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1answer
1k views

Is there anything wrong with inviting friends to a bris?

I have a friend - let's call him 'A' - who's married; His wife gave birth to a boy. I asked another friend of mine, if 'A' invited him to the bris. He told me that one is not supposed to invite ...
13
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3answers
380 views

I heard not to say “Good Shabbos” after mincha. Is it true, and what defines mincha?

I heard from somewhere that, on Shabbos, one does not say "Good Shabbos" after mincha. I am not sure whether it's in a halacha sefer somewhere (I tried looking) or just a minhag. First of all, is ...
13
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2answers
348 views

Are Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin really Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin?

I once heard from a Sofer the shocking revelation that Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin do not actually follow Rabbeinu Tam's opinion. Is that correct? Did I misunderstand? Are there any Soferim in our ...
13
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5answers
544 views

What makes a wine kosher?

Why are some wines kosher and some not?
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4answers
776 views

The Ability to Pasken

What gives someone the ability to Pasken? At what point do we say that he is knowledgeable enough to decide questions on a topic? Does this have to do with "Semicha"? Does it have to do with being a ...
13
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3answers
205 views

Relationship between wearing a kippa and reciting a blessing

Before I started wearing a Kippa all the time, the people around me and I had the reflex to cover our head when saying the name of G-d or when reciting anything holy. Since the mitzvah is to wear it ...
13
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3answers
586 views

Killing Civilians in a defensive war

In the recent Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza, many Palestinian civillians were killed by Israeli air-strikes (the Palestines claim the number is as high as 158, while according to the IDF ...
13
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2answers
735 views

What should I do about a fake convert?

I know someone who converted to Judaism, yet throughout the whole process was telling me personally (so I can't tell the Rabbi) that she wasn't interested in keeping Torah AT ALL but was telling the ...
13
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2answers
267 views

Why does one need to kasher burners on a stove for passover?

I don't use separate burners for milk and meat during the year, nor do I think there's any reason to do that. So why the need to kasher burners before passover?
13
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3answers
185 views

If a person voids a purchase/sale, what happens to the Bracha?

You buy a new Talis and after you wear it you notice a defect. You want to return it to the store for a refund or replacement. However a person is only obligated in Tzitzis if he owns or borrows the ...
13
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4answers
3k views

Basic laws, why is milk with meat not kosher?

I've recently read (again) the verse "לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו", meaning, "Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk". How did anyone get from that, to "Don't eat meat with milk at all"? I've always ...
13
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2answers
368 views

Does everyone have to drink the Kiddush wine?

When making Kiddush, does everyone who is yotzei have to drink the wine or grape juice, or is merely hearing it enough? In my experience, it appears that Friday nights everyone is careful to drink, ...
13
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3answers
236 views

Can I omit ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן to catch up in Maariv?

If the Shaliach Tzibbur for maariv (outside of Israel) goes too quickly for me to start the Amidah with him, is there a source which would allow me to omit the section ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן? This ...
13
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2answers
357 views

Am I allowed to count people?

Where did the practice of not counting people come from? People count not-one, not-two, not-three etc. What is wrong with counting one, two, three etc? This is often found when counting to see if ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Pirating software that has already been bought

Say, for instance, that I've previously bought a set of DVDs (for example, the workout program P90x, which contains several DVDs in a set), and that I am currently in a different country and have not ...
13
votes
1answer
516 views

Is flipping a coin following an omen?

If a person is deciding whether to do something and says "I'll flip a coin, heads I do it, tails I don't" does that fall under the prohibition of "don't divine with signs" in Vayikra 19?
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3answers
5k views

Is it permitted for a male to shave his pubic hair nowadays?

Is it permitted for a male nowadays to shave his pubic hair for non-medical reasons? Perhaps this question could be phrased a different way: Assuming that the market for male-specific shaving products ...
13
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3answers
867 views

When does somebody living in space (e.g. ISS) observe Shabbat?

I understand that Jewish astronauts have been advised to observe Shabbat by Cape Canaveral time, by analogy with traveling to a place that doesn't have daily sunrise/sunset where some rule you use the ...
13
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2answers
2k views

What are the halachic boundaries between a brother and sister?

Can they touch each other? Hug? Are they allowed to expose their legs, arms, etc., in front of each other? Can they swim together? Dance together?
13
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4answers
680 views

Can conversion be revoked?

In a recent case the Israeli Rabbinical Court has revoked someone's conversion to Judaism on the grounds that they were deceptive. This decision was "...Based on the fact that she completely ...
13
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1answer
331 views

Why don't Rabbinic fasts end by Ben Hashmashot?

There's a doubt in the Gemara when the new day starts, at sunset or at three stars (Ok, and there's Rabbi Yossi's opinion). When it comes to Shabbos (or any other biblical time), we have to be strict ...
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3answers
397 views

Loshon Hara against an Online Identity

Does the prohibition of Loshon Hara apply when the target is an online name or identity, where the person behind it is anonymous, such as an anonymous user on this forum ?
13
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1answer
238 views

Who knows science?

On whom does one recite the blessing "ברכת שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם" (the blessing recited on non-Jewish scientists)? Does he have to be a Ph.D? Does he have to have inventions to his name? Did he have ...
13
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3answers
242 views

Do our sources address “strategic loan defaults”?

In the most recent episode of NPR's Planet Money Podcast, they interviewed a real estate lawyer in Arizona who talked about the large numbers of her clients who have been asking for advice about doing ...
13
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4answers
248 views

When is there Kaddish after a shiur?

When do you say Kaddish Derabanan after a shiur? What are the requirements for this Kaddish?
13
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1answer
152 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 ...
13
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2answers
757 views

May a man become a gynecologist?

Is there any discussion among the halachic authorities as to whether or not a man can choose to pursue a medical career in gynaecology? The issue that I would presume exists is that unlike other parts ...
13
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2answers
383 views

Plastic gloves in Halacha

If someone touches something while wearing gloves (i.e. waterproof rubber gloves), does that halachically count as touching? Practical examples include: Touching a neveilah, whether or not you ...
13
votes
1answer
210 views

Milk-free cheese: Is it kosher? Parve?

So according to this article, scientists have created cheese by inserting DNA blueprints into a yeast. Essentially, the milk proteins are being created outside of any animal, through genetic ...
13
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3answers
474 views

Praying in “multifaith spaces” in airports and other institutions

In airports and hospitals and such, you can often find "multifaith spaces". Is it permitted to pray in them? These "interfaith prayer chapels" are not churches: they're completely neutral rooms and ...
13
votes
3answers
657 views

Bitcoin and Halakha

What are the halakhot that apply to bitcoin? Is it halakhickly money? What even is the halakhic definition of money? Can bitcoin transactions be made over shabbat? That sort of thing.
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3answers
413 views

Can the Jewish people have a king while in exile?

Assuming a time where appointing a Jewish king is possible, if a proper Jewish king was anointed would he continue to retain the status of king if the Jewish people were exiled from the land of ...
13
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3answers
456 views

Would a genetically engineered red heifer be usable?

Assuming that a non-Jew chose to create a genetically engineered parah adumah (red heifer) and further assuming it met all the halachic requirements --no two black hairs, hadn't been used for work ...
13
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1answer
236 views

Can I trust a random internet user?

Does the halacha of עד אחד נאמן באיסורין (a single witness is trusted in matters of prohibition) apply to a random internet users? If someone presents themselves as being a practicing Jew, can I take ...
13
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3answers
562 views

Using Post-its on Shabbos

Is one permitted on Shabbos to use post-it notes or adhesive page flags to mark content in a book for future reference after Shabbos? Would there be an issue with the adhesive or leaving the page ...
13
votes
2answers
307 views

Falling with tefillin on

If one drops tefillin without their cover, they must fast or give charity (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Yalkut Yosef, Siman 44:2). If one is wearing tefillin and fell with them on, must one fast or give ...
13
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2answers
391 views

Transgender erva

Men's Health magazine has been in the news lately because of a contest in which people can vote on who will be on the magazine's cover. Currently leading in the voting is a transgender person who was ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do some people wrap their Tefilin around their arms 8 times?

I have seen people who wrap the Tefilin 7 times around their arm and some that wrap it 8 times around their arm. Why do the people who wrap it 8 times do so?
12
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5answers
361 views

Halachot learned from gematria

The gemara in nazir learns that an unspecified nezirut is 30 days long from the pasuk "kadosh yihyeh" with yihyeh having gematria 30. Can anyone think of other places where halachot are learned from ...
12
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1answer
506 views

Is programming against Judaism?

I just recently learned about this site when I saw Judaism was one of the stack overflow topics. I have been Jewish all my life and two years ago I started programming. I was wondering if there ...
12
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5answers
1k views

Why does the Tefilin Shel Yad have a protective cover?

When you purchase Tefilin, the Tefilin Shel Yad has a protective cover. Why? Is it Halachically necessary?
12
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7answers
543 views

Is it required to stand during Kaddish?

I've noticed that there are varying minhagim among people whether to stand during Kaddish or not. Is there any actual halacha regarding this and whether it's required?
12
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3answers
1k views

Can a female be a Shochet? (slaughter animals)

Can a female slaughter animals according to Halacha? (sources)
12
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6answers
799 views

Mezonos ? Bread

Is there such a thing as Mezonos bread?
12
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5answers
5k views

Is Extra virgin olive oil kosher by default?

I was given extra virgin olive oil as a gift from Italy (picture below), and I wanted to see if that type of olive oil is treated like fruits and vegetables, or does it needs to have certification on ...
12
votes
4answers
181 views

Why is there Pesach Sheini - The Second Passover?

What is the primary/basic reason why one has a second chance to bring the Korban Pesach (Passover Sacrifice) on Pesach Sheni (a month after Passover)? Other mitzvos, such as hearing the shofar or ...
12
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5answers
1k 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?
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4answers
2k views

What do you do if you forgot to turn off the refrigerator light before Shabbat?

The first time you open a fridge on Shabbat, you notice the light is on. Your intention is to take out food, not turn on the light. Is closing the fridge a problem? Can I open it again? Is it better ...
12
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2answers
549 views

What does “prohibited l’chatchila” mean?

To me the phrase prohibited l’chatchila seems a bit confusing. Can someone explain what this means in plain and simple english? (context: someone says "action X is prohibited l’chatchila")
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7answers
1k views

Do surgically removed body parts require Kevurah?

If one has surgery (may it never be necessary) that requires the removal of an organ of the body (e.g. a gallbladder or appendix), is burial required? Or can the body part simply be discarded?