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Can one rely on a gentile's uncertain food description regarding brachot?

Let's say you have a dish in front of you but you're not certain what its ingredients are. You ask a Gentile who is familiar, and he says, "I've seen something like this before and it's usually made ...
3
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0answers
59 views

Halachically, do Israeli citizens own their land?

According to Israeli law, the government owns nearly all of the land, except for some privately owned land from Mandatory periods. Citizens get to rent it from the government. This is commonly known ...
10
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3answers
243 views

If a gentile undergoes a non-orthodox conversion, and proceeds to keep the Sabbath, is he sinning?

Firstly, I am an ignorant gentile and am new to contributing to Stack Exchange, so I apologise in advance for any mistakes or missteps. It is my understanding that a gentile who keeps certain ...
4
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2answers
148 views

Studying the Written Torah in English

In terms of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah, when studying the Written Torah, must one learn the translation in tandem with the Hebrew words? Or is it sufficient to understand the meaning, ...
10
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3answers
3k views

Shaving on Friday when Lag Ba'omer falls out on a Sunday

This year (2011) Lag Ba'omer falls out on a Sunday. I've heard from a few people that the halacha is that you can shave (and take a haircut) on the Friday beforehand l'kavod Shabbos. Are there any ...
3
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2answers
91 views

Speaking lashon hara about someone who does not mind

Is it permitted to say negative things about someone when the person spoken about says that he does not mind and does not care if people speak negatively about him?
4
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1answer
390 views

Eating a fish underwater

Maseches Chullin 27b that fish do not need shechita but they do need asifa (gathering). Does that mean that it is assur to eat a fish underwater (it's dead -to exclude bal tishaktzu problem) without ...
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0answers
29 views

Dyo lesafrut - mutar beficha or not

I came across a thread today on the International Sta"m Forum. In the comments, some of the sofrim who frequent the site were debating whether sofer's ink, or dyo, need be mutar beficha (permitted to ...
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1answer
112 views

Electronic card readers to enter buildings on Shabbat?

As a student, I've noticed that practically all of the dormitories in my university require residents to tap their student cards to a sensor before they are allowed to enter their building. (Moreover, ...
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2answers
53 views

Do Strawberries acquired from a supermarket require washing to be kosher?

This question comes from someone who's interested in preparing and selling food items with strawberries as a main ingredient. In a scenario where many strawberries are being used at once, would each ...
4
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3answers
2k views

Is whisky matured in a sherry cask Kosher?

Is whisky matured in a sherry cask Kosher? I know there is a Machlokes about this. Who holds what?
8
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1answer
118 views

Binding answers for Halachic questions

I recall learning that one is not allowed to "venue shop" by asking a series of rabbis for a practical halachic ruling and following the opinion you like. I was taught that one should ask and be bound ...
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2answers
151 views

Would a violated woman be allowed to remain married to her Cohen husband?

As a continuation from my last question, Would looking away help a Cohen stay Married to his wife?, would a raped woman be allowed to live with her Cohen husband? Would there be room to allow them to ...
4
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3answers
160 views

Study of Written Law Without Comprehension

What are the earliest sources that confirm or contradict the assertion that recitation of Torah Shebiksav fulfills the obligation to study Torah even without understanding of the words? Preferred: ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Words of Torah Must Be Enunciated

Several Acharonim (e.g. Pnei Yeshoshua to Brachos 15b) write that words of Torah must be enunciated during study. Which Rishonim agree to this view. (I am asking specifically about those who hold ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Davening on Plane Zmanim

How do you know when to daven Shachris on a plane?
3
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1answer
90 views

Where is “no Tachanun” on Pessach Sheni documented? [duplicate]

In almost every Siddur I have checked - as well as all the Luach's around, it says not to say Tachnun on Pessach Sheini - 14 Iyar. Yet I cannot find a source for it, nor in Shulchan Aruch neither in ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Rules Regarding Sewing a Talit for my Bar Mitzvah son

I want to sew a Talit for my Bar Mitzvah son. Please help me with the rules/Mitzvah. I need to understand the do's and don'ts of making a talit. I heard you can't have shaatnaz in the talit, but many ...
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0answers
40 views

Roasting unsalted meat

What are the customs in the process of making meat edible by removing the blood through roasting? Specifically after the roasting do I need to wash the meat to eat it (not to cook it afterwards)? ...
5
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1answer
56 views

What do we do when chalitza is impossible?

The Mishna at the end of the 14th perek of יבמות gives a few examples where יבום is required and חליצה cannot be done. For example, if there are two brothers, one a חירש (deaf-mute) and one a פיקח ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Is Exodus 20:4 a command about icons or idols?

When The Lord says, "Do not make for yourself an image," does he mean an image for the purpose of worship, that is an idol, or any image whatsoever, such as the depiction of a narrative or a ...
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0answers
43 views

Words of Torah Need Not Be Enunciated

Ritva (commentary to Brachos 15b) writes that Torah need not be enunciated out loud during study. Which other Rishonim espouse this view? I am not asking regarding side issues such as verbal ...
3
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1answer
90 views

Is there a halacha for writing a biography of a gadol? If so, what is it?

I was thinking of writing a magazine article on a rabbi I knew well before his death some years back. I wrote to his son to see if he could help me with stories, history, photographs, etc. He ...
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1answer
35 views

Is it permissible to switch the chazzan in the middle of shacharit on a weekday?

In Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 55:3, the Rama states that if there was a minyan for the beginning of Shmoneh Esrei and some left, the chazzan can say up to (and including) Kaddish Shalem (after Uva ...
11
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1answer
196 views

Thinking about Purim Torah in the bathroom

It is not permitted to think about Torah in the bathroom regularly, but what about Purim Torah, which is certainly not real Torah study, but still often refers to actual Torah? One might think that ...
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0answers
64 views

Is signing G-d's Holy name in casual conversation a violation of mentioning His name in vain?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (6:3) writes: אסור להוציא שם שמים לבטלה וכל המוציא שם שמים לבטלה עובר על מצות עשה דכתיב את ה' אלהיך תירא ... ולא לבד בלשון הקודש אסור אלא אפילו בכל לשון אסור It is ...
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1answer
33 views

When koshering meat by roasting can I put pepper

What are the Ashkenazi and sifardi customs when kashering meat by roasting if it is permitted to use salt and/or other spices?
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1answer
59 views

Can one aquire regular objects through biya?

The Mishna (Kiddushin 1:1) tell us that one can acquire a wife through money (kinyan), documents (shtar) or biya (intercourse). The first two are commonly used to buy and sell regular objects, but ...
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1answer
56 views

Throwing Out Bread

What is the nature of the prohibition to destroy bread? Why is it presented differently from other destruction (bal tashchit)?
1
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1answer
25 views

Shehecheyanu upon affixing mezuzah

The Rambam writes in Sefer Ahava - Hilchos Berachos - Halacha 9: That Shehecheyanu is recited for every mitzvah that involves acquisition of property: I.e. Mezuzot. ט כל מצוה שהיא מזמן לזמן כגון ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

When is Fixed Interest Allowed?

It says in an article at VBM Torah: It should be remembered that Halakha makes explicit mention of particular bodies to whom it is permissible to lend at interest (e.g., the community) So what ...
5
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1answer
65 views

Waiting after meat and milk

If someone eats a mixture of meat and milk, does he need to wait before eating more meat or milk?
6
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3answers
131 views

Why must we acquire Lehhem Mishneh for every Shabbat meal?

The Torah (Shemot 16; Parashat BeShalahh) details the miracle of the mahn ("manna"), which HaShem brought down from the Heavens to sustain 'Am Yisra'el in their journey through the desert. In a ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

What does יוציא בשפתיו mean?

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 62:3) rules that one fulfills the mitzvah of Keri'at Shema even if he did not hear the words that he has said--with one condition: צריך להשמיע לאזנו מה שמוציא בפיו, ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

Determining times of Halachic import on a long flight

If I'm taking a long flight on an airplane on a day when permitted activities change at a certain point, e.g. with the start or end of a fast day, or with the start of the chametz prohibition kicking ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

Can you attend Purim dressed like Hitler?

My question concerns an halakic issue about dressing up during Purim. Would someone allowed to dress up like Hitler during Purim, provided that this infamous man was the modern version of Haman? I ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Can one buy lettuce and cabbages, etc. from a non-Jewish produce store?

I have noticed that some non-Jewish owned produce stores in U.S. have someone trimming the rotten or ugly leaves off the edge of lettuce, cabbage and other similar leafy vegetables. The knife used is ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Eating in a restaurant that is not under the beth din

Can one eat in a resturaunt that claims to be kosher, yet does not have a certified kashrut certificate from the local beth din? Is this a violation of a prohibition by the owner? Does the owner have ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Trimming a mustache during sefira

Is it permitted to trim a mustache during sefira if it is not bothering the person in any way with regards to eating but is bothering him in other ways?
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Is there an ideal way to recline on Pesach?

Given that we do not eat sitting on the floor, reclining on our left side on pillows (so our right hand is free to deal with the food), is there an ideal way to recline while sitting on a chair. The ...
3
votes
2answers
224 views

Opinions on Bittul Torah

What are the halachik definitions of bittul torah? I.e. some say that studying secular sciences qualifies as bittul torah while others say that it doesn't. How are they defining the halachik ...
9
votes
1answer
258 views

Is a Jewish farmer allowed to raise animals for non-kosher slaughter?

Is a Jewish farmer allowed to raise animals for non-kosher slaughter? Does it make a difference whether it is a non-kosher animal (e.g. pig), vs. a kosher animal? Does it make a difference whether the ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

What is the ruling for a bracha's usage being extended across different food forms?

There's a tricky halacha with brachos that I couldn't figure out. It goes something like this: If you make a bracha on one food item without having others in mind, if more of the food item remains in ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

18 minute Matzah?

Are there sources EXPLAINING why we have to make matzah within 18 minutes? I understand having a time limit if in fact the reason we eat matzah is to reenact the speed which we left Egypt (that ...
3
votes
2answers
85 views

Brushing teeth in Shabbes

As far as I´m concerned there could be an issue regarding making oneself bleed, by using a toothbrush. Are there any other problems that may arise by brushing teeth with a toothbrush in Shabbes? ...
3
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1answer
49 views

If I'll tell you I'll have to kill you, maybe even then not

Can one tell Lashon Hara to someone about to die? It won't spread any further. Do poskim discuss this?
2
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1answer
45 views

How does a lady Daven Tashlumin for Mincha if she never Davens Maariv?

Suppose a lady who normally Davens (prays) Mincha missed Mincha one day. Now this lady never Davens Maariv. Must she Daven Maariv to do Tashlumin or can she just Daven one Shemona Esrei for the missed ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Does a woman do Tashlumin for an omission in Prayer?

Is a woman obligated in Tashlumin if she makes an omission that typically requires Tashlumin, such as missing Yaaleh Veyavoh (except that of Maariv on Rosh Chodesh)? What would the Halacha be ...
6
votes
1answer
56 views

When is a Person Obligated to Lead the Davening?

On various occasions I have heard somebody in shul declare that they have a chiyyuv to daven - an obligation, that is, to serve as sheliach hatzibbur: to represent the congregation in their leading of ...
0
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1answer
72 views

Is Transcendental Meditation kosher?

Transcendental Meditation is a popular form of meditation that, many practitioners claim, relieves psychological stress. Although it was founded an Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, it is not at all ...