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6
votes
2answers
160 views

Bal Toisif on the Four Minim

It seems that there exists a Minhag (a practice of the last Lubavitcher Rebbe Zatzal) of adding extra Hadassim or Aravos (Hashanos) — I am uncertain which, maybe both — to the standard 4 ...
8
votes
1answer
103 views

Shehechiyanu on Lulav

Why is it that we make Shehechiyanu both nights of Sukkos at candle lighting and Kiddush due to Sefeika DeYoma yet we only make Shehechiyanu on the Lulav on the first day?
5
votes
1answer
181 views

Fasting on Erev Shabbos/Yom Tov

Is it permitted to fast on Erev Shabbos or Erev Yom Tov? I've heard about people taking on fasts until chatzos, but no later. What is the halacha on this?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Trimming Toenails in sequence

As a follow up to the question "Rules for Cutting Nails" it occurred to me that while we spoke about the idea of not trimming one's nails in sequence (as well as discussing the relevancy of lenient ...
3
votes
1answer
537 views

Is there some way to turn the electric stove on and off on Yomtov?

We use an electric stove to cook in our house, not fire or gas (aside from the occasional barbecue). To cook on first day Yomtov and more so on second day we would have to leave the stove on from the ...
6
votes
2answers
424 views

Taking down Sukkah decorations before the end of holiday

I know that if I am going to be traveling during Chol Ha'Moed, I know that I can not halachically take down my Sukkah or the Schach early. Does the same prohibition apply to the decorations?
7
votes
1answer
191 views

Eating in sukkah before or after sukkot

Is there anything problematic about eating in a sukkah after building it but before Sukkot starts? Or I guess likewise after Sukkot is over?
7
votes
1answer
227 views

Does a tallis have to be of a certain color?

Are there any halachos which require a tallis to be of a certain color? I've seen talleisim of many different colors, but are there any actual rules with regard to the color as opposed to the ...
7
votes
1answer
105 views

Diamonds in the coffee

A friend requests that you take a jar of Coffee to Israel and you happily oblige. On the way to your destination the jar cracks, so you just buy a replacement. Later you find out that the can ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Bread in the freezer

The title of the question is tongue in cheek. There was a very kind family that was away for the summer and allowed their home to be used by a second family. The second family got there and found the ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

Can Yizkor obligations be paid from Maaser money?

When a person goes to Shul to say Yizkor they obligate themselves to give Tzedaka in memory of the deceased. Can this obligation be paid from Maaser or does it have to be paid from the persons ...
2
votes
1answer
299 views

Worms (Tolaim) in dried fruit

With Tu B'Shevat in 2 weeks, and the Inyan of eating fruits many people eat dried fruit. What are the concerns regarding worms in specific fruits? How do you check to make sure that there are no ...
2
votes
0answers
446 views

is it OK to kill bugs? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Tzar Balay Chaim- Killing Flies? if someone has pests like mice or bugs. is it OK to kill them? why?
4
votes
1answer
67 views

Why say tachanun in selichos but not in davenning when say a sandek is in Shul?

If someone (eg sandek, mohel) is in Shul (the synagogue) whose presence stops the kehillo (congregation) saying tachanun, why is it that we do say tachanun in Selichos but not in davenning (the prayer ...
4
votes
1answer
248 views

Is returning a car with a full tank of gas a problem of ribis (interest/usury)?

I was told that if you borrow a car from a friend, it's courteous to return it washed, and with a full tank of gas (even if the car was dirty and had an empty tank when you borrowed it). Is there any ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

Kohen following a Mes into a tunnel

We know a Kohen can not be in the same ohel as a dead person. From what I learned, a moving vehicle does not block the tumah from coming into the car/van/plane etc. So, if one is traveling in a ...
2
votes
1answer
180 views

Davening whilst on a road-trip, what must I do?

If I'm driving long distance on a road-trip, (approx. 400 miles, leaving house at 3am, arriving at approximately 9am) am I required to stop the car, get out, and daven Shacharit at or before sunrise? ...
5
votes
1answer
281 views

Would you make a Shehechiyanu when you lease a new car?

When you purchase a new car you would make a Shehechiyanu. Would you also make a Shehechiyanu if you leased a new car?
9
votes
2answers
234 views

Saving Parking Spots

Reuven calls Shimon to ask if Shimon may stand inside a parking spot and reserve it until Reuven gets there in five minutes. While standing there, Levi pulls up and directs Shimon to vacate the spot ...
6
votes
1answer
111 views

How high before a tree branch does not cause a problem for a Succah?

I have a lovely tree in the back yard, it must be 70-100 years old, maybe 15-20 feet around at the base. First branch is 32 feet up. I know since I used a 35 foot ladder to hang a swing from it, and ...
6
votes
2answers
175 views

Tachanun for Shacharis in the afternoon, on a day where there is no Tachanun at Mincha

If you start Shacharis Shmonei Esrei just before Chatzos, on a day where there is no Tachanun said at Mincha, and finished after Chatzos, do you say Tachanun?
5
votes
1answer
52 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
480 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
725 views

What Bracha do you make on (Kasha) buckwheat?

What Bracha Rishona and Bracha Achrona do you make on (Kasha) buckwheat?
8
votes
1answer
89 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
438 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
333 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.)
7
votes
3answers
353 views
3
votes
2answers
421 views

Using Eiruv Tavshilin to Cook for a Gentile Shabbos Guest

When cooking on Yomtov for Shabbos (allowed with the eiruv tavshilin) may one also cook for a gentile guest that he will be having at the Shabbos meal? Even though one cannot cook on Yomtov for a ...
8
votes
2answers
199 views

Stipulations based on “correct” halacha vs. “לא בשמים היא”

It is my understanding that halacha is determined by individual p'sak. That is, there is no divine body of halacha which we are trying to determine with poskim issuing their p'sak based on what they ...
11
votes
2answers
420 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")
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Shehechiyanu on Mishloach Manos and Matonos L'Evyonim

When we say Shehechiyanu in the morning by Kriyas HaMegila they announce in my Shul to have in mind the Mitzvos HaYom of Mishloach Manos, Matonos L'Evyonim, and Seudas Purim. Can you give Mishloach ...
3
votes
1answer
197 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?
8
votes
2answers
140 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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
300 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
249 views

May a woman freeze her ova?

Is a woman allowed to freeze her own ova if she is coming to the later years of her life and is afraid she will miss her opportunity to have her own children naturally or otherwise, or is that frowned ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

“V'Haishiv Es HaGezaila” - returning stolen goods

Suppose a person took something from someone and now the person is not alive anymore, and has no living Yoresh. How does he return that what he stole? or is it impossible?
5
votes
1answer
174 views

Why can people write Torah sheBal Peh nowadays?

This is a follow up to: Why was Torah sheBal Peh not allowed to be Written?. The Gemara in Temurah (14b) states that one may not write Torah sheBal Peh. It then states an exception that was made so ...
3
votes
1answer
224 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?
1
vote
0answers
48 views

saying בריך שמיה before הוצאה [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is B'rich Shmei said while the Torah sits in the Aron, or as it's held (by whom?) I know that the Shaare Efrayim and Igros Moshe say that the congregation should ...
7
votes
1answer
101 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
368 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Could the 'air conditioner' shown here be run during shabbat?

I saw this DIY video, and was wondering if such a fan could be run before shabbat started and left running as shown? The video on this page (Ignore the article): ...
14
votes
1answer
237 views

Does Down Syndrome make one a Shoteh?

I had a very strange experience and I would like to know what halacha thinks. I was in shul on Shabbos, and an adult with Down Syndrome ripped by opening the box of tissues. I was not going to say ...
4
votes
1answer
70 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?
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Does a fathers obligation to teach his sons a parnassah extend to his daughters too?

A father has an obligation to teach his sons Torah, a parnassah and to swim. To what extent do these obligations extend to his daughters too? (edited to include my explanation from the comments) As ...
3
votes
2answers
115 views

Interrupting birkas hamazon

For what prayer responses (e.g. amen, baruch Hu uvaruch Sh'mo, y'he Sh'me...) may one interrupt his own recital of birkas hamazon?
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Wirelessly recharging a light-emitting diode on Shabbos

Could one use wireless recharging technology (see http://home.howstuffworks.com/question292.htm) to power a light-emitting diode (which does not have a filament that gets hot (see ...
49
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the halachic source for objection to gay (civil) marriage?

New York State is considering legalizing gay (civil) marriages, so tonight on our answering machine we received a message urging us to pray that it doesn't pass because gay civil marriages were, you ...