NOTE: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends. // Jewish law. Specifically, the legal process beginning with the written Torah and continuing ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

14
votes
1answer
315 views

According to Halacha, may we endanger many Jewish lives in order to definitely save one Jew?

For example, what does Halacha say about the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange? "Save" means "free from captivity," although in many cases it's the same thing as saving his\her life (e.g. if we didn't ...
14
votes
2answers
167 views

The two stamp question

One man owns two of the only very expensive stamps in the world. Let us say each stamp was worth a million dollars. A second man comes along and destroys stamp one. The catch is that now according to ...
14
votes
3answers
683 views

Returning after driving someone to the hospital on Shabbat

If a man needs to be brought to the hospital on Shabbat due to a life threatening situation, another man may bring him there even by violating biblical Shabbat prohibitions (e.g. driving a car). Which ...
14
votes
2answers
227 views

How can someone, halachically, do teshuva when s/he has offended an anonymous person on the internet?

Ramba"m among others, state that Yom Kippur does not atone for sins committed between a person and his neighbor until a person personally asks the other for forgiveness. Mi Yodeya is an example of ...
14
votes
1answer
218 views

Can I trust a random internet user?

Does the halacha of עד אחד נאמן באיסורין (a single witness is trusted in matters of prohibition) apply to a random internet users? If someone presents themselves as being a practicing Jew, can I take ...
14
votes
4answers
355 views

Gabai speaking during chazaras hashatz, kaddish or kriyas hatorah for the sake of the tzibbur

Is a gabai allowed to speak during chazaras hashatz, kaddish and/or kriyas hatorah for the sake of the tzibbur (e.g. to ask someone if they are a Kohen or Levi)?
14
votes
1answer
196 views

How much must one do to to sign a contract?

Nowadays most software comes with a EULA. In order to install the software one must click the "agree" button. However, there are some software that says are distributed through different licenses. For ...
13
votes
5answers
161 views

Giving over 20%

I know you are supposed to give between 10 and 20% of your income to צדקה. Does this mean that you are not allowed to give over 20% if you have enough money to do so? If so, why not? (this is more of ...
13
votes
4answers
513 views

Should a woman avoid singing in front of her husband while she is a niddah?

Should a woman avoid singing in front of her husband while she is a niddah? Is it strictly prohibited or just inadvisable? (Obviously I am not talking about deliberately seductive songs.)
13
votes
3answers
625 views

Hypnosis in Halacha

Is there a proplem in the Halachic literature with hypnosis? What, if anything, is the issue involved in either hypnotising people or being the subject of such an hypnosis?
13
votes
4answers
315 views

Boruch Shem Kevod Malchuso L'Olam Voed - why do we whisper it?

Why do we say Boruch Shem Kevod Malchuso L'Olam Voed in Kriyas Shema in a whisper?
13
votes
3answers
659 views

Eating on someone else's untoveled dishes

One must tovel (immerse in a mikve) various kinds of dishes before first use, and may not eat from his own dishes until they are toveled. Is it likewise forbidden to eat from someone else's untoveled ...
13
votes
5answers
927 views

Heter, esp. from R' Moshe, for shaving with a machine?

I have asked this question to many people without every getting an answer. Perhaps someone on this forum has some information. All of the achronim that I have found, who address the issue in ...
13
votes
2answers
309 views

Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?

Pretty much across the board, beged gadol and katan have fabric squares sewn on the corners. Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?
13
votes
4answers
689 views

Did the Rambam believe in magic?

If you read through Chapter 11 of the Rambam's laws on Idol Worship, you'll see what seems to be the Rambam forbidding anything that even resembles magic, all while calling such practices foolish and ...
13
votes
4answers
418 views

Are Twist-ties allowed to be used on Shabbos?

A twist tie is a metal wire that is encased in a thin strip of paper or plastic and is used to tie the openings of bags, such as garbage bags or bread bags. A twist tie is used by wrapping it around ...
13
votes
4answers
946 views

How to advise your barber

Men: What is a succinct, clear, Halachically complete line to tell a barber what not to do when cutting your hair?
13
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there anything wrong with inviting friends to a bris?

I have a friend - let's call him 'A' - who's married; His wife gave birth to a boy. I asked another friend of mine, if 'A' invited him to the bris. He told me that one is not supposed to invite ...
13
votes
4answers
361 views

Commencing Shabbos: Shkiya behind a mountain

It is common practice nowadays for Shuls to publish the zmanim (times) to begin Shabbos (the Sabbath) and other activities. These times, it would seem, are based upon standard calculations of sunrise ...
13
votes
3answers
177 views

Relationship between wearing a kippa and reciting a blessing

Before I started wearing a Kippa all the time, the people around me and I had the reflex to cover our head when saying the name of G-d or when reciting anything holy. Since the mitzvah is to wear it ...
13
votes
2answers
640 views

What should I do about a fake convert?

I know someone who converted to Judaism, yet throughout the whole process was telling me personally (so I can't tell the Rabbi) that she wasn't interested in keeping Torah AT ALL but was telling the ...
13
votes
2answers
560 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?
13
votes
2answers
248 views

Why does one need to kasher burners on a stove for passover?

I don't use separate burners for milk and meat during the year, nor do I think there's any reason to do that. So why the need to kasher burners before passover?
13
votes
1answer
239 views

Can I use a cutlass for a shechita knife?

Ahoy thar! I'm trapped on a pirate ship, and I'm so hungry I could eat a cow! Hey wait, we actually have one on board!! My problem is that the only sharp implement that I have is a pirate's cutlass. ...
13
votes
2answers
284 views

Does everyone have to drink the Kiddush wine?

When making Kiddush, does everyone who is yotzei have to drink the wine or grape juice, or is merely hearing it enough? In my experience, it appears that Friday nights everyone is careful to drink, ...
13
votes
3answers
224 views

Can I omit ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן to catch up in Maariv?

If the Shaliach Tzibbur for maariv (outside of Israel) goes too quickly for me to start the Amidah with him, is there a source which would allow me to omit the section ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן? This ...
13
votes
3answers
325 views

Moving from one's spot after Kedusha

After standing still for Kedusha, some people move after saying Yimloich, whereas others wait until after the Chazan says Hokail Hakodoish. What is the correct way?
13
votes
2answers
311 views

Am I allowed to count people?

Where did the practice of not counting people come from? People count not-one, not-two, not-three etc. What is wrong with counting one, two, three etc? This is often found when counting to see if ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the halachic boundaries between a brother and sister?

Can they touch each other? Hug? Are they allowed to expose their legs, arms, etc., in front of each other? Can they swim together? Dance together?
13
votes
1answer
520 views

According to Halacha, does one have to bury teeth?

Is there a halachic obligation to bury teeth that have fallen out, just as one buries other body parts that become detached? If not, why? Does the same apply to detached skin? Or hair? Related: Do ...
13
votes
3answers
267 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
1answer
279 views

Why don't Rabbinic fasts end by Ben Hashmashot?

There's a doubt in the Gemara when the new day starts, at sunset or at three stars (Ok, and there's Rabbi Yossi's opinion). When it comes to Shabbos (or any other biblical time), we have to be strict ...
13
votes
3answers
750 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
359 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 ?
13
votes
3answers
600 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
219 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
231 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
1answer
410 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
128 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
2k views

Why is it permissible to flush a toilet on Shabbat?

I have been reluctant to ask this question on this website because it sounds so ridiculous, but as Rabbi Hillel said in Avot 2:6 "one who is bashful cannot learn" so here goes... Why is it ...
13
votes
2answers
562 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
2answers
335 views

Plastic gloves in Halacha

If someone touches something while wearing gloves (i.e. waterproof rubber gloves), does that halachically count as touching? Practical examples include: Touching a neveilah, whether or not you ...
13
votes
1answer
167 views

Milk-free cheese: Is it kosher? Parve?

So according to this article, scientists have created cheese by inserting DNA blueprints into a yeast. Essentially, the milk proteins are being created outside of any animal, through genetic ...
13
votes
3answers
561 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.
13
votes
3answers
391 views

Would a genetically engineered red heifer be usable?

Assuming that a non-Jew chose to create a genetically engineered parah adumah (red heifer) and further assuming it met all the halachic requirements --no two black hairs, hadn't been used for work ...
13
votes
1answer
257 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
432 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
239 views

Falling with tefillin on

If one drops tefillin without their cover, they must fast or give charity (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Yalkut Yosef, Siman 44:2). If one is wearing tefillin and fell with them on, must one fast or give ...
12
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 ...
12
votes
1answer
465 views

Is programming against Judaism?

I just recently learned about this site when I saw Judaism was one of the stack overflow topics. I have been Jewish all my life and two years ago I started programming. I was wondering if there ...