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)

6
votes
1answer
101 views

Determining times of Halachic import on a long flight

If I'm taking a long flight on an airplane on a day when permitted activities change at a certain point, e.g. with the start or end of a fast day, or with the start of the chametz prohibition kicking ...
3
votes
1answer
193 views

Can you attend Purim dressed like Hitler?

My question concerns an halakic issue about dressing up during Purim. Would someone allowed to dress up like Hitler during Purim, provided that this infamous man was the modern version of Haman? I ...
2
votes
0answers
146 views

May one hang Torah passages or ketubah in the marital bedroom?

I understand that one is not supposed to store holy books in one's marital bedroom, unless they are covered. I gather that this is due to the fact that marital relations occur there, and there is a ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Trimming a mustache during sefira

Is it permitted to trim a mustache during sefira if it is not bothering the person in any way with regards to eating but is bothering him in other ways?
3
votes
0answers
31 views

Oil paint with wool

Most oil paint is made from linseed oil, which comes from flax, the same plant as linen. While this has no bearing on me, I was wondering whether using linseed oil-based paint on wool clothing would ...
-4
votes
0answers
84 views

Is it allowed to be a therapist in New Jersey?

New Jersey apparently has a law on the books banning licensed therapists from treating homosexuality. That being the case, if a psychotherapist has an effective method for treating homosexuality, (and ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Can I sell a dollar from the rebbe that was given to someone else?

The Lubavicher rebbe had a practice of giving out dollar bills to people. If I were to have one originally given to someone else would it be permissible to sell such a memento?
2
votes
2answers
131 views

Waiting to reveal Kosher issue in order to get to the root of the problem

Suppose a Mashgiach realizes that a store is selling Treif meat, however is unsure as to the source of the problem. If he announces immediately that this store is selling something not Kosher he may ...
5
votes
1answer
70 views

Issues of lifnei iver with an inaccurate clock

Is there any problem with lifnei iver (giving bad information) in having an inaccurate clock that someone else will look at? I'll examine a few cases here. The clock is a few minutes off. I don't ...
0
votes
1answer
72 views

Can non-biological matter cause your sink, dishes, or food to become non-kosher?

For instance, if something non-edible such as a chemical or eraser shavings are drained down the sink, would that cause any kashrut problems?
7
votes
1answer
125 views

Is trying to get out of jury duty permitted halachically?

In the comments on this question about being on a jury when a trial could run into Shabbat, somebody brought up the point that it's generally not hard to avoid jury duty. And, in my experience, lots ...
0
votes
1answer
50 views

Can Kohanim enter a hospital?

As a Cohen is prohibited from deliberately defiling himself through contact with a dead body, may he enter a hospital where there is a high probability that someone might die and render the Cohen ...
-1
votes
1answer
35 views

Can Kohanim live in a condo or apartment building?

Asking the question because if there is a Jewish person living in the same building that dies in the building, couldn't this pose a problem for a Kohen being under the same roof?
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Is there “פה שאסר הוא פה שהתיר” or a “מגו” in American law?

Does anyone know if there is any equivalent or usage of the principle "פה שאסר הוא פה שהתיר" or a "מגו" in American law that could help illustrate the principle? A basic explanation of the principle ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

combining techeles views - tarti dsatri?

Is there a problem of tarti d'satri (contradiction) with combining tekhelet strings dyed according to one view (e.g. half-dyed) with tying methods of a different view?
1
vote
0answers
45 views

The pre-Maimonidean half-tekheleth string

Are there any sources prior to the Rambam that suggest (even implicitly) that the tekheleth string is only half-dyed?
0
votes
0answers
28 views

Can one say Kiddush Levana on Rosh Hodesh or the 2nd day of the month if he won't be able to otherwise?

Kiddush Levana can be recited as early as the 3rd day of the Hebrew month. Two scenarios (may have same or different answers): A. Suppose a person will be hospitalized beginning the 3rd of the ...
2
votes
3answers
519 views

Halachic permissibility of playing cards (i.e., poker) for money

Are there any important halachic issues related to gambling--specifically, on card games? (I'm thinking Texas Hold 'Em, but kvitlach also comes to mind.) Obviously it can't be done on Shabbos or Yom ...
-3
votes
1answer
138 views

Zera levatala - source of issur from Torah

Can someone explain what is the issur of zera levatala? If we learn it from er and onan, it should apply to those who do zera levatala to stop from performing peru u revu, and should also apply to ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Rules about Handles on the Vessel for Netilas Yadayim

I am wondering about the vessel used in hand washing, I see the ones with two handles online and in shul etc is it ok to use 'any' vessel to wash the hands or does it have to be one with two handles? ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Can one say Kaddish for a deceased family member even if their parents are still alive? [duplicate]

If a family member dies without leaving any children to say Kaddish for them, can another family member take on the job of saying Kaddish? Is it permissible even if the parents of the one saying it ...
3
votes
0answers
72 views

Can a woman convert to Judaism to marry Kohen due to the concept of sfeik sfeika?

A Rabbi involved in conversions recently told me a story about a conversion he took part in. He came to the Mikvah to take part in the Beis Din (Modern Orthodox Beis Din) and lo and behold he finds ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Touched acovered place while learning-may i continue learning?

Many times, in the middle of learning i will absentmindedly touch my scalp under my yarmulke, or my shoulder under my sleeve. Do i have to stop learning to wash my hands? may i continue without ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Unmarried man teacher of children

I see from The Shulchan Aruch Even Ezer 22.20 and from Shulchan Aruch Harav, Hilchois Talmud Torah, perek 1 halocho 13 that single man should not be a teacher of children (under 13) becouse of the ...
3
votes
0answers
57 views

Is it permitted to eat boogers?

I apologize for the question. but is it permitted to eat ones boogers? possibility of blood? is it Baal Teshakzu? totally permitted similar to nail biting? and would it be forbidden on shabbos?
3
votes
2answers
47 views

How specific is a makom kavuah?

Many shuls let people claim (buy) seats and put their name on the chair where they usually sit, making it "officially" their makom kavuah. Some of Mi Yodeya's other makom-kavuah questions also ...
10
votes
5answers
351 views

Is Listening to a Torah Tape considered Talmud Torah?

It says in the Baal HaTanya's Hilchos Talmud Torah that one fulfills his obligation to learn Torah only if he says the words. Moreover, a Chavrusa fulfills his obligation only because Shomeya Keoneh. ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

If one or more women complete a Talmudic tractate, can they make a siyum?

There is this related M.Y. question about women joining a men's siyum. If one or more women complete a Talmudic tractate can / should they make a siyum? I know that women cannot form a minyan, ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Can the Rav enforce his own made-up rule as a “penalty”?

Several years ago, while making a trip to the Catskill area, I stopped near the large shul in Woodbridge, NY (I forgot its name). The rabbi has a reserved parking spot across the street from the shul. ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Someone illegally parked in a disabled parking spot. Is he liable if a disabled person injures himself

Sadly, I read in a local paper, about this incident: Someone illegally parked in a disabled spot at a doctors office. A disabled person arrived for his doctor's appointment, and saw that the only ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

A hungry beggar asks to use your credit card to buy food. Must you give it?

This M.Y. answer states that if a beggar asks you for food, you do not investigate, but provide food. I assume that if you give cash so that the beggar can buy food, that is the same. A few months ...
2
votes
1answer
467 views

Is a person allowed to prejudge a beggar before giving tzedaka?

The scenario: Last week while waiting for the NYC subway, a well-dressed woman asked me if I had a spare Metrocard swipe (the Metrocard is a prepaid fare card.) As she did not seem like a beggar, I ...
8
votes
1answer
413 views

Changing minhag about tallit gadol

I first became involved with a non-orthodox congregation where it was customary for everyone over Bar Mitzvah age to wear a tallit gadol. However, I understand that it is an Ashkenazi minhag not to ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Al Tarbeh Sicha Im Haisha- including Text Messaging?

The Mishna in Pirkei Avot says "Al Tarbeh Sicha Im Haisha", do not converse excessively with a woman. Does this apply to text messages as well?
7
votes
1answer
85 views

Making a bracha on food which is normally assur, but allowed due to pikuach nefesh

In general, one eating forbidden food does not make a bracha. In certain cases, foods which are usually assur are allowed to be eaten out of a concern of pikuach nefesh -- danger to life. For ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Can a Jew join Christians in saying grace before meals?

Can a Jew join Christians in saying grace before meals? I'm asking about any text, from the religious texts here to "This food smells good". Also does whether Jesus is invoked make a difference? ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

If the prayer leader does not distinguish between Gimmel and Ghimmel for Amida he can't be yotzi for others

I was at a Shabbat table and someone told me that, according to Hacham Ovadia Yosef, the one leading the prayers cannot motzi others (i.e. cannot relieve others' prayer obligations) if he does not ...
9
votes
1answer
226 views

Yichud at night, if both of the woman's parents are home

Is it permissible for a man to be at a woman's home at night if both of her parents are at home, but sleeping? What if they are awake?
7
votes
1answer
217 views

What b'racha do you say on seeing the Aurora Borealis (if any)?

If one is so lucky as to see the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) or its southern equivalent, does one say a b'racha? If so which one? I've heard that oseh ma'aseh v'reishit applies to comets and ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Is one permitted to change his minhagim? ashkenaz to sefardi

If a person grew up sefardi and wanted to change his minhagim to ashkenaz (including pronunciations) is it permitted to do so?
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Kashrut of Bread [duplicate]

Assuming bread was prepared and baked by a Gentile using only kosher ingredients (e.g. kosher flour, water and kosher yeast) and only kosher equipment, what conditions would render such bread fit for ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Marital relations if pregnancy is potentially life-threatening?

A while ago, I was poking around the Catholic section of Reddit, since I was curious about how the topic of birth control might be handled within it. In a comment to one post, someone stated that his ...
9
votes
3answers
962 views

Are Jewish women permitted to use birth control that stops menstruation?

Is there any reason that a Jewish woman who has permission from her Rabbi to use birth control could not choose a pill that stops her from menstruating? Although certain birth control pills are ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

Is it mandatory to eat before solar noon on Rosh Chodesh?

"A person should make sure to eat before the sixth hour on Shabbos, since it is forbidden to fast on Shabbos". --A column by Daniel Yaakov Travis, citing Talmud Yerushalmi, Taanis 3:11. During ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Is it permitted that male person to have feminine job? And otherwise?

Is it forbidden for a male person to have feminine job? If so, how is a feminine job defined according to halacha? Likewise, is it forbidden for a female person to have a masculine job?
2
votes
1answer
35 views

What are the halachic considerations regarding davening after staying up all night on Shavuot?

There is a wide-spread minhag to stay up all night on the evening of Shavuot and learn until shacharit in the morning. I know that when people do that, there are some necessary changes to the morning ...
6
votes
1answer
266 views

Imagine a non-Jewish hostel has a male and a female dorm. Does yichud allow me to sleep in the male dorm?

I'm male. Imagine I arrive at a youth hostel where I'm the only Jew. It's a big house on a quiet residential street; the house has been converted into a youth hostel. There's a male-only dorm room; ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

What are the general rules regarding doing activities (such as eating or checking email) before mitzvot (such as tefillin or prayer)?

Imagine that there's an mitzvah which I can do. It might be obligatory, or it might not be. For example, tefillin, prayer, kiddush, havdalah, shofar, feeding my pet, visiting the sick, Torah study, or ...
6
votes
1answer
98 views

Gun control in Judaism

In light of recent terrible acts committed that involved guns. What is the Torah perspective on gun control. Are there any Torah sources which discuss gun control from a halachic/hashkafic point of ...
2
votes
2answers
58 views

Touching the Klaf of the Torah not while reading it

Is there a distinction made between during Torah reading and not during Torah reading in regards to the halacha to not touch the klaf (parchment) of a Torah scroll directly? I have seen people use ...