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29 views

Is one allowed to read books written by Homer such as The Iliad or The Odyssey?

When I was in elementary yeshiva, I had to read both The Iliad and The Odyssey. Both these books focus on Greek mythology, specifically the Trojan War. Sefer HaChinukh 426:1 says: שלא לחן ולרחם ...
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0answers
19 views

What factors were used for determining leap years while the Israelites were in the desert?

I am trying to "co-ordinate" Rambam"s explanation of how to determine Judaic leap years with a key verse in the Torah. Ranbam states in Mishneh Torah, Sanctification of the New Month 4:2: Mishneh ...
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0answers
28 views

Hand-Held Electronic Body Scanners on Shabbat

Can hand held electronic body scanners be used by synagogue volunteers on Shabbat for security purposes? This is in response to terrorist threats against American (specifically American-Jewish) ...
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1answer
49 views

Are shabbat candlesticks on a tray muktzeh?

If candlesticks are on a tray can they be moved off the table on Shabbat?
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1answer
84 views

Can a woman clean her father, when he is naked, if he cannot?

Let's say an elderly man needs to be cleaned: he cannot clean himself because of extreme weakness. Can his daughter do this or must she hire someone else?
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2answers
314 views

Can the Jewish people have a king while in exile?

Assuming a time where appointing a Jewish king is possible, if a proper Jewish king was anointed would he continue to retain the status of king if the Jewish people were exiled from the land of ...
3
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1answer
69 views

Is Exodus 20:4 a command about icons or idols?

When The Lord says, "Do not make for yourself an image," does he mean an image for the purpose of worship, that is an idol, or any image whatsoever, such as the depiction of a narrative or a ...
4
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1answer
70 views

Do Whole Vanilla Beans Need A Hekhsher?

Vanilla beans and their derivatives are commonly used in many dishes as a spice. The whole beans are available for purchase in stores and online. I understand that plain fruits and vegetables (when ...
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1answer
108 views

Throwing Out Bread

What is the nature of the prohibition to destroy bread? Why is it commonly presented differently from other destruction (bal tashchit)?
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1answer
115 views

Is there a halacha for writing a biography of a gadol? If so, what is it?

I was thinking of writing a magazine article on a rabbi I knew well before his death some years back. I wrote to his son to see if he could help me with stories, history, photographs, etc. He ...
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4answers
242 views

What happened to the mitzvah to love the stranger?

This commandment is repeated at least three times in the Torah--in Leviticus 19, Deuteronomy 10, Exodus 22, and Leviticus 25. Leviticus 19:33-34 say: "When a stranger resides with you in your ...
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1answer
55 views

Shehecheyanu upon affixing mezuzah

The Rambam writes in Sefer Ahava - Hilchos Berachos - Halacha 9: That Shehecheyanu is recited for every mitzvah that involves acquisition of property: I.e. Mezuzot. ט כל מצוה שהיא מזמן לזמן כגון ...
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1answer
103 views

When is Fixed Interest Allowed?

It says in an article at VBM Torah: It should be remembered that Halakha makes explicit mention of particular bodies to whom it is permissible to lend at interest (e.g., the community) So what ...
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1answer
71 views

Receiving an Aliyah/Dukhening While Wearing a Catheter

Can a man wearing a catheter Dukhen (say the priestly blessing) or get an Aliyah? ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The catheter drains urine through tubing to a bag attached to the body. Everything is hidden ...
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1answer
68 views

How much aged cheese is needed in a cheese mix to require waiting 6 hours?

According to Remo in Shulchan Aruch Yorah De'ah a9:2 as referred in this OU article, people should wait 6 hours after eating hard cheese. Let's say someone eats a type of cheese that is partially ...
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1answer
117 views

Waiting after meat and milk

If someone eats a mixture of meat and milk, does he need to wait before eating more meat or milk?
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1answer
224 views

Zecher L'Churban - Why a plate at Tenayim and a glass at the Chupah?

When a person gets engaged and married there are various things that we do as a Zecher L'Churban. At the Tenayim (whether done immediately or at the wedding) we break an earthernware plate, at the ...
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1answer
35 views

Opposite vs. closer regarding the amah-by-amah

The gemara in Bava Batra 60b records a takkana d'rabanan (Rabbinic enactment) to leave a square cubit unfinished in one's house in commemoration of the destruction of the Temple (codified in the ...
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0answers
27 views

Where does the zecher lechurban go in an apartment building?

(A zecher lechurban here refers to the part of a house that is intentionally left unfinished to commemorate the Temple's destruction.) In an apartment building, does there have to be a zecher ...
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1answer
83 views

Water heaters on shabbos and yom tov

I was looking into buying a more efficient water heater, and was dismayed to discover the significant halachic issues surrounding tankless water heaters ...
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1answer
34 views

Why begin eating with the bottom challa on Friday evening? [duplicate]

Why do we begin eating with the bottom challa on Friday evening, and only then; not on Shabbat morning and not on holidays (unless they fall on Fri evening)?
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2answers
117 views

Determining times of Halachic import on a long flight

If I'm taking a long flight on an airplane on a day when permitted activities change at a certain point, e.g. with the start or end of a fast day, or with the start of the chametz prohibition kicking ...
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1answer
83 views

Trimming a mustache during sefira

Is it permitted to trim a mustache during sefira if it is not bothering the person in any way with regards to eating but is bothering him in other ways?
3
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1answer
62 views

Inserting an IUD & Niddah

Does inserting an IUD render a woman a Niddah even if there is no bleeding? If there is bleeding can it be attributed to a wound and thus the woman would not be a Niddah? (sources)
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2answers
105 views

Can non-biological matter cause your sink, dishes, or food to become non-kosher?

For instance, if something non-edible such as a chemical or eraser shavings are drained down the sink, would that cause any kashrut problems?
2
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1answer
119 views

Can I sell a dollar from the rebbe that was given to someone else?

The Lubavicher rebbe had a practice of giving out dollar bills to people. If I were to have one originally given to someone else would it be permissible to sell such a memento?
3
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1answer
969 views

Can a Jewish woman sing in front of a non-Jewish man?

Suppose I am a Jewish woman. Suppose I am in a taxi (or similar semiprivate place) with a male cab driver who I am quite sure is not Jewish. May I sing in front of him? Hypothesis: That since the ...
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6answers
3k views

Making seltzer/soda water on Shabbat or Yom Tov

Can a person make seltzer on shobbos or yom tov with something like sodastream?
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1answer
40 views

Mezuzos on an “eruv”

What we colloquially call an "eruv" is actually intended to be a halachic doorway (tzurath hapethach) to count as a partition delineating a reshuth hayachid (private domain). As such, every post ...
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0answers
105 views

Shochtim who learned from translated materials

The Maharil in his Tshusvos Chadashos ("New Responsa," mentioned here), writes (Siman 93) that the custom is not to give kabblah to shochtim who learned the laws shechita in German (translated ...
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2answers
154 views

Is women saying Kaddish an issue of Kol Isha?

I have seen it discussed whether or not there is an issue of kol isha by kriyas haTorah, but I have not seen any sources addressing whether there is an issue of kol isha by kaddish, specifically...? ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Taking Tylenol on a Taanith: Defining “ill”

With regard to hilkhoth shabbath, a choleh she'ein bo sakana (one with a non-life-threatening illness) is allowed to engage in therapeutic activites, such as taking medication. This is not the case ...
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0answers
20 views

Taking Tylenol on a Taanis

A choleh she'eyn bo sakana (one with a non-life-threatening illness) is not obligated to fast on any fast other than Yom Kippur (see Mishna Brurah 550:4 and Aruch Hashulchan 550:6). A choleh she'eyn ...
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0answers
26 views

should one attach tzitzit to a knitted garment with four corners

My question is should one attach tzitzit to a knitted garment with four corners - I understand that one should with a woven garment as explained in For a man, does any four-cornered garment require ...
6
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1answer
123 views

Reform Judaism as an avenue for Ethical Monotheism for gentiles

If Orthodoxy and Halacha do not see the Reform movement as "valid" then is it fair to say that Reform Judaism is permissible for Gentiles to practice (assuming they have no Jewish ancestry ...
3
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4answers
693 views

Is private crossdressing authorized?

Is it permissible to wear women clothes in total privacy without anyone watching it. Not for sexual purpose but to release pressure?
2
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1answer
136 views

Is it permitted for a male to have a female therapist?

It is forbidden to be secluded with another woman (excluding a woman that it is permitted e.g. wife, mother, grandmother etc.). This is known as yichud. It is permitted though, provided the area is ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Do I make hamotzi over raw dough?

If I am making challah and want to taste the dough before baking would I make hamotzi or would it be adamah and shehakol for flour and eggs since it's not considered לחם מן הארץ yet?
2
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1answer
46 views

Is there tefillah betzibbur during mixed heiche kedusha?

In a minyan (quorum) that is doing heiche kedushe with the (inevitable?) scenario that some mispallelim (ones praying) are following the Rama and waiting till after the chazzan's kedusha to begin ...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

Is there any reason a Jewish woman should not shake hands with a non-Jewish man?

My question refers to the custom of certain groups to prohibit all physical contact between men and women who are not spouses or related. Although it is clear enough that Jewish men should not touch ...
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0answers
28 views

Does the proximity rule for hand washing water extend to b'racha precedence?

Assuming that one must wash one's hands before eating bread unless the water is very far away, and assuming one is near water, and assuming that the highest precedence b'racha is the b'racha for ...
16
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3answers
297 views

Is there tashlumin for n'ila?

Being that n'ila is a unique prayer, in that it only occurs once a year, can one make up (do tashlumin for) n'ila at the next prayer or the previous one at n'ila?
0
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1answer
27 views

Depilatories- creams or “shaving powders” on Shabbos

Is it permissible to use Depilatories (creams or "shaving powders" which chemically dissolve hair) on Shabbos? and if not- why?
0
votes
1answer
99 views

Can one remove and return an oatmeal pot at a hotel free breakfast on Shabbat?

I understand that there is a rule that one should not remove a pot from a crockpot unit on Shabbat and return it to the unit, for he will be recooking the food. Let's say someone is staying at a ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

What customs does a divorced/widowed woman follow? (Ashkenazi/Sfardi — hers or her ex-husband's?)

When a woman gets married, she takes on her husband's customs. Thus, an Ashkenazi woman marrying a Sfardi man gets to eat rice on Pesach (and vice versa). But what happens if she gets divorced, or if ...
14
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2answers
620 views

Do Shaving Restrictions Apply to Bearded Women?

For example, if a woman were to have a beard, would she be permitted to shave it off with a razor or otherwise destroy it, or do these restrictions apply to both men and women?
0
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1answer
78 views

Does a trapezoid require tzizit? (Or: how to make a four-cornered triangle)

My family was learning Rambam Hilchot Tzitzit 1:16 tonight and had some questions on how this works, as a practical matter: וכן המטיל לבעלת שלש ואחר כך השלימה לארבע והטיל לרביעית כולה פסולה שנאמר ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

Handwritten Siddurim

I've seen assorted links on the net discussing handwritten siddurim, which brought up a number of questions, which I will ask here. Are there any halachot in regards to handwriting a siddur? In ...
3
votes
1answer
154 views

What should a woman who must do Chalitza do if her Yevam can't do it?

In some cases of Zikas Yibum, there is a Rabbinic prohibition against their doing Yibum (eg. the deceased husband's brother is a Mamzer, cf. Shulchan Aruch Even Hoezer 174) and as such they must ...