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119 views

Slavery in halacha today

Are all/any the halachos of slavery still in effect today? For example: If a destitute Jewish person stole and did not have the money to repay, could a modern beis did sell him/her as a slave? If a ...
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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 ...
5
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1answer
354 views

Talit Gadol vs Talit katan

What is the halachik difference between a talit gadol and a talit katan? If the talit gadol is somehow better, why don't we only wear that? If they are equal, why do we need a talit gadol at all?
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3answers
150 views

Lishem Yichud on Mitzvos

Should Leshem Yichud be said before Mitzvos or not?
8
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2answers
172 views

What is the source for washing Mayim Acharonim with only a few drops of water?

OC 181 (4) MB [10] says that when washing mayim acharonim one must wash up to the second knuckle and using a few drops does not fulfill the mitzvah at all. Shulchan Oruch HaRav 181 (4) says there is ...
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2answers
190 views

Playing Draidel with your wife when she is a Nidah

May one play Draidel with his wife when she is a Nidah? (sources please)
6
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2answers
336 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
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1answer
85 views

Can you rely on the cashier?

If a cashier or other low level employee makes a financial decision in your favor ("keep the change" or "I'll let you use that coupon even if it expired" etc.), without checking with a manager/owner, ...
4
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1answer
125 views

Davening Twice by Mistake

What should one do if he mistakenly davens (e.g. Mincha) a second time, and remembers half way through Shemoneh Esrei?
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1answer
165 views

Learning near a dead body

May a person learn torah near a dead body? Does it matter if the corpse is Jewish or not? Please cite sources.
5
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1answer
92 views

Midlife Name Crisis

If someone lives their entire life under the assumption that their name is X, and suddenly finds out that their name is Y, are there serious halachic ramifications that can result? More specifically, ...
6
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2answers
307 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?
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2answers
344 views

Are Jews permitted to martyr themselves?

Are Jews permitted to martyr themselves? For example, if it is a question of converting or being killed, is the Jew permitted to sacrifice himself rather than convert? Separately: which would be ...
2
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1answer
72 views

Sh'hecheyanu vs. M'chayeh haMeisim

This is a follow up to the question here The Shulchan Aruch 225:1 brings the halachah what when one sees a "friend" whom one hasn't seen in the last 30 days then the blessing "shehecheyanu" is made, ...
3
votes
1answer
226 views

What kind of Mechitza is required when the women daven on the second floor?

Many times I have seen Shuls where women pray on a balcony on the second floor. What kind of Mechitza do they need? Is it enough if one can't see them (for example, if the angle is such that they ...
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0answers
88 views

Washing three times in the morning

From what I understand, there are three times when one should wash their hands in the method used for negel vasser that occur every day in the morning (negel vasser) between going to the bathroom ...
5
votes
1answer
162 views

When is a mechitza required at a meal?

According to the opinions which require Mechitzos by weddings. Why isn't there a requirement to have Mechitzos by any other Seudas Mitzvah? For example, why isn't there a requirement that one have a ...
7
votes
1answer
103 views

Why is it ok to pay the kids for the afikoman?

Most Pesach sedarim feature the afikoman hide-and-seek game; either the children steal it and ransom it back or the parents hide it and (in my experience) pay a prize to the child who finds it. At ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

What are the parameters of kavod ha'brios?

When I was younger I was told that in extenuating circumstances one can rip toilet paper on shabbos (preferably not on the perforations) due to kavod ha'brios. This concept is applied in other places ...
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2answers
496 views

Morning After Pill in Halacha

Is the morning-after pill considered an abortion in Halachic terms or does it have another status, and, if the latter, may it be used?
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2answers
1k views

What to do with old ציצית

What do you do with old ציצית that do not fit anymore? Can you cut off the corners and throw the rest out respectfully?
8
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1answer
108 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 ...
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2answers
174 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 ...
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3answers
176 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 ...
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1answer
128 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 ...
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3answers
556 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? ...
5
votes
1answer
313 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 ...
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2answers
254 views

Does everyone have to drink the Kiddush wine?

When making Kiddush, does everyone who is yotzei have to drink the wine or grape juice, or is merely hearing it enough? In my experience, it appears that Friday nights everyone is careful to drink, ...
22
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
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3answers
172 views

Is it possible to convert a Rosh of a Rabeynu Tam Tefillin into a rosh of a Rashi Tefillin?

If I find a Rabeynu Tamm tefillin and I do not have another one , can I take it appart , and I know how to , and change the ROSH from Rabeynu Tam to a Rashi tefillin ?
4
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1answer
78 views

Is there any problem with using yomtov candles to cook food (on yomtov)?

Suppose you had a lot of candles, and a small pan of chocolate you wanted to melt, any problem using the yomtov candles for this? Cooking is permitted, but is the use of yomtov candles restricted in ...
7
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1answer
231 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
143 views

Mezuzah on a shared door

Should one put a mezuzah on a doorway that is shared with a non-Jewish (or a Jewish-but-non-mezuzah-putting) neighbor? If yes, should/must one ask their permission first? Should/must one tell them ...
7
votes
1answer
110 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?
3
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
275 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 ...
3
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0answers
123 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
155 views

Mitzvos on Mount Sinai?

Was Moshe Rabbeinu obligated in mitzvos during the two periods of 40 days that he spent on Mount Sinai? Did he keep mitzvos (whether obligated to or not) during that time? I ask because the Torah ...
2
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2answers
267 views
11
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1answer
290 views

Why does a Meat Thermometer not need Tevilla?

In this answer, We were told that "according to the Star-K Tevila Guidelines, no tevila is required for a meat thermometer." Why not? From the Star-K's article on Tevillat Kelim: Utensils ...
10
votes
2answers
947 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
695 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
215 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
606 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
263 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

women's saying a b'racha on s'firas haomer

Mishna B'rura 489:3 says women do not say a b'racha on s'firas haomer; Aruch Hashulchan 489:4 says they do. What is the practice of various Ashk'nazi communities (for example, chassidic (various ...
5
votes
4answers
218 views

Unsupervised meat and closed restaurants/butchers

How does Basar SheNith'alem Min Ha'Ayin (meat that has disappeared from view) apply vis a vis restaurants/delis/supermarkets/butchers that have closed for the night/weekend/holiday? I was just ...
6
votes
2answers
92 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
212 views

Orla: are the leaves of the plant included in the prohibition?

I have recently planted a grape vine. The nursery insists that it is at least 1 year old (and the size of the plant suggests no less than 2 years old). It was planted with it's roots entirely ...