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6
votes
0answers
87 views

Napoléon's Sanhedrin

In 1806, Napoléon Bonaparte convened a synod of French rabbinim (mainly Alsatiens and Bordelais) to ascertain halachic opinions on a set of questions. What is the halachic standing of this synod's ...
7
votes
1answer
511 views

If Lev Melech B'yad Hashem, why bother voting?

We have a concept in Jewish thought that rulers do not have free will concerning public affairs, based on the verse in Mishlei 21:1 'לב מלך ביד ה, the heart of a king is in the hand of Hashem (See ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Books on Politics

Are there any books that provide a Jewish way of Politics? Anything that would possibly discuss types of governments, economic systems or what a politician should do would fit for what I am looking ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Two States in Orthodox Judaism

There is a commonly cited machloket between Chabad and many other chassidim (particularly Satmar) in regards to the validity of the State of Israel. There are also a panoply of views among ...
6
votes
2answers
119 views

Government “swearing-in” ceremony

Typically in the US, members of Congress and other government officials are sworn in on a bible appropriate to their religion. Is it appropriate for Jews to be sworn in on a Tana"ch, or should some ...
4
votes
0answers
51 views

Can Jews revolt?

I want to preface this question with the statement that I have absolutely no intention of starting a revolution against any government, so this is not off-topic as psak-seeking, and the NSA can just ...
6
votes
1answer
179 views

Does Orthodox Judaism have a generally held position on American politics? [closed]

The Pew Research Study on Jewish Americans says in part: On these measures (partisanship and ideology), the only other U.S. religious groups that are as conservative and Republican as Orthodox ...
6
votes
2answers
145 views

If Jews are the majority in a state outside Israel, what should they do?

Say Jews happen to become the majority in some state outside Israel (enough of a majority to change the constitution) but there are also gentiles there. Are the Jews obligated to turn it into a ...
7
votes
1answer
110 views

What is the Orthodox Jewish position regarding a criminal ban on abortion?

I know that many Orthodox Jews oppose abortion - presumably because they see this as a religious requirement - but does Orthodox Judaism see it as required or preferable to support a secular law ...
1
vote
2answers
118 views

Is the “pursuit of happiness” mentioned in the U.S. Declaration of Independence really a right “endowed by the Creator”?

Near the beginning of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, we have these words: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

May I allow a customs official to dismantle my tefillin for security purposes?

My friend told me that there have been a few ocasions when a customs official in a foreign country requested to open my friends tefillin because he had never seen anything like this before and ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Does a mashgi'ach revoke a store's hashgacha when health department finds insects?

The city health department has cited a kosher restaurant as having violations because they found mice and insects crawling on the food in the kitchen. Since mice and insects are non-kosher, I'm ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Can a Woman be a Shul President? How about a member of Knesset?

Several years ago the National Council of Young Israel made news when a story came out that they banned women from being the president of a shul. (See here and here for details.) My question is: ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

How Many Princes per Tribe?

In Numbers 7, we are told about the special offerings the princes of the Tribes brought to the Tabernacle. This is not the only time we hear of this position. Princes are present in Joshua 9 also, for ...
5
votes
1answer
51 views

What Was the Extent of the Princes' Authority?

In Numbers 7, we are told about the special offerings the princes of the Tribes brought to the Tabernacle. This is not the only time we hear of this position. Princes are present in Joshua 9 also, for ...
4
votes
1answer
37 views

How Were Princes of the Tribes Chosen?

In Numbers 7, we are told about the special offerings the princes of the Tribes brought to the Tabernacle. This is not the only time we hear of this position. Princes are present in Joshua 9 also, for ...
7
votes
1answer
126 views

Application of Lev Melech B'yad Hashem

There is a concept that rulers do not have free will concerning public affairs, based on the verse in Mishlei 21:1 'לב מלך ביד ה, the heart of a king is in the hand of Hashem (See commentary of the ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Prague and Pressburg and Rebbi Meir Shapira

I have seen quoted that in the newspaper of Agudas Yisroel, Rebbi Meir Shapira printed an article named Prague and Pressburg and their differing approaches. Does anyone have a copy or can link me a ...
4
votes
1answer
266 views

Why is Mordechai calling all the shots?

To the best of my knowledge there is no indication in Megillas Esther or in the talmud that Mordechai conferred with any of the sages at any point during the events leading up to the undoing of Haman. ...
4
votes
1answer
157 views

Can tax ever be considered maaser?

Related to this question. Can tax itself (particularly in the land of Israel) ever be considered maaser? If your tax money is going towards nationally funded projects, building infrastructure, ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views

Can a Jew serve as a secular judge?

Can a Jew serve as a judge in a secular judicial system even if does not contradict the Torah's laws? Is this discussed by any of the poskim?
3
votes
0answers
58 views

Believing 'evil tongue' during elections

On Tuesday, there are municipal elecions here in Israel, and some of the candidates are accusing their competitors of corruption. I am not in a position to check these accusations — I am neither ...
1
vote
0answers
74 views

How does Judaism views Secularism?

In present day world, most of the democratic countries follow Secularism, i.e. separating state and religion. What is the opinion of Judaism on Secularism: Should a state following Halacha endorse ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Voting for Jews in elections

In a civil election, does Judaism teach that one should vote for Jewish candidates over non-Jews? What if the voter supports the other candidate's positions on every other issue much more?
2
votes
0answers
45 views

Voting on “Who's good for the Jews?”

In a civil election, does Judaism teach that one should vote for candidates who will be "good for the Jews" (i.e. they support laws that are more favorable to Jews as a whole than the laws that the ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

What is a “time of kingdom's decree”

The gemara in Sanhedrin 74 talks about a time of oppression, during which even for "light mitzvot" one must die. What exactly constitutes such a time? Is it any time when the government makes a ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Setting up municipalities run by Jews in Eretz Yisrael

Even those who are against the State of Israel have no problem with living in the Land of Israel. Is there anything (in Torah, Halacha) that would prevent a group of Jews from coming to Eretz Yisrael ...
6
votes
3answers
147 views

Which type of government is suitable in the present world according to Jewish Law?

Which type of government is suitable in the present world according to Jewish law? Is democracy allowed in Biblical or in Jewish law? (I came to this question from wondering why the modern state of ...
12
votes
1answer
197 views

Cities' רבנו‏יות's accepting others' food

Years ago, IIRC, I heard the following from a respectable source: By Israeli law, if the רבנות of one city certifies a food as kosher, then the רבנות of any other city must allow that food as an ...
10
votes
3answers
192 views

Asking a shaila where disclosure of classified information might be necessary

Orthodox Jews have taken on more and more responsible government positions and have been trusted with clearances to see highly sensitive classified materials. Many years ago I had such a job. It ...
11
votes
1answer
123 views

Loshon Hara against public Jewish and non-Jewish figures

Both American and Israeli politics, and of course those of other democracies, can include a lot of personal attacks, both true and untrue, including innuendo about possible adultery, gay or straight, ...
-1
votes
1answer
181 views

Do jews find it blasphemy to be judged by religious laws of the pagan country they live in

Does being judged by non judaic religious law in a non judaic , pagan country considered to fall into the category of Shituff (Associating partners with God) . As jews belive that only God has the ...
2
votes
0answers
109 views

Should a man remove his head covering during the national anthem?

The custom in the United States is to remove head coverings (and place them over the heart) during the recitation of the national anthem. Is there any Jewish reason for a man to, or not to, follow ...
4
votes
0answers
62 views

How were the “seven good men of the city” appointed?

How were the “seven good men of the city” שבעה טובי העיר appointed? Was there an election and if so who could be candidates?
8
votes
1answer
235 views

Does the president of the USA have free will?

I don't remember where but I saw a chazal that states something to the effect of "the (non-Jewish) leaders of the world do not have free will". I would appreciate someone editing to source this. So I ...
1
vote
2answers
174 views

Blessing on the next American President (or any politician)

If the candidate I supported in a political election wins, does this qualify as good news for reciting the blessing hatov ve-hameitiv (Who is good and beneficent) upon hearing the results? In my ...
-7
votes
2answers
200 views

Do Jews Support Outlawing the Offending of Prophets? [closed]

There is a petition on the the White House website to ban anything that insults the prophets of any major religion. Here is the content of the Petition: ...
5
votes
0answers
191 views

Why did Israeli sportsmen keep their hats on during their national anthem?

Last year I was at the international softball tournament and I noticed that players from Israel took off their baseball caps during the other teams anthems (as is common courtesy), but kept them ...
14
votes
2answers
211 views

How were judges appointed in the times of the Bais Hamikdash?

In the times of the Bais Hamikdash, were judges appointed by the king, or were they elected by the people? And was the system different based on which size court (i.e., courts comprised of 3, 23, or ...
18
votes
2answers
320 views

Are you allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?

Is the US Pledge of Allegiance a form of oath or vow, and if so may one recite it? If one has recited it has one incurred any new halachic obligations?
6
votes
1answer
195 views

Jewish views on patriotism/nationalism

I heard a lecture in which a rabbi espoused very negative views against nationalism in a July 4th speech. What are Jewish sources that counter his claim, that is, sources in which the Rabbis/great ...
8
votes
1answer
166 views

How does the Rabbanut Harashit work?

Who picks the Chief Rabbi of Israel/Cities? Is it a vote of all citizens/Shuls/Politicians or all of the above? Who picks the lower Dayanim on the Rabbanut Beis Din? Is it the "Chief Rabbi" or some ...
5
votes
0answers
171 views

Relations among King David, the Sanhedrin, and the high priest

Do we have any historical source that discusses the relations among King David, the Sanhedrin during his reign, and the high priest during his reign? Were they on friendly terms? Was there a power ...
5
votes
1answer
203 views

Lifnei 'Iver in public policy/business

How far does Lifnei 'Iver extend? Earlier versions of this question led to a good deal of speculation of how an individual should respond to issues of public policy and business that may be contrary ...
7
votes
1answer
235 views

How should an employer respond to a government policy requiring abortion coverage?

There is a recent controversy in the United States regarding whether the Federal government can compel employers, including religious employers, to pay for contraception. Although this may not be ...
24
votes
1answer
439 views

Setting aside Shabbat to answer the President's call

In an old MSNBC news story about Jack Lew, a Shabbat-observant Jew who was just appointed to be the new White House Chief of Staff, there's a story about his getting a call from President Clinton when ...
11
votes
2answers
360 views

How should a Jew deal with Anti Semitism?

Is there an standard way for a Jew to deal with the threat of hatred, particularly that which stems from a public forum such as a hate group? Do I: Simply ignore it Write to my local council/state ...
20
votes
2answers
561 views

Voting in a church?

Are you allowed to vote inside a church? (Answers supplying sources would be preferred, as always.)
12
votes
4answers
330 views

Voting for a person that will not uphold Torah values

It is well known that Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zatzal strongly condemned those that voted for candidates that would not uphold Torah values. Yet there were many Gedolim that had no problem voting for such ...