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8
votes
1answer
238 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".)
10
votes
1answer
816 views

Can a live video feed remove the prohibition of Yichud?

I was wondering if and how a public videostream could affect a potential yichud situation. For example, may a single guy and girl be secluded if they set up a continuously broadcasting camera and ...
4
votes
2answers
294 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
205 views

Bleeding gums on Shabbos

If someone has gum disease and his gums frequently (or always) bleed when he eats, is he restricted to a liquid diet on Shabbos and Yom Tov?
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Is live video a halachic substitute for physical presence?

If you are in a room with cameras in it, is it like the people looking through those cameras are in the room?
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Rigging live worms - Tzaar Baalei Chayim?

Is there any halachic objection to rigging a live worm onto a hook when fishing?
6
votes
1answer
216 views

Moving muktza garbage cans?

Help! It's Shabbos and the wind is blowing my garbage cans halfway down the block! I know they're muktza, so I can't move them. What can I do?
2
votes
2answers
493 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
399 views

Siblings marrying siblings

Can two siblings in one family marry two siblings of another family?
6
votes
1answer
797 views

Wearing New Clothes in Three Weeks

Can one wear new clothes during Three Weeks? Do pajamas and undergarments have the same rule?
4
votes
1answer
214 views

Kibus (Laundry) During the Nine Days

The reason brought by Rashi and quoted by poskim such as the Mishna Berurah as to why we do not do laundry during the nine days (or Sefardim, in the week that the Ninth of Av falls out in) is because ...
2
votes
3answers
601 views

Shave/Haircuts during the 3 weeks

What are the reasons why a person may be able shave and/or haircut (two biiiits!- sorry, just had to) during the three weeks? Please use sources.
8
votes
2answers
788 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
105 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? ...
3
votes
2answers
98 views

Haftarah for yahrtzeit

If one's yahrtzeit falls on a day when there is a haftarah, there is a discussion about whether it's a bigger merit for the deceased to recite the haftarah on that day or before the day of the ...
10
votes
4answers
334 views

What is the best way to visualize the Churban Bais HaMikdash?

It is now thousands of years since the Churban Bais HaMikdash. Many jews feel very comfortable in their surroundings. What is the best way for a person to visiualize the great loss of the Bais ...
7
votes
1answer
755 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
168 views

What would the beracha be on tree-leaves?

What blessing would one make on leaves from [woody] trees that are routinely eaten? Is it ha'eitz, because they came from a tree? Is it ha-adama, because they're not "fruit" but are vegetative? Is it ...
6
votes
2answers
214 views

Saying korbonos

Do you have to say korbonos? If so, why is it not said with the shaliach tzibbur?
16
votes
1answer
566 views

Do Jews need to care about non-jewish homosexuality?

Since there is currently no way and/or need for Jews to administer capital punishment to gentiles who violate the 7 noahide laws, is there any halachic reason for a Jew to care whether or not a ...
6
votes
4answers
289 views

Is autocannibalism halachically prohibited?

I was wondering if sucking your own blood or biting at your own scab or otherwise consuming yourself was halachically permissible, since, as far as I can tell, humans are not kosher. Even so, it would ...
6
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
184 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
126 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
151 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
206 views

Halachic significance of the plurality of Jews living in Israel

I once heard that if Israel has the largest Jewish population, it has a significant effect on certain Halachot. What are the criteria for this, and what halachot are affected? (Shmita is the one most ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Birkot HaTorah and Typing

Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 47:3) as well as Yalkut Yosef (47:14) write that before one writes down words of Torah, he must recite Birkot HaTorah (because people that write sometimes voice their ...
6
votes
0answers
129 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
954 views

How should one dispose of cut finger nails? Is it dangerous for a pregnant woman to walk on them?

Is there an Inyan of pregnant women walking over cut nails ex: a nail salon? Also, can I just vacuum up the cut nails from the floor?
4
votes
1answer
96 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:
9
votes
2answers
180 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?
8
votes
2answers
178 views

Davening for someone to end a painful life

Are you allowed to daven for a person to die because he is in a lot of pain?
14
votes
3answers
311 views

Halachic Source for Women-Only Mikvaoth?

Some (actually many) Mikvaoth are designated for women's use only, generally for reasons of cleanliness. Is there Halachic literature supporting (or urging) this? (This question is not asking for ...
9
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
472 views

Bracha on thunder and lightning - how often?

If you are in a rainstorm with thunder and lightning - you make the Brachos for them. What happens if the storm ends and then a few hours later (same day) it is raining again. Do you make another ...
8
votes
2answers
169 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
428 views

Eclipse of the moon, bad sign for the Jews

Tonight, December 20, 2010, there will be a full lunar eclipse visible from North America and many other areas. I recall there is a Gemara that says that a lunar eclipse is a bad omen for the Jews as ...
10
votes
1answer
105 views

Can one take any money offered to him?

Is a tzedaka allowed to take money from people who earn their money in inappropriate way (say, the person worked on Shabbos, stole, cheated, etc.) If not, is this a chumra or a halacha? Please ...
8
votes
2answers
289 views

Issues with cooking meat and milk at the same time

What issues are there (either potential or inherent) in cooking meat dishes and milk dishes at the same time on the same stovetop (not in the same pot)? Please also compare benefits and problems ...
5
votes
2answers
177 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. ...
5
votes
0answers
133 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
242 views

Jewish names commonly used in a different form than found in Tanach

Some names are popularly used in a different form than the way they're spelled or pronounced in Tanach. A few that I can think of are: Nochum (נָחוּם) - is written in Tanach (Nah. 1:1) as נַחוּם ...
6
votes
1answer
91 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
2answers
146 views

Giving charity to someone about whom the giver knows nothing?

I often pass by a Jewish store where a person is standing outside asking for tzedaka/charity. Call me cynical but I have no way of knowing A)if the person is really poor, B) if the person is Jewish ...
8
votes
1answer
121 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
133 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
151 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?
7
votes
2answers
162 views

Standing during the Aseres HaDibros

There are people that always stand by Laining and people that always sit. Among those that sit there are those that stand at certain points, such as the Aseres HaDibros or the Shira, etc. Is it proper ...
8
votes
1answer
135 views

Do you have to do netilat yadayim for a brief waking?

If a person wakes up in the middle of the night to perform a small, brief action (say putting a pacifier back into a baby's mouth) is she required to do netilat yadayim (washing her hands ritually)?
8
votes
1answer
409 views

Kiddush Levanah on Friday night

Why do we avoid making the Bracha of Kiddush Levanah on Friday night and the nights of Yomim Tovim?