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 ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

4
votes
1answer
140 views

Postmortem organ donation in halacha

I know we generally accord respect to our dead, which includes not mangling their bodies. On the other hand, obviously saving lives is more important than, well, almost anything, including respect for ...
9
votes
5answers
2k views

Is Extra virgin olive oil kosher by default?

I was given extra virgin olive oil as a gift from Italy (picture below), and I wanted to see if that type of olive oil is treated like fruits and vegetables, or does it needs to have certification on ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

adoption and qualifying for being “officially” considered Jewish

My wife and I (no known Jewish heritage) are adopting an infant child. The child's birth-mother was herself adopted and raised as a Jew by Jewish parents. We do not know of any Jewish heritage ...
12
votes
3answers
532 views

Bitcoin and Halakha

What are the halakhot that apply to bitcoin? Is it halakhickly money? What even is the halakhic definition of money? Can bitcoin transactions be made over shabbat? That sort of thing.
7
votes
3answers
553 views

If my home is on fire on Shabbos or Yom Tov, what can I do?

G-d forbid, but let's say that my house catches fire either on Shabbos or a Yom Tov. Can I call 911 or must I find a non-Jewish neighbor to call? We have an eruv. Can I take my car keys, cell phone ...
2
votes
3answers
390 views

Clairvoyant Powers

Recently met a certain Rabbi with clairvoyant powers. He was able to look at my name and tell me all sorts of spooky stuff. For example, that I have two mezuzas with problems. (I hired a sofer to ...
3
votes
1answer
243 views

Kashering glass plates

We bought from eBay glass fish-shaped plates, manufactured by Arocroc (France) in 1970 or so. The listing had "unused" in the description but that is not certified. How does one kasher glass plates? ...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

Sharpening a knife as N"T [duplicate]

Is sharpening a knife a concern of Nothein Ta'am in Kashruth matters?
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Sharpening a knife as Ne'itzah/Kelipah

Can sharpening a knife be done as a form of Ne'itzah for removing a Kelipah for Kashruth concerns?
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Is Sephardi Chief Rabbi Sholomo Amar's recent psak on fiduciary responsibility really “unprecedented”?

HaAretz, last week, reported that Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar issued a halachic decision that "[b]usiness owners whose actions, either intentionally or through negligence, cause the public ...
4
votes
2answers
170 views

Can you daven with minyan when you have the flu?

Are you allowed to go daven with a minyan when you have the flu or other highly contagious illness? Is it considered potentially damaging someone else's health, or are the chances of someone else ...
11
votes
2answers
152 views

What is the status of a Kli Shemelachto LeIssur that's only used for Pikuach Nefesh?

What is the status of a kli whose primary use would be forbidden on Shabbos, but it is only used in a case of Pikuach Nefesh. Is it a Kli Shemelachto LeIssur or Kli Shemelachto Leheter? Examples: ...
0
votes
3answers
135 views

Are there cases of a one-time (extreme) punishment that rabbis meted for the sake of a community's commitment to Torah?

I have heard about cases (during the period of the late Rishonim) where a Posek or a Beis Din meted out a harsh punishment to an individual for their breach of halacha in order to protect their ...
3
votes
1answer
297 views

Are you allowed to borrow money from another Jew with interest?

So ... I understand you're not allowed to lend money to another Jew with interest, I won't get into the question of why. Does this mean you're also not allowed to accept money from another Jew, where ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Continuing to eat in a place that is visible from the initial eating place

The Shulchan Aruch Harav brings in Orach Chaim 178:1 א) היה אוכל בחדר זה ונטל המאכל בידו והלך לחדר אחר לאכול צריך לחזור ולברך שכיון שעמד והלך למקום אחר עמידתו זו היא גמר אכילתו וזו אכילה אחרת ...
5
votes
1answer
332 views

What forms of evidence do batei din accept to establish that someone is Jewish?

I am interested in the question, what forms of evidence do contemporary Orthodox batei din accept to establish that someone is Jewish? In particular, if you, your parents and grand-parents are ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

Is mundane speech allowed in shul?

Does anyone know the halacha regarding if one is allowed to talk in shul (divrei chulin) I'm not referring to times of prayer, but general even after prayer. Seems that mundane speech is forbidden ...
1
vote
1answer
137 views

Is it permitted to jay-walk on Shabbos if there is an automatic walk signal at the corner?

My shul has arranged that the cross-walk signals in front of the shul are automated on Shabbos so no one has to push a button to get a walk signal. This can be annoying for non-Jewish drivers who ...
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Onain saying Kadish for parent's Yahrzheit

An Onain is not obligated to do Mitzvos Asei. An Onain does not Daven, nor make Brachos. Suppose a person is an Onain, and that day is his father's or mother's Yahrzheit, does he say Kaddish for them? ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Panim Chadashos on Chol HaMoed

It says in SA EH Siman 62 Sif 8 that there are those who say that you don't need Panim Chadashos (new people) at a Sheva Brachos on Shabbos or Yom Tov (Rishon V'Sheini), since the day itself (in both ...
5
votes
1answer
102 views

Cutting pills on Shabbos

Assuming your rabbi already permits you to take medicine on Shabbos for a serious chronic disease. If your doctor increases your dosage by half a pill, and the pill is already pre-scored to make it ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

Removing dirt from Sefer Torah on Shabbos

In SA OC Siman 340 in the Taz Sif-Katan 1 and brought in M"B Sif-Katan 10 that one shouldn't remove wax from on top of an ois (letter) in a Sefer because of the issur of "erasing" (mechika). The Biur ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Answering Amen to Kaddish when you don't know where they are holding

It says in SA OC Siman 124 Sif 11 that one may answer Amen to a bracha even if they didn't hear the bracha (only because they know the bracha is being said and as long as they know which bracha is ...
4
votes
0answers
106 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
149 views

Can a pedestrian cause a Jewish driver to stop for him to cross the road on Shabbat?

In many places Israel [to date], cars are driven by Jewish drivers.[presumably Tinokot Shenishbu] When crossing the road in Israel on Shabbat : Can one do so in a way that the driver has to slow ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

Jewish Person Selling Non-Kosher Product

At a local convenience store near my work, they stock all sorts of non-Kosher products. However at the cashier's desk is a guy obviously orthodox Jewish (Curls down from the side, Black Clothing ...
0
votes
1answer
334 views

Cohen and Vasectomy Marrying a women who wants to have children

If it is prohibited for a women who want's to have children to marry a a man who had a vasectomy and the man told her before the wedding that he had the vasectomy and she had in mind to get invitro ...
1
vote
0answers
84 views

Which Sacred Books Require Burial?

A straightforward question: can anybody please source for me a full discussion of which seforim require burial and which do not. (By way of an example, I have heard it said that a gemara need not be ...
1
vote
1answer
198 views

Stacking Jewish books in order of holiness

Assume I have the following books and no room to store them standing up. Being a good Jew, you know that the holier books go on top of those of lesser holiness. Here are 10 books: 1) Gemara ...
-1
votes
1answer
104 views

Children of a Cohen who had a vasectomy

A previously asked question on this site was whether a Cohen who had undergone a vasectomy may get married. Assuming that he is permitted to marry in such a case - if he has a child (through invitro ...
6
votes
2answers
280 views

Is there a minhag for a chassan and kallah to hold hands after the chupah?

I have been to many weddings where the chassan and kallah hold hands after the chupah on their way to the yichud room. It seems like a widespread (minhag?) thing that everyone does, even by couples ...
3
votes
3answers
197 views

Kissing the hand to catch a cold?

There is a popular custom in Israel to shake a person's hand and then kiss your own. In every single Sephardic and Mizrachi synagogue I've ever been to in the country this is the standard way of ...
2
votes
1answer
220 views

What exactly is “Psik Reisha”?

What exactly is "Psik Reisha"? I know this has something to do with the laws of Shabbat, and possibly something to do with unintended consequences that are allowed, but what exactly is it, and in what ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Will a “lower” Berachah made MiSafek exempt a different food that requires that Berachah (and vice versa)?

Let's say you aren't sure which Berachah to make on a food before you eat it. Generally the rule of thumb is that you make the most specific Berachah that you know will capture the essence of that ...
2
votes
1answer
198 views

Can a Jew sell a sefer Torah to a non-Jew? Why or why not?

A question was raised whether a non-Jew can run a Judaica store. My thought on that was it depended on what types of judaica he sold. I doubted that a sofer would sell him mezuzah parchments, ...
7
votes
2answers
303 views

Can a Jew own a business that employs or pays atheist Jews on Shabbat?

I am an atheist who happens to be Jewish, and would like to work for a business owned by a religious Jew. Is he allowed to pay me for my work on Shabbat? What if the payment is global (e.g. 10% of a ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

Can a non-Jew run a Judaica store?

Could a non-Jew run a Judaica store/business? Would this be kosher? What if it's online? Are there any restrictions on converts?
6
votes
2answers
467 views

Can a convert become a synagogue president? Why or why not?

I understand that the National Council of Young Israel has a rule that women and converts may not be elected president of a Young Israel synagogue. I think I saw a gemara -- or a comment to a gemara ...
3
votes
3answers
101 views

When do you interrupt to answer Kaddish?

Often I find myself in the middle of some part of davening when the chazzan starts saying kaddish. Should I interrupt to answer or does it depend on which part of davening I am holding?
14
votes
2answers
410 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Which Names of Hashem can/can't we say [in regular conversation]?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (6:3) writes that one shouldn't say Hashem's name except by way of praise or blessing whenever required, or when learning (Torah) [see this answer and this question ] Indeed, ...
2
votes
3answers
108 views

What is the practical ramifications of Emunah being a mitzvah or not?

There is a machlokes Rishonim whether emunah in Hashem is a mitzvah or not. The Rambam and Ramban sayig that it is. The Bahag (a Gaon), R' Kreskas, Tashbetz and others saying that it's not or that it ...
2
votes
0answers
90 views

Is it permitted to listen to instrumental secular music by an antisemite?

Assuming it is permitted to listen to music composed or performed by a non-Jew, is it prohibited, ill-advised, or outright permitted to listen to instrumental secular music by a composer who ...
3
votes
1answer
373 views

Can one Tovel dishes in snow?

We learned that: If no cup is available for washing one's hands, one can immerse them into a river or into snow, if there's enough snow on the ground to fill a Mikve. (About 500 litres/130 gallons of ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Wearing wool Tzitzis on Shabbos

Is it better to wear wool tzitzis? indicates that it is better Halachically to wear a woolen Beged with woolen Tzitzis. Recently I met a fellow who the entire week wears cotton Tzitzis, yet on Shabbos ...
3
votes
1answer
117 views

Torn Tallis Gadol

See the picture below. The light blue represents the entire tallis gadol. The dark blue is where the corners are. Next to the bottom left corner there is a piece of the tallis gadol (represented by ...
2
votes
3answers
428 views

Can a Jew marry a Free Mason?

I am widowed and know little of my Jewish Heritage. Of this, I know, I observe the Torah and do my best to abide by it. Since I know little, and I am interested in marrying a non-Jew who is a Free ...
5
votes
3answers
234 views

Would time travel be assur/mutar?

Inspired by this question which the author states is not a question of issur/heter. Assuming time travel is possible (to the future or past) is there any reason it should be assur?
4
votes
3answers
242 views

May we genetically engineer stuff?

The possibilities of genetic engineering continue to grow. May a Jewish scientist genetically engineer things?
8
votes
3answers
229 views

Are a father and son allowed to learn martial arts together?

Can a father and son take karate or kung-fu lessons together if part of the training involves sparring? Is there a problem with the son hitting the father?