11
votes
0answers
397 views

Can I make a mikvah using artificial rain?

If I have a mikva which needs filling, and there is no rain, can I use the following mechanism - I have a Mikva in a closed room. On top of this Mikva, there is a cooling system (let's say that this ...
9
votes
0answers
55 views

Can one have a favorite pasuk/parsha/masechta?

This closed question asks for a 'favorite pasuk', presupposing that such a thing is allowed. When it comes to sugyos or sections/topics of Torah, Chazal say on the one hand, (Eiruvin 64a) that a ...
9
votes
0answers
47 views

How to determine common practice for halachos that are impacted by it

Certain halachic issues are informed or even determined by the social standards of the (non-Jewish) society in which one lives. Examples include what falls under the prohibition of cross-dressing (see ...
8
votes
0answers
96 views

What is the difference between (for example) “notein” and “hanotein”?

I was looking through the brachot this morning. Many are structured as identifying hashem as "one who __" such as "matir assurim" or "oteir yisro'el btif'arah." But the final three add in the letter ...
8
votes
0answers
102 views

Were there any sages who supported the Zealots during the seige of Jerusalem?

In Gittin 56a-b, we read how the sages warned the Zealots (a.k.a. the Biryonim) to not wage war with the Romans who were holding Jerusalem under seige, but that the Biryonim set fire to the store ...
8
votes
0answers
151 views

Any good sources for Ashkenazi prayer modes and melodies for the whole year?

Anyone know of any good sources for Ashkenazi prayer modes and melodies for the whole year? I'm looking for traditional Ashkenazi nusach, but perhaps not embellished like concert chazzanut. A good ...
8
votes
0answers
195 views

May Hallel be said on Yom Nicanor?

I know that usually, Yom Nicanor is displaced by the Fast of Esther. But in years (such as 2013 / 5773) when the Fast of Esther is displaced due to Shabbat, may Hallel be said on the 13th of Adar, ...
8
votes
0answers
164 views

Is it acceptable to use software which incidentally blocks ads?

A question on this site on whether ad-blocking software is permissible suggests that the answer is that it probably, but not definitely, is acceptable. I don't use ad-blocking software myself, but I ...
7
votes
0answers
40 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
76 views

Selling Hametz on Ebay

Can I sell my chametz via eBAY? I have no expectation that I want to buy it back. I would pack it and ship it before Pesach, so it's definitely not in my posession during Pesach. Is this problematic ...
7
votes
0answers
70 views

Interfering with wild predator and prey animals

Would it be considered tzaar baalei chaim (animal cruelty) to assist a wild animal at the expense of another? Would it be acceptable to help a wild predator catch wild prey (causing distress to the ...
7
votes
0answers
117 views

How does the kohein gadol's substitute wife work?

The first mishna of Yoma explains that before Yom Kippur, a substitute wife is prepared for the kohein gadol lest his wife die -- because the torah says he makes atonement for himself and "his house", ...
7
votes
0answers
96 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
95 views

Why does the torah give us exact dates for the flood?

This question asks why the flood didn't end on the 18th of Cheshvan (one year after the start). My question is more basic: why does the torah give us precise dates here at all? Bereishit 7:11 tells ...
7
votes
0answers
130 views

What is the source of the expression המבין יבין?

The Forward writer Philologos in his most recent column claimed that the earliest uses of the expression והמבין יבין are found in the Ra'avad and in the Radak. Based on the fact that both these ...
7
votes
0answers
60 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
121 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
122 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
7
votes
0answers
123 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
183 views

What did a “don't-issue-rulings” semicha (ordination) look like?

Again from the biography of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein found in Igrot Moshe Volume 8 (emphasis added): Many approached [him] for ordination, and he was not difficult on them. Some ordinations were ...
6
votes
0answers
39 views

Differences between Bat Kol and prophecy

A bat kol, lit. a 'daughter of a voice', is understood by Marcus Jastrow as a divine voice, a substitute for prophecy. The instance of a bat kol occurs many times in the Talmud1. There are sources ...
6
votes
0answers
24 views

Lashon Harah for anonymous to'eles

Necessary background: Lashon Harah (slander) is prohibited, unless it is for a to'eles (constructive purpose). Can I say Lashon Harah that would be available to everyone, would be beneficial for some ...
6
votes
0answers
36 views
+50

Why are the names of some Masechtot in Aramaic while others are in Hebrew?

I noticed that the names of some Masechtot have an Aramaic plural ending - nun - such as "Gittin", while others have a Hebrew ending - mem - such as "Bikurim". Was there some pattern or logic in ...
6
votes
0answers
39 views

Participating in a non-Kosher food co-op

A food cooperative is a member-owned food store. It is typically set up that in order to shop there at discount prices, each person can become a member if they agree to volunteer a certain amount of ...
6
votes
0answers
59 views

At what point do we reject a minhag?

I was learning the halachos of berachos on things that are ground up, and it seemed pretty clear to me that the blessing on chocolate should be ha'etz. I found discussion in some more contemporary ...
6
votes
0answers
59 views

Children's Names

I noticed a lot of times in the TaNaKh, how children were given specific names for a specific reason. Take Binyamin for example, his original name at birth was "Benoni" (son of my sorrow) but his ...
6
votes
0answers
56 views

Status of Paper Money as Currency

According to this question, Maasar Sheni cannot be redeemed using paper money. That certainly seems to be the common assumption, but is that discussed anywhere? Is paper money the same as banknotes, ...
6
votes
0answers
36 views

What is a megillah?

5 of the books of Kesuvim are called Megillas (Maseches Sofrim 14:3 identifies 4 of them, Rus, Shir Hashirim, Eicha, and Ester. Rishonim cite versions that add in Koheles - e.g. Mordechai Megilla ...
6
votes
0answers
53 views

(Ki) Ani Hashem Elokeihem

Twenty-seven times (by my count) in Torah and in Ezekiel, we find the phrase אני ה׳ אלקיכם or אני ה׳ אלקיהם at the end of a pasuk (for example, Lev 25:55). In eight of these cases, the phrase is ...
6
votes
0answers
111 views

In Chabad- Final Halachic Decidor

In the area of Orach Chaim, when there is no established Lubavitch Minhag, i.e. in a case which is not in the Shulchan Aruch Harav (for whatever reason), and is not discussed by any other Lubavitch ...
6
votes
0answers
91 views

“לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר” in al hanisim on purim this year

As I was reading Al Hanisim this year, something odd struck me "לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר" - the 12th month. What struck me was that this year is a leap year so we actually celebrated Purim in the ...
6
votes
0answers
116 views

Why does almost every community say Lecha Dodi?

The prayer Lecha Dodi was composed in the 16th century which is relatively recent as the general Nusach of prayer was founded between 516 BCE – 70 CE by the Anshei K'neset Hagdolah, and its rare that ...
6
votes
0answers
132 views

Rishonim saying Ester took place during the second bayis

Elsewhere on this site, avi cited sources to the effect that, contrary to the Bavli (M'gila), the events recounted in the book of Ester took place after the second bes hamikdash was built. Do any ...
6
votes
0answers
89 views

Does halakha count primates as “almost human”?

I have read that the although the halakha requires koah gever (human strength/exertion) for pouring water over hands for n'ttilath yadhayim but it says explicitly in the Mishna that a qof (monkey) may ...
6
votes
0answers
104 views

Entering / Davening in a Karaite synagogue

Is one permitted to enter and/or daven in a Karaite synagogue nowadays (according to Rabbinite law)?
6
votes
0answers
63 views

Was Pharoah Necho telling the truth about being sent from God?

Did God really tell Pharoah Necho to conquer Assyria? Necho tells Josiah that he was commanded to fight Assyria. Was he: Lying? Mistaken? Truthful? 2 Chronicles (Divrei Hayamim II) 35:20-22 ...
6
votes
0answers
116 views

reason for black lines on wool talis katan

What is the reason why wool talis katanim have black lines on them? Why don't talis katanim of other materials have them also?
6
votes
0answers
89 views

Who said many agados were to wake students?

Someone told me this morning that he had, years before, seen a commentary published in the back of a volume of g'mara, likely Maharsha or Maharam, say that many of the agados throughout shas were said ...
6
votes
0answers
110 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
257 views

Origin of Reform/Conservative “scarf” talleisim

I've noticed that Reform and Conservative often use small "scarf" talleisim (here's an image). Where did this practice originate? (Is there any connection to the scarves that some Christian priests ...
6
votes
0answers
229 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
208 views

Origin of the allegory of the long spoons

A common version of the allegory of the long spoons tells how Rabbi Hayim Elhanan ben Yehudah Leyb Tsedek or Tzadikov (*1813, ✡1883) of Rumšiškės went to see the difference between Heaven and Hell. ...
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 ...
6
votes
0answers
53 views

Historical Calendar Records

Are there any records of the Beis Din's decisions regarding the Hebrew Calendar (e.g. to add months, how long the month would be), before Hillel Hakatan established the fixed calendar?
6
votes
0answers
90 views

“Nahhat Ruahh l'Yotzro” source

At the end of מוסף לשבת in דרכי אבות השלם (p. 375), a quotation is written in the name of רבי יהודה: אמר רבי יהודה: אשרי מי שעמלו בתורה ועושה נחת רוח ליוצרו Can anyone help me find the exact ...
6
votes
0answers
181 views

Women and girls covering their heads when lighting candles

I'm not sure how widespread the following practice is, since, as a man - and even since I was a young boy - I have always taken little notice of other women and girls outside my immediate family as I ...
6
votes
0answers
123 views

The Torah scrolls written by Jewish kings

The Torah commanded Jewish kings to write their own Torah scroll from a master in the possession of the Levites, and to read it every day of their life so that they should not become haughty and so ...
6
votes
0answers
100 views

Naming after someone with added names

If someone R'L is sick at some point in their life and a name such as Refael is added should that name be included as well if one is naming their child after that person? Additional Question: ...
6
votes
0answers
105 views

Thinking about Purim Torah in the bathroom

It is not permitted to think about Torah in the bathroom regularly, but what about Purim Torah, which is certainly not real Torah study, but still often refers to actual Torah? One might think that ...
6
votes
0answers
141 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 ...

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