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Transgender erva

Men's Health magazine has been in the news lately because of a contest in which people can vote on who will be on the magazine's cover. Currently leading in the voting is a transgender person who was ...
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Can one sell Chametz he doesn't know about?

If one sold his Chometz in his house for Pesach, and then found (on Pesach) some old Chometz food lying around, does he have to burn it? He probably didn't have it in mind during the sale, but on the ...
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Renting digital services to Jews who are known to work on Shabbes

Given the following scenario: A Jew is the sole owner of a digital business which rents its services (a digital platform that does not require human intervention from part of the owner) for a monthly ...
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38 views

Burial Pod- Kosher?

So I just saw this on Facebook [warning: some links at the bottom of the page contain imagery which is not tzanua] In short, this mentions a concept in which the body of the deceased is put into a ...
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Explicit shaimos printed in prayer books

The gemara in Shabbos 115b cites a Tosefta seemingly condemning those who publish prayer-books (and amulets) with G-d's name: "...מכאן אמרו כותבי ברכות כשורפי תורה". Nonetheless, it is common practice ...
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Four cups of wine, but no matzah!

At the seder, the third cup of wine is drunk after Birkat Hamazon. If a person has plenty of wine, but no matzah (and hence no Birkat Hamazon), should he still drink the third cup of wine? If so, ...
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26 views

How are Birchos Krias Shema blessings on Krias Shema?

The Ramban (Brachos 11b) writes that Birkas Kriyas Shema are blessings over the Mitzva of saying Shema. What's in the text of Birkas Kriyas Shema that has to do with Shema? It talks about angels, ...
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39 views

Can you carry an object from the step outside your house inside your house?

According to the laws of carrying on shabbos one may not carry from one domain to another aside from a makom petur ("exempt area"). A makom petur is less that 4X4 handbreadths and more than three ...
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47 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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36 views

Determining Normative Halacha

I don't really understand the process for establishing what "the halacha" is in a particular case. I know that there are rules in the talmud to decide whom the halacha follows when there are ...
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42 views

Why don't we say Baruch Hu UVoruch Shmo more often?

I notice in Minyanim that I participate in that when the Chazan repeats the Shemonei Esrei and gets to "Baruch Ata Hashem", nearly everyone says "Baruch Hu UVoruch Shemo". Yet, those same people skip ...
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25 views

Lifnei Iver for a chinuch-age child

Is there a prohibition of lifnei iver (causing or being an accessory to someone else's sinning) for a child who has reached the age of chinuch (education to mitzvos, the point at which he/she should ...
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117 views

Is using Siri a problem of 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 ...
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27 views

Does Birkas Hamazon eliminate the need for bracha acharona on foods eaten before?

Situation: One ate something that would require a bracha achrona besides Birkas Hamazon (let's say an Al Hamichya or Borei Nefashos). But one carelessly moved on to eating bread before making that ...
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64 views

minimum halachic definition of bread

This is sort of the counter question to Mezonos bread. At what point does a grain based admixture transition between bread and non bread? To clarify: The general position of Sephardic Jewry is that ...
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Should one make a bracha on seeing geological arches, hoodoos or balanced rocks?

I am considering visiting Arches National Park in Utah. This park has several "arch" rock formations and a few hoodoos and a balanced rock. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 228:1 states that one should make a ...
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37 views

Was the Mishna Brurah meant to be learned straight?

Disclaimer - I do not intend to dispute common practices in Klal Yisroel, nor do I intend to criticize the incredible work of an incredible Talmid Chacham. The current practice in a considerable ...
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48 views

If a convert converted without knowing that their conversion would be permanent

Hypothetically, if a convert converted without knowing that their conversion would be permanent (i.e., cannot convert out), does that make the conversion invalid?
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23 views

Does a seller acquire each coin one at a time, or all at once?

Let's say i owe someone 5 coins. I hand them to him one at a time. Does he acquire each one as i hand it to him, or does he get all of them after all 5 are in his hand? When exactly does ownership get ...
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46 views

Waiting after meat and milk

If someone eats a mixture of meat and milk, does he need to wait before eating more meat or milk?
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57 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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49 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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How far must a publisher go to mitigate possible lashon hara?

This question is about sites that host community-contributed content, like Wikipedia, Reddit, or blogging platforms like LiveJournal communities. Suppose somebody posts something negative about an ...
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115 views

What happens if a non-Jew uses a mikvah?

If a gentile does a kosher immersion (does tevilah with the preparation, three kosher immersions, and the immersion prayer), which is required for conversion, but did so without the help of a rabbi, ...
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*Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as tzomeach, animal, bird, or fish, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew cud ...
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Western Ashkenaz Mishnah Berurah

The Mishnah Berurah was composed with the minhagim of the Eastern Ashkenazi kehillot in mind. Is there an equivalent for the communities of Western Europe*? *The Ashkenazi communities of the ...
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116 views

Halachic opinions on tefillin peshutim

I was discussing the subject of tefillin with my father motzei-Shabbat and particular, the battim (leather boxes that contain the parshiyot, or parchment scrolls). We ended up wondering what the ...
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maaser to your own employer

I know there are many Jews who work for schools, synagogues, soup kitchens, and other such non-profit organizations that do a community service. Many people also give maaser money to these ...
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134 views

Sous-vide cooking for Shabbat

Sous-vide is a method of cooking food slowly, at a precisely-controlled temperature. This article in the New York Times reports that this method is becoming more and more accessible to and widespread ...
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What's the definition of “not now” for priority-of-b'racha purposes?

Orach Chayim 211 is about what food to recite a blessing over (that is, and eat) first when one wishes to eat two foods. It's clear that (except according to the Rambam cited in 211:2) one does not ...
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66 views

Resolving a dispute where the customer denies that the product is theirs

If someone left something at the dry-cleaners', for example, and later returned to pick it up, but it seems to not be the same item that they left, what does halacha say about resolving it? Both the ...
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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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Can an unknown Reform Jew be counted for a minyan?

Orthodox Judaism treats someone as a Jew if their mother is Jewish, or they underwent an Orthodox conversion. Reform Judaism will count someone as Jewish even if their only connection is through their ...
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Transferring discrete “kippah clips” between domains on Shabbat, if the clips are NOT sewn to the kippah

A) Imagine the following: It is Shabbat, and I am using spring-loaded hair clips or bobby pins to attach a kippah to my hair. The clips or pins are NOT sewn to the kippah: instead, they are discrete ...
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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 (part, or most of the decoration) is within 4 tefachim, ...
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51 views

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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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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76 views

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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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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Whale-yeast Beer

This article describes a beer created with yeast from fossilised remains of an ancient whale. From what I understand, the yeast imparts certain characteristics to the beer other than alcohol content. ...
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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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135 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 ...
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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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81 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 ...