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13
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3answers
244 views

What potential issues may arise with serving jury duty on Tisha b'Av?

I was recently summoned for jury duty and initially selected to be on the jury for a criminal trial that was expected to go through Tisha b'Av. If I were selected, what issues would I face in serving ...
13
votes
3answers
525 views

Is it better to kill 1 person or let 5 die?

I was recently reading about the Trolley Problem A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, ...
13
votes
2answers
488 views

Morning After Pill in Halacha

Is the morning-after pill considered an abortion in Halachic terms or does it have another status, and, if the latter, may it be used?
13
votes
4answers
962 views

What is the original halachic source for a woman covering her collarbones out of modesty (tznius)?

Many contemporary instructions on women's modesty (tznius) say that necklines have to be high enough to cover the collarbones. I can certainly accept that if this is the communal standard, it should ...
13
votes
3answers
217 views

Do our sources address “strategic loan defaults”?

In the most recent episode of NPR's Planet Money Podcast, they interviewed a real estate lawyer in Arizona who talked about the large numbers of her clients who have been asking for advice about doing ...
13
votes
2answers
123 views

Announcements before אשרי

I am in high school and in the morning my principal makes announcements before אשרי at the end of שחרית. The announcements often have absolutely nothing to do with davening. For example, he will tell ...
13
votes
2answers
453 views

May a man become a gynecologist?

Is there any discussion among the halachic authorities as to whether or not a man can choose to pursue a medical career in gynaecology? The issue that I would presume exists is that unlike other parts ...
13
votes
1answer
241 views

Lechem Mishlesh?

(Based on Tosfot Pesachim 116a and Aruch haShulchan 274:5 I assume that the man did not fall on Yom Tov and double fell on Erev Yom Tov, and that this is why we have lechem mishne on Yom Tov.) When ...
13
votes
3answers
330 views

Using Post-its on Shabbos

Is one permitted on Shabbos to use post-it notes or adhesive page flags to mark content in a book for future reference after Shabbos? Would there be an issue with the adhesive or leaving the page ...
12
votes
7answers
981 views

Do Chasidim avoid wearing ties?

Do Chasidim not wear ties as a rule? If so, is this by design or an accident of history? If by design, where can I find said intended reason in print?
12
votes
15answers
1k views

Why is techeles not universally accepted?

The Machon Ptil Tekhelet has (to my mind) some pretty compelling arguments as to why the Murex Trunculus is very likely the genuine chilazon from which techeles (blue dye) for the mitzva of tzitzis is ...
12
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5answers
644 views

Why does the Tefilin Shel Yad have a protective cover?

When you purchase Tefilin, the Tefilin Shel Yad has a protective cover. Why? Is it Halachically necessary?
12
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4answers
2k views

What do you do if you forgot to turn off the refrigerator light before Shabbat?

The first time you open a fridge on Shabbat, you notice the light is on. Your intention is to take out food, not turn on the light. Is closing the fridge a problem? Can I open it again? Is it better ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Why is Soy milk considered Parve and not Milchig/Halavi?

Considering that milk is forbidden with chicken (as stated in this answer), because chicken could be confused with meat, why isn't soy milk considered milchig as well? In Israel, chicken is ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

What Bracha do you make on Sushi?

Really, as simple as that. What Bracha do you make on Sushi? Is the rice the main part and therefore a Mezonos, or is it just a toful in which case I guess a shehakol?
12
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3answers
274 views

I heard not to say “Good Shabbos” after mincha. Is it true, and what defines mincha?

I heard from somewhere that, on Shabbos, one does not say "Good Shabbos" after mincha. I am not sure whether it's in a halacha sefer somewhere (I tried looking) or just a minhag. First of all, is ...
12
votes
2answers
633 views

Bootstrapping problem: havdalah ends shabbat (for one who didn't daven ma'ariv) but lighting the candle is melacha?

This answer to a question about melacha before havdalah notes that in that situation one should say "baruch hamavdil bein kodesh l'chol" first. Does that apply to lighting the havdalah candle? I ...
12
votes
4answers
748 views

Would a Karaite be required to undergo conversion?

If a Karaite who knows that his mother is Jewish (Karaite) wanted to join the Orthodox Jewish Community - would he be required to undergo a conversion?
12
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2answers
290 views

Are Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin really Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin?

I once heard from a Sofer the shocking revelation that Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin do not actually follow Rabbeinu Tam's opinion. Is that correct? Did I misunderstand? Are there any Soferim in our ...
12
votes
5answers
429 views

What makes a wine kosher?

Why are some wines kosher and some not?
12
votes
4answers
649 views

The Ability to Pasken

What gives someone the ability to Pasken? At what point do we say that he is knowledgeable enough to decide questions on a topic? Does this have to do with "Semicha"? Does it have to do with being a ...
12
votes
5answers
776 views

Leniencies for someone keeping Kosher in a non-Kosher home

My family is not frum, but they do not eat non-kosher meat at home, although they do eat other not-certified-kosher products, including cheese. They don't mix meat and milk, but they do wash meat and ...
12
votes
3answers
293 views

Is it permissible for a Gentile to utter Hashem's Name?

I have seen a lot of mention about "Hashem's Name" on this website. I would like to know: Is it permissible for a Jew to tell a Gentile what Hashem's Name really is--what I am asking is, say, a ...
12
votes
4answers
309 views

Voting for a person that will not uphold Torah values

It is well known that Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zatzal strongly condemned those that voted for candidates that would not uphold Torah values. Yet there were many Gedolim that had no problem voting for such ...
12
votes
1answer
330 views

Putting Tefillin on Un-educated Jews

May one put tefillin on an uneducated Jew without first explaining to him the laws of keeping his body clean and conveying to him the seriousness of the sanctity of tefillin (is that even possible?)?
12
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3answers
166 views

If a person voids a purchase/sale, what happens to the Bracha?

You buy a new Talis and after you wear it you notice a defect. You want to return it to the store for a refund or replacement. However a person is only obligated in Tzitzis if he owns or borrows the ...
12
votes
3answers
334 views

Limits to Dina Dmalchusa Dina

What are the specifications of Dina Dimalchusah? A more targeted question to answer would be: If I ripped off the label of my mattress — the label that says its removal is punishable by federal ...
12
votes
2answers
497 views

Do Shaving Restrictions Apply to Bearded Women?

For example, if a woman were to have a beard, would she be permitted to shave it off with a razor or otherwise destroy it, or do these restrictions apply to both men and women?
12
votes
1answer
505 views

Mouthwash on a public fast day?

Is it permitted to use mouthwash on a public fast day? Would a sensitive mouth, due to medical reasons be a good reason to be lenient? (I can see it being less problematic than brushing one's teeth, ...
12
votes
1answer
274 views

Bringing wallet with benscher into bathroom

If someone has one of the small "pocket benschers" that slide into his wallet, is it a problem for him to walk into the bathroom with his wallet in his pocket?
12
votes
1answer
128 views

Bracha after an earthquake

Per the Artscroll Siddur after an earthquake we make a Bracha "Oseh Maaseh Breishis". Up to how long after the earthquake can you make this Bracha? (sources please)
12
votes
3answers
450 views

Why is Rosh Chodesh sometimes TWO days?

Why for certain months of the year do we celebrate the festival of Rosh Chodesh for two days while on other Roshei Chadashim we have one day of Rosh Chodesh?
12
votes
1answer
85 views

A skipped Sheva Brocha

I was once at a wedding and it came time for Sheva Brochos. A person was asked to say one of them, say "Sos tosis..." but inadvertently said "Samech t'samech..." Since there is an order to the Sheva ...
12
votes
3answers
492 views

May a Jew be a Freemason?

According to what I've been told by several people who have inquired of "practicing" (is that the right word?) Freemasons, and supported by Wikipedia, "Freemasonry explicitly and openly states that it ...
12
votes
3answers
394 views

Yerushalmi Versus Bavli in Halacha

The halacha we have today is mostly sourced in Talmud Bavli(the Babylonian Talmud),Medrash and Zohar. I would like to know what Halachot in which we rule according to the Yerushalmi (the Jerusalem ...
12
votes
3answers
307 views

Loshon Hara against an Online Identity

Does the prohibition of Loshon Hara apply when the target is an online name or identity, where the person behind it is anonymous, such as an anonymous user on this forum ?
12
votes
1answer
180 views

Kibud Av v'Ach?

As I understand it there is an obligation (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 240:22) to honor an older brother similar to that of honoring one's father. Since the obligation to honor one's father can have ...
12
votes
1answer
206 views

Who knows science?

On whom does one recite the blessing "ברכת שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם" (the blessing recited on non-Jewish scientists)? Does he have to be a Ph.D? Does he have to have inventions to his name? Did he have ...
12
votes
2answers
149 views

Sukkah in the Soviet Union

The opinion of the Shulchan Aruch Harav is that one isn't allowed to build a Sukkah on public property (because it is considered stolen). In the Soviet Union all property was nationalized and they ...
12
votes
2answers
218 views

If you realize you're carrying on Shabbat, what's the best thing to do?

I've heard that you should put it down on a makom patur while still walking. However, a true makom patur is tall and skinny, like a post, and therefore possibly difficult to find. I've also heard ...
12
votes
3answers
695 views

Is Metzitzah B'peh a must?

There is a lot of talk in the news, etc., about Metzitzah B'peh that employs direct oral contact being dangerous. First: If it is dangerous, shouldn't pikuach nefesh push it off? Second: How ...
12
votes
2answers
352 views

Marital Prenups

In 1993 Rabbi Mordechai Willig, a Rosh Yeshiva at YU and a member of the Beth Din of America, drafted a prenup for use at Jewish weddings to avoid future Aguna/Mesorevet Get problems. The agreement ...
12
votes
1answer
356 views

Starbucks VIA on shabbat

Someone recently mentioned in a conversation about making/ not making tea on shabbat with a tea bag, that the Starbucks VIA coffee is micro-ground vs how ever regular instant coffee is made and that ...
12
votes
3answers
210 views

Ma'aser kesafim on capital appreciation

If you own property (e.g. stocks or real estate) that increase in value over the course of the year, are you require to donate 10% of the increase to tzedaka, if you are merely holding on to the ...
12
votes
3answers
219 views

Praying in “multifaith spaces” in airports and other institutions

In airports and hospitals and such, you can often find "multifaith spaces". Is it permitted to pray in them? These "interfaith prayer chapels" are not churches: they're completely neutral rooms and ...
12
votes
1answer
367 views

Is it ok for spouses to touch in public?

Are spouses allowed to touch one another in public (when the wife is not a niddah) or is this a violation of tzniut? I am asking specifically regarding touch that is not in any way sexual or even ...
12
votes
1answer
279 views

Does a cholent bag/aluminum foil take away the need to tovel the pot?

If no food touches it, does it need to be toveled (immersed in mikvah)?
12
votes
3answers
529 views

Bitcoin and Halakha

What are the halakhot that apply to bitcoin? Is it halakhickly money? What even is the halakhic definition of money? Can bitcoin transactions be made over shabbat? That sort of thing.
12
votes
1answer
224 views

Insurance against משיח

According to this rather amusing blog post, there is apparently a common clause in rental contracts in Jerusalem, called the Messiah clause, in which, when a landlord outside of Israel rents out a ...
12
votes
1answer
263 views

Ta'amei Mikra and the Torah Scroll

I have heard that a haftorah klaf (scroll) is still considered kosher and usable if the Ta'amei Mikra have been written on it. Yet I've always been told that this is not true for a Torah scroll. Why ...