4
votes
1answer
99 views

Mah inyan Shmita eitzel the price of tea in China?

I saw some red peppers in an American grocery store labelled "Product of Israel". I have never seen that before, and my guess is that since it's a shmitta year, there is less of an Israeli domestic ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

When do we append “ימח שמו וזכרו” to the name of an evil person

When is the phrase 'ימח שמו וזכרו' ('may his name and memory be erased') appended to the name of an evil person? Is it a stylistic and subjective matter of choice or are there specific criteria to ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

Poskening Leniently

For situations where a Rav is searching for a lenient ruling, such as in cases of major financial loss or aguna, etc., what are the guidelines that he must follow? Is he allowed to rule like a single ...
4
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

What do other Chassidic groups say about the Baal Shem Tov's meeting with Moshiach?

There is a story where the Baal Shem Tov had a meditative experience and he "entered the chambers of Moshiach", and asked him "אימיתי קאתי מר" (When will the Master (you, Moshiach) come?), to which he ...
4
votes
1answer
26 views

Singular and plural in Maoz Tzur

In the first five paragraphs of Maoz Tzur, the first-person singular is used fifteen times. However, the first-person plural is used just once, in ושם תודה נזבח - and there a thanksgiving-offering we ...
4
votes
1answer
40 views

Why was Eisav approaching?

Yaakov spends 20 years in the house of Lavan, after which he starts heading home. He sends messengers ahead to check on his brother Eisav (Bereishis 32:4). The messengers return and inform Yaakov ...
4
votes
2answers
72 views

What's the law of Bittul and powdered milk?

Suppose someone took a tea-spoon of powdered milk, reconstituted it into normal milk, and accidentally dropped some of it on meat. Do we measure the bittul of the resulting mixture against the powder ...
4
votes
2answers
206 views

Why is the wording “הערים האל” used? (Deut 4:42)

Devarim 4:42: לָנֻס שָׁמָּה רוֹצֵחַ אֲשֶׁר יִרְצַח אֶת רֵעֵהוּ בִּבְלִי דַעַת וְהוּא לֹא שֹׂנֵא לוֹ מִתְּמוֹל שִׁלְשׁוֹם וְנָס אֶל אַחַת מִן הֶעָרִים הָאֵל וָחָי so that a murderer might ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

Notable Rabbanim and Thanksgiving

I know (from a friend who attends) that the Maimonides, the school founded by R' Soloveitchik, observes Thanksgiving. Did the Rav, or any other notable American Rabbanim, observe Thanksgiving?
4
votes
1answer
38 views

Jerusalem was only destroyed because of these 8 things - how?

In Masechet Shabbat 119b, it brings 8 statements saying "Jerusalem was only destroyed because x". Each time, x changes. How can it say that Jerusalem was only destroyed for one particular thing - 8 ...
4
votes
2answers
106 views

How are Jewish cemeteries inaugurated?

Are there any methods necessary to make a cemetery Jewish, or can one just start burying people wherever one legally can?
4
votes
2answers
141 views

sources that neatness brings brocho/mazal

I heard in a daf yomi shiur on the end of Moed Katan (27a ‘Couch of Fortune’) that Jews kept an extra neat bed for brocho/mazal. One of the reasons that he gave was that in general neatness brings ...
4
votes
1answer
44 views

If someone didn't appease their fellow, what do they say in Ashamnu?

The standardized "Ashamnu" viduy has in it several sins which are between one person and another, for example stealing or giving bad advice. If someone hasn't asked forgiveness from the victim, does ...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

Kiddush, Learning and Mitzvos for dead/niftar neshamos

I seek an early source that giving Kiddush (so others will make a bracha for the zchus of the neshama) or other such actions that can positively affect the neshamos of those who have departed.
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Who was Rabi Tanchuma?

Was there an actual person Rabi Tanchuma attributed to writing the medrash that goes by this name? Do know anything about him?
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Safek De'Oraysa Le'Chumra

The classic example of safek de'oraysa le'chumra is when there is an agreement that a de'oraysa exists but there is a debate as to which cases constitute the de'oraysa. In such a debate we paskin ...
4
votes
1answer
50 views

Is there a the obligation to be MeChadesh Divrei Torah

The mitzvah of learning Torah is well known. But what about being MeChadash Chidushei Torah, innovating Torah thoughts? Does such an obligation exist? or is it enough that I learn what is written ...
4
votes
2answers
71 views

Can a charity employ a collector on commission without informing donors?

This question is related. A charitable organisation wishes to employ a collector on commission. Does the organisation have a duty to inform potential donors that (a) the collector is on ...
4
votes
1answer
50 views

What beracha do you make on Golden Puffs?

Golden Puffs is a honey glazed puffed wheat cereal. I'm looking for the sephardic minhag. Preferably an answer from Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. I've narrowed it down to either adamah or mezonot.
4
votes
2answers
97 views

Aleinu - are we happy that other nations worship idols?

I was reminded by seeing this question regarding racism that I had always wondered about how to interpret the well-known prayer of "Aleinu". The first half of the prayer seems to be thanking Hashem ...
4
votes
1answer
762 views

Plans for an all-wood sukkah

I am looking for full-blown, ready-made plans for a sukkah with wind-blocking wooden walls and frame elements. (I'm OK with metal hardware.) I have searched the Internet and have yet to find any. I ...
4
votes
1answer
146 views

Do the seven types of Perushim described at Sotah 22b refer to the Essenes?

The Mishna at Sotah 20a writes of a "plague" of perushim who bring destruction to Israel. Likewise the Gemara at Sotah 22b describes seven categories of perushim -- a word some translate as ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

Sefardi praying schacharit with Ashkenazim

What should a sefardi do during tachanun when praying with ashkenazim? They don't say veyavor and when they sit they put their head on their arm. What about on Mondays/Thursdays where Sefardim sit ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Are you allowed to study (not Torah) on Tisha Bi'Av

For example if someone has a big math test on Yud Av, is he allowed to study math (my question was applied to math but goes to learning anything besides Torah) on Tisha Bi'Av?
4
votes
2answers
131 views

Why are large Jewish communities not picking up and moving to Israel? [duplicate]

In last week's Parsha we saw a clear instruction to "settle" the land of Israel. I read that is some distinction between the Rambam and the Ramban whether it is classified as one of the 613 Mitzvot, ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Why is there a parsha break in the middle of a verse?

In this week's parsha, we see a parsha (stumah) "break" in the middle of Devarim 2:8. There are several other places where there is a parsha break in the middle of the verse. Another example occurs ...
4
votes
2answers
144 views

Why are certain kosher meat / poultry parts hard to obtain in the U.S.?

Years ago, my parents could easily purchase these meat & poultry parts that I rarely see now: chicken feet cow / calf lungs goose & goose liver When I was in Israel, these animals or parts ...
4
votes
2answers
204 views

Cooking with wine during the Nine Days

Many recipes call for wine. Has anyone authoritative written about the halachic status of cooking with wine in the nine days? Would it matter if the alcohol were cooked off?
4
votes
1answer
55 views

Sin Offerings — what did you do after sin, before you got to the temple?

The Torah clearly stipulates what offerings God's people are to make in atonement for sins, but what was the status of those people after they had sinned (providing it was not a sin worthy of death) ...
4
votes
1answer
80 views

Does someone not fasting still try their best?

If someone is exempt from fasting on a minor fast day, with the example that I have in mind being a nursing woman, is there any concept that they should still fast as much as possible, or do we say ...
4
votes
1answer
180 views

Shnayim mikra ve'echad targum in English

Can I fulfill the obligation of shnayim mikra by saying the pasuk two times and then the English translation one time?
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Source for exemption of hekdesh by nizkei adam

What is the source of the פטור (exemption) of הקדש by נזקי אדם (damage to property done by a person)? Tosfos on Bava Kama 7a (continued from 6b sv שור רעהו; on 7a, beginning of narrow lines) teaches ...
4
votes
2answers
114 views

On schwa following word-initial “וּ”

Mishna B'rura 61:36 specifies that we should be careful to pronounce a sh'va na (mobile schwa) as na and a sh'va nach (quiescent schwa) as nach in "Sh'ma". Unfortunately, there's a class of sh'va I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

What makes a movie “kosher”?

Several years ago, when my kid was in camp, I asked him what he did on a rainy day in camp. He said that they watch a "kosher movie". OK, I know that the word "kosher" is used generically in English ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Why does one have to see the moon to do Kiddush Levana?

I had a debate regarding Kiddush Levana with a yeshiva bachur. From my recollection, Kiddush Levana is not meant to compensate or "simulate" Kiddush Hachodesh where witnesses had to see the moon and ...
4
votes
3answers
236 views

Why Choose Talmud Bavli For The Daily Study

As we know it is a big custom to learn a daf of Talmud Bavli a day (Dafyomi). My question is why did they choose to pick Talmud Bavli. There are so many other Subjects that could actually affect ...
4
votes
1answer
116 views

Why were some Jews called Yishmael? [duplicate]

Why is it that we find Jews (and even sages) by the name Yishmael? It seems rather strange that we would choose to name our children after someone who was the progenitor of a nation seen to be an ...
4
votes
1answer
151 views

Were ancient Rabbis night owls?

I constantly here of stories of rabbis, in the olden days, that woke up at midnight recited Tikkun Hatzot and studied Torah until sunrise. Was this the common practice of Jews of ancient times or was ...
4
votes
1answer
144 views

Should one say the blessing “borei minei besamim” on essential oils made exclusively from plant extracts?

Essential oils are useful for smooth skin and massage as well as aromatherapy. For those unfamiliar with what it is, please refer to this Article about essential oils. It is made primarily from ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Does one make bracha “borei minei besamim” on incense or spice smoke?

I know that when you smell "raw" spices, you say "borei minei besamim". Can you make this bracha on the smokey smell when these spices are being burned? Some examples: If you burn an incense stick ...
4
votes
2answers
156 views

Shabbat with time dilation in space

I know there is some discussion in space/planets.. How would you keep shabbos in space? The Rabbi I asked this shabbat pretty much said the same thing; and you go by Jerusalem time when in doubt. ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Making early shabbos and tefillin

If someone accepted shabbos early (tosafot shabbat), and remembered he didn't put on tefillin that day, may he put on Tefilin in order not to miss a day of performing that mitzva, or is he already ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

Two simultaneous shoftim

According to the timeline of the shoftim in the Artscroll Tanakh (supposedly based on the Vilna Gaon), Barak and Devorah served as judges of Israel at the same time. Why was it necessary for them both ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

In the Rosh Chodesh leining, why is “Shabbas b'Shabato” pronounced with a pasach?

Recently, I paid attention to the Rosh Chodesh Torah reading (Bamidbar/Numbers Chapter 28) and noticed that in verse 10, "olas Shabbas b'Shabato…", the word "Shabbas" is vowelized with a pasach (short ...
4
votes
1answer
161 views

How common was polygamy in Biblical times?

How prevalent was polygamy among Jews in Biblical times? I can only think of five Jews in Tanach who had multiple wives: Avraham, Yaakov, Elkanah, David, and Shlomo (although I probably missed a ...
4
votes
1answer
462 views

How many Blatt in each perek of Shas?

I am working on a chart to split up shas among the members of my shul. How many Blatt (double-sided pages) are in each chapter of Shas? If you have a spreadsheet with the pertinent information, that ...
4
votes
1answer
143 views

Borrowing money without clear plan of how to pay it back

Are you allowed to borrow money from a Jew without having a reasonable idea how you will be able to repay the loan?
4
votes
1answer
121 views

Should an adoptee mourn his Jewish biological parents?

I was adopted at birth from a Jewish biological mother into a Jewish adoptive family. Should I observe mourning for my birth mother when she dies, and otherwise honor her as a parent? Thank you.
4
votes
1answer
61 views

Was Paltiel living with Michal sanctioned?

Michal, daughter of Shaul, was King David's first wife. However, after she later helped David escape from Shaul, Shaul gave her to Paltiel Ben Laish as a wife. The Talmud in Sanhedrin 19b has the ...

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