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7
votes
2answers
132 views

Giving charity to someone about whom the giver knows nothing?

I often pass by a Jewish store where a person is standing outside asking for tzedaka/charity. Call me cynical but I have no way of knowing A)if the person is really poor, B) if the person is Jewish ...
9
votes
3answers
191 views

What is the source for the mitzvah of kiruv?

Is kiruv a mitzvah? Is it biblical or rabbinic? Is there any reason it should supersede other mitzvot? what are the sources in chazal and halacha relating to kiruv? related: Kiruv and halachik ...
10
votes
2answers
343 views

Heretics in the bathroom

From my understanding a torah scroll written by a heretic has no sanctity and should be burned (Gittin 45b). May one read torah related material, written by a heretic but that contains nothing ...
1
vote
0answers
40 views

halacha of reporting a Jew to the (non-jewish) authorities [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: what are the limits of “mesira”? What is the halacha regarding reporting a jewish person to non-jewish police/authorities? Does the nature of the crime in ...
5
votes
2answers
164 views

Would a gentile child that sees/touches wine make it into Yayin Nesech?

Would a gentile child - under the age of 13/12 - that sees/touches wine make it into Yayin Nesech? Or can only an adult make it into Yayin Nesech?
6
votes
1answer
126 views

Can a Minor Convert Effect Yayin Nesach?

Per the answer to Are children adopted by Jews Jewish? a child that is adopted by Jewish parents when they reach adulthood (13/12) are given the choice of remaining Jewish. If I know of a child that ...
16
votes
1answer
482 views

Do Jews need to care about non-jewish homosexuality?

Since there is currently no way and/or need for Jews to administer capital punishment to gentiles who violate the 7 noahide laws, is there any halachic reason for a Jew to care whether or not a ...
7
votes
1answer
85 views

Paying bill for aveirah already done

Is one allowed to pay a service fee for an aveirah which someone else has already done, in order to get some other good or service now? The case I had in mind is an animal adoption where the agency ...
10
votes
1answer
377 views

What halachot does an American traveling to Israel have to be made aware of?

I'm planning to go to Israel for the first time, b"h, in just over a month. I'll be going on an organized trip and then I hope to stay until after tisha b'av. What halchot do I need to know about? (I ...
8
votes
2answers
128 views

Can you say “Lag Baomer” before counting Sefirah?

As is known, during Sefiras HaOmer, you should not say "today is x day of the Omer" (or similar) before counting sefirah in Maariv, as this would prevent you from counting with a bracha later ...
7
votes
1answer
145 views

Counting Sheloshim for a chol hamoed death

How long is the shloshim observed for a death which occurs during chol hamoed Pesach? Does one observe a full thirty days started from the funeral or is it shortened because of the chag?
8
votes
3answers
336 views

Are women forbidden from Teaching Gemara\Talmud?

Assuming that women are allowed to learn Gemara\Talmud\Torah she-Ba'al Peh, are they still forbidden from teaching it to others (either men or women)? Textual sources for (either references or links) ...
8
votes
1answer
100 views

Beracha on Intravenous

There Gemara Berachot 35 says "anyone who enjoys from this world without a Beracha is stealing." Does one make a Beracha on intravenous feeding?
6
votes
1answer
225 views

Kiddush on Bread: When to Wash?

Many (most?) rishonim, with the notable exception of the Rabbeinu Tam, hold that if there is no wine (or if you prefer bread) then you can make kiddush, on Shabbos/Yom Tov evening, with bread. At ...
8
votes
1answer
313 views

Sheitels or no sheitels - where is the halacha?

With very well respected Rabbis such as Rav Ovadia Yossef clearly stating that wigs (sheitels) are simply assur (forbidden) according to most poskim, while some other very well respected rabbis such ...
4
votes
2answers
142 views

Why not focus on halacha in elementary education?

From the Mishna B'rura's introduction to the rules of Shabas: …But by what means can we arrive at this level: that one keeps Shabas in all its details? The advice on this is that one urge himself ...
5
votes
1answer
181 views

Imagine a non-Jewish hostel has a male and a female dorm. Does yichud allow me to sleep in the male dorm?

I'm male. Imagine I arrive at a youth hostel where I'm the only Jew. There's a male-only dorm room; down the hallway, there's also a female-only dorm room. Assume that all the doors are unlocked. ...
6
votes
2answers
244 views

Maris Ayin when nobody knows you're Jewish

According to this answer, wearing a toupee without a kippa on top may pose a problem of maris ayin. My question is: Suppose the toupee-wearer has no distinctive Jewish features other than wearing a ...
6
votes
1answer
121 views

Should “Shalom” be treated like a name of God?

Inspired by the "This American Life" podcast cited in this question: I've certainly seen it written (although I cannot recall the exact sources) that "Shalom" is one of the names of God. Does this ...
10
votes
2answers
438 views

Would a baalat teshuva need a get from each previous sexual relationship?

Would a baalat teshuva need a get from each previous sexual relationship? In light of the idea that marriage can be contracted solely through bi'ah/public knowledge of the couple's relationship (as ...
8
votes
2answers
158 views

May one recite a bracha while in the presence of ervah?

May one recite a bracha while in the presence of ervah? According to Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75, one may not pray or recite Torah while in the presence of body parts that should be covered. Does ...
10
votes
1answer
374 views

Bar Mitzvah before Circumcision?

If one was never circumcised can they be called up to the Torah for their bar-mitzvah?
4
votes
2answers
168 views

When and why do we cover thumbs?

We are instructed to cover our thumbs during shmoneh esrei, havdalah and in the beit hamikdash as these would select the kohen to do the avodah. What is the significance of covering the thumb and are ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

Don't pass bread hand to hand: whose hand?

Shulchan Aruch (OC 167:18) says (in my own translation): The one who slices the loaf of bread places a slice before each person. The individual then takes the slice with his hand. The one who ...
7
votes
0answers
131 views

Does closing a browser with His name count as a sin? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Hashems name on device Is it permissible to erase the name of G-d from an E-reader? What are the practical limits of shaimos in the common era? Forgive me if I get ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

Women and Tefillah - per the Rav

I remember a long time ago hearing that the Rav (Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903–1993)) held that women should pray three times a day. Can anyone verify this, and what is the reason/source ...
7
votes
1answer
94 views

Prenatal testing

I've been hearing that some people are discouraging prenatal testing for halachic reasons but it seems pretty important to me. Does anyone know if there's actually something halachicly wrong about ...
5
votes
1answer
169 views

What is the level of “Divrei Kabbalah”?

There are times in the Gemara that laws are derived from Psukim in Nach. They are called "Divrei Kabbalah". What status do they have (are they considered like Torah Laws or like Rabbinic laws). For ...
11
votes
2answers
173 views

Cooking meat and milk as a chef

In this article an Orthodox woman describes how her rav permitted her to enroll in culinary school. Although he apparently did not permit cooking meat and milk together, is there any angle to permit ...
3
votes
1answer
323 views

In a non-Jewish youth hostel, is it problematic to stay in a mixed-gender dorm instead of a male-only one?

I'm male. Say I stay in a non-Jewish youth hostel dorm room which is mixed-gender instead of male-only. Might I encounter yichud problems? Might I encounter any other halachic problems? What's your ...
4
votes
1answer
484 views

Being a houseguest in a non-frum or non-Jewish home

I'm Jewish, so I have to keep many laws in mind. Kashrut, tefillin, yichud, kol isha, and more. When staying as a houseguest in a non-frum or non-Jewish home, what are some of the issues I might ...
4
votes
1answer
268 views

Gigantic Tiger Fish - Is it Kosher?

Is this fish Kosher? It apparently has both fins and scales. Is there any problem with its having teeth, or its not having been discovered until now (and therefore being outside of our Mesorah)?
1
vote
1answer
321 views

Does Jewish law forbid Internet usage?

The Ichud HaKehillos LeTohar HaMachane anti-Internet rally is coming up in a few weeks, on May 20, 2012. What do contemporary halakhic authorities say about the permissibility or prohibition of using ...
8
votes
1answer
98 views

What constitutes an acceptable barrier so that another person can pass by someone saying the Amidah?

The Shulchan Aruch/Mishna Berurah 102 (4) [15] writes that one may not walk within four Amos in front of somebody praying the Amidah. What constitutes an acceptable barrier in front of the person so ...
5
votes
1answer
72 views

Is one allowed to ask another to kasher his items that may get damaged when kashered?

There is a halacha which prohibits one to kasher items which may get damaged when kashered (as there is a concern that one may not kasher his item well). Are you allowed to ask someone else to kasher ...
5
votes
3answers
238 views

Davening with an Egalitarian Minyan

I will be participating on a summer program this summer with egalitarian davening, including women leading, laining, having aliyot, etc. Can I respond amen to their brachot? Can I respond to their ...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Which challah does one cut on a Shabbas yom tov?

The Shulchan Aruch (274:1) brings down that on shabbas night you cut the bottom challah. The Rama adds that on Shabbas day and yom tov night you cut the top challah for kabbalistic reasons. What do ...
1
vote
1answer
159 views

Dancing on Yom Haatzmaus

One is not allowed to dance during the mourning days of s'firas haomer (Mishna B'rura 493:3). According to all major customs, Yom Haatzmaus (Israel's independence day) falls during the mourning days ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

Wheelchair-bound and matir asurim, zokef kefufim?

Is someone who is wheelchair-bound obligated to say matir asurim or zokef kefufim if they cannot get up?
10
votes
1answer
262 views

Should I say “amen” to a malformed bracha?

If I hear somebody substantially mispronounce a bracha, should I say amen anyway (recognizing the intent) or remain silent? I'm not talking about nuances like pronouncing 'ayin or distinguishing ...
6
votes
0answers
105 views

American Idol and HaMalbin Pnei Ḥavero BeRabim

(Inspired by this question) Is watching televised talent shows, such as "American Idol", which are known to invite contestants to embarrass themselves in front of millions, and even have judges whose ...
2
votes
2answers
319 views

If borchu of maariv is before plag hamincha and the amida after plag, is this “tartei desasrei” – two contradictory acts?

A minyan starts to daven mincha before plag hamincha with the intention to daven maariv after plag hamincha. In the event, mincha is too fast and the borchu of maariv is before plag hamincha while the ...
5
votes
2answers
77 views

Saying Baruch Shepatrani for a girl

Do you say Boruch Shepatrani for a girl at her Bas Mitzva? If not, why not?
13
votes
1answer
163 views

Calling a father Abba, when his name is Abba

May a child call his father Abba - if his name is Abba?
8
votes
1answer
187 views

Minimal Body Covering to say Blessings

Can a man say a brachah with just boxer shorts on, or does he need to be fully dressed, for example with a "double covering" like pants, and/or wearing a shirt, when I wake up and want to wash netilat ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Birkat Kohanim at a late Musaf

Generally speaking, Birkat Kohanim can/is done at any daytime prayer. We do not do so at mincha because in the afternoon people have already eaten and the kohanim may have drunk some alcohol which ...
4
votes
0answers
73 views

Are coupons for Chometz - Chometz? II

Inspired by yydl's question. I read that in Russia where bread was unpurchasable without "bread ration cards", people would save them throughout Pesach and use them after Pesach. One such person ...
5
votes
2answers
169 views

Are there cases where you are allowed to swear to G-d?

Is it always forbidden to swear to G-d, or does it depend on truth? I read somewhere that "in vain" means for something false or obvious. If someone doesn't believe me about something very important ...
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Is one allowed to eat foods that were grown from non-kosher materials?

There is a known story of how one time a person brought a giant carrot on Erev Pesach to the Belzer Rebbe (back in Europe) for Karpas. After the donor left, he said "burn it with the Chometz". As the ...
6
votes
2answers
891 views

If someone has BO and can't smell themselves, may they say blessings?

"Just as one separates oneself from excreta, urine, a foul odor, a corpse and the sight of nakedness for Kri'at Shema, so too, he should separate himself for Shemoneh Esreh". (Rambam. Hilchos Tefillah ...