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11
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7answers
1k views

Do surgically removed body parts require Kevurah?

If one has surgery (may it never be necessary) that requires the removal of an organ of the body (e.g. a gallbladder or appendix), is burial required? Or can the body part simply be discarded?
11
votes
4answers
740 views

Why do we say Shelo Asani Goy?

In Birchas HaShachar we thank God for not making us gentiles by saying "shelo asni goi". Why do we use the negative formation instead of thanking God for making us Jews by saying "she-asani Yehudi" ...
11
votes
1answer
546 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
809 views

Can a Kohen Marry a Woman with a Non-Jewish Father?

Is a Kohen allowed to marry a woman who is the daughter of a Jewish woman and non-Jewish man?
11
votes
2answers
346 views

Jewish definition of a charity

I know that Jews are supossed to give 10% of their income to charity, but what constitutes a charity? I know that Shuls, jewish schools and poor people in your community count, but what about secular ...
11
votes
2answers
284 views

Cryonics in Judaism

I was recently reading an article about cryogenics, there are around 200 bodies frozen in cryogenics labs around the world, and in the article they said that in the near future they may be able to ...
11
votes
3answers
631 views

Peanut butter Bracha

What Brochah or Blessing is said when eating plain Peanut butter? Does the chunky variety (with pieces) versus regular make a difference? I am referring to a case where it is eaten on a spoon, with ...
11
votes
3answers
284 views

Dew distinct from water among the shiva mashkim

The seven mashkim are blood, water, milk, honey, wine, oil, and dew. What is the difference between water and dew? Isn't dew a type of water?
11
votes
3answers
283 views

Can you learn during chazarat hashatz?

Are you allowed to learn Torah silently during the chazzan's repetition of Shmonah Esrei? (This is a case where you are davening with that minyan.)
11
votes
2answers
300 views

Blind and Marriage

The Gemara tells us that a man may not marry a woman without first seeing her because if she turns out to be displeasing to him then he will transgress the mitzvah of "Ve'ahavtah lerei'acha ...
11
votes
1answer
229 views

How do soldiers in the IDF obey Deuteronomy 23:13?

The mitvah talks about ensuring every soldiers have a spade to cover their excrement. The mitvah seems to be pretty obsolete because by now we have toilets all over the place. So, how it's done? Do ...
11
votes
4answers
306 views

May I drink water while wearing tefillin?

If I am wearing Tefilin, and I feel very thirsty, should I take off my Tefllin to drink, (if I am even allowed to interrupt) or am I allowed to drink water while wearing Tefilin?
11
votes
2answers
390 views

What is a woman's obligation when it comes to T'fillah?

In Orthodox practice it is commonly thought that women are not obligated in T'fillah (parts of it anyway) due to its time-bound nature. However, what is a woman's obligation? Which prayers must she ...
11
votes
3answers
513 views

What is the downside to wearing techeiles?

There are many Compelling arguments to support Techelet, although it's not yet universally accepted. A friend of mine bought P'til Tekhelet Murex techeiles, and went to his rabbi (who I know and ...
11
votes
1answer
218 views

is it permitted to make a snowman?

Is it permitted to make a snowman? Or is it considered constructing a graven image? Prompted by this: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/saudi-arabia-issues-fatwa---4967400
11
votes
3answers
648 views

Is Okapi meat Kosher?

Is the Okapi a kosher animal? According to its Wikipedia page, it is most closely related to the giraffe, which everyone seems to agree is kosher. A quick Google search tells me that it chews its cud. ...
11
votes
2answers
371 views

Tevilat Keilim on a gift

If I buy a food-utensil from a gentile to give as a gift to a Jew, can I tovel it before giving it to him, or must he do it himself as the final intended owner? Is there a difference between glass and ...
11
votes
2answers
418 views

Why does writing on Shabbos need two letters?

In order to transgress "writing" (כותב) on Shabbos, (m'd'oraysah) one must write two letters. (See for example here.) Why is this so? Shouldn't writing anything still be considered writing? For ...
11
votes
2answers
468 views

Deliveries on Shabbos

This is a two-part question: What do you do if while you are at home during Shabbos, someone knocks at your door, and when you open it a delivery person (UPS/FedEx/USPS/DHL etc.) hands you a package ...
11
votes
2answers
485 views

What is the halacha regarding the expulsion of a student deemed a “nuisance student”?

Are there Halachic sources regarding the expulsion of a "nuisance student"? Or Halachic sources of not expelling a "nuisance student"? (Is this issue ever addressed as a real halachic issue?) Below ...
11
votes
1answer
496 views

How is gender halachically determined?

I apologize if this is a sensitive topic, but it seems that this question is foundational to some of the discussions that appear here. I hope that my wording is appropriate. If I understand ...
11
votes
3answers
595 views

Maaser Deductibles

Are there any expenses that one is allowed to "deduct" from his income before calculating the amount of Maaser one must give? For example, if one makes a hundred thousand dollars a year, but his ...
11
votes
3answers
220 views

Is it possible to convert a Rosh of a Rabeynu Tam Tefillin into a rosh of a Rashi Tefillin?

If I find a Rabeynu Tamm tefillin and I do not have another one , can I take it appart , and I know how to , and change the ROSH from Rabeynu Tam to a Rashi tefillin ?
11
votes
2answers
409 views

Hugging a crying close friend of the opposite sex?

Would hugging or otherwise comforting a close friend of the opposite gender who was visibly upset/crying be a violation of Negiah (prohibition against touching a member of the opposite sex)?
11
votes
2answers
161 views

Which kidney should you donate?

All things being equal medically, if a person is going to donate a kidney is there halachic or hashkafic reason to presume donating one kidney would be better than the other?
11
votes
2answers
590 views

May one walk under the Arch of Titus?

I have heard that it is prohibited (or at least that the custom is not) to walk under the Arch of Titus in Rome. Is this accurate? If so, what is the source? Would it make a difference if a large ...
11
votes
2answers
222 views

Cooking meat and milk as a chef

In this article an Orthodox woman describes how her rav permitted her to enroll in culinary school. Although he apparently did not permit cooking meat and milk together, is there any angle to permit ...
11
votes
1answer
390 views

Why does a Meat Thermometer not need Tevilla?

In this answer, We were told that "according to the Star-K Tevila Guidelines, no tevila is required for a meat thermometer." Why not? From the Star-K's article on Tevillat Kelim: Utensils ...
11
votes
2answers
616 views

Is there any issue with using aerosols on Shabbos?

I've heard from many people that you shouldn't use aerosols (such as air fresheners, disinfectants or deodorants) on shabbos, usually citing some vague reason of changing the form from liquid to gas, ...
11
votes
1answer
556 views

Kiddush between 6 and 7 o'clock - Which clock?

Many people hold that one should not make kiddush on Shabbos between the hours of 6 and 7. (Sources: Shulchan Aruch Harav and Taamei Haminhagim, (who, in turn, bring a Maharil, a Magen Avraham, and a ...
11
votes
4answers
492 views

In regards to writing, can soda bottles be opened on Shabbos?

Specifically, when the writing - such as an expiration date - is printed in dot matrix style across the line between the bottle cap and the bottle cap's ring, what are the issues involved in opening ...
11
votes
3answers
773 views

Where did the “different bracha for mishloach manos” idea come from?

Rambam and Shulchan Aruch say you can send two types of meat as mishloach manos on Purim. Yet somehow I (and many other people, apparently) were taught that the two different items have to be in two ...
11
votes
1answer
200 views

Woman with 2 wombs in regards to pidyon haben

There is a medical condition known as "Uterus didelphys". Wikipedia describes it as follows: Uterus didelphys (sometimes also uterus didelphis) represents a uterine malformation where the uterus ...
11
votes
2answers
173 views

“Avram” for when he was young?

The Gemara in Brachot 13a teaches us that we should only refer to Avraham as Avraham and not as Avram. תני בר קפרא כל הקורא לאברהם אברם עובר בעשה שנאמר (בראשית יז) והיה שמך אברהם רבי אליעזר אומר ...
11
votes
1answer
387 views

What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse?

What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse? I will be in Nevada next week and would like to make a blessing over the May 21 Solar Eclipse. Thanks!
11
votes
2answers
771 views

Does golel for first torah stand for second torah?

When there are two or three sifrei torah read on the same day, either the magbiah or golel holds the first sefer while the second is read. In this case should he stand for… kadish after reading from ...
11
votes
2answers
574 views

Zimun and Bentsching (Bircat Hamazon / Grace After Meals) with Jews who ate non-kosher food

I came across an interesting situation recently. I was eating with Jewish, non-observant friends. I brought over a hamburger from a local kosher take-out place. They had homemade, non-kosher food, ...
11
votes
4answers
882 views

Woman's hair covering in the home or in private

Trying to sort out my question, I came across this one, which is closely related, but it is not an exact duplicate. According to those who say a woman must cover her hair, not just her head (those ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Wearing Watches on Shabbat

What is a watch one can wear on shabbat? There are the analogue quartz watches with just one crown to adjust the time that (as far as I'm aware) most people would wear on shabbat (especially an ...
11
votes
3answers
378 views

Would halacha permit bombing Auschwitz?

I know there's a lot of talk about whether Allied forces during World War II could have / should have taken military action directly against the Holocaust. I'm not opening that can of worms here. ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Puzzles on Shabbat

Is it permitted to put together puzzles on Shabbat with children? Does it matter what kind of puzzle it is (jigsaw vs. fit the piece in the wooden hole)? Does it matter if there are words on the ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Can a gentile light a Shabbat candle and do the prayers?

I am a gentile, however I am seriously considering to convert. I would like to do some of the Shabbat traditions just to get a feel of the celebration (can you call it that?) like light the candle ...
11
votes
2answers
183 views

Gap zip up sweatshirt Kesivah on Shabbos?

Does zippering up a sweatshirt like this one, which when zippering causes the letter A to become a letter create a problem of Kesivah on Shabbos? Is an Old Navy sweatshirt where the word Old is on one ...
11
votes
2answers
198 views

Nursing in the bathroom

Per Food in bathroom it is forbidden to eat in the bathroom. Can a lady nurse in the bathroom or is it considered like eating in the bathroom? (sources)
11
votes
1answer
295 views

Can a Jew who dies on Mars be buried there?

Recently, the news has been talking about sending people on a 1-way trip to Mars. AFAIK, no Jews have applied or are scheduled to make the trip. B"H, because I see all sorts of interesting halachic ...
11
votes
1answer
266 views

Are Segulot a Prohibition of Nichush?

Rambam Hilchot Avodat Kochavim 11:12 writes: הלוחש על המכה וקורא פסוק מן התורה, וכן הקורא על התינוק שלא יבעת, והמניח ספר תורה או תפילין על הקטן בשביל שיישן - לא די להם שהם בכלל מנחשים וחוברים, אלא ...
11
votes
2answers
577 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?
11
votes
1answer
357 views

Should I say “amen” to a malformed bracha?

If I hear somebody substantially mispronounce a bracha, should I say amen anyway (recognizing the intent) or remain silent? I'm not talking about nuances like pronouncing 'ayin or distinguishing ...
11
votes
1answer
352 views

Lo Yilbash: necklaces and rings

Is there are prohibition for men to wear rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets or anything of the kind or would that go against the prohibition of "Lo Yilbash Gever Simlat Isha — a man shall not wear ...
11
votes
3answers
532 views

What's the deal with showering on yom tov?

What's the deal with showering on yom tov? I am asking not about shabbos, but specifically about yom tov.