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2
votes
0answers
64 views

Maris Ayin and bags from restaurants

Similar to this question, suppose there is a chain of restaurants that is mostly non-Kosher, but there happens to be one kosher franchise in the chain. The example I am thinking of is that there is ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

At a non-kosher restaurant, is sliced raw fish kosher?

At a non-kosher restaurant, is thinly-sliced raw fish kosher? Let's assume one sees the preparer clean the knife and cut from the whole fish. Also, let's assume this raw fish is sashimi — ...
4
votes
2answers
104 views

Loshon Harah in Restaurant Reviews

There is a website and iPhone app that contain a listing of kosher restaurants. In addition, one feature is the listing of 'star-ratings' and reviews by users. Are there any halachic ramifications ...
0
votes
0answers
110 views

Mixed Gender Gyms

Is it halachically permitted for a man to exercise in a gym in which there are women who are not dressed modestly? Does it make a difference if there are no other gyms available for the person to go ...
6
votes
4answers
763 views

Horse back riding for women

Is it permissible for an Orthodox woman to do horseback riding in an ordinary saddle, or does she have to use a sidesaddle? Furthermore, would she be able to use women's trousers made for horseback ...
2
votes
1answer
48 views

Counting Jews with non-Jews

There is a prohibition of counting Jews (see here) for a number of reasons: 1) Out of love for His people, G‑d counted us at important junctures of our history. The completion of the Tabernacle ...
10
votes
4answers
385 views

Is it permissible to name one's child with a name from the opposite gender?

Is a person allowed to name a boy with a girl's name and vice versa? I remember seeing that one musn't, although in Nach one finds these things a lot. I understand it is not best practice for ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Does a transparent hair-covering fulfil the halacha?

We learn the mitzvah of a married woman covering her hair from the verse in Bamidbar (5:18) וּפָרַע אֶת רֹאשׁ הָאִשָּׁה. The Talmud in various places expounds on the details. While I am very aware ...
6
votes
6answers
809 views

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Time-Set Irrigation for Shmita?

On Shmita one is not allowed to work the land (in Israel). Would it be permissible to set up on a timer (or a more sophisticated version) an irrigation system that waters the land and gives it the ...
6
votes
3answers
130 views

In the days of the Sanhedrin, was one able to hold of his own opinion in private?

Back in the days of the Sanhedrin, after a psak about a particular halacha was issued, were you able to still hold of your own opinion in private? If you were confident in your own interpretation of ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Lashon Hara about someone you do not know? [duplicate]

Is it considered Lashon Hara if a person speaks badly about a person he does not actually know? And, what about if nobody really knows him? For example, would saying something bad about another user ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

What do we think about Father's Day?

Is there anything wrong with celebrating Father's Day? (Perhaps implying that you only need to give your father special attention one day a year?) Is there anything right with celebrating Father's ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Is the Christmas tree an Ashera?

Do any poskim equate Christmas trees with the Ashera tree mentioned in the Gemara?
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Answering a virtual kaddish?

If you hear someone saying kaddish virtually (such as at a virtual siyum, or a streamed ceremony), should you answer amen? Note that this is talking about when listening live. Does it make a ...
13
votes
3answers
162 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
264 views

Should a woman wear a gartel?

My understanding of the halachic need for a gartel is very limited; is there any reason a woman should or should not wear one during prayer?
8
votes
0answers
166 views

Is it acceptable to use software which incidentally blocks ads?

A question on this site on whether ad-blocking software is permissible suggests that the answer is that it probably, but not definitely, is acceptable. I don't use ad-blocking software myself, but I ...
10
votes
3answers
369 views

If women are not obliged to daven maariv, should they daven if they wish to?

This source says that women are not obliged to daven maariv but may do if they wish. Although the Shulchan Aruch (108:7) allows one to recite a Tefilat Nedava in a certain case, Halacha Berura (22nd ...
4
votes
0answers
46 views

how to clean up from one meal for another on shabbos?

if after putting all of the trash in the trash can there are lots of crumbs still left behind how should one get rid of these properly on shabbos? may one shake the crumbs outside (assuming its in ...
6
votes
4answers
336 views

Are Jews permitted to work out?

Are Jews allowed to pump their muscles? What if the intent is to make yourself look good?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

May a Kohen become a doctor?

May a Kohen, who is not allowed to be around dead bodies and the like, become a doctor? Please mention only sourced answers, and I realize that there are some programs that don't require work with ...
23
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it possible for a Gentile to convert to Judaism?

Is it possible for someone who is Gentile to convert to Judaism? What is the prevailing belief of Jewish people on this subject? What scripture backs up this belief? What do prominent Jewish ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Personal Taanis on next day — why not ealier then Mincha and not later then Shkia?

As I understand, except for Taanis Cholom, a person can not take on himself a Taanis earlier than Mincha Gdola and not later than Shkia on the day before. What is the reason for that? Why can’t a ...
3
votes
3answers
104 views

What if the tafel comes to hand first?

Although there are varying opinions among the acharonim, the common practice is that only one b'racha rishona is said before eating a mixture of two items that normally require different b'rachos, ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Rosh hashana: is it really two days?

Regarding the chagim (festivals), we know that a chag is really one day (not including the rabbinic chag a/k/a yom tov sheini). However, for Rosh hashana, Israelis observe a two day festival. So is ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Can I prepare tehina (from a paste, ie, pre-ground) on Shabbat?

I know that one is not allowed to smear a paste on Shabbat. (Forgot the name of the "melacha:). I notice that this is what happens to techina as I prepare it (plain unflavored tehina like Joyva from ...
4
votes
1answer
265 views

Can one run a surveillance Camera on Shabbos?

Is there any prohibition in having surveillance cameras operating on Shabbos? If not, why is is any different to filming a Bar-Mitzva, etc?
4
votes
5answers
245 views

Does a synagogue have the right to dispose of objects abandoned there?

A particular synagogue has large numbers of abandoned tallesim and tefilin in the drawers in the chapel. Does the synagogue have the right to dispose of objects abandoned there? Does the law change ...
4
votes
0answers
25 views

Al Hamichya in one room and al hagefen in another room

If you eat cake in Room A and then proceed to drink wine in Room B both bracha achronas must be made in the rooms in which the food was eaten. Where and how do you make a bracha achrona. Here are the ...
3
votes
3answers
662 views

Am I allowed to enjoy the smell emanating from a non-kosher place that cooks using milk and meat mixture?

I know that one cannot gain "Hana'ah" from meat and dairy mixtures. I understood the term "hana'ah" to mean "pleasure" or "benefit". My neighbor makes wonderful-smelling Italian cooking. The smell ...
4
votes
1answer
122 views

Are there groups that do not trim their beards, besides Chabad-Lubavitch?

The Tzemach Tzedek (1789-1866; 3rd Chabad-Lubavitcher Rebbe) in a lengthy Tshuva (Yoreh Deah, Siman 93: http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1614&st=&pgnum=164) discusses the matter ...
3
votes
0answers
63 views

Making the Brocha on the President of the United States

One of the conditions to make the brocha on kings is that they have the power to kill you (see Radvaz 1:296 as well as the Orchot Chaim Brachos 49 that say that this brocha is recited on any monarch ...
9
votes
2answers
230 views

Getting body piercings

The Torah prohibits, generally, the infliction of a wound on yourself or someone else. See Lev. 19:28. The obvious exception is the commandment to perform a bris millah (circumcision) on a male ...
0
votes
1answer
112 views

Shaking hands loosely

Many religiously observant men I've met, irrespective of their 'edah (cultural persuasion, e.g. Ashkenazi, Sefaradi, Teimani), have shaken my hand more loosely than secular or Gentile men (who ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Can you embarrass someone privately if you think that the person MAY be embarrassed publicly?

Can you embarrass someone privately if you feel that not saying something may cause that person public embarrassment, i.e., s/he may be embarrassed by multiple people? The key word here is MAY, but ...
5
votes
2answers
75 views

Resources for “vertical learning”

New member and first question! I'm looking for resources for guidance in the possibly made-up term, vertical learning. What I mean by that is my learning often suffers from being hodge-podgey and ...
16
votes
5answers
435 views

Train ticket not collected: destroy?

Assuming a train line where single-ride tickets are normally collected or cancelled manually by train crew circulating among seated passengers, and it is physically possible to use them later if they ...
7
votes
1answer
113 views

If the “Nun” preceding Bamidbar (Num) 10:35 is not upside down, is the Torah still kosher?

While reading last week's parsha, I noticed that the letter "nun" immediately preceding the verse Vayehi B'nso'ah ha'aron Bamidbar 10:35 was written as regular nun (tagin on top) rather than upside ...
6
votes
2answers
200 views

Herring and a Cracker

If I eat a piece of herring on a cracker, what bracha do I make? Do we say that I'm eating it for the herring therefore it's Shehakol or because I have a cracker do I make a Mezonos? As always, ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Being Matir Family Mesorah

Does Hataras Nedarim help to be matir all of one's minhagim if the the one being matir has them in mind? For example: a sephardi wants to change his minhagim to ashkenazi ones.
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Can one use ma'aser money to pay for shipping a donation to charity?

If one orders an item to donate to a charitable organization, such as a shul or Yeshiva, and wants to deduct the value of the item from his ma'aser money, can he deduct the shipping costs? Does it ...
2
votes
2answers
47 views

Making Shechiyanu on new Tefilin

If one purchases a new pair of Tefilin should he say Shechiyanu when he puts them on the first time? When is the Bracha said for those that say 2 Brachos, after the first Bracha of L'haniach Tefilin ...
4
votes
2answers
42 views

Giving a lulav on condition to return, but in a chain where the last person keeps it

The Gemara in Sukkah on daf מא עמוד ב'‏ relates a story of Rabban Gamliel, Rabbi Yehoshua, Rabbi Elazar ben Azaria, and Rabbi Akiva riding on a boat. The time came to shake lulav, but only Rabban ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

Does someoene have to give ma'aser from scholarship grants or unemployment insurance?

I'm asking this question for my son. Scholarships are considered taxable income in some states, though this money usually gets sent directly to the school, so the recipient usually never accesses it. ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it permissible for a Jewish woman to marry a Muslim man and vice versa?

As both Abrahamic religions, Islam and Judaism have the same God and share a common law then how do Rabbis see the marriage of a Jewish woman marrying a Muslim man and vice versa? Also how is it like ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Am I allowed to interrupt someone in the middle of Shmoneh Esreh if my question is related to davening?

My friend and I are in the middle of davening Shmoneh Esreh. Rather than talk, I text him, "I don't remember if today is Rosh Hodesh. Do we say 'Ya'aleh V'yavo?'" Can I interrupt my friend for this ...
3
votes
2answers
193 views

Mixed swimming and a 10-year-old boy

What is the Halacha regarding a ten-year-old boy and mixed swimming? May he? This is in a small private pool.
12
votes
1answer
356 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

Should one say the blessing “borei minei besamim” on essential oils made exclusively from plant extracts?

Essential oils are useful for smooth skin and massage as well as aromatherapy. For those unfamiliar with what it is, please refer to this Article about essential oils. It is made primarily from ...