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19
votes
3answers
523 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
182 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? ...
17
votes
4answers
4k 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?
5
votes
3answers
510 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
3answers
672 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
152 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, ...
12
votes
2answers
204 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
103 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
61 views

Beam for s'chach with wood glue + embedded screws

Let's assume that there is a lechatchila to not use metal object that are mekabel tumah (susceptible to tumah) for something that supports the s'chach ("maamid"), which can be avoided by using ...
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Notched 2x4 for maamid?

Let's assume that there is a lechatchila to not use metal object that are mekabel tumah (susceptible to tumah) for something that supports the s'chach ("maamid"), which can be avoided by using ...
13
votes
2answers
367 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
456 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
441 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
180 views

Is a wooden knife מקבל טומאה?

I know that פשוטי כלי עץ טהורים (wooden vessels that are flat [without a receptacle] cannot become טמא [ritually impure]). (כלים ב:א) What about a wooden knife? It has a function, but doesn't have a ...
7
votes
1answer
303 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
53 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
1answer
211 views

How to handle cadavers

My fiancée 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
364 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
0answers
110 views

Putting poison inside bamboo rods (s'chach)

It says in Shulchan Aruch (OC Siman 629 Sif 3) that one may cover a Sukkah with "chitzim" (arrows) that don't have a "beis kibbul." However, if they do have a "beis kibbul," then it's not valid for ...
5
votes
1answer
228 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
1answer
64 views

Why are the laws of niddah called “tohoras mishpacha” - “family purity”

Why are the laws of niddah called the laws of tohoras mishpacha/family purity? Certainly the "tohorah" part of the phrase makes sense, but why isn't it called "tohoras ishus", marriage purity, or ...
4
votes
1answer
69 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
1answer
478 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?
3
votes
1answer
170 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

Why is a woman tamei 7 days for a son but 14 for a daughter? [duplicate]

Vayikra 12 says that after giving birth a woman is tamei for 7 days for a son (12:2) and 14 days for a daughter (12:5). I am aware of the g'mara on Niddah 31b that says that everybody rejoices for a ...
0
votes
3answers
118 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 ...