6
votes
0answers
22 views

How do you avoid 'al tiftah peh l'satan'?

There is a principle of al tiftach peh l'satan (Ketubot 8b) - literally "don't open your mouth to the Satan". How can concern for this principle be avoided when discussing possible bad future ...
6
votes
2answers
91 views

Kill a no-longer-profitable horse?

My understanding is that a horse is killed when its profit no longer matches its expense. Is this something Jews should/may do? I can think of some pros and cons, but wonder what authorities have ...
2
votes
0answers
16 views

Asking A Gentile To Perform Safeq Melakhah

Citing HaRav HID"A and Hakham 'Ovadiah A"H, HaRav Eliyahu Mansour states in his Daily Halacha that: The Hid"a [...] writes that it is permissible to ask a non-Jew to place a pot of cold liquid on ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Are the seventy distinct languages and nations listed?

It's a well known concept that there were 70 nations and 70 original languages. Is there any agreement about which ones they were/are? I found this which lists the nations, but I'm interested in ...
7
votes
1answer
60 views

Cannibalism, Jew or Gentile?

Suppose one is stuck on a deserted island with two people, one Jewish, and the other a gentile. If, G-d forbid, both of them died and one were forced to become a cannibal to survive, which person is ...
1
vote
3answers
718 views

What is the torah view on the dinosaurs?

What is the Torah view on the dinosaurs? There's no mention of them in the Torah, only that the world was created in 6 days. If they existed, Adam and his descendants should have seen them. Yet ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate to men?

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate specifically to men. Not men in relation to women. In other words, I'm not looking for "Men must act in a certain way when around women," I'm looking ...
5
votes
3answers
269 views

How was Ya'akov allowed to favor Yosef over Re'uven?

In Devarim 21:16 - 17 it states that the father cannot favor the son of the beloved wife over the older son of a hated wife. If we assume the notion that our forefathers performed all the mitzvot of ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

Is there a Mitzvah to love parents?

Is there a special mitzvah to love one's parents? If so, does it require the parent's awareness of that love?
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Meteg on a short vowel

Short vowels are closed with a consonant when unstressed. A cantillation (trope) can set off a short vowel as an open vowel. Can a meteg do the same thing? I have seen a meteg do as such on the ...
4
votes
3answers
164 views

Why didn't the Kohanim wear Tzizis?

The Kohen Gadol wore 8 garments, and regular Kohanim wore 4. Why wasn't tzizis one of their required garments? Also, did they have to fulfill the mitzvah of tzizis before or after their daily service, ...
8
votes
5answers
198 views

Were Haman's possessions hung on a tree?

In Maoz Tzur we say: רב בניו וקנייניו,‏ על העץ תלית His many sons and his possessions, You hung on a tree Were Haman's possessions really hung on a tree?
-4
votes
0answers
24 views

How do I explain the various meanings of “Ruach HaKodesh” in English?

I know "Ruach HaKodesh" can mean a higher spiritual state of an individual and I also am aware of it literally meaning "holy spirit". I am looking for clear and concise English terms for the various ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

Does anyone hold that you could be “masneh al mah shekasuv baTorah” in all cases?

The gemara on Bava Metzia 94a brings a discussion about "מתנה על מה שכתוב בתורה," about someone who makes a condition that is contrary to something that is written in the Torah. דתניא האומר לאשה ...
6
votes
1answer
487 views

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?

Is there a problem of "chukat goyim" with the bride having "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" at her wedding?
22
votes
8answers
498 views

Birthdays in Judaism

Is there any significance in Judaism attached to the day someone was born (aside for the 13th year)? Is there anything wrong with celebrating one's birthday? And is it more correct to celebrate the ...
2
votes
1answer
161 views

Jewish dervishes and “Darkeihem”

This photo shows a pair of Jewish dervishes. It has been going around the Jewish-oriented pages of the internet and social media lately, and it got me wondering: would this be a problem of following ...
5
votes
2answers
279 views

Jeans as Hukot HaGoyim

Hukot HaGoyim in this case is something done specifically by gentiles and therefore it would be prohibited (see S"A Yoreh Deah 178). So my question is, would jeans fall under this category?
3
votes
2answers
128 views

Decorating of the Beitzah

Somebody told me in Israel some have the custom of decorating the egg for Pesach (like an Easter egg). Wouldn't that be considered chukas hagoyim or avoda zara?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What makes something “chukat goyim?”

One of the most famous examples I have heard is that one should not even tie one's shoes like the non-Jews do in times of persecution. That seems rather excessive. What if the Jews started doing some ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

Chanukah Bushes?

Every year, I hear people (typically heterodox or jokers) talking about "Chanukah bushes" (likely a parallel to Christmas trees). Now, beyond the obvious of this not being a traditional practice, ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Sheidim after the Baal Shem Tov

According to the Minchas Elazar, the Baal Shem Tov evicted the Sheidim from where humans live. Does that mean that they are still located in the wilderness areas and one must be "choshesh" for them ...
9
votes
1answer
162 views

Why have I never seen anyone “slicing the Shema”?

“Slicing the Shema” A good summary is to be found here, on the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash website. In short, “…. ten men who prayed alone can subsequently fulfill their obligations of ...
22
votes
8answers
1k views
+50

Bereishit vs. science

How does Judaism deal with the differences between scientific evidence of the beginning of the world and the account(s) in Bereishit?
3
votes
1answer
81 views

Books on Politics

Are there any books that provide a Jewish way of Politics? Anything that would possibly discuss types of governments, economic systems or what a politician should do would fit for what I am looking ...
-5
votes
0answers
61 views

Accepting presents from St. Nicholas on Nittel Nacht [on hold]

Is one allowed to accept gifts from St. Nicholas/Father Christmas etc. on Nittel Nacht? I was thinking that they might be issur be'hana (like an actual avodah zarah item) but they could also be ...
6
votes
0answers
110 views
+50

Have any published sefarim referenced research done on Mi Yodeya?

I recently saw an ad for Otzar HaChochma in one of the Jewish magazines, where they claimed to have done a search in their database, and found an obscene number of self-references where recently ...
9
votes
0answers
128 views

Intentionally using a grace period on a rental

I recently rented a bike for a few hours, and the person in charge of the rental told us that we have "X number of hours, and a 15 minute grace period," followed by the warning that if we don't return ...
9
votes
1answer
76 views

Is there any current rav or authority that issues conditional gittin?

I understand that King David would ask his warriors to give a conditional get (divorcec) to their wives prior to leaving for war. This way, if the wives did not hear about their husbands after the war ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Using Ethiopian oral law to resolve machloket

This question and particularly my comment on the question got me thinking. Assuming those who became the Ethiopian Jews received the oral law exactly the same as the rest of Israel, could we ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views
+50

What happened to Siman 168?

If you look in the Tur Yoreh Deah Siman 168 (so too the Shulchan Aruch), you'll notice that there's nothing there. Was it lost sometime in history? It looks like the Shulchan Aruch also didn't have ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Can a person (or cat) be both alive and dead at the same time? (Schrödinger's paradox)

Related: Schrödinger's cat and yibbum That question assumes that Schrödinger's paradox is possible, and that someone can be both dead and alive at the same time. So, is that actually true ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Taking off a hat cover before praying

It is clear that one should remove his coat before praying, as one should not rush straight in from the outside to pray. (Insert source here!) Hats are often sensitive to rain, and special hat-shaped ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Difference between books called “Shulchan Aruch”

Can someone explain the difference between these four books called "Shulchan Aruch"? The Shulchan Aruch stam Shulchan Aruch Habahir Aruch haShulchan The Tur Shulchan Aruch
6
votes
1answer
97 views

Can women be motsi Sephardic men in havdalah?

According to Sepharadim, women are chayavot in havdalah. Can they also be motsi men? Looking for a Sephardic answer.
5
votes
1answer
27 views

Paro enslaved Yisrael but they kept the good land — was that normal?

When Yisrael come to Mitzrayim Paro gives them the choice land of Goshen. Later another paro enslaves them but apparently lets them keep the good land, because they're still there during the plagues. ...
-2
votes
0answers
34 views

Ethiopians and Oral Law

If both were given at Sinai, how come Ethiopian Jews have the written Torah but lack the Oral Law. What is the Ethiopian community's own explanation for this? (My question is not intended to cast ...
7
votes
1answer
28 views

What primacy to give to learning halacha?

Consider a person who follows all of the halachos (he is aware of) that are involved in daily living. Any free time that he has is devoted to learning Torah. This person, however, is not proficient at ...
2
votes
0answers
13 views

Sigd prostration

Would prostration pose a halachic problem for a non-Ethiopian Jew who decides to participate in Sigd? Clearly the worshipers are prostrating themselves to none other than the One Jewish God. Is the ...
6
votes
1answer
35 views

Menorah 20 Amos above ground level

One does not fulfill his or her obligation of lighting the menorah if it is 20 Amos above since it is not easily seen. The Rambam in Hilchos Shabbas 17:15 writes that a beam over a mavoi with ...
3
votes
1answer
97 views
+50

Burden of proof for birkas “she'Asa nisim”?

The law is recorded in Shulchan Aruch et al. that one who sees lit Chanuka lights and has not lit his own should say the b'racha of שעשה נסים לאבותנו ("...she'asa nisim la'avosenu..."). Could he say ...
8
votes
1answer
154 views
+50

Teshuva and non-Jews?

The Rambam explains the basic requirements of doing teshuva and seeking forgiveness from another person: acknowledging the transgression, making amends, and seeking forgiveness (presumably publicly ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

How do we understand Moshe's rebuke

On Devarim 1:1, Rashi comments that the various places listed are in fact veiled references to episodes in which the Jewish people rebelled. Thus Moshe was offering a kind of concealed rebuke. My ...
7
votes
3answers
87 views
+100

Significance of “Shema Yisrael”

The verse Shema Yisrael (Devarim 6:4) is highly significant. It is Biblically required to be recited twice daily, it is to be said at the end of one's life, and appears in the liturgy at the end of ...
3
votes
1answer
52 views

Is modern-day Lebanon considered part of Eretz Yisrael? [duplicate]

Related to What are the Halachic boundaries of Eretz Yisroel? but that doesn't address my specific concern. Is modern-day Lebanon considered part of halachic Eretz Yisrael? Believe it or not, there ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Why is the kallah's home referred to as beit nashe?

In certain ketubot I've seen the home of the kallah is referred to as Beit nashe, meaning the house of forgetting. What is the reason for referring to the kallah's home that way?
-6
votes
0answers
25 views

Eretz Yisroel and Israel [on hold]

What is the difference between Eretz Yisroel and Israel? Why some people say Eretz Yisroel and others say Israel?
4
votes
2answers
70 views

Who is understood to be the “one like a man” referred to in Daniel 7:13?

In Daniel 7, the Ancient of Days is identified. I assume that this is referring to G-d Himself. Then, "one like a man" approaches the Ancient of Days, and to this one is given "a dominion and glory ...
1
vote
0answers
46 views

Mi-Shebeirach for Shabbat musaf starting point

I have noticed in many kehillot, that the sha"tz will begin the Mi-Shebeirach before musaf (Hu y'varech et kol hakahal) at "(U)Mi she-oskim". At first, I thought that this was probably an oversight ...
4
votes
5answers
232 views

Religion in marriage for a God-fearing non-Jew

Does the Jewish religion have any guidelines to help a God-fearing non-Jew choose a spouse? Suppose this person used to be a part of another religion, but left it. Now he/she uses Tanakh as a guide, ...

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