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4
votes
3answers
284 views

How can I avoid Bishul Akum with a rice-cooker?

ASSUMING: I have a rice cooker here that's absolutely, certainly, never used for anything other than plain rice. The rice contains no flavorings, bugs, or anything else non-kosher. Rice is raw ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Does Bishul Akum require intent?

In this answer, @AdamSimon suggested that: Therefore, in our case (in which the power goes out on or before Shabbos and is subsequently restored during the course of Shabbos), provided that the ...
3
votes
2answers
197 views

Bishul Akum: now what?

What is the kashrus status of a pot if the food cooked in it was Kosher, but cooked by Non Jew? Is the pot kosher or not?
3
votes
2answers
154 views

Bishul Akum Technology

Is there Bishul Akum when using a microwave, considering that it is not cooking as it was in the times of Chazal?
5
votes
1answer
333 views

Marriage Where Witnesses can Never be Found

Suppose a Jewish man and Jewish woman end up stranded on an island in the South Pacific as a result of a plane crash or ship wreck, with no other survivors, and no hope of rescue. In fact, respective ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Why recite the fourth Berachah of Bentching in a case of doubt?

If someone is in doubt whether or not to Bentch, we take the strict approach and require the person to Bentch, as it is a Biblical requirement (see here), unlike most Berachoth, for which the rule is ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

What is the correct way to serve soup on Friday night?

What is the correct way to serve soup on Friday night? Does one take it off the blech and then serve out? I take it that it is forbidden to serve directly from the heat source. Also, am I allowed to ...
11
votes
6answers
486 views

Can you pick your nose?

Is it a violation of halakah to pick your nose (unrefined act, possibly a violation of being a holy nation)? Would there be a difference in halakah if it were the sabbath (possible violation of ...
9
votes
1answer
421 views

Brewing fresh coffee for Shabbos with a time clock

May one prepare coffee ingredients in a brewer such as this one on Friday and set the timer to brew the coffee for 8:00 Shabbos morning?
5
votes
2answers
215 views

Going into a Reform synagogue to take a test

In the following question "Orthodox Visits to Other Denomination Sanctuaries" it discusses whether one may go into a Reform or Conservative synagogue for prayer and/or a wedding. Is one allowed to go ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

Does minhag hamakom apply to a college minyan?

At my university our minyan davens nusach Ashkenaz. Recently some have expressed the desire to allow the shatz to daven nusach Sefard, under the logic that since there are basically no permanent ...
2
votes
1answer
489 views

When is there a heter to use a condom?

When, if ever, is there a heter for a married couple to use a condom as a form of birth control? Question was inspired by this article
2
votes
1answer
163 views

Why don't women drink alcohol (other than kiddush wine) in shul?

I've noticed that in Orthodox shuls, it's common for men to drink alcohol (such as a shot of scotch or vodka or perhaps a liqueur), other than just kiddush wine, especially after Shacharis on Shabbos. ...
5
votes
0answers
142 views

Should you refrain from putting ash on your forehead if your wedding coincides with Ash Wednesday?

Some brides/grooms have a custom to put ash on the forehead at their wedding as a remembrance for the destruction of the temple. Is there any halachic discussion about avoiding this practice if the ...
4
votes
0answers
101 views

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?
6
votes
1answer
759 views

Why do mourning practices surrounding suicide differ from Shulchan Aruch?

It used to be that a person who committed suicide was buried in a separate part of the cemetery and the relatives did not sit shiva (see Shulchan Aruch YD 345). We no longer do these things and we ...
6
votes
1answer
91 views

Has anyone seen or heard of a heter not to read shnayim mikrah ve'echad targum?

The given psak by all poskim that I know of seems to be that shnayim mikrah is a total obligation. Is there any source that says otherwise?
3
votes
2answers
390 views

What do you do with a ketubah document following a divorce?

What is the preferred handling of a ketubah following a divorce? It seems wrong to just throw it away. Should it be buried? Is it permissible to burn it?
4
votes
3answers
155 views

Preferable time to light Chanukah Menorah

What is the preferable time to light the Chanukah Menorah: after dark or before?
3
votes
2answers
218 views

Does a Snuggie need tzitzis?

Snuggie is a popular brand of sleeved blanket. A sleeved blanket is a four-cornered blanket with sleeves, similar to a backwards bathrobe. It can be made of anything blankets are made of. The answer ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

“If you have time, say this”

I have seen in many siddurim, mainly in korbonos, the phrase "if you have time, add this parsha". How do you know if you have time? It seems obvious that if adding it would make you miss zman ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Wing clipping and pinioning

Wing clipping and pinioning are measures that bird keepers take to ensure that their birds don't escape. Wing clipping involves cutting the primary feathers of a bird such that there wont be enough ...
3
votes
1answer
249 views

Pulling out hairs while wiping your bottom on Shabbat

Religious Jews are normally careful not to pull out hairs during Shabbat. After Mr. Ploni defecates, he wipes his rear end carefully. But he knows that it's impossible for him to clean his bottom to ...
4
votes
2answers
126 views

What to do when finding blood in eggs

When cooking something with eggs, I always check the eggs for bloodspots. But I wonder, if I find a blood spot, do I need to throw the whole egg away or can I take the blood out with a spoon and use ...
4
votes
0answers
43 views

Answering two people saying Kaddish out of sync [duplicate]

Suppose you have two people saying Kaddish and they come up the part when the congregation has to say Amen, but the two people aren't in sync. Should you: a) Say Amen to both; b) Say Amen to the ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Mikvah with three additional chambers

I was looking at documentation of a mikvah being constructed, and it confused me. In addition to the immersion pool, this mikvah had three additional chambers. From what I have gathered, they appear ...
3
votes
0answers
80 views

Making a neder without specifying verbally

If someone wants to make a prohibition on himself from eating apples and has some apples in front of him and uses a language of "konem" in his neder and says "these apples" then they become forbidden ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

Neder of 11 year old girl

An 11 year old girl made a neder that if she finds a certain object that she had lost then she'll give to tzedeka 20 agarot (which is today around 5 cents) every week (for the rest of her life.) Does ...
4
votes
4answers
966 views

Does soda need a hechsher?

I have noticed that many cans of pepsi don't have a hechsher (kosher symbol) on them. Do they need one?
0
votes
2answers
50 views

Hachnassas Sefer Torah at night

When concluding the writing of a Sefer Torah at the start of a Hachnassas Sefer Torah, do the last letters need to be filled in before shkiah (sunset) or can that be done also after shkiah? I wonder ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

Believing 'evil tongue' during elections

On Tuesday, there are municipal elecions here in Israel, and some of the candidates are accusing their competitors of corruption. I am not in a position to check these accusations — I am neither ...
2
votes
0answers
74 views

Training an animal to do malacha

Is one allowed to train an animal to do malacha on shabbas (e.g. turn on a light)? Is it comparable to amira l'nochri (telling a non-Jew to do so), or do we say its mutar altogether?
4
votes
5answers
264 views

Connecting Shas and Halacha

What resources are available to trace the connections from the Gemara to the Halachic codifications and the reverse? For example, how can someone learning Daf Yomi find the related Halachic rulings ...
3
votes
0answers
62 views

Limits of pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton

What methods of pronouncing the Tetragrammaton are forbidden? Can I listen to a live radio show where It is being said? Can I cause a machine to make Those Sounds? Can I cause a non-Jew to speak It? ...
5
votes
0answers
80 views

G-d's name on screen readers

People who are blind or hard-of-seeing often interact with computers using devices called "screen readers". These screen readers will read aloud the words that are written on the screen (or in the ...
8
votes
1answer
167 views

Avoiding solitary walks because of demons?

In the Shulkhan Aruch, O''C 551:18 it is written: צריך ליזהר מי"ז בתמוז עד ט' באב שלא לילך יחידי מד' שעות עד ט' שעות (משום שבהם קטב מרירי שולט) ; ולא יכו התלמידים בימים ההם.‏ From the ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

May a person sit on a tree stump?

Can one sit on a tree stump or is there a spiritual danger? I remember hearing such a thing, but I don't remember where.
2
votes
1answer
219 views

Shoe-tying order when tying another's shoes

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 2:4–5: ינעול מנעל ימין תחילה ולא יקשרנו ואחר כך ינעול של שמאל ויקשרנו ויחזור ויקשור של ימין One should don his right shoe first but not tie it, then don his ...
5
votes
1answer
138 views

Realistic expectations at bar mitzvah age

Being a high school teacher I am interested in better understanding what is realistically expected of boys of the age of bar mitzvah in this day and age. Is, for instance, the non attendance to ...
6
votes
1answer
263 views

Can convert siblings marry each other?

I understand that there's a concept of גר כקטן שנולד דמי (not sure I got the words 100% right) - that a convert (ger) to Judaism is halachically considered to have no family. If that is the case, ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

List of halachot that relate to 'demons' [duplicate]

Are there any practical halachot (not minhagim) that are a direct consequence for our concern for demons or 'evil spirits'?
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Using straps of Rashi Tefillin for Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam

A person by mistake (not knowing the halacha) took old straps (ratzuos) from his Rashi Tefillin and used them on his new Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin (seemingly he got new straps for his Rashi Tefillin.) ...
4
votes
2answers
145 views

To what extent must we try to convince non-Jews to follow the 7 mitzvot?

It is common to see Jews referring non-Jews who are interested in Judaism but not prepared to commit to following halakha to Noahidism or simply to follow the 7 laws; however, it seems to me to be ...
1
vote
0answers
77 views

Ever Encouraging Conversion?

Are there any situations where it is halachickly advisable to encourage someone to convert rather than be Noahide?
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Is there a special status for the offspring of an animal that was dedicated for a Karban?

For example, if someone in the time of the temple dedicated a cow for a Karban, and before they could bring it to be sacrificed it became pregnant (or impregnated another cow), would its calf have any ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Sleeping in a sukkah that was “cut” in half

Consider the following scenario: If someone slept in a sukkah that had a gap in the middle of 3 tefachim of open space and where both sides had a proper shiur sukkah of 7 by 7 tefachim; however when ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

What does being put in cheirem mean for you and your descendants?

A (not-so-observant) friend of mine recently told me that his great-grandfather was put into cheirem and, not being able to have children while in cheirem, his descendants (including my friend) are ...
7
votes
1answer
439 views

Is it mutar to participate in an online religion-related community that is largely made up of Christians?

There exist online communities on secular websites, to discuss religion-related topics such as the bible, that largely consist of Christians and their contributions. Some of those Christians use the ...
4
votes
2answers
603 views

Jawbone UP on Shabbat

I recently received a new gadget: The Jawbone UP band. Look it up on Google, but the basic idea is it is a bracelet you wear 24/7 that measures all kind of things while you move around. Should it be ...
0
votes
2answers
946 views

Can we play video games during sabbath

I am not Jewish, but sort of try to emulate some parts of it to see if it does me any good. Well, not doing anything for 1 day is too boring. Actually what else can we do anyway during sabbath beside ...