6
votes
0answers
82 views

Would halachic units be shrunk if a person was (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids-style)?

In the classic move Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and its sequels, people get shrunk down to 1/264th of their normal size. So, a person is around 1/4 of an inch tall. If such a thing were even possible, ...
6
votes
0answers
89 views

What in a siddur can be changed?

There are many different editions of siddurim with many commonalities but also many differences, see here for discussion on MY. Also different communities use different siddurim to match their ...
6
votes
0answers
206 views

What is Kishuf (“magic”)?

In order to avoid the prohibited, we must first know what it is. What is the halachic definition of Kishuf ("magic")? While I am mainly interested in sources, Svaras (reasonings) and thoughts are ...
6
votes
0answers
76 views

Is one allowed to bid on a house if he knows another Jew has already made an offer?

This question is related to the halachic concept of ani hamehapech b'charara, or tortious interference, which I happened to just come across in studying Mishnah Peah. If one has been looking at a ...
6
votes
0answers
41 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
0answers
54 views

Did Prof. Rabbi Umberto Cassuto have any insight behind the biblical character Yehudah?

I am the great grandson of Umberto Cassuto, Benyamin Enzo Rocca, and 5 days ago my wife and I were blessed with a son (3rd child). With his upcoming bris in a few days I would like to know if anyone ...
6
votes
0answers
42 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
6
votes
0answers
74 views

Is one allowed to kill false witnesses to his own capital crime?

Reuven and Shimon conspire to execute Levi in Beis Din (court) for killing Yehuda by their testimony. Levi asks around and there are no witnesses who will come forward, and a few people told him that ...
6
votes
0answers
164 views

What was the anti-CRC ruling?

I understand that, circa 1980, a religious authority for Lubavitch hasidim ruled that foods certified as kosher by the Satmar His'achadus Harabanim (CRC) not be eaten. What form did this ruling ...
6
votes
0answers
85 views

Do sociopaths/psychopaths lack “דעת” of Good and Evil?

As YeZ points out in this answer, "daat" is the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Do sociopaths and/or psychopaths lack the דעת of the distinction between good and evil?
6
votes
0answers
143 views

Source for Jewish Chapter breaks in Tanach

I know that the chapter divisions are a Christian invention, and therefore don't exist in very old Jewish sources (Aleppo Codex, Leningrad Codex, dead sea scrolls, etc.). However our divisions don't ...
6
votes
0answers
134 views

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 ...
6
votes
0answers
78 views

Did any ancient Jewish writers address the differences in Jeremiah's source texts?

The Septuagint's version of Jeremiah is one eighth shorter than the Masoretic Text's version. In the Dead Sea Scrolls is evidence of both versions. Did any ancient Jewish writers (such as in the ...
6
votes
0answers
52 views

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, ...
6
votes
0answers
224 views

Does Judaism appreciate the wanton destruction of idolatry done by Islamic groups?

Many of the idolatrous heritage sites like Bamiyan Buddha, Sufi shrines, and Hindu idols are being destroyed by Islamic fundamentalists around the globe. Does Judaism allow a non Jew to demolish such ...
6
votes
0answers
70 views

Beam for s'chach with wood glue + embedded screws

Let's assume that there is a lechatchila to not use metal object that are mekabel tumah (susceptible to tumah) for something that supports the s'chach ("maamid"), which can be avoided by using ...
6
votes
0answers
71 views

Is history Torah?

Does studying Jewish history count as Torah? For example, could one study it on Tish'a B'av or in an unclean place or before saying Birkas HaTorah? It seems clear that the stories included in the ...
6
votes
0answers
131 views

Understanding the Gemara and Ramban on the four one-siman animals

Vayikra 11:1-8 א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה וְאֶל-אַהֲרֹן, לֵאמֹר אֲלֵהֶם. ב דַּבְּרוּ אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵאמֹר: זֹאת הַחַיָּה אֲשֶׁר תֹּאכְלוּ, מִכָּל-הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר עַל-הָאָרֶץ. ג ...
6
votes
0answers
73 views

How far do I have to go to take care of myself?

The mitzvah of V'nishmartem (Devarim 4:15) requires a person to take care of their health (Shulchan Aruch C.M. 427:8, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 32:1). How far does this go? Do I have to exercise daily? ...
6
votes
0answers
58 views

Giving to a “mission” collection

In some religions, people accept upon themselves some kind of "mission" to do whatever act to help others. In many cases, it involves collections to send to the poor, or to 3rd world countries. The ...
6
votes
0answers
156 views

Extended fasting on 10 Av

The Bavli (Taanit 29a) teaches that the Temple was set aflame on the ninth of Av in the afternoon and it burnt until sundown on the tenth of Av. The Yerushalmi (Taanit 4:6) records that because of ...
6
votes
0answers
83 views

Children's Names

I noticed a lot of times in the TaNaKh, how children were given specific names for a specific reason. Take Binyamin for example, his original name at birth was "Benoni" (son of my sorrow) but his ...
6
votes
0answers
147 views

Can dew really make an eggshell fly?

In פרשת בשלח 16:14, it says -- The layer of dew went up, and behold, on the surface of the desert, a fine, bare [substance] as fine as frost on the ground. On that verse, Rashi says ...
6
votes
0answers
71 views

Status of Paper Money as Currency

According to this question, Maasar Sheni cannot be redeemed using paper money. That certainly seems to be the common assumption, but is that discussed anywhere? Is paper money the same as banknotes, ...
6
votes
0answers
184 views

Lubavitcher Rebbe on the Shoah

There is a controversial analogy attributed to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, in which the Shoah is looked upon as a surgical procedure, with God being likened to a surgeon who removes a limb in the best ...
6
votes
0answers
98 views

What is the timeline of the connection of the soul to the body after death?

Speaking to the Rabbi who runs the chevra kadisha in my neighborhood recently, regarding the pending cremation of the mother of a friend, he mentioned several interesting concepts with respect to the ...
6
votes
0answers
67 views

Is there such a thing as “Veset Halom”

One friend of mine told me that his wife always sees a special dream before her veset. Always the same one. Could such think be counted as veset kavua? I understand that technically a dream doesn't ...
6
votes
0answers
106 views

Did Isaiah ever believe that Hezekiah was the Messiah?

The Gemara at Sanhedrin 94a suggests that G-d wanted Hezekiah to be the Messiah. The Gemara continues to say that at some point Hashem said he would not be the Messiah, and Isaiah cried out "Woe to ...
6
votes
0answers
66 views

Amoraim unique to Masechtas

I heard before (I think in the name of the Rogatchover) that there is one Amora in every masechta of Talmud that does not appear in any other masechta. Is there a source for this, and is there a list ...
6
votes
0answers
178 views

Has the Sefer Abudraham been translated into English?

I am looking for an English translation of David ben Josef ben David Abudirham's book on tefillah, entitled Abudraham. Does one exist? If so where could I find it?
6
votes
0answers
109 views

Does halakha count primates as “almost human”?

I have read that the although the halakha requires koah gever (human strength/exertion) for pouring water over hands for n'ttilath yadhayim but it says explicitly in the Mishna that a qof (monkey) may ...
6
votes
0answers
85 views

Benefiting from channukah candles in a mirror

One is not allowed to "benefit" from the lights of the channukah candles. Rashi says the reason is in order that it should be recognizable that these candles are light for the mitzvah in order to ...
6
votes
0answers
350 views

Origin of the allegory of the long spoons

A common version of the allegory of the long spoons tells how Rabbi Hayim Elhanan ben Yehudah Leyb Tsedek or Tzadikov (*1813, ✡1883) of Rumšiškės went to see the difference between Heaven and Hell. ...
6
votes
0answers
70 views

Historical Calendar Records

Are there any records of the Beis Din's decisions regarding the Hebrew Calendar (e.g. to add months, how long the month would be), before Hillel Hakatan established the fixed calendar?
6
votes
0answers
206 views

Is 'A father and son sleeping with a betrothed young woman on yom kippur' an expression?

Bava metza 83b: Rabbi Elazar brebbi Shimon is afraid that he may have wrongfully caused someone to be hanged, but is reassured that the hanged and his son 'slept with a betrothed maiden on yom ...
6
votes
0answers
85 views

Should one reprimand a child if the parent might be embarrassed?

I was at shul on Sunday, not during a service, but during a meeting. A parent and child were sitting in front of me. The small child's legs were far too short to reach the floor, and her feet were ...
6
votes
0answers
89 views

Are placebos permitted without telling the person they are getting one?

Does Judaism allow placebos where the person thinks it does something, and is thereby cured, even though the item does nothing? Is this gnevas da'as (or some other issur), or because it can help them ...
6
votes
0answers
183 views

The Torah scrolls written by Jewish kings

The Torah commanded Jewish kings to write their own Torah scroll from a master in the possession of the Levites, and to read it every day of their life so that they should not become haughty and so ...
6
votes
0answers
837 views

Rabbi Soloveitchik's wife and hair coverings

I've heard from some that Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's wife didn't cover her hair. I haven't managed to find a source for this. If there is a source, what is it, and if it's true, what was her ...
6
votes
0answers
66 views

Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen to remove Nadav and Avihu?

There were many other people who could have been chosen to remove the dead bodies of Nadav and Avihu from the Mishkan (Vayikra 10:4). Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen for this task as opposed ...
6
votes
0answers
123 views

Are there any ancient Jewish dances?

From what I've seen most (orthodox) Jewish dancing consists of people running or walking in a circle, sometimes with exciting variations such as foot stomping. Are there any records of ancient ...
6
votes
0answers
111 views

Naming after someone with added names

If someone R'L is sick at some point in their life and a name such as Refael is added should that name be included as well if one is naming their child after that person? Additional Question: ...
6
votes
0answers
172 views

The stolen maple syrup and kashrus

Does anyone know if there is going to be a kashrus problem with maple syrup next year? A rather large amount of maple syrup was stolen last year. The thieves did not keep it in the original casks, ...
6
votes
0answers
142 views

Was the Chasam Sofer known for having an interesting way of learning?

I have a lot of experience learning Gemara and find myself oft dealing with the views of the Achronim to understand the Pshat in Rishonim. Unfortunately, I have inside me a slight aversion to the ...
6
votes
0answers
139 views

Abrahamic covenant and Brit Milah - how is the covenant passed down?

Why is it so that if a Jew has a male child with a non-Jewish woman the child is not circumcised, even though, like Ishmail, the child is under Abrahamic (but not Mosaic) covenant, since the father is ...
6
votes
0answers
180 views

Original source for Maharil endorsing tunes as “MiSinai”?

Cantor Goffin describes how over 500 years ago, Maharil endorsed several cantorial tunes as "MiSinai" -- "so authoritative it's as if they go back to Sinai" -- for use in the prayers. What's the ...
6
votes
0answers
59 views

Division of Al Cheit

Al Cheit has a chorus line ועל כולם, אלוה סליחות, סלח לנו, מחל לנו, כפר לנו after the first 20 Al Cheits, then after the next 12, then after the next 12. Who made this division? Why was it not divided ...
6
votes
0answers
103 views

Why do we read vayechal twice on a fast?

I have been doing some research on the question of vayechal at mincha and have hit a roadblock. So far, here are the questions I have considered and feel ok with as "answered": why lain at mincha on ...
6
votes
0answers
65 views

What is the reason for the lights lit on the desk of the prayer leader?

What is the reason for the candles or lights lit on the desk of the chazzan (prayer leader)? In a shul today I saw candles lit on a table at least 6 feet from the reader. Does that fulfill the ...
6
votes
0answers
195 views

Siyum Masechta Ketana

When I celebrate my completion of a minor tractate (e.g. Masechet Derech Eretz or Kutim or Gerim), should I say Hadran and/or Kaddish at my Siyyum (party)?

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