Questions about halachic deciders and their rulings.

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Prohibition of causing mitzta'er on Yom Tov

I have heard about a Biblical prohibition on causing oneself to suffer during Yom Tov. The example that always comes up for this mitzvah is the permission not to sleep in the sukkah if it causes one ...
35
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11answers
3k views

Why is it necessary to ask a Rabbi?

In various places on this site, including the FAQ, we have the following disclaimer: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly ...
6
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1answer
71 views

What's the procedure for seeking a psak?

I need a psak on a complicated (to me) halachic issue. I'm not currently affiliated with a shul, so I have no daily contact with rabbanim, and I've never needed a psak before. How does one do this? ...
8
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2answers
104 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 ...
8
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1answer
126 views

How do you weigh authority in halacha?

Are there any hard and fast rules as to how to assign relative importance of one authority over another in formulating a psak halacha? For example if the Rambam and the Rashba argue over a specific ...
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0answers
46 views

Same Rabbi (Posek) for husband and wife

Does a husband a wife need to have the same Rabbi (Posek) or can they have their own Rabbi's?
4
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1answer
65 views

How much weight must we give to the Council of Sages opinions

As I understand it, there is no hierarchy within Judaism, per se. In fact, following a controversial decision by Rav Elyashev, he mentioned to a friend of mine that his rulings really only apply to ...
5
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4answers
590 views

Make for yourself a website?

Can a site like mi.yodeya.com be used for one to fulfill our sages mandate of "Make for yourself a Rav"? Obviously I meant this facetiously. Of course a website cannot take the place of a rav, but ...
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3answers
630 views

Why has the Mishnah Berurah become the Authoritative Halachik Work instead of the Aruch haShulchan?

Hirhurim just had a post about this topic, where he discussed some reasons that people should follow the aruch haShulchan. Yet in many circles, people just follow the Mishna Berura and rarely even ...
4
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1answer
75 views

Contemporary leniencies regarding the prohibition(s) of new grain

Since Talmudic times, Rabbinic scholars have grappled with the apparent contradiction between the Biblical and/or Rabbinic prohibition(s) of chodosh (new grain grown since Passover) and the common ...
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3answers
593 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 ...
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2answers
162 views

Is it permissible to listen to a Rabbi instead of a doctor?

Recently, an article published on a popular Jewish website, told the story of man who was told by a doctor that he needed to have surgery. He went to a Gadol Hador (great Rabbi) to ask him for advice ...
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0answers
82 views

Are Yoetzet Halacha permitted according to halacha?

Recently, in certain segments of the modern orthodoxy there have been appointments of Yoetzet Halacha, a woman specially trained to assist woman with questions in Hilchos Neda. Is this permissible ...
3
votes
1answer
114 views

Under what circumstances can Ashkenazim rely on Sephardic poskim?

Is there any reason an Ashkenazi Jew should not hold by the psak of a Sephardi rov--or vice versa--for decisions relating to general matters (not ostensibly to do with particular minhagim)? If so, ...
3
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2answers
108 views

Determining the status of bedika cloths via digital media

Determining the colours on a bedika cloth is a wisdom that has been passed on from generation to generation. Preferably a bedika cloth is checked by the light of the sun ('white light'). I've have ...
5
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2answers
125 views

If two rabbis tell you opposite things which do you listen to?

If you ask two rabbis the same question and they give you opposite answers (one says mutar the other says assur). Which do you listen to?
13
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1answer
274 views

Can one follow the Mishnah Berurah without asking a shaila?

When one has a question in halacha and finds an answer in the Mishneh Berurah (or Aruch HaShulchan, or similar work), why can he follow the answer provided? Why doesn't he need to ask his rabbi first? ...
2
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0answers
23 views

Choosing a “Posek” [duplicate]

How does one go about choosing his own personal Posek(halachic authority) Sources , if available , are appreciated.
4
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0answers
51 views

What is the history of the terms Posek and Psak Halacha?

From my searches, the Tanach does not have the term Psak or Posek in it. Many questions here related to questions on psak quote the Rambam, but those sections refer to Horyaot, or Divrei Halacha, or ...
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2answers
110 views

Seforim who write “not for Psak”

Whats the point of Sefarim who print Piskie Halacha and then they write not for Lemasshe-whats the point then?
4
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3answers
403 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 ...
4
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0answers
141 views

Which rabbis are knowledgeable about sexual dysfunction and accept Sholom Bayis questions? [closed]

I have a personal question for which I need the advice of a posek who is experienced in answering questions about Sholom Bayis and who has expertise with medical issues regarding sexual dysfunction. ...
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17answers
792 views

SE Challenge: Halachot in which rulings range from permissible to Torah violation?

Inspired by my previous question regarding heating up soup on Shabbat, I present a challenge to the Judaism StackExchange community -- List halachot which have halachic decisions ranging from ...
3
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1answer
143 views

Leading poskim in the Charedi community today [closed]

Who are the leading poskim in the Israeli Ashkenazi Charedi community today? As far as I am aware R. Nissim Karelitz is no longer active, so I would like to know who has taken his place and that of ...
5
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1answer
90 views

How to answer practical questions on the street

I don't know how common this is, but I've occasionally been approached on the street by regular people whom I do not know (who presumably make the assumption that since I wear a kippah, I'm a rabbi) ...
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3answers
246 views

Is one allowed to be Machmir against a psak?

The Halacha follows Rabbi Yehoshua that a Mamzer is only if one marries an Erva that is Chayav Kares. The Halacha follows the opinion that the descendants of a non-Jew living with a Jewess are ...
2
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2answers
72 views

Why was Aharon not liable for issuing a ruling around his teacher?

The Chumash (Shemini 10:16 and onwards) describe an argument between Moshe and Aharon. Aharon's two sons died by the hands of Hashem and he became an Onen who cannot eat sacrifices. Moshe gave him an ...
2
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4answers
326 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
233 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 ...
2
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1answer
80 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 ...
3
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1answer
112 views

When it is stated that one is forbidden to pray or render halachic decisions while drunk, does this include other drugs like marijuana?

The Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh De'ah 242:13 says one is forbidden to render halachic decisions when drunk (Shichur), does this include other "intoxicants" such as marijuana, etc.? Also, in Orach Chaim ...
17
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5answers
552 views

Can we argue with gedolim when we are sure that we are right?

I recently saw a teshuva by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Ohrach Chaim Volume 1 Teshuva 109, that quotes a letter from Rabbi Menashe Klein asking a question on Rabbi Moshe's psak but saying that he does not ...
3
votes
2answers
71 views

If one has a heter to do something unusual, must one do so discreetly?

If one has a heter to do something unusual, must one do so discreetly? I am essentially asking whether marat ayin concerns are relevant to this type of situation. (As for "Why wouldn't they be?"--I ...
2
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0answers
59 views

Picking and choosing Hashkafa

Can one decide to follow for example the Rambam's more rational Hashkafic approach and then the Ramban for other Hashkafic ideas even though they clearly disagree? I've heard that by practical ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

How does “getting a heter” work?

I have heard of the concept of "getting a heter" to do something that is not ordinarily permitted, but I don't have a good idea of what it means. I am interested in explanations of what this process ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

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"]. ...
1
vote
1answer
76 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
55 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
57 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
284 views

May I rely on the halachik leniency of others?

If "Reuven" believes the halacha to be one way and "Shimon" believes it to be more lenient may Reuven rely on Shimon to do something for him based on this leniency? Here is a 100% fictional ...
4
votes
1answer
56 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?
5
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0answers
78 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, ...
5
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1answer
140 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, ...
11
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3answers
892 views

Why are people going back to paskining like the Rambam?

I have heard personally (and seen in chat) people (who are not Teimanim [for whom there is a tradition to rule like the Rambam]) ruling like the Rambam. I have heard that he has the authentic ...
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0answers
77 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
340 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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4answers
208 views

Who should be asking nidda questions?

Who should be asking a niddah shaala (question): the woman or her husband? Or perhaps there is no difference? Or does it perhaps depend on what the shaala is? Are there any concerns with one or the ...
3
votes
0answers
44 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
163 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 ...