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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
156 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
144 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
212 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
141 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
178 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
455 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
156 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
225 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
204 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
287 views

Is it allowed to make paintings of living creatures?

Among the Ten Commandments is: Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the ...
2
votes
3answers
512 views

What Does Halacha Say About Women Wearing Veils?

I read here about certain Jewish sects prescribing face veil. Is there, in fact, a rule requiring or encouraging covering the faces of women in presence of unrelated men? If so, what is the source for ...
4
votes
1answer
41 views

Doing something in one breath

I am looking to make a list of halachot/minhagim that involve doing something in 1 breath so I can see if I can draw any connections between them. So far, I have 3 things: the shevarim-tru'ah (or at ...
2
votes
0answers
73 views

Borders of obligation when witnessing a robbery [closed]

Today I watched while a man walked into a pastry shop, took a large box of cookies and put it into his bag. He then walked out of the store and away, disregarding my stink eye on him. If I were to ...
6
votes
3answers
267 views

Why can't a mixed gender meal of 3 form a zimun?

In a group of two women and one man (or one woman and two men), why can they not have a zimun together? Is it because of different levels of obligation in bentching? If so, why is a woman ...
5
votes
2answers
139 views

Must one give maaser from virtual money?

If a person achieves a gain or a payment of a currency that that is purely virtual and does not have any physical counterpart (ie it is not associated with a financial institution) must one give ...
5
votes
1answer
55 views

Do reward tokens qualify halachically as money?

I give my children special slips of paper as a reward for good behavior (a "token economy"). They can collect these slips of paper and use them to "buy" rewards such as toys, treats, or fun ...
1
vote
0answers
122 views

What if a Goel HaDam (Blood Redeemer) accidentally kills his kinsman's accidental murderer - inside the latter's 'Ir Miklat (City of Refuge)?

Another question asks what happens if a someone accidentally kills someone else inside an 'Ir Miklat (City of Refuge) in which the victim and/or his family live, and whether he needs to move to ...
2
votes
2answers
186 views

What is the appropriate method for transporting a Torah scroll?

Is there a best practice for transporting a Torah scroll from one building, or one city, to another?
7
votes
1answer
175 views

What if Someone Accidentally Killed Someone in an Ir Miklat (City of Refuge)?

If someone kills a someone else through gross negligence in an Ir Miklat in which the victim and/or his relatives live, must he leave and seek refuge in another Ir Miklat? After all, surely the victim ...
4
votes
0answers
42 views

Davar Ha'avad on Chol HaMoed — Loss coming later

It says in SA OC Siman 537 that one is allowed to do a malacha on chol hamoed if it's a "davar ha'aved". That is to say if the person doesn't do the malacha now it will come to a loss ("hefsed".) ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Naming an orphan

In light of the recent story in the news of a baby born an orphan. :( Who names him (and performs the bris)? I assume the grandparents, but is there any tradition of which side has priority? (I am ...
3
votes
1answer
234 views

Can a born-Jew who converted out of Judaism be buried in an Orthodox Jewish cemetery?

We've discussed previously that halacha prohibits the burial of non-Jews in the same cemetery as Jews. But what about born-Jews who converted out? What about Jews who were simply atheists?
-3
votes
1answer
134 views

Who is a gentile? [closed]

What makes one gentile and what makes one Jew according to preferably Tanach , not restricting authoritative rabbanic sources.
7
votes
2answers
506 views

What to do with the Cross on the Chess King?

Many (perhaps most) Chess sets come with a King piece that has a cross on the top of it. Is there any problem with owning or using such a chess set? Should one break off the cross?
2
votes
1answer
306 views

What level of obligation is of kriat shema al hamita?

What is the level of obligation for krias shema al hamita (the recitation of Shema before going to bed)? Is it a mitzvah deoraisa, mitzvah derabanan, is it a minhag avoseinu byadeinu? Maybe it's ...
5
votes
2answers
253 views

My father-in-law was a Cohen. Are my children Cohanim?

I seem to recall that Kehuna passes from father to son. Does it pass through the mother as well? My father-in-law was a Cohen. That makes my wife Bat-Cohen, but what does it make my children? ...
3
votes
1answer
105 views

Can one use a year-round warming tray for Pesach? How?

Year-round, pans of food and foil-wrapped food are placed on an electric warming tray; the foods within are not kosher for Passover. What's the easiest way to permissibly use the tray for Passover? ...
4
votes
1answer
255 views

Have poskim written about partnership minyanim?

Are there any contemporary responsa regarding partnership minyanim, such as Shira Hadasha and Darkei Noam? Various rabbis have written against it (e.g., R. Student, R. Rothstein, R. Firmer) and it ...
3
votes
2answers
138 views

Asking a shaila where disclosure of classified information might be necessary

Orthodox Jews have taken on more and more responsible government positions and have been trusted with clearances to see highly sensitive classified materials. Many years ago I had such a job. It ...
3
votes
0answers
47 views

Should I only make one Berachah, or should I make one on each different food?

When I was in "Pirchei" boys' youth groups as a child, at snack time I was taught to make a "Mezonos" on my cake, "Shehakol" on my drink, and "Haetz" on my sliced fruit. Then, at the end, the group ...
3
votes
0answers
91 views

What to do after sh'mone esre before Sh'ma

Shulchan Aruch, OC 236:3: If someone discovered a group that had already read [the evening] "Sh'ma" and is about to say amida [of maariv], then he should say amida with them and then say "Sh'ma" ...
6
votes
1answer
287 views

May I buy and use cheap fakes instead of paying full price for brand-name clothes?

An old friend recently asked me to purchase some replica "beats" (headphones made by monster) which authentically (depending on the model cost between 120$-500$) so I started to look them up online ...
4
votes
0answers
135 views

Opened “please-take!” food items in a non-Jewish workplace

Is it alright to consume unsupervised food items at work that are open and available to anyone, assuming the items were initially known to be Kosher1 and there's no evidence of tampering? Items that ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Oops! I said the B'Ymei Matisyahu instead of B'Ymei Mordechai

Per Orach Chaim 693:2 if one forgot Al Hanisim by Davening there is no need to repray. What if I said Al Hanisim, however I said the Chanuka version on Purim - do I have to Daven again or not? ...
6
votes
1answer
80 views

Is indirect matanot l'evyonim ok?

I was under the impression that the Purim mitzvah of matanot l'evyonim, giving gifts to the poor, had to be done directly -- find two or more poor people and give to them. This answer on a related ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

Matanos L'evyonim to a non-Jew

I live in an area where b"H it is difficult to find Jewish poor. Can matanos l'evyonim be given to non-Jews, or must at least 2 of the poor people be Jewish?
2
votes
2answers
722 views

Are psilocybin mushrooms permitted/prohibited/advocated in Jewish law or tradition?

What does Jewish law or tradition have to say about magic mushrooms? Or in general, about any hallucinogen. Is it forbidden to consume psilocybin mushrooms or other hallucinogens? Is it advocated? ...
1
vote
0answers
101 views

How to bury old s'farim

Suppose I have a printed Chumash with Rashi, or the like, which is worn out to the point of inutility, and I wish to discard it. My understanding (based in part on sources I supply below) is that I ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

The order of the wording of the Ben Sorrer U'Moreh source Mishnah

In Mishna 1 of of the Eighth Perek of Masechet Sanhedrin it states that we know the ages in which the halachot of ben sorrer u'moreh apply from the fact that the Torah says "ben" (boy) and not "ish" ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Two manos of meat

The Rambam says that one can give "two portions (manos) of meat" as mishloach manos. The Aruch Hashulchan 695:14 explains the Rambam should read "two types (minim) of meat": וברור הדבר דצריך לשלוח ...
2
votes
1answer
182 views

Bracha Achrona with a little pasta and a lot of rice

Suppose someone makes a borei minei mezonos bracha on pasta (whose bracha achrona is al hamichya), and exempts rice (whose bracha achrona is borei nefashos) that he is planning on eating as well. If ...
6
votes
3answers
513 views

Can a prophet add to or change the Torah?

Is it possible for a prophet to add to the Torah, or change any of it? Can a prophet say that God has told him that certain parts no longer apply or are wrong? How do we know?