General questions about non-Orthodox Jewish practice and ideology.

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6
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2answers
214 views

requirement for Chabad shluchim to be married?

I heard that Chabad instituted a requirement for shluchim to be married because Zalman Schachter-Shalomi went off the derech. Is this historically accurate, and are Chabad shluchim required to be ...
8
votes
1answer
251 views

Does a Jewish idolater's pouring of non-mevushal wine make that wine forbidden to himself?

We see from this answer that wine poured by a Jew who rejects Judaism is yayin nesech. Would that cause the wine to be forbidden even to himself, or is it only forbidden to others? Would he be ...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

Does Orthodox Judaism Recognize Reform Conversions?

If a person converted into the Reform or Conservative (Masorti) Movements, would Orthodox Jews consider them to be Jewish in the first place? This is also assuming the person keeps basic Kosher (not ...
5
votes
3answers
499 views

Accusations against the Zohar HaKadosh:

Are there any responses by Rishonim or Aharonim (even contemporaries) against those who criticize the Kabbala and the Zohar done by many people? Like this accusation. Some people claim the Zohar ...
6
votes
1answer
153 views

What sources did people use to support Shabbtai Tsvi's messianism after he died?

I can understand the appeal of a messiah in 1600s Eastern Europe. I can understand that we want a messiah and we're willing to accept one, whether it be Bar Kochva or Shabbtai Tsvi. But on what ...
0
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0answers
93 views

Was Solomon Schechter shomer shabbos?

I heard anecdotally that the early JTS president Solomon Schechter was not, but I have been unable to find a citation either way on this claim. Schechter was allegedly one of the most accomplished ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Conservative procedures for avoiding intermarriage?

Conservative rabbis are prohibited from performing intermarriages (e.g., http://www.rabbinicalassembly.org/sites/default/files/public/ethical_guidelines/Code%20of%20conduct-2011-public.pdf). Is ...
3
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0answers
38 views

Source for story about the Maskilim's play mocking what the “orchei hamilchama” would look like according to chazal

Does anyone know of a reliable source for the story about how the Maskilim made a play to mock what a milchama would look like according to the torah/chazal, in which they depicted only the Chofetz ...
6
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4answers
5k views

Modesty: What is the difference between Conservative and Modern Orthodox?

What are the differences between female Modern Orthodox/Modern Orthodox Liberal Jews and Conservatives in terms of women's modesty? My question applies both to dress and social interaction - shaking ...
8
votes
1answer
126 views

What afterlife awaits a Tinoq Shenishba who studies Torah but fails to observe major halacha?

Rambam says that one who does not believe even one of the 13 principles of faith does not get into Olam HaBa. Here is my question: The same Rambam spoke about the concept of a Tinok shenishba bein ...
3
votes
2answers
143 views

Can a secular Jew drink non mevushal wine that he touched?

If a secular (non-observant) Jew touches wine that isn't mevushal does that render it not kosher for him to drink? Nafka Mina: gifting non-mevushal wine to a secular friend.
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Non-Orthodox converts and Olam Ha-Ba

Would a Gentile who converted through a non-orthodox movement be judged as a Gentile or a Jew in Olam Ha-Ba? In regards to the judgement, would his/her action of converting and living a "Jewish" ...
3
votes
1answer
251 views

What does it mean for atheists to raise their children 'Jewish'?

I was reading the book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom by Amy Chua. In this book she mention that her Jewish husband is not religious in the slightest but still when they got married insisted that the ...
4
votes
2answers
158 views

Conservative Kiddush Levanah

The version of Kiddush Levanah printed in the Conservative movement's siddur omits the verse "כשם שאני רוקד כנגדך..." I've heard that this is because the Conservative movement believes that in an age ...
3
votes
2answers
766 views

Are Christians and/or “Messianic Jews” considered Jewish by Jews?

I know Judaism is not "Christian", but I am under the impression that there are some differences amongst Jewish traditions. At the extreme, I have even heard of "Messianic Jews" who believe Jesus was ...
13
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2answers
1k views

How does orthodox Judaism view the Dead Sea Scrolls?

I'm trying to understand how orthodox Jews view the dead sea scrolls. Are they considered authentic representations of Judaism? If there are textual variants between our current tanach texts and the ...
5
votes
3answers
374 views

Witnesses and the Ketubah

I heard from a chief rabbi of an Israeli city, who was officiating at a wedding I was at, that a Ketubah must be signed by two witnesses who are shomer mitzvos. What is the legal definition of this ...
5
votes
1answer
532 views

Criteria to be considered a gentile for the purposes of selling chametz?

I understand that for some tasks or jobs (particularly those relating to kashrut), Judaism ritually requires more than the criteria of matrilineal descent to qualify as a Jew. E.g., as I understand ...
10
votes
3answers
224 views

Accepting parents' minhagim

Since the Conservative movement tends to take most of its minhagim from the German tradition due to its German roots, most Conservative Jews in America tend to practice the German customs (such as ...
4
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0answers
74 views

Renting digital services to Jews who are known to work on Shabbes

Given the following scenario: A Jew is the sole owner of a digital business which rents its services (a digital platform that does not require human intervention from part of the owner) for a monthly ...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

A Less-Observant Jew Leading Prayers

Can a Jew who does not observe Shabbat act as a shaliach tzibur (to lead prayers on behalf the congregation)? I know that many are lenient and find reasons to count a mechalel shabbat for a minyan, ...
4
votes
2answers
256 views

Is kosher food cooked by an irreligious Jew Bishul Akum?

Assuming that one can ascertain that food cooked by an irreligious Jew is kosher, is the food still prohibited due to Bishul Akum? Does this also apply in a case of need, such as one visiting an ...
0
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2answers
363 views

Mother was adopted into Jewish family and raised Jewish, and she raised me as a Jew… Will my children be Jewish? [duplicate]

My mother was adopted, raised as a reform Jew and became Bat Mitzvah, continued with her Jewish studies through Confirmation...but I do recall her finding out one day that her parents never officially ...
5
votes
4answers
615 views

Are non-Orthodox marriages recognized by Orthodox rabbis?

Let's suppose a couple was married by a Reform rabbi in a standard reform ceremony (with egalitarian ketubah, and many other modifications to traditional kiddushin). If the couple later become baalei ...
13
votes
1answer
727 views

What is mainstream Chabad's view on Elokists?

There is a small group of people who believe that the Lubvatcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson zt"l is in fact God. For example, the front page of the website for a synagogue(?) in Mikwaukee ...
6
votes
1answer
846 views

Being a houseguest in a non-frum or non-Jewish home

I'm Jewish, so I have to keep many laws in mind. Kashrut, tefillin, yichud, kol isha, and more. When staying as a houseguest in a non-frum or non-Jewish home, what are some of the issues I might ...
8
votes
2answers
545 views

May a halachically 'Jewish' Atheist work as a 'Shabbat goy'?

I am aware that in Judaism, adherents are forbidden from performing many types of work on the Sabbath/Shabbat/Shabbos. Although it has come to my attention that some consider the employment of a ...
6
votes
3answers
522 views

Conservative / Nusach Sfard

Are there any Conservative synagogues that daven Nusach Sfard?
3
votes
1answer
216 views

Non-observant Jew making kiddush

Can a Jew who does not observe Shabbat say kiddush for others?
5
votes
1answer
188 views

Agnostic Jew serving as the tenth for a minyan

I remember reading a responsum on the issue of agnostic Jew's serving as the tenth for a minyan, but do not remember the outcome. Does anyone know the rule? Also, do we count, as the tenth man, a ...
-4
votes
1answer
280 views

Is there really evidence that the Rabbis changed the day's beginning from sunrise to sunset? [closed]

The writing of the two Rabbis quoted below state that the Rabbis changed the start of the day from sunrise to sunset. Rabbi Drazin wrote that "we know for certain that the day began in the Temple at ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

What is the religious significance of the existence of many denominations and sects?

For much of the past 2000 years, when most of contemporary Halacha was being formulated, there was only a single denomination\sect of Judaism. (Leaving aside Ashkenzi vs Sephardi, which is mostly a ...
28
votes
11answers
1k views

Seder advice when with people who aren't interested?

This may have some things in common with beginner's seder advice, but it's different enough that I'm asking separately. For family-obligation reasons, I sometimes find myself at a seder where most of ...
7
votes
1answer
127 views

The Orthodox approach to R. Benamozegh's theology?

R. Elijah Benamozegh was a 19th century rabbi and kabbalist, who wrote many works of biblical commentary and Jewish responsa, but is chiefly known in the non-Jewish world for his book on religious ...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Are there jews not following the rabbinic laws?

Trying to learn about Judaism more I have been reading this StackExchange for the past few months. As a non-Jew using the correct terminology is a bit hard, so please do feel more than free to edit ...
1
vote
2answers
84 views

Partnership Minyan?

There are minyanim who self-identify as "partnership minyanim". Wikipdedia gives this definition of a partnership minyan: [A] prayer group that is both committed to maintaining halakhic standards ...
3
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1answer
140 views

Kohain marrying divorcee

Can A Kohain marry a woman who had a reform/conservative rabbi officiate her wedding.. but she was divorced by an orthodox rabbi. Thank you so much in advance
2
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1answer
306 views

According to Conservative Judaism, is one permitted to use an umbrella on Shabbat?

According to Conservative Judaism, may one use - unfold, carry, and refold - an umbrella in an eruv-enclosed area on Shabbat? What if it is not raining? I would appreciate a link or quote from an ...
6
votes
2answers
508 views

Can a Jew who is keeping the Shabbat rules ask another Jew who is not keeping shabbat to turn on/off the lights? [duplicate]

The situation is that I am currently living in dorm rooms with a Jewish person who has decided to keep Shabbat. I am a Jew who does not keep Shabbat, but I respect my dorm mate and do not want to ...
4
votes
1answer
328 views

Does circumcision require an orthodox Mohel?

Consider a case of a Jewish-born child who was circumcised by a non-orthodox or non-Jewish person (say with a circumcision clamp by a doctor - where the doctor was just thinking about a surgical ...
2
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3answers
1k views

Differences between Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism

Is there a good reference that gives major differences between the practices of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism?
1
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3answers
226 views

Reform Conversion

I have a friend who is the daughter of a reform gioret (convertess) of conscience. She is very into Judaism. However, we know that, typically at least, a reform conversion process is not valid ...
9
votes
2answers
667 views

As an atheist, what awaits me after death?

I'm putting together a Pascal's wager piece of sorts, and wanted to see what modern religions think atheists deserve. So if Judaism pans out to be the one true religion, what'll happen to me (an ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

what percentage of Reform Jews are halachically Jewish?

Was there ever a study done on the percentage of Reform Jews who would be considered Jewish according to Halacha?
2
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3answers
274 views

Does Sim Shalom use orthodox text for maariv, and, if so, is it usable for maariv?

I was in a Jewish Community Center recently for a meeting, after which a bunch of people wished to say orthodox maariv. Someone went to the JCC's chapel to borrow sidurim (prayer books), and brought ...
4
votes
4answers
244 views

Did Sadducees consider themselves Jewish?

There are a few quotes where Sadducees try showing to the Rabbis how the Jews are bad people. For example, Yoma 56b: " אמר ליה ההוא צדוקי לר' חנינא השתא ברי טמאים אתון דכתיב טומאתה בשוליה": "A ...
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0answers
102 views

Conservative Jews saying “amen” instead of saying Harachamans

I've noticed that among Conservative Jews, it seems to be a common practice that one person recites the harachamans after Birkat Hamazon and others are silent and only respond "amen". Now, after one ...
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0answers
60 views

Greeks' gas lamps

I once heard that there is a source that says the Greeks invented gas lamps or some sort of street lights which enabled the Jews to roam the streets at night and not be with their families. The plan ...
2
votes
1answer
174 views

Tweeting close to Shabbos

Is there any problem with tweeting at a time when it is Shabbos somewhere in the world? Jewish followers may reply or re tweet etc.
8
votes
4answers
696 views

Why is the Mesillas Yesharim so popular and accepted?

To overgeneralize, I bet there is a copy of the mesillas yesharim in almost every orthodox home, shul and beis medrash. I'm wondering why this work is so popular and accepted. My wondering is ...