Questions about halachic deciders and their rulings.

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Are there any halachic rulings on legal recreational marijuana? [duplicate]

I have seen opinions from U.S. poskim from many years ago that rule that marijuana use should be forbidden by Jewish law on the basis of "dina d'Malchusa dina" ["the law of the land is the law"]. ...
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1answer
35 views

Nodah B'Yehudah and “L'Shem Yichud”

Source: http://onthemainline.blogspot.com/2010/08/jewish-oath-in-1737-part-ii-noda.html Near the end of the post, the author mentions a teshuvah of the Nodah B'Yehudah's against the saying of a ...
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1answer
45 views

Parents teaching children or children teaching parents?

Regarding והגדת לבנך, and you shall tell to your children (Shemos 13:8), on Pesach night: 1) What is the mitzvah of והגדת לבנך and how does one fulfill it according to halacha? 2a) Why do yeshivos ...
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1answer
42 views

picking and choosing halachic rulings

I have heard many times from Rabbinim and in lectures that to pick and choose rulings is forbidden. I would like a halachic source for this. I can understand that one should be consistent, but if one ...
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2answers
34 views

Why do different halachic authorities arrive at conflicting rulings?

Rabbi A says strawberries are ha'adama; Rabbi B says that strawberries are Ha'etz. The halachic texts are replete with such differences in "opinion". What's the underlying reason that different ...
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55 views

Is becoming a “Talmid HaRambam” limited to the Rambam?

This answer explains (very nicely) the justification and practice of those who consider themselves followers of the Rambam, as opposed to any other opinion. In the cited responsa of the Beis Yosef, ...
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1answer
45 views

Standing For Reading of Decalogue

Poskim are recorded here permitting standing specifically for the Torah reading of the Aseres Hadibros. Are there any poskim who forbid this in accordance with the ruling of the Rambam?
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1answer
77 views

Why do we find specifically “Rambamists” as opposed to any other Posek? [duplicate]

This answer explains (very nicely) the justification and practice of those who consider themselves followers of the Rambam, as opposed to any other opinion. In the cited responsa of the Beis Yosef, ...
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56 views

Lomdus and Halacha

To what degree are the works of R. Chaim Soloveichik and other 19th and 20th century "lamdanim" reckoned with by poskim? I.e. are they generally accepted as providing correct interpretations of Gemara ...
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2answers
110 views

When did we start to be machmir?

When looking into the Talmud in the most places after bringing a machloket it says that the halacha is like x. On the other edge of the time when reading the Mishna Brurah it looks like he doesn't ...
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1answer
50 views

What was the Shita of the Rema

The beit yosef has a very clear Shita. There are 3 important poskim:rosh.,rif,and rambam. He goes after the majority of these Poskim in case of a machloket. When looking into the rema(darkei ...
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35 views

Can a Yachid follow his own opinion in a Tzibbur?

The Gemara in Yevamos (13b) says that there is a prohibition to make "Agudos Agudos", different groups of people following different rulings. However, the Gemara says that this is forbidden only if ...
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1answer
41 views

Poskening Leniently

For situations where a Rav is searching for a lenient ruling, such as in cases of major financial loss or aguna, etc., what are the guidelines that he must follow? Is he allowed to rule like a single ...
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1answer
46 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? ...
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1answer
64 views

Aiding what you consider sin but he doesn't

There is an action. Let's call it "hoobling". Some pos'kim say hoobling is permitted and others say it's forbidden. (Note: not "say one should ideally be strict". They say it's forbidden.) Suppose ...
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74 views

Was this person ALWAYS a mamzer, or did he become one?

There are three elements to this question: A certain get document has an irregularity and one could conceivably rule that it acceptable or unacceptable. The woman who the get was issued to remarried ...
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1answer
51 views

How could (or why did) Raba follow Rav's stringencies but not his leniencies?

Eruvin 6 amud 2 says someone who follows the stringencies of Bes Shamay and of Bes Hilel is a fool walking in darkness: rather, it says, one should follow the one or the other, both when it is lenient ...
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1answer
52 views

How to go about finding a personal Rav

The mishna in Avot (1:6) tells us: יהושוע בן פרחיה וניתאי הארבלי קיבלו מהם. יהושוע בן פרחיה אומר, עשה לך רב, וקנה לך חבר; והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות When living in different areas I have gone ...
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1answer
102 views

Rav vs. Rabbi in Talmudic Times

I was reading about the life of Rabbi Zera, and it said he was originally a Rav. The Rabbis of Eretz Yisrael offered to confer on him the title of Rabbi and at first he refused, until they told of ...
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Psak halacha from a havah amina in the Gemara

The Gemara will often begin a sugya with an initial understanding (havah aminah) of a mishnah or halacha and as the Gemara continues will change until it reaches the maskanah. Often, the maskana will ...
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77 views

What to do when the Rabbi is on vacation

If a person has one Rabbi to whom they ask all of their questions, and that person is unreachable, for whatever reason, and an urgent, time-sensitive question arises, what should their course of ...
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60 views

Ruling of the Chazon Ish on expelling an at-risk-of-nonobservance bad influence

In HaRav Aharon Feldman shlita book, "The Eye of the Storm", in the chapter entitled, "The Chazon Ish", Rav Feldman lists some questions that were asked to the Chazon Ish. One of them is, May a Rosh ...
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CYLOR and Mesorah

Assume that someone has a she'elah, however their local rabbi does not follow their mesorah. How would one approach the issue of a psak? For example, let's say my LOR is a Chabad shaliach and I need ...
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2answers
296 views

Is there any contemporary posek who says you can deviate from the wording in the shmona esrei?

I am reading Kavvana: Directing the Heart in Jewish Prayer by Rabbi Dr. Avi (Seth) Kadish. There he makes the argument that the Anshei Kneset Hagedolah never established the exacting wording for the ...
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4answers
168 views

In the days of the Sanhedrin, was one able to hold of his own opinion in private?

Back in the days of the Sanhedrin, after a psak about a particular halacha was issued, were you able to still hold of your own opinion in private? If you were confident in your own interpretation of ...
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48 views

D’oraita Sources for Halacha

We often see that the author of a p'sak maintains that a ruling is d’oraita even in cases when there is no link to any of the 613 mitzvot listed by Rambam, etc. Must every halacha ruled as a d’oraita ...
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3answers
181 views

Can a person decide the Halacha (pasken) for him\herself?

Request for sources: Assuming one does not have semicha, (ordination) but is learned: Can one decide the Halacha for him\herself (after analyzing the issue and investigating the sources), or is one ...
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1answer
196 views

Yoreh Yoreh vs. Yadin Yadin

I've heard a lot of people talking about the two different semichahs that one might receive: יורה יורה ("Yoreh Yoreh") and ידין ידין ("Yadin Yadin"). What is the difference between them? [Sourced ...
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73 views

At what point can you assume senility?

In my experience it is rare to see a Rosh Yeshiva or other prominent Rabbi declared to be senile and no longer working at full mental capacity. Recently such a proclamation was made about one Rosh ...
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2answers
85 views

Should the shaliah tzibur and congregation face the direction the Aron points if it isn't pointing toward Jerusalem?

If the rear of the Aron points in any direction other than toward Jerusalem, which way should the shaliah tzibur and congregation face -when praying the Amidah? -during the rest of tefillah? Do the ...
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2answers
347 views

Why is rice banned on Pesach by those who don't eat kitniyot?

As requested in this previous Mi Yodeya answer, why is rice considered kitniyot? Pesachim 114b quotes R. Huna as allowing "beet and rice" on the Seder plate in place of the lamb bone and the egg. It ...
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52 views

Do any poskim recommend giving a conditional divorce?

For someone who married without a halachic pre-nuptual agreement, are there any halachic authorities who recommend giving a conditional get (bill of divorce) which stipulates that it would go into ...
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Codifying in a variant-text based machlokes

The בית חדש in O.C. 168 writes the following: אלא דלהלכה ודאי במידי דתליא בגירסאות אזלינן לחומרא הכי והכי In something which is dependent on variant texts we are stringent in both directions. ...
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78 views

“The local rabbi is in charge” — what's the pithy Hebrew? [closed]

I am failing to recall a pithy phrase involving the word דין to indicate that one should respect the decisions of one's local Rabbi. Something like, 'the decisor of the place is the decisor.' Is there ...
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3answers
280 views

How do I find answers to sensitive questions I can't ask my rabbi?

I have a halachic question of a sexual nature that I feel I can't ask my rabbi. Where can I get such questions answered? Are there rabbis knowledgeable in this area who are willing to answer ...
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102 views

makhloket poskim and hatarat nedarim

Recently, the OU decided to certify quinoa for Pesach. Formerly, the OU held by the view of Rav Yisroel Belsky that quinoa is kitniyot, or at least that Rav Belsky's view created sufficient doubt to ...
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115 views

Do Sepharadim celebrate Thanksgiving?

A good deal of ink has been spilled in the past century regarding the permissibility and appropriateness of American Jews celebrating Thanksgiving. For the most part, Ashkenazim are split, with some ...
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1answer
147 views

If your rabbi accidentally tells you that something is allowed, and you follow him, are you punished?

Imagine that you're 119 years old. You ask your rabbi whether or not something is allowed. He answers. But, unbenownst to you, his answer is 100% mistaken. The Talmud and all others agree unanimously ...
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Kaddish on a plane

Much has been made on Jewish blogs and in Jewish press outlets about a recent ruling from the new Sepharadi Chief Rabbi of Israel, R' Yitzhak Yoseph, that people should not gather to make a Minyan on ...
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38 views

Retroactively have to bring a chatas

Suppose one does an act on shabbas about which there is a machlokes whether it is forbidden d'oraysia or not (perhaps even a posek holds it is permitted). This person does the act regardless, but then ...
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2answers
247 views

May a ben-Noach ask a non-Jew for psak?

This question asks who b'nei Noach turn to for psak. The answer to that question was that there are a few rabbis who are involved in the b'nei Noach movement who rule on the law for non-Jews. Now I ...
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114 views

Who do B'nei Noach turn to for psak?

My understanding is that there are a few organized groups of non-Jews who strive to follow the Noahide laws. Just like Jews, B'nei Noach might have situations where the correct action to take is ...
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2answers
158 views

Sephardic Readers of Mishnah Berurah

Do you know of any books that help Sephardic readers with the Mishnah Berurah (i.e. by telling them when Sephardic Poskim hold differently)?
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328 views

What is the Heter for the prevalent Clothing among Women?

The Eida HaChareidis1 paskened (and R' Wosner agreed) in accordance with the Mishna Berura2, who requires women to go in public places only when wearing redid (a head-covering wrapping the entire body ...
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80 views

How does one 'learn' how to paskin?

When a person goes through smicha (in order to become a Rabbi) they learn (at least) the laws of kashrus. Depending on the program this can include more or less amounts of information (more or less ...
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259 views

What do Teimanim do with regards to modern questions?

It's known that Teimanim follow the opinion of the Rambam exclusively. What do they (or even more so Rambamists) do when there are questions not discussed at all by the Rambam? For example, Do ...
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2answers
92 views

Halachah: What's the difference between this site and looking up a question in a book?

Per our oft-cited FAQ, and our frequent use of the disclaimer to consult one's own rabbi in matters of practical Halachah, we do not, as a matter of policy, accept questions, or provide answers, ...
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2answers
222 views

Why aren't we Mahmir (stringent) with just Mikvah when ruling leniently on a technicality in Niddah cases?

I know from experience and some introductory study of the laws of Niddah that rabbis typically try to find leniencies wherever possible in issues of family purity. In many instances, a Posek will rely ...
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1answer
140 views

A woman's singing voice when there are other singing voices

There is a famous Teshuva of the Sridei Aish, Rabbi Yaakov Yechiel Weinberg, that permits one to hear kol isha (a women's singing voice) when there are other people singing. Where is this Teshuva ...
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350 views

What is the difference between Maharat and Yoetzet Halacha?

I am familiar with two different programs which (as far as I understand) teach women to be halachaik authorities. Graduates of one program--Yeshivat Maharat in New York--are called Maharat. Graduates ...