14
votes
0answers
160 views

Why was the side door to the hechal unlocked so oddly?

The hechal (central room) of the bes hamikdash had its main entrance on its eastern end. To either side of that entrance were cubicles, and the main-floor cubicles on each side had a door to the east ...
11
votes
0answers
178 views

How and when did fedoras arise as acceptable headwear?

Today I learned that the fedora was originally a woman's hat, invented/popularized for women in the late 19th century and only migrating into menswear after 1924 when Prince Edward of England started ...
10
votes
0answers
526 views

Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?

I've seen and heard a story about the Rambam told multiple times along the lines of this particularly concise retelling: There is a beautiful story of a disagreement that Maimonides had with a ...
8
votes
0answers
322 views

Are sex change operations prohibited for non-Jews?

In very specific situations some halachic decisors have permitted sex change operations, such as for infants born with some types of genital anomalies. However, the consensus seems to be that they ...
8
votes
0answers
270 views

Can a garment be assur for men and women because it is both beged ish and beged isha?

I've been wondering about garments like the frilly pink/purple yarmulkas and talleisim used in liberal Judaism. Since yarmulkas and talleisim are probably normally beged ish, and pink/purple frilly ...
8
votes
0answers
140 views

Why is there a custom to join “Hashem” and “Elokenu” together in the line Al Taazvenu in Shema Kolenu in Selichot

In Shema Kolenu, based on the Posuk in Psalms 38:22 we say the phrase: Al Taazvenu Hashem Elokenu Al tirchak mimenu | Don't leave us Hashem Our God Don't distance yourself from us. The ...
7
votes
0answers
72 views

מחני נא — Moshe's real name isn't mentioned

In Shemot 32:32, Moshe tells Hashem: וְעַתָּה אִם תִּשָּׂא חַטָּאתָם וְאִם אַיִן מְחֵנִי נָא מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ: And now, if You forgive their sin But if not, erase me now from ...
7
votes
0answers
213 views

“Siri, sing to me” - Kol Isha?

As i say in this Purim Torah answer, we can't use smartphones because "The vaad found out that Siri's not a guy". (From the song Hang Up the Payphone by A.K.A Pella.) However, that inspired a ...
7
votes
0answers
107 views

How to make a koishele?

People use "lulav holders," or "koisheles," small containers of woven lulav leaves to hold their lulav sets (lulav + hadass + arava) together, as seen in the picture below. My father showed me how ...
7
votes
0answers
68 views

What are the origins of the תושלב"ע prayer at the end of holy books?

When I finished the Book of Bereishit this Shabbos, the Tanakh I was reading concluded with this prayer: תם ונשלם תהילה לאל בורא עולם (Finished and completed. Praise to G!d, Creator of the Universe.) ...
7
votes
0answers
154 views

Is there a problem with saying “for Pete's sake”?

Is there a halachic issue with invoking the name "Peter," or, as is more commonly used, "oh, for Pete's sake!," which I assume is a reference to Saint Peter. ( Wikipedia agrees with this conjecture, ...
7
votes
0answers
85 views

status of owned land after Moshiach comes

what will be the status of owned property in Israel when Moshiach comes. Will a person's apartment remain his? or perhaps the land will be redivided.
7
votes
0answers
285 views

Do the laws of Negiah depend on sexual orientation?

The Rambam writes (Hilchos Isurei Biah 21:1): כל הבא על ערווה מן העריות דרך אברים, או שחיבק ונישק דרך תאווה ונהנה בקירוב בשר--הרי זה לוקה מן התורה One who comes upon one of the Arayos via ...
7
votes
0answers
146 views

How do we determine the nature of the reign of the kings when the numbers don't seem to add up?

In the book of 2 Kings, the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were separate. In Amaziah's (Judah) 15th year, Jeroboam (Israel) began to reign. In Jeroboam's (Israel) 27th year, Azariah (Judah) began to ...
7
votes
0answers
119 views

Proving Jewish identity through gravestone

What needs to be considered to show that under a grave marker lies a Jewish person?
7
votes
0answers
386 views

Can a convert (ger) become a chabad shliach?

"A convert may not hold a position of Jewish communal authority." (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim 1:4) The Tzitz Eliezer ruled that a convert may not serve in a lone communal position but he may ...
7
votes
0answers
92 views

How do you weigh authority in halacha?

Are there any hard and fast rules as to how to assign relative importance of one authority over another in formulating a psak halacha? For example if the Rambam and the Rashba argue over a specific ...
7
votes
0answers
147 views

Is Juneau, Alaska — surrounded by natural barriers — a natural eruv

I recently visited Juneau, Alaska. It is a small city of 35,000. The city limits are quite large, however -- 3,225 square miles -- but much of this area is separated from downtown Juneau on Douglas ...
7
votes
0answers
323 views

Why demand Amen via V'Imru Amen (ואמרוּ אָמֵן) at end of kaddish versus just amen elsewhere?

There are lots of blessings where we say Amen at the end, and even lots of places within kaddish where we say Amen, so why at the end of kaddish must we command others to say Amen by saying V'imru ...
7
votes
0answers
143 views

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

I have seen the custom of bothering the chazzan during the musaf service on Simchas Torah. I have seen people tie the chazzan's gartel to a chair, or try to move the chazzan to a diffrent place. I ...
7
votes
0answers
96 views

Collecting Tzedakah from someone who may (or may not) be mentally incompetent

I just witnessed something I thought I'd never see. Someone soliciting signatures on the street for whoknowswhat gently turned someone away. The reason? "It's for fundraising." Now I'm sure, like I ...
7
votes
0answers
370 views

How obligated is one to say Kaddish for a deceased relative?

People often talk about an obligation -- Chiyuv -- to recite Kaddish at every opportunity for some time after the death of a relative. (Which relatives are obligated and for how long does not seem ...
7
votes
0answers
154 views

Publisher prohibiting purchaser from sharing

Tradition articles are downloadable from the Tradition Online website, which prohibits further distribution of the materials. On each download page there is the following warning: It is strictly ...
7
votes
0answers
145 views

Father being Matir Neder for himself: does it affect the family?

If a father is Matir Neder on a minhag (gebroktz, let's say) for himself for a valid reason, does that include his whole family? Are they now also permitted to eat gebroktz because that is now the ...
7
votes
0answers
146 views

How were coins that were destined for the Dead Sea managed?

A mishna on Meila 11a talks about money that a nazarite set aside for his offerings; if he died before completing the term and had set money aside specifically for the sin-offering, those coins are ...
7
votes
0answers
118 views

Counting towards a Keriat HaTorah one who accidentally ate

We have Halacha that at least 6 people need to be fasting in order to read the Torah in a fast day. However, let's say there are 10 people and 5 are definitely fasting and one who accidentally ate ...
6
votes
0answers
39 views

If you're having a slow day are you halachically required to reduce your hourly rate?

Say you work as a contractor that charges an hourly rate. If on any given day you feel sluggish due to poor sleep or some other reason, are you supposed to reduce your rate for that day to compensate ...
6
votes
0answers
52 views

Post mortem Tahara

I'm looking for sources discussing the religious aspect of the Tahara done on deceased Jews. I recall someone mentioning that the religious aspect of it was a practice we picked up from the Muslims ...
6
votes
0answers
55 views

Relationship between Chabad and the Malachim today

These days, what is the relationship between Chabad and the Malachim? How close are they -- do members of the groups marry each other, participate in each other's mosdos at all, etc.? Do Chabad ...
6
votes
0answers
33 views

Ya'amod by an Aliya

The root of the word Ya'amod means to stand in place. See Hebrew dictionary here. Thus why do we call up someone to an Aliya with the word Ya'amod? We are not asking him to stay in place, we are ...
6
votes
0answers
72 views

Did Rambam have Rashi's works?

While the Rambam lived a century after Rashi, I cannot recall ever seeing or hearing the Rambam cite or mention Rashi or any of his works. Is there any evidence that Rambam had access to Rashi's ...
6
votes
0answers
76 views

If I have behaved badly, should I hide the fact that I'm Jewish?

If, G-d forbid, a Jew should behave badly in public (anything from simply doing something quite embarrassing, to being rude, to making a scene/causing a disturbance, to actually [ch"v] committing a ...
6
votes
0answers
51 views

How can the child of a convert know/find out if the conversion was valid?

A non-Jewish woman converts to Judaism, marries a Jewish man, and has children. She has told her children that she was converted by an Orthodox beit din, to be sure that her children are all ...
6
votes
0answers
61 views

What is the significance of 7-month births?

I have noticed that there are a number of significant figures in Jewish history who were born at 7 months. To name a few: Yitzchok Avinu (Rosh Hashana 11a) Reuvein, Shimon, and Levi (Rabbeinu ...
6
votes
0answers
79 views

Eliyahu HaNavi's role in Moshiach's arrival according to the Rambam

The Rambam says in Hilchos Malachim 12:2: There are some Sages who say that Elijah's coming will precede the coming of the Mashiach. All these and similar matters cannot be definitely known by man ...
6
votes
0answers
67 views

What will happen to most of the text of our prayers once the next Temple is built?

King Solomon, who built the 1st Temple, said during its inauguration, (I Kings 8:30): וְשָׁ֨מַעְתָּ֜ אֶל־תְּחִנַּ֤ת עַבְדְּךָ֙ וְעַמְּךָ֣ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִֽתְפַּֽלְל֖וּ אֶל־הַמָּק֣וֹם ...
6
votes
0answers
54 views

Saying half a pasuk

There seems to be a problem with breaking a pasuk up. This question refers to it as to be avoided, and this answer lists the issue and potential exceptions. The question is also discussed here. In ...
6
votes
0answers
41 views

תעבנו, תעינו, תעתענו Why three things that begin with a ת?

The Vidui that is said during the days of Selichos, and on Yom Kippur, and by Nusach Sefard on days that Tachanun is recited, starts with Ashamnu and goes letter by letter through the Aleph Bais. At ...
6
votes
0answers
132 views

Can one trust gentile sources for trope systems?

Learning the trope systems for specific Sephardic or Mizrahi communities isn't the most easy since many of the melodies have mixed in together (creating something like the Yerushalmi), or just a lack ...
6
votes
0answers
110 views

What should you do if you are arrested on Shabbat?

If a person is arrested (God forbid) on Shabbat what leniencies, if any, should he be aware of? For instance may he sign paperwork (with a shinuy) or have his fingerprint taken if refusing to do so ...
6
votes
0answers
52 views

Losing concentration in the middle of the first blessing of Shemoneh Esrei

First, a little background information: According to halakhah, there are two types of berakhoth: "long" and "short." "Long" *berakhoth" are those that have a pethihah ("opening", i.e. "Barukh Atah ...
6
votes
0answers
106 views

Will Moshiach identify Jews currently thought to be non-Jews?

The Rambam writes in Malachim 10:2: ואינו בא לא לטמא הטהור. ולא לטהר הטמא. ולא לפסול אנשים שהם בחזקת כשרות. ולא להכשיר מי שהוחזקו פסולין. אלא לשום שלום בעולם. [Eliyahu] is not coming to make ...
6
votes
0answers
128 views

What is the source of the 'elu devarim' text printed in siddurim?

The girsa of the 'elu devarim' text that appears in many siddurim after birkot hatorah cannot be sourced, so far as I can tell, to any particular rabbinic text. Here's the version that appears in ...
6
votes
0answers
61 views

Magazine subscription that doesn't cancel

Many magazines (in the United States, anyway) today find the main profitability is in having higher subscriber numbers to show advertisers and really don't care if the subscriber is paying. The main ...
6
votes
0answers
96 views

Is it allright to use/wave the Argentinian flag?

The Sun of May in the flag is inspired by an ancient Inca god. It is used by the Argentinian flag and the Uruguayan flag. It is a representation used as a homage to the ancient empire, inspired by ...
6
votes
0answers
83 views

Is it acceptable to put “God is Life” on a T-Shirt?

I am a member of the Jewish Community Center. I had a T shirt designed that says "Jewish Community Center" with a design of olive branches and the word's "God is Life". Is this acceptable? Must the ...
6
votes
0answers
127 views

Downvoting someone you dont know

Onaat devarim is a biblical prohibition to commit verbal abuse (Bava Metzia 58b based on Vayikra 25:17 "וְלֹא תוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹקיךָ כִּי אֲנִי ה' אֱלֹקיכֶם", "one shall not ...
6
votes
0answers
80 views

Is Shushan Purim observed (in theory) in Shush, Iran?

Shushan, Achashveirosh's capital, is identified with the modern Iranian archaeological site of Susa. A city, Shush, has been established nearby. In modern-day Shush, (if any Jews lived there), what ...
6
votes
0answers
36 views

Being Mekayem a zecher

According to the gemara (Megilla 29b, S"A O"C 685) there is a mitzvah to read the special reading of Parshat Zachor on a particular Shabbat (before Purim). This mitzvah is listed as one of the 613. I ...
6
votes
0answers
76 views

Judaism and dementia

Are there any books/articles that discuss dementia from a Jewish perspective? I am looking for a perspective that include coping with, and relevant hashkafa. The intended audience being not the sick ...

15 30 50 per page