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7
votes
1answer
229 views

How should an employer respond to a government policy requiring abortion coverage?

There is a recent controversy in the United States regarding whether the Federal government can compel employers, including religious employers, to pay for contraception. Although this may not be ...
6
votes
2answers
330 views

Ceremony to take a woman as a concubine (pilegesh)?

This question sparked a lively discussion and debate on this rather sensitive issue. One piece of the original question was: What ceremony / ritual must be performed (if any) to formally ...
8
votes
2answers
271 views

Issues with cooking meat and milk at the same time

What issues are there (either potential or inherent) in cooking meat dishes and milk dishes at the same time on the same stovetop (not in the same pot)? Please also compare benefits and problems ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Maaser on Selling Previously Purchased Items

Many times people buy things and then later resell them. Assuming no profit was made in this sale, is there an obligation to give Maaser on the newly acquired money? Practical examples: eBay, college ...
16
votes
1answer
183 views

Yichud in a dorm like situation

I was wondering if yichud is an issue in a situation like one that might arise on a college campus in an all girls dorm (apartment style- the building is mixed but each apartment is separate) if one ...
21
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the sources for women to wear/ not wear pants?

I have heard that the argument is beged ish / kli gever, and I have heard people say that even if that was once a real reason for it it doesn't apply today for various reasons. I understand that the ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

Is there a bracha for blooming non-fruit trees?

I understand that one says Birkat Ha'Ilanot on seeing the blossoms on a fruit tree. Does a tree that blooms but doesn't produce fruit get a bracha? And if so, which one?
4
votes
1answer
118 views

Processing an online payment - which will be processed on Shabbos

With my bank, when you process, online, a payment, it automatically goes out on the following day. If I authorize it on Friday they will send it on Saturday. I can also request any future date I want. ...
3
votes
0answers
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
496 views

If the last day of Passover is Friday, may I eat chametz on the Shabbat right after?

This year, 5772, the last day of Pesach in Israel is on Friday. Is there any possible way that one could contrive to eat chometz on the shabbos immediately following Pesach?
8
votes
2answers
269 views

Halachot of Lashon Naki (clean speech)

What is the halachik source, if any, for lashon naki (clean speech)? Is there a portion of Talmud that deals with the specifics? On the surface, it seems to be employed inconsistently, by which I mean ...
10
votes
1answer
144 views

Are there any restrictions about a chazzan if there are questions about his orthodoxy?

If someone comes up to daven as a chazzan, and you have questions about how kosher they are or whether they're truly shomer shabbos, are you allowed to still use him as a chazzan, or are there ...
10
votes
2answers
926 views

Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah?

Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah? Are Cohens generally restricted from marrying baalei teshuva because of the possibility that they may be b'not niddah?
9
votes
2answers
672 views

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen?

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen? How does the situation differ if only the mother, or only the father, is a convert? (I have read that "ideally" the child of two converts should not ...
10
votes
1answer
211 views

Are Jews allowed to participate in Valentine's Day rituals?

Are Jews allowed to participate in Valentine's Day rituals? Although St. Valentine's Day is originally a quasi-Christian holiday, it seems that some communities allow participation.* Which communities ...
9
votes
2answers
253 views

Tevilat Keilim on a gift

If I buy a food-utensil from a gentile to give as a gift to a Jew, can I tovel it before giving it to him, or must he do it himself as the final intended owner? Is there a difference between glass and ...
11
votes
2answers
593 views

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings?

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings? I understand that in some ultra-religious groups they do, but there seem to be many groups within Orthodoxy where they do not cover their ...
6
votes
2answers
91 views

How long does soil need to last?

If you move a tree with its soil, it's considered replanted (so the rules of orla kick in) unless it can live off of the soil you're moving it with. (Source.) Clearly "if it can live" doesn't mean "if ...
8
votes
1answer
155 views

What would the beracha be on tree-leaves?

What blessing would one make on leaves from [woody] trees that are routinely eaten? Is it ha'eitz, because they came from a tree? Is it ha-adama, because they're not "fruit" but are vegetative? Is it ...
22
votes
1answer
194 views

What do you do if you made a Tzedaka pledge and now the organization folded?

Recently a friend of mine asked me the following question. He pledged $500- to a Yeshiva, yet before he paid the pledge the Yeshiva closed. Does he still have to pay his pledge to another Tzedaka or ...
4
votes
1answer
376 views

Is marriage without ketubah considered marriage, concubinage, or kiddushin she’einah re’uyah le’biah (marriage that cannot be consummated)?

Is marriage without ketubah considered marriage, concubinage, or kiddushin she’einah re’uyah le’biah (marriage that cannot be consummated)? I have read a number of different things suggesting each of ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

Birkot HaTorah and Typing

Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 47:3) as well as Yalkut Yosef (47:14) write that before one writes down words of Torah, he must recite Birkot HaTorah (because people that write sometimes voice their ...
4
votes
1answer
125 views

Are the ignorant/uneducated exempt from halacha?

Are the ignorant/uneducated (Jews) exempt from following halacha? Do they have a share in the world to come even if they break Jewish law or are apikores? I am led to believe that the answer is, more ...
9
votes
1answer
365 views

If a Jewish couple is married through a civil ceremony alone, do Jewish marriage laws apply to them thereafter?

If a Jewish couple is married through a civil ceremony alone, do Jewish marriage laws apply to them thereafter? Assume no ketubah; perhaps a ring, but not necessarily 2 witnesses. Could one say that ...
10
votes
2answers
178 views

Non-belief in Torah's divinity - Wickedness or Ignorance?

If a Jew breaks halacha because he honestly does not believe that the Torah is G-d's law or that he is obligated it follow it, is his nonconformance with the law considered wickedness or ignorance? ...
8
votes
1answer
223 views

Jewish names commonly used in a different form than found in Tanach

Some names are popularly used in a different form than the way they're spelled or pronounced in Tanach. A few that I can think of are: Nochum (נָחוּם) - is written in Tanach (Nah. 1:1) as נַחוּם ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Pasul l'edus: what about ed echad?

People who participate in certain activities that are bad for society are disqualified from testifying. Also, those who've commit certain sins whose punishment is corporal, and haven't yet repented, ...
4
votes
1answer
304 views

Mamzer from non-Jew

If a Jewess married to a Jew has a child from a non-Jew is that child a mamzer? Is there agreement amongst the poskim about this?
4
votes
2answers
110 views

In auctions today are you still obligated after being out-bid?

A mishna on Erchin 27a discusses buying land back after it has been consecrated. It says that if one offered ten selas, another twenty, etc. up to one who offered fifty, and then that last guy ...
0
votes
1answer
261 views

Entering a place where Gentiles and Jews Daven together from a Siddur

Would it be permitted to pray in a place where there are services that are mixed with Jews and gentiles? Meaning, a synagogue that also invites gentiles to pray with the Jews (but they all pray from a ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Pushkah and then Auction?

Let's say there is an organization that has a Pushkah (charity box) that I regularly insert money into for Tzedakah purposes, then this same organization has a Chinese auction and I want to get a ...
15
votes
1answer
317 views

Is kneeling and bowing down in Kung Fu an idolatry (Avoda Zarah)?

I am exercising at Kung Fu's dojo and wonder whether kneeling and bowing down is an idolatry (Avodah Zarah)? The floor has soft mats. The reason explained to me is that it's done as a form of greeting ...
6
votes
2answers
282 views

Why is There No Tachanun on Tu b'Shvat?

Or, more specifically, what is/are the reason(s) for not saying tachanun on various occasions and how does Tu b'Shvat fit in. (I'm looking for classic reasons, not 'it's got to be somebody's birthday ...
9
votes
1answer
165 views

Interrupting in the middle of Shmona esrei

Am I allowed to interrupt in the middle of Shmona esrei in order to pick up a Siddur (or any other holy book) that has fallen to the floor? Same question, if I have to make some steps in order to pick ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Taking a concubine (pilegesh) today

Moderator's note: As with all discussions of Jewish law on this site, any information included in this question or its answers is presented only for the purpose of understanding the relevant ideas, ...
7
votes
1answer
180 views

Who is obligated in Pidyon HaBen?

A woman I know mentioned that she is redeeming her firstborn son. This got me thinking. A Pidyon HaBen is mandated for the first male child to "open" the mother's womb. But whose Mitzvah is it? The ...
14
votes
2answers
424 views

Is getting a “fake” tattoo a violation of halacha?

Inspired by Curiouser here: Is getting a "fake" (temporary) tattoo a violation of halacha? I'll define this broadly as any tattoo that doesn't permanently show on your body. This includes transfer ...
11
votes
2answers
167 views

Gap zip up sweatshirt Kesivah on Shabbos?

Does zippering up a sweatshirt like this one, which when zippering causes the letter A to become a letter create a problem of Kesivah on Shabbos? Is an Old Navy sweatshirt where the word Old is on one ...
9
votes
2answers
326 views

Using an oven timer on Shabbas

This is my first post here. I'm fairly familiar with cooking on Shabbat, but I have a few specific questions. I know there are issues with using the warming setting on an oven to keep food warm. ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

To say the 13 midos in “tachanun” weekday mincha, should the Sha"tz wear a tallis?

I asked the question "The Gemoro in Rosh Hashono 17b says that HKB”H put on a talis like a shaliach tzibbur and taught Moshe the 13 middos and said whenever Israel sins they should perform before Me ...
11
votes
1answer
279 views

Why does a Meat Thermometer not need Tevilla?

In this answer, We were told that "according to the Star-K Tevila Guidelines, no tevila is required for a meat thermometer." Why not? From the Star-K's article on Tevillat Kelim: Utensils ...
8
votes
2answers
206 views

How seriously do we take the finger-inspection in Havdala?

After saying the blessing over fire during Havdala, we do something (customs vary) involving looking at our fingers by the light of the Havdala candle. I'm wondering how seriously we take this part of ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Aramaic sections of davening in Hebrew

From the answers I received to this question, the reason we still say some sections of davening (prayer) in Aramaic seems to be that it is historically a Jewish language, and using it unifies all ...
12
votes
2answers
637 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
152 views

If someone had a family tradition that he came from an Edomite, would he be allowed to marry a Jew?

An Edomite cannot marry a Jew for three generations. Nowadays (since the time of Sancheiriv, who mixed all nations together), this law no longer applies as we no longer know who is an Edomite. ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Muktzeh found in drawer

If I am looking for something in a drawer on Shabbat and then find something muktzeh in that drawer, can I close the drawer?
5
votes
2answers
101 views

Should the shaliach tzibbur wear a talis to say the 13 middos ?

The Gemoro in Rosh Hashono 17b says that HKB”H put on a talis like a shaliach tzibbur and taught Moshe the 13 middos and said whenever Israel sins they should perform before Me according to this ...
6
votes
1answer
93 views

Should the shaliach tzibbur check the tzitzis of a tallis given to him to daven?

Some shuls require the shaliach tzibbur to wear a tallis for mincha which is normally given to him from shul property. Is he required to check the tzitzis before wearing it? Do we say that it would be ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

Is our practice often at variance with the psak of the Mishnah Berura as in the brocho on the Talis Godol? [closed]

Mishnah Berura, OC 8 (4) [10] says that the brocho on the Talis Godol is “lehisataif b*e*tzitis” and not as I see in the all my siddurim “lehisataif b*a*tzitis”. Are there many cases where what we do ...