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4
votes
2answers
262 views

Hearing Megillat Esther in a mixed minyan

If the only available minyan to hear Megillat Esther is a mixed minyan with no mechitza, can one attend the minyan or is it better to not hear megilla at all? Would it matter if the baal megilla was a ...
10
votes
2answers
246 views

May I rely on the halachik leniency of others?

If "Reuven" believes the halacha to be one way and "Shimon" believes it to be more lenient may Reuven rely on Shimon to do something for him based on this leniency? Here is a 100% fictional ...
8
votes
1answer
98 views

Can you rely on the cashier?

If a cashier or other low level employee makes a financial decision in your favor ("keep the change" or "I'll let you use that coupon even if it expired" etc.), without checking with a manager/owner, ...
3
votes
2answers
210 views

Bishul Akum: now what?

What is the kashrus status of a pot if the food cooked in it was Kosher, but cooked by Non Jew? Is the pot kosher or not?
3
votes
1answer
185 views

Learning near a dead body

May a person learn torah near a dead body? Does it matter if the corpse is Jewish or not? Please cite sources.
5
votes
1answer
99 views

Midlife Name Crisis

If someone lives their entire life under the assumption that their name is X, and suddenly finds out that their name is Y, are there serious halachic ramifications that can result? More specifically, ...
5
votes
3answers
580 views

Status of feet while making a bracha or davening

In todays day and age where we no longer have homes with dirt floors: do you still need to cover your feet when making a bracha or davening? If so are socks enough? does it depend on the custom of ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Sh'hecheyanu vs. M'chayeh haMeisim

This is a follow up to the question here The Shulchan Aruch 225:1 brings the halachah what when one sees a "friend" whom one hasn't seen in the last 30 days then the blessing "shehecheyanu" is made, ...
2
votes
0answers
99 views

Washing three times in the morning

From what I understand, there are three times when one should wash their hands in the method used for negel vasser that occur every day in the morning (negel vasser) between going to the bathroom ...
13
votes
5answers
162 views

Giving over 20%

I know you are supposed to give between 10 and 20% of your income to צדקה. Does this mean that you are not allowed to give over 20% if you have enough money to do so? If so, why not? (this is more of ...
10
votes
4answers
670 views

Is cross-dressing permitted on Purim and if so why?

As part of dressing in costume on Purim is a person allowed to put on clothes normally worn by the opposite gender? If so, where does this heter come from in the face of the biblical prohibition ...
16
votes
2answers
315 views

Whispering prayers?

Can one whisper t'fila (prayer)? I'm thinking of obligatory t'filos like sh'mone esre and "Sh'ma". I know one can speak t'fila quietly, even very quietly; in fact, sh'mone esre is said quietly. I'm ...
9
votes
2answers
379 views

Are Jews permitted to martyr themselves?

Are Jews permitted to martyr themselves? For example, if it is a question of converting or being killed, is the Jew permitted to sacrifice himself rather than convert? Separately: which would be ...
5
votes
3answers
140 views

Megilas Esther by day - why is it done after Kriyas HaTorah?

We read Koheles on Succos, Shir HaShirim on Pesach, and Rus on Shavuos, and we always read it prior to Kriyas HaTorah. Then why do we read Megilas Esther on Purim day after Kriyas HaTorah?
5
votes
1answer
145 views

What are the parameters of kavod ha'brios?

When I was younger I was told that in extenuating circumstances one can rip toilet paper on shabbos (preferably not on the perforations) due to kavod ha'brios. This concept is applied in other places ...
5
votes
2answers
255 views

Are robo-calls permitted?

A robo-call is an automated phone call that does not involve a human caller. The majority of these are uninvited solicitations (either for money or votes), and these are the ones I'm asking about. ...
8
votes
1answer
142 views

Why is it ok to pay the kids for the afikoman?

Most Pesach sedarim feature the afikoman hide-and-seek game; either the children steal it and ransom it back or the parents hide it and (in my experience) pay a prize to the child who finds it. At ...
3
votes
1answer
247 views

What kind of Mechitza is required when the women daven on the second floor?

Many times I have seen Shuls where women pray on a balcony on the second floor. What kind of Mechitza do they need? Is it enough if one can't see them (for example, if the angle is such that they ...
5
votes
1answer
184 views

When is a mechitza required at a meal?

According to the opinions which require Mechitzos by weddings. Why isn't there a requirement to have Mechitzos by any other Seudas Mitzvah? For example, why isn't there a requirement that one have a ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

What to do with old ציצית

What do you do with old ציצית that do not fit anymore? Can you cut off the corners and throw the rest out respectfully?
11
votes
1answer
253 views

Nullifying Ancient Israelite Idols

Following up on a question raised on the Avodah list (see here & here under the subject “Destroying Idols”). Archaeologists often dig up idols whose worshipers have abandoned them over the ...
10
votes
4answers
546 views

Would synthesized meat be Kosher?

Scientists are preparing synthesized meat for human consumption. See here for a excerpt, and two articles here and here. My question is: Would this meat be considered Kosher? Might it depend on the ...
4
votes
2answers
107 views

Why be happy Shushan Purim?

Rama (695:2) quotes from the Maharil (though I don't see it there): וחייב במשתה ושמחה קצת בב׳ ימים י״ד וט״ו and one must have a drinking party and joy, a little, on two days: the fourteenth and ...
4
votes
2answers
210 views

Handling Conflict between Jewish and Civil Law

This question is an offshoot from the one titled "Questions about Polygamy in Jewish Law and Culture" Taking under the knowledge that the previous question was well answered with an observation: It's ...
8
votes
1answer
118 views

How are we allowed to take out two sifrei Torah?

The Mishna in Yoma says that when the Kohen Gadol used to read from the Sefer Torah on Yom Kippur, he had to read two portions: one from Acharei Mos and the other from Emor. It says that he used to ...
17
votes
3answers
255 views

What is the source that Parshas Parah is from the Torah?

I have read in many places that Parah could be a bliblical requirement to read. Why is that? Zachor makes sense (as it says so in the Torah here). Why Parah?
17
votes
3answers
440 views

Is ad-blocker software permissible?

Kalashnikover_Rebbe at hashkafah.com asks: Isn't blocking ads stealing??? The people put them on the sites for a reason.... He elaborates: On one hand the argument can be made that [forum ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

Basic laws, why is milk with meat not kosher?

I've recently read (again) the verse "לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו", meaning, "Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk". How did anyone get from that, to "Don't eat meat with milk at all"? I've always ...
8
votes
3answers
186 views

Beracha upon seeing a friend on a webcam

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 225:1) rules: שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות ברכת הפירות סימן רכה הרואה את חבירו לאחר שלשים יום, אומר: שהחיינו, ואחר י"ב חדש מברך: מחיה מתים, והוא שחביב עליו הרבה ושמח ...
6
votes
2answers
435 views

Who is a Shoteh?

In modern day language, what is a Halachic Shoteh? In other words, is someone who is schizophrenic, clinically depressed, OCD, etc. free from Mitzvos?
10
votes
1answer
135 views

7 Seas or The Great Ocean?

Seeing the ocean warrants the recital of a blessing. (Assume for this question like the opinions that the proper bracha is שעשה את הים הגדול as opposed to עושה מעשה בראשית.) It is only recited if one ...
13
votes
3answers
178 views

Relationship between wearing a kippa and reciting a blessing

Before I started wearing a Kippa all the time, the people around me and I had the reflex to cover our head when saying the name of G-d or when reciting anything holy. Since the mitzvah is to wear it ...
5
votes
1answer
339 views

Circumcision when danger to life, born Jews and potential gerim

In this post, Skylar refers to teshuvos from the Seride Esh and R. AY Kook which rule that a male non-Jew may not convert if he is unable to undergo milah. Does pikuach nefesh completely push off the ...
5
votes
3answers
738 views

Hair dyeing for women

What are the halachic issues involved in hair dyeing for women? Most importantly, does hair dye constitute a chatzitza for mikvah? Also: are there any communities that forbid hair dyeing altogether? ...
13
votes
1answer
422 views

Starbucks VIA on shabbat

Someone recently mentioned in a conversation about making/ not making tea on shabbat with a tea bag, that the Starbucks VIA coffee is micro-ground vs how ever regular instant coffee is made and that ...
10
votes
2answers
319 views

Kosherizing Water using Distillation

Suppose I have water that was cooked with non-kosher food. I then take the water and distill it. Would this water be considered permissible to drink?
7
votes
1answer
252 views

How should an employer respond to a government policy requiring abortion coverage?

There is a recent controversy in the United States regarding whether the Federal government can compel employers, including religious employers, to pay for contraception. Although this may not be ...
6
votes
2answers
399 views

Ceremony to take a woman as a concubine (pilegesh)?

This question sparked a lively discussion and debate on this rather sensitive issue. One piece of the original question was: What ceremony / ritual must be performed (if any) to formally ...
8
votes
2answers
318 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Maaser on Selling Previously Purchased Items

Many times people buy things and then later resell them. Assuming no profit was made in this sale, is there an obligation to give Maaser on the newly acquired money? Practical examples: eBay, college ...
16
votes
1answer
209 views

Yichud in a dorm like situation

I was wondering if yichud is an issue in a situation like one that might arise on a college campus in an all girls dorm (apartment style- the building is mixed but each apartment is separate) if one ...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What are the sources for women to wear/ not wear pants?

I have heard that the argument is beged ish / kli gever, and I have heard people say that even if that was once a real reason for it it doesn't apply today for various reasons. I understand that the ...
7
votes
1answer
125 views

Is there a bracha for blooming non-fruit trees?

I understand that one says Birkat Ha'Ilanot on seeing the blossoms on a fruit tree. Does a tree that blooms but doesn't produce fruit get a bracha? And if so, which one?
8
votes
1answer
155 views

Processing an online payment - which will be processed on Shabbos

With my bank, when you process, online, a payment, it automatically goes out on the following day. If I authorize it on Friday they will send it on Saturday. I can also request any future date I want. ...
3
votes
0answers
144 views

Can a non Jew bake bread on Pesach for a Jew to use after Pesach?

In relation to Is it possible to have chometz on the shabbos directly after Pesach? Is there any problem if a non Jew bakes bread on Pesach (the Jew did not ask him and does not care if the non Jew ...
11
votes
4answers
854 views

If the last day of Passover is Friday, may I eat chametz on the Shabbat right after?

This year, 5772, the last day of Pesach in Israel is on Friday. Is there any possible way that one could contrive to eat chometz on the shabbos immediately following Pesach?
8
votes
2answers
350 views

Halachot of Lashon Naki (clean speech)

What is the halachik source, if any, for lashon naki (clean speech)? Is there a portion of Talmud that deals with the specifics? On the surface, it seems to be employed inconsistently, by which I mean ...
10
votes
1answer
175 views

Are there any restrictions about a chazzan if there are questions about his orthodoxy?

If someone comes up to daven as a chazzan, and you have questions about how kosher they are or whether they're truly shomer shabbos, are you allowed to still use him as a chazzan, or are there ...
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?
10
votes
2answers
856 views

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen?

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen? How does the situation differ if only the mother, or only the father, is a convert? (I have read that "ideally" the child of two converts should not ...