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5
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1answer
56 views

Why are we strict during the 10 days of repentance?

The lone halacha in Shulchan Aruch O.C. 603: Even someone who is not careful about eating [pas akum], during the 10 days of repentance he must be careful. Since the S.A. didn't mention stringencies ...
3
votes
1answer
815 views

What Bracha do you make on (Kasha) buckwheat?

What Bracha Rishona and Bracha Achrona do you make on (Kasha) buckwheat?
5
votes
1answer
616 views

Why is this wine Yayin Nesech?

There is a letter of the Lubavitcher Rebbe where he writes a letter to a person whose brother said that not traveling on a Jewish owned ship is a "hard test" (which the person seemed to have failed). ...
23
votes
2answers
332 views

Is it a mitzva to escape the death penalty?

If someone is being led to his death by bes din (a Jewish court), is he supposed to try to escape, since, in general, saving one's own life is paramount? More: normally, we say that if someone is out ...
19
votes
3answers
382 views

Is it a sin to escape the death penalty?

If someone is sentenced to death by a Jewish court and is being held prisoner until the sentence can be carried out, if he escapes, is that a sin for him?
8
votes
1answer
90 views

obligation of someone who reads a Psak Din sign in the street

Suppose I read a sign in the street headed Psak Din which says that such-and-such a thing is forbidden (these signs never say such-and-such is permitted), with the names of a list of rabbis at the ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

When can you build the sukkah?

My wife and I love the holiday of Sukkot, as do many of our friends. We build the sukkah every year and have friends over for an evening meal, preferably on Shabbes - if someone else in our group of ...
4
votes
2answers
444 views

Can I use a Parabolic Mirror or Fresnel Lens to cook on Shabbat?

Shabbat 39a discusses cooking on Shabbat using the sun. It is permitted to roll an egg on a hot roof to cook it since this is not a typical way to cook, but you can't burry it in sun-heated-sand ...
6
votes
1answer
243 views

What to do when which side of the door to put the Mezuza on is unclear?

If someone has a house which has a room, and this room has two doors without a "heker tzir" (1) (like salon doors, or sliding doors, or no doors at all) and people walk into this room through one door ...
8
votes
2answers
501 views

Was “correcting” left-handed children something traditionally done by Jews?

In many societies, efforts are made to "convert" children who are naturally left-handed to using their right hands. As I understand it, modern neurology strongly frowns upon this practice. I recall ...
5
votes
2answers
375 views

Under what circumstances may one eat or drink on a fast day?

When and for what health reasons should we break our fasts? (assume the person is not elderly or pregnant.)
8
votes
3answers
250 views

Earliest time to make an Eiruv Tavshilin

When's the earliest time one can make an Eiruv Tavshilin on erev yom tov?
28
votes
3answers
923 views

May one use a computer script or robot to do something specifically on Shabbos/Yom Tov?

May one run a program or machine that will operate on Shabbos, either by setting a timer to activate once Shabbos has started, or by leaving it running continually? What if the action is one that is ...
5
votes
1answer
118 views

Newspaper delivery on Yom Tov

Is getting a Paper delivered on Yom Tov allowed? If not what may be done with it upon Delivery? as always (CYLOR)
5
votes
1answer
103 views

What would be the law with regards to the Sukka in Manhattan?

A few members of a community board in Manhattan do not want to give permission for a Sukka in a park (because of 1st amendment issues). According to the Shulchan Aruch Harav, one cannot make a ...
3
votes
1answer
206 views

If I accidentally write Hashem's name, can I fix it?

Specifically, if I intended to write a tzadei (צ) and I begin by making the two top yuds (') [Hashem's name] - can I complete my tzadei?
6
votes
3answers
568 views

Wine made/handled by non-religious Jews

Assume for the purposes of the question that all circumstances are the same as if the wine had been made/handled by non-Jews. I don't want answers regarding whether it is Mevushal or whether Mevushal ...
9
votes
2answers
182 views

How to blow a t'rua

How does one effect a t'rua when blowing a shofar on Rosh Hashana? The airflow must be stopped and started repeatedly in a short time, but it can, I suppose, be stopped either at the glottis, at the ...
10
votes
8answers
357 views

How do you extend the sound of a daleth in Shema?

How does one extend the sound of the daleth in the echod of the shema as prescribed in OC 61 (6)?. The letter as we say it does not seem to allow extension. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalet ...
9
votes
2answers
346 views

Polyphasic Sleep and Halacha

I recently read an article on polyphasic sleep and I'm quite interested in experimenting with it. The article advises the Uberman approach which advocates 20-30 minute naps every four hours, meaning ...
11
votes
3answers
449 views

Peanut butter Bracha

What Brochah or Blessing is said when eating plain Peanut butter? Does the chunky variety (with pieces) versus regular make a difference? I am referring to a case where it is eaten on a spoon, with ...
11
votes
2answers
438 views

What does “prohibited l’chatchila” mean?

To me the phrase prohibited l’chatchila seems a bit confusing. Can someone explain what this means in plain and simple english? (context: someone says "action X is prohibited l’chatchila")
6
votes
2answers
162 views

Is one allowed to cancel a check?

If I give a check to someone (as a gift) and I change my mind, am I halachically allowed to cancel it, or do we say that the check is a shtar, and by signing it is considered as if I gave him the ...
6
votes
2answers
140 views

Fulfilled the Mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah then lost the Sefer

Suppose a person had a Sefer Torah written in order to fulfill the Mitzvah (Devarim 31:19) and then the Torah got lost, has he still fulfilled his mitzvah, or is he required to write another one?
5
votes
1answer
81 views

Maasar that was set aside, and then stolen

If a person sets aside his Maasar in a seperate account, which was then stolen, or the bank folded and now it is worthless, does he have an obligation to replenish this account, or once set aside he ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

Does consuming raw meat make one Fleishigs?

If one is making meat, and while the meat is still raw licks his/her fingers, does s/he become Fleishigs (to wait the appropriate amount of time before eating dairy)? Essentially if we boil (excuse ...
2
votes
1answer
449 views

Does one make Birkas Hatorah/Hashachar before alos hashachar?

As per this question, it seems apparent that one doesn't make the morning blessings until at least alos hashachar. However, in Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum's book "The Sweetest Hour: Tikkun Chatzot," on ...
13
votes
1answer
465 views

According to Halacha, does one have to bury teeth?

Is there a halachic obligation to bury teeth that have fallen out, just as one buries other body parts that become detached? If not, why? Does the same apply to detached skin? Or hair? Related: Do ...
7
votes
2answers
285 views

Saying 100 Berachoth in a day

What is the source for the idea that one should say 100 Berachoth in a day, and how serious of an obligation is this? Is it mandatory, is it laudatory, or is it merely a nice idea?
7
votes
3answers
917 views

How much does one have to eat to become Fleishigs?

Is there a minimum amount of meat or chicken required to be eaten in order to change one's status to being "fleishig" (i.e. so that he would have to wait before eating dairy)? [same question can be ...
8
votes
1answer
200 views

Yom Kippur - nicotine patch

Is there any problem with wearing a nicotine patch on Yom Kippur or any other fast day? (sources please)
14
votes
1answer
475 views

What is the meaning of psak?

I have asked many people this question, and not yet got a comprehensive answer: What is psak? Like, let's say I have a certain piece of food of uncertain status. If I ask my 6 year old kid if it's ...
5
votes
2answers
316 views

Yichud and the help

Is one allowed to be in an apartment with the door unlocked or opened with a maid or cleaning lady when few people walk by but there is a chance someone can walk in and does it make a difference if ...
6
votes
3answers
173 views

When does counting 100 Brochos per day start and end?

There's a Halacha/Mitzvah to say at-least 100 Brochos a day. My question is: what does the term "day" mean in this regard. Does a day start at night, and end the following night (as is the case in ...
8
votes
2answers
165 views

Source for the Text of the Get (bill of divorce)

Where does the exact text come from? Is there a particular Rishon who writes it in full? The Talmud in Gittin discusses the text at length, but I don't think it lays down the exact text. I've seen the ...
2
votes
1answer
293 views

Eiruv in Manhattan?

There are two ways one could build an Eiruv on an island: One build walls, Tzuras Hapesachs, etc. One relies on the "natural" walls. This hetter applies only if The ocean does not bring up ...
14
votes
3answers
596 views

Is it better to kill 1 person or let 5 die?

I was recently reading about the Trolley Problem A trolley is running out of control down a track. In its path are five people who have been tied to the track by a mad philosopher. Fortunately, ...
11
votes
2answers
386 views

Why does writing on Shabbos need two letters?

In order to transgress "writing" (כותב) on Shabbos, (m'd'oraysah) one must write two letters. (See for example here.) Why is this so? Shouldn't writing anything still be considered writing? For ...
3
votes
1answer
230 views

The Rambam's Nekudah Neflah (נקודה נפלאה)

I heard two people learning about Issur Kolel and Issur Moisif. They kept talking about the Rambam's Nekudah Niflaah. What is it?
8
votes
3answers
117 views

Are בישול on Shabbos and בישול of Meat and milk the same?

Are the qualifications for being called בישול (cooking) the same for Shabbos (e.g., frying is a question in Halacha if it is recognized as Cooking to say אין בישול אחר בישול - there is no such thing ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

Sand art on Shabbos

Is it Hallachicly permissible to make Sand art on Shabbos or is it prohibited on Shabbos and if so what prohibition are you doing maybe writing?
17
votes
2answers
486 views

Jews under Charlemagne

Jews under Charlemagne in the 8th century and the Carolingian emperors were accredited food providers in addition to providing wine for Christian mass. I am looking for halachic responses to these ...
15
votes
3answers
359 views

Is there a source for not requiring Tevilah for the first use?

I have heard (as I'm sure many others have) that one can use a utensil one time before Tevilah. At the same time, I've heard that this is a common misconception. Is there anyone who holds that this ...
7
votes
1answer
102 views

Limits to Financial Dina Dmalchusa

What are the limits of Dina Dmalchusa (specifically financial Dina Dmalchusa, unlike this question which deals with non-financial dina dmalchusa)? In general, dina dmalchusa means one must pay taxes ...
15
votes
3answers
378 views

Is a contract over Chat/IM/SMS “written” or “oral”?

Halakhically, is a business transaction conducted over Chat/IM/SMS a "written" or "oral" contract? Chat is oral-style communication in a textual medium. Does the fact that it's actually written ...
9
votes
3answers
248 views

Eating before Davening with a Minyan, or Davening at home and not eating till later?

You wake up in the morning and are famished. In order to have strength to go to Shul you need to eat prior to Davening. However, if you were to Daven without a Minyan at home you would not have to eat ...
5
votes
2answers
338 views

Meat at a Seudat Mitzvah

Is there any unambiguous source which says it is a halacha to eat "meat" at a Seudat miztvah? I am aware of the many opinions which says that meat is only optional. I'm looking for sources which say ...
10
votes
3answers
397 views

DNA and Jewish Law

Why isn't DNA seen as a valid source of Halachic decision making? Is it because it's too small for the naked eye? A margin of error problem? What? Normally, physical evidence is plenty of information ...
8
votes
5answers
305 views

Learning History on Shabbos

Is there a Halachic problem to read and or learn the topic of History on Shabbos for enjoyment purposes? and why?
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Sofer STA"M who stole money

If a sofer takes money for a Sefer Torah and does not supply it, are the STA"M he writes after that considered kosher?