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)

1
vote
0answers
55 views

Being m'ziah (sweating) individual body parts on Shabbos

If one looks into the Tur Beis Yosef (and Shulchan Aruch) in Orach Chaim Siman 326 you will find the halachos of bathing on Shabbos. The Beis Yosef there points to the gemorah where it outlines the ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

Can “Three D'Rabbanans be 'motzei' ”Two D'Rabbanans"

We know that when there is a case of someone that is obligated to perform a mitzvah m'drabbanan (and in fact there are 2 d'rabbanans together) they can't be "motzei" someone in the mitzvah who only ...
1
vote
0answers
79 views

Not eating from the Lechem Mishnah

Take for example the following case. Someone only has one piece of bread. However his neighbor has 2 whole challas (and only 2.) May the first with the piece of bread take from his neighbor the 2 ...
-1
votes
1answer
75 views

Chametz left over Pesach — Must be burnt?

Chametz that belonged to a Jew over Pesach is prohibted (ossur) to have benefit (haneh) from (Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 448 Sif 3.) Is it enough that this chametz simply be thrown away or ...
15
votes
5answers
397 views

Overhead projector on Shabbos?

A discussion came up with some guests over shabbos. One asked if one could use an overhead projector on Shabbos if it was turned on from before, i.e. could one put a new plastic sheet on it or not? In ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Making a delayed havdallah from Motzei Shabbos on the night of Rosh HaShanah

The Biur Halacha in Siman 299 brings an interesting opinion from the Magen Avraham. If someone was fasting (and had taken on to fast for a few days) and wasn't able to make havdallah Motzei Shabbos ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

How much is an ashkenazi kesuba today

A standard Ashkenazi kesuba is a document no different to a post dated cheque; there is nothing religious or holy about it. It says that the man will pay his wife upon divorce or death the sum of 200 ...
2
votes
0answers
227 views

May a Jew own/operate a blog open to comments?

In light of recent events I would like to know if a Jew may own and operate a blog or website which is open to comments if it is found that comments can often contain lashon hara, rechilus or motzei ...
6
votes
1answer
91 views

Mistake in aliyah on Rosh Chodesh

On Rosh Chodesh we have four aliyos by Krias HaTorah. Rosh Chodesh fell out on Monday and by mistake it was read by the first aliyah of Kohen the Parsha of that week. After the aliyah was finished ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Eating new grains on the 17th vs the 18th of Nisan

The Shulhan 'Aruch (OC 489:10) states: אסור לאכול חדש אף בזמן הזה בין לחם בין קלי בין כרמל עד תחלת ליל יח בניסן ובארץ ישראל עד תחלת ליל יז בניסן "It is forbidden to eat new (grains) even ...
4
votes
0answers
134 views

Does a Jewish idolater's pouring of non-mevushal wine make that wine forbidden to himself?

We see from this answer that wine poured by a Jew who rejects Judaism is yayin nesech. Would that cause the wine to be forbidden even to himself, or is it only forbidden to others? Would he be ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Sitting shiva for non-Jewish relatives?

Should one sit shiva for a non-Jewish relative? Say your mother is Jewish and your father is not, and he dies.
3
votes
0answers
83 views

Apostate Jew performing mitzvahs

It has been discussed many times on this site that a non-Jew may not observe Shabbat (in addition to various other mitzvot that are prohibited to non-Jews). We have also seen that a Jew who renounces ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

If a non-jew steals is he liable to the death penalty?

Stealing is a Noahide commandment. If a non-jew violates a Noahide commandment he is obligated to die. That means if he steals a shave perutah ( שוה פרוטה, a tiny amount) or something he's obligated ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

Throwing out food with “questionable” hechsher - bal tashchis?

If one receive cooked food from a person that perhaps used ingrediants from a hechsher that one normally wouldn't eat is it bal tashchis to throw out the food? With packaged, store-bought food it ...
2
votes
1answer
64 views

Ashkenazi unsure whether he or she counted the 'Omer one night

According to the Daily Halacha website: If a person is unsure whether or not he counted a day of the Omer, and cannot determine conclusively if he had counted or if he had missed that day, he ...
1
vote
2answers
234 views

Why is a utensil required when washing one's hands after bathroom use?

I am under the impression that one is required to wash one's hands with a utensil (typically, the same type of cup used to wash before bread) after using the bathroom. Firstly, what is the source of ...
6
votes
1answer
146 views

Hatoras Nedarim for wife taking her husband's Minhagim

According to Minchas Yaakov 112:2 and Darchei Teshuva 112:94, one who is always careful with Pas Yisrael and now wants to start eating Pas Paltar would have to be Matir Neder. Suppose a girl who was ...
15
votes
3answers
337 views

Why do plastic bags and not fuselages protect against impurity?

In a picture on this article, we see a kohen who has enclosed himself in a plastic bag so as to avoid becoming impure as a result of flying over a cemetery. Why is it that a pressurized fuselage does ...
2
votes
0answers
122 views

Is a Jew able to go hunting?

What is the Halacha in regard to whether or not a person can go hunting? What have Poskim said on this issue?
2
votes
2answers
175 views

Using water filter/purification system on Shabbos

(Being asked as a theoretical question. Obviously everyone should ask their LOR.) There is a water filter (or purifier) that works in the following way: The water flows into a part where there is ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Why is the seder “beseder” (in order)?

Is there any halachic reason why we do the seder in the order that we do? It seems that many of the components of the seder are halachically mandated, but is there any halachic mandate that we do them ...
3
votes
1answer
403 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
439 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 ...
21
votes
3answers
657 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
108 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
123 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
290 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
97 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 ...