Tagged Questions

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3
votes
1answer
399 views

Can the descendants of a mamzer ever become full Jews?

Is there any way for the descendants of a mamzer to ever become Jews with full rights, or are they stuck with mamzerus forever? For example, if a man who is a mamzer marries a non-Jew, and then their ...
3
votes
1answer
426 views

Can a shul give an aliyah to an openly gay Jewish man when it gives aliyah to people who violate Shabbos?

In a Young Israel shul I've attended, the rabbi would not allow the gabbaim to give Jewish men an aliyah if there is reason to believe that the person is openly gay (and acts on his inclination), ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Chasam Sofer on innovation

There is a famous quote of the Chasam Sofer, in which he applies the principle stated in Mishna 'Orlah 3:9 (החדש אסור מן התורה בכל מקום) to the question of innovation within Judaism. Rather than ...
11
votes
3answers
297 views

Can a single-parent father be exempt from time-bound mitzvot?

Rabbis such as Abudraham have explained a woman's exemption from positive time-bound commandments (mitzvot shehazman grama) in terms of a woman's ongoing and preliminary role in supporting her ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Repentance for stealing not accepted?

I've heard before that there is a Gemorah in Baba Kamma (also brought down in Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat Hilchos Genevah) that one who steals something and later wishes to repent and return what ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

Standing up for an older person that is already sitting down

When an older person walks into a place where you are sitting, you must stand up for them (or least "rise" a little from ones seat.) If someone was sitting in a room and noticed that there was an ...
4
votes
2answers
197 views

May one say the letters of Hashem's name i.e. “Yud hei vov hei”?

We know we cannot pronounce the 4-lettered name of Hashem. Is it allowed to say the letters of Hashem's name ie “Yud hei vov hei” as in the meditation before counting the Omer or must one say “Yud ...
4
votes
4answers
232 views

What can be done with my annoying smoke detector on Shabbos?

When your smoke detectors battery is dying it chirps every 30 seconds to remind you to change it. I am in middle of my Friday night meal when this began. May I move the smoke detector to a area where ...
0
votes
0answers
59 views

How should the items on the noticeboard in the synagogue be arranged?

On a board where the name of the week’s parsha and the relevant additions in the prayers are displayed as shown here for example, is there an order of placing the items accepted by halacha or minhag? ...
2
votes
2answers
119 views

Is idolatrous belief forbidden for Jews, or is it just practice?

Suppose a Jew believes that there are multiple gods, but he does not worship them in any way. Is this a violation of the prohibition against idolatry for Jews? We see from this answer that similar ...
20
votes
3answers
656 views

While playing a computer game, may I “worship” one of the game's “gods” to help me win?

I sometimes play a certain computer role-playing game (RPG). In this game, my character (whom I might name after myself but who does not otherwise resemble me) fights mythological creatures and ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Time-limited promotional giveaways for some, fees for everyone later

If someone provides a discount for early payment, and raises the price for others, there is reason to consider this a form of forbidden usury. What if someone is giving away a gift to some as a ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

Cooperating with the authorities on Shabbos

To what extent, if any, must a Jew go through in order to cooperate with authorities, who are not seeking to persecute Jews, in ways that violate Shabbat? May he violate rabbinic ordinances, or actual ...
1
vote
0answers
107 views

Stopping gentile from doing borer on Shabbos

Consider the following situation. A shul makes a large Kiddush every Shabbos morning after Davening. They have many food items that need to be prepared and set up for the Kiddush however the ...
10
votes
2answers
227 views

Do men on the women's side count toward a minyan?

If men are on the women's side of the shul during davening when there are no women there, do they count toward the minyan, or are they considered separate? Does it matter if the women's area is right ...
4
votes
2answers
122 views

Men davening in the women's section while they catch up

A seemingly knowledgeable guy who davens with me early each morning is sometimes found in the women's section (which is usually empty during that service). He says that he learned that from a ...
6
votes
2answers
288 views

May one say kaddish for a non-Jew?

I have read that Jews recited kaddish on behalf of Abraham Lincoln after he was assassinated. What is the halachic basis for this and has kaddish ever been said en-masse on behalf of other non-Jews?
4
votes
2answers
96 views

Can we really estimate halachic distances?

A mishna on Eiruvin 41b tells of a ship that was coming into harbor at dusk coming into Shabbat. Since Shabbat had already begun when the ship docked, those on board asked R. Gamaliel if they could ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

If a Jew visits a mosque and offers a prayer to “Allah”, which commandments are being violated? [duplicate]

If a Jew visits a mosque and offers a prayer to "Allah" as a good-will gesture, which commandments are being violated? What are the views of the Jewish Sages on this type of interfaith ...
7
votes
2answers
281 views

Using a cell phone as a watch on Shabbos

I seem to recall learning that it is permissible to use a cell phone as a watch on Shabbos as long as the time is always displayed on the front and no buttons would need to be pressed in order to ...
2
votes
1answer
145 views

To what extent should one not sell unkosher goods?

I know that, as a Jew, I shouldn't sell unkosher goods. So, does this mean I can't directly make profit from selling unksher goods? For example, if I work for Walmart, and some one buys pork while I ...
2
votes
0answers
123 views

Am I allowed to wear my Pebble Watch on Shabbat? [duplicate]

The Pebble is a smart watch that connects to a smart-phone via Bluetooth and can deliver messages to your wrist. Am I allowed to wear it on Shabbat if I disconnect it from my phone? Think of it, then, ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Can I prevent trespass through (for example) my garden?

Does the Torah give me the right to stop other people using (for example) my garden as a short-cut between two places? If I try to prevent this trespass, am I to be criticised (say for withholding ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Is idolatrous belief forbidden for gentiles, or is it just practice?

Suppose a non-Jew believes that there are multiple gods, but he does not worship them in any way. Is this a violation of the prohibition against idolatry for gentiles?
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Is a non-Jew reliable for Sha'atnez?

Suppose someone is fabulously wealthy, and they have their own personal tailor who is not Jewish. May this tailor be relied upon not to make anything which contains Sha'atnez? May this tailor be ...
11
votes
5answers
524 views

Is the observance of Jewish law/tradition “all or nothing”?

Sometimes my job gets in the way of my observance of Jewish holidays. I often need to work on Saturdays or late on Fridays, inhibiting my ability to attend synagogue on Shabbat. Sometimes I am ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Stitches on Shabbos

If someone cut their finger (lo aleinu!) on Shabbos in a way that wasn't going to threaten them however is a fairly deep cut may they get stitches put in by a non-Jew on Shabbos? Theoretically they ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Speaking in the middle of Havdallah

Someone was making havdallah and, after saying the bracha on besamim (spices) and then smelling them, exclaimed "Ah! A mechayah!". Is this considered a hefsek (interruption) in the havdallah? Meaning ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

other names of Hashem (instead of Ado..) in davenning and brachos?

IS there halachic basis for using other names of Hashem (instead of Ado..) in davenning and brachos, if one chooses?
6
votes
2answers
196 views

Playing with a pet on Shabbos

Is there any opinion that holds one may play or touch a pet on Shabbos (even though animals are normally muktzeh on Shabbos.) Specifically one that is meant for this purpose (to play with.) I heard ...
3
votes
2answers
598 views

Does Judaism permit sexual relationships outside of marriage?

I am eager to know more about different religions from Islam to Judaism. Furthermore, how different religions look at women and comparing their kinds of approaches to the matter of gender and ...
6
votes
2answers
270 views

What is the reason that you are not allowed to learn Torah shebictav at night?

I saw in some books (Rav Belsky, Arizal) that you are not allowed to learn torah Shebictav (Tanach) at night without commentaries. Why is that?
16
votes
2answers
554 views

Is it forbidden to wear a snap-brim Borsolino fedora on Shabbos?

The Talmud, at Shabbos 138b, presents the opinion that one may not wear a siyana -- which Rashi defines as a wide-brimmed hat -- on Shabbos if it has a brim that is one tefach (hand-bredth) wide ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Difference between leaving place of eating and place of smelling besamim

We learn in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 178 the laws if one leaves the place where they were eating if a new bracha has to be made or not when they come back (or if they change to a different place.) ...
1
vote
0answers
93 views

What is the Halachic difference if people are kosher or not?

The Ramban derives that people are kosher from the gemara in Kerisos (21a i think) That since the rabbis said that human milk is kosher using concept that anything that comes from kosher animal is ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

Would I be allowed to sell my Chametz alcohol during the Prohibition?

During the Prohibition in the United States, owning alcohol was permitted, though selling it was prohibited. If I had a barrel of Vodka which I bought before the prohibition was made law, would I be ...
11
votes
1answer
424 views

Are we allowed to ask someone if he's a convert?

I remember learning that we are forbidden to "remind a convert of his past". The implication, as I remember it, is reminding someone that he used to be an idolater. (Though not all converts were.) ...
4
votes
1answer
397 views

Kohen flying over a cemetery?

Is there a problem with a kohen flying in an airplane that may fly over a Jewish cemetery? If so, how can a kohen be sure that a flight does not go over a Jewish cemetery?
3
votes
1answer
165 views

100% Polyester or Silk suits requiring checking

According to the Shaatnez testers of America Suits and Sport jackets, (Men's/Boy's): Require testing even 100% polyester and 100% silk suits. Why so? Isn't there a simple Sefek Sefeka? Safek if ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Challah dough that loses its amount

A theoretical question: Someone was making a dough and in the process a large piece fell out from the mixture onto the floor. They had made exactly the right amount in order to take challah with a ...
5
votes
1answer
921 views

Is metzitzah b'peh required when an adult is circumcised or in the case of hatafas dam bris?

As we've discussed in a general question regarding the requirements for metzitzah b'peh (MBP), the direct-oral-contact technique to draw blood from the penis of an 8-day old infant at his bris milah ...
0
votes
1answer
96 views

Why is the Kitzur so much more popular than the Chayey Adam?

The Chayey Adam was considered to be the "popular kitzur Shulchan Aruch" for almost a century before the "Kitzur Shulchan Aruch" was printed. Why did people stop learning the Chayey Adam and switch to ...
7
votes
1answer
202 views

Does a lady count as a Panim Chadashos?

Even Ha'Ezer 62:7 says that in order to say Sheva Brachos at the meals that are made for the week after the wedding for the Chassan and Kallah there needs to be a Panim Chadashos (new face) present. ...
3
votes
1answer
305 views

Is it permissible for a single woman to have a baby through artificial insemination by an anonymous sperm donor? Is it moral?

Single women, approaching or past 40, hear their biological clock alarm ringing with tremendous volume. One that I know has decided that her love life is not going to come around soon enough for her ...
8
votes
2answers
215 views

Sleeping between meat and milk

I have heard in the name of the Chasam Sofer that if one sleeps after eating meat that they can be lenient in the amount of time one would normally wait between eating meat and milk. Is this written ...
6
votes
1answer
102 views

Do cremated remains contaminate with tumas mes?

If a body is cremated, do the ashes transmit tumah as do other human remains, or does cremation render the body no longer tamei?
2
votes
1answer
97 views

'Kavannah' of Shem Havayeh in the first line of Kriat Shma

The requirement when saying the name 'Havayeh' to have in mind both the meaning of 'adon ha-kol' and 'hayah hoveh ve-yihyhe' takes me some time: longer than almost anybody I see in shul taking to ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

Eating Matzah of Tevel or Heqdesh

As DoubleAA has reminded me, the Mishna in Pesachim 2:5 forbids the usage of matzah that is tevel or heqdesh on the evening of Pesach. In his commentary on Nedarim 2:2, however, the Bartenura appears ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

How to handle cadavers

My fiance is going to university, working towards a degree in dentistry. For about a year, she will be required to handle cadavers in the classes. First of all, is this forbidden in Torah? Secondly, ...
4
votes
1answer
194 views

Eyebrow Trimming During Sefira

Are there any known halacha- or responsa- sources that deal with the permitting or prohibiting of trimming eyebrows during Sefira? I'm wondering if eyebrows fall into the "regular" category of haircut ...