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30
votes
1answer
672 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
778 views

Voting in a church?

Are you allowed to vote inside a church? (Answers supplying sources would be preferred, as always.)
20
votes
2answers
492 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?
14
votes
2answers
221 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
418 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
285 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
248 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
457 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
170 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, ...
9
votes
1answer
227 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Can Jews be rulers of countries other than Israel?

With the current political mayhem in the US, an interesting question regarding whether a Jew is halachically permitted to accept rulership of a country other than that of Eretz Yisrael has arisen. So ...
8
votes
1answer
272 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
313 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
584 views

Rav Moshe Feinstein's opinion on the State of Israel

I was wondering if there is any document which states Rav Moshe's opinion regarding the existence of the state of Israel. Did he consider the state a good thing or bad thing. I ask this because we ...
7
votes
1answer
266 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
541 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
177 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
423 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
99 views

Did the state of Israel fulfill ancient prophecy?

Does Judaism consider the state of Israel the fulfillment of ancient prophecy? Especially in reference to this Bible verse. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2037 18 “When your ...
6
votes
2answers
208 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
220 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
238 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
62 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Government subsidies or tzedoko

it is preferable not to take charity from non-Jews (maybe only if it is not in private) Source Yore daiya 254 In a case of need (someone needs money for housing and/or food), which is more ...
5
votes
0answers
221 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
212 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
154 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
134 views

What are we supposed to do with idolatry in Israel?

What is the halacha concerning what Jews should do with idolatry and idolaters in the land of Israel (considering that the Torah says in Deuteronomy 7:5 to cleanse the Holy Land from idolatry)? ...
4
votes
1answer
41 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
59 views

Why doesn't Chabad say Hanotein Teshua

In many siddurim, particularly those printed for the Ashkenazi or Spanish-Portuguese communities, there is a tefillah for the government, Hanotein Teshuah (the title is based on a passuk in Ps. 144) ...
4
votes
3answers
355 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
299 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, ...
4
votes
0answers
77 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
71 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?
3
votes
2answers
83 views

Who recognizes Yom HaShoah?

It seems that the more religious one is, the less likely one is to commemorate(?) the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah. To what extent is this true? Which groups do and do not observe Yom HaShoah as their ...
3
votes
1answer
102 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
151 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
51 views

Prayer for the Government if the President or VP is female

The prayer Hanosen Teshuah as recited in the US has the line את הנשיא ואת משנהו. To me, these terms sound masculine. If the President and/or Vice President of the United States were female, would this ...
3
votes
2answers
192 views

Is breaking the law in the United States considered rebelling against the nations in the exile (i.e. three oaths)?

In the three oaths it is forbidden to rebel against the nations, which usually results in a prohibition against breaking the law. In the United States, its kind of not officially the gentiles as it is ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

Trespassing on Public Parks

If a state or federal park is closed, is it against halacha to go there anyway (if you are not damaging the property)? (Thoughts: I would assume it is g'neiva because it is not my property. However,...
3
votes
0answers
43 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
230 views

Are Jews Inherently Politically Liberal?

I have been attending a series of lectures given by various Jewish rabbis as a prerequisite for the purpose of conversion. The last rabbi's lecture stated plainly that "real" Jews are socialist ...
2
votes
5answers
252 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
67 views

How far does dina demalchusa dina go?

Does this apply to laws which are clearly corrupt and based on lies? At what point does a law which solely benefits one political group but harms everyone else stop being legitimate through the lens ...
2
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Should Jews worry about whom non-Jewish governments recognize as “married”? [duplicate]

It says in Pirqei Avoth 2:3 "hawwu nizhirin be-reshuth" "Be wary of the [non-Jewish] government..." Lately, I have read alot of commentary from religious Jews in America about the Supreme Court's ...