6
votes
3answers
150 views

Prayer with Negative Kavvanah

The status of prayer without Kavannah I think has been dealt with. My question is negative kavannah. Examples of Negative Kavannah are: "I don't want to pray but it wont look good ( or I'll get ...
5
votes
0answers
96 views

G-d's name on screen readers

People who are blind or hard-of-seeing often interact with computers using devices called "screen readers". These screen readers will read aloud the words that are written on the screen (or in the ...
8
votes
2answers
275 views

Laying Tefillin on Chol HaMoed Prior to the Shulchan Aruch

As a continuation to my question regarding why the Beit Yosef apparently deviated from his normal method of ruling in the case of laying teffilin on Chol HaMoed, I'm curious what the practice was ...
5
votes
3answers
436 views

Comedy and Jewish Life

There are many Jews in America who publicly engage in comedy, whether as a career path or as a way of expressing themselves (blogs, art, etc.). Is there historical precedent to this? Are there any ...
9
votes
4answers
349 views

Ashkenazic vs. Sefardic grammar tendencies

I notice that when referring to God in the second person in a possessive form, Sefardim often use the female form where Ashkenazim use the male form. For example, where Ashkenazim say in kedusha, ...
3
votes
0answers
101 views

Tashlumin for a missing bracha - What if one forgot “veten tal omatar” on friday mincha

If one forgets the "veten tal omatar livracha" phrase in the ashkenazi nussach, they must pray again (if they have finished the whole prayer). What happens if one forgot on mincha on friday, and the ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

May a person sit on a tree stump?

Can one sit on a tree stump or is there a spiritual danger? I remember hearing such a thing, but I don't remember where.
3
votes
0answers
146 views

Opinion that nusach Ashkenaz and Sefard are the same

I remember hearing an opinion somewhere that nusach Ashkenaz and nusach Sefard (but not real nusach Sfaradi/Edot Hamizrach!) are both basically the same nusach, since they are structurally very ...
5
votes
2answers
121 views

What was the formulation of the Bracha about Yerushalayim in the times of the Temple?

In Shemona Esrei we pray that Hashem should return to Yerushalayim. Obviously while the Jews were in Yerushalayim during the time of the Bais Hamikdash this Bracha had to be different as it would not ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

What does “שברירי ברירי…‏” do? How?

Bavli, P'sachim 112:1: ת״ר לא ישתה אדם מים לא מן הנהרות ולא מן האגמים בלילה ואם שתה דמו בראשו מפני הסכנה מאי סכנה סכנת שברירי ואי צחי מאי תקנתיה אי איכא איניש בהדיה לימא ליה פלניא בר פלנתא צחינא ...
2
votes
1answer
274 views

Shoe-tying order when tying another's shoes

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 2:4–5: ינעול מנעל ימין תחילה ולא יקשרנו ואחר כך ינעול של שמאל ויקשרנו ויחזור ויקשור של ימין One should don his right shoe first but not tie it, then don his ...
5
votes
1answer
164 views

Realistic expectations at bar mitzvah age

Being a high school teacher I am interested in better understanding what is realistically expected of boys of the age of bar mitzvah in this day and age. Is, for instance, the non attendance to ...
2
votes
1answer
378 views

Grammatical quirk in Yoda-esque sentences

Usually when the word אתה appears in Tanach and tfilah, we pronounce it מלרע (a-TAH or a-TOH. whichever you like, that's not really my point. The emphasis is on the end of the word). Why in ...
6
votes
1answer
392 views

Can convert siblings marry each other?

I understand that there's a concept of גר כקטן שנולד דמי (not sure I got the words 100% right) - that a convert (ger) to Judaism is halachically considered to have no family. If that is the case, ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

List of halachot that relate to 'demons' [duplicate]

Are there any practical halachot (not minhagim) that are a direct consequence for our concern for demons or 'evil spirits'?
3
votes
0answers
97 views

Using straps of Rashi Tefillin for Tefillin of Rabbeinu Tam

A person by mistake (not knowing the halacha) took old straps (ratzuos) from his Rashi Tefillin and used them on his new Rabbeinu Tam Tefillin (seemingly he got new straps for his Rashi Tefillin.) ...
8
votes
1answer
227 views

Riding the Boston train (T) on Shabbat - written evidence?

I've long heard 'urban legends' of halachically observent Jews in Boston many years ago riding the train ('the T') on Shabbat. Does anyone have any written evidence of such a practice? (I'm not ...
5
votes
3answers
267 views

What's the difference between LaZman and LeZman?

In the Mishnah Brurah (676:1) it says: והגיענו לזמן הזה הלמ"ד בחיר"ק ולא בפת"ח That in the Bracha of Shehechiyanu, the Lamed in the word Lazman should be said with a Hiriq and not with a Patach. ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Ein mearvim simcha besimcha - two shevah brochos in one meal

I would like to hear of any sources or issues with conducting two shevah brachos (for two couples) at the same meals: Would it be assur because of "ein Mearvin" How would it be done practically. ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

Shemona Esrei - when did it start?

As a follow up to What was the formulation of the Bracha about Yerushalayim in the times of the Temple? - In what time period did we start praying Shemona Esrei? (sources)
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Halachic Approaches to Utilitarianism vs. Deontology [duplicate]

Are there halachic sources that are relevant to the philosophical debate between utilitarianism (ends justify means) and deontology (ends DON'T justify means)? Al regel achas, the principle of Mitzvah ...
3
votes
1answer
102 views

concept of Breira unknown to the Tana'im?

Breira is the concept that a choice can be made in the future that will retroactively determine the state of something in the the present (assuming I understood and articulated it correctly). There is ...
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Who do B'nei Noach turn to for psak?

My understanding is that there are a few organized groups of non-Jews who strive to follow the Noahide laws. Just like Jews, B'nei Noach might have situations where the correct action to take is ...
1
vote
0answers
96 views

Ever Encouraging Conversion?

Are there any situations where it is halachickly advisable to encourage someone to convert rather than be Noahide?
1
vote
1answer
683 views

What is the difference between gerim, nochrim and zarim?

What is the difference between gerim, nochrim and zarim? Both halachicly and denotatively.
1
vote
0answers
80 views

How does Judaism views Secularism?

In present day world, most of the democratic countries follow Secularism, i.e. separating state and religion. What is the opinion of Judaism on Secularism: Should a state following Halacha endorse ...
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. ...
2
votes
0answers
64 views

Pressing some common apologetic insights

When trying to show high probability of the real Sinai revelation of the Jewish Torah, people often talk about ideas like these: It is impossible to fabricate a story and convince a population that ...
-6
votes
1answer
463 views

What evidence shows that Moses wrote the Torah?

I asked this in hermeneutic. Typical atheists think that Torah is written/compiled on Babylonian exile. Christians and jews believe that Torah was written by Moses or someone shortly after him, ...
3
votes
2answers
59 views

Hamracheim or Hammerachim?

In Modim in the Shmoneh Esre we say המרחם כי לא תמו חסדך the question is whether the מ in המרחם should have a daggesh or not, and thus what sort of Shva should be under said מ?
-4
votes
1answer
104 views

How does Judaism reconcile God cannot be seen/incarnate/etc. with Pilar of Fire story? [duplicate]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pillar_of_Fire_%28theophany%29 Exodus 13:21-22. By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

Order of blessing children on Erev Shabbos

When blessing children on erev Shabbos, is there a correct or preferred order (oldest to youngest, boys first or girls), or may parents decide however they like? If there is not a correct order, can ...
2
votes
1answer
156 views

Are Jews greater than angels?

In a spiritual sense which is greater - or if you prefer, has more kedusha - angels or Jews and why? Please explain and cite explicit sources, not inferences.
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Benefits of studying Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim vs. R. Vital's Etz Chayim?

Curious if anyone has a definitive answer on whether Ramak's Pardes Rimmonim should be studied adjacent to R. Vital's Etz Chayim, before it, or not at all? I've heard various approaches to Ramak from ...
2
votes
0answers
89 views

Did Akeidat Yitzchak dedicate Yitzchak and his future offspring to Hashem?

In the case of an animal that is intended to be brought as a korban, but the animal has offspring before being sacrificed, the offspring retains a special status. Depending on the type of Korban, the ...
4
votes
0answers
40 views

Does כל האומר דבר בשם אומרו מביא גאלה לעולם apply to all people?

Does the statement in pirkei avos (6:6) that כל האומר דבר בשם אומרו מביא גאלה לעולם apply if the original author of the statement is a non-Jew? What if the originator is a rasha?
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Is there a special status for the offspring of an animal that was dedicated for a Karban?

For example, if someone in the time of the temple dedicated a cow for a Karban, and before they could bring it to be sacrificed it became pregnant (or impregnated another cow), would its calf have any ...
2
votes
1answer
75 views

Sleeping in a sukkah that was “cut” in half

Consider the following scenario: If someone slept in a sukkah that had a gap in the middle of 3 tefachim of open space and where both sides had a proper shiur sukkah of 7 by 7 tefachim; however when ...
3
votes
1answer
118 views

What does being put in cheirem mean for you and your descendants?

A (not-so-observant) friend of mine recently told me that his great-grandfather was put into cheirem and, not being able to have children while in cheirem, his descendants (including my friend) are ...
5
votes
3answers
214 views

Saying Mashiv HaRuach in the Southern Hemisphere

In the Southern Hemisphere (Brazil, Australia, South Africa, etc.) in October they are heading into the summer. Do they say Mashiv HaRuach at this time of the year or do they say it from Pesach to ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Were the בגדי לבן‎ 30 ‎מנה in weight or value?

I'm studying משניות מסכת יומא and have come across this passage (in chapter 3 mishna 7, found in the Bavli on page 34:2): בשחר היה לובש פלוסין של שנים עשר מנה ובין הערבים הנדוין של שמונה מאות זוז ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Choosing literature based on content/values

I saw this list of secular books for Jewish children ( http://savvima.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/4552B_a_00663_book_list_with_comments_and_cover1.pdf ) and it says this as part of its rationale: ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

Consequences of not following the mitzvoths

My question is, “ If a person who has right belief in the oneness of Hashem, and he believes that the Torah is word of G-d, and all the prophets are true and he believes in the Divine judgment and ...
5
votes
1answer
91 views

Minhag of reciting Tikkun Chatzot during the daytime?

I have heard, offhandedly, that there is supposedly a minhag to recite Tikkun Chatzot at/after midday during the 3 weeks. Would anyone happen to know the source for this? Is this recitation intended ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Jawbone UP on Shabbat

I recently received a new gadget: The Jawbone UP band. Look it up on Google, but the basic idea is it is a bracelet you wear 24/7 that measures all kind of things while you move around. Should it be ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Can we play video games during sabbath

I am not Jewish, but sort of try to emulate some parts of it to see if it does me any good. Well, not doing anything for 1 day is too boring. Actually what else can we do anyway during sabbath beside ...
1
vote
1answer
151 views

Rav Moshe milk and tuna

Rav Moshe holds that tuna needs a masgiach timidi for it to be consumed,every fish needs to be checked for the simanim.However, by milk he brings a savarah that the government is sufficient and a ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

How exactly can a get be forced

Under what rules can a get be forced and still be kosher? There seems to be contradiction. On the one hand, a get 'meusa' is posul; on the other hand, bais din can force him.
1
vote
1answer
139 views

Is it permissible to touch an unclean animal that is living?

I've understood (and of course, I could be wrong in my understanding) that Lev. 11 and Deut. 14 specifically prohibit human contact ("You shall not touch") and consumption ("You shall not eat") of the ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

Tuesday and Friday nights

Bavli P'sachim 112:2 has a story of an angel of destruction who would work daily (see Rashash) until asked to quit. When she requested some time to work, the rabbi she was talking with allowed her ...

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