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4
votes
1answer
48 views

Taking home left-overs from a caterered affair - mitzvah or stealing?

At the end of several affairs, we notice that there are some cakes and pastries untouched. The caterer says that by law of the health department, once a cake goes out of its box, even if it is ...
6
votes
5answers
670 views

Should the Christian cross be seen as an idol?

As Christianity is Avodah Zarah, is a Christian cross which people kiss, pay respect to, and face toward when praying, considered to be an idol? Here is a brief excerpt from a scholarly Christian ...
2
votes
1answer
22 views

Violating a cancelable oath?

If someone made an oath "I'm not going to eat bread for thirty days" and wants to "cancel" it, he goes to three people and tells them "I didn't know that it would be so hard". They say "OK, it's ...
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

Answering Amein

One may not answer אמן to a ברכה until the ברכה is totally finished. Too often the חזן lengthens out the last word of the ,ברכה particularly on ראש חודש or יום טוב and the מתפללים answer before the ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

What is the point of Hataras Nedarim every year?

The second paragraph of Hataras Nedarim has the person being mattired saying that "I am making a modaah that any oaths being made in the future are considered to be as if 'bli neder'". Is this ...
5
votes
0answers
210 views

Is it a Mitzva Deorayta (Biblical Commandment) to serve in the IDF?

בס"ד What do the contemporary poskim say about the serving in the IDF? Do they consider it a Biblical commandment (mitzva de'orayta) if one chooses to serve? I am obviously not talking about the ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

What kinds of metals need immersion in a mikvah?

Metal (and glass) utensils used for food require immersion in a mikvah. What counts as a metal for this purpose? Note that there is no universally accepted scientific definition of a metal.
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Using the flatware of the wicked

This link goes to a page which sells silverware used by the leaders of the Third Reich. Hashkafically and Halachically, would it be inappropriate to kasher such utensils and use them at a kosher meal? ...
1
vote
3answers
70 views

Mitzvah to study/know history?

I heard someone once mention that chazal tell us that it is a mitzvah to review, know, or study history. Is that true?
6
votes
2answers
176 views

Playing with a pet on Shabbos

Is there any opinion that holds one may play or touch a pet on Shabbos (even though animals are normally muktzeh on Shabbos.) Specifically one that is meant for this purpose (to play with.) I heard ...
3
votes
0answers
60 views

Gentiles praying in Hebrew

Can a gentile pray in hebrew, and recite the Psalms? I am a Noahide (Chassidic Gentile) who is interested in going through the conversion process to Reform Judiaism. Is it okay for me to pray the ...
6
votes
2answers
338 views

Pronunciation of “Two”s in Hebrew

Thomas O. Lambdin calls out the words שְנַיִם and שְתַּיִם as exceptions to "shewa as the initial vowel in a word is always vocalized," i.e. it is "shtayim" and "shnayim". That's a secular expert's ...
6
votes
1answer
91 views

What does an androginus or tumtum say in Birkot HaShachar?

Regarding the sex-dependant blessing shelo asani isha / she'asani kirtzono in the Birkot HaShachar, what does an androginus or a tumtum say? Do these people of ambiguous sex use the text normally used ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Shnayim mikra ve'echad targum in English

Can I fulfill the obligation of shnayim mikra by saying the pasuk two times and then the English translation one time?
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Menustration / Karet [duplicate]

Ive been reading the parshiot of Nidda in the Chumash(Leviticus 15:19-30 18:19 20:18), and it seems that the punishment of Karet (20:18) is during menustration. I know that the sages hold that until ...
6
votes
1answer
290 views

Why is bamboo kosher for schach?

Why is bamboo kosher for schach? I know everyone uses them, but one should not use anything like planed wood which is used for building or straw for thatching roofs. I understand that certain bamboo ...
9
votes
1answer
189 views

How come Sepharadim say “Boreh peri haGEFen” but “Shelo Asani AVed”

I think Hacham Ovadia has a footnote in Hazon Ovadia on Pesach (and probably elsewhere) in which he discusses why we don't use the pausal form of gafen instead of gefen. He writes (if i remember ...
2
votes
0answers
84 views

Unethical landlord

Ownership of an apartment building changed hands, and the landlord for the new owner is demanding unusually high additional monthly payments from preexisting tenants for parking privileges that are ...
4
votes
2answers
302 views

If one makes a party for Bar Mitzvah during the 9 Days, can he serve meat?

As I understand, there is no mitzvah to make a se'udah for a Bar Mitzvah, unlike what occurs for a Brit, Pidyon Haben, Wedding or Siyum Masechta. Assuming that there is no siyum done, can a person ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Preparing a dish on Shabbos by night for the day time (in regards to Borer)

It says in SA OC Siman 321 Sif 19 in the Rema that normally it's ossur to peel garlic or onions however that's only to leave them to eat at a later time. However if it's being done to eat right away ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Secular Names for Days of the Week

Is there a problem using the secular names for the days of the week? If so, is it 1) because they originally come from Polytheistic gods or 2) simply because the people forbidding them are of the ...
3
votes
2answers
80 views

Dish on a radiator

Many homes and buildings are heated using a hot water radiant heating. (Water is heated in a boiler in another room. It flows through pipes in the building to the radiator where much of the heat is ...
5
votes
0answers
46 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
68 views

Do you make bircat Hamotzi on fried bread?

Poori is an Indian bread made from wheat flour that is fried so that the dough puffs up. It does not have your typical "tzurat hapas", at least when it's fully puffed up. (See What blessing is made on ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Greeting someone before the morning prayers

What exactly is the halacha regarding greeting someone before praying shacharit? Are you allowed to say "good morning" as you pass someone before you pray shacharit? What about saying shallom ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

Soup Mandels on Shabbos

Is it permissible to put Soup Mandels in hot (Yad Soledes) soup on Shabbos, assuming the soup bowl was filled in a standard way - pot taken off of fire, soup ladle inserted into pot and soup removed ...
5
votes
3answers
91 views

Holding a child during bentching,kiddush,havdallah

Is there any reason to say that its problematic to hold a child during bentching and so on... because one is thinking about not dropping what he is holding,like by Shmoneh Esrei (96:1) one should not ...
6
votes
1answer
129 views

Unintentional closing and opening of electrical circuits on shabbat

As a non Jew, after reading Why are Shabbat loopholes a good thing? I have been pondering the above question: The Torah forbids closing/opening electrical circuits on Shabbat. - Danny Schoemann ...
26
votes
3answers
851 views

May one use a computer script or robot to do something specifically on Shabbos/Yom Tov?

May one run a program or machine that will operate on Shabbos, either by setting a timer to activate once Shabbos has started, or by leaving it running continually? What if the action is one that is ...
6
votes
1answer
73 views

bracha when snorkeling/diving underwater and seeing a strange animal

There is a bracha said when seeing strange animals (presumably on land and/or in the air). If you are under water and see a wondrous sea creature, do you 'think' the bracha, or mouth it, or do you ...
7
votes
0answers
76 views

Selling Hametz on Ebay

Can I sell my chametz via eBAY? I have no expectation that I want to buy it back. I would pack it and ship it before Pesach, so it's definitely not in my posession during Pesach. Is this problematic ...
8
votes
1answer
311 views

Tattling on fellow Mi Yodeyans

We are currently in the beginning of the 2012 Mi Yodeya Moderator Election. To what extent can one avail oneself of the exception of "to'elet"="for a purpose" to the standard rules of Lashon HaRa' ...
9
votes
5answers
271 views

What's a floor?

There are certain laws pertaining to a floor. For example, if a Sefer Torah is dropped on the floor, one is supposed to do some sort of atonement (eg., most famously, fasting for 40 days). What is ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Electronic cigarettes on yom tov

Let's say someone quits smoking, and that person smokes electronics cigarettes. So regarding yom tov (chag), the only prohibition I can think of is Nolad every time you activate the heating element ...
-1
votes
0answers
16 views

Can one paddle a rowboat, canoe, kayak, raft, tube during the 9 Days? [duplicate]

Can someone paddle any type of boat or tube on a lake, river or stream during the 9 Days? Is there concern that the boat may tip over and he may end up swimming in the water?
11
votes
0answers
394 views

Can I make a mikvah using artificial rain?

If I have a mikva which needs filling, and there is no rain, can I use the following mechanism - I have a Mikva in a closed room. On top of this Mikva, there is a cooling system (let's say that this ...
3
votes
4answers
412 views

How long do I have after a bread meal to bensch?

How long do I have after a bread meal to bensch (say grace)? Does it matter if I am distracted by other things? For example, I eat at 1 pm, then I work for 5 hours, go to the store for half an hour, ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Issues with opening a tea bag on Shabbos

I was in a Beis Medrash recently and they had a note that said that despite any heter to make tea, there is no practical way to open a tea bag on Shabbos, and thus tea essence should be used even ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

Using a neighbor's encrypted Wi-Fi connection

This question asked whether or not one is allowed to use a neighbor's unencrypted (unlocked, without a password) Wi-Fi connection. This question touches upon a lot of different things in American law ...
8
votes
2answers
215 views

A computer file that I emailed you has a virus. Am I responsible?

My rav frequently discusses contemporary halachic questions. He quotes a general rule from the Gemarrah (I assume it's from Baba Kama or one of the "Baba's") that a person who causes damages is always ...
5
votes
0answers
92 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Are short trips to Israel allowed?

May one visit Israel for a short period of time with no intention of staying?
10
votes
5answers
392 views

Thanksgiving Meal Allowed?

Is celebrating Thanksgiving with a formal sit down meal against Halacha?
5
votes
1answer
52 views

Is there a Mitzvah to love parents?

Is there a special mitzvah to love one's parents? If so, does it require the parent's awareness of that love?
3
votes
1answer
60 views

May women wear tefillin as an amulet?

I know there's some controversy on the permissability of women wearing tefillin and that most poskim forbid it. From what I understand that is for women to wear tefillin for the purpose of the mitzvah ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Can a person say the bracha for thunder if he hasn't seen the lightning?

Can someone say the bracha upon hearing thunder without having seen the lightning bolt (in any form, i.e. he didn't notice any light at all?) Scientifically, lightning causes the thunder. (Most of the ...
2
votes
0answers
45 views

Depicting a constellation

Is it mutar to arrange star stickers in the form of actual constellations (say, on a ceiling) or is that included in the prohibition of depicting celestial bodies?
12
votes
4answers
746 views

Would a Karaite be required to undergo conversion?

If a Karaite who knows that his mother is Jewish (Karaite) wanted to join the Orthodox Jewish Community - would he be required to undergo a conversion?
19
votes
4answers
283 views

Glasses and Shema

The Shulhan Aruch records the custom of placing one's hand over his eyes in Shema in order to increase concentration. What about someone who wears glasses? Must he move them or remove them?
25
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...