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12
votes
2answers
160 views

Being appointed to a jury in a case between two Jews

In the U.S., a person can be appointed as a juror without volunteering for the position. If a person would find themselves appointed as a juror over a monetary dispute between two Jews, how should ...
12
votes
7answers
502 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
313 views

Ta'amei Mikra and the Torah Scroll

I have heard that a haftorah klaf (scroll) is still considered kosher and usable if the Ta'amei Mikra have been written on it. Yet I've always been told that this is not true for a Torah scroll. Why ...
12
votes
1answer
403 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
231 views

What is the hetter for yeshivas to daven a Hoiche Kedusha?

I have seen many Yeshivas (and some not-so-yeshivas [day schools, etc.]) doing a Hoiche Kedusha for Mincha. They had the Chazzan start the first three Brachos of Shemoneh Esrei aloud and say ...
12
votes
2answers
325 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?
12
votes
4answers
318 views

Is it permitted to shoot an air gun on shabbos?

Is it ok to shoot an air gun (also known as a "BB gun") to knock over cups on Shabbos? I can't think of any reason to prohibit it.
11
votes
5answers
741 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?
11
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k 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?
11
votes
5answers
321 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 ...
11
votes
6answers
582 views

Can you pick your nose?

Is it a violation of halakah to pick your nose (unrefined act, possibly a violation of being a holy nation)? Would there be a difference in halakah if it were the sabbath (possible violation of ...
11
votes
3answers
450 views

Time dilation and waiting between meat and milk

Suppose Ploni eats some meat. He then gets in a spaceship and accelerates to some significant percentage of the speed of light for a short trip into outer space, and then returns home. At the time ...
11
votes
4answers
322 views

Crocs on Yom Kippur?

Given the prohibition of wearing certain footwear on Yom Kippur, is one allowed to wear Crocs on Yom Kippur? Or are they too comfortable or something?
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 ...
11
votes
4answers
674 views

Getting married in age order

Those that refrain from allowing a younger sibling to get married prior to an older sibling mention the verse from Lavan, "Lo Yaiose Kain BimiKomeinu Losais Hatziyira Lifnei HaBechira, In our locale ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Making seltzer/soda water on Shabbat or Yom Tov

Can a person make seltzer on shobbos or yom tov with something like sodastream?
11
votes
3answers
949 views

Can a female be a Shochet? (slaughter animals)

Can a female slaughter animals according to Halacha? (sources)
11
votes
3answers
419 views

Siblings marrying siblings

Can two siblings in one family marry two siblings of another family?
11
votes
8answers
383 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

Is Extra virgin olive oil kosher by default?

I was given extra virgin olive oil as a gift from Italy (picture below), and I wanted to see if that type of olive oil is treated like fruits and vegetables, or does it needs to have certification on ...
11
votes
9answers
2k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
375 views

Is belief in a G-d a commandment?

I am studying to convert to Judaism and one of the questions I was asked was about the Ten Commandments. I remember reading at that time that there was debate about the division of the statements ...
11
votes
3answers
419 views

If it rains on my sukkah and I put up a tarp, should I stay in the sukkah?

If it is raining on Succos is there any benefit in eating in a Succah covered with a (Schlack) tarp over eating in the house? (sources please)
11
votes
4answers
464 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?
11
votes
2answers
699 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 ...
11
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 ...
11
votes
1answer
847 views

Drinking cold kosher beverages in a non-Jewish relative's house

Let's say you're staying at a non-Jewish relative's house. He bought you kosher food because he knows you keep kosher. He buys you a drink such as milk. You see him pour the drink for himself into his ...
11
votes
3answers
247 views

Trustworthiness of “new” dishes

When one buys new dishes from a store (e.g. cutlery, plates, bowls), is there any concern that they are not as "new" as they are claimed to be? For example, someone buys some cutlery and plates, ...
11
votes
7answers
859 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?
11
votes
4answers
640 views

Why do we say Shelo Asani Goy?

In Birchas HaShachar we thank God for not making us gentiles by saying "shelo asni goi". Why do we use the negative formation instead of thanking God for making us Jews by saying "she-asani Yehudi" ...
11
votes
2answers
714 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?
11
votes
2answers
315 views

Jewish definition of a charity

I know that Jews are supossed to give 10% of their income to charity, but what constitutes a charity? I know that Shuls, jewish schools and poor people in your community count, but what about secular ...
11
votes
3answers
536 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
485 views

Why doesn't a ben niddah acquire the status of a mamzer?

One who commits incest is punished with Kares (spiritual separation from the divine source), and any product of incest has the status of a Mamzer. One who has relations with a Niddah is also ...
11
votes
3answers
274 views

Dew distinct from water among the shiva mashkim

The seven mashkim are blood, water, milk, honey, wine, oil, and dew. What is the difference between water and dew? Isn't dew a type of water?
11
votes
3answers
254 views

Can you learn during chazarat hashatz?

Are you allowed to learn Torah silently during the chazzan's repetition of Shmonah Esrei? (This is a case where you are davening with that minyan.)
11
votes
1answer
201 views

How do soldiers in the IDF obey Deuteronomy 23:13?

The mitvah talks about ensuring every soldiers have a spade to cover their excrement. The mitvah seems to be pretty obsolete because by now we have toilets all over the place. So, how it's done? Do ...
11
votes
2answers
353 views

What is a woman's obligation when it comes to T'fillah?

In Orthodox practice it is commonly thought that women are not obligated in T'fillah (parts of it anyway) due to its time-bound nature. However, what is a woman's obligation? Which prayers must she ...
11
votes
3answers
427 views

What is the downside to wearing techeiles?

There are many Compelling arguments to support Techelet, although it's not yet universally accepted. A friend of mine bought P'til Tekhelet Murex techeiles, and went to his rabbi (who I know and ...
11
votes
1answer
196 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
11
votes
3answers
477 views

Killing Civilians in a defensive war

In the recent Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza, many Palestinian civillians were killed by Israeli air-strikes (the Palestines claim the number is as high as 158, while according to the IDF ...
11
votes
3answers
574 views

Is Okapi meat Kosher?

Is the Okapi a kosher animal? According to its Wikipedia page, it is most closely related to the giraffe, which everyone seems to agree is kosher. A quick Google search tells me that it chews its cud. ...
11
votes
3answers
479 views

Why do people feel that there is a NEED to wear tzitzit?

There is a law in the torah (and the meforshiim afterwards) to attach tzitzit to all four cornered garments that you will wear. Ok. I understand that. But where did it come to pass that some people ...
11
votes
2answers
403 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
619 views

When does somebody living in space (e.g. ISS) observe Shabbat?

I understand that Jewish astronauts have been advised to observe Shabbat by Cape Canaveral time, by analogy with traveling to a place that doesn't have daily sunrise/sunset where some rule you use the ...
11
votes
2answers
334 views

Hugging a crying close friend of the opposite sex?

Would hugging or otherwise comforting a close friend of the opposite gender who was visibly upset/crying be a violation of Negiah (prohibition against touching a member of the opposite sex)?
11
votes
2answers
157 views

Which kidney should you donate?

All things being equal medically, if a person is going to donate a kidney is there halachic or hashkafic reason to presume donating one kidney would be better than the other?
11
votes
2answers
499 views

May one walk under the Arch of Titus?

I have heard that it is prohibited (or at least that the custom is not) to walk under the Arch of Titus in Rome. Is this accurate? If so, what is the source? Would it make a difference if a large ...
11
votes
2answers
209 views

Cooking meat and milk as a chef

In this article an Orthodox woman describes how her rav permitted her to enroll in culinary school. Although he apparently did not permit cooking meat and milk together, is there any angle to permit ...