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6
votes
1answer
74 views

bracha when snorkeling/diving underwater and seeing a strange animal

There is a bracha said when seeing strange animals (presumably on land and/or in the air). If you are under water and see a wondrous sea creature, do you 'think' the bracha, or mouth it, or do you ...
7
votes
0answers
77 views

Selling Hametz on Ebay

Can I sell my chametz via eBAY? I have no expectation that I want to buy it back. I would pack it and ship it before Pesach, so it's definitely not in my posession during Pesach. Is this problematic ...
8
votes
1answer
311 views

Tattling on fellow Mi Yodeyans

We are currently in the beginning of the 2012 Mi Yodeya Moderator Election. To what extent can one avail oneself of the exception of "to'elet"="for a purpose" to the standard rules of Lashon HaRa' ...
9
votes
5answers
271 views

What's a floor?

There are certain laws pertaining to a floor. For example, if a Sefer Torah is dropped on the floor, one is supposed to do some sort of atonement (eg., most famously, fasting for 40 days). What is ...
1
vote
2answers
96 views

Electronic cigarettes on yom tov

Let's say someone quits smoking, and that person smokes electronics cigarettes. So regarding yom tov (chag), the only prohibition I can think of is Nolad every time you activate the heating element ...
-1
votes
0answers
17 views

Can one paddle a rowboat, canoe, kayak, raft, tube during the 9 Days? [duplicate]

Can someone paddle any type of boat or tube on a lake, river or stream during the 9 Days? Is there concern that the boat may tip over and he may end up swimming in the water?
11
votes
0answers
399 views

Can I make a mikvah using artificial rain?

If I have a mikva which needs filling, and there is no rain, can I use the following mechanism - I have a Mikva in a closed room. On top of this Mikva, there is a cooling system (let's say that this ...
3
votes
4answers
414 views

How long do I have after a bread meal to bensch?

How long do I have after a bread meal to bensch (say grace)? Does it matter if I am distracted by other things? For example, I eat at 1 pm, then I work for 5 hours, go to the store for half an hour, ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Issues with opening a tea bag on Shabbos

I was in a Beis Medrash recently and they had a note that said that despite any heter to make tea, there is no practical way to open a tea bag on Shabbos, and thus tea essence should be used even ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

Using a neighbor's encrypted Wi-Fi connection

This question asked whether or not one is allowed to use a neighbor's unencrypted (unlocked, without a password) Wi-Fi connection. This question touches upon a lot of different things in American law ...
8
votes
2answers
216 views

A computer file that I emailed you has a virus. Am I responsible?

My rav frequently discusses contemporary halachic questions. He quotes a general rule from the Gemarrah (I assume it's from Baba Kama or one of the "Baba's") that a person who causes damages is always ...
5
votes
0answers
94 views

Can a man miss tefilah with a minyan because his wife is overwhelmed with the children?

Assume a scenario where a man's wife requires extra help at home during a busy part of the day and requests that her husband skip minyan (and daven alone) in order to help her. (For example, let's say ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

Are short trips to Israel allowed?

May one visit Israel for a short period of time with no intention of staying?
10
votes
5answers
394 views

Thanksgiving Meal Allowed?

Is celebrating Thanksgiving with a formal sit down meal against Halacha?
5
votes
1answer
52 views

Is there a Mitzvah to love parents?

Is there a special mitzvah to love one's parents? If so, does it require the parent's awareness of that love?
3
votes
1answer
62 views

May women wear tefillin as an amulet?

I know there's some controversy on the permissability of women wearing tefillin and that most poskim forbid it. From what I understand that is for women to wear tefillin for the purpose of the mitzvah ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

Can a person say the bracha for thunder if he hasn't seen the lightning?

Can someone say the bracha upon hearing thunder without having seen the lightning bolt (in any form, i.e. he didn't notice any light at all?) Scientifically, lightning causes the thunder. (Most of the ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

Depicting a constellation

Is it mutar to arrange star stickers in the form of actual constellations (say, on a ceiling) or is that included in the prohibition of depicting celestial bodies?
12
votes
4answers
754 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?
19
votes
4answers
283 views

Glasses and Shema

The Shulhan Aruch records the custom of placing one's hand over his eyes in Shema in order to increase concentration. What about someone who wears glasses? Must he move them or remove them?
25
votes
9answers
2k views

Why is it necessary to ask a Rabbi?

In various places on this site, including the FAQ, we have the following disclaimer: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly ...
7
votes
1answer
139 views

Korbon tomid whilst Jews were travelling (as opposed to camping) in the desert

The benei kehos carried the miizbeiach whilst the Jews travelled. It would seem improbable that the mishkon was erected every day whilst they journeyed. What happened with the sacrifice of the Daily ...
3
votes
2answers
78 views

May a Jew sell marijuana?

It is held by Rav Moshe zt''l that a Jew may not smoke marijuana, but following the legalization of marijuana in Washington, I am curious if a Jew may run a store that sells marijuana in a ...
2
votes
0answers
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

Shehecheyanu at a Graduation

I recently attended a college graduation, and one of the parents decided to recite shehecheyanu to celebrate the occasion. I have never heard of someone doing this -- is there any basis for saying it? ...
3
votes
1answer
33 views

Kilayim in Chutz la'eretz

What is the din with regards to kilei hayerek in chutz la'eretz? I see that many people have gardens in their backyards with vegetables right next to each other of different types.
6
votes
1answer
477 views

What happens when a Jew eats non-Kosher food by mistake?

If non-kosher food is eaten accidentally, do you have to do anything afterward? Is some form of “purification” required? If so, what?
-1
votes
2answers
109 views

Is it permitted to have an abortion if divorce if imminent?

I know that abortion is permissible if physical health of the mother could be compromised, but what about the emotional health of the mother (or the father for that matter) - if a couple sees divorce ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Tanning on Shabbos

Is it permissible to suntan on Shabbos? The possible prohibition would be tzoveah -- dyeing. Is it considered permanent enough to be Biblically prohibited? Is it dyeing at all being that no coloring ...
0
votes
2answers
144 views

Should a Christian church as a whole be seen as an Idol Halachically

Churches here have a highly visible protruding cross (which is an Idol) on the roof and at many places all over the structure, does that mean the church itself becomes an Idol, i.e a large Idol, also ...
5
votes
0answers
110 views

Significance of the Kohen's hand gestures?

What is the significance of the shapes (windows?) created by the kohen during birkas cohanim? This question and the ensuant answers detail at least 3 opinions of the gesture, I would really appreciate ...
8
votes
1answer
269 views

Laundry during the nine days in the case of bed bugs

There is a halacha not to launder clothes or linens during the nine days, or at least during Shavua She'Chol Bo (the part of that period that's during the week of Tish'a B'Av). Is there room for ...
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Bracha after terrifying experience?

Recently we had a scare when we couldn't find our 4-yr old son. For 30 minutes, we searched and panicked, called police and Hatzolah. Finally, it was discovered that our older daughter was with him ...
-1
votes
1answer
98 views

Tzitzit while sitting at home

In the summer time, when it's hot and humid and additional clothing layers can be uncomfortable, while sitting at home is a man allowed to wear just a t-shirt or is it necessary to have the tzitzit on ...
7
votes
2answers
209 views

Should one drink from the leader's cup after kiddush?

Inspired by the upcoming holiday of Pesach, where many minhagim seem to have each person drink from his own cup, I was wondering about the custom of drinking wine from the cup upon which kiddush is ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Which witness testifies about a blasphemer?

In Rambam Hilchos Avodas Kochavim Perek 2 halacha 8 it says that if someone curses the name of God, the court examines the witnesses as to what they heard. The "great one" (Rambam's words) of all the ...
2
votes
0answers
47 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
143 views

S'feika D'yoma in Niddah

There are several types of vestos (patterns in menstrual cycles) that a woman is able to aquire. One such vesses is the vesses hachodesh, which relies on the day of the (Jewish) month. So for ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

Does one need a sukkah to eat bread/mezonot at work

If one goes to work on the days of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, is he deemed to be travelling and exempt from the sukkah? If there is no sukkah that he can reach from work on his lunch break, may he eat bread ...
6
votes
1answer
63 views

Taanis Chalom on shabbos when a fast day is pushed off

If a fast day which normally falls out on shabbos is pushed off, such as the 17th of Tammuz, and a person fasts on that shabbos for another permissible reason, such as a taanis chalom (fast for having ...
10
votes
4answers
602 views

Woman's hair covering in the home or in private

Trying to sort out my question, I came across this one, which is closely related, but it is not an exact duplicate. According to those who say a woman must cover her hair, not just her head (those ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

How can you get Ka'asher Zamam if you became a Chalal

There is a rule that Ka'asher Zamam vilo Ka'asher Asa: the second set of witnesses have to appear in court "before the punishment" in order that the first witnesses get the punishment Ka'asher Zamam. ...
4
votes
2answers
87 views

Making early shabbos and tefillin

If someone accepted shabbos early (tosafot shabbat), and remembered he didn't put on tefillin that day, may he put on Tefilin in order not to miss a day of performing that mitzva, or is he already ...
6
votes
2answers
256 views

Can a Jew who is keeping the Shabbat rules ask another Jew who is not keeping shabbat to turn on/off the lights?

The situation is that I am currently living in dorm rooms with a Jewish person who has decided to keep Shabbat. I am a Jew who does not keep Shabbat, but I respect my dorm mate and do not want to ...
4
votes
2answers
190 views

Does a married woman have to cover her hair to make a bracha?

When making a bracha with shem u'malchut, one should not have erva (nakedness) exposed. For married women, their hair is considered to be erva. So does a woman who is married have to cover her hair ...
5
votes
2answers
193 views

When is a Yartziet Observed?

When is a Yartzeit observed, the day of death or the day of burial? I ask this question in response to the news of the terrible death of the three boys in Eretz Yisrael who died weeks before their ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

wearing sunglasses on shabbas

Can one wear non-prescription sunglasses on shabbas in a place where there is no eruv? Do we say since if the sun gets blocked one might come to take them off in a karm'lis, or do we say it's like ...
0
votes
1answer
89 views

Can a woman lead bentching/birchat hamazon?

Can a woman lead birchat hamazon if there are men that partook in the meal? Can they lead it if the men leave?
3
votes
4answers
187 views

Using a non-kosher rotating pizza oven

A countertop rotating pizza oven has a turntable on which pizza is placed. It has two heating elements: one heats from below the turntable, like a hot plate. A heating element above broils a section ...
5
votes
2answers
131 views

Do the Nine Measures Apply to the Woman?

Nedarim 20b discusses nine mannerisms which a man should avoid whilst being intimate with his wife. The Talmud says that practicing these nine mannerisms can lead to having obstinate, rebellious ...