NOTE: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends. // Jewish law. Specifically, the legal process beginning with the written Torah and continuing ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

6
votes
2answers
163 views

Shehecheyanu on sefiras haomer

Why don't we make a shehecheyanu blessing on counting the Omer? It is a mitzvah which we get to do after a very long break (more than 300 days)? Some arguments I have heard: In a similar situation ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

What if the non-Jew who owns the chametz dies? [duplicate]

What happens if the non-Jew who the chametz was sold to on Pesach dies? If he has a will, then the chametz would be passed on to someone else, and we could try to buy it back from him. However, if ...
5
votes
3answers
371 views

Do sefirah mourning restrictions occur on Isru Chag?

Many North African Jews celebrate the day after Pesach (which is Isru Chag) with the festive Mimouna. Does such a party atmosphere conflict with the customs of mourning during sefirat haomer? Could ...
7
votes
1answer
229 views

Correct way to deal with a damaged mini-torah?

My son is 4 years old. When he entered Hebrew School at the local (Reform) synagogue, they gave him a mini-torah as part of a Consecration ceremony. Specifically this one: ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

Violating the prohibition of wearing Sha'atnez

When does one become liable for wearing Sha'atnez? Is it merely putting the garment on one's body? Is it when the act of dressing is complete (ie., buttoning the last button, zipping up the zipper, ...
3
votes
0answers
84 views

Tattoo of an image of idolatry

According to this exhaustive article on the subject of tattooing in Halachah, there is an important opinion with many ramifications that states that one is only liable for the biblical prohibition of ...
10
votes
3answers
615 views

Would a convert/Ba'al Teshuvah have to remove any tattoos they may have?

A Jew is prohibited from tattooing himself. If a person with tattoos were to convert to Judaism, would they be required to have the tattoos removed? Would a Jew who got a tattoo and later repented be ...
11
votes
3answers
261 views

Why is there a difference of opinion about whether modern magic is prohibited or permitted?

I'm an amateur magician. All of the Ashkenazi rabbis that I've talked to said that as long as my audience knows that I am just doing tricks and not real magic, the Torah allows me to perform magic ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

Allowing the forbidden for the sake of a Mitzvah

There are a few mitzvot which are effected through the use of that which is specifically forbidden. The first two examples are of tzitzit being made from shatnez and the mei sotah being infused with ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Shliach for bedikas chometz — making another shliach

Reuvan went away before Pesach and made Shimon a shliach (emissary) to be bodek (check) his home on lyl yud-daled (the night before Pesach) for chametz. (See beginning of Siman 436 and Mishneh Brurah ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Eating Karbon Pesach — Must lean?

While one would eat the Karbon Pesach would they have to make hasabeh (lean) like when one eats matzah or drinks daled cosos (the four cups) b'zman hazeh (nowadays) at the Pesach Seder? (I've heard ...
0
votes
1answer
174 views

May I let my web browser save my browsing session during Chol Hamoed?

To save electricity, I like to shut down my computer every night. First, I quit my Web browser. My Web browser is set up so that, when I quit, it automatically saves my session: a list of open tabs ...
1
vote
0answers
116 views

May I vote Stack Exchange answers up or down during Chol Hamoed?

Stack Exchange websites, such as Mi Yodeya, include a "voting" feature. They let me click an "up arrow" icon to indicate that a post is useful, or a "down arrow" icon to indicate that it's not useful. ...
2
votes
1answer
70 views

paskening in front of Rebbi who is your father inlaw

It is assur to pasken (rule on a halachic matter) in front of one's Rebbe (Eiruvin 63). If one's father-in-law is his Rebbe and his wife asks him (her husband) a halachic question in front of her ...
5
votes
2answers
68 views

Thought about Sefirah but did not say it verbally

I thought (in the middle of Shemona Esray of mincha) that I must count the first day of sefirah after I finish; but did not do it verbally. Should I continue on to make the brocha from the second day? ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

Receiving someone else's chametz mail

Yesterday, I heard the door open and close. I went over and discovered that the mailman had delivered the mail. A magazine (which I looked forward to reading), some envelopes and a small package. I ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Are you permitted to weigh Maror on Pesach night?

Are you permitted to use a mechanical scale to weigh the correct Shiur of Maror on Seder night?
6
votes
1answer
148 views

Can you join a minyan in another room?

I recently davened (prayed) at a hassidic Rebbe's minyan. I found something peculiar, namely that the Rebbe didn't actually daven in the same room as everyone else. Instead, he davened in a different ...
2
votes
1answer
472 views

Why don't we salt newborns, per Ezekiel?

If* salting newborns is a good thing, why don't we do it anymore? This is not a "Why don't we follow the Sages' medical advice?" question. If, in fact, Ezekiel 16:4 is emphasizing how neglected we ...
9
votes
1answer
227 views

Working in a Potentially Sinful Industry

I work for a company that provides a service that is considered morally objectionable by some Rabbis (see Gambling at casino). The work I do is generic, in that the output could potentially be used to ...
2
votes
0answers
58 views

Does a cotton blanket for daytime use need tzitzis?

Regarding blankets, standard practice is that we don't attach tzitzis and we don't round off any corners. Reddit user ShamanSTK asks: I have a blanket on the couch with four corners which is ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

While sleeping in a sukkah, are you exempt from prayer?

Someone engrossed in one mitzvah is sometimes exempt from certain other mitzvot. So, I wonder, based on a question from Reddit user GutsAndGlory2: While engaged in the mitzvah of sleeping in a ...
3
votes
2answers
525 views

Opening a fridge on Shabbat

There are many problems with using electricity on Shabbat, and many ways to understand those problems. The issue of using a fridge is especially problematic (as explained in depth by Rav Nissan Kaplan ...
4
votes
2answers
94 views

Maror and vinegar at the Seder?

May the horseradish used for maror be put in vinegar after grating it on Erev Yom Tov and still be used for the mitzvah? My understanding is that it may not be done. Is that the case? If so, how do ...
2
votes
1answer
164 views

Animal testing of cosmetics and other products

To what extent does tzaar baalei chayyim--the prohibition on causing needless pain to animals--apply to animal testing of products such as cosmetics? What are the potential halachic problems for both ...
4
votes
5answers
257 views

Does a synagogue have the right to dispose of objects abandoned there?

A particular synagogue has large numbers of abandoned tallesim and tefilin in the drawers in the chapel. Does the synagogue have the right to dispose of objects abandoned there? Does the law change ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

Pinchas and Halacha In Front Of One's Rabbi

The Gemara in Eiruvin 63a,b learns that one is not allowed to paskin a halachah in front of one's Rebbi. Multiple examples and details are brought. In particular, Elazar haKohen taught the soldiers ...
5
votes
2answers
103 views

Fixing incorrectly-said word in davening

When one has incorrectly uttered a word or syllable of davening and immediately realizes it, how far back does one go in order to correct it? Does one need to return to the beginning of the pasuk or ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

At what cost must one perform a mitzvah?

To what lengths must one go to fulfill a positive commandment, or avoid transgressing a negative one? Obviously, with few exceptions, one must not go so far as to die in order to fulfill a ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Purchasing products that were not manufactured in a Torahdik manner?

Are there any restrictions on purchasing or using non-food products that were manufactured in violation of the Law? If so, on what grounds? For example: A non-Jew manufactures a product, and, in ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

Does caring for children in foster care count as work?

If someone looked after foster children on weekends (from Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon) and received remuneration does this count as work and not permissible on the Sabbath?
5
votes
1answer
120 views

Is it permissible to embarrass a thief?

Here's a story I witnessed: Someone trying to get his car out of the public parking lot next to his building found his way out blocked by two cars parked right on the ramp out, whose owners went into ...
4
votes
2answers
220 views

Rollerblading on shabbas?

What's the halachic problems if any to rollerblade on shabbas? Do we compare it to biking (Kaf Hachaim assurs it)? Are there any contemporary tshuvos which discuss this? I have heard two problems if ...
1
vote
1answer
496 views

Starting the Seder after Sheki'ah (sunset)?

In my experience, there is a lot of emphasis on waiting until after Tzeith HaKochavim (the stars come out), which is seen as definitely after nightfall, to start the Seder. The reason is that we want ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Hagalas kelim in “tzir”

When one wants to make celim (vessels) Kosher by purging non-Kosher absorbed tastes from it, one method is hagaleh, which normally is done with water. The Rema says in SA OC Siman 452:5 that b'dieved ...
3
votes
0answers
69 views

Making bedikas chometz early — ossur in malacha, eating, learning?

When someone leaves their home within 30 days of Pesach without someone to be bodek it from chometz, they themselves have to be bodek it early (See Siman 436.) In the normal case of bedikas chometz ...
7
votes
2answers
157 views

When can I speak after eating?

After making a Berachah on food, it is considered a Hefsek to speak before eating said food. At what point after beginning to eat is it permissible to speak? After the first bite? After the first ...
8
votes
1answer
404 views

Changing minhag about tallit gadol

I first became involved with a non-orthodox congregation where it was customary for everyone over Bar Mitzvah age to wear a tallit gadol. However, I understand that it is an Ashkenazi minhag not to ...
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Decorated Tallis gadol [duplicate]

It is quite common to see people with colorfully decorated tallises in non-Orthodox (especially Conservative) shuls, but much less common to see the same thing in Orthodox shuls. Is there any halachic ...
1
vote
2answers
137 views

Fasting for a child bechor before Passover

I've heard that some men fast on erev Pesach for their firstborn son until that son old enough to fast for himself. Is that halakha? Where does this come from?
3
votes
3answers
276 views

Should a Rabbi apologize for a comment that could be misunderstood?

If a prominent Rabbi (meaning someone who heads a community or institution, not just anyone who has semicha) makes a statement that is technically halachically correct/acceptable but is easily ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

Is Guinness Beer no longer kosher?

A new Smithsonian article has discovered Guinness Beer's use of isinglass, a technique that Guinness Beer has confirmed that it does to the Huffington Post, and even declared "Guinness Black Lager is ...
5
votes
2answers
796 views

Is it permitted for a Jew to accept an invitation by the Pope to attend mass

The chief rabbi of Rome received a special invitation from Pope Francis to attend a special mass on March 19.VINNews article. Normally, a Jew is not even allowed to visit a church, much less a ...
2
votes
3answers
194 views

Preparing a dish on Shabbos by night for the day time (in regards to Borer)

It says in SA OC Siman 321 Sif 19 in the Rema that normally it's ossur to peel garlic or onions however that's only to leave them to eat at a later time. However if it's being done to eat right away ...
4
votes
3answers
634 views

Are (opaque) stockings under a skirt considered enough to cover ervah?

This is a question about skirt lengths. From this answer: The halacha is that "tefach b'isha ervah" - a tefach (about 3.5 inches) uncovered on certain parts of a woman's body is ervah - ...
6
votes
3answers
278 views

How is one allowed to live in Israel?

When Yehoshua came to Israel, he conquered it and divided it among the Jews. This land belongs to them and their descendants. When the Jews were exiled many years later and came back (by the 2nd Beis ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Early bird discounts and ribbis

Are early-bird discounts ribbis? For example, "buy before March 1, 10% off", or "tickets $12 in advance, $15 at the door" Inspired by http://myparnasa.com/collecting-interest-ribbis/
1
vote
0answers
75 views

Attending networking events under false pretenses

I've recently seen some events advertised for specific groups or for people who fit a certain description, and it got me wondering, would it be alright, from a Jewish perspective (Halachic, Hashkafic, ...
1
vote
0answers
99 views

Turn yourself in for a capital offense?

This question assumes that one should accept his punishment after being convicted of a capital offense. Should one turn himself in to (Jewish) authorities after committing an offense for which he ...
8
votes
1answer
104 views

Should someone who is falsely convicted by a relgious court attempt to avoid the death penalty?

This question discusses whether one may attempt to escape the death penalty imposed by a Beis Din for a capital offense. The answer to this question seemed to be that the person should not try to ...