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6
votes
1answer
94 views

Haircuts on Friday when the 47th of the omer falls on Sunday

The Rema, commenting on the mourning of the first 33 days of the omer, allows haircuts on Friday, lichvod shabbos, when the 33rd falls on Sunday. Does the same reasoning apply when the 47th falls on ...
8
votes
3answers
179 views

Saying Tanach by Heart

מִזְמוֹרֵי תְהִלִּים וְכֵן שְׁאָר פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת מִתּוֹרָה נְבִיאִים וּכְתוּבִים שֶׁאֵינָם שְׁגוּרִים בְּפִי הַכֹּל, אָסוּר לְאָמְרָם בְּעַל פֶּה. אֲפִלּוּ מִי שֶׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ לְאָמְרָם בְּעַל פֶּה, יֶשׁ לוֹ לִזָּהֵר ...
9
votes
2answers
234 views

Saving Parking Spots

Reuven calls Shimon to ask if Shimon may stand inside a parking spot and reserve it until Reuven gets there in five minutes. While standing there, Levi pulls up and directs Shimon to vacate the spot ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

Why can people write Torah sheBal Peh nowadays?

This is a follow up to: Why was Torah sheBal Peh not allowed to be Written?. The Gemara in Temurah (14b) states that one may not write Torah sheBal Peh. It then states an exception that was made so ...
11
votes
7answers
447 views

Which parts of the prayer service must be said clearly out loud?

I've heard a few different opinions on this. During longer prayer services, such as Shacharit on Shabbat, at least in Nusach Sefard, Pesukei D'Zimrah is quite long and there is a tendency for the ...
5
votes
3answers
136 views

Milchigs (dairy) on Shavuos - when is the proper time?

When is the proper time to eat dairy on Shavuos? (night meal, day meal, prior to day meal, Shul Kiddush)
8
votes
2answers
259 views

Berachos over food mixtures

My breakfast regularly presents me with a beracha conundrum. It usually consists of a bowl of bran flakes (mezonos), often sprinkled with raisins (etz) and/or sunflower seeds (adama), and ...
19
votes
4answers
1k views

Can a Jew lose their Jewish Status?

Can a Jew lose their status as being a Jew by performing any action (example: performing idolatry, disavowing core beliefs, converting to another religion, etc)? Or once a person is a Jew then they ...
8
votes
2answers
350 views

Tefillin On Shabbos

Why do we not put on Tefillin on Shabbos? Why is one not allowed to put on Tefillin on Shabbos? And similarly, why is Tefillin Muktzah?
5
votes
3answers
445 views

What practices are affected by a belief in demons?

Inspired by R' Slifkin's new monograph, Wrestling with Demons, and acknowledging the fact that the existence of sheidim and other things magical in nature is an age-old dispute, I am wondering about ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
591 views

Is there a purchasable copy of the Shulchan Aruch in Hebrew and English?

I'm looking to buy an actual Shulchan Aruch, not a Kitzur. I already own the Artscroll Kitzur and, while it is an amazing work, doesn't help very much when I want to research the actual halacha, where ...
9
votes
1answer
371 views

What happened to the Jewish practice of using burial caves?

A three-part question about funerary practices. In ancient times, Jews used to bury people for a year or two, then, after the body decomposed, collect their bones and put them in a family cave. In ...
4
votes
2answers
219 views

arachin: dependance on age and sex

Why is the erech (Vayikra 27:1–8) of a woman less than that of a man? And why does erech depend on age? Sources, please.
11
votes
3answers
781 views

Heter, esp. from R' Moshe, for shaving with a machine?

I have asked this question to many people without every getting an answer. Perhaps someone on this forum has some information. All of the achronim that I have found, who address the issue in ...
11
votes
4answers
229 views

Pesach Sheni when Moshiach has just come

Suppose Moshiach arrives between Pesach and Pesach Sheni - would we bring a Korban Pesach on Pesach Sheni as we did not bring one for Pesach or was there no Chiyuv in the first place and we would not ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Mentioning the number of the Sefira prior to saying it

Tha Halacha (Orach Chaim 489) http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14165&st=&pgnum=189 is that if for example on the Twenty eighth day of Sefira, you say "today is the Twenty eighth day" ...
12
votes
15answers
1k views

Why is techeles not universally accepted?

The Machon Ptil Tekhelet has (to my mind) some pretty compelling arguments as to why the Murex Trunculus is very likely the genuine chilazon from which techeles (blue dye) for the mitzva of tzitzis is ...
8
votes
3answers
159 views

Mezuza on an elevator?

Today I walked into a building and discovered that someone had taped a mezuza onto the "doorpost" of the elevator. The elevator is about 1m x 1m square - way too small for a room to justify having a ...
22
votes
16answers
2k views

How to tactfully circumvent opposite-gender handshake

Say you're a man in a professional setting, and a woman who isn't used to dealing with observant Jews stretches out her hand to greet you -- but your practice is to avoid shaking hands even in ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Shaving on Friday when Lag Ba'omer falls out on a Sunday

This year (2011) Lag Ba'omer falls out on a Sunday. I've heard from a few people that the halacha is that you can shave (and take a haircut) on the Friday beforehand l'kavod Shabbos. Are there any ...
7
votes
3answers
986 views

Kashering pot from meat to dairy/parev?

I know I've learned somewhere that you can't kasher a meaty pot for use with dairy (except for Pesach), but I can't find a source for it now. Can anyone provide a source? (The sauce would be a light ...
14
votes
2answers
382 views

Orthodontics and period between eating fleischig and milchig

Since orthodontics often impose many artificial little crevices and wires and generally make one more susceptible to having bits of food stuck in the mouth for extended periods of time, is it ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Can you be buried in a Jewish Cemetery if you have a tattoo?

Can you be buried in a Jewish Cemetery if you have a tattoo? I.e., is it just urban legend that you can't?
8
votes
2answers
1k views

What is Maris Ayin?

What is the precise definition of Maris Ayin, and to what cases does it apply? (i.e. what are the parameters for applying it)
6
votes
1answer
305 views

Following 'the spirit of the law' vs 'the letter of the law'

My question has several parts, and I'd love to hear your thoughts for all parts: What are the responsibilities of a Jew regarding the following of laws in general? Is it permissable to follow the ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

bicycle on Shabbat?

Is riding a bicycle on Shabbat permitted within an eiruv, being ridden only on pavement (so no unintended plowing), for transportation and not exercise, and with the understanding that repairs aren't ...
8
votes
3answers
215 views

What is an Eruv?

For the uninitiated, and for those who are unfamiliar with the advanced halachic concepts the knowledge of which is required in order to understand hilchot Eiruvin — how would you explain the ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

Gifts for an Aveil

The Halacha is that Mishloach Manos is not sent to an Aveil. Suppose a close relative is in Aveilus, can you send them flowers for their birthday? (Sources please)
5
votes
1answer
419 views

If I wake up before dawn, do I wash my hands with a blessing?

If one wakes up in the middle of the night or at least before dawn, does he wash and make al netilat yadayim? Also, at what point can one say birkot hashachar? I'd like to wake up extra early to do ...
12
votes
2answers
500 views

Do Shaving Restrictions Apply to Bearded Women?

For example, if a woman were to have a beard, would she be permitted to shave it off with a razor or otherwise destroy it, or do these restrictions apply to both men and women?
8
votes
2answers
94 views

When a goel (close relative) redeems property, who actually takes possession?

The Torah describes in our parshah how, if a person is poor and has to sell his ancestral real estate, "his goel, who is closely related to him, should come and redeem his brother's sale" (Lev. ...
6
votes
3answers
113 views

Lashonos Hatzemer

I know what hand-spun is and what niputz lishmah is, but what about "lashonos hatzemer?" It seems the Eidoh Chareidis of Jerusalem adheres to this chumroh for tzitzis. All I know is that it's a stage ...
7
votes
1answer
229 views

How to increase the demand for kosher food?

I live in the Hartford Connecticut area and while the population of people who practice the Jewish faith is increasing, the ability to find Kosher food is on the decline. Even the local Kosher grocery ...
32
votes
7answers
2k views

Is it permissible to erase the name of G-d from an E-reader?

Most people seem to be lenient about shemos on digital screens in general (though Bar-Ilan does avoid displaying the Tetragrammaton.) The letters on the screen are just light, there is nothing really ...
6
votes
1answer
310 views

Forms of Kashering a knife

I remember hearing that a knife can be kashered (from being treif) by sticking it in the ground. But I also know you can use the traditional kashering methods - Hag'ala and Libun. I have 2 ...
10
votes
3answers
265 views

Publicly Teaching Halacha

I was looking at this site and was a little bit surprised at this statement: It is therefore forbidden for Jews to teach non-Jews Halachah Is this true? (See a related question on the Meta).
7
votes
2answers
293 views

How did Rambam eliminate “ben gilo” from the halacha?

The gemara in Elu Metzios (Bava Metzia 30b) says: אמר מר (אשר) ילכו - זה ביקור חולים. היינו גמילות חסדים! לא נצרכה אלא לבן גילו ,דאמר מר בן גילו נוטל אחד מששים בחליו ,ואפי' הכי מבעי ליה ...
24
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it possible for a Gentile to convert to Judaism?

Is it possible for someone who is Gentile to convert to Judaism? What is the prevailing belief of Jewish people on this subject? What scripture backs up this belief? What do prominent Jewish ...
7
votes
1answer
214 views

New blessing on spices (besamim)

After reciting a blessing on spices (besamim), how much time must elapse before a new blessing is required? Or is this not time-dependent, but rather something that depends on one's attention (i.e. ...
7
votes
3answers
405 views

Is mixed gender volleyball permissible?

Are men and women permitted to play volleyball against each other, with each team only one gender? Does it make a difference if they are separated by an opaque wall or a regular net?
8
votes
3answers
244 views

Should I follow the congregation if their view on prayers for Yom Ha'Atzma'ut is different than mine?

How should one go about davening in a minyan on yom haatzmaut when his custom is not to change davening? My minyan does no tachanun and hallel without a bracha after shmona esreh. Should I- do ...
3
votes
1answer
559 views

Women Making Kiddush

Let's say a husband and wife are alone on Friday night or on Shabbos day. Can the wife make kiddush for herself and her husband?
6
votes
1answer
152 views

Kohain First questions

1)Is there a Din that a Kohain must be allowed to cut you online in a supermarket because of "Vkidashto"? 2)Do they go first when it comes to Davening when there are two Chiyuvim? 3)When you learn ...
7
votes
3answers
156 views

Robot as a competent proxy?

Would those who hold that a minor can serve as an agent in Jewish law (for a d'var r'shus - discretionary act, not a mitzva) hold similarly for a sufficiently intelligent and self-aware robot? The ...
4
votes
2answers
349 views

English translation of Sefer Machaneh Yisrael

Is there an English translation (preferably online) of the Chofetz Chaim's sefer Machaneh Yisrael (a guide for Jewish army conscripts), or other English works on the same topic?
6
votes
6answers
833 views

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
4
votes
2answers
222 views

Why can an Eruv be made in cities nowadays?

Some Facts: An eruv cannot be made in a reshus harabim. Many eruvin are made in cities nowadays. Cities are much bigger now than they were thousands of years ago. Yet it seems that in those ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Making Fruit Punch on Shabbos

Why is making fruit punch on Shabbos not a problem of coloring?
11
votes
4answers
419 views

Clapping on Shabbos

Is one allowed to clap one's hands on Shabbos? Does it matter whether one is clapping to a beat or trying to get someone's attention?