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4
votes
2answers
98 views

Why be happy Shushan Purim?

Rama (695:2) quotes from the Maharil (though I don't see it there): וחייב במשתה ושמחה קצת בב׳ ימים י״ד וט״ו and one must have a drinking party and joy, a little, on two days: the fourteenth and ...
4
votes
2answers
193 views

Handling Conflict between Jewish and Civil Law

This question is an offshoot from the one titled "Questions about Polygamy in Jewish Law and Culture" Taking under the knowledge that the previous question was well answered with an observation: It's ...
8
votes
1answer
117 views

How are we allowed to take out two sifrei Torah?

The Mishna in Yoma says that when the Kohen Gadol used to read from the Sefer Torah on Yom Kippur, he had to read two portions: one from Acharei Mos and the other from Emor. It says that he used to ...
17
votes
3answers
229 views

What is the source that Parshas Parah is from the Torah?

I have read in many places that Parah could be a bliblical requirement to read. Why is that? Zachor makes sense (as it says so in the Torah here). Why Parah?
16
votes
3answers
429 views

Is ad-blocker software permissible?

Kalashnikover_Rebbe at hashkafah.com asks: Isn't blocking ads stealing??? The people put them on the sites for a reason.... He elaborates: On one hand the argument can be made that [forum ...
10
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
183 views

Beracha upon seeing a friend on a webcam

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 225:1) rules: שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות ברכת הפירות סימן רכה הרואה את חבירו לאחר שלשים יום, אומר: שהחיינו, ואחר י"ב חדש מברך: מחיה מתים, והוא שחביב עליו הרבה ושמח ...
6
votes
2answers
369 views

Who is a Shoteh?

In modern day language, what is a Halachic Shoteh? In other words, is someone who is schizophrenic, clinically depressed, OCD, etc. free from Mitzvos?
10
votes
1answer
134 views

7 Seas or The Great Ocean?

Seeing the ocean warrants the recital of a blessing. (Assume for this question like the opinions that the proper bracha is שעשה את הים הגדול as opposed to עושה מעשה בראשית.) It is only recited if one ...
13
votes
3answers
172 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
328 views

Circumcision when danger to life, born Jews and potential gerim

In this post, Skylar refers to teshuvos from the Seride Esh and R. AY Kook which rule that a male non-Jew may not convert if he is unable to undergo milah. Does pikuach nefesh completely push off the ...
5
votes
3answers
629 views

Hair dyeing for women

What are the halachic issues involved in hair dyeing for women? Most importantly, does hair dye constitute a chatzitza for mikvah? Also: are there any communities that forbid hair dyeing altogether? ...
13
votes
1answer
378 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
307 views

Kosherizing Water using Distillation

Suppose I have water that was cooked with non-kosher food. I then take the water and distill it. Would this water be considered permissible to drink?
7
votes
1answer
238 views

How should an employer respond to a government policy requiring abortion coverage?

There is a recent controversy in the United States regarding whether the Federal government can compel employers, including religious employers, to pay for contraception. Although this may not be ...
6
votes
2answers
369 views

Ceremony to take a woman as a concubine (pilegesh)?

This question sparked a lively discussion and debate on this rather sensitive issue. One piece of the original question was: What ceremony / ritual must be performed (if any) to formally ...
8
votes
2answers
289 views

Issues with cooking meat and milk at the same time

What issues are there (either potential or inherent) in cooking meat dishes and milk dishes at the same time on the same stovetop (not in the same pot)? Please also compare benefits and problems ...
3
votes
1answer
63 views

Maaser on Selling Previously Purchased Items

Many times people buy things and then later resell them. Assuming no profit was made in this sale, is there an obligation to give Maaser on the newly acquired money? Practical examples: eBay, college ...
16
votes
1answer
200 views

Yichud in a dorm like situation

I was wondering if yichud is an issue in a situation like one that might arise on a college campus in an all girls dorm (apartment style- the building is mixed but each apartment is separate) if one ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the sources for women to wear/ not wear pants?

I have heard that the argument is beged ish / kli gever, and I have heard people say that even if that was once a real reason for it it doesn't apply today for various reasons. I understand that the ...
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Is there a bracha for blooming non-fruit trees?

I understand that one says Birkat Ha'Ilanot on seeing the blossoms on a fruit tree. Does a tree that blooms but doesn't produce fruit get a bracha? And if so, which one?
5
votes
1answer
122 views

Processing an online payment - which will be processed on Shabbos

With my bank, when you process, online, a payment, it automatically goes out on the following day. If I authorize it on Friday they will send it on Saturday. I can also request any future date I want. ...
3
votes
0answers
128 views

Can a non Jew bake bread on Pesach for a Jew to use after Pesach?

In relation to Is it possible to have chometz on the shabbos directly after Pesach? Is there any problem if a non Jew bakes bread on Pesach (the Jew did not ask him and does not care if the non Jew ...
9
votes
4answers
502 views

If the last day of Passover is Friday, may I eat chametz on the Shabbat right after?

This year, 5772, the last day of Pesach in Israel is on Friday. Is there any possible way that one could contrive to eat chometz on the shabbos immediately following Pesach?
8
votes
2answers
323 views

Halachot of Lashon Naki (clean speech)

What is the halachik source, if any, for lashon naki (clean speech)? Is there a portion of Talmud that deals with the specifics? On the surface, it seems to be employed inconsistently, by which I mean ...
10
votes
1answer
166 views

Are there any restrictions about a chazzan if there are questions about his orthodoxy?

If someone comes up to daven as a chazzan, and you have questions about how kosher they are or whether they're truly shomer shabbos, are you allowed to still use him as a chazzan, or are there ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah?

Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah? Are Cohens generally restricted from marrying baalei teshuva because of the possibility that they may be b'not niddah?
9
votes
2answers
792 views

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen?

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen? How does the situation differ if only the mother, or only the father, is a convert? (I have read that "ideally" the child of two converts should not ...
10
votes
1answer
233 views

Are Jews allowed to participate in Valentine's Day rituals?

Are Jews allowed to participate in Valentine's Day rituals? Although St. Valentine's Day is originally a quasi-Christian holiday, it seems that some communities allow participation.* Which communities ...
10
votes
2answers
299 views

Tevilat Keilim on a gift

If I buy a food-utensil from a gentile to give as a gift to a Jew, can I tovel it before giving it to him, or must he do it himself as the final intended owner? Is there a difference between glass and ...
11
votes
2answers
662 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
97 views

How long does soil need to last?

If you move a tree with its soil, it's considered replanted (so the rules of orla kick in) unless it can live off of the soil you're moving it with. (Source.) Clearly "if it can live" doesn't mean "if ...
8
votes
1answer
168 views

What would the beracha be on tree-leaves?

What blessing would one make on leaves from [woody] trees that are routinely eaten? Is it ha'eitz, because they came from a tree? Is it ha-adama, because they're not "fruit" but are vegetative? Is it ...
23
votes
1answer
208 views

What do you do if you made a Tzedaka pledge and now the organization folded?

Recently a friend of mine asked me the following question. He pledged $500- to a Yeshiva, yet before he paid the pledge the Yeshiva closed. Does he still have to pay his pledge to another Tzedaka or ...
4
votes
1answer
432 views

Is marriage without ketubah considered marriage, concubinage, or kiddushin she’einah re’uyah le’biah (marriage that cannot be consummated)?

Is marriage without ketubah considered marriage, concubinage, or kiddushin she’einah re’uyah le’biah (marriage that cannot be consummated)? I have read a number of different things suggesting each of ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Birkot HaTorah and Typing

Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 47:3) as well as Yalkut Yosef (47:14) write that before one writes down words of Torah, he must recite Birkot HaTorah (because people that write sometimes voice their ...
4
votes
1answer
127 views

Are the ignorant/uneducated exempt from halacha?

Are the ignorant/uneducated (Jews) exempt from following halacha? Do they have a share in the world to come even if they break Jewish law or are apikores? I am led to believe that the answer is, more ...
9
votes
1answer
445 views

If a Jewish couple is married through a civil ceremony alone, do Jewish marriage laws apply to them thereafter?

If a Jewish couple is married through a civil ceremony alone, do Jewish marriage laws apply to them thereafter? Assume no ketubah; perhaps a ring, but not necessarily 2 witnesses. Could one say that ...
10
votes
2answers
183 views

Non-belief in Torah's divinity - Wickedness or Ignorance?

If a Jew breaks halacha because he honestly does not believe that the Torah is G-d's law or that he is obligated it follow it, is his nonconformance with the law considered wickedness or ignorance? ...
8
votes
1answer
242 views

Jewish names commonly used in a different form than found in Tanach

Some names are popularly used in a different form than the way they're spelled or pronounced in Tanach. A few that I can think of are: Nochum (נָחוּם) - is written in Tanach (Nah. 1:1) as נַחוּם ...
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Pasul l'edus: what about ed echad?

People who participate in certain activities that are bad for society are disqualified from testifying. Also, those who've commit certain sins whose punishment is corporal, and haven't yet repented, ...
4
votes
1answer
344 views

Mamzer from non-Jew

If a Jewess married to a Jew has a child from a non-Jew is that child a mamzer? Is there agreement amongst the poskim about this?
5
votes
2answers
140 views

In auctions today are you still obligated after being out-bid?

A mishna on Erchin 27a discusses buying land back after it has been consecrated. It says that if one offered ten selas, another twenty, etc. up to one who offered fifty, and then that last guy ...
0
votes
1answer
284 views

Entering a place where Gentiles and Jews Daven together from a Siddur

Would it be permitted to pray in a place where there are services that are mixed with Jews and gentiles? Meaning, a synagogue that also invites gentiles to pray with the Jews (but they all pray from a ...
2
votes
2answers
167 views

Pushkah and then Auction?

Let's say there is an organization that has a Pushkah (charity box) that I regularly insert money into for Tzedakah purposes, then this same organization has a Chinese auction and I want to get a ...
15
votes
1answer
374 views

Is kneeling and bowing down in Kung Fu an idolatry (Avoda Zarah)?

I am exercising at Kung Fu's dojo and wonder whether kneeling and bowing down is an idolatry (Avodah Zarah)? The floor has soft mats. The reason explained to me is that it's done as a form of greeting ...
6
votes
2answers
295 views

Why is There No Tachanun on Tu b'Shvat?

Or, more specifically, what is/are the reason(s) for not saying tachanun on various occasions and how does Tu b'Shvat fit in. (I'm looking for classic reasons, not 'it's got to be somebody's birthday ...
9
votes
1answer
169 views

Interrupting in the middle of Shmona esrei

Am I allowed to interrupt in the middle of Shmona esrei in order to pick up a Siddur (or any other holy book) that has fallen to the floor? Same question, if I have to make some steps in order to pick ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

Taking a concubine (pilegesh) today

Moderator's note: As with all discussions of Jewish law on this site, any information included in this question or its answers is presented only for the purpose of understanding the relevant ideas, ...
7
votes
1answer
205 views

Who is obligated in Pidyon HaBen?

A woman I know mentioned that she is redeeming her firstborn son. This got me thinking. A Pidyon HaBen is mandated for the first male child to "open" the mother's womb. But whose Mitzvah is it? The ...