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12
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1answer
481 views

Time for morning prayer when flying over Greenland and seeing the sun rise twice

Last year I flew from Tel Aviv to Los Angeles. The flight leaves at night (1am) and, in the winter, lands when it is still night (630am). However during the flight, over Greenland, one sees the sun ...
12
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2answers
128 views

Does Shmita apply in Jordan?

Since the East bank of the Jordan River was given to shevet Reuven as an inheritance, was Shmita observed there as well? If so, does shmita still apply there?
12
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1answer
399 views

if a convert later finds out she was Jewish anyway through her mother's mother, does she need a new ketubah?

If a convert (orthodox) later finds out she was Jewish anyway through her mother, does she need a new ketubah since the one she has says bas Avraham and giyorta? Would the answer be different if the ...
12
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2answers
325 views

10th man drove to shul on shabbat

If one of precisely ten men, who form a minyan, had driven to shul (the synagogue) on shabbat, is that an acceptable minyan? I would have though not, since one is benefiting from his melacha on ...
12
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2answers
144 views

Netilas Yadayim with automatic sinks

It seems there is precedent to allow for netilas yadayim when you don't have a cup, by turning the sink on and off for each rivi'is per hand. By employing this method you satisfy the requirement of ...
12
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1answer
173 views

Checking the “I have read…” box

A lot of computer programs, or online stores, have you check a box before completing installation or completing a transaction that says something along the lines of "I have read and agree to all of ...
12
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2answers
281 views

(Sort of) Writing the Name of God

I'm taking an Aramaic class, and one of the words that came up in the text I'm reading is "yehuweh," meaning "he will become" (in context, "he will become my successor). It is spelled with the exact ...
12
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1answer
277 views

Insurance against משיח

According to this rather amusing blog post, there is apparently a common clause in rental contracts in Jerusalem, called the Messiah clause, in which, when a landlord outside of Israel rents out a ...
12
votes
1answer
270 views

Honor thy children?

What responsibility do parents have to their children vis a vis Kavod? General Kavod HaBerioth? Some level of relational Kavod like spouses have or like children have to their parents, only to a ...
12
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1answer
256 views

In a city with many shuls, how much loyalty do I owe to the shul of which I am a member?

In a city with many shuls, in what way should we think about the individual shuls? a) They are “service” (no pun intended) providers and I will take the services as they suit me best. Even if I take ...
12
votes
1answer
397 views

Safek (doubt) in Halachah - How unsure does one have to be?

If someone is unsure if he recited Tal UMatar, one has to repeat the Shemoneh 'Esreh (it's slightly more complicated, but let's keep it simple). If one is unsure if he remembered to Bentch (recite ...
12
votes
3answers
786 views

Am I allowed to view a Kotel Cam on Shabbos?

If there is a camera in Israel that is operating on Shabbos, am I (a person living in America, where Shabbos only starts 6 or 7 hours later) allowed to view such a camera? I suppose the same could be ...
12
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1answer
116 views

Exercise before Shacharis

Halacha tells us that there are certain activities that are forbidden to do before one davens the morning prayer. Would exercise be one of those activities ?
12
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2answers
189 views

Being appointed to a jury in a case between two Jews

In the U.S., a person can be appointed as a juror without volunteering for the position. If a person would find themselves appointed as a juror over a monetary dispute between two Jews, how should ...
12
votes
1answer
577 views

Are we allowed to ask someone if he's a convert?

I remember learning that we are forbidden to "remind a convert of his past". The implication, as I remember it, is reminding someone that he used to be an idolater. (Though not all converts were.) ...
12
votes
1answer
223 views

Thinking about Purim Torah in the bathroom

It is not permitted to think about Torah in the bathroom regularly, but what about Purim Torah, which is certainly not real Torah study, but still often refers to actual Torah? One might think that ...
12
votes
1answer
287 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
732 views

Which parts of the prayer service must be said clearly out loud?

I've heard a few different opinions on this. During longer prayer services, such as Shacharit on Shabbat, at least in Nusach Sefard, Pesukei D'Zimrah is quite long and there is a tendency for the ...
12
votes
1answer
358 views

Ta'amei Mikra and the Torah Scroll

I have heard that a haftorah klaf (scroll) is still considered kosher and usable if the Ta'amei Mikra have been written on it. Yet I've always been told that this is not true for a Torah scroll. Why ...
12
votes
1answer
467 views

Mandatory evacuation on Shabbat: what can and can't you do?

A major storm hit New England starting this past Friday. While people knew this was coming and precautions were already in place, apparently (according to a news article I read tonight) some areas ...
12
votes
3answers
405 views

Does Neveilah/Tereifah make you Fleishig?

Another question asks whether meat of a non-kosher species (Behemah Temeiah or Hayah Temeiah) makes one Fleishig (considered to have eaten meat, so cannot eat milk). My question then is about kosher ...
12
votes
3answers
272 views

What is the hetter for yeshivas to daven a Hoiche Kedusha?

I have seen many Yeshivas (and some not-so-yeshivas [day schools, etc.]) doing a Hoiche Kedusha for Mincha. They had the Chazzan start the first three Brachos of Shemoneh Esrei aloud and say ...
12
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2answers
355 views

What is the halachic status of things in outer space?

Is everything in outer space hefker? For example if a private person lands on the moon or an asteroid can he be koneh it? Do you retain the rights to something that you send into space?
12
votes
1answer
111 views

Can an ultrasound be relied upon?

I have read reports of the accuracy of gender prediction from an ultrasound with numbers ranging from 90-98%. There is a halacha (Y.D. 194:11) that if a fetus sticks its hand [or possibly any limb] ...
12
votes
1answer
256 views

Intentionally using a grace period on a rental

I recently rented a bike for a few hours, and the person in charge of the rental told us that we have "X number of hours, and a 15 minute grace period," followed by the warning that if we don't return ...
12
votes
4answers
368 views

Is it permitted to shoot an air gun on shabbos?

Is it ok to shoot an air gun (also known as a "BB gun") to knock over cups on Shabbos? I can't think of any reason to prohibit it.
12
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2answers
2k views

What is Maris Ayin?

What is the precise definition of Maris Ayin, and to what cases does it apply? (i.e. what are the parameters for applying it)
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Origin of myth about the hole in the sheet?

There is a widespread myth (as far as I know it is a myth) that orthodox Jews must have marital relations through a hole in a sheet. What is the origin of this myth and does it have any actual basis ...
11
votes
3answers
489 views

Time dilation and waiting between meat and milk

Suppose Ploni eats some meat. He then gets in a spaceship and accelerates to some significant percentage of the speed of light for a short trip into outer space, and then returns home. At the time ...
11
votes
4answers
375 views

Crocs on Yom Kippur?

Given the prohibition of wearing certain footwear on Yom Kippur, is one allowed to wear Crocs on Yom Kippur? Or are they too comfortable or something?
11
votes
4answers
3k views

When can you build the sukkah?

My wife and I love the holiday of Sukkot, as do many of our friends. We build the sukkah every year and have friends over for an evening meal, preferably on Shabbes - if someone else in our group of ...
11
votes
4answers
852 views

Getting married in age order

Those that refrain from allowing a younger sibling to get married prior to an older sibling mention the verse from Lavan, "Lo Yaiose Kain BimiKomeinu Losais Hatziyira Lifnei HaBechira, In our locale ...
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votes
8answers
513 views

How do you extend the sound of a daleth in Shema?

How does one extend the sound of the daleth in the echod of the shema as prescribed in OC 61 (6)?. The letter as we say it does not seem to allow extension. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalet ...
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3answers
526 views

Siblings marrying siblings

Can two siblings in one family marry two siblings of another family?
11
votes
8answers
965 views

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah?

Is one a heretic if he does not believe in Kabbalah? Not necessarily that the Rashbi authored the Zohar, but in the general tenets of kabbalah including but not limited to: tzimtzum, sefirot, ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

If my home is on fire on Shabbos or Yom Tov, what can I do?

G-d forbid, but let's say that my house catches fire either on Shabbos or a Yom Tov. Can I call 911 or must I find a non-Jewish neighbor to call? We have an eruv. Can I take my car keys, cell phone ...
11
votes
1answer
256 views

Can I choose not to violate Shabbos for “pikuach nefesh”?

According to the Gemara (Yoma 85a-b) and Poskim (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 328, Rambam, Hilchot Shabbos 2 [English Rambam]), one is allowed to violate Shabbos in order to preserve his life. This is ...
11
votes
5answers
451 views

Is belief in a G-d a commandment?

I am studying to convert to Judaism and one of the questions I was asked was about the Ten Commandments. I remember reading at that time that there was debate about the division of the statements ...
11
votes
3answers
533 views

If it rains on my sukkah and I put up a tarp, should I stay in the sukkah?

If it is raining on Succos is there any benefit in eating in a Succah covered with a (Schlack) tarp over eating in the house? (sources please)
11
votes
4answers
561 views

Clapping on Shabbos

Is one allowed to clap one's hands on Shabbos? Does it matter whether one is clapping to a beat or trying to get someone's attention?
11
votes
3answers
468 views

Music, not allowed the whole year?

The Halacha is ( אורח חיים הלכות תשעה באב סימן תק''ס סעיף ג) That since the Destruction of the Temple we may not listen to any Music. How is it that most people do listen to recordings?
11
votes
3answers
576 views

Can a Sheitel be made out of one's own hair?

Suppose a married woman is able to create a Sheitel that is entirely made up of her own hair (detached, of course). Does that satisfy the requirement for covering her hair?
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Drinking cold kosher beverages in a non-Jewish relative's house

Let's say you're staying at a non-Jewish relative's house. He bought you kosher food because he knows you keep kosher. He buys you a drink such as milk. You see him pour the drink for himself into his ...
11
votes
3answers
273 views

Trustworthiness of “new” dishes

When one buys new dishes from a store (e.g. cutlery, plates, bowls), is there any concern that they are not as "new" as they are claimed to be? For example, someone buys some cutlery and plates, ...
11
votes
4answers
887 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
662 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
388 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
3answers
1k views

Aside from the days set aside for impurity, what exactly is a man allowed to do with his wife in regards to intimacy?

A man cannot touch, stare, kiss or have relations with a woman he is not married with. On the days when the laws of impurity do not apply, what exactly can a man do with his wife? Assuming extra ...
11
votes
2answers
363 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
794 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 ...