Questions about halachic deciders and their rulings.

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5
votes
4answers
582 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
598 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
votes
1answer
61 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
548 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
153 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
78 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
91 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
votes
2answers
88 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
votes
2answers
116 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
votes
1answer
264 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
votes
0answers
19 views

Choosing a “Posek” [duplicate]

How does one go about choosing his own personal Posek(halachic authority) Sources , if available , are appreciated.
4
votes
0answers
49 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 ...
34
votes
10answers
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
106 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
votes
3answers
384 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
votes
0answers
137 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. ...
20
votes
17answers
773 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
votes
1answer
126 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
votes
1answer
86 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) ...
1
vote
3answers
234 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
votes
2answers
70 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
votes
4answers
319 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
105 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
206 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
votes
1answer
77 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
votes
1answer
109 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
votes
5answers
540 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Is one liable for making a ruling around his teacher if the ruling is wrong?

There's a Halacha that one's not allowed to make a ruling around his teacher, and if one does he is liable to the death penalty at the hands of heaven. The two examples that I can think up from the ...
3
votes
2answers
67 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
votes
0answers
57 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
129 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
54 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
70 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
52 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
48 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
280 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
53 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
votes
0answers
76 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
votes
1answer
121 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
votes
3answers
862 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
75 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
318 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 ...
-1
votes
4answers
202 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
40 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
146 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
65 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 ...
0
votes
6answers
363 views

Untrustworthy sifrei halacha?

I have noticed that there are a few popular printings of the Mishna B'rura that come with footnote references to the Chazon Ish on each halacha where the two disagree (example). I have also noticed a ...
6
votes
4answers
176 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
55 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? ...