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 ...

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14
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2answers
198 views

Lechem Mishneh by the Third Shabbos Meal

Is one required to have Lechem Mishneh by the Third Shabbos Meal?
14
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4answers
451 views

using two plastic cups for Kiddush

I know making kiddush with a plastic cup is problematic because of requirements. I have seen people using two plastic cups: what is the source for this and is it legitimate?
14
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1answer
261 views

Woman and Zimun: What is the requirement?

What is a woman's requirement to say Bircat Hamazon with a Zimun of women? What is a woman's requirement to say Bircat Hamazon with a Zimun of men?
14
votes
6answers
1k views

Does the Torah ever mention jail as a punishment for a crime?

I have learned that punishments in the Torah often (always?) have a rehabilitative aspect to them as well as providing justice to the victim, e.g. someone who steals and can't pay back the value of ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Can you be buried in a Jewish Cemetery if you have a tattoo?

Can you be buried in a Jewish Cemetery if you have a tattoo? I.e., is it just urban legend that you can't?
14
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3answers
282 views

How long can you say Asher Yotzar if you forgot?

If you forgot to say Asher Yotzar and remember a while later, is there a time limit as to when you are allowed to say it?
14
votes
3answers
326 views

Why do plastic bags and not fuselages protect against impurity?

In a picture on this article, we see a kohen who has enclosed himself in a plastic bag so as to avoid becoming impure as a result of flying over a cemetery. Why is it that a pressurized fuselage does ...
14
votes
2answers
425 views

Is one allowed to have a tattoo of G-d's name removed?

Inspired by Dan's question , and requested by DoubleAA... If one got a tattoo of G-d's name, either in ignorance or in spite of the prohibition against tattooing, may one have it removed? Would this ...
14
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2answers
450 views

Is getting a “fake” tattoo a violation of halacha?

Inspired by Curiouser here: Is getting a "fake" (temporary) tattoo a violation of halacha? I'll define this broadly as any tattoo that doesn't permanently show on your body. This includes transfer ...
14
votes
3answers
899 views

The laws behind the separation of men and women

In Israel there is a hot debate because of instances on some communities where extra steps are taken to separate men and women in every day life. For example in some bus lines women seat in the back ...
14
votes
2answers
978 views

Is Exercise on Shabbos Allowed?

Is one allowed to do exercises on Shabbos? Are any types allowed? Some examples of different types: Lifting weights or heavy items Jumping jacks Taking a walk (long, but without Techum issues) ...
14
votes
2answers
382 views

Orthodontics and period between eating fleischig and milchig

Since orthodontics often impose many artificial little crevices and wires and generally make one more susceptible to having bits of food stuck in the mouth for extended periods of time, is it ...
14
votes
4answers
362 views

When did kosher bakeries, restaurants, etc. start requiring supervision?

If my neighbor Shmerel keeps kosher and otherwise appears to be observant to the best of my knowledge, then I'd be allowed to eat in his house (assuming I'm invited), eid echad ne'eman b'issurin, his ...
14
votes
2answers
197 views

Is there a halachic problem with the Columbia University seal on the floor of the library?

The seal of Columbia University has the YKVK (G-d's 4 letter name) on the floor of the library. People walk on the seal. Is this chilul Hashem or is there some other halachic problem with this? Does ...
14
votes
1answer
194 views

Calling a father Abba, when his name is Abba

May a child call his father Abba - if his name is Abba?
14
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2answers
489 views

Are you allowed to benefit from an electrical appliance turned on during shabbos?

If a jewish person were to accidentally turn on the light in their bedroom, or if the television were accidentally turned on (for these purposes, let's assume that the person in question woke up, ...
14
votes
1answer
223 views

Rainbow in water spray

You can often see a rainbow in a spray of water such as from sprinkler irrigation. Is the brocha for a rainbow applicable in that case? Also, does a rainbow that comes from a prism get a brocha too?
14
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2answers
209 views

Bagging meat with milk

Two different supermarket cashiers have expressed mild surprise at my willingness to put cold, packaged meat and cold, packaged cheese in the same shopping bag, explaining that other Jewish customers ...
14
votes
3answers
314 views

May a Jewish cemetery refuse a body?

Based on a recent news item wherein cemeteries have been refusing to inter the body of one of the (alleged) Boston bombers, I am curious whether a Jewish cemetery's operators are allowed to refuse to ...
14
votes
2answers
327 views

Inhaling prayers?

Elsewhere I ask whether it's sufficient to pray in a whisper. See there, please, for a description of whispering and how it differs from speaking quietly. Answers to that question indicate that ...
14
votes
3answers
120 views

Falling behind during selichos

Related to, but not duplicating Falling behind during davening, how should you attempt to keep up with overly-quick recitation of selichos? I would assume that you interrupt the piyut you’re reciting ...
14
votes
1answer
287 views

According to Halacha, may we endanger many Jewish lives in order to definitely save one Jew?

For example, what does Halacha say about the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange? "Save" means "free from captivity," although in many cases it's the same thing as saving his\her life (e.g. if we didn't ...
14
votes
2answers
151 views

The two stamp question

One man owns two of the only very expensive stamps in the world. Let us say each stamp was worth a million dollars. A second man comes along and destroys stamp one. The catch is that now according to ...
14
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
389 views

Why don't we bow “correctly” during tefillah anymore?

According to the Gemara (Megillah 22b), and according to the RaMBa"M (Hil. Tefillah 5:13) (and apparently R' Avraham ben HaRaMBa"M was adamant), when we pray we are supposed to bow down ON our knees ...
14
votes
2answers
272 views

Whispering prayers?

Can one whisper t'fila (prayer)? I'm thinking of obligatory t'filos like sh'mone esre and "Sh'ma". I know one can speak t'fila quietly, even very quietly; in fact, sh'mone esre is said quietly. I'm ...
14
votes
1answer
457 views

What is the meaning of psak?

I have asked many people this question, and not yet got a comprehensive answer: What is psak? Like, let's say I have a certain piece of food of uncertain status. If I ask my 6 year old kid if it's ...
14
votes
1answer
250 views

Non-Jews Tending to Abandoned Cemeteries

Those of you who may have read my profile know that I have been reading and transcribing information on tombstones in towns in the Spis Region of Slovakia, in which no Jews remain. My colleague is ...
14
votes
4answers
344 views

Gabai speaking during chazaras hashatz, kaddish or kriyas hatorah for the sake of the tzibbur

Is a gabai allowed to speak during chazaras hashatz, kaddish and/or kriyas hatorah for the sake of the tzibbur (e.g. to ask someone if they are a Kohen or Levi)?
14
votes
1answer
192 views

How much must one do to to sign a contract?

Nowadays most software comes with a EULA. In order to install the software one must click the "agree" button. However, there are some software that says are distributed through different licenses. For ...
14
votes
2answers
605 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
431 views

Height of a mezuzah and children:

If a child cannot reach the upper third of the doorway and he is the primary occupant of said room, may the mezuzah be affixed lower than the upper third?
13
votes
5answers
158 views

Giving over 20%

I know you are supposed to give between 10 and 20% of your income to צדקה. Does this mean that you are not allowed to give over 20% if you have enough money to do so? If so, why not? (this is more of ...
13
votes
3answers
559 views

Hypnosis in Halacha

Is there a proplem in the Halachic literature with hypnosis? What, if anything, is the issue involved in either hypnotising people or being the subject of such an hypnosis?
13
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4answers
269 views

Boruch Shem Kevod Malchuso L'Olam Voed - why do we whisper it?

Why do we say Boruch Shem Kevod Malchuso L'Olam Voed in Kriyas Shema in a whisper?
13
votes
4answers
397 views

Should a woman avoid singing in front of her husband while she is a niddah?

Should a woman avoid singing in front of her husband while she is a niddah? Is it strictly prohibited or just inadvisable? (Obviously I am not talking about deliberately seductive songs.)
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Fast days and time zones

If I fly westward on a fast day, and travel through one/several time zone/s, thereby going back in (clock) time, must I then fast until it ends in my current time zone? What if I fly eastward, thereby ...
13
votes
5answers
402 views

Can we argue with gedolim when we are sure that we are right?

I recently saw a teshuva by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Ohrach Chaim Volume 1 Teshuva 109, that quotes a letter from Rabbi Menashe Klein asking a question on Rabbi Moshe's psak but saying that he does not ...
13
votes
4answers
361 views

Are Twist-ties allowed to be used on Shabbos?

A twist tie is a metal wire that is encased in a thin strip of paper or plastic and is used to tie the openings of bags, such as garbage bags or bread bags. A twist tie is used by wrapping it around ...
13
votes
2answers
291 views

Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?

Pretty much across the board, beged gadol and katan have fabric squares sewn on the corners. Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?
13
votes
2answers
691 views

What happens to the family of a Kohen today if his wife is a victim of rape?

What happens to the family of a Kohen today if his wife is a victim of rape? What are the steps taken and how does this come to be resolved according to halachah and in the most constructive way for ...
13
votes
3answers
163 views

Relationship between wearing a kippa and reciting a blessing

Before I started wearing a Kippa all the time, the people around me and I had the reflex to cover our head when saying the name of G-d or when reciting anything holy. Since the mitzvah is to wear it ...
13
votes
2answers
571 views

What should I do about a fake convert?

I know someone who converted to Judaism, yet throughout the whole process was telling me personally (so I can't tell the Rabbi) that she wasn't interested in keeping Torah AT ALL but was telling the ...
13
votes
2answers
237 views

Why does one need to kasher burners on a stove for passover?

I don't use separate burners for milk and meat during the year, nor do I think there's any reason to do that. So why the need to kasher burners before passover?
13
votes
5answers
578 views

Did the Rambam believe in magic?

If you read through Chapter 11 of the Rambam's laws on Idol Worship, you'll see what seems to be the Rambam forbidding anything that even resembles magic, all while calling such practices foolish and ...
13
votes
2answers
256 views

Does everyone have to drink the Kiddush wine?

When making Kiddush, does everyone who is yotzei have to drink the wine or grape juice, or is merely hearing it enough? In my experience, it appears that Friday nights everyone is careful to drink, ...
13
votes
3answers
219 views

Can I omit ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן to catch up in Maariv?

If the Shaliach Tzibbur for maariv (outside of Israel) goes too quickly for me to start the Amidah with him, is there a source which would allow me to omit the section ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן? This ...
13
votes
3answers
543 views

What is the source of netilat yadayim before eating bread?

From where do we learn that one must wash one's hands before eating bread? What does washing one's hands before bread symbolize? Why is ritual hand washing required for bread, but not other foods?
13
votes
3answers
313 views

Moving from one's spot after Kedusha

After standing still for Kedusha, some people move after saying Yimloich, whereas others wait until after the Chazan says Hokail Hakodoish. What is the correct way?
13
votes
2answers
287 views

Am I allowed to count people?

Where did the practice of not counting people come from? People count not-one, not-two, not-three etc. What is wrong with counting one, two, three etc? This is often found when counting to see if ...