All Questions

11
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Where in daily prayers do we, or can we, address our personal feelings, towards Hashem?

The main body of Shmoneh esrei has praise for Hashem, requests, and thanks. There are a couple of standard places to introduce personal supplications. Pesukei dezimra and Birchas Krias Shma can be ...
7
votes
1answer
511 views

Can you say kaddish if some of the 10 people in the minyan are forbidden from answering?

If there are exactly 10 people in a minyan and one or more are forbidden from answering kaddish at that moment, is kaddish allowed to be recited? Examples of such a situation may include if someone is ...
2
votes
1answer
22 views

Avraham's tithe

Genesis 14:20 says that Avraham gave "a tenth of all" to Malki-Tzedek. A tenth of what? His annual income, his assets, the booty from the war, or something else?
9
votes
6answers
841 views

What do I need to know in order to properly have an aliya?

What things should I know in advance in case I get called up for an aliya during a Torah-reading service?
-5
votes
6answers
402 views

Does G_d get incarnated?

There are 3 religions that says so. The obvious one is Christianity with that being it's central term. The second one is Hindu. Khrisna is said to be a God incarnate. But in torah I often see stories ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Hagbah of the Yemenites (Temanim)

I was learning in a sefer which discusses a case where they couldn't do hagbah, and the Mechaber suggested to do the hagbah like the Teimanim which is to leave it on table in some way, but I didn't ...
17
votes
9answers
753 views

Why did Avraham take gifts from Pharaoh, but not the King of Sodom?

In Bereshit 12:11-16, we see that Avraham was willing to receive gifts from Pharoah: 11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife: 'Behold ...
7
votes
2answers
99 views

Why redeem hekdesh?

Kind of related to What is my relationship to an object once I have pledged it as hekdesh? Why would somebody pledge something to hekdesh and then redeem it when he could just donate money directly? ...
2
votes
2answers
35 views

Covenant of pieces; cutting

The birds or pigeons in this covenant making (the ברית בין הבתרים) are not cut in two, but why? What is the meaning behind this?
1
vote
2answers
41 views

Significance of Noach's actions upon leaving the ark

The whole world has just been destroyed due to the failures of the generation of Noach. Noach and his family live for many days in the ark and after the waters subside they leave. Noach builds an ...
1
vote
3answers
33 views

Rambam Kiddush HaChodesh - Chapter Six - halacha 5

a copy of a few lines from the halacha: Similarly, when the days of a lunar year are counted in groups of seven, according to the weekly cycle, there is a remainder of four days, eight hours, and 876 ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Concerning the time when Esther must be read

The first Mishnah in Tractate Megilla says: מגילה נקראת באחד עשר, בשנים עשר, בשלושה עשר, בארבעה עשר, ובחמישה עשר--לא פחות ולא יתר. The Megilla is read sometimes on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, ...
3
votes
0answers
47 views
+50

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 ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Do all printed kodesh materials require Geniza?

Case 1: I print a english translation of something Kodesh. Case 2: I mistakenly print out a few pages from a sefer. I have no intention of using those pages and do not learn from them. Question: Do ...
5
votes
1answer
32 views

How did Pharaoh know that Sarai was Avram's wife?

When Avimelech took Sarah, Hashem came to him in a dream and told him to return Avraham's wife (Bereishis 20:3). When Pharaoh took her, no such event is recorded in the Torah. Pharaoh's household ...
10
votes
4answers
191 views

Online tool for minyan management?

If I'm running a small minyan that sometimes has a quorum and sometimes doesn't, and I'd like to only hold the minyan when I know we'll have ten, is there an online tool to help me manage this?
11
votes
7answers
336 views

How do you deal with huge numbers of calls from tzedaka organizations?

We get at least 20 calls per day that show up on the caller ID without a name and with either no phone number or a number with a New York metro area code. We usually don't bother answering such calls ...
6
votes
1answer
83 views

How do you get oil residue off of a menora?

When you light olive oil in a metal menora, some of the oil invariably finds its way into the cracks between parts of the menora. How do you remove this residue?
2
votes
1answer
109 views

What happens to the chelev (suet) after the butcher removes it from the animal?

Follow up to Are We not supposed to eat fat?: Chelev is called "suet". It is used as cooking oil (non-kosher, obviously), tallow (sometimes used in candle-making), and fuel, among other uses. Do ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

Turn dairy ceramic pot into parve pot

Can a ceramic pot which I used for cooking milk, very rarely and a long time ago, be turned into a parve pot to boil water only? The pot is actually granitware, constructed of low-carbon steel with ...
5
votes
1answer
795 views

When did people living for 900 years start to look old?

In the early days of the world, the standard age of living was well into the hundreds, with many people living until they were 800 or 900. Being that people lived so long, when did they start to "look ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Why did they cancel the kohein races over an isolated incident?

Mishna Yoma 2:1-2: ב,א בראשונה, כל מי שהוא רוצה לתרום את המזבח, תורם; בזמן שהן מרובין, רצין ועולים בכבש, וכל הקודם את חברו לתוך ארבע אמות זכה. ואם היו שניהם שווין, הממונה אומר להן הצביעו: מה הן ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

Should observant Jews travel to areas that are centres for Avodah Zarah (Idol worship)? [on hold]

In the light of the recent tragic event in Nepal, the question arose in my mind whether observant Jews ought specifically to travel to the far east where avodah zarah is intrinsic to the society?
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Is there a requirement to fast if Ebola is reported in the city?

I remember learning in mesechet Taanis that if there is a plague in the city with a certain number of people and there are people dying daily that the city should declare a fast. Is there any ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

Mesorah of Rabbeinu Gershom

Rabbeinu Gershom, whose takkanot are considered binding by many Ashkenazim, is often the earliest name which I hear being cited in relation to the Ashkenazi mesorah. From whom was his mesorah, if ...
3
votes
1answer
224 views

Can a Sukkah be covered with paper?

Can paper be used for schach? Paper comes from wood, which grows from the ground. Also, paper seems like peshutei kli etz - a wooden vessel without a receptacle, which does not accept tum'ah. So it ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Should a Jew from outside Israel who is visiting Israel for Sukkot eat in the Sukkah on Shemini Atseret?

Halachipedia writes that Outside Israel, on the eighth day of Sukkot (first day of Shemini Atseret), one should eat in the Sukkah without a Bracha of Leshev BaSukkah. The source for this is ...
12
votes
3answers
960 views

Is there a “5 second rule” for foods becoming non-Kosher?

OK so I don't actually mean a 5 second rule. But is there an amount of time that it takes for something hot that comes in contact with a non-Kosher utensil or surface to become not kosher? For ...
-3
votes
1answer
55 views

Jewish source for “blood and money don't mix”?

There is a teaching (example 1, example 2) which states that "blood and money don't mix" (i.e. that family or friends should not do business together). Is there a Jewish source for this teaching?
2
votes
2answers
86 views

what is love — Rebbe of Kotzk: “You don't love fish.” King Solomon: “Whoever loves silver”

Where can I find the source of the following story about the Rebbe of Kotzk? At a Shabbat dinner, a chassid once told the Rebbe of Kotzk, "I love fish." The Rebbe responded, "You don't love fish. If ...
11
votes
1answer
106 views

Onkelus translation of Gods name

Why does Onkelus usually translate the name Elokim as Hashem? For example in the following pasuk (Bereshit 5:1): זֶה סֵפֶר תּוֹלְדֹת אָדָם בְּיוֹם בְּרֹא אֱלֹהִים אָדָם בִּדְמוּת אֱלֹהִים עָשָׂה ...
10
votes
2answers
111 views
+50

Is a wooden knife מקבל טומאה?

I know that פשוטי כלי עץ טהורים (wooden vessels that are flat [without a receptacle] cannot become טמא [ritually impure]). (כלים ב:א) What about a wooden knife? It has a function, but doesn't have a ...
12
votes
1answer
73 views

Why is there a dagesh in second camocha, but not in first?

In "Mi chamocha ba'elim H', Mi camocha nedar bakodesh" (from the Az Yashir song by the sea, but also between the shma and the amidah in the morning, and elsewhere): מִֽי-כָמֹ֤כָה בָּֽאֵלִם֙ ...
6
votes
1answer
704 views

What is the Jewish position on aggressive acts of war?

I am reading the "The Jewish State" by Theodor Herzl, he proposes the creation of a Jewish State through mostly financial means. I don't recall a war in recent (hundreds of years) where the Jewish ...
-2
votes
0answers
29 views

How many ways are there of classifying “aggressive acts of war” in the Jewish Religion?

In a related question I asked What is the Jewish position on aggressive acts of war? There has been extensive conversation in the comments of that question asking for clarification on what is meant by ...
4
votes
0answers
39 views
+100

How much of the standard תורה service is done on שמחת תורה?

I've seen a number of Simchas Tora customs in Ashkenazic practice and/or prescribed by Ashkenazic prayer books. Specifically, I think I've seen both sides of each of the following dichotomies, ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Can an oven be kashered without a torch soon after use?

I have been told that an oven may be kashered without the use of a torch for Libum even if it has not had 24 hrs at rest! Is this possible and if so how?
2
votes
1answer
33 views

When was the first Beis Hamikdash built?

The Gemara in Moed Katan 9 said that the Beis Hamikdash was inaugurated right after being finished, while I've seen a Medrash that it was finished in Cheshvan and the inauguration was put on hold. ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

How to adjust the knot on tefillin shel rosh? (double daled)

Sometimes the knot on the tefillin shel rosh needs to be adjusted, either due to growth, haircut, or borrowing a pair of tefillin. How is that knot adjusted? What piece of the retzuah (strap) should ...
8
votes
0answers
92 views
+50

Loshon Hara against public Jewish and non-Jewish figures

Both American and Israeli politics, and of course those of other democracies, can include a lot of personal attacks, both true and untrue, including inuendo about possible adultery, gay or straight, ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

If a Jewish neighbor becomes the subject of a scandal, is it loshon hara to follow it in the press?

It has happened a few times -- Jewish neighbors or acquaintances, some of them communal leaders and/or public figures -- have been arrested and charged with a crime or crimes of such a nature they are ...
5
votes
1answer
46 views

How could (or why did) Raba follow Rav's stringencies but not his leniencies?

Eruvin 6 amud 2 says someone who follows the stringencies of Bes Shamay and of Bes Hilel is a fool walking in darkness: rather, it says, one should follow the one or the other, both when it is lenient ...
1
vote
2answers
333 views

How was Tevilas Ezra effective in limiting conjugal relations?

Many go to mikve (perform ritual immersion) every morning. One reason for this is voluntary continuation of a cancelled decree, Tevilas Ezra, meant to limit conjugal relations by requiring immersion ...
2
votes
1answer
40 views

Where was Abraham coming from in Genesis 13:9

When Abraham and Lot separate in Genesis 13, Abraham tells Lot: הֲלֹא כָל-הָאָרֶץ לְפָנֶיךָ, הִפָּרֶד נָא מֵעָלָי: אִם-הַשְּׂמֹאל וְאֵימִנָה, וְאִם-הַיָּמִין וְאַשְׂמְאִילָה. "Is the whole land ...
22
votes
16answers
517 views

Experience-based advice for focusing and slowing down prayers?

I tend to daven (pray) without sufficient focus and very quickly. In particular, I find that most of the time that I'm praying, my mind is on things other than the words that I'm saying. And, not that ...
1
vote
1answer
27 views

Tribe Plates on door of Heichal Shlomo

On the door of the Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem are several square plates which appear to symbolize the twelve tribes. I'm having trouble figuring out which tribe each of these plates corresponds ...
3
votes
6answers
153 views

Why was the letter “Hai” added to Avraham's name?

Avarham Avinu was originally Avram - and Hashem added the letter Hai to his name and changed it to Avraham. Why from all letters was the letter Hai added?
3
votes
3answers
59 views

Is there a source where Emuna and Bitachon are described as separate ideas?

In the sefer Emuna UBitachon, the Chazon Ish popularized the idea that Emuna and Bitachon are really two parts of one idea, one being the belief in the idea, and one being the idea believed in. Is ...
3
votes
6answers
551 views

Niddah and Counting 7 Clean Days - What are its Origins?

The following comment is made in the wikipedia entry on Niddah: In the days of the Amoraim, because of possible confusion in determining when menstruation began and ended and hence whether blood ...

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