1
vote
2answers
21 views

B'midbar 32:17 - Why did the tribes of Re'uven and Gad need to build fortified cities?

Numbers 32:17: וַאֲנַ֜חְנוּ נֵחָלֵ֣ץ חֻשִׁ֗ים לִפְנֵי֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַ֛ד אֲשֶׁ֥ר אִם־הֲבִֽיאֹנֻ֖ם אֶל־מְקוֹמָ֑ם וְיָשַׁ֤ב טַפֵּ֙נוּ֙ בְּעָרֵ֣י הַמִּבְצָ֔ר מִפְּנֵ֖י יֹשְׁבֵ֥י הָאָֽרֶץ׃ ...
4
votes
1answer
70 views

Do Whole Vanilla Beans Need A Hekhsher?

Vanilla beans and their derivatives are commonly used in many dishes as a spice. The whole beans are available for purchase in stores and online. I understand that plain fruits and vegetables (when ...
-1
votes
1answer
70 views

How to translate Olam in the Torah?

Bereshit 3:22: ‏…וְלָקַח גַּם מֵעֵץ הַחַיִּים וְאָכַל וָחַי לְעֹלָם In search for a definition of the word עֹלָם, Olam, as in this verse, I found different translations: 'Universe', ...
11
votes
8answers
3k views

How are Spartans the son of Abraham?

I was reading the Book of Maccabbees (I and II) over shabbat and in it there is a letter written to Sparta to ask for peace, goodwill and friendship. In the reply letter back from Sparta, they affirm ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Throwing Out Bread

What is the nature of the prohibition to destroy bread? Why is it commonly presented differently from other destruction (bal tashchit)?
2
votes
0answers
58 views

If a non-religious person is of Jewish heritage, can one wear the Star of David? [duplicate]

I asked my mother if she can buy me the Star of David since my Grandmother is Jewish (as well as my mother) which makes me of Jewish heritage. I dearly respect the religion even though I'm not ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Is there a halacha for writing a biography of a gadol? If so, what is it?

I was thinking of writing a magazine article on a rabbi I knew well before his death some years back. I wrote to his son to see if he could help me with stories, history, photographs, etc. He ...
10
votes
1answer
289 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
404 views

Ululating in Jewish culture

In ancient times, Jews living in Israel ululated if I am not mistaken. Is this practiced by Ashkenazi or Sephardic Jews today? Which other Jewish communities ululate? Ethiopians, Mizrahis, etc? Are ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Was Achashverosh drunk throughout the Megillah?

Achashverosh has almost no agency in Megillah. He basically walks around signing whatever anyone tells him to sign and making edicts out of anger. Was he totally schnockered from the half year of ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

Rebbe Akiva's encounter with the stone

The Gemara in Kesubos 62b - 63a, "Rebbe Akiva was a shepherd for Ben Kalba Savua. His daughter saw that he was modest and of fine character. She asked him, ‘If I marry you, will you go to the Beis ...
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Why put Psalm 130 right before barchu?

I've seen the custom quoted in many siddurim to recite Psalm 130 (שיר המעלות ממעמקים), with the Ark open, between ישתבח and ברכו during עשרת ימי תשובה. This particular Psalm was chosen because it's ...
3
votes
1answer
147 views

Teen Summer Learning Programs

What are some Torah learning programs for high school age boys during the summer? I'm looking specifically for a program (preferably but not necessarily in Israel) for teens who are committed to Torah ...
4
votes
4answers
242 views

What happened to the mitzvah to love the stranger?

This commandment is repeated at least three times in the Torah--in Leviticus 19, Deuteronomy 10, Exodus 22, and Leviticus 25. Leviticus 19:33-34 say: "When a stranger resides with you in your ...
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Halachos that one should learn

A person wants to be proficient in halacha. 1) Should he learn halachos: a) that pertain to his fellow man? - I.e. Shemiras HaLoshon, Stealing or Ribis etc. b) or to his Creator? (I.e. Shabbos, ...
6
votes
2answers
210 views

Can a Beis Din deny conversion if a person cannot physically perform a mitzvah?

As far as I know if a male is unable to have children due to body damage, he cannot become a ger. I have also heard of Beitei Din not allowing deaf people to convert since they cannot do certain ...
4
votes
3answers
346 views

How do I find answers to sensitive questions I can't ask my rabbi?

I have a halachic question of a sexual nature that I feel I can't ask my rabbi. Where can I get such questions answered? Are there rabbis knowledgeable in this area who are willing to answer ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Translation please Yiddish and roshai taivois about getting married fast

Please help me translation (understand) Igres kodesh 24 pg 227 (second paragraph) I understand the last line that "whoever shortens the time between the decision (to get married) and the marriage ...
-2
votes
1answer
79 views

How to understand Gd eating? [on hold]

How does our tradition understand the mention in Devarim 4:28 of our Gd eating? In what respects does Gd "eat"? וַעֲבַדְתֶּם־שָׁ֣ם אֱלֹהִ֔ים מַעֲשֵׂ֖ה יְדֵ֣י אָדָ֑ם עֵ֣ץ וָאֶ֔בֶן אֲשֶׁ֤ר ...
1
vote
2answers
107 views

Jekkisch Käppchen (kaepchen)

Is there anyplace on the internet where one could purchase a Jekkische kippah (or käppchen, in German)? I would be looking preferably for ones made out of non-synthetic fabric if possible.
-4
votes
0answers
109 views

Is taking control of land by a Jew in Israel a sin if it was not controlled by him before? [on hold]

(Edited) Previous considerations: 1) This question respects to the Jewish Law and not with respect to the International Law (for which I do have an answer I consider satisfactory). 2) This ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Shehecheyanu upon affixing mezuzah

The Rambam writes in Sefer Ahava - Hilchos Berachos - Halacha 9: That Shehecheyanu is recited for every mitzvah that involves acquisition of property: I.e. Mezuzot. ט כל מצוה שהיא מזמן לזמן כגון ...
15
votes
13answers
1k views

Reliable Ask-a-Rabbi Websites

There are some times on this site where questioners will be directed to "ask their Rabbi." While it's always optimal to have such people discuss the question with their own Rabbi (and such action ...
8
votes
4answers
239 views
+500

How was the Volozhin Yeshiva special?

The Volozhin Yeshiva is known as the "first yeshiva". What was the system of Torah learning in Europe before Volozhin and in what way did Volozhin change the system?
3
votes
1answer
103 views

When is Fixed Interest Allowed?

It says in an article at VBM Torah: It should be remembered that Halakha makes explicit mention of particular bodies to whom it is permissible to lend at interest (e.g., the community) So what ...
3
votes
0answers
83 views

Yeshivas of Modern Times

I would say most, if not all yeshivas of today learn in general (and specifically the study of Gemara -- and unfortunately ONLY Gemara with little mussar, little halacha and probably no Tanach) in the ...
2
votes
1answer
71 views

Receiving an Aliyah/Dukhening While Wearing a Catheter

Can a man wearing a catheter Dukhen (say the priestly blessing) or get an Aliyah? ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: The catheter drains urine through tubing to a bag attached to the body. Everything is hidden ...
3
votes
1answer
240 views

Wearing White on Tu B'Av

Why is it a custom to wear white on the holiday of Tu B'Av? Where did this custom begin and does it only apply to women? Are there other restrictions or qualifications for wearing white on Tu B'Av?
0
votes
1answer
68 views

How much aged cheese is needed in a cheese mix to require waiting 6 hours?

According to Remo in Shulchan Aruch Yorah De'ah a9:2 as referred in this OU article, people should wait 6 hours after eating hard cheese. Let's say someone eats a type of cheese that is partially ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Is there any torah study community that allows Non - Jews?

I am not a jew, or religious in any manner, but Judaism interests me, since I study religions. It is very hard to study on my own, so I have tried to find a study partner or teacher many times, on ...
3
votes
0answers
38 views

Not allowing one's tzitzis to show in a cemetary according to the Rambam

It's brought down in the Gemera in Brachos Daf 18a and paskened in Shulchan Aruch Siman OC 23:1 that a person shouldn't go into a beis hakavoros (cemetery) with his tzitzis visible because of "la'ag ...
3
votes
1answer
61 views

What happened with Nadav and Avihu?

Regarding the death of Nadav and Avihu the Torah says it happened when they brought a foreign / unauthorized fire into the Mishkan. Concerning their death Rashi brings up Rabbi Eliezers opinion that ...
5
votes
1answer
117 views

Waiting after meat and milk

If someone eats a mixture of meat and milk, does he need to wait before eating more meat or milk?
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Is there a difference between “Patur” and “Eino Chayiv”

When the Gemarah tells us that a Suma (a blind person) is "Patur" from Mitzvot, does that mean to say that he is completely outside the realm of Mitzvot, and will get no reward for doing them, or does ...
4
votes
4answers
887 views

Matrilineal Descent

I have heard that matrilineal descent (i.e. having Judaism passed down through the mother) comes from the Roman period when women were raped by Roman soldiers and the babies were then said to be ...
3
votes
1answer
53 views

Source in Hazal for holding sisith during qiryath shema`?

Is there a source in Hazal specifically for grasping the (front) two ssissith during the recitation of the shema`? If not, where does it stem from and what is the purpose? Thanks. Kol tuv.
7
votes
7answers
407 views

Sources for/about breaking a plate at a wedding

Are you aware of any literature that either provides a source for or discusses the significance of the two mothers breaking a plate at the "Tisch" at a wedding? It's not hard to find mentions of this ...
7
votes
1answer
224 views

Zecher L'Churban - Why a plate at Tenayim and a glass at the Chupah?

When a person gets engaged and married there are various things that we do as a Zecher L'Churban. At the Tenayim (whether done immediately or at the wedding) we break an earthernware plate, at the ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Opposite vs. closer regarding the amah-by-amah

The gemara in Bava Batra 60b records a takkana d'rabanan (Rabbinic enactment) to leave a square cubit unfinished in one's house in commemoration of the destruction of the Temple (codified in the ...
0
votes
1answer
46 views

How “separated” must men & women be to avoid the problem of mixed swimming?

Most rabbis that I have spoken to or read their opinion in local newspaper articles have prohibited mixed swimming. My understanding of this prohibition seems to mean that men and women should not be ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

On Burial Under the Altar

Today at the burial of a relative on the Mount of Olives, the Rabbi made a comment that burial there is like being buried under the altar on the Temple Mount. It struck me as a bit unusual, and I was ...
1
vote
2answers
66 views

“'Uf” is Torah?

Mishlei (Proverbs) 23:5 states: הֲתָעִיף עֵינֶיךָ בּוֹ וְאֵינֶנּוּ כִּי עָשֹה יַעֲשֶׂה לּוֹ כְנָפַיִם כְּנֶשֶׁר וָעיּף יָעוּף הַשָּׁמָיִם Should you blink your eyes at it, it is not here; for ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Where does the zecher lechurban go in an apartment building?

(A zecher lechurban here refers to the part of a house that is intentionally left unfinished to commemorate the Temple's destruction.) In an apartment building, does there have to be a zecher ...
3
votes
0answers
43 views

Is “tirtzach” 'murder'?

The way I was taught it (and confirmed by this answer and the comment on it), the Hebrew word "tirtzach" refers to murder, and is distinguished from the H-R-G and M-T roots which mean "kill." ...
0
votes
1answer
83 views

Water heaters on shabbos and yom tov

I was looking into buying a more efficient water heater, and was dismayed to discover the significant halachic issues surrounding tankless water heaters ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Why begin eating with the bottom challa on Friday evening? [duplicate]

Why do we begin eating with the bottom challa on Friday evening, and only then; not on Shabbat morning and not on holidays (unless they fall on Fri evening)?
6
votes
1answer
126 views

Ancient Triennial Cycle Today

Are there any congregations who follow the ancient (Eretz Yisrael minhag) triennial cycle today, and so complete the Torah once every three years? I'm aware there are some Eretz Yisrael minhag ...
7
votes
2answers
117 views

Determining times of Halachic import on a long flight

If I'm taking a long flight on an airplane on a day when permitted activities change at a certain point, e.g. with the start or end of a fast day, or with the start of the chametz prohibition kicking ...
7
votes
2answers
124 views

Are Synagogues “holy ground,” offering protection from evil creatures?

I'm not a Jew, but I'm writing a fantasy novel set in medieval Europe, and one of my characters is a Jew. I've got a group of people with diverse backgrounds who've come together to fight a great ...

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