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4
votes
1answer
197 views

May one use the name of an avodah zara?

What is the source for not using the proper name of an avodah zara? How far does this halacha extend? For instance if thousands of years ago people worshipped an avodah zara named "XYZ" but no longer ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

Decorative food plating on Shabbath

This question asks about using an ice cream scoop on Shabbath, and an internet forum linked in the question has a discussion about the permissibility of decorative plating of food generally. According ...
15
votes
2answers
620 views

Is one allowed to drink alcohol on regular weekdays?

Is it permissible to drink alcohol in any circumstance other than Holidays and Shabbat? Please cite sources. CYLOR.
3
votes
2answers
209 views

Bracha on Smoking

(Inspired by Double AA) Based on the Premise (which I may be wrong on) that there are pieces of the actual Tobacco leaves or whatever else is smoked in the inhaled part of the smoke hence there would ...
5
votes
1answer
124 views

What to do after interrupting Shemoneh 'Esreh

What are you supposed to do after interrupting Shemoneh 'Esreh? Do you start over? Continue where you left off? Assume that the interruption was either permitted, or if it was forbidden it was ...
15
votes
2answers
336 views

Can one join an army?

Is one allowed to join an army (let's say not the Israeli one) as doing so is putting oneself in a place of sakana? If one is not allowed to join an army in general, is one allowed to join an army ...
5
votes
2answers
124 views

Honor of old people vs. honor of parents

Who has precedence in honor: A father or an old person? It seems that the answer would be a father; (*) however, there is a midrash that implies otherwise: Yalkut Shimoni, end of Bemidbar 752 ...
5
votes
1answer
348 views

fruit-flavored tobacco Kashrut

Do the fruit-flavored tobaccos that are widely used in hookahs require a Kashrut certification similar to foodstuffs? If yes, why; if not, why not?
4
votes
1answer
304 views

Do hookahs need to be Toiveled?

I saw this question somewhere else said as a joke but, seriously, does a hookah require tevilah (immersion)? After all, why wouldn't smoking be like ingesting food, as on some level you are ingesting ...
6
votes
1answer
133 views

When is one allowed to eat a fruit from Eretz Yisroel without giving trumah?

When is one allowed to eat a fruit from Eretz Yisroel without giving trumah? When I was in Israel we picked pomegranates directly off the trees and eat them. I was told this was okay because it had ...
0
votes
2answers
419 views

Mincha after plag hamincha without minyan [closed]

It is Friday Night. The shul is due to daven Mincha at 7.30pm, but Plag Hamincha is 7.37pm. The Shul is two short of a minyan and the decision is taken to daven Mincha privately. It is now 7.45pm (and ...
6
votes
2answers
213 views

Is one allowed to cut olives or grapes on Shabbos?

On shabbos, it is a biblical prohibition squeeze olives or grapes specifically for their juices, though one may squeeze them if the juices are used directly to enhance a solid food. As an additional ...
5
votes
0answers
71 views

On What Subjects Does One Say Birchas HaTorah?

Must one say Birchas Hatorah before learning Aggadata in the Gemara? Biographies like Shem Hagedolim (a biography of various Rabbonim written by the Chida)? Artscroll biographies?
7
votes
1answer
230 views

Is There a Halachah that Forbids Eating While Learning?

Is there a Halachah that forbids eating while learning? One of my friends told me it was forbidden.
3
votes
1answer
186 views

Touching the opposite gender by way of an object

Is it permissible to touch someone of the opposite sex with an object (for example: to get their attention)?
4
votes
2answers
230 views

Speaking while wearing Tefillin - revisited

In today's day and age the vast majority of the time we only wear Tefillin when we are Davening. However, in theory, we should wear them all day (ibid). So what about the requirement not to speak ...
1
vote
1answer
408 views

I suspect I must do something, but don't want to. Must I check into the halacha?

I'm sometimes in a situation where, if I do nothing, I'll benefit. But I suspect Jewish law may actually require me to take action that will prevent the benefit. I'm not sure if I should ask my ...
9
votes
1answer
258 views

When does one become considered shomer shaboss?

Clarification : Mr. X is a orthodox religious Jew. Mr. X has a rebellious phase and violates shaboss. Mr. X later starts keeping the rules again. I'm asking in both cases: Case 1: Ten people knew ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Is tzedakah money fungible if someone gives to me to give to another?

The discussion in this question seems to indicate that my own tzedakah money is fungible; I can collect coins in a tzedakah box and exchange them for other currency when it's time to make the ...
6
votes
2answers
148 views

Do you have to pay if you damage someone in order to stop them from sinning?

There is a story in Brachos where R' Ada bar Ahava ripped a Karbalta (a red non-tznius garment) off a woman, and then discovered that she was not Jewish. He then was fined for that act 400 zuz. He ...
6
votes
1answer
334 views

Wearing Tefillin the Wrong Way

If: A) You don't have your Tefillin and the only pair available for you to borrow is for the opposite hand you generally use (ie, your dominant hand), or B) You have a cast or splint on your arm or ...
8
votes
1answer
257 views

Making a origami creation on shabbos?

Would it be a violation of one of the thirty-nine melachos if someone made a paper airplane or made origami creation on shabbos? (And I know a melacha is loosely translated as "creative work".)
7
votes
2answers
252 views

Tefilin with obstruction on hand

How should one tie his shel yad on his hand if his finger(s) have something on them, such as a splint for a broken bone in the left middle finger?
10
votes
2answers
530 views

What is the halachic status of today's modern bathrooms?

Is a bathroom today considered a graf shel re'i? May one engaged in dvarim she'bikdusha (learning, praying etc.) opposite a bathroom with the door open if there is no waste in it?
4
votes
2answers
301 views

What are the requirements of a men's mikva?

There are many requirements given for a women's mikvah (See Yoreh De'ah siman 201), yet I have not seen much information regarding a men's mikva (to tovel every day before prayers or for Erev Yom ...
12
votes
1answer
242 views

In a city with many shuls, how much loyalty do I owe to the shul of which I am a member?

In a city with many shuls, in what way should we think about the individual shuls? a) They are “service” (no pun intended) providers and I will take the services as they suit me best. Even if I take ...
12
votes
3answers
174 views

If a person voids a purchase/sale, what happens to the Bracha?

You buy a new Talis and after you wear it you notice a defect. You want to return it to the store for a refund or replacement. However a person is only obligated in Tzitzis if he owns or borrows the ...
8
votes
2answers
833 views

Are Jewish women permitted to use birth control that stops menstruation?

Is there any reason that a Jewish woman who has permission from her Rabbi to use birth control could not choose a pill that stops her from menstruating? Although certain birth control pills are ...
7
votes
1answer
792 views

Does casual sex establish a marriage?

Do premarital sexual relations effect Kiddushin (betrothal/first step of Jewish marriage) if there is no intention of getting married? If so, is the physical act itself determinative of whether or ...
4
votes
0answers
134 views

Kevias Ittim Vs. the General Mitzva of Talmud Torah

The basic mitzva of learning Torah can be fulfilled minimally with Kerias Shema. This comes from a Gemara in Menachos (99b) which goes through several conflicting interpretations of the verse in ...
6
votes
1answer
211 views

Can you sing during the sheva brachos?

I have been to weddings where, during the recitation of the seventh bracha under the chuppah, the congregation sings "asher bara...". Sometimes it is along with the one reciting the bracha and other ...
2
votes
2answers
516 views

Upper limits of “kovea itim”

It is known from the gemara (Shabbos 31a and cited in maamar Toras HaBayis ch. 1, among other places) that when a person dies, he is asked if he had set times for learning. I know that these times can ...
8
votes
1answer
190 views

Fasting for non Religious Reasons?

I was recently asked to fast as a part of a multi-faith community fast as spiritual preparation for doing voter engagement work (I work for a multi-faith, multi-ethnic community organization.) Here ...
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
152 views

G-d's Name in Fridge Magnets (Erasing)

If one were to arrange fridge magnets of letters to spell G-d's name, what are the halachic ramifications of rearranging them (erasing)? If the magnets were small dots, rather than letters, but were ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Permissibility of removing wisdom teeth

Dentists often recommend that teenagers have their wisdom teeth extracted to avoid future problems. However, the medical need for these extractions is unclear at best. Is removing teeth without ...
4
votes
2answers
109 views

Bird droppings invalidating location for prayer?

One may not pray near feces or other sources of biological waste and decay that give a foul odor (see the article for several opinions on when/how it applies). Does this include bird droppings? ...
4
votes
1answer
120 views

Are bells on toys muktzeh?

Are bells muktzeh? Does the presence of bells on a toy make it muktzeh? Here are two types of bells in question:
6
votes
4answers
307 views

How can people who dress in “only” black lead tefillah, the Mishna warns us against those “machmir” about colors?

We learn in Mishnah Megillah 4:8 that if someone insists on wearing only one color when they pray we do not let them be the "shliach tzibor" (prayer leader). This is because we suspect he is involved ...
6
votes
1answer
362 views

Colored underwear during seven clean days

I know that during the 7 clean days of the nidda / tahara cycle, a woman has to wear white underwear. However, in extenuating circumstances (such as spotting for many weeks), is it ever permissible to ...
9
votes
1answer
178 views

Wearing no head-covering?

Under what circumstances is it permissible for a man to wear no head-covering? If one is in a place that is experiencing anti-semitism, for example, does one need to wear a hat if one feels ...
6
votes
0answers
135 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
8
votes
1answer
187 views

Is there an exhaustive list of astronomical/environmental events for which there are blessings?

Inspired by: What Bracha should you say on a Hurricane? What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse? Bracha for the transit of Venus? What b'racha do you say on seeing the Aurora Borealis (if ...
5
votes
0answers
140 views

Late sunset times and Jewish observance

This question is distinct from other questions which ask how and when to begin Shabbat, etc. when there is no sunset. I am asking about places in which sunset occurs very late during certain times of ...
9
votes
2answers
182 views

Bracha for the transit of Venus?

Venus is transiting today for the last time until 2117 (or 5878, if you prefer). Is there a specific bracha that should be made upon witnessing this spectacular event?
6
votes
1answer
94 views

Why don't we say Hagomel after driving through a desert?

The Gemara says that four have to say Hagomel: One who went overseas One who went into a desert. One who was [deathly] ill. One who was in prison [on a capital crime]. Everyone (to the best of my ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

Does one have to return the specific bills that one stole?

If one stole a hundred dollars in regular cash (e.g. no rare bill editions), and still has those bills, does he have to return those particular bills or can he return any hundred dollars?
2
votes
0answers
135 views

How does one proceed at a stand-up Kiddush?

How does one proceed at a Kiddush where the one making Kiddush can sit down but everyone else stands? The cake is not covered before kiddush. In every case attendees make a brocho before eating or ...
5
votes
2answers
190 views

Why does a Torah have 2 poles and a Megillah have 1?

A Torah scroll is a very long piece of parchement with two poles ("atzei chayim") at either end, while a Megillat Esther is a not-as-long piece of parchment with one pole at the end of the book. ...
18
votes
3answers
721 views

Does an ivory spoon make hot tea non-kosher?

Both the handles of cutlery and entire spoons have been made of elephant ivory, which is from a tusk (a tooth) of an elephant. Elephant is of course not a kosher animal. Presumably, then, these spoons ...