2
votes
3answers
148 views

Laughing in this world

The Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 560:5) states אסור לאדם שימלא פיו שחוק בעולם הזה.‏ It is forbidden to a person that he fill his mouth with laughter in this world. I don't think I've ever ...
2
votes
1answer
131 views

1 shmuel 15: does Hashem “repent”?

The narrative of 1 Shmuel 15 has to do with Shaul forfeiting his kingship because of his mercy to Agag. The root nun-het-mem (I'm seeing it translated as "repent" or "relent") appears three times, ...
2
votes
1answer
382 views

What is the Heter for the prevalent Clothing among Women?

The Eida HaChareidis1 paskened (and R' Wosner agreed) in accordance with the Mishna Berura2, who requires women to go in public places only when wearing redid (a head-covering wrapping the entire body ...
2
votes
1answer
533 views

Source for the Mitzvah Tanz

At a Chassidishe Wedding, there is a special dance done, known as the Mitzvah Tanz. Where is the source for this dance and what is the meaning behind it? Also, why is it not done at Litvish Weddings? ...
2
votes
4answers
432 views

Why does Rashi cite the Midrash of Pharaoh's daughter stretching out her arm?

There's a famous Midrash cited by Rashi (Shemoth 2:5), that says Pharaoh's daughter stretched out her arm and that it extended beyond its natural length to pull in the basket containing the baby from ...
2
votes
3answers
186 views

Astrology in the Torah

The Torah seems to have many examples where astrology is deemed real. (such as the astrology predictions that Moshe would be struck by water which made Paraoh throw the jewish males in the nile river. ...
2
votes
2answers
113 views

Corporations and Jewish ethics

Mitt Romney famously remarked that "corporations are people too." I don't buy that, but I've been wondering about what Jewish ethics says about how we should treat them. Specifically, If we speak ...
2
votes
0answers
70 views

For the Noahide laws, what should Noahides, who are unaware of the biblical God, do? [duplicate]

Being a Noahide Gentile seems to be harder than it looks. Noahides must follow the seven commandments. I wonder what happens to those innocent peoples who practice polytheistic, traditional folk ...
2
votes
1answer
139 views

How do Ethiopian Jews see the Book of Jubilees?

Is the Book of Jubilees considered to be on par with Chumash by the Beta-Israel?
2
votes
1answer
115 views

Near a bad smell, one might want to do Sh'ma, the Amidah, blessings, study, or think Torah. Is halacha equally strict about all five acts?

"Just as one separates oneself from excreta, urine, a foul odor, a corpse and the sight of nakedness for Kri'at Shema, so too, he should separate himself for Shemoneh Esreh". —Rambam. Hilchos ...
2
votes
3answers
173 views

Miswa of Lifne Iwer isn't what the words mean literally?

My fellow Jew (let's call him Bob) and I were discussing the Miswa of "You shall not place a stumbling block in front of a blind person (Wayikra 19)". Bob was saying that that verse was referring to ...
2
votes
1answer
196 views

Does the she’hechiyonu brocho apply in any way to getting married?

A man getting married has a new suit to put on, on the day of his wedding. He will make the she’hechiyonu brocho. Should he have the “acquisition” of his wife in mind in addition when he pronounces ...
2
votes
1answer
127 views

If you've missed Zeman Kriyas Shema, what should you do?

Suppose a fellow realizes at 9:16AM that the Gra Zeman Kriyas Shema was at 9:14 and he never said Kriyas Shema yet. Is there any gain by saying it immediately even though it is past the later Zeman ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

May I play a computer game which includes Greek mythological creatures?

I sometimes play a computer role-playing game (RPG) in which my character fights creatures and retrieves treasure. But some of the creatures are derived from Greek mythology. Is it still permissible ...
2
votes
1answer
99 views

chassan/kallah signing the kesubah or tenaaim

I have seen bridegrooms and brides sign their names on their kesuba or tenaaim (prenup) before the chuppah (wedding ceremony). It seems maybe to be a chassidish custom, though I'm not sure. Is there ...
2
votes
1answer
278 views

Do non-jews have soul mates?

We know that Jews have soul mates: people whom they are destined to marry. Do non-Jews have people they are destined to marry?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

What if somebody says the Shem Hameforash?

Suppose I am having a conversation with a person who is unfamiliar with Jewish tradition, and the person casually attempts to pronounce the Shem Hameforash according to its letters, as some secular ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

Shoe-tying order when tying another's shoes

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 2:4–5: ינעול מנעל ימין תחילה ולא יקשרנו ואחר כך ינעול של שמאל ויקשרנו ויחזור ויקשור של ימין One should don his right shoe first but not tie it, then don his ...
2
votes
1answer
397 views

Segulot for finding a Shidduch

If someone is having a hard time finding a shidduch, what can they do to help the process along? Are there any recommendations brought in the holy books that will make it easier?
2
votes
1answer
91 views

Amen on a Berachah that may be out of place but isn't false

An answer to another question says that, when a particular modern-day Torah scholar heard someone recite the blessing of "SheHalak" (recited in the presence of only the most eminent scholars of Torah ...
2
votes
2answers
281 views

Is it permitted for a minyan to daven outdoors?

The weather in New York is beautiful recently. It crossed my mind to daven outside in the glory of HaShem's beautiful Creation. Is it permissible to daven outdoors?
2
votes
0answers
145 views

Is a Jew able to go hunting?

What is the Halacha in regard to whether or not a person can go hunting? What have Poskim said on this issue?
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Meditation before Mitzvah activities

Who invented the meditation that is often printed before such things as counting the 'Omer, inviting the Ushpizin, and other Mitzvoth or Mitzvah-related activities, and what is the basis for it?
2
votes
3answers
1k views

Chachma, bina vaadat. Whats the difference?

Whats the difference between the concepts: chachma, bina and daat? We see them listed together in the amida.
2
votes
0answers
131 views

Am I allowed to wear my Pebble Watch on Shabbat? [duplicate]

The Pebble is a smart watch that connects to a smart-phone via Bluetooth and can deliver messages to your wrist. Am I allowed to wear it on Shabbat if I disconnect it from my phone? Think of it, then, ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Language of Mishneh Brurah - Sefiras HaOmer and counting before Aleinu

Shulchan Aruch 489:1 says that after Maariv of the second night of Pesach we begin to count Sefiras HaOmer. The Mishneh Brurah there in note 2 says that one should count before "Aleinu" because "col ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

'Kavannah' of Shem Havayeh in the first line of Kriat Shma

The requirement when saying the name 'Havayeh' to have in mind both the meaning of 'adon ha-kol' and 'hayah hoveh ve-yihyhe' takes me some time: longer than almost anybody I see in shul taking to ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Why was Ephraim's count not affected by leaving early?

According to the medrash pirkei deRebbi Eliezer (48) 200,000 Ephraimites left Egypt many years before Moshe took the Jews out and were killed. There are other midrashim and a gemarah which quote ...
2
votes
0answers
129 views

May I vote Stack Exchange answers up or down during Chol Hamoed?

Stack Exchange websites, such as Mi Yodeya, include a "voting" feature. They let me click an "up arrow" icon to indicate that a post is useful, or a "down arrow" icon to indicate that it's not useful. ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Why “מִי וָמִי” instead of “מִי וּמִי”?

I have always thought that as a general rule, the vav conjunctive prefix is usually a "וְ". But, when the word being "prefixed" either starts with a shva or starts with a "lip-letter" (בומ"פ), the vav ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

While sleeping in a sukkah, are you exempt from prayer?

Someone engrossed in one mitzvah is sometimes exempt from certain other mitzvot. So, I wonder, based on a question from Reddit user GutsAndGlory2: While engaged in the mitzvah of sleeping in a ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

Animal testing of cosmetics and other products

To what extent does tzaar baalei chayyim--the prohibition on causing needless pain to animals--apply to animal testing of products such as cosmetics? What are the potential halachic problems for both ...
2
votes
1answer
288 views

Inscription in kiddush cup relating to 4 Rivers of Eden

I have an unstemmed kiddush cup with Hebrew inscriptions on the inside. I am told that it is from Rabbi Hashrash and refers to the 4 rivers of Eden. Do you know the story behind this?
2
votes
2answers
299 views

Segulah for having a boy

I have heard before that a segulah for having a boy is to have relations with one's wife twice in one night. I remember hearing this in the name of Chazal. Does anyone know the makor for it?
2
votes
0answers
147 views

What tribe are the Bene Israel in India descended from?

What tribe(s) are the Bene Israel of India descended from?
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Mishebeirach for someone who doesn't want their mother's name used

Suppose someone really dislikes his mother and does not want to be known as (for example) "יוסף בן רחל". He's sick, and people wish to pray for him in a Mishebeirach. Do his wishes have to be ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

Whence “Purim”? [closed]

M'gilas Ester is very clear about the name of the holiday (9:26): עַל כֵּן קָרְאוּ לַיָּמִים הָאֵלֶּה פוּרִים So they called these days F urim Where does the current name of Purim come from? ...
2
votes
2answers
86 views

Two manos of meat

The Rambam says that one can give "two portions (manos) of meat" as mishloach manos. The Aruch Hashulchan 695:14 explains the Rambam should read "two types (minim) of meat": וברור הדבר דצריך לשלוח ...
2
votes
0answers
140 views

Meaning of dreams with some kinds of animals

The gemara in berachot says: "All kinds of beasts are a good sign in a dream, except the elephant, the monkey and the long-tailed ape" (57b). Why is a dream with an elephant, a monkey or a long-tailed ...
2
votes
1answer
173 views

What is the traditional interpretation of Dt. 18:18?

The Torah contains a prophecy of a future Prophet who will be like Moses: I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he ...
2
votes
2answers
183 views

Laws of “Shehiyah” relating to a “Chayah”

In the Shulchan Arukh (Yoreh Deah Siman 23) we find the laws of "shehiyah", which relates to the laws of shechita. This is basically a prohibition stating that one may not pause in the middle of the ...
2
votes
1answer
117 views

Who wears a talis on leil Shabbos?

Rabbi Chanina would don his talis gadol on erev Shabbos (Mas. Shabbos 25b, Rambam Hilchos Shabbos 30:2). While this has been practiced by individuals, is it today the practice of any particular ...
2
votes
0answers
150 views

What is the proper way to enwrap oneself in a tallis?

Before donning a tallis one is supposed to enwrap himself in it and make a blessing. I have seen many different ways of performing this wrapping. What is the correct way to wrap yourself in a tallis? ...
2
votes
1answer
367 views

Where can I find the Rif's commentary on tractate Niddah?

Where inside tractate Nidda can I find R' Isaac Alfasi's commentary on the tractate? I looked in hebrewbooks.org's 685-page tractate-Niddah PDF but couldn't find it.
2
votes
1answer
125 views

What sources are there for the meaning of Yom HaMeyuchos (2nd Sivan)?

Ohr Sameach gives the chronology according to Rashi of the giving of the Torah. Early the following morning, the 2nd of Sivan, Moshe goes up Mt. Sinai for the first time. He is instructed to ...
2
votes
3answers
132 views

Shiras HaYam - why specifically by this miracle?

Out of all the nissim (miracles) that HaShem did for Klal Yisrael (the Mann, Makkos, Bar Miriam, etc) why was it specifically by this miracle that Klal Yisrael sang Shira?
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Are Shiurim (Classes) for Women common in Orthodox Synagogues?

Is it quite common at most Orthodox shuls for there to be a women's shiur presented by a female? What topics would generally be discussed?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa?

Is Ahimsa related to Hamsa (both the symbol and the name)? If so, does this lend credence to those who view Hamsa as being of non-Jewish (at best, or pagan, at worst) origin?
2
votes
0answers
109 views

Which Sacred Books Require Burial?

A straightforward question: can anybody please source for me a full discussion of which seforim require burial and which do not. (By way of an example, I have heard it said that a gemara need not be ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

What is the talmudic or midrashic term for “do not take the text literally?”

I need a word that says the opposite of the term, כמשמעו.

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