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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 ...
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52 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 ...
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40 views

Can one use ma'aser money to pay for shipping a donation to charity?

If one orders an item to donate to a charitable organization, such as a shul or Yeshiva, and wants to deduct the value of the item from his ma'aser money, can he deduct the shipping costs? Does it ...
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54 views

Being Matir Family Mesorah

Does Hataras Nedarim help to be matir all of one's minhagim if the the one being matir has them in mind? For example: a sephardi wants to change his minhagim to ashkenazi ones.
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103 views

Must a woman not dressed for outside draw the blinds when standing next to a home window?

While cooking and cleaning in her kitchen, a woman wears clothing which she would not wear in public for reasons of modesty. The stove and sink face a window that faces a public street. Most people ...
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40 views

What are some general halachot about treif culinary schools?

I have seen some assorted questions about specific occurrences in a non-kosher culinary schools here, however, I was wondering if there are any general halachot which apply. In other words, would it ...
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79 views

To know in advance when one is a niddah

The gemoro and shulchan aruch has much to say about 'vestos', way to find out in advance when one will be a niddah, which rarely work today. There are modern methods which do work: does one have to ...
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36 views

What bracha do you make on zucchini flowers or the curly “lettuce” used for garnish?

During the past few years I have seen caterers decorate platters with zucchini flowers. Similarly. many platters have some type of dark green or purple lettuce or cabbage (I'm not sure what kind of ...
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25 views

Can someone say Bircat Hagomel after an outpatient procedure?

I am aware that someone would say Bircat Hagomel after recovering from surgery or another major illness. Can someone say the bracha after outpatient procedures such as a colonoscopy, where they have ...
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53 views

May one publish or read the private diary of a deceased person?

Recently the private diary of Rav Kook was published; diaries of other Rabbis have also been published posthumously. Is there any halachic problem with publishing these documents, and, if there is, is ...
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96 views

Cologne for men?

The Gemara writes that a Talmud Chacham should not wear cologne. Does this apply nowadays? I've personally smelled a Rosh Yeshiva's strong scent of cologne.
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Communities who follow the Rambam.

At one point, many sefardic communities followed the Mishneh Torah. As time went on, it seems that the sefardim accepted the Beit Yosef. Besides Yemenities, were there any communities who until ...
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51 views

Crossing at a sensor-controlled traffic light on Shabbat

May one cross at a sensor-controlled traffic light on Shabbat / Yom Tov. I.e. - the light turns green only when it senses there is a pedestrian? Would it matter if it would be dangerous to cross ...
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43 views

Using same dish washer for meat and dairy?

Under what conditions can the same dish washer be used for washing both meat and dairy dishes?
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16 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 ...
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62 views

Chometz less than the size of a Kezayis

ב"ה I've heard when cleaning for Pesach that chometz that is less than the size of a kezayis isn't significant enough to be considered chometz. I am talking only concerning chometz which one isn't ...
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39 views

Where exactly should the amud be placed?

In some synagogues I have seen the amud (lectern) from where the chazan (prayer leader) stands to say the prayers, placed a few feet in front of the aron (cabinet) where the torah is kept or between ...
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62 views

Batel b'shisim on a large scale

Suppose someone is making a huge 50-gallon vat of cholent. Accidentally, an entire bag of milk breaks and spills into the cholent. There is more than 60x as much meat cholent as there is milk, so the ...
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42 views

Secular sources with Torah wisdom

Some secular books have a hefty amount of wisdom that we find in our Torah sources. For example, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has a lot of almost verbatim lessons from Pirkei Avos, although ...
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53 views

Washing (with a blessing) before continuing a meal with no more bread

As noted elsewhere on the site, the Shulchan Aruch (OC 164:2) rules that someone who, in the middle of a bread meal, touches his thigh must then wash his hands and say the blessing "al n'tilas ...
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86 views

Is wine from a Miracle Machine subject to Stam Yenam?

This article describes a kickstarter for a machine to make wine quickly out of grape juice concentrates. My question is twofold: Is such wine subject to stam yenam? Is it even Borei pri hagafen?
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109 views

Are there sources that permit or prohibit co-ed learning of self-defense?

Learning self-defense in a co-ed environment could be considered prevention of problems that could lead to pikuach nefesh (danger to life). Prohibiting a co-ed environment could be considered placing ...
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58 views

Substituting security deposit for final month's rent

A friend of mine who practices law gave me the following advice: Do not pay your final month's rent. Instead, tell your landlord to keep the security deposit as your last month's rent. That way, if ...
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42 views

Cloth and meat and milk

Does cloth retain meat and milk after it is washed? I was thinking that instead of ceramic or plastic plates, we could eat off of woven disks.
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33 views

Shinuy Makom in a parked car

If I make a blessing in my kitchen, I can continue to eat in another part of my house without a new blessing (Mishnah Berurah 178:12 and Be'ur Halacha there). Let's say I make a blessing in my ...
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93 views

Why doesn't Rav Saadia Gaon write about wearing tefillin even during prayer?

In the Siddur of Rav Saadia Gaon, he only mentions tephilin once, and even then is only talking about the bracha made when putting it on. No where does he say that when davening, you should be wearing ...
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25 views

Codifying in a variant-text based machlokes

The בית חדש in O.C. 168 writes the following: אלא דלהלכה ודאי במידי דתליא בגירסאות אזלינן לחומרא הכי והכי In something which is dependent on variant texts we are stringent in both directions. ...
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73 views

When is OK to repeat words or lines in prayer?

I have read several questions and answers on here regarding repeating words in prayer, but they do not answer why some common repetitions are allowable. Some examples: 1) During the Torah service, ...
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77 views

Cesem found on someone with dark skin

A cesem that is found on a colored piece of clothing is tahar. What about someone with dark skin (they are of some ethnicity/race that has darker skin), could the same idea be applied in such a case ...
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65 views

In What year was “Al Pi Kabalah” first quoted for a Halachic ruling?

The phrase "al pi Kabalah" (based on Kabalah) is often used in teshuvot for various minhagim or halachot. When is the first recorded instance of somebody recording the Halacha either "al pi Kabalah" ...
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58 views

Can one repeat the name of Hashem when reading from the Torah to get the singing note right (meaning changed)?

Someone reading from the Torah gets the singing note (trop) wrong for one of the names of Hashem, in a manner which changes the meaning of the verse. He then needs to go back and repeat the name of ...
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44 views

On Shabbos or Yom Tov can one wait for the chazzan and join him to say שוכן עד?

O Ch 53 (3) MB [9] says that after an individual finishes the פסוקי דזמרה he should go straight on and say ישתבח and not wait for the chazzan. On Shabbos or Yom Tov, is it permitted to stop and ...
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49 views

Going out on Channuka or Shabbat night, where does one light?

Do you light Shabbat or Channuka candles in the place where you sleep/dwell or in the place where you will be spending the evening? Does it make a difference if you are going to be sleeping out of ...
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55 views

Birthday Card on Shabbat

Is there any prohibition against giving a birthday card, (no present) written out before Shabbat to a person on Shabbat?
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48 views

Amen to another's blessing while you are in the middle of a verse containing a curse

Sometimes it happens that you find yourself in the middle of a posuk containg a curse - for example Dvarim 11:17 And the wrath of the Lord will be kindled against you, and He will close off the ...
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82 views

Does a Man's other children indicate anything about his wife unable to have children for 10 years?

If a man has a child from a previous wife, but has not fulfilled the Mitzvah of Piriah Veriviah and divorces his wife because they were unable to have children for 10 years, does his demonstrated ...
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82 views

Neder of 11 year old girl

An 11 year old girl made a neder that if she finds a certain object that she had lost then she'll give to tzedeka 20 agarot (which is today around 5 cents) every week (for the rest of her life.) Does ...
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72 views

Training an animal to do malacha

Is one allowed to train an animal to do malacha on shabbas (e.g. turn on a light)? Is it comparable to amira l'nochri (telling a non-Jew to do so), or do we say its mutar altogether?
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52 views

Why does the mitzvah of Sukkah have a meaning?

The pasuk states (Vayikra 23:43): לְמַעַן, יֵדְעוּ דֹרֹתֵיכֶם, כִּי בַסֻּכּוֹת הוֹשַׁבְתִּי אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּהוֹצִיאִי אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם Various commentaries point out that in order ...
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85 views

What modern-day hygiene products are prohibited on Yom Kippur?

What, if any, modern-day hygiene products are prohibited "oils" on Yom Kippur? Are deodorants and perfumes in this category? What about medical ointments?
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66 views

Limit(s) on the obligation to forgive?

There's a common adage, based on the Rambam, that if a person harms someone else, and then seeks forgiveness three times, the aggrieved party is obligated to forgive the person, or else carry the sin. ...
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58 views

What is the holiness status of a Siddur

The Shulhan Aruch (Y"D 282) tells us that one should stack certain books in a certain order (e.g. Humash on top of a Sefer Navi). What is the Din of a Siddur for this purpose? My friend told me he ...
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93 views

Can a Nazir drink wine if it is part of a holiday observance?

One who takes a Nazarite vow cannot drink wine (or partake of product that uses grapes). I understand that this is to help the Nazir remain focused on God instead of being overcome by other forces ...
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56 views

Should I go to synagogue when I can't focus?

If I am too ill/stressed to be able to concentrate on worshipping G-d, should I still go to synagogue? Is there an official ruling on this? I'm worried that I might be disrespecting G-d by going.
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38 views

Retroactively have to bring a chatas

Suppose one does an act on shabbas about which there is a machlokes whether it is forbidden d'oraysia or not (perhaps even a posek holds it is permitted). This person does the act regardless, but then ...
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50 views

Tying 7 Huliot with Techelet MiDin Safek

The Tur writes (Orah Haim 11) that since in his days they didn't have Techelet they didn't have to be Makpid on the Huliot (the Rambam doesn't agree). Therefor the Posekim hold (Rosh, Tur, SH"A etc.) ...
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64 views

Formulation of blessing on individual tithes

When separating all the relevant tithes from one's produce, one can include all the various obligations in one collective blessing before the entire process (Tosefta Brachot 6:19 (note variant ...
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70 views

Preparing laundry prior to Chatzos on 10 Av

May one sort their laundry and load the washing machine prior to Chatzos (midday) on 10 Av of a year where Tisha B'Av is on a Tuesday, so that, that way, they can immediately turn on the machine at ...
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71 views

Fireworks on Motzei Shabbos

Municipal fireworks displays in the US are often held on Saturday night, just as it is getting dark -- i.e. right at tzeis hakochavim, time for Ma'ariv, Havdalah, etc. Assuming there is a vantage ...
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26 views

Re-planting on Shabbath

If a plant was uprooted, is it considered a Melachah of planting to re-soil it on Shabbath? The simplest example would probably be that a child pulled a plant out of its pot on, or immediately ...