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Should one make a bracha on seeing geological arches, hoodoos or balanced rocks?

I am considering visiting Arches National Park in Utah. This park has several "arch" rock formations and a few hoodoos and a balanced rock. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 228:1 states that one should make a ...
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43 views

Was the Mishna Brurah meant to be learned straight?

Disclaimer - I do not intend to dispute common practices in Klal Yisroel, nor do I intend to criticize the incredible work of an incredible Talmid Chacham. The current practice in a considerable ...
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60 views

If a convert converted without knowing that their conversion would be permanent

Hypothetically, if a convert converted without knowing that their conversion would be permanent (i.e., cannot convert out), does that make the conversion invalid?
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26 views

Does a seller acquire each coin one at a time, or all at once?

Let's say i owe someone 5 coins. I hand them to him one at a time. Does he acquire each one as i hand it to him, or does he get all of them after all 5 are in his hand? When exactly does ownership get ...
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1answer
276 views

What should a woman who must do Chalitza do if her Yevam can't do it?

In some cases of Zikas Yibum, there is a Rabbinic prohibition against their doing Yibum (eg. the deceased husband's brother is a Mamzer, cf. Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 174) and as such they must ...
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18 views

Does a detached binding of a sefer get stacked in the same position?

See Stacking Seforim -- the linked answer. It says that a chumash goes on top of a Nach. (See the other answer for a dissenting view.) According to that view... what about a lose binding? Say, the ...
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31 views

How far must a publisher go to mitigate possible lashon hara?

This question is about sites that host community-contributed content, like Wikipedia, Reddit, or blogging platforms like LiveJournal communities. Suppose somebody posts something negative about an ...
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208 views

What happens if a non-Jew uses a mikvah?

If a gentile does a kosher immersion (does tevilah with the preparation, three kosher immersions, and the immersion prayer), which is required for conversion, but did so without the help of a rabbi, ...
4
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1answer
94 views

May Jews create sculpture, and under what restrictions?

I do not know if a realistic or abstract freestanding or hanging sculpture of any creature as art (for a museum or store) is permitted me to create or for Jews to view, or whether it would be ...
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32 views

*Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as tzomeach, animal, bird, or fish, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew cud ...
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80 views

Western Ashkenaz Mishnah Berurah

The Mishnah Berurah was composed with the minhagim of the Eastern Ashkenazi kehillot in mind. Is there an equivalent for the communities of Western Europe*? *The Ashkenazi communities of the ...
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53 views

maaser to your own employer

I know there are many Jews who work for schools, synagogues, soup kitchens, and other such non-profit organizations that do a community service. Many people also give maaser money to these ...
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301 views

Sous-vide cooking for Shabbat

Sous-vide is a method of cooking food slowly, at a precisely-controlled temperature. This article in the New York Times reports that this method is becoming more and more accessible to and widespread ...
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0answers
41 views

What's the definition of “not now” for priority-of-b'racha purposes?

Orach Chayim 211 is about what food to recite a blessing over (that is, and eat) first when one wishes to eat two foods. It's clear that (except according to the Rambam cited in 211:2) one does not ...
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69 views

Resolving a dispute where the customer denies that the product is theirs

If someone left something at the dry-cleaners', for example, and later returned to pick it up, but it seems to not be the same item that they left, what does halacha say about resolving it? Both the ...
4
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143 views

Can an unknown Reform Jew be counted for a minyan?

Orthodox Judaism treats someone as a Jew if their mother is Jewish, or they underwent an Orthodox conversion. Reform Judaism will count someone as Jewish even if their only connection is through their ...
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90 views

Transferring discrete “kippah clips” between domains on Shabbat, if the clips are NOT sewn to the kippah

A) Imagine the following: It is Shabbat, and I am using spring-loaded hair clips or bobby pins to attach a kippah to my hair. The clips or pins are NOT sewn to the kippah: instead, they are discrete ...
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62 views

The shlock — halachic considerations

Let's say you bought or built your own shlock (rain cover) for your sukkah. What halachic concerns are there about operating it on Shabbos/Yom Tov? Might there be problems of boneh (building)? If the ...
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52 views

Must the entire decoration be within 4 t'fachim of the schach?

Inspired by Can too many decorations render a sukkah invalid? If there is a big decoration hanging from the schach, is it OK as long as the top (part, or most of the decoration) is within 4 tefachim, ...
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59 views

What kind of responsibility do Mi Yodeya answerers have for people following halacha according to the site?

Here on Mi Yodeya, we are careful to remind people that they should not rely on this or any website for practical halachic decisions. Nonetheless, it is almost certain that some people take what they ...
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140 views

Holidays south of the equator

When Jews first started establishing communities south of the equator, they must have noticed that the holidays fell completely at the wrong times of the year. (For example, Pesach, referred to as hag ...
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75 views

Can Jews revolt?

I want to preface this question with the statement that I have absolutely no intention of starting a revolution against any government, so this is not off-topic as psak-seeking, and the NSA can just ...
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119 views

Is there any halachic problem with providing a service (e.g., matchmaking) to someone for free, when others pay for it?

I recently got an interesting email from a shadchan (matchmaker), which I've paraphrased here: I have a potential match in mind for you. However, it is a halachic problem if I set you up with this ...
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4answers
179 views

Does saying “I promise…” constitute any halachic obligation?

If someone verbalizes to himself something like "I promise not to drink Coke for a year" and his intention is to create a prohibition for himself, what does the halacha have to say about this case? ...
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67 views

Liability for bed bugs

If one tenant in an apartment brings in bed-bugs (and that can be proven), and they spread throughout the building, and the other tenants have to vacate their apartments to be fumigated, or whatever ...
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434 views

How hungry does a Jew have to be to eat non-kosher food?

I understand that Jews are allowed to eat non-kosher food in order to save their lives. My question is, how long does a Jew have to be deprived of food, before he or she is allowed to eat non-kosher ...
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38 views

Is one required to tie strong tzitzis knots?

In the comments here, you can find several suggestions of how to make sure your tzitzis knots will not loosen. Is one required to tie their knots this way, to prevent them from coming loose while ...
4
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1answer
56 views

What is the qualification for chamar m'dina ? [duplicate]

The Shulchan Aruch mentions in a few places that if wine is not available then one may use chamar m'dina (a national drink), for bentching, kiddush, and havdala. chamar m'dina is also permitted if one ...
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70 views

When does a מעריב-misser say שמונה עשרה?

קצור שלחן ערוך‎ 21:1 describes what one should do who missed מעריב by accident: לאחר תפילת שחרית יאמר תחנון ואשרי ויתפלל תפלת שמונה עשרה לשם ערבית ואחר כך יאמר למנצח ובא לציון וכו׳ After ...
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69 views

A rebellious spouse in Beis Din today

The Rambam describes how to handle a case where a couple is divorcing and one spouse claims the other is rebellious (refusing marital relations) and the other is insisting that this is not the case ...
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180 views

Gentiles praying in Hebrew

Can a gentile pray in hebrew, and recite the Psalms? I am a Noahide (Chassidic Gentile) who is interested in going through the conversion process to Reform Judiaism. Is it okay for me to pray the ...
4
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1answer
146 views

Electronic dance music (EDM)

I have two questions. 1. Is it permitted for a Jew to produce electronic dance music (no lyrics), which is usually played at clubs etc. where women and men will dance together (no gender separation ...
4
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0answers
112 views

how to clean up from one meal for another on shabbos?

if after putting all of the trash in the trash can there are lots of crumbs still left behind how should one get rid of these properly on shabbos? may one shake the crumbs outside (assuming its in ...
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38 views

Al Hamichya in one room and al hagefen in another room

If you eat cake in Room A and then proceed to drink wine in Room B both bracha achronas must be made in the rooms in which the food was eaten. Where and how do you make a bracha achrona. Here are the ...
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129 views

Is Mi Yodeya allowed to tweet on Shabbos?

I recently signed up for @StackJudaism tweets, just to see what's going on here when not logged in. These tweets are automatically sent out by the Stack Exchange, which is done for every SE site. ...
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78 views

Can one declare an area to be “not a shul” if it is in the same room as a shul?

Recently, my congregation moved into a temporary space while a new building is under construction. This space is essentially a single large room into which all the various elements of the old building ...
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48 views

Can you say shechechiyanu on something you might return?

Say you bought a nice suit. Can you say shechechiyanu on it if there's a possibility that you might return it. If you already did say shechichiyanu on it, are you allowed to return it?
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129 views

Does anyone allow one to get married the night after Pesach Sheni?

Rivivos Efraim Volume 2 page 266 in discussing whether one may eat roasted meat on the evening after Pesach Sheni concludes as follows. ופוק חזי מאי עמא דבר, שעושים חתונות מפוארות באותו לילה ...
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85 views

Are there communities that 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 for Yemenites, were there any communities that, until ...
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94 views

Buying kitniyot during Pesach

I have tried, with difficulty, to find good Halachic information about kitniyot on Pesach for those who eat kitniyot (there's plenty of information for those who don't), specifically about whether it ...
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97 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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0answers
78 views

Can you take and post pictures of people online without their permission?

Realizing that there is some concern with having one's picture taken in the first place; according to those who allow pictures of people to be taken, is there any halachic reason which would prevent ...
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69 views

How long can יוצא ונכנס be?

In regards to kosher supervision, what is the largest single gap that a mashgiach can leave the premise and still be considered practicing יוצא ונכנס?
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2answers
118 views

Can you redeem ma'aser sheni using a $5 bill — even though burning it will enrich your countrymen?

It's not so easy to mint coins. Canadian law says: If you want to destroy money, then burn banknotes. Don't destroy metal coins. In fact, in Canada, it is legal to burn banknotes. (Note: In the U.S., ...
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62 views

Heter to decorate the shul in a humorous way in Adar?

I am bias here, I was raised to treat a beit k'neset (shul) with utmost respect; not to use the sanctuary as a shortcut, avoid mundane discussions there etc. I now live in a community which festively ...
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193 views

Women having more than one set of earrings?

I've heard women can only have one earring (on each ear). Where is the source for this? I know some women who have earrings going up their ear, which is not that tznius, but is it against halacha?
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52 views

Designating an item before shabbos for others- Snow Cones!

If I designate an item before Shabbos for an acceptable purpose, it can become not muktza for me. Can another person, who I did not have in mind when I made my initial declaration the use that item? ...
4
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1answer
504 views

Requirements for people reciting shevah brachot at an orthodox wedding?

What are the requirements for the people saying the blessings (shevah brachot) under the chuppah? E.g., need they all be male? be shomer Shabbat/observant? Are there different customs?
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159 views

Are gold (or silver) jewelry charms considered avodah zarah?

Many years ago, I started to buy small gold charms specifically with Jewish symbols for my mother who added them to a necklace, much like gold charm bracelets circa 50 years ago. Among them were tiny ...
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104 views

Why is there seemingly such a disconnect between the Geonim and the Rishonim?

It seems that there was a disconnect or upheaval of some kind between the times of the Geonim and the times of the Rishonim and the hakhamim that these two eras contained. Shittoth regarding tefila, ...