for questions about cases of doubt or uncertainty

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2
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2answers
124 views

Schrödinger's cat and yibbum

Over Shabbos, the Shalosh Seudos discussion turned to the Monty Hall problem, which confused a lot of people [and which (#Humblebrag) I was able to clear up for them in under 30 seconds ;)]. Then, ...
4
votes
1answer
46 views

Can someone who possibly already did a mitzva cover another such person with the b'racha?

As codified in Mishna B'rura 592 and elsewhere, we allow someone who has already fulfilled a mitzva to exempt another in the b'racha recited for it — though we try to avoid it where feasible. ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Is there a prohibition of paying interest misafek (doubt)?

Reuvain borrowed money from Shimon, and both are unsure if it was ever payed back. Now, of course Shimon can't claim any money from Reuvain, but if Reuvain wants to pay him back out of doubt, should ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Halachic categorization of safek dioraisa…

Is the dictum of safek dioraisa l'chumrah (and its inverse safek d'rabanan l'kulah) a principle from the Torah, or a din d'rabanan? How does this change how we react in these sefeikah situations?
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Orlah safek (doubt regarding status) in Israel

I purchased some fruits from a [Jewish] market in Israel a few days ago. It came to my attention now that I needed to look for a kosher certificate at the fruit stand I visited to ensure that the ...
2
votes
3answers
116 views

Should I improvise a b'racha in a case of doubt?

I didn't grow up on "b'racha bees" and I know there's a lot I don't know, so I sometimes find myself in a situation where either I know there's a b'racha for something but I don't know it, or I don't ...
6
votes
1answer
94 views

Why recite the fourth Berachah of Bentching in a case of doubt?

If someone is in doubt whether or not to Bentch, we take the strict approach and require the person to Bentch, as it is a Biblical requirement (see here), unlike most Berachoth, for which the rule is ...
5
votes
1answer
190 views

How does a giyur lchumra differ from a regular conversion?

I may be Jewish by matrilineal descent - my great, great, great grandmother was Jewish and was buried in a Jewish cemetery. Subsequent generations of my family were Catholic. I understand that if the ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

What is considered a Safek?

I've been learning all these laws about Sekefot-doubts, but I'm coming up shy on a basic point. What is considered a Safek? Example:if there are 100 pieces of lettuce and I check all of them and only ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Why Bless on Gum if some say not to

According to Hacham Ovadia Yosef there is a Halacha of Safek Berachot Lehakel meaning that in any case that there is one (or two I can't remember but it doesn't matter for my example) Posekim that ...
3
votes
0answers
59 views

Shopping at a church-associated thrift store

If you know that let's say John Hancock's thrift store's profits go to a church are you allowed to purchase things there? What if you don't where the money goes but are in Safek whether it goes to a ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Tying 7 Huliot with Techelet MiDin Safek

The Tur writes (Orah Haim 11) that since in his days they didn't have Techelet they didn't have to be Makpid on the Huliot (the Rambam doesn't agree). Therefor the Posekim hold (Rosh, Tur, SH"A etc.) ...
3
votes
2answers
197 views

In doubt of whether to say Tachnun or not

If there is a doubt in a particular minyan whether tachnun should be said or not, what should be done? For example: There is supposed to be a bris in the shul however the kehillah is not sure if it's ...
2
votes
2answers
139 views

Safek Deorayta and the Meiri

The Meiri Berachot 21 (Peri Hadash, Keneset HaGedola and others) writes that in a case of Safek Deorayta Lehumra where one isn't certain after performing the action that he has fulfulled his ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Halacha and danger to life

Suppose there is an halachically prescribed, commonly-practiced action, which has been demonstrated scientifically to lead to death of the action's object and/or subject with a certain low probability ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Is one allowed to sin a small sin to save himself from bringing a Chatas?

The Gemara in Shabbos says that Bibi bar Abaye asks if one can violate a Rabbinic commandment (unsticking a loaf from an oven) to save oneself from being "chayav a chattas". The Gemara says that ...
9
votes
3answers
142 views

Counting the omer with doubt before the fixed calendar

Currently, according to a previous question on this site, we count the omer without doubt: "Today is the Xth day of the omer" because we have a fixed calendar, and because counting with doubt is ...
3
votes
1answer
156 views

100% Polyester or Silk suits requiring checking

According to the Shaatnez testers of America Suits and Sport jackets, (Men's/Boy's): Require testing even 100% polyester and 100% silk suits. Why so? Isn't there a simple Sefek Sefeka? Safek if ...
2
votes
1answer
101 views

Sofek d'rabbanan by tevillah of an isha

Normally we say "sofek d'rabbanan l'kulo" and will be lenient in a case of a doubt that is only an issur d'rabbanan. I have heard that there are poskim who say this doesn't apply in the case when ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Pesik Resheih DeLa'Avar (inevitable consequence relating to the past)

The RaM"a (Y"D 87:6) cites an opinion that one may shouldn't stoke a flame beneath a non-Jew's pot, for fear that there's some milk and meat residue in it, and you might come to cook said milk and ...
4
votes
2answers
90 views

When can you turn a dispute into a safek?

In this answer, I proposed that since there is a machlokes rishonim on a certain issue, it counts as a safek (doubt), although the Shulchan Aruch rules strictly. DoubleAA commented, saying that he ...
12
votes
1answer
234 views

What determines the sorts of cases in which one can deliberately not know the facts?

Halacha depends on the facts of a situation. Generally, when one cannot know the exact facts, he is expected to assume that they are as usual (rov), or as they were when last checked (chazaka). When ...
5
votes
1answer
71 views

Safek yehareg v'al yaavor

If there is a situation in which you aren't sure whether you are required to give up your life, do you give up your life or not? The most simple example would be if someone doesn't know whether ...
10
votes
1answer
93 views

STa"M on which children disagree

There is a halacha that if one is unsure if certain letters of STa"M (Sefer Torah/Tefillin/Mezuza) are of the right length, one can ask a child. What happens if there was a doubt in a letter in a ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Last night *might* have been the first night of the omer. Right? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Sefira Counting in Diaspora How do we count sefira with absolute certainty, as we do, and yet, in diaspora, we have a second seder and a second day of yom tov? Wouldn't ...
9
votes
2answers
192 views

Lifnei 'Iver and your maybe-Jewish co-worker

I work in an office in which someone working down the hall is disabled. She has a Jewish sounding last name and talks to me about her family's practices in regard to being members of a Reform temple ...
11
votes
1answer
206 views

Safek (doubt) in Halachah - How unsure does one have to be?

If someone is unsure if he recited Tal UMatar, one has to repeat the Shemoneh 'Esreh (it's slightly more complicated, but let's keep it simple). If one is unsure if he remembered to Bentch (recite ...
6
votes
1answer
220 views

What to do when which side of the door to put the Mezuza on is unclear?

If someone has a house which has a room, and this room has two doors without a "heker tzir" (1) (like salon doors, or sliding doors, or no doors at all) and people walk into this room through one door ...
9
votes
1answer
186 views

Am I still Fleishig? When did we eat?

I'm sure this happens many times in a Jewish home on Shabbos: It's Shalosh Seudos time and there's dairy to eat, except no one remembers exactly what time the Shabbos meal took place. So, my question ...
10
votes
3answers
234 views

9 Days of Chanukah?

All Yomim Tovim we celebrate in Chutz Laretz an extra day because of A safek, why do we not do the same for Chanukah?
7
votes
2answers
185 views

washing your hands and forgetting

If you wash your hands and your mind goes blank and you dont remember if you said a bracha or not. do you make a new one? Do you wash again and then make a new one?