17
votes
3answers
420 views

Can you become “more tamei”? If not, why do we worry about it today?

Without the temple and access to the ritual of the red heifer, we're all tamei (ritually impure) today with no way to fix it. Yet we work to avoid situations that would make us tamei (e.g. kohanim ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are women unclean longer after giving birth to a girl?

I read that women are unclean for two weeks after giving birth to a girl and seven days after giving birth to a boy. What does it tell us?
14
votes
3answers
319 views

Why do plastic bags and not fuselages protect against impurity?

In a picture on this article, we see a kohen who has enclosed himself in a plastic bag so as to avoid becoming impure as a result of flying over a cemetery. Why is it that a pressurized fuselage does ...
11
votes
2answers
158 views

Does an improperly slaughtered animal render the Shochet impure?

In Vayikra 11:39 it says: לט. וְכִי יָמוּת מִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר הִיא לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה הַנֹּגֵעַ בְּנִבְלָתָהּ יִטְמָא עַד הָעָרֶב:‏ 39) If an animal that you [normally] eat, dies, one who ...
10
votes
2answers
137 views

How is a kohen allowed to go outside Israel?

There is a decree which says that all the land outside of Israel is Tamei (as there is a ch'shash that the non-Jews bury their dead outside of official cemeteries). If so, how are Kohanim allowed to ...
10
votes
1answer
126 views

What does a tahara accomplish for a dead person?

What does a tahara, the process of washing and dressing a dead person, accomplish spiritually for the meis?
10
votes
1answer
204 views

Plastic gloves in Halacha

If someone touches something while wearing gloves (i.e. waterproof rubber gloves), does that halachically count as touching? Practical examples include: Touching a neveilah, whether or not you ...
10
votes
2answers
246 views

Would a genetically engineered red heifer be usable?

Assuming that a non-Jew chose to create a genetically engineered parah adumah (red heifer) and further assuming it met all the halachic requirements --no two black hairs, hadn't been used for work ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Does the act of masturbation cause a change in one's spiritual/religious status vis-a-vis what he may and may not do?

Obviously masturbation is a very serious sin. However, if someone has already transgressed that sin, does his status change vis-a-vis things like learning Torah or davening? Does he need to go to a ...
8
votes
1answer
113 views

Why did Aharon request that Hashem declare Miriam pure?

Rashi says that one of the meanings of Aharon's prayer regarding Miriam ("Let her not be like the dead, which comes out of his mother's womb with half his flesh consumed!"; Bamidbar 12:12) was that ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

May a Kohen become a doctor?

May a Kohen, who is not allowed to be around dead bodies and the like, become a doctor? Please mention only sourced answers, and I realize that there are some programs that don't require work with ...
7
votes
1answer
124 views

Can/Should a Kohen Disqualify Himself from Birchas Kohanim because of Tumah?

Is it proper for a kohein to disqualify himself from duchaning if he feels that he is ritually unpure at that particular moment?
7
votes
1answer
148 views

What is the significance of the skull of Araunah the Yevusi?

Araunah the Yevusi sells the land upon which the beis hamikdash will eventually be built to Dovid HaMelech (II Shemuel 24:18). Subsequently his skull is found underneath the mizbeach at least twice ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

Do cremated remains contaminate with tumas mes?

If a body is cremated, do the ashes transmit tumah as do other human remains, or does cremation render the body no longer tamei?
6
votes
1answer
198 views

Jews were on 49th level of Tumah. Says who?

There is a well known idea that when the Jews left Egypt during the Exodus, they were on the "forty-ninth level of tumah". Many explanations are given for this and it is expounded upon at length by a ...
6
votes
0answers
86 views

Issues of Tumah vis a vis non-Jewish human remains

I was once told that there's a crypt in the Old City of Jerusalem near one of the gates (I forget which one), which houses the remains of a well-regarded non-Jew (once again, I forget the exact ...
5
votes
3answers
409 views

Food cooked by woman during Niddah?

If according to my Bible translation - please correct me if it is wrong - anything a woman in niddah or a state of tumah, or 'impurity', touches or sits on becomes 'impure', can food cooked by her be ...
5
votes
1answer
255 views

Is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery?

Besides the permitted reasons for male kohen, is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery for other reason?
5
votes
2answers
121 views

Touching the forearm when putting on Tefilin

If one has touched his forearm while placing the arm-Tefilin (I see that it's a very common case), is he obligated to wash his hands immediately, as he has to say a Beracha on the head-Tefilin? If so, ...
5
votes
2answers
83 views

The meaning of the word חטא

The word chet is "sin" and is used as such (and in related ways -- sin offering, guilt from sinning, cause others to sin etc.) over 200 times according to my Even-Shoshan. It seems to be connected to ...
5
votes
1answer
125 views

How to handle cadavers

My fiance is going to university, working towards a degree in dentistry. For about a year, she will be required to handle cadavers in the classes. First of all, is this forbidden in Torah? Secondly, ...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Unclean — Consequences

I know that there are multiple things (food, corpses, menstruation, etc.) that can make one unclean. I'm just uncertain as to what being unclean meant in practicality, especially for touching the ...
5
votes
0answers
42 views

Tourist guides for Kohanim

I recently saw a tourist guide for Kohanim, published online by the Chicago Rabbinical Council, listing certain Chicago tourist sites that are, and are not, problematic for Kohanim. Are there any ...
5
votes
0answers
81 views

Was Naaman tamei from tzaraas?

In Melachim Bet 5:10 we read: וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו אֱלִישָׁע, מַלְאָךְ לֵאמֹר: הָלוֹךְ, וְרָחַצְתָּ שֶׁבַע-פְּעָמִים בַּיַּרְדֵּן, וְיָשֹׁב בְּשָׂרְךָ לְךָ וּטְהָר.‏ And Elisha sent a ...
5
votes
0answers
99 views

Dictionary of symbology in Kodshim and Taharot

I'm wondering if anyone has ever put together a book that lists all the different elements that can come up in the realms of Kodshim and Taharot (e.g. bulls, the number seven, water, slaughtering, ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

Does Tuma get nullified?

If a drop of Tuma liquid (say a "Mashke" of a zav) falls into a huge vat of water, do we say that all the water is now an Av, or do we say it could get nullified. If it gets nullified, at what ratio? ...
4
votes
8answers
103 views

Connection between purity and bris?

The verse in Vayikra 12:2 says דַּבֵּר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לֵאמֹר אִשָּׁה כִּי תַזְרִיעַ וְיָלְדָה זָכָר וְטָמְאָה שִׁבְעַת יָמִים כִּימֵי נִדַּת דְּו‍ֹתָהּ תִּטְמָא If a woman conceives ...
4
votes
3answers
441 views

Do permanently unmarried women need to go to the mikvah?

Is the purpose of a woman's going to the mikvah so that she can permit herself to a man (be he her husband or any potential husband), or is it for her own sake? The nafqa mina is that of a woman who ...
4
votes
2answers
79 views

Trains traversing cemeteries - Kohanim

May a Kohen (that is, a member of the priestly clan, who are prohibited by the Torah from exposing themselves to dead bodies) ride on a train that passes over, through, or under a cemetery? May he ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Washing hands after touching a gentile corpse

Does one need to wash hands after touching a gentile corpse just as after a Jewish one?
4
votes
1answer
364 views

Kohen flying over a cemetery?

Is there a problem with a kohen flying in an airplane that may fly over a Jewish cemetery? If so, how can a kohen be sure that a flight does not go over a Jewish cemetery?
4
votes
1answer
201 views

Can a woman converting to Judaism go to the Mikvah during her period?

When Gentiles convert to Judaism, they are "like a newborn". If I understand correctly, there is no such thing as Niddah vis a vis non-Jews. So, if I add those two together, I am inclined to assume ...
4
votes
2answers
154 views

Cohen And the Bodies Exhibit

Can a Cohen Visit the Bodies Exhibit or is Tumah: Ritual Impurity a concern?
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Kohen following a Mes into a tunnel

We know a Kohen can not be in the same ohel as a dead person. From what I learned, a moving vehicle does not block the tumah from coming into the car/van/plane etc. So, if one is traveling in a ...
4
votes
0answers
67 views

Blessing on Immersing Vessels to Purify Them

A Mikvah can be used to purify humans or certain vessels which have contracted ritual impurity (Rambam Mikvaot 1 (English)). When humans use the Mikvah to purify themselves they recite a blessing ...
4
votes
0answers
50 views

What are the Tumah implications outside of Temple?

What are the implication of tumah other than related to the Temple? E.g., a pathologist in, say, Australia is contaminated with Tumas Mes all the time. Does he have to travel to Jerusalem to get ...
3
votes
2answers
195 views

Is laying with a woman during her separation worthy of death or just uncleanness?

In Leviticus 15:19 and 24 (JPS), we are told: “And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until ...
3
votes
1answer
36 views

How does a Yoledet remove her impurity for korbanot?

Does the tuma of a Yoledet expire? What I mean is that she goes to the mikve on the 8th or 15th night and is permitted to her husband ( even if she's still bleeding ), but is still impure for ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Does handling dinosaur bones make one Tamei?

This story about a pipeline digger cracking through a fossilized dinosaur tail made me wonder: Does handling dinosaur bones make one Tamei? Lizards are considered Sheratzim, but by and large ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

What is the Tuma status of food which touched a corpse?

In general (DeOraisa), when Tumah spreads it lowers itself by a level. Moreover, a Keli can't make a Keli Tamei, nor can a food item make another food item Tamei (at least by Chullin). So a ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

The purity of non-priests, non-Jews and non-humans who eat terumah

Not only can kohanim consume terumah, but they may feed it to their wives, their daughters, their Canaanite slaves and their livestock (cf: Rambam, Hilkhot Terumot 6:1 and 3). So far as their own ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Why do we get “so did they do” for the commandment of expelling tamei people in Parashat Naso?

Parashat Naso, in Numbers 5:1-3, presents a commandment to "send from the camp" anyone who is tamei due to either tzara'at or a zav-type discharage. After that, we have Verse 4, affirming that the ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Why does Rebbe Yehoshua need a passuk?

The Gemara (Nazir 65b) says that Rabbi Yehoshua learns from the passuk of לטהרו או לטמאו that the case of ספק שיער לבן קדם ספק בהרת קדמה the halacha is טהור. The question is why he needs a passuk to ...
3
votes
0answers
125 views

If a woman converting to Judaism goes to Mikvah during her period but doesn't see any more blood, is she Tehorah?

As a corollary to this question, if a woman goes to Mikvah for her conversion "during her period" (let's say on the 2nd or 3rd day), but for some reason (for which she should probably consult her ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Do We Repeat the Prayers for Using the Restroom and Washing the Hands After Each Time?

I cannot quite figure out whether we are obliged to repeat the blessing over use of the restroom and the washing of hands each time. At present I do in the morning, when I first wake up, per what my ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

The Chanuka Miracle of the Oil and Tumah Hutra Btzibur

In the events of Chanukah, why did they need the miracle of the oil? After all, they did not need pure [Tahor] oil, as the Gemara says Tumah Hutrah beTzibur, meaning if everyone is Tumay then you can ...
2
votes
2answers
131 views

Was there a Pesach Sheni after the very first Pesach?

Bamidbar (Num.) 9:1, which begins the section related to Pesach Sheni says that the event occurred in the second year from leaving Egypt. Beginning in verse 9, we learn about the laws of Pesach Sheni. ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

Why cover coals in the Temple, and what if the cover was needed?

The mishna, Tamid 5:5, indicates that there was a large container used for several things in the Temple. Two of those were that it covered hot coals that spilled on the floor every Sabbath morning, ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

If a ger is like a newborn, are they tahor? Can they prepare the para aduma?

If a ger (convert) is considered like a newborn are they tahor? If this is the case then if we were able to find a red cow then shouldn't the ger be able to to prepare the para aduma? Normally the ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

How could the Temple have become tamei?

At Yoma 41a, there is a discussion regarding the appropriate offering for someone who causes the Temple to become Tamei (ritually impure)? But what are we talking about becoming tamei? The utinsels ...