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17
votes
2answers
400 views

Does Down Syndrome make one a Shoteh?

I had a very strange experience and I would like to know what halacha thinks. I was in shul on Shabbos, and an adult with Down Syndrome ripped by opening the box of tissues. I was not going to say ...
6
votes
2answers
474 views

Is a Cohen who had a vasectomy allowed to perform Birkat Kohanim?

Is Cohen who had a vasectomy allowed to Bless the congregation? Also marry? What happens if he does marry?
2
votes
2answers
27 views

How to understand the word zakai (exempt)?

Is the word zakai (exempt) (as opposed to hiav, guilty) different from the word mutar (permitted) or the word patur (actually a phrase, patur aval assur, without penalty but prohibited)? If so, how ...
7
votes
2answers
547 views

Who is a Shoteh?

In modern day language, what is a Halachic Shoteh? In other words, is someone who is schizophrenic, clinically depressed, OCD, etc. free from Mitzvos?
2
votes
1answer
51 views

What was the “danger” of concern that prohibited eating fish with meat?

This M.Y. answer lists a prohibition of eating fish and meat together because of sakana - it was dangerous. What was the danger at the time this prohibition was instituted?
2
votes
1answer
170 views

When one is home alone, does the Torah discourage the eating of bizarre food mixtures?

Note: If you're going to be eating a meal soon, you might not want to read this question, and you (especially) might not want to click through to the "Secretive food concocting" Wikipedia article. ...
4
votes
2answers
200 views

Should you say a blessing on diet soda used to swallow a pill?

The halacha is that you should only say a bracha on water if you're thirsty. All the seforim I've read agree on the following: if you're not thirsty, but you drink water in order to swallow a pill, ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Should I say all blessings aloud?

I find that most people have tendency to say most blessings (on food, going to the bathroom etc.) quietly to themselves. This may preclude others from having a chance to answer amen afterwards. Is the ...
3
votes
2answers
75 views

Can you daven mincha & ma'ariv in shul after making making Kiddush at home on Shabbat eve?

Let's say that you are the only qualified Ba'al Tefilah in a small summer community that has just 1 shul. (Yes, it does happen!) Shabbat starts late (around 8:15 PM, say). You have a disabled child ...
13
votes
3answers
375 views

Can the Jewish people have a king while in exile?

Assuming a time where appointing a Jewish king is possible, if a proper Jewish king was anointed would he continue to retain the status of king if the Jewish people were exiled from the land of ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

What is the shiur Hanaah?

How much Hanaah (physical benefit) must one have of things prohibited as an Issur Hanaah (things forbidden for benefit) like milk and meat, Kiley HaKerem (certain grape mixtures), or Avoda Zara ...
6
votes
2answers
481 views

Fresh fish need hechsher

Does fresh fish from a supermarket or fish market require a hechsher? I would be tempted to believe that a fish known to be of a kosher variety would not need certification since there is no shechita ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

Does jam have the halacha of duchka d'sakina?

The Chochmas Adom in 49:9 holds that all fruit have the halacha of duchka d'sakina, and that if you cut a fruit with a meat knife which was not definitively clean, you need to scrape off the outer ...
6
votes
1answer
209 views

Is it forbidden for a Jew to read the writings of Baruch Spinoza?

The cherem against Spinoza says the following: The Lords of the ma'amad, having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Espinoza... We order that no one should communicate with him ...
8
votes
5answers
196 views

Waiting Between Meat & Dairy According To The Geonim

It seems as though the Geonim - although disparate and diverse in their opinions on many issues - seem to be rather united on the understanding of the Gemara on the subject of waiting after meat ...
5
votes
1answer
183 views

Scheduling a USPS Pickup for Shabbos

So it turns out that the USPS has a feature where you can ask them to come and pickup a package. So you go online to their site, enter your information, choose a date for the pickup, and tell them ...
5
votes
4answers
199 views

Do blankets need tzitzis?

Blankets have four corners. So, do they require tzitzis?
5
votes
2answers
546 views

May Jews sell wine to Christians for them to use in their religious ceremonies?

(This question is based on an older one which Rabbi Levi Cash posted a few years ago.) Under Charlemagne in the 8th century and the Carolingian emperors, Jews provided wine for Christian mass. But I ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Do you make a new bracha on lightning & thunder when catching up to the same storm?

This M.Y. question cites Shulchan Aruch O.C. 227 that states that as long as it is overcast, one recites the blessing on lightning / thunder once (unless the storm continues into the next day.) If it ...
10
votes
2answers
163 views

Working for (non-Jewish) religious organizations

Is there anything in Jewish law restricting Jews from working for other religious organizations? Some examples: can a Jew work as a receptionist at a Mosque? As a gym teacher at a Catholic school? As ...
1
vote
4answers
158 views

What biblical positive mitzvot do we perform daily?

What biblical positive mitzvot do we perform often (daily or almost daily)? I am asking about physical actions we take rather than thoughts such as: "You shall love a convert", Devarim 10:19 "Love ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Are you allowed to extract buried Shemos?

I understand that the burying of Sheimos, in a sense, is similar to burying a dead body. I assume that in the same way that you cannot dig up a dead body except for some unusual situations, you cannot ...
3
votes
5answers
636 views

Can you use a pool for a mens mikvah

Is a pool allowed to be used as a mikvah for keri, for erev shabbos, and Shabbos day? If so does the filter have to be off? Since it is not only made of rain water i am having a doubt. Please answer ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Can a Jew work in non-kosher food warehouse?

Can a Jew work in non-kosher food warehouse? I mean to lift boxes from one place to another, to load pallets filled with boxes of non-kosher stuff. My question is about specific warehouse where there ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

Why don't most American orthodox Jews send to public school?

Given the benefits of a public school education over private day school education, such as $0 tuition and technology and extra curriculars which many schools do not have, why don't most orthodox ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

Kashruth Issues with Dog Food?

If someone is keeping a vegetarian/milk household, and then they acquire a dog that eats meat based dog food products, what potential Kashruth issues might arise? Would there be difference in Kashruth ...
3
votes
2answers
103 views

Feather in hat on shabbas

Can one go out in the street on shabbas(without an eiruv) with a hat that has a feather or pin in the ribbon? Is it considered a masuaei (load)?
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Do any halachot change for a eunuch?

Do any halachot change if a man becomes (or is born) a eunuch? For example is he rabbinically allowed to listen to a woman's singing voice or be exposed to other sexually stimulating things if he is ...
4
votes
2answers
96 views

What is the meaning of “guf naki” regarding prohibitting women to wear tefillin?

I wish to preface that I know that there are various concerns both pro and against women wearing tefillin, and for some, this is a "hot" issue. For purposes of my question, please dispel personal ...
2
votes
1answer
66 views

How do you decide how the aliyos should be arranged when there are not sufficient yisroelim in a minyan?

(This is a question based on an event. A shaaloh was asked. The object of the question is to examine the underlying reasons for the dinim in the situation.) A family minyan meeting once only on ...
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Can I sell a dollar from the rebbe that was given to someone else?

The Lubavicher rebbe had a practice of giving out dollar bills to people. If I were to have one originally given to someone else would it be permissible to sell such a memento?
0
votes
1answer
544 views

Cohen and Vasectomy Marrying a women who wants to have children

If it is prohibited for a women who want's to have children to marry a a man who had a vasectomy and the man told her before the wedding that he had the vasectomy and she had in mind to get invitro ...
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Depilatories- creams or “shaving powders” on Shabbos

Is it permissible to use Depilatories (creams or "shaving powders" which chemically dissolve hair) on Shabbos? and if not- why?
2
votes
1answer
38 views

What kind of physical damage affects a contracts validity (if any)?

This question had a picture of a Ketuba with some damage to the paper. In Jewish Law, what kind of damage would invalidate a contract? In that Ketuba, for example, the standard text is ripped, but ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Is it forbidden to have a wedding by the koisel (western wall)?

Someone told me that I can't get married by the koisel. Is this true? If yes what is the reason, (religious (then sources please) or practical...)?
2
votes
1answer
102 views

Violating a cancelable oath?

If someone made an oath "I'm not going to eat bread for thirty days" and wants to "cancel" it, he goes to three people and tells them "I didn't know that it would be so hard". They say "OK, it's ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Can one drink water before wiating for the wife to be present for Kiddush?

Halachipedia states: It's Rabbinically [29] forbidden to eat anything even water [30] before making Kiddish once the time for Kiddish has come. [31] This applies to the nighttime and daytime ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Blessings for a new home

I recently bought a new house. I was wondering if there is a special blessing and other acts one can make for the new house? Maybe a special tehillim to read? (I've already installed the mezuzah, got ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

Should the same laining procedure be followed for errors outside the aliyah as the ones during the aliyah?

According to Shulchan Aruch O.C. 143:4 (Mechaber), if someone finds a mistake in the Torah during the aliyah he is reading, he should stop, take out another Torah, finish the aliyah, and have the oleh ...
1
vote
3answers
77 views

Torah - as a source of ritual impurity

During the Second Temple period, Torah scroll was considered to be a source of ritual impurity? Today this is not the case. When did this halakha change?
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Can non-biological matter cause your sink, dishes, or food to become non-kosher?

For instance, if something non-edible such as a chemical or eraser shavings are drained down the sink, would that cause any kashrut problems?
7
votes
3answers
216 views

Learning laws of aveilut when your parents are alive?

Is it appropriate to learn the laws of aveilut when both your parents are alive? Or is there a superstition that it could be dangerous to them?
7
votes
1answer
98 views

kallah not doing work during sheva brachos

We know that a chasson is not permitted to do work during his Sheva Brachos. Two reasons: Either because he must spend the time bringing joy to his wife or because he is compared to a king and a king ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

What factors were used for determining leap years while the Israelites were in the desert?

I am trying to "co-ordinate" Rambam"s explanation of how to determine Judaic leap years with a key verse in the Torah. Ranbam states in Mishneh Torah, Sanctification of the New Month 4:2: Mishneh ...
6
votes
1answer
168 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Extent of Martyrdom Requirements in the Face of Anti-Religious Laws

There is a halachik principle brought down in the Talmud and codified in halacha known as shaat hashmad - a time of forced religious persecution. Generally, the rule is that any commandment of the ...
-1
votes
2answers
236 views

Is taking control of land by a Jew in Israel a sin if it was not controlled by him before?

According to Halacha, is it a sin for a Jew to take control over some land in Eretz Yisrael when this land was taken against the will of its previous controller (regardless of whether it was occupied ...
5
votes
2answers
78 views

Parameters of “kalus rosh”

What is the definition of kalus rosh? What are the halachos of kalus rosh and where do they apply?
3
votes
1answer
61 views

Can a shaliach assemble your mishloach manot for you?

I know that a shaliach (messenger) can deliver your mishloach manot. But can the shaliach also assemble it for you (under instruction for what to put in), and you'll still fulfill the mitzvah? Here, ...
8
votes
1answer
162 views

Hefsek in being yotzei besamim in havdallah

This past motzei Shabbos, in the Shul where I davened, there were a number of young men who were lining up to be included in the communal havdallah done at the end of Maariv. The person making ...