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)

13
votes
1answer
223 views

Milk-free cheese: Is it kosher? Parve?

So according to this article, scientists have created cheese by inserting DNA blueprints into a yeast. Essentially, the milk proteins are being created outside of any animal, through genetic ...
13
votes
3answers
572 views

Praying in “multifaith spaces” in airports and other institutions

In airports and hospitals and such, you can often find "multifaith spaces". Is it permitted to pray in them? These "interfaith prayer chapels" are not churches: they're completely neutral rooms and ...
13
votes
1answer
226 views

Thinking about Purim Torah in the bathroom

It is not permitted to think about Torah in the bathroom regularly, but what about Purim Torah, which is certainly not real Torah study, but still often refers to actual Torah? One might think that ...
13
votes
3answers
680 views

Bitcoin and Halakha

What are the halakhot that apply to bitcoin? Is it halakhickly money? What even is the halakhic definition of money? Can bitcoin transactions be made over shabbat? That sort of thing.
13
votes
3answers
430 views

Can the Jewish people have a king while in exile?

Assuming a time where appointing a Jewish king is possible, if a proper Jewish king was anointed would he continue to retain the status of king if the Jewish people were exiled from the land of Israel?...
13
votes
3answers
467 views

Would a genetically engineered red heifer be usable?

Assuming that a non-Jew chose to create a genetically engineered parah adumah (red heifer) and further assuming it met all the halachic requirements --no two black hairs, hadn't been used for work etc....
13
votes
7answers
757 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
240 views

Can I trust a random internet user?

Does the halacha of עד אחד נאמן באיסורין (a single witness is trusted in matters of prohibition) apply to a random internet users? If someone presents themselves as being a practicing Jew, can I take ...
13
votes
1answer
474 views

Mandatory evacuation on Shabbat: what can and can't you do?

A major storm hit New England starting this past Friday. While people knew this was coming and precautions were already in place, apparently (according to a news article I read tonight) some areas ...
13
votes
3answers
636 views

Using Post-its on Shabbos

Is one permitted on Shabbos to use post-it notes or adhesive page flags to mark content in a book for future reference after Shabbos? Would there be an issue with the adhesive or leaving the page ...
13
votes
2answers
313 views

Falling with tefillin on

If one drops tefillin without their cover, they must fast or give charity (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch - Yalkut Yosef, Siman 44:2). If one is wearing tefillin and fell with them on, must one fast or give ...
13
votes
2answers
356 views

What is the halachic status of things in outer space?

Is everything in outer space hefker? For example if a private person lands on the moon or an asteroid can he be koneh it? Do you retain the rights to something that you send into space?
13
votes
1answer
138 views

Can an ultrasound be relied upon?

I have read reports of the accuracy of gender prediction from an ultrasound with numbers ranging from 90-98%. There is a halacha (Y.D. 194:11) that if a fetus sticks its hand [or possibly any limb] ...
13
votes
2answers
424 views

Transgender erva

Men's Health magazine has been in the news lately because of a contest in which people can vote on who will be on the magazine's cover. Currently leading in the voting is a transgender person who was ...
13
votes
3answers
296 views

Hefsek in being yotzei besamim in havdallah

This past motzei Shabbos, in the Shul where I davened, there were a number of young men who were lining up to be included in the communal havdallah done at the end of Maariv. The person making ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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)
12
votes
5answers
402 views

Halachot learned from gematria

The gemara in nazir learns that an unspecified nezirut is 30 days long from the pasuk "kadosh yihyeh" with yihyeh having gematria 30. Can anyone think of other places where halachot are learned from ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Why do some people wrap their Tefilin around their arms 8 times?

I have seen people who wrap the Tefilin 7 times around their arm and some that wrap it 8 times around their arm. Why do the people who wrap it 8 times do so?
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Origin of myth about the hole in the sheet?

There is a widespread myth (as far as I know it is a myth) that orthodox Jews must have marital relations through a hole in a sheet. What is the origin of this myth and does it have any actual basis ...
12
votes
1answer
525 views

Is programming against Judaism?

I just recently learned about this site when I saw Judaism was one of the stack overflow topics. I have been Jewish all my life and two years ago I started programming. I was wondering if there ...
12
votes
5answers
1k 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?
12
votes
8answers
1k views

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah?

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah? Not necessarily that the Rashbi authored the Zohar, but in the general tenets of kabbalah including but not limited to: tzimtzum, sefirot, ...
12
votes
7answers
569 views

Is it required to stand during Kaddish?

I've noticed that there are varying minhagim among people whether to stand during Kaddish or not. Is there any actual halacha regarding this and whether it's required?
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Can a female be a Shochet? (slaughter animals)

Can a female slaughter animals according to Halacha? (sources)
12
votes
6answers
851 views

Mezonos ? Bread

Is there such a thing as Mezonos bread?
12
votes
4answers
196 views

Why is there Pesach Sheini - The Second Passover?

What is the primary/basic reason why one has a second chance to bring the Korban Pesach (Passover Sacrifice) on Pesach Sheni (a month after Passover)? Other mitzvos, such as hearing the shofar or ...
12
votes
9answers
3k views

Where do the different traditions for hours of waiting between meat and milk come from?

As far as I can tell, there are 5 different traditions for how long one has to wait between eating meat and milk: wait 6 full hours wait into the 6th hour (thus, 5 hours and 5 minutes would ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

What do you do if you forgot to turn off the refrigerator light before Shabbat?

The first time you open a fridge on Shabbat, you notice the light is on. Your intention is to take out food, not turn on the light. Is closing the fridge a problem? Can I open it again? Is it better ...
12
votes
3answers
921 views

Is AquAdvantage salmon kosher?

After two decades of deliberation, the USA's Food and Drug Administration has approved the first ever genetically engineered food animal, a fast-growing Atlantic Salmon called AquAdvantage salmon. ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Would a Karaite be required to undergo conversion?

If a Karaite who knows that his mother is Jewish (Karaite) wanted to join the Orthodox Jewish Community - would he be required to undergo a conversion?
12
votes
2answers
606 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")
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Do surgically removed body parts require Kevurah?

If one has surgery (may it never be necessary) that requires the removal of an organ of the body (e.g. a gallbladder or appendix), is burial required? Or can the body part simply be discarded?
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Why is Soy milk considered Parve and not Milchig/Halavi?

Considering that milk is forbidden with chicken (as stated in this answer), because chicken could be confused with meat, why isn't soy milk considered milchig as well? In Israel, chicken is ...
12
votes
3answers
601 views

Can a Sheitel be made out of one's own hair?

Suppose a married woman is able to create a Sheitel that is entirely made up of her own hair (detached, of course). Does that satisfy the requirement for covering her hair?
12
votes
4answers
270 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Why don't we seek converts to Judaism?

Why don't Jews try to convert other people to their religion, outside of Israel? Since Christian and Islamic forces try to make them a minority shouldn't they also try to convert people to grow ...
12
votes
2answers
993 views

Can a Kohen Marry a Woman with a Non-Jewish Father?

Is a Kohen allowed to marry a woman who is the daughter of a Jewish woman and non-Jewish man?
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Leniencies for someone keeping Kosher in a non-Kosher home

My family is not frum, but they do not eat non-kosher meat at home, although they do eat other not-certified-kosher products, including cheese. They don't mix meat and milk, but they do wash meat and ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Aside from the days set aside for impurity, what exactly is a man allowed to do with his wife in regards to intimacy?

A man cannot touch, stare, kiss or have relations with a woman he is not married with. On the days when the laws of impurity do not apply, what exactly can a man do with his wife? Assuming extra ...
12
votes
3answers
380 views

Is it permissible for a Gentile to utter Hashem's Name?

I have seen a lot of mention about "Hashem's Name" on this website. I would like to know: Is it permissible for a Jew to tell a Gentile what Hashem's Name really is--what I am asking is, say, a ...
12
votes
2answers
706 views

May a lady take a pregnancy test on Shabbos?

Are there any issues with taking a pregnancy test (non-electronic) on Shabbos?
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Menstruating on Wedding Day

What happens in the case of a bride menstruating on her wedding day or her menstruation ending a few days before her wedding day and cannot go to the mikvah? Does the rabbi refuse to perform the ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

Why don't Israeli women fast?

More than one Israeli has told me that women in Israel don't fast. More specifically, that a large percentage of otherwise observant (healthy, non-pregnant, non-nursing) Jewish women in Israel do not ...
12
votes
3answers
615 views

Limits to Dina Dmalchusa Dina

What are the specifications of Dina Dimalchusah? A more targeted question to answer would be: If I ripped off the label of my mattress — the label that says its removal is punishable by federal ...
12
votes
2answers
218 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
247 views

is it permitted to make a snowman?

Is it permitted to make a snowman? Or is it considered constructing a graven image? Prompted by this: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/saudi-arabia-issues-fatwa---4967400
12
votes
2answers
374 views

Can I wish someone a Happy New Year?

Seeing as New Years at least appears to be a non-religious occasion and is a national, secular holiday, can I wish a coworker a Happy New Years?
12
votes
2answers
453 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
378 views

Aluminum Pan Reuse

If you reuse an Aluminium pan does it then require a Tevilah as it is no longer a one time use disposable pan and now is a Keli which requires Tevilah?
12
votes
3answers
285 views

Asking a shaila where disclosure of classified information might be necessary

Orthodox Jews have taken on more and more responsible government positions and have been trusted with clearances to see highly sensitive classified materials. Many years ago I had such a job. It ...