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
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)
5
votes
1answer
192 views

Halachically prohibited but nevertheless valid acts

The Magid Mishna on Hilchos G'zela Va'aveda 1:9 quotes the rule that מילתא דאמר רחמנא 'לא תעביד' - אי עביד לא מהני מידי Something regarding which the Torah said "don't do [it]" - if one does ...
2
votes
2answers
393 views

Can a person start swimming in the three weeks?

Someone told me that if a person did not swim prior to the three weeks, he may not start swimming during the three weeks? Is there a source for this? (sources)
6
votes
4answers
815 views

Is it okay to drive a car on the Sabbath?

The Five Books of Moses mention not stoking a fire on the Sabbath, if I remember correctly. By starting a car, I'd think I am stoking a fire. Is this okay to do for a Jew? Why or why not?
2
votes
2answers
233 views

Must I take maaser from my income nowadays?

I heard that we don't have to give maaser from our income nowadays because we are outside of Israel and without the Beit Hamikdash. Is this true?
5
votes
3answers
281 views

Kissing Tzitzis during Shema

There are those that kiss their Tzitzis during Shema at Shacharis as per Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 17:7 and the Kaf HaChaim 18 and there are those that do not. What is the source and reason for those that ...
2
votes
2answers
371 views

Which actions are prohibited even to save a life?

I know that many commandments, e.g. keeping Shabbat, not lying, etc., must be violated if doing so is necessary to save a life. For which commandments is this not true? Does it ever matter how many ...
7
votes
1answer
179 views

Amon and Moav today

The Halacha is that a Jewish woman may not marry a convert of Amon and Moav. Is there any way to know who is a descendant of Amon and Moav today?
2
votes
2answers
92 views

What qualities are necessary in a halachic wrapping?

There are occasions, e.g. a mezuza in a sometimes-unbecoming environment, in which we're required to cover a holy object with one or two wrappings to separate it from various environmental elements. ...
11
votes
2answers
686 views

Wearing Watches on Shabbat

What is a watch one can wear on shabbat? There are the analogue quartz watches with just one crown to adjust the time that (as far as I'm aware) most people would wear on shabbat (especially an ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Is practicing Yoga against Torah?

What does Halacha and Halachic Authorities have to say about the permissibility of a Jew practicing Yoga? Is it Avodah Zarah? If it is problematic, are there methods of doing it where it would be ...
5
votes
1answer
63 views

Are there any halachic issues with cut flowers grown in Israel?

Produce grown in Israel is subject to many additional agricultural laws (shemita, terumah, maaser, etc.). Thus occasionally there are alerts about bell peppers, etc. for sale in American supermarkets ...
7
votes
1answer
157 views

Halakhic problem with indirectly effecting posthumous Mormon baptism?

Would there be any halakhic problem with using LDS resources to do family history research, if you knew it would result in deceased Jews being named in posthumous baptism rituals? Or is this ...
5
votes
2answers
415 views

Minimal requirements for bedtime shema

What is the minimal required text to say for the bedtime shema? Is it sufficient to say only Hamapil and the first paragraph of shema?
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Sheva Berachot at third meal

If sheva brachot occur at a seudah shlishit which finishes after sunset, is one allowed to drink the wine even though it is prior to making havdala? If yes, who specifically would be allowed to drink ...
7
votes
1answer
253 views

Can one play darts on shabbat?

Can one play darts on shabbat? And can one then do archery on shabbat, assuming there are no words or numbers on the target, and the bows remain strung throughout shabbat?
6
votes
1answer
824 views

Why does a girl become Bat Mitzvah at 12 years old?

We learn that a Bar Mitzvah is at age 13, since it says in Bamidbar 5:6: Tell the children of Israel: When a man (אִישׁ) or woman commits any of the sins against man to act treacherously against ...
9
votes
3answers
353 views

Why does earthly punishment start at 13 and divine punishment at 20?

Inspired by this question. The age when one is obligated to keep Mitzvos is 13 (for a male and 12 for a female). (See Avot 5:21 and Bartenura) After that age, Beit Din may punish them if they ...
11
votes
3answers
806 views

Can a female be a Shochet? (slaughter animals)

Can a female slaughter animals according to Halacha? (sources)
4
votes
4answers
263 views

Are you allowed to get married the night going into Shiva Asar B'Tamuz?

Are you allowed to get married the night going into Shiva Asar B'Tamuz? If you have the Chupa prior to Shekiya can the wedding continue past sunset? (Sources please)
7
votes
0answers
184 views

What did a “don't-issue-rulings” semicha (ordination) look like?

Again from the biography of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein found in Igrot Moshe Volume 8 (emphasis added): Many approached [him] for ordination, and he was not difficult on them. Some ordinations were ...
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 ...
10
votes
3answers
539 views

Why do we say Shelo Asani Goy?

Why do we say in Birchas HaShachar Shelo Asani Goi - why do we not say SheAsani Yehudi or SheAsani Yisrael?
6
votes
1answer
102 views

Less disgraceful placement of a sefer kodesh?

Suppose I find myself in a public building, in need of a restroom, with a chumash in my hand that is too large to fit in a pocket. Outside the restroom, in a painted cinderblock hallway, there is no ...
49
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the halachic source for objection to gay (civil) marriage?

New York State is considering legalizing gay (civil) marriages, so tonight on our answering machine we received a message urging us to pray that it doesn't pass because gay civil marriages were, you ...
6
votes
1answer
143 views

Can one use a water butt(s) as a keli mikvah?

In my house we have a water butt connected to the gutter from the roof that fills when it rains. Could we use it as a keli mikvah if we connected two of them by a hose pipe so that the total water ...
14
votes
2answers
961 views

Is Exercise on Shabbos Allowed?

Is one allowed to do exercises on Shabbos? Are any types allowed? Some examples of different types: Lifting weights or heavy items Jumping jacks Taking a walk (long, but without Techum issues) ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

Melacha on Shabbat - At which stage of removal does something become legal?

I had heard of something relating to melacha on Shabbat from an (orthodox!) rabbi who mentioned something really interesting. At a certain level of removal, one can indirectly perform melacha. It was ...
4
votes
2answers
285 views

For a man, does any four-cornered garment require tzitzit?

As far as hilchot tzitzit are concerned, are there many instances where a Jewish man would be required to affix tzitzit to a garment other than a tallit katan or gadol? A few "for-instances" would ...
8
votes
4answers
679 views

Walking by an Automatic Door on Shabbos

Is one allowed to walk by an automatic door on Shabbos, if he/she has no benefit of the door opening (i.e. not walking in)? How does this case compare/contrast to the walking by an automatic light on ...
12
votes
5answers
676 views

Why does the Tefilin Shel Yad have a protective cover?

When you purchase Tefilin, the Tefilin Shel Yad has a protective cover. Why? Is it Halachically necessary?
8
votes
4answers
144 views

Halachos for Counselors

Suppose someone is going to be a counselor (in a camp) in the summer. What are some Halachos that specifically pertain to the job that he/she should review?
10
votes
1answer
375 views

May a lady take a pregnancy test on Shabbos?

Are there any issues with taking a pregnancy test (non-electronic) on Shabbos?
13
votes
3answers
536 views

What is the source of netilat yadayim before eating bread?

From where do we learn that one must wash one's hands before eating bread? What does washing one's hands before bread symbolize? Why is ritual hand washing required for bread, but not other foods?
5
votes
4answers
1k views

May a man pull out the white hairs from his beard/hair?

"Help! My beard/hair is turning white." May a man pull out the white hairs from his beard/hair?
6
votes
1answer
174 views

Shiluach haKen and character

A number of reasons are given for sending away the mother bird before taking her eggs/young. The Rambam says it is for the mercy on the mother bird. The Ramban says it is to perfect our own mercy. ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Is oral intercourse permitted according to halacha? [closed]

What has the halacha have to say about a husband and wife sharing oral intercourse (in either direction)?
6
votes
1answer
453 views

How to Tear Kriyah

What is the proper procedure for tearing Kriyah (e.g. for Aveilus* or visiting the Kosel)? * May we never have to do so
11
votes
4answers
582 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

Can Yizkor obligations be paid from Maaser money?

When a person goes to Shul to say Yizkor they obligate themselves to give Tzedaka in memory of the deceased. Can this obligation be paid from Maaser or does it have to be paid from the persons ...
8
votes
1answer
199 views

Peer-to-Peer Lending Websites

There are websites (such as Prosper.com or LendingClub.com) which allow laypeople to lend money to borrowers with interest. For example, a typical listing posted by a potential borrower is one in ...