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11
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1answer
1k views

Is downloading pirated music stealing?

Either way, it should be frowned upon as not a nice thing to do, but would it actually be assur?
3
votes
2answers
153 views

Can a Gentile shovel / plow snow from your driveway on Shabbat if he has been paid for general work?

I read in Kitzur Shulcah Aruch (סימן צ - דין עשית חפציו בלא מלאכה ומלאכה על ידי גוי) that even if a person prepays a Gentile before Shabbat, he cannot tell him to specifically do work for him ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Status of Catholic saints in Judaism

Roman Catholics and other branches of Christianity have a concept of sainthood, where they bestow a status to someone based on posthumous miracles attributed to them. They also pray to them. ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

During Torah reading service, is a Cohen allowed to forgo a Levi Aliyah?

Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 135:8 says that during Torah reading, if there is a Cohen present but no Levi, the Cohen gets the first two aliyot. Let's say that on a Monday or Thursday, when there ...
4
votes
1answer
135 views

Breaking a “engagement” (shiduch)

I heard that breaking off an engagement to marry is bad. Is this true? I see that there are reasons that allow one to break an engagement: Chelkas Yaakov (EH 80) So is it not permitted to break it ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Immerse an item to be used only with a liner? [duplicate]

As a general rule, one must immerse, in a mikve, any glass or metal utensil or receptacle obtained from a non-Jew and to be used for preparing, serving, or eating food. (Source, source.) What if it's ...
17
votes
5answers
552 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
313 views

Which insects are not kosher?

In Vayikra (11:23) it says: But all winged swarming things, which have four feet, are a detestable thing unto you. On which Rashi (quoting the Sifra aka Toras Cohanim) says: Go and learn if there ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

Disagreeing with one's rebbe

We all have Rabbeim that we ask questions to. Is one allowed to disagree with his rebbe if he feels that his rebbe's viewpoint is incorrect?
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Mezuzah in the work place

If a Jewish person works in a 'non-Jewish' workplace (that he does not own) to what extent does he need to place a mezuzah on the doorposts of his personal/shared office and other building entrances? ...
7
votes
1answer
83 views

Is there a problem of image projection on Shabbat?

There are night lights which don't just emit light but project an entire image (example). If such a device is plugged in before Shabbat, would there be a problem of closing window shades or doing ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Waving or otherwise recognizing the English flag and its variants

Related to this question and this question the English flag and many of its variants from former colonies have the cross of someone who is recognized as a saint by Catholics, George. This cross was ...
4
votes
0answers
48 views

Are there circumstances when one should repeat a prayer in which he had no kavana the first time?

Halichipedia writes One should have kavana (proper concentration) when praying Shemonah Esrei. If one is unable to have kavana for all of Shemonah Esrei one should make an extra effort to ...
3
votes
1answer
525 views

Does Judaism allow Jews to read the Quran?

I've received a packet of Islamic materials which include the "Holy Quran" among other materials explaining the relation of Judaism with Islam. I guess we should be open to all spiritual materials ...
7
votes
0answers
105 views

Is it allright to use/wave the Argentinian flag?

The Sun of May in the flag is inspired by an ancient Inca god. It is used by the Argentinian flag and the Uruguayan flag. It is a representation used as a homage to the ancient empire, inspired by ...
16
votes
2answers
755 views

Halachot of Shul Mechitzot

What are some good books, articles, websites, or seforim for learning about the Halachot of constructing and maintaining a Shul Mechitza (the barrier between the men and women sections)? Issues ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

What is the halachic source for Achdut Yisrael?

The concept of Achdut Yisrael is often addressed from a spiritual and emuna perspective - for example the 4 minim being symbolic of achdut yisrael. In this respect I ask 3 separate yet related ...
6
votes
3answers
667 views

Why still keep two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel?

Why do we continue to keep two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel? The reason for two days was revelant during the temple era as we needed two witnesses to see the new moon. But today, with no Temple ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Answering to zimmun twice

In a Suda shlishit of 30 people, one person had to leave and 9 answered to his Zimmun "Nevarech elokeinu...". What should these 9 people answer to the general Zimmun later on?
6
votes
1answer
161 views

Why do women wear ponytail elastics on Shabas?

So I was studying the start of Bame Isha in the Bavli (Shabas 57), and it seems a woman can't wear a tight strap or string in her hair outside (of an eruv) on Shabas (lest she remove it out of doors ...
3
votes
1answer
352 views

Can I tuck tzitzit into the fabric square corners?

These are Neatzit, a tzitzit undershirt. In dealing with a child who fidgets and therefore picks at the tzitzit, such that at the end of the day, they are entirely undone, can I tuck the tzitzit ...
3
votes
1answer
96 views

Halachot of burial vs. minhagim thereof

This answer gives a rough estimate that about 90 percent of hilchot kevura (laws of burial) are based on local minhag, rather than actual halacha. Taking this into account, the next logical conclusion ...
2
votes
1answer
34 views

Questions about the fence dividing a subdivided field

Mishna Bava Basra 7:4 says: האומר לחברו חצי שדי אני מוכר לך--משמין ביניהם, ונוטל חצי שדהו. חצייה בדרום אני מוכר לך--משמין ביניהם, ונוטל חצייה בדרום. ומקבל עליו מקום גדר, וחריץ ובן חריץ. וכמה ...
11
votes
1answer
138 views

Do you have to consider neighbors when building a shul?

Are there any halachic obligations to consider the averse effects that building a shul may have on Jewish neighbors? This may include things like lowering property value, noise and other disturbances, ...
5
votes
2answers
85 views

What were the Rambam's sources?

In the introduction to the Mishneh Torah, the Rambam indicates that his compilation of the entire Oral Torah is derived from a few key Jewish texts: ואין צריך לומר הגמרא עצמה הבבלית והירושלמית ...
7
votes
2answers
141 views

Does the existence of insurance affect end-of-life Halacha?

Consider the following case: A baby is born with severe congenital defects. The doctors say that if nothing is done to address them, the baby will die within days. They also say that there's a series ...
3
votes
0answers
57 views

Are there any responsa that encourage or require maintaining health insurance?

Are there any responsa in the literature that either encourage or require people to maintain health insurance, perhaps as a fulfillment of the obligation to guard one's health, or in line with any ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

Shabbat afternoon, when lounging on the couch, is it OK to wear sweatpants?

"Your Shabbat activities shall not be like your weekday activities". From this we learn that we should dress differently on Shabbat. Say you finished the meal and want to sit and read by the couch. ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Saying Hamapil after Alos Hashachar

If one was up all night and went to sleep after Alos Hashachar does one still say Hamapil?
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Is it a problem to eat animal leftovers

Is it true that there is a Jewish custom not to eat after animals (even if not mius issue (ie the person eating does not know)) ie if a rat ate a peace of a fruit I can't just cut off that part and ...
5
votes
4answers
113 views

Does a b'chor need to fast if he didn't partake in food from the siyum?

If a b'chor attended (or made) a siyum on taanis bechoros but did not partake of any food does he need to fast?
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Can you make chometz ink on Pesach?

My cousin would like to know about the permissibility of making ink on Pesach. The ink recipe includes flour, fruit juice, vinegar, and a little water. According to my cousin, it's not ראוי לאכילת ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Kidushin with food from someone else's banquet

I heard that a person can perform kidushin with the food of someone else's banquet, when he's been invited as a guest. Is this true? If so, why? (Do the owners of the banquet relinquish ownership ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

Does baby toothpaste need a hashgacha?

According to Rav Yisrael Belsky (and based on the reasoning of Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky) toothpaste which contains non-kosher ingredients (such as animal-derived glycerin) is only kosher when the ...
5
votes
3answers
381 views

Witnesses and the Ketubah

I heard from a chief rabbi of an Israeli city, who was officiating at a wedding I was at, that a Ketubah must be signed by two witnesses who are shomer mitzvos. What is the legal definition of this ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Holly Jolly Sukkos

An idol used by an idolater is assur b'hanaah (roughly, forbidden for use) and only loses that status if an idolater physically annuls it's "consecrated" status, e.g. by damaging it. Similarly, ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Vegan tekheileth

Does the oral tradition that identifies the hilazon as the source of tekheles necessarily indicate that one could not create the indigo-colored wool by other means? The gemara certainly indicates that ...
3
votes
0answers
84 views

Is there Ribis in America?

Rav Moshe Feinstein, z"l, is lenient with regard to allowing the loaning of money to a corporation because he maintains that the prohibition of ribis (usury) only applies where there is a shibud haguf ...
3
votes
2answers
67 views

Saying the Ribono Shel Olom after counting the Omer

If one is no longer counting the Omer with a Brocho can one still recite the Ribono Shel Olom prayer?
5
votes
1answer
533 views

Criteria to be considered a gentile for the purposes of selling chametz?

I understand that for some tasks or jobs (particularly those relating to kashrut), Judaism ritually requires more than the criteria of matrilineal descent to qualify as a Jew. E.g., as I understand ...
7
votes
1answer
370 views

How to check blood sugar on Shabbos

Diabetes is a חולי שיש בו סכנה, an illness that poses a danger to life1. As such, everything necessary for caring for diabetes must be done on Shabbos, even if it includes איסורי תורה. (see Shulchan ...
8
votes
3answers
884 views

Edim Zomemim - Why Not Believe Them?

There is a concept of Edim Zomemim (Wikipedia has it translated as "Collusive Witnesses") (עדים זוממים). Basically, if two witnesses testify about someone, and then two other witnesses come and say ...
6
votes
1answer
59 views

If a chazzan has to repeat Shmoneh Esrei, can he use the chazarat hashatz for that?

Let's say a chazzan makes a mistake in his personal Shmoneh Esrei that he would have to repeat it for (e.g. missed yaaleh vyavoh). Can he use the chazarat hashatz as his required repetition, or must ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is it permissible to flush a toilet on Shabbat?

I have been reluctant to ask this question on this website because it sounds so ridiculous, but as Rabbi Hillel said in Avot 2:6 "one who is bashful cannot learn" so here goes... Why is it ...
13
votes
4answers
4k views

Basic laws, why is milk with meat not kosher?

I've recently read (again) the verse "לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו", meaning, "Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk". How did anyone get from that, to "Don't eat meat with milk at all"? I've always ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

What type of “rainbows” require a bracha?

Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 229:1 says: הרואה הקשת אומר בא"י אמ"ה זוכר הברית נאמן בבריתו וקיים במאמרו. ואסור להסתכל בו ביותר: One who sees the rainbow says, "Blessed are you, God our ...
6
votes
1answer
136 views

Automated Cooking Machine Programmed

I realize in most situations to have a factory line be "cooked by a Jew" an observant Jew would have to turn the oven on, stove on, or something along those lines. This morning I saw this article ...
8
votes
3answers
381 views

Saying 100 Berachoth in a day

What is the source for the idea that one should say 100 Berachoth in a day, and how serious of an obligation is this? Is it mandatory, is it laudatory, or is it merely a nice idea?
2
votes
1answer
79 views

How does a husband make a neder on his wife

How does a husband make a neder on his wife? From shulchan aruch, even ezer: 115.10 (not to talk to someone (maybe only men?)) אם השביע אשתו שלא תדבר עם פלוני ועברה ודברה עמו עוברת על דת היא ...
10
votes
1answer
148 views

Participating in a non-Kosher food co-op

A food cooperative is a member-owned food store. It is typically set up that in order to shop there at discount prices, each person can become a member if they agree to volunteer a certain amount of ...