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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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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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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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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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79 views

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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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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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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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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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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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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Is Mi Yodeya allowed to tweet on Shabbos?

I recently signed up for @StackJudaism tweets, just to see what's going on here when not logged in. These tweets are automatically sent out by the Stack Exchange, which is done for every SE site. ...
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Can one declare an area to be “not a shul” if it is in the same room as a shul?

Recently, my congregation moved into a temporary space while a new building is under construction. This space is essentially a single large room into which all the various elements of the old building ...
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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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Are there communities that follow the Rambam?

At one point, many Sefardic communities followed the Mishneh Torah. As time went on, it seems that the sefardim accepted the Beit Yosef. Besides for Yemenites, were there any communities that, until ...
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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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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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Heter to decorate the shul in a humorous way in Adar?

I am bias here, I was raised to treat a beit k'neset (shul) with utmost respect; not to use the sanctuary as a shortcut, avoid mundane discussions there etc. I now live in a community which festively ...
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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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Are sex change operations prohibited for non-Jews?

In very specific situations some halachic decisors have permitted sex change operations, such as for infants born with some types of genital anomalies. However, the consensus seems to be that they ...
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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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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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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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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 ...
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Bracha change on Tevilas Keilim

Yoreh Deah 120:3 one who Toivels a vessel should make the Bracha "Al Tevilas Keli". However if one Toivels two or more vessels they should make the Bracha "Al Tevilas Keilim". Aruch HaShulchan Yoreh ...
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Minor placing the Parshios of the Tefilin into the Batim

Orach Chaim 39:2 - Biur Halacha seems to say that a minor can not do any part of making of the Tefilin. However a reading of the Mishna Berura 10 seems to say that a minor can work on producing the ...
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Listening to Recorded Music *Privately* During the 3 Weeks

Do any of the poskim who rule that recorded music is assur during Sefirah/3 weeks distinguish between listening to recorded music in a public setting and listening to recorded music by oneself in ...
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Can an Israeli work in public on second-day yomtov if there are non-observant Jews around?

Shulchan Aruch says an Israeli Jew who is just visiting non-Israel should not work in public on the second day of Yomtov so long as he is in "yishuv" (and commentaries explain "yishuv yisrael") -- a ...
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Washing oneself on Erev Shabbos with hot water

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 260) writes that there is a mitzvah to wash one's body on Erev Shabbos with hot water, as seen in Tractate Shabbos 25b. The Biur Halacha writes that one can argue about ...