1
vote
1answer
31 views

How does Tum'ah (“Ritual Impurity”) work?

What are the mechanics by which Tum'ah works? How does one detect it, or diagnose someone as Tamei? Certain materials can contract and transfer Tum'ah. Why do these material do so, but others ...
10
votes
3answers
267 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Are kohanim prohibited from University College London? [duplicate]

Maybe a strange question, but the mummified remains of the British philosopher Jeremy Bentham are on display in a glass case at UCL. See http://golondon.about.com/od/londonforfree/p/jeremybentham.htm ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Eating food that is tamei

What is the status (both mid'oraita [on the biblical level] and mid'rabanan [on the rabbinic level]) of a person who ate food that is tamei [ritually impure] as a rishon le'tumah [first level of tumah ...
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Kohen travels next to a hearse under tree branches

related to: Kohen following a Mes into a tunnel If a Kohen is driving his car and a hearse is next to him and they are both in a area where there are trees in a narrow road (or say regular road with ...
2
votes
2answers
71 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

רש״י's use of the קל וחומר after it's been discredited (שבת כו ע״ב)‎

The Bavli, Shabas 26 amud 2, derives from some wording in Vayikra that a three-finger-by-three-finger piece of wool or linen fabric can become tame. It then proposes that the verse teaches us only ...
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 ...
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. ...
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
95 views

How was Shmuel permitted to kill Agag?

How was Shmuel Hanavi, who was a nazir (Nazir 66a, Rambam Nezirus 3:16) allowed to kill Agag if in doing so he became tamei l'mais? I am looking for answers other than Shmuel using a wooden sword or ...
2
votes
1answer
67 views

Tovelling food on Shabbos

I've heard this before many times that food that was left under ones bed that now has on it "ruach rah" can be "purified" by tovelling the food in the mikveh (perhaps someone can help with a source ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Why are the laws of Tumah and Taharah not observed? When did this start? [duplicate]

I've often heard an explanation as to why we don't need to be aware of tumah and taharah is that it no longer applies. The reason for this (as I've heard) is that since we don't know who is and isn't ...
3
votes
2answers
197 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
41 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

which animals have tuma neveila

tuma sheretz applies only to the shmonei sheratzim (8 critters) mentioned in the torah. But what about tuma neveila (which is more severe)? Is it for all other animals or some? what about small ...
5
votes
2answers
84 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
147 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 ...
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
3k 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?
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Question on the transfer of Ruach Ra'ah [closed]

I've heard ( do not have a source ) that if you don't wash right after waking up, the Ruach Ra'ah transfers itself to all objects you touch. Does this object become tumei? How is it removed from the ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Explanation of obscure Rashi (שבת דף יד)

The Bavli, Shabas 13 amud 2, quotes a mishna in Zavin that lists some people and things that, by touching t'ruma, invalidate it so that it cannot be eaten. The Bavli says that these restrictions were ...
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, ...
4
votes
1answer
103 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?
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? ...
5
votes
3answers
418 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Tumah from touching scalp?

Whats the reason behind the ruling that scratching or touching your scalp gives hands tumah, therefor you need to wash before discussing Torah or reciting a bracha
2
votes
2answers
57 views

Meis Mitzva and Idolatry

A Cohen finds a dead body in India Should he bury it himself and become taamei OR Should he inform the nearby village who will then dispose of the body with idolatrous rituals. The roots of 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
81 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Why make the Kohen burning the Para Aduma rabbinically impure?

The Gemara says that we make the Kohen burning the Para Aduma (the red heifer) impure and then dip him in the Mikva. The reason given is that there is an argument between the Rabbis and the Sadducees ...
4
votes
0answers
51 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
217 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
128 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
151 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
91 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
43 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
113 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
55 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Examining the Zav

Does anyone know of any rabbinic sources (Talmudic/midrashic) that indicate that a Zav would go to a halakhic authority to be examined regarding his Zivah?
4
votes
3answers
460 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
322 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
369 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?
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?
5
votes
1answer
132 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, ...
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?
1
vote
2answers
133 views

What happened to Tohorot?

As I understand it, all of Tohorot has been reduced, in modern practice, to Niddah and some hand washing. The entire structure of transmittable 'uncleanliness' is inoperative. Why is it inoperative? ...