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4
votes
2answers
162 views

What is the halachic source for the minhagim of mourning during Sefira?

What is the earliest halachic source for the minhagim of mourning during sefira? Note that this does not mean the story of R' Akiva, I'm talking about halachic references to prohibitions such as not ...
11
votes
2answers
672 views

Does golel for first torah stand for second torah?

When there are two or three sifrei torah read on the same day, either the magbiah or golel holds the first sefer while the second is read. In this case should he stand for… kadish after reading from ...
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Tefillat Nedava on Yom Tov

In general, one can pray an extra shmoneh esrei beyond the regular shacharit-mincha-maariv if one wants to do so. This is called a tefillat nedava -- a voluntary prayer. I know that one cannot do ...
9
votes
3answers
572 views

Is catch and release fishing permitted?

Is catch and release fishing permitted? I've heard different opinions on this matter. Whats the official halacha?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Deliberately planning to do work for the community on Chol HaMoed: Is it allowed?

We are setting up a new (money) Gemach. To register as a charity, a bank account is now needed. We were told of this on Thursday around noon. We were unable (too busy getting ready for Yom Tov) to get ...
5
votes
3answers
422 views

Bracha on Cooked Matza

Plain matza on pesach is Hamotzi. Fully cooked matza (eg. Keneidels) is Mezonot. What about these in between cases: Fried matza ("Matza Brei") Chicken soup with crushed matza ("Matza Farfel") Matza ...
6
votes
1answer
246 views

Best way to destroy (maaser sheni) coins

This year (5772) is the fourth year of the Shemitta cycle, and as such, this Pesach is the time of Biur Maaserot. Does anyone have suggestions (from experience or sources) regarding how to best ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

At the seder, does everybody make kiddush?

Every year at the seder, we are not sure if everybody makes their own kiddush, or if the leader makes kiddush and everybody says Amen. I was recently told by a friend that the custom at his seder is ...
4
votes
3answers
252 views

How do you do bedikat chametz when you live alone?

I live alone and need to do bedikat chametz. Should I hide 10 pieces of chametz myself? Doesn't that defeat the purpose?
3
votes
2answers
198 views

Is it prohibited to derive benefit from a mixture of milk and meat if the animal was improperly slaughtered?

Is it prohibited to derive benefit from a mixture of milk and meat if the animal was improperly slaughtered? Assume the animal slaughtered, like the milk-giving animal, is kosher, but the slaughter ...
21
votes
3answers
451 views

Must a jew-by-choice who is a firstborn observe the fast of the firstborn

I'm interested in the question of whether a ger who is firstborn (of both parents, say, to keep things simple) must follow the rules for Ta'anit B'khorot. There are some remarks on the wikipedia page, ...
8
votes
1answer
341 views

May a non-Jew have an abortion?

Are non-Jews permitted to have abortions? (Consider the gemara in Sanhedrin 57b where "a baraita brings in the name of Rabbi Yishmael that a Ben Noach gets capital punishment if he intentionally ...
8
votes
2answers
163 views

Is it permissible to be mechalel shabbos to save a fetus?

Is it muttar to set aside the rules of shabbos to save a fetus? If so, how is it possible to reconcile that with the permissibility of killing a fetus (abortion)?
3
votes
2answers
462 views

Halachic permissibility of a vasectomy

What are the halachic concerns surrounding vasectomies? Are vasectomies permitted by halacha under any circumstances? The issues that I could see as possibly being connected would be chavala ...
5
votes
1answer
654 views

Baking powder on Pesach

I know intellectually that chemical leavening agents are allowed during Pesach. Kosher baking powder (free from kitinyot) is widely available. Still, I can't help feeling that it's cheating to use ...
10
votes
1answer
609 views

Koshering granite

I have been told that a granite counter top is similar to glass in that it is not porous and does not absorb taste from food that touches it. Is there a source in halacha for this concept? What other ...
7
votes
2answers
176 views

Why isn't Ta'anit Bechorot pushed back to Thursday when Pesach falls out on Shabbas?

When the first Seder falls on Motzei Shabbas, Ta'anit Bechorot is pushed back to Thursday. Why does it stay on Friday when Pesach falls out on Shabbas?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it OK to eat non-certified-as-kosher sushi?

I've heard the argument that since everything in sushi is raw (assuming there are no non-kosher ingredients), and that since the rice is cooked in a rice cooker that is used only for rice, it's OK to ...
9
votes
2answers
298 views

bracha on tefillin while sitting

The shulchan aruch apparently writes (by hilchos tzitzis) that one should stand while reciting birchas hamitzvah. Tefillin are a mitzvah. So why is the Sfardic minhag to sit while putting them on and ...
7
votes
2answers
343 views

How can we drink wine after the Afikomen?

Mishna Berura 478:1:2 says that you should not drink anything other than water after the Afikomen in order not to lose the flavor of the Matza. How then can we drink cup 3 and cup 4 of wine after the ...
6
votes
0answers
50 views

Shkiya/Netz behind a mountain [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Commencing Shabbos If one is located behind a mountain, what time is Shkiya or Tzeis? Is it when the sun sets below the "calculated" horizon (when the sun should set ...
7
votes
1answer
114 views

Halakha book for modern working place

Is there a halakha book providing the guidance rules for proper behavior at a modern working place? I mean not only relatively obvious "halakhot yekhud" or "kashrut" but taking into consideration ...
6
votes
2answers
151 views

Changing the spelling of “G-d” and Halachic erasure

Is there a problem of "erasing the name of HaShem" if you erase the English word spelled G-o-d, and if so, is there then a problem of erasing it in order to spell it in a more acceptable way (such as ...
13
votes
2answers
619 views

What should I do about a fake convert?

I know someone who converted to Judaism, yet throughout the whole process was telling me personally (so I can't tell the Rabbi) that she wasn't interested in keeping Torah AT ALL but was telling the ...
9
votes
2answers
195 views

Lifnei 'Iver and your maybe-Jewish co-worker

I work in an office in which someone working down the hall is disabled. She has a Jewish sounding last name and talks to me about her family's practices in regard to being members of a Reform temple ...
4
votes
1answer
65 views

Product of Melachah that wasn't really necessary, except that in the end it was

If Melachah was performed on Shabbath, but it was not necessary for the enjoyment of the product of the Melachah, can that product be enjoyed? What if the Melachah was the result of some other ...
7
votes
3answers
87 views

Melachah on Shabbath - after Shabbath

If Melachah was done on Shabbath, can the product of that Melachah be enjoyed after Shabbath, and if so, under what criteria (does it depend on how long after Shabbath, or on the need, or something ...
10
votes
3answers
179 views

Hamster Food and Chometz

I have hamsters at home, and their usual food is chometz. I can feed them with cornflakes and other kitniyot for a short period (about a week, maybe more), but not for a long time. Hamsters store food ...
5
votes
3answers
839 views

wearing a hat instead of a kipah

If I want to do something and/or go somewhere and partake in something that is permissible, but I just don't want anyone to hassle me about being Jewish, am I allowed to wear a baseball cap or some ...
6
votes
2answers
674 views

Does instant coffee (regular - not decaffeinated) need a Hashgacha?

There are certain raw ingredients that do not require a Hashgacha (salt, water, eggs, etc.). Does instant coffee (regular - not decaffeinated) need a Hashgacha? If yes, why?
6
votes
4answers
585 views

Why do people get Chassidishe Shchita?

The Rambam says that the Shchita of a Mumar for one aveira is Kosher, just that there needs to be a Shochet who will check his knife before he shechts (as one can assume that he won't work too hard to ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Halachic sources on business ethics in a globalized industry?

The usual rule in halachah, as far as business dealings, is הכל כמנהג המדינה - everything follows the local custom. This applies to things like expected product quality (Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat ...
6
votes
1answer
236 views

Microwave on Pesach

A friend told me that his family will kasher his microwave in general (ie if non-kosher food was heated up in it) but will not kasher it for Pesach, letting it lie dormant instead. Does anyone have a ...
8
votes
1answer
150 views

Throwing things out “respectfully”

I have heard many times that when something used for or somehow related to a mitzvah cannot or will not be used again, it should be thrown out "respectfully". What exactly constitutes throwing out ...
6
votes
1answer
523 views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be eligible to marry a Kohen? Case #1 -- Assume her husband is a Jew by birth. Case #2 -- Assume her husband converted to Judaism prior ...
6
votes
2answers
239 views

Tznius and B'not Noach

To what extent do the standards of tznius apply to non-Jews living among Jews? For example, is a married Noachide woman's hair considered ervah? If not, why not? I know that rules concerning tznius ...
6
votes
1answer
601 views

Eating in less-religious homes

May one eat a meal in the home of one who attended yeshiva and who one considers trustworthy vis-a-vis making sure everything is kosher for their guests, however, one is reasonably certain they do not ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew?

If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew once born?
5
votes
2answers
70 views

Berakhos recited over food - Mitzvah or Matir?

Is it a mitzvah to recite a benediction over a piece of food, or is there a prohibition forbidding one from eating food without reciting a benediction beforehand? I believe that this is a similar ...
5
votes
1answer
172 views

Can I have kitniot in my house on Pesach if I cannot eat them?

The question boils down to: Can I have kitniot in my house on Pesach if I cannot eat them (in the Ashkenazic tradition)?
7
votes
3answers
214 views

Can one “take over” the Megillah reading?

Suppose the one who is leining (reading) the Megillah needs to stop in the middle of leining, and is unable to continue. Is someone who was there the entire time allowed to take over?
3
votes
1answer
89 views

כחל of a Ḥayah Tehorah - same din as כחל of a Behemah Tehorah?

I'm trying to tighten up my answer on Haman and prepare for my Purim Derashah. Does anyone know if כחל of a Ḥayah Tehorah has the same Din as a Behemah Tehorah? FYI, I want to change the words ...
6
votes
2answers
181 views

Walled cities for Purim other than Jerusalem

The holiday of Purim is unique in that some locations celebrate it on different days. The rule is: if the city was walled at the time of Joshua's conquest of the Land of Israel then they celebrate on ...
4
votes
2answers
279 views

Halachically skipping Purim

There have long been 'legends' of various liberal figures in Judaism, including Yeshayahu Leibovitz (brother of Nechama Leibovitz) that would 'skip' Purim. On the 14th of Adar they would be sure to be ...
15
votes
3answers
341 views

Humming during shmoneh esre

On shabbat for shacharit and mussaf, I am usually still davening shmoneh esre by the time the chazzan gets to kedusha. In this situation, can I hum to the tune of kedusha? This essentially boils down ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Printing shem hashem

My siddur does not have the laining for rosh chodesh so I want to print a copy of it. Is there anything wrong with intentionally printing it without removing shem hashem?
10
votes
4answers
269 views

How do we erase the memory of Amalek?

What does "erase the memory of Amalek" (Deut. 25:19) mean? Does it not contradict the obligation (Deut. 25:17) to remember them every year?
11
votes
2answers
496 views

Zimun and Bentsching (Bircat Hamazon / Grace After Meals) with Jews who ate non-kosher food

I came across an interesting situation recently. I was eating with Jewish, non-observant friends. I brought over a hamburger from a local kosher take-out place. They had homemade, non-kosher food, ...
3
votes
1answer
153 views

With which Torah can one fulfill the obligation of Parshas Zachor?

There is an argument between texts if the word "Petzua Daka" (Devarim 23:2) should be with an Alef or a Heih. Can someone fulfill his obligation to read Zachor (and normal Torah reading) with a Torah ...
6
votes
2answers
97 views

Covering eyes for leolam yehey

As in this question, if you begin "leolam yehey" at the beginning of shacharit near the end of the time for reciting shema, and you may not otherwise recite it in time, you are supposed to recite a ...