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What is a “time of kingdom's decree”

The gemara in Sanhedrin 74 talks about a time of oppression, during which even for "light mitzvot" one must die. What exactly constitutes such a time? Is it any time when the government makes a ...
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Is it considered tzaar baalei chayyim to deliberately feed a live animal to another animal?

There are many pets available today that experts recommended to feed (infrequently or at times solely) on live animals. Many reptiles (snakes, chameleons, geckos, monitors, etc.) and many fish are ...
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38 views

Concern for liquidy finished product only

"Meat and Dairy—A Kosher Consumer's Handbook", by the Star-K, indicates: Uncovered dairy in a clean fleishig [=meat] oven — If one cooks fleishig in an oven and ensures it remains clean (i.e. the ...
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88 views

One Challah or Two?

If two challahs are braided and baked together on one pan, and before they are completely baked, they have stuck together, do I have one challah or two? I.e. can I separate them and still have two ...
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62 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 ...
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80 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 ...
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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 ...
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66 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 ...
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97 views

Agnostic Jew serving as the tenth for a minyan

I remember reading a responsum on the issue of agnostic Jew's serving as the tenth for a minyan, but do not remember the outcome. Does anyone know the rule? Also, do we count, as the tenth man, a ...
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56 views

Can one use potential wind power to transport on Shabbos?

Would it be permitted to set a cart with a sail in a reshus yachid with the intent that if the wind picks up, it will carry the contents 1) into a reshus harabbim, or 2) through a reshus harabbim and ...
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44 views

Is it allowed to make bread in the shape of the lechem hapanim?

The lechem hapanim had an unusual folded-over shape that would seem difficult to make. Is it allowed to try and see what would happen if you made bread shaped like that, or would that be considered ...
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71 views

What does one do if he makes a mistake in Brachos before Birkas HaTorah?

If one makes a mistake in saying a Bracha (like he started saying a bracha and remembered that he shouldn't say it) after saying "Baruch Atah Hashem", he should finish it off with "lamdeini chukecha" ...
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51 views

Is there a prohibition against bringing children to a shiva house?

Is there a prohibition against bringing children to a shiva house? I know that children aren't usually brought and that it's respectful to ask in each case, but does anyone know if there is an actual ...
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58 views

Insurance and Ribit

What is the halachick treatment of a long term insurance contract issued by a company held by a Jew? In particular - Is the underlying investment that contributes to the ultimate amount of the ...
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61 views

Tattoo of an image of idolatry

According to this exhaustive article on the subject of tattooing in Halachah, there is an important opinion with many ramifications that states that one is only liable for the biblical prohibition of ...
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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 ...
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45 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 ...
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90 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" ...
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100 views

Strike chest in “S'lach lanu” on Shabas?

Suppose someone is praying maariv, shacharis, or mincha on Shabas, starts the weekday amida's blessings, and then realizes, amid those weekday blessings, that he should be saying the amida of Shabas. ...
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120 views

How to respond to a non-Jew who asks to shovel your snow on shabbos?

If a non-Jew asks if he may shovel your snow on shabbos what is the proper halachic response? Does it make a difference if he is asking to do this for pay (not previously arranged before shabbos)?
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109 views

Should I rend k'riyah if I witness the death of a non-relative? If so, what's the procedure?

In another question, Chalutznahal cites Yoreh De'ah 40:5, which says that when I witness a fellow Jew die, I must rend my shirt out of sadness. And British Rabbi Dr. Moshe Freedman brings this down as ...
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232 views

Children of Converts and Specific halachos

The Pri Megadim in OC Siman 156 Ashel Avraham Sif-Katan 2 writes that a child that was conceived in kedusha (sanctity) and born in kedusha to a mother and father that had both converted (i.e. these 2 ...
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80 views

A shorter person with a normal sized tallis katan

A theoretical question: If a young person (a boy for example that is 13 yrs old) that happens to be very short (not because of any physical disability) wears a normal size tallis katan it will be very ...
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“Yichud L'Olam” in Hilchos Muktzeh

In Hilchos Muktzeh we find there is an idea that even a rock ("evan") one can be m'yached (set aside) for a certain purpose allowing one to move it around on Shabbos (See SA OC Siman 308 Sif 22.) ...
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90 views

Tefillin on top of a wig if someone can only wear Tefillin once a day

As a rule, there shouldn't be anything that is a separation between a man's head and the tefillin, so seemingly a wig would be a problem. In Igros Moshe Orach Chaim Chelek 4 Siman 40 Ois 18, Rabbi ...
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70 views

What if the Gabbai Tzedakah runs away?

Suppose a Gabbai Tzedakah passes our good friend Reuven while making his collection rounds. Reuven reaches into his pocket for his wallet and removes the money he wants to donate. By the time Reuven ...
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93 views

Berachah LeVatalah (blessing in vain) retroactively

Can a Berachah be made LeVatalah retroactively? What if you eat something that is spoiled, not realizing it until a bite or two in? You would not make a Berachah on spoiled food. But if you did, ...
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115 views

Frozen clothes during the Nine Days

Recently, some have advocated freezing clothing, particularly blue jeans, instead of washing them to conserve water. Assuming this works to some extent, can it be done during the Nine Days? Can I ...
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178 views

Is one allowed to go to a standup comedy show during the 3 weeks?

I know that one is not allowed to listen to live music during the 3 weeks. My question is if Standup comedy is not allowed as well?
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281 views

Brachos and Amen “parties”

What is the source for brachos and amen parties wherein a group of people sit together and take turns making various brachot and answering amen? Do these events violate any halachot?
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123 views

Can a non Jew bake bread on Pesach for a Jew to use after Pesach?

In relation to Is it possible to have chometz on the shabbos directly after Pesach? Is there any problem if a non Jew bakes bread on Pesach (the Jew did not ask him and does not care if the non Jew ...
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28 views

Examples of having to choose between two “lavs”?

There are classic examples of having to choose between two positive commandments (e.g. if one only has money for one, do you buy wine for Shabbas or candles), and there are known cases where a ...
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71 views

How hungry does a Jew have to be to eat non-kosher food?

I understand that Jews are allowed to eat non-kosher food in order to save their lives. My question is, how long does a Jew have to be deprived of food, before he or she is allowed to eat non-kosher ...
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23 views

Can I take out a sefer and not learn from it?

There is an issue with taking out a sefer Torah and not learning/reading from it, as it is disrespectful to the sefer. Does such a concern exist by other sefarim? I ask because I know that for some ...
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30 views

Editing Torah on Tisha B'av

Is it a violation of the prohibition to learn Torah on Tisha B'av to edit a Torah publication? The intent of the editor is not to learn, but it ends up happening automatically if he is editing ...
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37 views

Why don't we say Ein KeLokeinu on Tisha BeAv?

Many have a custom not to say the Shir Shel Yom or Ein Kelokeinu on Tisha BeAv morning. Why not?
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Should I say the Bracha ברוך…שככה לו בעולמו when I marvel at fall foliage?

Follow up on Bracha on beautiful people: The beauty of fall foliage is sometimes stunning. The beauty of foliage is "general" meaning that I see a hill with a group of trees and the whole group ...
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38 views

Listening to music while studying/writing

Related: Seth J's question here Is it permissible to listen to music during sefira or the 3 weeks/9 days/week of 9 Av as a study- or writing aid? Many individuals I know (myself included) find music ...
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37 views

Where to keep holy books

I understand that holy books may not be kept in a bedroom. May one keep holy books in the kitchen or in the bedroom in a closed cupboard if a dwelling is a studio and does not have a separate living ...
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0answers
34 views

Can I get fruit juice from the street juice truck if the non-Jewish owner occasionally squeezes grapes?

There are several non-Jewish owned fruit trucks near work. Occasionally, the non-Jew squeezes grapes to make fresh grape juice. I understand that the grape juice prepared by a non-Jew is non kosher. ...
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79 views

Crying on Shabbos

Is it permissible to cry on Shabbos? What about if it is tears of joy? What are some halachos that pertain to crying (on Shabbos)? For example, can I tell someone something that may make them cry? ...
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0answers
42 views

Listening to music during the 3 weeks?

There are many types of music which some authorities permit listening to during the Omer: Rav Shlomo Zalman allows classical music and chazannus. (Halichas Shlomo) The Chelkas Yakov allows recorded ...
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41 views

Craving for Non-Kosher Food

If a pregnant lady craves for something not kosher is she permitted to eat it? Source? Does it depend how much she wants it, etc.?
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0answers
37 views

When someone places a flyer on your car windshield without your permission, is s/he Masig G'vul?

On several occasions, a Jewish boy has placed a flyer about some neighborhood business or tzedaka foundation on my car windshield. Since I don't want the flyer there, is s/he "Masig G'vul" (losely ...
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84 views

Unethical landlord

Ownership of an apartment building changed hands, and the landlord for the new owner is demanding unusually high additional monthly payments from preexisting tenants for parking privileges that are ...
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42 views

July 4th celebrations in Halacha

Halachic issues around a secular holiday have been discussed here in relation to Thanksgiving, but what about July 4th (Independence Day in the United States)? Are there any issues with performing ...
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0answers
51 views

Earliest and Latest Times for Kabbalat Shabbat?

If one is davening alone, what are the earliest and latest times for reciting Kabbalas Shabbos? If one was too busy preparing for Shabbos to say it at the normal time, may one recite it at any time ...
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0answers
39 views

Can one use ma'aser money to pay for shipping a donation to charity?

If one orders an item to donate to a charitable organization, such as a shul or Yeshiva, and wants to deduct the value of the item from his ma'aser money, can he deduct the shipping costs? Does it ...
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52 views

Being Matir Family Mesorah

Does Hataras Nedarim help to be matir all of one's minhagim if the the one being matir has them in mind? For example: a sephardi wants to change his minhagim to ashkenazi ones.
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103 views

Must a woman not dressed for outside draw the blinds when standing next to a home window?

While cooking and cleaning in her kitchen, a woman wears clothing which she would not wear in public for reasons of modesty. The stove and sink face a window that faces a public street. Most people ...