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)

1
vote
0answers
30 views

Can fiances take on each other's customs before marriage?

Can two people who are engaged take on each other's customs before marriage? At what point in the marriage process do they take on each other's customs?
2
votes
0answers
74 views

Would halacha trust a password?

Almost all secure systems in the modern world rely on a shared secret (password) system of some kind. The premise is that no-one other than the account holder knows the secret, so anyone who knows ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

Selling chametz, and rotze b'kiyumo

As codified in, e.g., Mishna B'rura 450:24, it's forbidden to put oneself in a situation that he desires the continued existence of chametz on Pesach because its nonexistence would cause him some ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Can one feed the sheep / goat at the petting zoo sheep “pellets” on Hol Hamo'ed Pesach?

Some petting zoos have a small dispenser containing sheep food. They look like small pellets that I believe are a chametz mixture. Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 442:1 says: . אבל דבר שיש בו תערובת ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

If a glass of wine improves after five minutes, should you say HaTov VeHaMetiv?

A good wine improves as it is exposed to oxygen in the glass after it is poured. Since one is supposed to say a Berachah of HaTov VeHaMetiv if one drinks a better glass of wine than the first (ie., ...
5
votes
0answers
55 views

The angle of heseiba and derech cheirus

Heseiba (reclining) is a Rabbinic ordinance of the Passover seder intended to invoke the style of derech cherut ("the way of freedom" - associated with luxury/aristocracy). Some Rishonim (medieval ...
5
votes
0answers
39 views

Why are we so concerned about mistaking meat on Pesach?

The Shulchan Aruch in siman 469 and 476 lays out the concerns we have that someone might mistake you main course for a real Korban Pesach. This includes not saying 'this meat is for Peasach' and not ...
3
votes
1answer
325 views

May one go on a fishing trip during Hol Hamo'ed Pesach where chametz is used as bait?

The captain of the boat charges for the boat tour only. He lends passengers a reel and puts a piece of bread as bait. You never touch the bread, and any fish caught will eat the bread, anyway. At the ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Kohen marrying a giyoress

Can a widowed or divorced kohen who already has children marry a woman convert who cannot have children (eg, because of a hysterectomy or being postmenopausal)?
1
vote
1answer
110 views

Disagreeing with one's rebbe

We all have Rabbeim that we ask questions to. Is one allowed to disagree with his rebbe if he feels that his rebbe's viewpoint is incorrect?
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Can a non-practicing Jew give his only tefilin away as a gift?

What is the halacha behind gifting tefilin? What is the halacha of receiving tefilin? Can a Jew gift his only pair of tefilin if he does not use it and can another Jew accept a gift which leaves the ...
0
votes
0answers
56 views

Can one download music or books for free from the internet? [duplicate]

Can one download music or books for free from unofficial sites (i.e., pirating content) on the internet?
8
votes
4answers
436 views

What can be done with my annoying smoke detector on Shabbos?

When your smoke detectors battery is dying, it chirps every 30 seconds to remind you to change it. I am in middle of my Friday night meal when this began. May I move the smoke detector to a area where ...
6
votes
1answer
209 views

How is the sex of a baby born with unclear genitalia determined?

A baby may be born with a penis but no testicle. The hospital would do genetic tests to determine whether the baby was genetically female or male. In the case of a genetic female born with a penis the ...
4
votes
0answers
108 views

Halachic opinions on tefillin peshutim

I was discussing the subject of tefillin with my father motzei-Shabbat and particular, the battim (leather boxes that contain the parshiyot, or parchment scrolls). We ended up wondering what the ...
3
votes
1answer
70 views

Studying the Written Torah in English

In terms of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah, when studying the Written Torah, must one learn the translation in tandem with the Hebrew words? Or is it sufficient to understand the meaning, ...
0
votes
2answers
111 views

Is tofu cheese “kitniyot” on Passover?

I know Ashkenazi Jews don't eat "kitniyot", certain beans and the like, on Pessach. Is tofu cheese included in that restriction? It's made primarily of soybeans.
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Are there any halachot related to the position of a toilet seat?

Devarim 23:14 states that when you camp during a battle, you should keep a spade with you so that you can use it to cover up your excrement. Since the Torah mentions the importance of "bodily ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

Mishneh Torah Artwork

In my yeshiva there is a library that has many very old seforim. While exploring the library I came across a volume of the Mishneh Torah which seems to be from 1574. I opened it and was surprised to ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Finish it later and make a siyum?

Suppose someone part of a work of Torah and, later, picks up where he left off. Can he make a siyum (e.g. to exempt b'choros from fasting erev Pesach or to allow wine before 9 Av)? Possibly ...
12
votes
1answer
140 views

Bes El or Bes Kel?

There is at least one city mentioned in Tanach named Bes El, written as two words; that name currently belongs to a city in Israel and a number of synagogues and Reform temples. Does that "El" have ...
4
votes
1answer
229 views

Do the rules of chametz apply to IV nutrition?

Does chametz apply only to what is eaten orally or to any type of nutrition / food regardless of how it is ingested?
6
votes
0answers
88 views

Downvoting someone you dont know

Onaat devarim is a biblical prohibition to commit verbal abuse (Bava Metzia 58b based on Vayikra 25:17 "וְלֹא תוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹקיךָ כִּי אֲנִי ה' אֱלֹקיכֶם", "one shall not ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

are you allowed to say Beth EL [duplicate]

A shul which is named Beth EL being that El is God's name am I allowed to say it sholom as stated in the talmud is God's name as well but u don't see people refraining from saying it I personally ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Beef Jerky by a non frum person

Can a person make beef jerky in his house if he is not frum. if he says his house is 100% kosher and all his utensils are kosher but he does not keep kosher outside of his home nor does he observe the ...
15
votes
3answers
665 views

Shomer Negiah without direct contact?

An interesting thought crossed my mind: does shomer negiah specifically only relate to direct, physical contact, or does it additionally extend to cover cases where there is no direct touch? Though ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

Picking and choosing Hashkafa

Can one decide to follow for example the Rambam's more rational Hashkafic approach and then the Ramban for other Hashkafic ideas even though they clearly disagree? I've heard that by practical ...
0
votes
1answer
170 views

May I let my web browser save my browsing session during Chol Hamoed?

To save electricity, I like to shut down my computer every night. First, I quit my Web browser. My Web browser is set up so that, when I quit, it automatically saves my session: a list of open tabs ...
5
votes
4answers
8k views

Rules for Cutting Nails

My question about nail-cutting is whether each of the following is halacha, minhag, or old-wives' tales. Not cutting both fingernails and toenails on the same day. Not cutting nails at night (is ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

May a non Ethiopian Jew celebrate Sigd?

Ethiopian Jews recently celebrated their festival of Sigd, which involves reaccaptence of the Torah, communal fasting and feasting, and prayers. Is it acceptable for someone of a Minhag other than ...
2
votes
0answers
24 views

Can an non-North African Jew participate in post-Pesach Mimouna celebrations?

Mimouna is a customary post-Pesach celebration originally observed by Moroccan and Algerian Jews. When large numbers of those groups made aliyah, the custom was adopted by many Israelis as well. The ...
4
votes
1answer
439 views

Oops! Out of wine for the 3rd cup. What do we do?

Let's say a family invited guests who are big wine drinkers. They drink extra wine during the meal, and by the time they get to the 3rd cup, there's no wine (or grape juice) left. What should they do ...
7
votes
2answers
98 views

Can a parent “victim” forgive a child due the death penalty?

There are two capital offences against parents: cursing a parent or striking a parent (and causing an injury). If someone did this in front of 2 witnesses with a warning etc. so they were due the ...
5
votes
1answer
55 views

Computer hacking in halacha

This question regarding legal complexity versus simplicity in modern law got me talking about the relatively simple structure of Jewish tort law. It also had me wondering: What sort of categorization ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

What is considered 'ready to bentch'?

I've learned that once you decide to bentch, it is forbidden to continue to eat, but permissible to take a drink. What is considered deciding to bentch? What would be the rule in each of the ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

Brushing teeth on Yom Tov with a dry toothbrush

According to Kosher Innovations hilchos shabbos presents four obstacles* to brushing teeth: Sechitah: Squeezing liquid out of a solid in which it was absorbed is prohibited on Shabbos. When wet, ...
4
votes
1answer
71 views

The set up of the seder plate acc to the Arizal

Many of the seder plates I have seen which are called Arizal karahs(seder plate) look like this Courtesy of Star K : However from the reading of the Beir Heitiv 473:8 (who brings the shittah of the ...
4
votes
0answers
25 views

How are Birchos Krias Shema blessings on Krias Shema?

The Ramban (Brachos 11b) writes that Birkas Kriyas Shema are blessings over the Mitzva of saying Shema. What's in the text of Birkas Kriyas Shema that has to do with Shema? It talks about angels, ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Drinking another Kos between the First and second Kos

In siman 473:3 the Shulachan Aruch writes that one can drink as many cups as one would like but between the first and second one shouldn't only if a great need arises. The Mishna Brurah discusses ...
7
votes
1answer
174 views

Incorrect bracha covering another food

Suppose someone is eating a fruit which requires a bracha rishona of ha'etz, but the person accidentally makes a ha'adama. Since ha'adama is the more general bracha, it covers his fruit and he does ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

What's the heter for g'vinas akum?

In a comment elsewhere on the site, Curiouser writes: the heter for gevinas akum (based on Tosfos) was paskened l'masseh by R. Solovetichik, among others or, in other words, Rabbi Soloveitchik, ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Maharal and Halacha

What if any halachic writings were authored by the Maharal of Prague besides for his commentary on the Tur? How influential was he as a halachist? I.e. how often is he referenced in the halachic ...
4
votes
3answers
293 views

Why is a prayer leader still removed for omitting V'lamalshinim?

TL;DR The Ashkenazi nusach of V'lamalshinim omits explicit mention of heretics. Therefore, recitation or omission of this blessing by the prayer leader seems to no longer serve as a signal for ...
11
votes
1answer
137 views

Tapping on the table for “שולחן זה שאכלנו עליו”

I always assumed that tapping the table as you say "ועל שולחן זה שאכלנו עליו" in bentching was something you do in Junior High School. But I have now seen several full-grown (at least ...
0
votes
2answers
70 views

is one an apikores for believing only in Darwin's evolution as a possibility? [duplicate]

Given that the torah's account of creation clearly seems to state that man was created independently from the animals, and likewise, the animals, plants, were created from the ground, would someone ...
4
votes
1answer
201 views

Will a “lower” Berachah made MiSafek exempt a different food that requires that Berachah (and vice versa)?

Let's say you aren't sure which Berachah to make on a food before you eat it. Generally the rule of thumb is that you make the most specific Berachah that you know will capture the essence of that ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Why Do We Need A Special Limud To Allow Salting Meat On Shabbos?

The passuk says in Vayikra (2:13) על כל קרבנך תקריב מלח You shall offer salt on all your sacrifices. The Gemara in Menachos (21a) says that this passuk is coming to teach us that: ואפילו בשבת ...
2
votes
0answers
95 views

Jean Valjean and Halacha

Note: This question is assuming that the character in question were Jewish, rather than Catholic. It is merely using the situations as examples. In the musical adaptation of the Victor Hugo classic, ...
3
votes
0answers
289 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
214 views

Exile if one killed someone extra while in self-defense?

Say Mr. X is pointing his gun and trying to kill me. My friend, happened to be walking by, grabs Mr. X and struggles to tackle him to the ground. I tell my friend, "No, go away; I got him!" I have my ...