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96 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 ...
10
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101 views

Participating in a non-Kosher food co-op

A food cooperative is a member-owned food store. It is typically set up that in order to shop there at discount prices, each person can become a member if they agree to volunteer a certain amount of ...
8
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0answers
82 views

The Permissibility of Purim Torah

Saying Purim Torah, funny (or unfunny) puns based off a misreading of a verse, is an age old tradition in the spirit of Mishenichnas Adar Marbin Besimcha. However, the Gemara in Sanhedrin 99b states: ...
7
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0answers
64 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 ...
7
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48 views

Tzitzis: does the same string need to be used for all windings?

While there are over a dozen customs as to how exactly one should tie tzitzis strings, all are in agreement (I think) that it involves winding one string around the others some number of times. I have ...
7
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0answers
96 views

Is there a problem with saying “for Pete's sake”?

Is there a halachic issue with invoking the name "Peter," or, as is more commonly used, "oh, for Pete's sake!," which I assume is a reference to Saint Peter. ( Wikipedia agrees with this conjecture, ...
7
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66 views

Is there any halachic problem with an ark having a “lazy susan” for the Sifrei Torah?

Our shul has a small ark. There is room for 4 Sifrei Torah with 2 on each row. As a Ba'al Kri'ah / Gabbai, I find it difficult, sometimes, to shuffle Sifrei Torah between the front and back row, esp. ...
7
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41 views

Lashon Harah for anonymous to'eles

Necessary background: Lashon Harah (slander) is prohibited, unless it is for a to'eles (constructive purpose). Can I say Lashon Harah that would be available to everyone, would be beneficial for some ...
7
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204 views

Can a garment be assur for men and women because it is both beged ish and beged isha?

I've been wondering about garments like the frilly pink/purple yarmulkas and talleisim used in liberal Judaism. Since yarmulkas and talleisim are probably normally beged ish, and pink/purple frilly ...
7
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0answers
84 views

Onen and Meis Mitzvah

If an onen comes across a mas mitzvah (let's assume there is either another person to be involved with the onen's personal mas or there is more time to be involved with his mas later), is the onen ...
7
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108 views

Counting towards a Keriat HaTorah one who accidentally ate

We have Halacha that at least 6 people need to be fasting in order to read the Torah in a fast day. However, let's say there are 10 people and 5 are definitely fasting and one who accidentally ate ...
6
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41 views

Correcting one's father or one's rav when he is leyning

The Shulchan Arukh (YD 240:2) rules that one is never allowed to contradict one's father in his presence, and that when it comes to one's rav (or one's father if he is a Torah scholar; YD 242:1-2), ...
6
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0answers
38 views

Company matched charitable giving and ma'aser

If my company matches a certain level of charitable giving, can this be included in any way in ma'aser calculations? Does it make a difference if the company matches the donations by giving directly ...
6
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0answers
65 views

Would halachic units be shrunk if a person was (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids-style)?

In the classic move Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and its sequels, people get shrunk down to 1/264th of their normal size. So, a person is around 1/4 of an inch tall. If such a thing were even possible, ...
6
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0answers
61 views

What in a siddur can be changed?

There are many different editions of siddurim with many commonalities but also many differences, see here for discussion on MY. Also different communities use different siddurim to match their ...
6
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0answers
76 views

What is Kishuf (“magic”)?

In order to avoid the prohibited, we must first know what it is. What is the halachic definition of Kishuf ("magic")? While I am mainly interested in sources, Svaras (reasonings) and thoughts are ...
6
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0answers
48 views

Changing location mid-way during Shemoneh Esrei?

In one of these hopefully rare events, I’ve found myself needing to daven Shemoneh Esrei in a hotel lobby. I tried finding a quite place, only to realise mid-way one of the workers telling me I was ...
6
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0answers
42 views

Is one allowed to bid on a house if he knows another Jew has already made an offer?

This question is related to the halachic concept of ani hamehapech b'charara, or tortious interference, which I happened to just come across in studying Mishnah Peah. If one has been looking at a ...
6
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0answers
49 views

How much of the standard תורה service is done on שמחת תורה?

I've seen a number of Simchas Tora customs in Ashkenazic practice and/or prescribed by Ashkenazic prayer books. Specifically, I think I've seen both sides of each of the following dichotomies, ...
6
votes
0answers
56 views

Beam for s'chach with wood glue + embedded screws

Let's assume that there is a lechatchila to not use metal object that are mekabel tumah (susceptible to tumah) for something that supports the s'chach ("maamid"), which can be avoided by using ...
6
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0answers
62 views

Corporations, Jewish Shareholders and Interest

How many Jewish shareholders does a corporation or bank have to have in order for the prohibitions on lending or borrowing at interest to apply? Is one Jewish shareholder sufficient, or does it ...
6
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0answers
33 views

Skipping parts of pessukei dezimroh to get to work on time?

Kitzur shulchan aruch states that if a person is afraid of being late to recite shmonei esreh with minyan, it is allowed to skip some parts of the pessukei dezimroh... Does this apply to a person that ...
6
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0answers
49 views

Giving to a “mission” collection

In some religions, people accept upon themselves some kind of "mission" to do whatever act to help others. In many cases, it involves collections to send to the poor, or to 3rd world countries. The ...
6
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0answers
129 views

Extended fasting on 10 Av

The Bavli (Taanit 29a) teaches that the Temple was set aflame on the ninth of Av in the afternoon and it burnt until sundown on the tenth of Av. The Yerushalmi (Taanit 4:6) records that because of ...
6
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0answers
62 views

Is there such a thing as “Veset Halom”

One friend of mine told me that his wife always sees a special dream before her veset. Always the same one. Could such think be counted as veset kavua? I understand that technically a dream doesn't ...
6
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0answers
98 views

Does halakha count primates as “almost human”?

I have read that the although the halakha requires koah gever (human strength/exertion) for pouring water over hands for n'ttilath yadhayim but it says explicitly in the Mishna that a qof (monkey) may ...
6
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0answers
78 views

Benefiting from channukah candles in a mirror

One is not allowed to "benefit" from the lights of the channukah candles. Rashi says the reason is in order that it should be recognizable that these candles are light for the mitzvah in order to ...
6
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0answers
134 views

Entering / Davening in a Karaite synagogue

Is one permitted to enter and/or daven in a Karaite synagogue nowadays (according to Rabbinite law)?
6
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0answers
162 views

Is it forbidden for a Jew to read the writings of Baruch Spinoza?

The cherem against Spinoza says the following: The Lords of the ma'amad, having long known of the evil opinions and acts of Baruch de Espinoza... We order that no one should communicate with him ...
6
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0answers
75 views

Are placebos permitted without telling the person they are getting one?

Does Judaism allow placebos where the person thinks it does something, and is thereby cured, even though the item does nothing? Is this gnevas da'as (or some other issur), or because it can help them ...
6
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0answers
100 views

Is Juneau, Alaska — surrounded by natural barriers — a natural eruv

I recently visited Juneau, Alaska. It is a small city of 35,000. The city limits are quite large, however -- 3,225 square miles -- but much of this area is separated from downtown Juneau on Douglas ...
6
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0answers
126 views

Is it halachically permissible to click on contextual ads with no intention of buying?

Contextual ads are those ads you see when you do a search on Google. The advertisers only pay if someone actually clicks on their ad. It seems "pashut" to me that clicking an ad if you know you're not ...
6
votes
0answers
407 views

Fresh fish need hechsher

Does fresh fish from a supermarket or fish market require a hechsher? I would be tempted to believe that a fish known to be of a kosher variety would not need certification since there is no shechita ...
6
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0answers
92 views

Shomronim and Halakha

Do the Baraitot brought down by Masechet Kutim and other random halachot in the Talmud that were said about "kutim" apply to the 750 remaining Samaritans in the world today (who currently live in ...
6
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0answers
118 views

Father being Matir Neder for himself: does it affect the family?

If a father is Matir Neder on a minhag (gebroktz, let's say) for himself for a valid reason, does that include his whole family? Are they now also permitted to eat gebroktz because that is now the ...
6
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0answers
135 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
6
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0answers
186 views

Prosthetic limbs in halacha

What is the status of prosthetic limbs in halacha in terms of being considered part of the body? Is it considered: As if I were born with it? As a living piece of flesh, but not a piece of me? ...
6
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0answers
122 views

American Idol and HaMalbin Pnei Ḥavero BeRabim

(Inspired by this question) Is watching televised talent shows, such as "American Idol", which are known to invite contestants to embarrass themselves in front of millions, and even have judges whose ...
6
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0answers
219 views

Can you fulfill Netilat Yadayim by dipping your hands in a sink?

According to the Gemara in Hullin on 107a, if there's a vessel with a hole in it, and there's a "stream" (more than a drip but not necessarily the "sheffoferet hannod" required for a real mikveh) ...
5
votes
0answers
21 views

What should i do with food stuck in my mouth after bentching?

It happens to everyone sometimes. You'll be eating a sandwich (for example), bentch, and then find some food stuck in your mouth. What should be done with this food? Is it permissible to swallow it? ...
5
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0answers
45 views

A Jew is born in space. What time rules does he follow?

I know that the title sounds like a sequel to a TV show (Lost in space). But based on a statement in this article : The Rabbis therefore rule that a person should continue to follow the time ...
5
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0answers
27 views

Does Torah reading need to be repeated if you said it with an “assumed” minyan?

I'm not good with the title for this scenario: Suppose that there where 10 men in the shul - 9 everyone knew, and the 10th no one knew. He wore a yarmulka, so everyone assumed that he was Jewish. ...
5
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0answers
36 views

Why not read missing words (in Esther) from a printed copy?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 141:19: צבור שאין להם מגילה כשרה כדינה מכל מקום אם היא כתובה כהלכתה רק שחסרים איזה תיבות באמצעה כיון שלא חסר בה ענין אחד שלם יכולין לקרות מתוכה עם הברכות והטעות יקרא הקורא ...
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0answers
35 views

Is judging others unfavorably a prohibition?

Is judging others unfavorably a prohibition? If so, what is the source for it? Also, do any of the sages offer any advice for overcoming judging other unfavorably?
5
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0answers
111 views

What should you do if you washed and planned to have a meal with bread but realized that the bread went bad?

Say you had in mind to have a regular meal with bread. After washing and saying homotzi lechem min harataz and taking a bite of bread, you realize that the bread is bad. Now all you have left to eat ...
5
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0answers
52 views

Issues of lifnei iver with an inaccurate clock

Is there any problem with lifnei iver (giving bad information) in having an inaccurate clock that someone else will look at? I'll examine a few cases here. The clock is a few minutes off. I don't ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Is the mourning for a late relative dependent on the state of their relationship before death?

Are the halochos (laws) about observing mourning rituals for a relative (e.g., shiva, shloshim, etc.), affected in any way by the state of the relationship between the mourner and deceased before his ...
5
votes
0answers
43 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

How big can a chanukia get?

I recently saw this story about students at YU who lit up their dorm windows to turn the entire building into a giant chanukia (just the form, not a real one). That inspired a question: Exactly how ...
5
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0answers
34 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...