NOTE: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends. // Jewish law. Specifically, the legal process beginning with the written Torah and continuing ...

learn more… | top users | synonyms (5)

4
votes
3answers
628 views

Where is it taught that you can't sleep with socks

I remember hearing that you can't sleep with socks. I think Rambam stated this (correct me if i am wrong), but where in Rambam was it said and why do we do it?
3
votes
2answers
82 views

Learning Torah on Christmas

Can one learn Torah on Christmas day? I've heard there are a number of opinions on this: what are their sources? I've heard that Chasidim don't study anything Xmas night as well as the 6th of ...
4
votes
2answers
853 views

Kosher status of medicine that comes in a gel capsule

What are the kashruth issues involved in the taking of gel-capsule medicine which does not have kosher certification?
0
votes
0answers
4 views

Lighting the Chanuka menorah in my moving trailer

If I live in a trailer, can I light the menorah by the window of the trailor while it's moving (driving down the highway, lets say) and be yotzei the mitzvah of lighting the Chanuka ner?
3
votes
0answers
19 views

Are you allowed to take pills with gelatin [duplicate]

According to Halacha, are you allowed to take pills that are covered with gelatin? It's an antibiotic for acne.
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Passing gas while listening to a Jewish song on my MP3 player

In Hilchot Kri'at Shema 3:14, Maimonides wrote: If one is reciting [the Shema] and passes gas, he should stop until the odor subsides and resume his recitation afterwards. The same applies to one ...
5
votes
2answers
84 views

Kill a no-longer-profitable horse?

My understanding is that a horse is killed when its profit no longer matches its expense. Is this something Jews should/may do? I can think of some pros and cons, but wonder what authorities have ...
4
votes
0answers
19 views

Can one light a Chanuka Menora using fiberglass wicks

A friend of mine posted this picture of her Dad's Chanuka Menora. Obviously it's not using olive oil, but that's no worse than using candles. In these lamps the wicks are simply fiberglass pipes ...
6
votes
2answers
40 views

Cannibalism, Jew or Gentile?

Suppose one is stuck on a deserted island with two people, one Jewish, and the other a gentile. If, G-d forbid, both of them died and one were forced to become a cannibal to survive, which person is ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate to men?

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate specifically to men. Not men in relation to women. In other words, I'm not looking for "Men must act in a certain way when around women," I'm looking ...
6
votes
1answer
64 views

Is there a Mitzvah to love parents?

Is there a special mitzvah to love one's parents? If so, does it require the parent's awareness of that love?
0
votes
1answer
25 views

Does anyone hold that you could be “masneh al mah shekasuv baTorah” in all cases?

The gemara on Bava Metzia 94a brings a discussion about "מתנה על מה שכתוב בתורה," about someone who makes a condition that is contrary to something that is written in the Torah. דתניא האומר לאשה ...
6
votes
1answer
485 views

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?

Is there a problem of "chukat goyim" with the bride having "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" at her wedding?
2
votes
1answer
160 views

Jewish dervishes and “Darkeihem”

This photo shows a pair of Jewish dervishes. It has been going around the Jewish-oriented pages of the internet and social media lately, and it got me wondering: would this be a problem of following ...
5
votes
2answers
277 views

Jeans as Hukot HaGoyim

Hukot HaGoyim in this case is something done specifically by gentiles and therefore it would be prohibited (see S"A Yoreh Deah 178). So my question is, would jeans fall under this category?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What makes something “chukat goyim?”

One of the most famous examples I have heard is that one should not even tie one's shoes like the non-Jews do in times of persecution. That seems rather excessive. What if the Jews started doing some ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Chanukah Bushes?

Every year, I hear people (typically heterodox or jokers) talking about "Chanukah bushes" (likely a parallel to Christmas trees). Now, beyond the obvious of this not being a traditional practice, ...
9
votes
1answer
160 views

Why have I never seen anyone “slicing the Shema”?

“Slicing the Shema” A good summary is to be found here, on the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash website. In short, “…. ten men who prayed alone can subsequently fulfill their obligations of ...
9
votes
0answers
116 views
+100

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 ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

Can a person (or cat) be both alive and dead at the same time? (Schrödinger's paradox)

Related: Schrödinger's cat and yibbum That question assumes that Schrödinger's paradox is possible, and that someone can be both dead and alive at the same time. So, is that actually true ...
1
vote
1answer
30 views

Taking off a hat cover before praying

It is clear that one should remove his coat before praying, as one should not rush straight in from the outside to pray. (Insert source here!) Hats are often sensitive to rain, and special hat-shaped ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Difference between books called “Shulchan Aruch”

Can someone explain the difference between these four books called "Shulchan Aruch"? The Shulchan Aruch stam Shulchan Aruch Habahir Aruch haShulchan The Tur Shulchan Aruch
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Can women be motsi Sephardic men in havdalah?

According to Sepharadim, women are chayavot in havdalah. Can they also be motsi men? Looking for a Sephardic answer.
7
votes
1answer
27 views

What primacy to give to learning halacha?

Consider a person who follows all of the halachos (he is aware of) that are involved in daily living. Any free time that he has is devoted to learning Torah. This person, however, is not proficient at ...
2
votes
0answers
13 views

Sigd prostration

Would prostration pose a halachic problem for a non-Ethiopian Jew who decides to participate in Sigd? Clearly the worshipers are prostrating themselves to none other than the One Jewish God. Is the ...
6
votes
1answer
35 views

Menorah 20 Amos above ground level

One does not fulfill his or her obligation of lighting the menorah if it is 20 Amos above since it is not easily seen. The Rambam in Hilchos Shabbas 17:15 writes that a beam over a mavoi with ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views
+50

Burden of proof for birkas “she'Asa nisim”?

The law is recorded in Shulchan Aruch et al. that one who sees lit Chanuka lights and has not lit his own should say the b'racha of שעשה נסים לאבותנו ("...she'asa nisim la'avosenu..."). Could he say ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Is modern-day Lebanon considered part of Eretz Yisrael? [duplicate]

Related to What are the Halachic boundaries of Eretz Yisroel? but that doesn't address my specific concern. Is modern-day Lebanon considered part of halachic Eretz Yisrael? Believe it or not, there ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Is there a halachic problem with saying “Christ” as a name?

Since (according to the Gra (YD 157:3), cited in this answer), there is no issue in saying the name "Jesus," would there be an issue in saying the name "Christ"? This name might be more problematic ...
4
votes
5answers
230 views

Religion in marriage for a God-fearing non-Jew

Does the Jewish religion have any guidelines to help a God-fearing non-Jew choose a spouse? Suppose this person used to be a part of another religion, but left it. Now he/she uses Tanakh as a guide, ...
5
votes
1answer
41 views

Is human placenta kosher?

There is, apparently, something called placenta encapsulation which means making pills out of a placenta postpartum for the purpose of digesting placenta. People claim that these pills offer unique ...
6
votes
2answers
174 views

Which Tachanun should I say when davening in a minyan with a different Nusach?

I daven Nusach Ashkenaz but I often daven mincha in minyanim with a different nuasach. Should I say my ashekanzi tachanun or is there a minhag ha'mokom? Moreover I have noticed sefardim davening their ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Does a meis mitzvah acquire the land he's on even in the Temple?

I'd like to understand the concept of meis mitzvah a bit better. Specifically: there is a decree that a meis mitzvah acquires the place he or she is on to be buried there, even if it is private ...
9
votes
3answers
368 views

Can conversion be revoked?

In a recent case the Israeli Rabbinical Court has revoked someone's conversion to Judaism on the grounds that they were deceptive. This decision was "...Based on the fact that she completely ...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

May a non Ethiopian Jew celebrate sigd?

Ethiopian Jews recently celebrated their festival of Sigd, which involves reaccaptence of the Torah, communal fasting and feasting, and prayers. Is it acceptable for someone of a Minhag other than ...
17
votes
4answers
946 views

What halachic issues are involved in turning off a mobile phone while praying the quiet Amidah?

A person realises during his quiet Amidah, that he has not turned off his mobile phone. He is worried lest it ring while he is praying. On the other hand, turning it off will interfere with his ...
4
votes
1answer
56 views

What's meruach hak'ri and why do it?

In general, one is required to take t'rumos and maasros from grain only once the pile of grain is been smoothed (מירוח הכרי, meruach hak'ri). (I think other halachos also kick in then.) What exactly ...
5
votes
2answers
79 views

What to do in a case of no siddur available and additions to the Shemoneh Esrei?

(Feel free to write a better title.) Today i ended up getting to shul too late for mincha, and having to daven outside (still within the proper time). Now, i know shemoneh esrei by heart, and even ...
3
votes
1answer
39 views

Do brachos on seeing have to be made within four amos?

Is there any source that says that in order to make a bracha for seeing e.g., a sage of Israel, a sage of the nations, or an unusual animal, one must be within four amos of the person/thing? I found ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Where do the different traditions for hours of waiting between meat and milk come from?

As far as I can tell, there are 5 different traditions for how long one has to wait between eating meat and milk: wait 6 full hours wait into the 6th hour (thus, 5 hours and 5 minutes would ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

May my wife wear my jacket to keep warm?

The Sefer HaChinuch #564 writes that it’s forbidden for a woman to wear men’s clothing. If it’s cold outside, is a woman allowed to wear a man’s coat to keep warm? If #1 is a problem, are any ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

May Kohanim visit Hayden Planetarium in NYC?

May Kohanim visit Hayden Planetarium in New York City? The planetarium in question is adjacent to the Natural History Museum. Issues in question are presumably sof tumah latzeit (the idea that the ...
-1
votes
4answers
129 views

Are there any authorities who hold that one must be a zionist?

There are some groups, like Naturei Karta or Satmar, which hold that a Jew may not be a Zionist, meaning one may not pursue the establishment or maintenance of a political entity for the Jewish people ...
15
votes
1answer
444 views
+50

Why don't we bow “correctly” during tefillah anymore?

According to the Gemara (Megillah 22b), and according to the RaMBa"M (Hil. Tefillah 5:13) (and apparently R' Avraham ben HaRaMBa"M was adamant), when we pray we are supposed to bow down ON our knees ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Berur halachah - what is this called in English?

I'm translating an article concerning the need for a "berur halachah" in order to determine the legal status of individuals with mental retardation. How would say "berur halachah" in English? ...
5
votes
0answers
25 views

Containers and wine

Is there any outer container (a frame or box, perhaps) into which an open bottle of non-mevushal wine can be placed that will shield the bottle in such a way that, if a non-Jew (or heretic) casually ...
6
votes
1answer
65 views

How is the sex of a baby born with unclear genitalia determined?

A baby may be born with a penis but no testicle. The hospital would do genetic tests to determine whether the baby was genetically female or male. In the case of a genetic female born with a penis the ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Concern for liquidy finished product only

"Meat and Dairy—A Kosher Consumer's Handbook", by the Star-K, indicates: Uncovered dairy in a clean fleishig [=meat] oven — If one cooks fleishig in an oven and ensures it remains clean (i.e. the ...
2
votes
2answers
184 views

Can one use Chanukkah lights/candles for a mitzvah?

One is generally not allowed to benefit from the light of the Channukah candles (see discussion here) but does that include using the light to perform a mitzvah? Note: I'm pretty sure that this is ...
6
votes
3answers
559 views

What is the absolute minimum length for peyos?

I have often heard that 1/4th of an inch is the minimum length of the hairs in the peyos area. For example, that is mentioned in an answer to a previous question: How to advise your barber My ...