4
votes
0answers
195 views

How should parents divide wedding expenses with their child's future in-laws

Today there are many different practices that have been "adopted" (not formally though) among the various Jewish communities on how the parents of an engaged couple divide up the expenses of the ...
4
votes
0answers
86 views

Were semi-marine animals on Noah's Ark?

Otters, alligators, salamanders, frogs, penguins, seals, polar bears, sea lions, platypuses, beavers, sea snakes, sea turtles, etc. These animals to varying degrees need to be able to be both on land ...
4
votes
0answers
124 views

Is the bracha of Retzei (avodah) a Bakasha?

In a standard shmoneh esrei, we have a middle section of bakashot. Because we do not make bakashot on Shabbat (as evidenced in this question), the middle 13 brachot are omitted. However, the final ...
4
votes
0answers
66 views

Looking for Passages of harsh criticism in the Shakh

Notwithstanding the fact that the Shakh includes a passage in the introduction to his Nequdat Kesef, claiming that his objections to other scholars are meant only respectfully, I have heard it said ...
4
votes
0answers
51 views

Explanation in Tosfos Pesachim Daf 99b

Tosfos writes the following in Pesachim Daf 99b: לא יפחתו לו מארבע כוסות. מתוך הלשון משמע קצת שאין נותנין לבניו ולבני ביתו כי אם לעצמו והוא מוציא את כולם בשלו וסברא הוא דמאי שנא ארבע כוסות מקידוש ...
4
votes
0answers
43 views

Shir Hama'alos in “Barech”?

Among the many hagada versions in use at the seder I attended this year, some of them included Shir Hama'alos before birkas hamazon in the "Barech" section and others did not. Is there any reason to ...
4
votes
0answers
53 views

Would my sale of chometz affect others?

If one person made a mistake or abused the chometz sale system by selling something that he does not own, would that affect the overall sale between the Rabbi of the community and the non-Jew? For ...
4
votes
0answers
81 views

Levana or Yareach?

In the entire Tanach the moon is generally called Yareach. There are 3 instances where it is called Levana. One is ישעיהו: כד. כג. וחפרה הלבנה ובושה החמה. Another one is ישעיהו: ל. כו. והיה אור הלבנה ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Using someone's mother/father's disliked name for ritual purposes

Closely related to this question, what happens if someone's mother or father doesn't/didn't like her or his name, and the child now either needs a MiSheBerach or is called to the Torah? What name ...
4
votes
0answers
52 views

Davar Ha'avad on Chol HaMoed — Loss coming later

It says in SA OC Siman 537 that one is allowed to do a malacha on chol hamoed if it's a "davar ha'aved". That is to say if the person doesn't do the malacha now it will come to a loss ("hefsed".) ...
4
votes
0answers
118 views

On what basis do we understand references to Orion and the Pleiades in Iyov?

Iyov 38:31-32 reads: הַתְקַשֵּׁר מַעֲדַנּוֹת כִּימָה אוֹ מוֹשְׁכוֹת כְּסִיל תְּפַתֵּחַ: . הֲתֹצִיא מַזָּרוֹת בְּעִתּוֹ וְעַיִשׁ עַל בָּנֶיהָ תַנְחֵם: Can you tie the chains of the Pleiades ...
4
votes
0answers
184 views

Opened “please-take!” food items in a non-Jewish workplace

Is it alright to consume unsupervised food items at work that are open and available to anyone, assuming the items were initially known to be Kosher1 and there's no evidence of tampering? Items that ...
4
votes
0answers
114 views

Nature of cryptic prophecies

I understand that prophecies in the Tanach seem to be very cryptic until the prophecy actually happens: then do the verses become clear and be correlated to the happened events. What are good examples ...
4
votes
0answers
260 views

Do other Chasidic communities follow Shulchan Aruch HaRav?

The Maggid of Mezeritch told the Baal HaTanya to put together a Shulchan Aruch for Chasidim. The result is the Shulchan Aruch HaRav, which is used as a final authority for halacha in Chabad ...
4
votes
0answers
192 views

Sitting or Standing for Kaddish - historical divergence between Conservative and Orthodox minhag

At most (maybe even all?) Conservative synagogues, the congregation remains seated during every kaddish (except mourner's kaddish, and then only mourners rise). At Ashkenazic Orthodox synagogues, the ...
4
votes
0answers
81 views

Understanding the servants' hard/soft hearts

In Parshas Bo (10:1) we read that God hardened the hearts of Pharaoh's servants - כִּי אֲנִי הִכְבַּדְתִּי אֶת לִבּוֹ וְאֶת לֵב עֲבָדָיו. The Ohr HaChaim explains that this is so that the servants ...
4
votes
0answers
104 views

What happens to the soul when dozing for a minute or ten?

Tradition tells us the soul leaves the body when sleeping. Is the same true when drowsing in a chair, which is usually not a deep sleep and you are still aware of background noise?
4
votes
0answers
261 views

Learning b'iyun vs. b'qius

When I was in yeshiva, I heard a story that I wouldn't mind having verified. Apparantly, two individuals once argued over whether b'iyun (בעיון; "in-depth", commentary-focused) learning or b'qius ...
4
votes
0answers
217 views

How/Why do amulets work?

Assuming that kameot (Jewish amulets) do provide some real protection (not simply putting the mind of the wearer at ease) how/why do they work? Meaning, why would writing the various obscure names of ...
4
votes
0answers
80 views

Are you yotzei by lighting candles through a grama?

Does one fulfill the mitzvah of lighting candles (sabbath or chanukah) if done by a grama (indirect action)? Example
4
votes
0answers
79 views

Problem of Ribis in giving loan in order to give Tzedeka

(In order to understand the dinim of Ribis and if this particular case would be problematic I will give a localized example. However please don't close the question or say it's too "local" because the ...
4
votes
0answers
67 views

How were the “seven good men of the city” appointed?

How were the “seven good men of the city” שבעה טובי העיר appointed? Was there an election and if so who could be candidates?
4
votes
0answers
135 views

Shin on Tefilin - changed in Belz?

I recently heard that in Belz they changed the Shin on the Tefilin Shel Rosh due to an old pair that was found that the Rebbi believed to be the true Mesorah. Is this true? How does the new Shin ...
4
votes
0answers
689 views

Origin/meaning of common surname Naiman (or similar)

What is the origin and/or meaning of the common Jewish surname Naiman (or Neiman, Najman, etc.)? According to this site the common Jewish name is of Germanic origin, meaning "Newcomer". However, ...
4
votes
0answers
74 views

Is there a sourced edition of Tz'enah Ur'enah?

Tz'enah Ur'enah looks like a worthwhile collection of midrashim -- insightful, accessible, and physically easy to read (this last is why I'm less likely to curl up with my Sefer Ha-Aggadah for an ...
4
votes
0answers
53 views

What did mikdash workers eat?

Groups of Jews not from shevet Levi would work in the bes hamikdash, a week at a time. Their primary responsibility was attendance: being present when korb'nos tzibur, public offerings, were brought. ...
4
votes
0answers
66 views

Hataras Nedarim for 12 yr old boy

When a boy reaches 12 years old, his nedarim (vows) are considered to be binding. However, I don't believe I've ever seen a 12 year old boy make Hataras Nedarim on Erev Rosh HaShanah. Is there a ...
4
votes
0answers
56 views

Different names for Dovid in regular Selichos vs Yom Kippur Selichos

Why do we refer to Dovid Hamelech as "Mashiach Tzidkecha" in Selichos (towards the end, paragraph begins with those words) except on Yom Kippur when we refer to him as "Dovid Avdecha" (in the same ...
4
votes
0answers
91 views

What if the Gabbai Tzedakah runs away?

Suppose a Gabbai Tzedakah passes our good friend Reuven while making his collection rounds. Reuven reaches into his pocket for his wallet and removes the money he wants to donate. By the time Reuven ...
4
votes
0answers
111 views

Explaining lack of mixed dancing

How do you explain to non-frum relatives why your simcha will have separate dancing?
4
votes
0answers
187 views

Lithuanian minhag for talis katan material

Not an halachic question, but we can read many things about talis katan: wool over cotton, tzitzis out or in, etc. It seems that the Lithuanian minhag was to tuck them in, but what about the material? ...
4
votes
0answers
161 views

using this website on tisha b'av?

It is known that one's not allowed to learn on tisha b'av; what is the halachic status of using this site on tisha b'av?
4
votes
0answers
138 views

Frozen clothes during the Nine Days

Recently, some have advocated freezing clothing, particularly blue jeans, instead of washing them to conserve water. Assuming this works to some extent, can it be done during the Nine Days? Can I ...
4
votes
0answers
283 views

Why is wine poured by a non-Jew forbidden?

The S"A 125:1 (YD) states that a non-Jew pouring non-Mevushal wine makes (at least) that wine unfit, but other than citing earlier authorities (maybe, I can't figure that part out) he doesn't give a ...
4
votes
0answers
96 views

The case of the missing Maharsha (Sota 49, BK 82, M'nachos 64)

There was fighting among the Chashmonaim, and one group besieged the other in Jerusalem, passing animals over the wall for the korban tamid, but eventually passing a pig. This story is recounted (in ...
4
votes
0answers
116 views

Language of a ketubah for marriage

Can I write a ketubah in English or possibly in Hebrew? Or must it be in Aramaic? The problem is that my friends and I do not speak Aramaic any longer. Our Babylonian-Jewish ancestors did, but we ...
4
votes
0answers
89 views

The father's or mother's name in the “Ribbono Shel Olam” (Yom Tov)

In the "Ribonno Shel Olam" prayer which we say on Yom Tov prior to taking out the Torah, there seems to be a major difference of opinion between certain siddurim (prayer books). Some have the ...
4
votes
0answers
174 views

Do you have the right to burn your own books?

There are stories of Rabbis who have composed works only later to burn or otherwise willfully destroy them (Rabbi Nachman and The Kotzker Rebbi come to mind). I would understand if they had these ...
4
votes
0answers
93 views

an adult's responding to a child's sneeze with a blessing, or vice versa

The halacha states (Mishnah Brurah 230: 7) that one should respond to a sneeze with a blessing and the person who sneezed and was blessed should return with a blessing in kind. this is not done if you ...
4
votes
0answers
131 views

Young boys returning Chumashim after Torah reading

I often see young boys going around shul after the Shabbos/Yom Tov morning Torah reading to collect Chumashim and return them to their shelves. Is this an actual 'minhag' with a history behind it? If ...
4
votes
0answers
75 views

When did the Ashkenazi custom to NOT bake matza on Pesach start?

Historically, when did the Ashkenazi custom to not bake matza on Pesach start? I am specifically interested in when this custom arose, rather than the reasons/opions pro/against.
4
votes
0answers
106 views

Matzah Shemurah on the 8th day of Pesaḥ (in the Diaspora)

According to those who hold that there is a Kiyyum Mitzvath 'Aseh DeOraitha (a fulfillment of a positive Biblical commandment) every time one eats a KeZayith (olive size's worth) of Matzah on Pesaḥ, ...
4
votes
0answers
692 views

Using a non-kosher toaster oven

What is the permissible way to use a non-kosher toaster oven? My thought process was that, when cooking milk in a meat oven, the covering of the dish and the rack makes it acceptable. Would covering ...
4
votes
0answers
99 views

Is there any place I can rent or borrow a Megillah from?

Specifically in or around Brooklyn, NY: I was wondering if anyone knows of a place that rents or lends out Kosher Megillos for Purim.
4
votes
0answers
113 views

Sources for Hamsa

I know from Ben Ish Hai Shana Bet Parashat Pinehas siman 13 where he writes to make a Hamsa from wood. However, I am wondering if there any earlier sources to solidify the fact that this would ...
4
votes
0answers
82 views

Connection of Toch Kedei Dibbur to Walking 4 Amot

According to this, the gemara compares Toch Kedei Dibbur (the length of time neccasary to greet someone; see Shalom alecha rebbi (u'mori) ) to the time it takes to walk 4 amot (cubits). Thus, with ...
4
votes
0answers
117 views

Prayer in a chapel (bes midrash room) vs. in the main synagogue

Some synagogues have a room for prayers that's used on a regular basis: weekdays, Shabasos, holidays. If there are two simultaneous minyanim, then one will be elsewhere, of course, but otherwise the ...
4
votes
0answers
76 views

Why read about Rashb"i's death at a memorial ceremony?

Why do many people read the passage (known as אדרא זוטא) from Zohar about the death of Rabbi Shim'on ben Yochai at memorial ceremonies? A description of it can be found here.
4
votes
0answers
119 views

Trash as Chometz

Is the trash in my trash cans that must stay on my property during Passover still considered under my ownership?
4
votes
0answers
296 views

Using baby wipes on Shabbos

There are those that use baby wipes on Shabbos, and those that do not. And then there are those that use only the thinner ones and not the thick ones. What is considered thin and what is considered ...

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