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527 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 ...
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3answers
221 views

Flexibility in choice of verses for morning Kiddush

The morning Kiddush on Shabbat and holidays consists of one or more Torah verses followed by the blessing on the wine (or perhaps other beverage). I have seen in print and in practice various ...
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2answers
591 views

Is the material permitted to learn on Tisha B'av available online?

From Aish.com: Other prohibitions include...Learning Torah, since this is a joyful activity. It is permitted to learn texts relevant to Tisha B'Av and mourning -- e.g. the Book of Lamentations, ...
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3answers
331 views

Tzur MiShelo - Should you sing it before Bentching?

The song "Tzur MiShelo", generally printed in Bentchers, Siddurim, Zimronim, etc., as a Friday night song, follows the pattern of Bentching (grace after meals), praising G-d and praying for ...
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2answers
319 views

Dangling tzitzit

Do tzitzit need to dangle? Can one use some velcro to pin the strings down along the side of the beged so that they don't dangle down and get in the way of things?
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420 views

Halachic Considerations for Women in the IDF

For a religious girl going into the IDF very soon, there are a few questions that are often asked: Especially in active units, wearing a skirt while on base can be a problem: While crawling, ...
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3answers
338 views

When/how was the controversy regarding stainless-steel blades for shechitah resolved?

My understanding is that the use of stainless-steel blades for shechita (kosher slaughter) knives was introduced by the early Hassidic movement and initially opposed by the non-Hassidic leaders. ...
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2answers
242 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 ...
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1answer
93 views

STa"M on which children disagree

There is a halacha that if one is unsure if certain letters of STa"M (Sefer Torah/Tefillin/Mezuza) are of the right length, one can ask a child. What happens if there was a doubt in a letter in a ...
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3answers
520 views

Non-Jew's marriage obligation

Does a non-Jew have an obligation to get married like the Jew does?
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140 views

Allowed to help prepare / serve “milk and meat” meal in homeless shelter?

Imagine a case in which one is invited to volunteer with a group that is preparing and serving a meal at a homeless shelter. The group has decided on a menu that includes milk and meat together in ...
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402 views

Bar Mitzvah before Circumcision?

If one was never circumcised can they be called up to the Torah for their bar-mitzvah?
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1answer
204 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 ...
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175 views

Are there halachos which specify who is qualified for tzedakah?

Following a very interesting and animated discussion at the Shabbos table this past Friday night, I wanted to delve more into the halachos of who is an oni? I understand very clearly from the Neviim ...
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2answers
138 views

Can you respond to קדושה if you are not already done with your own ש''ע?

Can you respond to קדושה if you are not already done with your own ש''ע? I heard that you can if you are past a certain point after שים שלום/שלום רב. I just want to know if that's true and, if so, ...
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374 views

“Is the market-based distribution of income fair or unfair?”

This post, by a leading economist, lists the main differences on economic policy between the right and left-leaning economists. On many economic issues, Judaism does not necessarily take a clear ...
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3answers
537 views

Why do we say Shelo Asani Goy?

Why do we say in Birchas HaShachar Shelo Asani Goi - why do we not say SheAsani Yehudi or SheAsani Yisrael?
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3answers
172 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 ?
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1answer
450 views

Is flipping a coin following an omen?

If a person is deciding whether to do something and says "I'll flip a coin, heads I do it, tails I don't" does that fall under the prohibition of "don't divine with signs" in Vayikra 19?
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1answer
423 views

What halachot does an American traveling to Israel have to be made aware of?

I'm planning to go to Israel for the first time, b"h, in just over a month. I'll be going on an organized trip and then I hope to stay until after tisha b'av. What halchot do I need to know about? (I ...
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2answers
503 views

Would a baalat teshuva need a get from each previous sexual relationship?

Would a baalat teshuva need a get from each previous sexual relationship? In light of the idea that marriage can be contracted solely through bi'ah/public knowledge of the couple's relationship (as ...
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297 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?
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388 views

DNA and Jewish Law

Why isn't DNA seen as a valid source of Halachic decision making? Is it because it's too small for the naked eye? A margin of error problem? What? Normally, physical evidence is plenty of information ...
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1answer
147 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 ...
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4answers
174 views

Must I check the kashrut certificate every time I visit a bakery or restaurant?

Say I visit a bakery, restaurant, jail, hospital, or nursing home. And say I already know that the food there is kosher. Must I still check the kashrut certificate every time I visit? (Gershon ...
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1answer
89 views

Cleaning chanukia in a bathroom?

The easiest way I have found to get candle wax off a metal chanukia is with a stream of hot water. The wax melts and runs off with the water. One kettle of hot water is not enough to clean it all, ...
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1answer
220 views

Allowing unmarried/homosexual couples into a hotel

Recently there has been a high profile case in the UK concerning a religious christian couple who own a hotel. Due to their personal religious beliefs their policy was to refuse a room to couples who ...
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2answers
414 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, ...
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2answers
171 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)
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3answers
377 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 ...
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2answers
203 views

Different Teffilin, now what am I required to do?

If I do not have my regular Teffilin one morning and need to borrow someone else's, but that person's Teffilin are different from mine, is that sufficient, or should I get a pair of Teffilin later on ...
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4answers
609 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 ...
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1answer
206 views

Eilu V'Eilu - Until Where?

Many times rabbis disagree on things in both hashkafa and Halacha. Usually, even when disagreeing, they will view the others' opinion as valid, even if they themselves would not rely on it. This is ...
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2answers
261 views

What can a Menorah be made of?

Are there any halachic limitations on materials that can be used (l'chatchila) to make a Menorah? For example, can one fulfil the mitzva on a Menorah of ice? How about one of cans, potatoes, or ...
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2answers
358 views

“bad impression” vs “Judge your friend favorably”

There are two commonly known halachic concepts. "Marit Ayin", a bad impression, and "Dan Lekaf Zechut", "Judging favorably". Here is a nice article on the concept of Marit Ayin and it briefly talks ...
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1answer
213 views

Are Jews allowed to participate in Valentine's Day rituals?

Are Jews allowed to participate in Valentine's Day rituals? Although St. Valentine's Day is originally a quasi-Christian holiday, it seems that some communities allow participation.* Which communities ...
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2answers
178 views

Non-belief in Torah's divinity - Wickedness or Ignorance?

If a Jew breaks halacha because he honestly does not believe that the Torah is G-d's law or that he is obligated it follow it, is his nonconformance with the law considered wickedness or ignorance? ...
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1answer
204 views

May one reheat food on top of a crock-pot or urn on Shabbos?

According to my understanding cooked or baked food that is currently cold, may be placed on top of a pot that is on a blech on Shabbos to warm up. What about putting cooked or baked foods on top of ...
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1answer
375 views

May a lady take a pregnancy test on Shabbos?

Are there any issues with taking a pregnancy test (non-electronic) on Shabbos?
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649 views

Male tzniut: Swimwear

Seeing as summer is coming, I thought I'd clear up a few questions about male tzniut with regards to swimwear. Namely, my real question is: what is required? I live in southern California, so outside ...
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2answers
173 views

Leaning on things during prayer?

It says in Shulchan Aruch that one may not lean on anything while reciting sh'mona esre. (OC 94:8) The Mishna B'rura defines "leaning" as placing one's weight on another object such that if the object ...
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1answer
120 views

The Effect of an 18- or 6-Hour Day

Since the 18th century, Jews have been settling in Sweden without the requirement of conversion (source). As such, there are now a number of Swedish Jewish communities, the largest of which is in ...
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2answers
676 views

Can 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 and ...
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2answers
208 views

Does “foreign religious obligation” = “Takruvas Avodah Zarah”?

Background: There is a verse in the Christian scriptures (Luke 6:30) that, when read out of context, implies that a follower of osso ha’ish should give anything anyone asks for. I had heard an urban ...
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1answer
272 views

Can one make a siyum mesechta if it was learned in English translation?

If someone has some trouble with Aramaic and learned parts of a mesechta in English translation (for example with an Artscroll Gemara), can he still make a siyum?
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1answer
101 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 ...
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1answer
563 views

Koshering granite

I have been told that a granite counter top is similar to glass in that it is not porous and does not absorb taste from food that touches it. Is there a source in halacha for this concept? What other ...
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1answer
128 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 ...
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1answer
256 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 ...
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2answers
402 views

Being exposed to Christmas music

I understand that for many people, this is almost impossible to do - as long as you go shopping anywhere outside a Jewish neighborhood, or if you turn on the television, you will be exposed to ...