10
votes
1answer
171 views

When do we read a vav prefix as “or” rather than “and”?

This answer cites the Ralbag as interpreting a (critical-to-the-question) vav prefix on a verb as "or". I've heard before that a vav prefix is not always "and" and can be "or" or even "but". Is ...
11
votes
1answer
119 views

Were Avraham's tactics in rescuing Lot typical of the time?

Parshat Lech L'cha describes how Lot was captured in the battle of four kings against five kings. When Avraham heard, he mounted a night-time attack to rescue him. This got me wondering: was a ...
2
votes
4answers
117 views

Why Bless Eisav and not Yackov

Why was that Yizhak originally chose to Bless Eisav and not Yackov, at least he should have Blessed both equaly what was his thinking?
3
votes
0answers
96 views

Proper Bracha on Chanuka candles [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Lhadlik ner (SHEL) Chanukah What is the proper Nusach - Lehadlik Ner Shel Chanuka or LeHadlik Ner Chanuka?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Moses lived 120 years, and tradition says no one can live longer, so why do they?

Genesis 6:3: And the LORD said: 'My spirit shall not abide in man for ever, for that he also is flesh; therefore shall his days be a hundred and twenty years.' In Deut. 34:7 the age of Moses upon his ...
5
votes
2answers
180 views

Shirei zimra in Yishtabach

At the end of Yishtabach, Hashem is referred to as הבוחר בשירי זמרה. This is usually translated as "who chooses songs of praise." However, as far as I am aware zimra means song, not praise. So how can ...
4
votes
2answers
524 views

What's up with the Chafetz Chaim yeshiva guys?

I know they learn a lot slower, dress a little flashier, and learn more mussar than in most mainstream yeshivos, but can someone specify exactly what is the philosophy of the Chafetz Chaim yeshiva ...
6
votes
2answers
266 views

Obliterating the names and memories of evil people

Theoretically the names and the very memories of evil people (rasha'im) should be obliterated. Is this aim seriously pursued? For example, saying ימח שמו after a name doesn't really help obliterate ...
5
votes
2answers
448 views

Meaning of the name Sivan

I recently met a young lady with the name of Sivan. She did not know the meaning of it, other than it is a name of a month. I was wondering if there is a meaning to this name and what it is?
1
vote
3answers
119 views

All of Navi is in the Torah?

The Gemarah in TANNIS (9a) says that there is nothing in the Nevim and Kesuvim that is not hinted to in the Torah. My question is, why have both?
3
votes
1answer
217 views

Is drawing a line with a crayon forbidden on Shabbat?

There are board games that involve using a crayon to draw lines (not letters or figures) on a board (e.g. EuroRails). Are these activities problematic on Shabbat? There are two aspects: the drawing ...
3
votes
2answers
124 views

Connecting sides of tallit to avoid chiyuv tzitzit

If I have a coat that is slit up the side rov of the way up so that it is chayav in tzitzit, if I sew on some buttons (snap? regular?) to keep it closed below rov, is it no longer chayav in tzitzit, ...
5
votes
2answers
432 views

36 hidden tzadikim

Are there really 36 hidden tzadikim? What level are they on (tana, amora, etc.)?
7
votes
1answer
114 views

Which came first the Mishnah Torah or the Pirush HaMishnayos

Which sefer did the Ramabm author first, was it his Mishnah Torah (Yad HaChazaka) or his commentary to Mishnayos?
2
votes
4answers
113 views

Yitzchok falls for Eisav's tricks?

The Posuk says: ויהי עשיו איש יודע ציד וגו' (בראשית כה, כז)‏ Translated as: ... and Eisav was a man who knew how to hunt ... Rashi comments: יודע ציד, לצוד ולרמות את אביו בפיו ...
1
vote
2answers
155 views

Pictures of Chometz on Pesach

Is viewing pictures of Chometz allowed on Pesach? To be more specific this would be in reference to an article or event.
6
votes
1answer
74 views

The return for Beis Sheini (or lack thereof)

It seems that from what I've learned, the vast majority of Klal Yisroel didn't return for Beis Sheini. I was taught that this was on account of the fact that the talmidei chachamim didn't advocate the ...
12
votes
3answers
522 views

Why is Rosh Chodesh sometimes TWO days?

Why for certain months of the year do we celebrate the festival of Rosh Chodesh for two days while on other Roshei Chadashim we have one day of Rosh Chodesh?
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there a site where I can see several different jewish translations at the same time?

The christians have that http://bible.cc/psalms/82-6.htm Is there something like that for jews? If there isn't, then perhaps lists of several good online jewish translation would be nice too. It ...
5
votes
3answers
223 views

Mima nafshuch?

How do the words "ממה נפשך" mean what they mean, i.e. "either way"?
6
votes
3answers
118 views

Lashonos Hatzemer

I know what hand-spun is and what niputz lishmah is, but what about "lashonos hatzemer?" It seems the Eidoh Chareidis of Jerusalem adheres to this chumroh for tzitzis. All I know is that it's a stage ...
8
votes
4answers
380 views

If a product with a Hechsher doesn't say dairy does that mean it's pareve?

I'm not sure when this practice started, but I noticed that many/most/all Kosher Certifications indicate whether a product is dairy or not. Does a lack of such a marking indicate that the product is ...
10
votes
3answers
410 views

How Kabbalistically accurate is the golem-making procedure described in “Niflaos Maharal”?

There's been plenty of discussion about the historic authenticity of "Niflaos Maharal", a book that appeared in the early 1900s describing how the Maharal made a Golem to defend the Jews against blood ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

What are the kashrut standards of the various nationwide (and regional) kashrut agencies?

I'd like to see a resource developed which transparently compares the standards of the various kashrut agencies. Just like I can retrieve an incredibly in-depth comparison chart from Wikipedia ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

אוּלַי means we want it to happen

The Posuk says: אוּלַי יְמֻשֵּׁנִי אָבִי Translated as: maybe my father will tap me (and realize, and curse me) The question is accoring to the GRA the word אוּלַי indicates that you want the ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Why the name Beer Sheva

The Posuk says: וַיִּקְרָא אֹתָהּ שִׁבְעָה עַל כֵּן שֵׁם הָעִיר בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע עַד הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה Translated as: And he named it Shibah; therefore, the city is named Beer sheba until this very day ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

Am I allowed to use borrowed money for something else?

Reuven goes to his good friend Shimon and tells him that he needs $10,000 for X. Shimon naturally agrees. Reuven then realizes that he needs the money for Y instead. Is Reuven allowed to use the ...
2
votes
2answers
106 views

Non-Israeli pulpit rabbis who actively promote moving to Israel

Are there any rabbis who have pulpits outside of Israel and who have no plans to move to Israel themselves, but who actively and sincerely try to get their congregants to move to Israel? I don't ...
6
votes
1answer
107 views

All these verses to say before havdala

Before saying the blessings relevant to havdala on motzei shabbos, we (Ashkenazim) include a bunch of p'sukim: "הִנֵּה אֵל יְשׁוּעָתִי אֶבְטַח וְלֹא אֶפְחָד כִּי עָזִּי וְזִמְרָת יָהּ יְהוָה וַיְהִי ...
5
votes
2answers
81 views

Are there any eruvs that include both sides of a US Interstate Highway?

Are there any eruvs that include both sides of a US Interstate Highway? I assumed this was halachically and/or logistically impossible. Is that correct? Can anyone prove this wrong by (groan) ...
-1
votes
1answer
194 views

What are the evidence of red/reed sea crossing?

Are there any credible historical evidences behind red/reed sea crossing? Besides, of course, the Torah.
7
votes
1answer
114 views

Are magazine subscriptions ribbis?

There are many Jewish weekly or monthly publications (e.g. magazines) that offer the following deal: Individual copies of the magazine are priced at say, $5 each. But, if you "subscribe" by paying in ...
7
votes
3answers
774 views

Hakaras hatov vs. hoda'a

It seems that there are two terms that could be broadly translated as "gratitude", which each express different aspects of the concept. הכרת הטוב denotes recognition, while הודאה has strong echoes of ...
13
votes
1answer
137 views

At what age should we start teaching the distinction between Midrash and Text?

At a very early age children learn the history of the world and the Jews through the enthralling stories found in many varied sources. They learn that the world was created in six days; that ...
2
votes
1answer
122 views

Why is one permitted to ignore the prohibition of shatnez when it comes to tzitzis?

Why is shatnez (a garment made of a mixture of wool and linen, which is forbidden) muter (permissible) by tzitzis?
4
votes
2answers
78 views

How many factors did Esav need to prompt him to marry Machalas?

At the end of parashas Toldos (28:6-8), the pesukim indicate factors in Esav's decision to add Machalas, who was not a Canaanite, as a spouse: א וַיִּקְרָא יִצְחָק אֶל-יַעֲקֹב, וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ; ...
14
votes
3answers
143 views

What letter-counting system was used to mark the Planks of the Mishkan?

The sides between the 48 Planks of the Mishkan were marked with letters to keep them in order during assembly/disassembly (Shabbos 103a, & here). If the pairing system was one-letter:one-letter, ...
5
votes
1answer
140 views

Nothing new under the sun, except for women chasing men?

I noticed that in Yermiyahu 31:21, it says . עַד-מָתַי תִּתְחַמָּקִין, הַבַּת הַשּׁוֹבֵבָה: כִּי-בָרָא יְהוָה חֲדָשָׁה בָּאָרֶץ, נְקֵבָה תְּסוֹבֵב גָּבֶר. "...and Gd will create a new ...
4
votes
1answer
209 views
15
votes
2answers
170 views

Why did Yonatan arrange the secret arrow sign with David?

In Shmuel Alef (20, 20-22) Yonatan arranges a whole scheme to secretly inform David whether or not it's safe for him to return. However, after the sign is given that it's not safe (20, 40), Yonatan ...
6
votes
1answer
136 views

When is “vesain tal umotor” said in Australia?

When is "vesain tal umotor" said in the Southern Hemisphere eg Australia?
7
votes
1answer
158 views

New date at sunset: question on Sifse Chachamim

Avoda Zara 25 cites a difference of opinion as to how long the sun stood still for Y'hoshua: twelve hours, twenty-four, or thirty-six. According to those who say twelve or thirty-six, the sun finally ...
2
votes
1answer
173 views

Jewish History and exiles

When are we in exile in Jewish History? Is it when no Jews live in Israel? Is it when Jews are not in charge of Israel? (For example, we know that when the Babylonians were in charge we had the ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Shemona Veshiv'im Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred seventy-eight? ?שמנה ושבעים ומאתים - מי יודע In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 278. The only ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How long does one say Kaddish for a parent?

For example, if one's parent died on 1 Nissan, and was buried on 2 Nissan, what is the last day on which kaddish would be said for them?
8
votes
1answer
214 views

The spelling of Eliyahu's name

Why is it that is some places in Melachim Eliyahu is spelled with a Vav and sometimes the Vav is missing? I have looked in as many sources as I can think of and can not find an answer. Examples: ...
6
votes
1answer
69 views

Wasn't Yishmael already sent away from Avraham's house?

In Bereshit 22:3, Rashi tells us that when Avraham went to sacrifice Yitzchok, the two lads he took with him were Yishmael and Eliezer. Wasn't Yishmael already gone from Avraham's house? In Bereshit ...
4
votes
2answers
47 views

Chamisha Veshiv'im Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred seventy-five? ?חמישה ושבעים ומאתים - מי יודע In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 275. Check ...
11
votes
4answers
312 views

Was King David also a Navi?

Is there any suggestion in the scripture (even implicitly) that King David might have been also a Navi?
6
votes
1answer
118 views

Stops in the Sidrah Leyning - Rishon, Sheni etc

Who instituted Rishon, Sheni, Shelishi etc in the leyning of the Sidrah? When was this done? What are the principles which were applied to determine where the stop should be? One would have thought ...

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