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12
votes
1answer
358 views

Starbucks VIA on shabbat

Someone recently mentioned in a conversation about making/ not making tea on shabbat with a tea bag, that the Starbucks VIA coffee is micro-ground vs how ever regular instant coffee is made and that ...
12
votes
3answers
211 views

Ma'aser kesafim on capital appreciation

If you own property (e.g. stocks or real estate) that increase in value over the course of the year, are you require to donate 10% of the increase to tzedaka, if you are merely holding on to the ...
12
votes
3answers
226 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
367 views

Is it ok for spouses to touch in public?

Are spouses allowed to touch one another in public (when the wife is not a niddah) or is this a violation of tzniut? I am asking specifically regarding touch that is not in any way sexual or even ...
12
votes
1answer
284 views

Does a cholent bag/aluminum foil take away the need to tovel the pot?

If no food touches it, does it need to be toveled (immersed in mikvah)?
12
votes
2answers
279 views

10th man drove to shul on shabbat

If one of precisely ten men, who form a minyan, had driven to shul (the synagogue) on shabbat, is that an acceptable minyan? I would have though not, since one is benefiting from his melacha on ...
12
votes
3answers
533 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.
12
votes
1answer
225 views

Insurance against משיח

According to this rather amusing blog post, there is apparently a common clause in rental contracts in Jerusalem, called the Messiah clause, in which, when a landlord outside of Israel rents out a ...
12
votes
1answer
265 views

Ta'amei Mikra and the Torah Scroll

I have heard that a haftorah klaf (scroll) is still considered kosher and usable if the Ta'amei Mikra have been written on it. Yet I've always been told that this is not true for a Torah scroll. Why ...
12
votes
3answers
215 views

What is the hetter for yeshivas to daven a Hoiche Kedusha?

I have seen many Yeshivas (and some not-so-yeshivas [day schools, etc.]) doing a Hoiche Kedusha for Mincha. They had the Chazzan start the first three Brachos of Shemoneh Esrei aloud and say ...
12
votes
2answers
313 views

What is the halachic status of things in outer space?

Is everything in outer space hefker? For example if a private person lands on the moon or an asteroid can he be koneh it? Do you retain the rights to something that you send into space?
12
votes
4answers
293 views

Is it permitted to shoot an air gun on shabbos?

Is it ok to shoot an air gun (also known as a "BB gun") to knock over cups on Shabbos? I can't think of any reason to prohibit it.
11
votes
5answers
512 views

Is the observance of Jewish law/tradition “all or nothing”?

Sometimes my job gets in the way of my observance of Jewish holidays. I often need to work on Saturdays or late on Fridays, inhibiting my ability to attend synagogue on Shabbat. Sometimes I am ...
11
votes
5answers
296 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
424 views

Time dilation and waiting between meat and milk

Suppose Ploni eats some meat. He then gets in a spaceship and accelerates to some significant percentage of the speed of light for a short trip into outer space, and then returns home. At the time ...
11
votes
4answers
580 views

Getting married in age order

Those that refrain from allowing a younger sibling to get married prior to an older sibling mention the verse from Lavan, "Lo Yaiose Kain BimiKomeinu Losais Hatziyira Lifnei HaBechira, In our locale ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Making seltzer/soda water on Shabbat or Yom Tov

Can a person make seltzer on shobbos or yom tov with something like sodastream?
11
votes
3answers
374 views

Siblings marrying siblings

Can two siblings in one family marry two siblings of another family?
11
votes
3answers
802 views

Can a female be a Shochet? (slaughter animals)

Can a female slaughter animals according to Halacha? (sources)
11
votes
1answer
528 views

Praying for rain in the Diaspora

Why on this year (and on other years that precede civil leap years) do we start praying for rain in the Diaspora (by inserting the phrase 'Vetein tal umatar") at maariv of December 5 and not maariv of ...
11
votes
2answers
606 views

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings?

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings? I understand that in some ultra-religious groups they do, but there seem to be many groups within Orthodoxy where they do not cover their ...
11
votes
4answers
346 views

Is belief in a G-d a commandment?

I am studying to convert to Judaism and one of the questions I was asked was about the Ten Commandments. I remember reading at that time that there was debate about the division of the statements ...
11
votes
4answers
229 views

Pesach Sheni when Moshiach has just come

Suppose Moshiach arrives between Pesach and Pesach Sheni - would we bring a Korban Pesach on Pesach Sheni as we did not bring one for Pesach or was there no Chiyuv in the first place and we would not ...
11
votes
4answers
419 views

Clapping on Shabbos

Is one allowed to clap one's hands on Shabbos? Does it matter whether one is clapping to a beat or trying to get someone's attention?
11
votes
5answers
583 views

Mezonos ? Bread

Is there such a thing as Mezonos bread?
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Why don't we seek converts to Judaism?

Why don't Jews try to convert other people to their religion, outside of Israel? Since Christian and Islamic forces try to make them a minority shouldn't they also try to convert people to grow ...
11
votes
3answers
322 views

If it rains on my sukkah and I put up a tarp, should I stay in the sukkah?

If it is raining on Succos is there any benefit in eating in a Succah covered with a (Schlack) tarp over eating in the house? (sources please)
11
votes
2answers
420 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")
11
votes
3answers
226 views

Trustworthiness of “new” dishes

When one buys new dishes from a store (e.g. cutlery, plates, bowls), is there any concern that they are not as "new" as they are claimed to be? For example, someone buys some cutlery and plates, ...
11
votes
7answers
684 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?
11
votes
1answer
691 views

Drinking cold kosher beverages in a non-Jewish relative's house

Let's say you're staying at a non-Jewish relative's house. He bought you kosher food because he knows you keep kosher. He buys you a drink such as milk. You see him pour the drink for himself into his ...
11
votes
3answers
628 views

Inviting a non-observant Jew on Shabbat or Yom Tov

Can I invite a Jew for a meal on Shabbat or Yom Tov if I know they will drive to my house?
11
votes
2answers
273 views

Jewish definition of a charity

I know that Jews are supossed to give 10% of their income to charity, but what constitutes a charity? I know that Shuls, jewish schools and poor people in your community count, but what about secular ...
11
votes
6answers
519 views

Can halacha change based on scientific research?

Shabbat 39a says: "With regard to heating food in the sun itself, everyone agreed that one is permitted to place food in the sun to heat it, as it is certainly neither fire nor a typical form of ...
11
votes
4answers
277 views

Commencing Shabbos: Shkiya behind a mountain

It is common practice nowadays for Shuls to publish the zmanim (times) to begin Shabbos (the Sabbath) and other activities. These times, it would seem, are based upon standard calculations of sunrise ...
11
votes
3answers
420 views

Peanut butter Bracha

What Brochah or Blessing is said when eating plain Peanut butter? Does the chunky variety (with pieces) versus regular make a difference? I am referring to a case where it is eaten on a spoon, with ...
11
votes
3answers
264 views

Dew distinct from water among the shiva mashkim

The seven mashkim are blood, water, milk, honey, wine, oil, and dew. What is the difference between water and dew? Isn't dew a type of water?
11
votes
4answers
740 views

How to advise your barber

Men: What is a succinct, clear, Halachically complete line to tell a barber what not to do when cutting your hair?
11
votes
3answers
225 views

Can you learn during chazarat hashatz?

Are you allowed to learn Torah silently during the chazzan's repetition of Shmonah Esrei? (This is a case where you are davening with that minyan.)
11
votes
2answers
233 views

Is there tashlumin for n'ila?

Can one make up n'ila at the next prayer or the previous one at n'ila?
11
votes
2answers
822 views

Giving gifts to non-Jews at Christmastime

Is it okay at Christmastime to give a gift to a boss or for kids to give gifts to teachers if they are not Jewish?
11
votes
3answers
471 views

Is Okapi meat Kosher?

Is the Okapi a kosher animal? According to its Wikipedia page, it is most closely related to the giraffe, which everyone seems to agree is kosher. A quick Google search tells me that it chews its cud. ...
11
votes
2answers
319 views

What is a woman's obligation when it comes to T'fillah?

In Orthodox practice it is commonly thought that women are not obligated in T'fillah (parts of it anyway) due to its time-bound nature. However, what is a woman's obligation? Which prayers must she ...
11
votes
2answers
377 views

Why does writing on Shabbos need two letters?

In order to transgress "writing" (כותב) on Shabbos, (m'd'oraysah) one must write two letters. (See for example here.) Why is this so? Shouldn't writing anything still be considered writing? For ...
11
votes
3answers
512 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
385 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
159 views

Does an improperly slaughtered animal render the Shochet impure?

In Vayikra 11:39 it says: לט. וְכִי יָמוּת מִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר הִיא לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה הַנֹּגֵעַ בְּנִבְלָתָהּ יִטְמָא עַד הָעָרֶב:‏ 39) If an animal that you [normally] eat, dies, one who ...
11
votes
2answers
148 views

Which kidney should you donate?

All things being equal medically, if a person is going to donate a kidney is there halachic or hashkafic reason to presume donating one kidney would be better than the other?
11
votes
2answers
433 views

May one walk under the Arch of Titus?

I have heard that it is prohibited (or at least that the custom is not) to walk under the Arch of Titus in Rome. Is this accurate? If so, what is the source? Would it make a difference if a large ...
11
votes
2answers
188 views

Cooking meat and milk as a chef

In this article an Orthodox woman describes how her rav permitted her to enroll in culinary school. Although he apparently did not permit cooking meat and milk together, is there any angle to permit ...