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42
votes
6answers
2k views

Are sea sponges kosher?

The sea sponge is scientifically classified as an animal, therefore maybe it would be considered unkosher, as seafood. On the other hand, it seems much more similar to a vegetable of some kind, so ...
9
votes
2answers
200 views

Is it Halachically forbidden to go to Israel?

I was recently studying Berakhot 24b when I read the following statement: 'כל העולה מבבל לא"י עובר בעשה שנאמר (ירמיהו כז, כב) בבלה יובאו ושמה יהיו עד יום פקדי אותם נאם ה' Whoever goes up ...
10
votes
3answers
378 views

“Siri, sing to me” - Kol Isha?

As i say in this Purim Torah answer, we can't use smartphones because "The vaad found out that Siri's not a guy". (From the song Hang Up the Payphone by A.K.A Pella.) However, that inspired a ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Maharil and Terumat haDeshen: Mayim Shelanu

Inspired by this question. I have heard a machloket in the names of the Maharil and the Terumat haDeshen about the source for mayim shelanu. While the details were given, the sources were not. The ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Best way to learn Hilchos Pesach

To those with experience, what is the best(very good) way to learn Hilchos Pesach . What is a good way to go about it , that will give you a thorough understanding and even Halacha La'Maaseh
4
votes
2answers
80 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
87 views

Mayim shelanu history?

The water used to bake Matzah must be mayim shelanu—water that had been drawn in the evening and left to cool overnight. What is the halachic background for this requirement?
9
votes
1answer
142 views

What should you do if you are arrested on Shabbat?

If a person is arrested (God forbid) on Shabbat what leniencies, if any, should he be aware of? For instance may he sign paperwork (with a shinuy) or have his fingerprint taken if refusing to do so ...
3
votes
1answer
261 views

Can an induction hob be kashered on Pesach?

Induction cooking involves an alternating magnetic field in a coil underneath a smooth glass/pyrex surface. This alternating field induces eddy currents in an iron pot placed on the hob. In turn, ...
8
votes
1answer
120 views

May one beautify his Payos?

Rashi (B'reshis 37:2) calls it an "an act of immaturity [to fix one's] hair (...) so he would look good". Obviously, payos are made from hair, but they are not considered regular hair within kabbala ...
6
votes
1answer
59 views

How do you inspect a field for graves?

The Gemara (Bab. Nazir 65) discusses some circumstances in which one must inspect a field for graves. How is this done? Do you dig up the earth to a certain depth? Do you dig a trench? Do you dig ...
3
votes
4answers
469 views

Can you acquire land merely by using it?

Massechet Kiddushin (26a in the Bavli) contains a mishna that talks about how one acquires property. It considers two cases, property that can be used for security (collateral) and property that ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

“Chiyuv” to be chazan vs. congregational approval and refusal

Follow-up to this M.Y. answer about a "chiyuv" to daven from the amud. The answer states that a mourner for a parent should try to be shaliach tzibbur. I question whether this rule contradicts some ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Dairy or pareve black coffee:

What are the halachic considerations that govern the kashrut status of an Americano (black) from an espresso machine that uses a secondary steam wand to make lattes and cappuccinos? This is at a ...
8
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
564 views

What is the reason that you are not allowed to learn Torah shebictav at night?

I saw in some books (Rav Belsky, Arizal) that you are not allowed to learn torah Shebictav (Tanach) at night without commentaries. Why is that?
6
votes
3answers
378 views

Can you turn your back to the Aron HaKodesh?

I'm quite certain that it is mentioned in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch that one should not turn one's back to the Aron HaKodesh (ark which holds the Torah Scrolls). Can anyone tell me where this is ...
13
votes
4answers
215 views

Can you keep a vending machine freebie?

If someone buys something from a vending machine and two items accidentally pop out (due to some error in the machine), is he/she allowed to keep the extra item? And if not, what should he/she do? ...
5
votes
2answers
144 views

The set up of the seder plate acc to the Arizal

Many of the seder plates I have seen which are called Arizal karahs(seder plate) look like this Courtesy of Star K : However from the reading of the Beir Heitiv 473:8 (who brings the shittah of the ...
4
votes
2answers
58 views

Reward and punishment for indirect mitzvot and averot

If I create something with a certain purpose, and it's used for another purpose (good or bad), do I have a share in the mitzvot or averot people made with my creation? I'll give three examples to make ...
3
votes
3answers
421 views

Can one make ice on Shabbos?

Can one make ice on Shabbat? For example, putting water in an empty ice cube box and freezing it? I've heard it's a Machloket between the Rema and Shulchan Arukh. What are their opinions on making ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Do you have to know kol ha Torah kula?

Is there a requirement for a Jewish man to know the whole Torah (including every gemara, tosafot, Midrasch…) or is it OK to know the Halacha that is relevant to you and then to use the rest of ...
4
votes
5answers
342 views

What halachik problems should one be aware of when attending a secular college? [closed]

What halachick issues should a frum person be aware of when attending a secular college or university? For the purpose of this question assume that said person comes from a yeshivish background ...
22
votes
3answers
770 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
93 views

Edible oil for menorah

Is there any halachic benefit or hiddur to using an edible fuel for menorah? ( I think those premade menorahs use a olive oil that most people would find disgusting and inedible.)
2
votes
1answer
203 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
183 views

Why is it ok to pay the kids for the afikoman?

Most Pesach sedarim feature the afikoman hide-and-seek game; either the children steal it and ransom it back or the parents hide it and (in my experience) pay a prize to the child who finds it. At ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

Is it permitted to trim cheekbone hair?

Is it permitted to trim cheekbone hair? I know someone who has a hairy temple which the hair extends towards his upper cheekbones. I would think not because it's above the peyos bone, but I really ...
1
vote
2answers
38 views

Nivel peh in a foreign language

What are the halachos of saying nivel peh in a language which one does not speak/understand? (Or which one speaks/understands to various degrees?) Might this depend at all on the language (Jewish ...
9
votes
1answer
300 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

Sponja on Shabbos - May one do it?

In Israel a popular way of cleaning floors is with sponja. Is there a way that one may do this on Shabbos? (sources)
1
vote
0answers
77 views

Do you own chametz bought on credit?

On Hol Hamo'ed, someone purchases chametz on-line using a credit card. The order was processed during Hol Hamo'ed, but will arrive at the person's home after Pesach is over. The credit card payment is ...
4
votes
1answer
85 views

Government subsidies or tzedoko

it is preferable not to take charity from non-Jews (maybe only if it is not in private) Source Yore daiya 254 In a case of need (someone needs money for housing and/or food), which is more ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Define pas for pas yisroel

There is the whole discussion of pas with regard to whether it needs to be baked by a Jew... Yoreh deah siman 112. How do we define bread? I know it must contain one of the 5 grains(sif aleph). Does ...
2
votes
1answer
297 views

Blessing on tree with inedible fruit

I am looking into the blessing for the trees for NISSAN. There is a almond tree on our block. Blossoms really early. But it is the red-blossom type (bitter almond) not the sweet kind that you eat. In ...
4
votes
2answers
128 views

Timing of Birchas Illonos

From when until when are you allowed to make the bracha,and what is optimum?
2
votes
0answers
26 views

Carrying items on keychains Shabbos

One may generally not transport muktzeh on Shabbos, even within an eiruv. However, if the carrying is indirect, and not for the purpose of bringing the muktzeh, must one be makpid to ensure before ...
3
votes
1answer
65 views

Can someone trying to convert have mezuzahs on his doorposts?

When one is going through an orthodox conversion, one is asked to keep all the mitzvoth with the exception of fully keeping the shabbos and putting Tefillin. I was wondering if this exception also ...
0
votes
1answer
496 views

Must a woman cover her hair during childbirth?

Does a woman need to cover her hair during childbirth or other major medical procedures?
4
votes
1answer
94 views

May Jews create sculpture, and under what restrictions?

I do not know if a realistic or abstract freestanding or hanging sculpture of any creature as art (for a museum or store) is permitted me to create or for Jews to view, or whether it would be ...
3
votes
0answers
45 views

Ratios of Hameitz-to-Other for Deriving Benefit

For the prohibition on deriving benefit from hameitz on passover, what is the ratio of hameitz-to-other that makes a mixture hameitz? I am aware that when it comes to the prohibition of eating hameitz ...
32
votes
5answers
2k views

Can a Jew lose their Jewish Status?

Can a Jew lose their status as being a Jew by performing any action (example: performing idolatry, disavowing core beliefs, converting to another religion, etc)? Or once a person is a Jew then they ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Is there a minhag or halacha to avoid kashering vessels for Passover and to only use new vessels

I was told by my father that we follow the minhag not to kasher vessels for paisach but to buy new ones I asked a Rav, the Rav said there is no such minhag, no reason to avoid kashering even when ...
3
votes
5answers
149 views

Forgetting to say ״ותן טל ומטר״

On a year in which the night we start to say ותן טל ומטר is a weekday night, if one forgets to say ותן ברכה by the מנחה before and doesn't realize that he forgot it until שקיעה, what is the Halacha ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Attending public Menorah lightings before lighting at home

When someone is attending a public Menorah lighting, what should one do vis a vis the Mitzvah and the Berachoth? Should one say "She'Asah Nisim"? If it's the first night, should one say ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Difference Between Brit and Medical Circumcision

I have recently encountered a number of non-Jews who were protesting circumcision in front of the U.S. White House. While I found most of their notions somewhat absurd, I was given pause to question ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Is a Jew allowed to be knighted? Problem with kneeling?

Is there any halachik problem with going through the knighting (or Damehood for women) process of kneeling etc? The current ceremony does not contain many of the Christian or pagan overtones of the ...
4
votes
1answer
119 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Praying with dirty clothes

Can one daven (pray) with dirt or urine on his clothing? I would like to know the exact laws because I have heard different peshutim on this. Please list sources.