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7
votes
1answer
238 views

What are the standards for bathroom design?

Starting from scratch in building a multiple occupancy bathroom, what standards should be maintained in its design and construction? There are plenty of relevant halachos regarding modesty and proper ...
6
votes
1answer
94 views

Shalom Aleichem in Kiddush Levana to an Aveil

We do not say Shalom Aleichem to a Aveil. What about saying Shalom Aleichem to an Aveil (after the Shiva, during the year of Aveilus) during Kiddush Levana - do you or do you not? (sources please)
10
votes
2answers
822 views

Is downloading pirated music stealing?

Either way, it should be frowned upon as not a nice thing to do, but would it actually be assur?
10
votes
4answers
375 views

“Is the market-based distribution of income fair or unfair?”

This post, by a leading economist, lists the main differences on economic policy between the right and left-leaning economists. On many economic issues, Judaism does not necessarily take a clear ...
5
votes
2answers
135 views

How often is it neccessary to check the strings of an Eruv?

If you have an Eruv Chatzeros for carrying, how often is it necessary to check it to make sure that it is properly strung and you can still carry on Shabbos?
13
votes
2answers
288 views

Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?

Pretty much across the board, beged gadol and katan have fabric squares sewn on the corners. Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?
3
votes
2answers
447 views

Can you wash your hands completely after Chatzos on Tisha B'Av?

One of the restrictions of Tisha B'Av is to only wash your hands until the knuckles. Is this restriction relaxed after Chatzos on Tisha B'Av? (sources please)
6
votes
3answers
318 views

Why don't we say Avinu Malcanu on Tisha B' Av?

Why don't we say Avinu Malcanu on Tisha B' Av? The Artscroll Siddur says "on fast days that tachanun is omitted...", is there any other reason?
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Eating for strength to bury on Tisha B' Av

Can one (halachically) eat to have the strength to dig a grave for a recently passed away Jew? Assume you can't pay a gentile to do it for you.
2
votes
2answers
66 views

What is the purpose of the laws of mourning?

There are generally accepted laws and customs regarding a mourner, whether mourning for a relative or for the tragedy of the destruction of the bais hamikdash. Examples include restriction from ...
5
votes
1answer
187 views

Zecher L'Churban - Why a plate at Tenayim and a glass at the Chupah?

When a person gets engaged and married there are various things that we do as a Zecher L'Churban. At the Tenayim (whether done immediately or at the wedding) we break an earthernware plate, at the ...
10
votes
2answers
593 views

Is the material permitted to learn on Tisha B'av available online?

From Aish.com: Other prohibitions include...Learning Torah, since this is a joyful activity. It is permitted to learn texts relevant to Tisha B'Av and mourning -- e.g. the Book of Lamentations, ...
6
votes
2answers
394 views

What should be done with mezuzot when selling the house?

What should be done about the mezuzot (internal and external) when selling one's house... to a non-Jew? to a non-observant Jew? to an observant Jew?
5
votes
3answers
136 views

The Tur's word counts for Shemoneh Esreh

I have often seen the Tur cited as giving exact word counts for each blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh. The arguments I have seen for being careful to adhere to the word counts include that this would ...
11
votes
4answers
454 views

In regards to writing, can soda bottles be opened on Shabbos?

Specifically, when the writing - such as an expiration date - is printed in dot matrix style across the line between the bottle cap and the bottle cap's ring, what are the issues involved in opening ...
8
votes
3answers
356 views

Saying VaYhi Erev VaYehi Voker before Kiddush Friday night

The Minhag that many people have is to start Kiddush Friday night with VaYehi Erev VaYehi Voker before saying Yom HaShishi. I heard that HaRav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal did not say VaYehi Erev VaYehi ...
7
votes
1answer
233 views

How is it that one is allowed to have an alarm on shabbos?

Can one leave an alarm to go off on Shabbos morning? If one can, then can it play anything, music, radio, etc?
9
votes
1answer
215 views

What Halachot apply to serving on jury duty?

Halachically, what are the responsibilities of one who is called to jury duty? What if one of the litigants is Jewish, and the halacha would find differently than civil law does in the case, are you ...
13
votes
3answers
258 views

What potential issues may arise with serving jury duty on Tisha b'Av?

I was recently summoned for jury duty and initially selected to be on the jury for a criminal trial that was expected to go through Tisha b'Av. If I were selected, what issues would I face in serving ...
12
votes
7answers
420 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?
8
votes
1answer
67 views

Are bushes acceptable for elevations that require a maakeh, a fence?

If evergreen bushes span the entire length of a side of a porch, at about waist-height for someone on the porch, do the bushes remove the need for a railing? The difference being that a railing can be ...
16
votes
3answers
559 views

Can an ecommerce website remain open on Shabbat?

This question is more general and doesn't apply specifically to ecommerce sites even though the discussion mentions them a little. Specifically, we know we can't do business on Shabbat. So what is ...
12
votes
2answers
220 views

If you realize you're carrying on Shabbat, what's the best thing to do?

I've heard that you should put it down on a makom patur while still walking. However, a true makom patur is tall and skinny, like a post, and therefore possibly difficult to find. I've also heard ...
7
votes
1answer
171 views

What height porch requires a railing?

What are the different opinions of heights (in American or metric units) that requires a railing for the side of a porch?
6
votes
1answer
159 views

How to prevent holes when double wrapping food?

When cooking milk in a meat oven (or kosher food in a treif one) I often find that when one wraps using aluminum foil, small holes appear (probably from the heat). I was wondering if anyone knows a ...
14
votes
1answer
388 views

Why don't we bow “correctly” during tefillah anymore?

According to the Gemara (Megillah 22b), and according to the RaMBa"M (Hil. Tefillah 5:13) (and apparently R' Avraham ben HaRaMBa"M was adamant), when we pray we are supposed to bow down ON our knees ...
6
votes
2answers
175 views

Tachanun for Shacharis in the afternoon, on a day where there is no Tachanun at Mincha

If you start Shacharis Shmonei Esrei just before Chatzos, on a day where there is no Tachanun said at Mincha, and finished after Chatzos, do you say Tachanun?
3
votes
1answer
193 views

Which rabbis forbade cars 100 years ago?

"Venishmartem Meod Lenafshoseichem" I heard that there were Rabbonim about 100 years ago who forbade cars, saying that they were dangerous. Does anyone know who they were?
11
votes
3answers
513 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
96 views

Honouring an older person

What sources are there for showing respect and honour to an old person who is not necessarily a talmid chochom or a parent?
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Halachos Related to Visiting the Kosel

When one is visiting the western wall, what are some specific halachos that he/she should be cognizant of? By "specific halachos" I mean halachos that only apply to the Kosel -- and not anywhere ...
9
votes
3answers
163 views

What is the Minimum Width of Tefillin Straps?

What is the minimum width of tefillin straps? For example: if one's tefillin straps partially tore, how much is required to remain for the tefillin to remain Kosher?
5
votes
2answers
140 views

Why is the right strap longer than the left strap by the Tefilin Shel Rosh?

What is the reason that the right strap is longer than the left strap by the Tefilin Shel Rosh?
5
votes
2answers
155 views

What is the proper length of the Tefilin Shel Rosh straps?

How long are the Tefilin Shel Rosh straps supposed to be? What is the minimum Shiur and what is the maximum?
4
votes
2answers
845 views

When does the prohibition against eating meat during the 9 Days start?

does the prohibition regarding eating meat start at night or in the morning? If this is unclear... On Rosh Chodesh (the night of, the night we say yala ve yavo) can we have meet for dinner? I know ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Keeping one or two days of Yom Tov in towns outside the biblically stipulated borders of Israel?

If you’re living in Amman, Jordan, I believe that you need to keep two days of Yom Tov. But if you’re in Eilat, you keep one day. Why?
3
votes
2answers
169 views

When a Bris is being done for a baby at the same time as his Pidyon HaBen

If a baby who is a Bechor had his Bris delayed to the 31st day, and now on the 31st day he is ready to have his Bris and it is also the day of his Pidyon HaBen - which Mitzva should be done first? Do ...
5
votes
3answers
252 views

When a Bechor's Bris is delayed beyond the day of the Pidyon HaBen

If a baby who is a Bechor had his Bris delayed beyond the 31st day - should the Pidyon HaBen be pushed off until the Bris is ready to be done? On one side you do not want to delay a Mitzva in its ...
27
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 ...
10
votes
2answers
422 views

Halachic Considerations for Women in the IDF

For a religious girl going into the IDF very soon, there are a few questions that are often asked: Especially in active units, wearing a skirt while on base can be a problem: While crawling, ...
6
votes
2answers
401 views

Why do the laws of kitniyot still apply today to Ashkenazi Jews on Passover?

How did the tradition start? Why is it still around today? What is the basis for this Halacha (הלכה)?
0
votes
1answer
194 views

What was the 'evolution' of determining who is part of the Jewish people?

Starting with Abraham and continuing till modern halacha. how has the halacha regarding who is part of the Jewish people changed? What were the causes of the change, and the reasoning, and the change ...
3
votes
4answers
314 views

Fasting on the wedding day - when getting married right before or after a fast

When a person gets married a day before Yom Kippur or a day after Tzon Gedalya - does he/she have to fast two days in a row?
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Sheva Brachos at a Bris

If a Chosson & Kallah during the first week they got married attended a Bris, should the assembled recite Sheva Brachos after Bentching?
9
votes
3answers
567 views

What evidence is required to indicate mamzer status?

It seems to me that just about every possible shadow of doubt is used to prevent halachic rulings that would classify a person as a mamzer. From my understanding after having read this paragraph on ...
10
votes
4answers
329 views

What is the best way to visualize the Churban Bais HaMikdash?

It is now thousands of years since the Churban Bais HaMikdash. Many jews feel very comfortable in their surroundings. What is the best way for a person to visiualize the great loss of the Bais ...
3
votes
2answers
413 views

Davening Maariv at Shekiya / or after Plag HaMincha - repeating Kriyas Shema

If a person prays Maariv after Plag HaMincha prior to Shekiya is there any Halachic authority that holds he is Yotzei the Mitzva of Kriyas Shema and does not have to repeat it? What if he prays right ...
0
votes
2answers
214 views

Would the internet be considered muktzeh due to Nolad (a new thing)

There is a category of muktzeh on shabbat called Nolad. Nolad means literally, something that is born on shabbat. It is interpreted in the modern era, as meaning anything which you did not have ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

Requirments for the Document of a Jewish divorce and its messenger

Does a "get" (Jewish divorce document) need to be written on a Klaf (parchment)? And what are the halachic requirements to be a shaliach (agent) for a "get"? May a man send a woman as his shaliach ...
5
votes
3answers
580 views

May one swim on Shiva Asar B'Tamuz?

May one swim on Shiva Asar B"Tamuz? If not, why not? (sources)