6
votes
0answers
82 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
106 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
147 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
152 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
120 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
114 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
51 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
237 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
78 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
129 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
107 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
173 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
119 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
111 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
115 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
117 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
44 views

Should you bow and take steps back during a prayer you are not reciting?

For prayers where you are only listening, or responding "Amen" (for example, for Kaddish, or the chazzan's repetition of the Amidah) should you do the traditional bows and steps backward for that ...
5
votes
0answers
65 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
28 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
49 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
44 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
36 views

If someone accidentally steps backward before the end of Shmoneh Esrei, what should he do?

If one steps backward before the end of Shmoneh Esrei, (either because he mistakenly thought he was up to עשה שלום... for a second, or because someone bumped into him,) how should he precede with his ...
5
votes
0answers
59 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
44 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
113 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
51 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
47 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
108 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
82 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
108 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
90 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
57 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
215 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
68 views

Looking for a resource that explains the musical trope “mood” used in Ashkenazic annual laining

Nusach Ashkenaz has these separate laining modes: Regular weekly Torah reading (Shabbat, weekday, Yom Tov, etc.) Special Torah reading mode for Yamim Nora'im (High Holidays) Haftarah 3 Megillot - ...
5
votes
0answers
106 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
39 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
118 views

May a couple forgo relations out of convenience?

In my chassan classes I was taught that it is important to have relations on the night a wife returns tahor from the mikvah. I do not know the source of this idea. My question is: May the couple ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

What is Ya'aleh Veyavo about?

Ya'aleh Veyavo is said on three occasions: in the third blessing of Birchas Hamazon, in the third to last blessing of Shmoneh Esrei on Rosh Chodesh and Chol Hamoed, and in the Kedushas Hayom (middle ...
5
votes
0answers
41 views

What book would be a good reference for prayer melodies?

When davening at different synagogues, I notice that some use different melodies for songs (eg: El Adon, Hallel, L'kha Dodi) as well as different nusach (in the sense of melodies for brachot used for ...
5
votes
0answers
86 views

eBay Judaica auctions

I occasionally check eBay for assorted items; this is typically for the science half of my life, but I sometimes find Judaica which probably should not be sold there. For example, I know that in the ...
5
votes
0answers
68 views

Chapter Endings while Leining Megillot

Inspired by this question. It seems to be a common minhag to have a special trope for the end of a chapter when leining the megillot. I have seen this done in my shul, have done it myself, and also ...
5
votes
0answers
59 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
67 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Verses indicating that each person has an equal entitlement to a land-plot

In Numbers 26:53–54 (JPS), the Israelites are commanded: Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To the more thou shalt give the more ...
5
votes
0answers
59 views

Writing the woman's name in a kasubah or get: Plonis *ben* Ploni

Instead of writing the name of the kallah (bride) Rivka bat Chaim (for example) it was written Rivka ben Chaim. In such a case what's the halacha? By a kasubah is it valid? Does it have to be written ...
5
votes
0answers
51 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 ...

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