6
votes
0answers
132 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
89 views

Is Juneau, Alaska — surrounded by natural barriers — a natural eruv

I recently visited Juneau, Alaska. It is a small city of 35,000. The city limits are quite large, however -- 3,225 square miles -- but much of this area is separated from downtown Juneau on Douglas ...
6
votes
0answers
101 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
110 views

Thinking about Purim Torah in the bathroom

It is not permitted to think about Torah in the bathroom regularly, but what about Purim Torah, which is certainly not real Torah study, but still often refers to actual Torah? One might think that ...
6
votes
0answers
110 views

Significance of the Kohen's hand gestures?

What is the significance of the shapes (windows?) created by the kohen during birkas cohanim? This question and the ensuant answers detail at least 3 opinions of the gesture, I would really appreciate ...
6
votes
0answers
161 views

Why demand Amen via V'Imru Amen (ואמרוּ אָמֵן) at end of kaddish versus just amen elsewhere?

There are lots of blessings where we say Amen at the end, and even lots of places within kaddish where we say Amen, so why at the end of kaddish must we command others to say Amen by saying V'imru ...
6
votes
0answers
154 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
122 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
97 views

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

I have seen the custom of bothering the chazzan during the musaf service on Simchas Torah. I have seen people tie the chazzan's gartel to a chair, or try to move the chazzan to a diffrent place. I ...
6
votes
0answers
126 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
58 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
74 views

Collecting Tzedakah from someone who may (or may not) be mentally incompetent

I just witnessed something I thought I'd never see. Someone soliciting signatures on the street for whoknowswhat gently turned someone away. The reason? "It's for fundraising." Now I'm sure, like I ...
6
votes
0answers
246 views

Can a convert mourn for their Jewish parents?

Consider someone who was born to a jewish father and non jewish mother who then converted to Judaism with his mother. It seems pashut from the Shulchan Aruch that one who converts is considered a ...
6
votes
0answers
79 views

Onen and Meis Mitzvah

If an onen comes across a mas mitzvah (let's assume there is either another person to be involved with the onen's personal mas or there is more time to be involved with his mas later), is the onen ...
6
votes
0answers
131 views

When was the bending of the knees in bowing introduced?

The Gemara in Berachos 12a says that we bow at Baruch and we straighten at Hashem. Nowadays the familiar practice is to bend the knee at Baruch, to bow at Atah, and to straighten at Hashem, as stated ...
6
votes
0answers
109 views

Father being Matir Neder for himself: does it affect the family?

If a father is Matir Neder on a minhag (gebroktz, let's say) for himself for a valid reason, does that include his whole family? Are they now also permitted to eat gebroktz because that is now the ...
6
votes
0answers
128 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
6
votes
0answers
174 views

Prosthetic limbs in halacha

What is the status of prosthetic limbs in halacha in terms of being considered part of the body? Is it considered: As if I were born with it? As a living piece of flesh, but not a piece of me? ...
6
votes
0answers
125 views

Source for Categorization of Matter

What is the source for the idea that all matter is either domem (lifeless), tzomeach (plant), chai (animal), or medaber (speaker)? I sometimes find this quoted places (in articles and divrei Torah), ...
6
votes
0answers
112 views

American Idol and HaMalbin Pnei Ḥavero BeRabim

(Inspired by this question) Is watching televised talent shows, such as "American Idol", which are known to invite contestants to embarrass themselves in front of millions, and even have judges whose ...
6
votes
0answers
117 views

Seeking Ramchal's Hoker u'MeKubal in English

Is the Ramchal's Hoker u'MeKubal available in English? I have already read Derech HaShem, Daas Tevunos, Mesillas Yesharim, and Ma'amar HaGeulas, so I would be interested in other of his works in ...
6
votes
0answers
69 views

Coerced testimony in halacha

My chavrusa and I were going through Sanhedrin (40b) this evening, and the topic of how to get accurate statements from witnesses. Rashi mentioned the concept of moving the witnesses around in order ...
6
votes
0answers
118 views

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av?

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av? I understand that this used to be a custom, in addition to allowance of a more relaxed approach to women's tznius on that ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

Why don't we say “Misod” for Geshem and Tal?

On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Shat"z says a short paragraph at the beginning of his repetition that starts with the words "מסוד חכמים ונבונים," which is an explanation for the insertion of extra ...
5
votes
0answers
66 views

What is the source for Rav Soloveitchik's assertion that 1st Century Christians introduced mixed seating for prayers?

In the collection of Rav Soloveitchik’s responsa Community, Covenant and Commitment, there is a series of letters railing against mixed seating in the synagogue. Amongst the points raised there is a ...
5
votes
0answers
37 views

י-ו as a name of Hashem

Sometimes the letters י-ו seem to serve as a name of Hashem. For example, many authors replace י-ו with טז in a numbering system, presumably so as to not write Hashem's name, similar to replacing י-ה ...
5
votes
0answers
106 views

Making very loud drumming noise during davening

Many leaders and congregants in my shul bang with their hands on the shulchan and on their siddurs and stomp their feet in what is supposed to be the rhythm of the prayer's melody. The noise is ...
5
votes
0answers
81 views

How is the Sefer Ha'Aruch supposed to be used?

The Sefer Ha'Aruch is a type of dictionary that is quoted by Rashi and Tosfos. I took a look at the sefer the other day and couldn't figure out how it's supposed to be used. All I saw was a list of ...
5
votes
0answers
56 views

Whose minhag does a Kalla follow in neiros shabbos and mikvah?

I was told by my mother-in-law that my wife should follow all of my minhagim except for shabbat candle lighting and mikveh, for which she will follow her mother's. Is there any halachic authority who ...
5
votes
0answers
43 views

punishment for instigating a crime, intentionally

Is someone who causes another person to sin liable for that sin as if he did it himself? (Please also consider someone scheming, who intentionally plays stupid people, causing them to kill each ...
5
votes
0answers
49 views

What is the proper hebrew pronunciation of Rav Hirsch's first name?

Among the Modern Orthodox I hear Rav Hirsch's name only said in its English form ("Samson"). Amongst the Yeshivish I hear the form "Shamshon." My question is, was his Hebrew name Shamshon or Shimshon? ...
5
votes
0answers
45 views

Corporations, Jewish Shareholders and Interest

How many Jewish shareholders does a corporation or bank have to have in order for the prohibitions on lending or borrowing at interest to apply? Is one Jewish shareholder sufficient, or does it ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

How do Interest Loans work in Israel?

From my understanding, banks in Israel still issue loans at an interest whether it be for commercial businesses or new home owners. However, I was also told that they have a process in Israel where ...
5
votes
0answers
57 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? ...
5
votes
0answers
77 views

Rambam claiming some of Hazal were superstitious

I forgot where, but I remember reading the Rambam z"l saying that some Hazal believed in superstitions, ideas such as ayeen haro because they lived in small villages with lack of science, and ...
5
votes
0answers
47 views

Who instituted the idea of moving parshat V'Zot Habracha to the middle of the week?

I understand that Ezra began the concept of an annual Torah cycle where each parsha is to be read on a Shabbat (except if coinciding with Yom Tov.) However, V'Zot Habracha was scheduled to be ...
5
votes
0answers
56 views

Havdalah: mistake in the bracha

If a person saying havdalah began the last bracha (benediction) without mentioning sheim umalchus (God's name and dominion) i.e. he said ברוך אתה השם המבדיל בין קודש לחול וכו׳, skipping אלוקינו מלך ...
5
votes
0answers
51 views

Does the Torah ever allude to Earth being a spherical celestial body in space?

Taken at face value, the instances in which the Heavens and Earth are mentioned in the Torah, it is the Heavens above and Earth below. From what I gather, many secular scholars take from this that the ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

Is the Targum Neofiti a valid source of translation?

Targum Neofiti is believed by scholars to be an ancient translation of the torah. Does the average orthodox rabbi consider it as a valid and reliable resource to translate or explain a word, the way ...
5
votes
0answers
53 views

What is the inheritance of the righteous gentiles in olam-ha-ba?

In olam-ha-ba (the world to come) if righteous jews inherit the land of Israel and if the righteous gentiles shall rule with the righteous Yehudim in olam-ha-ba (the messianic age) do the righteous ...
5
votes
0answers
119 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
57 views

Welcoming non-Jewish guests

Is there a mitzvah of welcoming guests who are non-Jews? I know Avraham welcomed non-Jews into his home, but that could be different for several reasons: There was no formal mitzvah and he was just ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

I forget his name. Now what?

If someone was given the name of a sick person to daven for them, and when they get to refa'enu (blessing for healing) they can only remember the person's name but not their mother's name, how should ...
5
votes
0answers
51 views

Do the laws of Ribis apply to loans of virtual currency?

If a Jew lends a player in a multiplayer online game money, and he knows without a doubt that that player is Jewish, does the prohibition of ribis apply? (After all, the only thing that changed was a ...
5
votes
0answers
113 views

Can a man miss tefilah with a minyan because his wife is overwhelmed with the children?

Assume a scenario where a man's wife requires extra help at home during a busy part of the day and requests that her husband skip minyan (and daven alone) in order to help her. (For example, let's say ...
5
votes
0answers
114 views

Moshiach came, did his Work, and left. Now what?

A question about the future.... Moshiach arrived. Israel is now at peace with herself, her neighbors, and the world. The Third Temple is built, and everything is humming along nicely according to ...
5
votes
0answers
94 views

How can a modern non-Jew approach the Torah?

If a non-Jew is interested in Judaism, how should they approach commands in the Torah like Exodus 21:17, Exodus 31:14, Leviticus 20:13? Should these passages be seen not just as command not to do the ...
5
votes
0answers
62 views

Who were the Nistarim?

It has been documented that there is a group of righteous people called "The Nistarim". I am not referring to the lammed vav tzaddikim of the Gemara (Sanhedrin 97b, Sukkah 45b). Rather, a mystical ...
5
votes
0answers
216 views

Is it a Mitzva Deorayta (Biblical Commandment) to serve in the IDF?

בס"ד What do the contemporary poskim say about the serving in the IDF? Do they consider it a Biblical commandment (mitzva de'orayta) if one chooses to serve? I am obviously not talking about the ...
5
votes
0answers
110 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 ...

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