Tagged Questions

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2
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1answer
132 views

Animal testing of cosmetics and other products

To what extent does tzaar baalei chayyim--the prohibition on causing needless pain to animals--apply to animal testing of products such as cosmetics? What are the potential halachic problems for both ...
4
votes
5answers
245 views

Does a synagogue have the right to dispose of objects abandoned there?

A particular synagogue has large numbers of abandoned tallesim and tefilin in the drawers in the chapel. Does the synagogue have the right to dispose of objects abandoned there? Does the law change ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

Pinchas and Halacha In Front Of One's Rabbi

The Gemara in Eiruvin 63a,b learns that one is not allowed to paskin a halachah in front of one's Rebbi. Multiple examples and details are brought. In particular, Elazar haKohen taught the soldiers ...
5
votes
2answers
97 views

Fixing incorrectly-said word in davening

When one has incorrectly uttered a word or syllable of davening and immediately realizes it, how far back does one go in order to correct it? Does one need to return to the beginning of the pasuk or ...
5
votes
1answer
144 views

At what cost must one perform a mitzvah?

To what lengths must one go to fulfill a positive commandment, or avoid transgressing a negative one? Obviously, with few exceptions, one must not go so far as to die in order to fulfill a ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Purchasing products that were not manufactured in a Torahdik manner?

Are there any restrictions on purchasing or using non-food products that were manufactured in violation of the Law? If so, on what grounds? For example: A non-Jew manufactures a product, and, in ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Does caring for children in foster care count as work?

If someone looked after foster children on weekends (from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon) and received remuneration does this count as work and not permissible on the Sabbath?
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Is it permissible to embarrass a thief?

Here's a story I witnessed: Someone trying to get his car out of the public parking lot next to his building found his way out blocked by two cars parked right on the ramp out, whose owners went into ...
4
votes
2answers
187 views

Rollerblading on shabbas?

What's the halachic problems if any to rollerblade on shabbas? Do we compare it to biking (Kaf Hachaim assurs it)? Are there any contemporary tshuvos which discuss this? I have heard two problems if ...
1
vote
1answer
279 views

Starting the Seder after Sheki'ah (sunset)?

In my experience, there is a lot of emphasis on waiting until after Tzeith HaKochavim (the stars come out), which is seen as definitely after nightfall, to start the Seder. The reason is that we want ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Hagalas kelim in “tzir”

When one wants to make celim (vessels) Kosher by purging non-Kosher absorbed tastes from it, one method is hagaleh, which normally is done with water. The Rema says in SA OC Siman 452:5 that b'dieved ...
3
votes
0answers
59 views

Making bedikas chometz early — ossur in malacha, eating, learning?

When someone leaves their home within 30 days of Pesach without someone to be bodek it from chometz, they themselves have to be bodek it early (See Siman 436.) In the normal case of bedikas chometz ...
7
votes
2answers
149 views

When can I speak after eating?

After making a Berachah on food, it is considered a Hefsek to speak before eating said food. At what point after beginning to eat is it permissible to speak? After the first bite? After the first ...
8
votes
1answer
298 views

Changing minhag about tallit gadol

I first became involved with a non-orthodox congregation where it was customary for everyone over Bar Mitzvah age to wear a tallit gadol. However, I understand that it is an Ashkenazi minhag not to ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Decorated Tallis gadol [duplicate]

It is quite common to see people with colorfully decorated tallises in non-Orthodox (especially Conservative) shuls, but much less common to see the same thing in Orthodox shuls. Is there any halachic ...
1
vote
2answers
115 views

Fasting for a child bechor before Passover

I've heard that some men fast on erev Pesach for their firstborn son until that son old enough to fast for himself. Is that halakha? Where does this come from?
2
votes
3answers
257 views

Should a Rabbi apologize for a comment that could be misunderstood?

If a prominent Rabbi (meaning someone who heads a community or institution, not just anyone who has semicha) makes a statement that is technically halachically correct/acceptable but is easily ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

Is Guinness Beer no longer kosher?

A new Smithsonian article has discovered Guinness Beer's use of isinglass, a technique that Guinness Beer has confirmed that it does to the Huffington Post, and even declared "Guinness Black Lager is ...
5
votes
2answers
509 views

Is it permitted for a Jew to accept an invitation by the Pope to attend mass

The chief rabbi of Rome received a special invitation from Pope Francis to attend a special mass on March 19.VINNews article. Normally, a Jew is not even allowed to visit a church, much less a ...
1
vote
3answers
166 views

Preparing a dish on Shabbos by night for the day time (in regards to Borer)

It says in SA OC Siman 321 Sif 19 in the Rema that normally it's ossur to peel garlic or onions however that's only to leave them to eat at a later time. However if it's being done to eat right away ...
3
votes
2answers
437 views

Are (opaque) stockings under a skirt considered enough to cover ervah?

This is a question about skirt lengths. From this answer: The halacha is that "tefach b'isha ervah" - a tefach (about 3.5 inches) uncovered on certain parts of a woman's body is ervah - ...
6
votes
3answers
204 views

How is one allowed to live in Israel?

When Yehoshua came to Israel, he conquered it and divided it among the Jews. This land belongs to them and their descendants. When the Jews were exiled many years later and came back (by the 2nd Beis ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Early bird discounts and ribbis

Are early-bird discounts ribbis? For example, "buy before March 1, 10% off", or "tickets $12 in advance, $15 at the door" Inspired by http://myparnasa.com/collecting-interest-ribbis/
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Attending networking events under false pretenses

I've recently seen some events advertised for specific groups or for people who fit a certain description, and it got me wondering, would it be alright, from a Jewish perspective (Halachic, Hashkafic, ...
1
vote
0answers
86 views

Turn yourself in for a capital offense?

This question assumes that one should accept his punishment after being convicted of a capital offense. Should one turn himself in to (Jewish) authorities after committing an offense for which he ...
8
votes
1answer
93 views

Should someone who is falsely convicted by a relgious court attempt to avoid the death penalty?

This question discusses whether one may attempt to escape the death penalty imposed by a Beis Din for a capital offense. The answer to this question seemed to be that the person should not try to ...
8
votes
1answer
102 views

What defines “on this earth” from a halachic standpoint?

Rabbi Ben-Zion Firrer asked whether Torah Law must be observed in space, since Deuteronomy 12:1 says one should follow the Commandments "all of the days which you are alive on this earth." What ...
6
votes
4answers
212 views

Is it a mitzvah to escape the death penalty from a secular court?

This question addresses whether it is a mitzvah to attempt to escape the death penalty if it is imposed by a Jewish court. The answer to this question seemed to be that it is not a mitzvah to attempt ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

Pidyon Shevuyim - when does it apply?

Does the Mitzva of Pidyon Shevuyim apply in a case where one is being held in prison for having committed a crime or only where a innocent person was captured for ransom? If it does apply to cases ...
7
votes
2answers
475 views

May a woman look at a man for pleasure?

It's ossur for a man to look at a woman for pleasure. Even to look at her small finger with the intention of having pleasure from it (See EH"E Siman 21 Sif 1.) Is there any prohibition for a woman to ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it appropriate for a Gentile to attend and/or participate in a Seder?

The context: last year, I saw this sign that announced the time and place that a Jewish Seder (probably Yom Kippur) would happen. I was definitely curious and considered going and at least observing ...
8
votes
1answer
188 views

Do Jews have an obligation to support the effort to free Jonathan Pollard?

I am not entirely clear on all of the particulars of the mitzvah of pidyon shivuyim - redeeming Jewish captives. Nor am I positive that someone jailed by a democratic goverment for breaking secular ...
5
votes
2answers
167 views

How to salt a chicken at home?

I'm Sara Gittel from the Shtetl and I just got back to my home with my freshly shechted chicken that I had brought to our local Shochet. I seem to have forgotten though how to salt it. Can please you ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Were condemned prisoners drugged prior to execution?

According to this unsubstantiated Wikipedia entry, criminals condemned to death by Beith Din were drugged and rendered senseless prior to being executed. Is this factually correct (either ...
4
votes
1answer
34 views

Southern Birkas Ha'ilanos

I've seen Saying Mashiv HaRuach in the Southern Hemisphere. Similarly, is Birkas Ha'ilanos (ברכת האילנות) said in Tishrei in the southern hemisphere? That's when the trees bloom.
6
votes
3answers
157 views

Meat right after Milk… make a new bracha?

Suppose someone is planning on having some dairy food just before a meat meal. May the person make a bracha to cover the entire dairy/meat meal, or must he finish his dairy, make a bracha achrona, and ...
6
votes
2answers
169 views

Does it matter through whom you sell your chometz?

I have seen online forms and received emails from many far-flung places offering to sell my chometz for me. I also have a competent Rabbi in my local shul who is willing to do it. No two of these ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

Resuscitation of Aged Nursing Home Patients

Recently, there was a story about an 87-year-old woman who suffered a heart attack in a nursing home. The nursing home called 911 and the dispatcher begged the nurse to do CPR on the patient until the ...
5
votes
0answers
90 views

Is it ever permissible to break Shabbos in order to relieve someone of suffering?

Is it ever permissible to break Shabbos in order to relieve someone (a human or an animal) of suffering? I am talking about excruciating suffering, not merely discomfort, and I am not talking about ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

Is it permissible to be mechalel Shabbos to save the life of an animal or pet?

Is it permissible to be mechalel Shabbos to save the life of an animal, such as a family pet? Could minchag, chumras, and/or purely Rabbinical prohibitions be relaxed in such a situation, and to what ...
7
votes
1answer
142 views

Is it permitted to use a thermochromic cup on Shabbos?

A novelty cup, see for example here, appears black when cold. When hot liquid is poured into it, the black changes to white and the previously concealed writing (underneath, so to speak) becomes ...
0
votes
1answer
180 views

Who is a Jew according the Tanach?

Does the Tanach give guidelines to Identify who is a Jew and who is not?
4
votes
1answer
229 views

Kayak or canoe on Shabbos?

Is it permissible to canoe or kayak on Shabbos for pleasure if a non-Jew puts the boat into the water and takes it out?
1
vote
1answer
103 views

What Bracha do we say on bread baked with evaporated mei peiros?

If one bakes bread made out of flour and pure fruit juice, it becomes pas haba bekisnin and the bracha is (at times) mezonos. What if one distilled fruit juice (to produce water) and baked bread out ...
14
votes
0answers
461 views

Can I make a mikvah using artificial rain?

If I have a mikva which needs filling, and there is no rain, can I use the following mechanism - I have a Mikva in a closed room. On top of this Mikva, there is a cooling system (let's say that this ...
5
votes
1answer
158 views

Is practical Kabbalah forbidden today?

Is it forbidden to practice "practical" kabbalah (kabbalah maasit) today? If so, why? If it is forbidden to practice is it also forbidden to study?
4
votes
1answer
229 views

Can my non-Jewish co-worker bring me coffee from the corner cafe?

Assuming coffee is Kosher, would it be alright if my non-Jewish co-worker brings me coffee on a trip to the corner cafe? May I assume that the co-worker indeed purchased a Kosher item and has not ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

brit-milah for dead infant [duplicate]

Recent tragedy in NY, young haredi couple killed in auto accident. Wife pregnant with baby boy. Doctors delivered the baby but, tragically, he also didn't survive. Before burial, a brit milah was ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Wearing pieces from two different sets of tefillin

Tefillin are usually thought of as coming in sets, one for the hand (shel yad) and one for the head (shel rosh). But is there any reason two sets can't be mixed and matched? May one wear tefillin ...
2
votes
1answer
210 views

Tefillin with chipped paint

Is there a problem with wearing tefillin whose paint has started to chip off? Would such a situation require one to get the tefillin repainted? Can someone still be yotzei by tefillin whose paint is ...