and if not- why?
2
votes
1answer
38 views

What kind of physical damage affects a contracts validity (if any)?

This question had a picture of a Ketuba with some damage to the paper. In Jewish Law, what kind of damage would invalidate a contract? In that Ketuba, for example, the standard text is ripped, but ...