-2
votes
0answers
6 views

Accepting presents from St. Nicholas on Nittel Nacht

Is one allowed to accept gifts from St. Nicholas/Father Christmas etc. on Nittel Nacht? I was thinking that they might be issur be'hana (like an actual avodah zarah item) but they could also be ...
3
votes
0answers
13 views

Chanukah Bushes?

Every year, I hear people (typically heterodox or jokers) talking about "Chanukah bushes" (likely a parallel to Christmas trees). Now, beyond the obvious of this not being a traditional practice, ...
0
votes
0answers
8 views

Does anyone hold that you could be “masneh al mah shekasuv baTorah” in all cases?

The gemara on Bava Metzia 94a brings a discussion about "מתנה על מה שכתוב בתורה," about someone who makes a condition that is contrary to something that is written in the Torah. דתניא האומר לאשה ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Can a person (or cat) be both alive and dead at the same time? (Schrödinger's paradox)

Related: Schrödinger's cat and yibbum That question assumes that Schrödinger's paradox is possible, and that someone can be both dead and alive at the same time. So, is that actually true ...
4
votes
1answer
29 views

Using Ethiopian oral law to resolve machloket

This question and particularly my comment on the question got me thinking. Assuming those who became the Ethiopian Jews received the oral law exactly the same as the rest of Israel, could we ...
7
votes
1answer
23 views

What primacy to give to learning halacha?

Consider a person who follows all of the halachos (he is aware of) that are involved in daily living. Any free time that he has is devoted to learning Torah. This person, however, is not proficient at ...
5
votes
1answer
22 views

Paro enslaved Yisrael but they kept the good land — was that normal?

When Yisrael come to Mitzrayim Paro gives them the choice land of Goshen. Later another paro enslaves them but apparently lets them keep the good land, because they're still there during the plagues. ...
1
vote
1answer
24 views

Taking off a hat cover before praying

It is clear that one should remove his coat before praying, as one should not rush straight in from the outside to pray. (Insert source here!) Hats are often sensitive to rain, and special hat-shaped ...
-2
votes
0answers
28 views

Ethiopians and Oral Law

If both were given at Sinai, how come Ethiopian Jews have the written Torah but lack the Oral Law. What is the Ethiopian community's own explanation for this? (My question is not intended to cast ...
2
votes
0answers
10 views

Sigd prostration

Would prostration pose a halachic problem for a non-Ethiopian Jew who decides to participate in Sigd? Clearly the worshipers are prostrating themselves to none other than the One Jewish God. Is the ...
6
votes
1answer
33 views

Menorah 20 Amos above ground level

One does not fulfill his or her obligation of lighting the menorah if it is 20 Amos above since it is not easily seen. The Rambam in Hilchos Shabbas 17:15 writes that a beam over a mavoi with ...
-4
votes
0answers
19 views

How do I explain the various meanings of “Ruach HaKodesh” in English? [on hold]

I know it can mean a higher spiritual state of an individual and I also am aware of it literally meaning "holy spirit". I am looking for clear and concise English terms for its various meanings. If ...
3
votes
0answers
48 views

Learning Torah on Christmas

Can one learn Torah on Christmas day? I've heard there are a number of opinions on this: what are their sources? I've heard that Chasidim don't study anything Xmas night as well as the 6th of ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Difference between books called “Shulchan Aruch”

Can someone explain the difference between these four books called "Shulchan Aruch"? The Shulchan Aruch stam Shulchan Aruch Habahir Aruch haShulchan The Tur Shulchan Aruch
5
votes
1answer
38 views

Is human placenta kosher?

There is, apparently, something called placenta encapsulation which means making pills out of a placenta postpartum for the purpose of digesting placenta. People claim that these pills offer unique ...
-5
votes
0answers
23 views

Eretz Yisroel and Israel [on hold]

What is the difference between Eretz Yisroel and Israel? Why some people say Eretz Yisroel and others say Israel?
3
votes
0answers
32 views

Different Versions of Haneirot Hallalu

My father ususally lights the hannuka candles and reads the blessings from the Authorized Daily Prayer Book (aka the Singer Siddur). This year he is away and I read the blessings from the Artscroll. I ...
-5
votes
2answers
52 views

What are the origins of Qayin?

This article is expressing that "Qayin" derived from the 1st millenium BC South Arabic word Qyn, and that Cain is not a name old enough in Bible times of the 2nd millenium. Is it plausible that this ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Mi-Shebeirach for Shabbat musaf starting point

I have noticed in many kehillot, that the sha"tz will begin the Mi-Shebeirach before musaf (Hu y'varech et kol hakahal) at "(U)Mi she-oskim". At first, I thought that this was probably an oversight ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Why is the kallah's home referred to as beit nashe?

In certain ketubot I've seen the home of the kallah is referred to as Beit nashe, meaning the house of forgetting. What is the reason for referring to the kallah's home that way?
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Does a meis mitzvah acquire the land he's on even in the Temple?

I'd like to understand the concept of meis mitzvah a bit better. Specifically: there is a decree that a meis mitzvah acquires the place he or she is on to be buried there, even if it is private ...
4
votes
3answers
44 views

Family Heirloom Sefer

I have heard from many Christians that in their religion, it is common for a family to have a fine-bound edition of their scriptures which is given down to successive generations. Is there any ...
3
votes
0answers
25 views

What is parshanut theory?

Are there rules that must be followed in learning Torah with commentaries? I mean, clearly, we can't put words in the mouth of the Torah that go against the basic tenets of the faith, but what rules ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Do brachos on seeing have to be made within four amos?

Is there any source that says that in order to make a bracha for seeing e.g., a sage of Israel, a sage of the nations, or an unusual animal, one must be within four amos of the person/thing? I found ...
1
vote
0answers
52 views

How is Qi viewed in Judaism?

Are there any Jewish sources which discuss Qi and some of the amazing feats people seem to be able to perform with it? Is it considered impure magic and therefore forbidden to be practiced?
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Why say Adam listened to Eve if she merely gave him fruit?

In Genesis 3 Eve simply hands over to Adam the forbidden fruit. If this is so, then why did G-d say "because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree"?
5
votes
0answers
25 views

Containers and wine

Is there any outer container (a frame or box, perhaps) into which an open bottle of non-mevushal wine can be placed that will shield the bottle in such a way that, if a non-Jew (or heretic) casually ...
3
votes
1answer
38 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? ...
2
votes
1answer
26 views

Why did Yosef cause so much anguish to his family?

While this question already seems to assume some answer or another (that of a 'deeper purpose'), I thought it strange that nobody has actually asked this question so far: Yosef recognized his ...
2
votes
1answer
21 views

Specific writings of the Vilna Gaon

1- What writings of the Vilna Gaon do we have that are not commentary or textual emendations? 2- Do we possess any writings of the Vilna Gaon that talk about or reference his contemporaries or ...
3
votes
1answer
68 views

May Kohanim visit Hayden Planetarium in NYC?

May Kohanim visit Hayden Planetarium in New York City? The planetarium in question is adjacent to the Natural History Museum. Issues in question are presumably sof tumah latzeit (the idea that the ...
3
votes
0answers
27 views

Why does the Torah specify only that Lea'h's children were born in Padan Aram?

Breishit 46:15 states that "These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore unto Jacob in Paddan-aram..." What is the significance of the Torah telling us where the children were born, and why does it ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

What didn't Ya'akov believe when his sons told him that Yosef was alive?

Bresihit 45:26 says that when Ya'akov's sons returned from Egypt (the 2nd time) they say, "Yoseph is alive and he is ruling over Egypt"; the end of the verse says that Ya'akov didn't believe them. ...
6
votes
2answers
44 views

Should I close my eyes for the shmona estrai or look in the siddur?

I was taught to look in the siddur when davening. But the answer here suggests that some authorities prefer to close their eyes during the amida. What are sources for all opinions on this matter?
8
votes
1answer
101 views

Practically speaking, how should I cover my hair?

I belong to a liberal community where married women do not cover their hair. But occasionally I visit other communities (generally Modern Orthodox or Lubavich) for Shabbat and I would like to fit in ...
17
votes
2answers
4k views

May my wife wear my jacket to keep warm?

The Sefer HaChinuch #564 writes that it’s forbidden for a woman to wear men’s clothing. If it’s cold outside, is a woman allowed to wear a man’s coat to keep warm? If #1 is a problem, are any ...
5
votes
2answers
79 views

What to do in a case of no siddur available and additions to the Shemoneh Esrei?

(Feel free to write a better title.) Today i ended up getting to shul too late for mincha, and having to daven outside (still within the proper time). Now, i know shemoneh esrei by heart, and even ...
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Whence the minhag to light in shul by day?

In pretty much every shul and yeshiva I've been in has lit Chanukah candles by shacharis, the same number of candles that were lit the night before. What is the source for this custom, and why is it ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

(Online) Hebrew Babylonian Talmud

I sometimes need to show things from Gemorra for someone who knows both Modern Hebrew and Lashon Hakodesh, but not Aramaic. I do not need inserted explanation, like the Hebrew ArtScroll or Mesivta, ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

Can one use Chanukkah lights/candles for a mitzvah?

One is generally not allowed to benefit from the light of the Channukah candles (see discussion here) but does that include using the light to perform a mitzvah? Note: I'm pretty sure that this is ...
3
votes
0answers
34 views

Early descriptions of the Foundation Stone

I am looking for early descriptions of the "Foundation Stone" (אבן שתיה) -- the huge flat rock now enclosed by the mosque known as the "Dome of the Rock," and believed by many Jewish scholars to have ...
3
votes
1answer
207 views

Could the minhag of lighting menorah in Shuls have developed from when guests would stay in Shul?

Could the minhag (=custom) of lighting menorah in synagogues have developed from when guests would stay in the synagogue? Does anyone bring this as a source for the minhag? If so, would it not apply ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Assuming Christianity is Avodah Zarah (RamBam), can I get my car fixed by a gentile right before/during Nittle Nacht?

Assuming Christianity is Avodah Zarah (RamBam), can one get his car fixed by a gentile, with a new part, put in, over Christmas? Obviously, there's no way to know whether the mechanic will work on the ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

How many years before Yakov did Rochel die?

The torah teaches us that when Binyomin was born to Yakov, his wife Rochel died. How old was Yakov Avinu when Rochel died and how many years was that before his petira?
1
vote
2answers
51 views

Why Does the Rambam Assert That It Took Eight Days To Obtain Pure Oil? [duplicate]

Background In a previous post regarding the quantity of oil sufficient for one day’s lighting of the Menorah the answer given was the quantity of oil is more than one liter, but not more than two ...
2
votes
4answers
115 views

If the majority of organic and/or free range eggs contain blood spots, why are they certified kosher? [on hold]

Variables that are known of the organic and/or free range: I don't believe the eggs with blood are just protein spots even though brown eggs through observation usually do contain more protein spots ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Was the Mishkan in Shiloh destroyed?

The gemarah Megillah 16b indicates that the Mishkan in Shiloh was destroyed. There does not seem to be any outright statement in the pesukim that this is the case. It says (Shmuel Alef chapter 4) that ...
5
votes
1answer
420 views

May Jews sell wine to Christians for them to use in their religious ceremonies?

(This question is based on an older one which Rabbi Levi Cash posted a few years ago.) Under Charlemagne in the 8th century and the Carolingian emperors, Jews provided wine for Christian mass. But I ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Is modern-day Lebanon considered part of Eretz Yisrael? [duplicate]

Related to What are the Halachic boundaries of Eretz Yisroel? but that doesn't address my specific concern. Is modern-day Lebanon considered part of halachic Eretz Yisrael? Believe it or not, there ...
6
votes
2answers
56 views

What is the valley of deep darkness (or shadow of death) in Psalm 23?

In Tehillim 23, David says "Even when I walk in the valley of darkness, I will fear no evil for You are with me". Someone asked me if this "valley of darkness" is metaphorical or physical and, either ...

15 30 50 per page