4
votes
0answers
98 views

What happens to the soul when dozing for a minute or ten?

Tradition tells us the soul leaves the body when sleeping. Is the same true when drowsing in a chair, which is usually not a deep sleep and you are still aware of background noise?
11
votes
3answers
465 views

Time dilation and waiting between meat and milk

Suppose Ploni eats some meat. He then gets in a spaceship and accelerates to some significant percentage of the speed of light for a short trip into outer space, and then returns home. At the time ...
2
votes
2answers
116 views

The source to be Dan L'Caf Zechut

From where do we know that one must be "dan" someone "l'caf zechut"? (that we must judge someone favorably even though from a certain act it might seem they are doing something?
5
votes
1answer
437 views

Source for story about The Rabbi and the prostitute

I learned a great Gemara about a rabbi who visited a famous prostitute. But before he consummated the deal, his tallitot slapped him on the face, reminding him of his faith. Where's the story? Any ...
0
votes
1answer
148 views

Why Many of Saul's Descendants got Killed?

Mefiboshet is crippled because he fall when Saul's descendants are running away from mass slaughter. Am I correct here? Also when Abner is killed looks like there is more mass slaughter again. But ...
10
votes
2answers
173 views

When was Moshe conceived?

We know that Amram and Yocheved (Moshe and Miriam's parents) divorced so as not to give birth to baby boys and Miriam explained to them that they should get remarried because not only are they killing ...
7
votes
4answers
348 views

What is the typical retirement plan for a Chabad-Lubavitch shliach (emissary)?

If a Chabad-Lubavitch couple decide to live as shlichim (emissaries) in some place far from New York, what's the most common age and location of retirement? Do they tend to remain in their location? ...
4
votes
2answers
215 views

Why does David say that he only sinned against G-d?

In Psalm 51:6 David says that "Against Thee, Thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in Thy sight" (JPS) I wondered why does he think that he sinned only against the Lord? I think he ...
3
votes
2answers
229 views

What does the word לאַטקעס (latkes) mean?

לאַטקעס is the Yiddish word used for the potato pancakes commonly eaten on Chanukah. Where does the word לאַטקעס come from originally? What exactly does it mean?
1
vote
1answer
181 views

Why is misusing God's name so bad?

One is not allowed to take God's name in vain, and certainly not allowed to curse the name of God (chas v'shalom). I'd like to understand conceptually why these things are considered such grievous ...
6
votes
1answer
251 views

what is kosher meat?

I have heard different theories about Kosher foods, such as They sacrifice animal in a proper way They recite God's name when sacrificing the animal They only eat front limbs of animals. The rear ...
3
votes
1answer
172 views

Does Rambam include the Oral Torah in his eighth principle?

When Rambam says that a principle of faith is that the entire Torah that we now have is that which was given to Moshe, does he include both written and oral Torah, or only the written Torah? If the ...
1
vote
3answers
138 views

What is special about praying Shacharis and Mariv (as opposed to Mincha)?

Praying Shacharis and Mariv (morning and evening prayers) is listed as one of the things "sheodom oychel peiroisehem..." (A person eats of the fruit in this world but principle is left to be enjoyed ...
6
votes
2answers
162 views

Shechting non-Kosher animals

The question was asked: If someone for example is sick and must eat from a non-kosher animal. Must it be shechted (slaughtered) first like a kosher animal? I don't see any reason why it should, since ...
2
votes
0answers
60 views

Mistake in Asher Yatzer and Rafa'ainu of Shemoneh Esrei

What would be the halacha in the following 2 cases: A person davening Shemoneh Esrei instead of ending off the bracha of Rafa'ainu "rofeh cholei amo yisrael" (in his nusach) they ended of "rofeh col ...
3
votes
1answer
166 views

Why did the Baba Sali leave Yavneh? [closed]

I remember hearing that the Baba Sali very suddenly decided to move away from Yavneh. Does anyone know the story of what exactly occurred?
4
votes
1answer
275 views

Why are bagels a traditional Jewish food?

Inspired by this question One of the stereotypical traditional Jewish foods is a bagel (with or without lox and "shmear"). Why/how did this food come to be associated with Jews?
4
votes
4answers
141 views

No More Zechuth Avoth?

The Gemara (Bab. Shab. 55a) discusses when Zechuth Avoth ceased. I am aware of several opinions in Tosafoth that it ended for wicked people, or it ended for everyone but the very righteous or it ended ...
4
votes
1answer
397 views

Where can I find a list of differences between the Aleppo Codex and Ashkenazi texts?

Does anyone know of a list of textual differences for all of tanach or at least the chumash between the Aleppo Codex (Keter Aram Soba/Tzova) and the more common text? I already have such a list for ...
1
vote
1answer
145 views

May one learn from a heretic?

The Rambam writes in his introduction to Shemona Perakim: "kabel ha-emet mimi she-amerah - accept the truth from whoever speaks it". Furthermore, the gemarah Chagigah 15b indicates that Rebbi Meir ...
5
votes
1answer
323 views

Rambam's method for calculating the conjunction of the moon (and sun)

I think I'm missing something basic here... The Rambam, in Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh (6:3) says that the interval between one conjunction to the next is is 29 full days, 12 hours of the 30th day, and ...
12
votes
2answers
467 views

Marital Prenups

In 1993 Rabbi Mordechai Willig, a Rosh Yeshiva at YU and a member of the Beth Din of America, drafted a prenup for use at Jewish weddings to avoid future Aguna/Mesorevet Get problems. The agreement ...
5
votes
1answer
273 views

Carrying in a partially shared apartment on Shabbat

I read that carrying between different units of a multi-family apartment might be a problem on Shabbat. I seek the general rules that will govern the following types of situations: (To illustrate, I ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Electric Appliances and Mikva

Do electric appliances need to be dunked (toveled) in a mikva? Obviously, if the parts that touch the food are removable (e.g. an electric mixer's bowl and blade, or a blender's carafe, or the ...
4
votes
2answers
450 views

Has the Ban of Rabbenu Gershom expired?

I have heard that the ban or cherem of Rabbenu Gershom has expired. Is this the case? If so, what are the ramifications visa vi his enactments?
4
votes
1answer
122 views

The mishna says carrying in an unusual way is permitted but we apparently don't follow that; what changed?

The mishna on Shabbat 92a says that one is prohibited from carrying in his right or left hand, in his lap, or on his shoulder, because that's how the mishkan was carried, but he can carry in an ...
5
votes
1answer
161 views

What is the origin of “deah, binah, v'haskel”?

There are two nusachos with the fourth brocha in Shemoneh Esreh of which I am aware. One, extant today in nusach Ashkenaz, certain nusach Sefard, and Teman Baladi, and present in very old siddurim, ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

Who wrote Tohar HaYichud?

Who wrote the anonymous rationalist debunking of kabbalah entitled Tohar HaYichud?
9
votes
2answers
406 views

Polyphasic Sleep and Halacha

I recently read an article on polyphasic sleep and I'm quite interested in experimenting with it. The article advises the Uberman approach which advocates 20-30 minute naps every four hours, meaning ...
17
votes
2answers
490 views

Why do we say Mazel Tov? Shouldn't we thank Hashem?

Why do we say "Mazel Tov" when something good happens to a person? Doesn't that mean "good luck?" Are we saying that what happened, happened because of luck?
5
votes
3answers
133 views

Does attending a regular shiur take precedence over leading the prayers on a Yahrzeit?

It is a widespread custom to lead the prayers (daven from the amud) on the anniversary of a parent’s death (yahrzeit). Suppose that if I do this for a service on the yahrzeit of a parent it will ...
12
votes
5answers
375 views

Plural of “Nafka Minah”

(Inspired by HodofHod's commment here: Four Holy Cities) What is the proper plural for the common Aramaic phrase Nafka Minah נפקא מינה which means something along the line of "practical differences"? ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Lighting candles on Yom Tov that falls out on Motzei Shabbos

Before a woman lights candles for Yom Tov that falls out on Motzei Shabbos does it say anywhere that she needs to say "HaMavdil" first? (Since the kedushas are different -- on Shabbos it was ossur to ...
8
votes
2answers
198 views

Mezuza positioning: why top angled in not out?

Why does the angle a mezuza positioned on the doorpost at have its top towards the room, and the bottom away from the room? I understand this may be an Ashkenazi custom, and that Sephardim position ...
9
votes
1answer
279 views

Peer-to-Peer Lending Websites

There are websites (such as Prosper.com or LendingClub.com) which allow laypeople to lend money to borrowers with interest. For example, a typical listing posted by a potential borrower is one in ...
5
votes
3answers
127 views

Source of Midrash regarding Yaakov's saying Shema

There is a famous Rashi in Parashat Vayigash (46:29) where Rashi explains that Yaakov didn't cry on Yosef's shoulders because he was reciting Shema. He cryptically quotes this in the name of ...
12
votes
1answer
365 views

if a convert later finds out she was Jewish anyway through her mother's mother, does she need a new ketubah?

If a convert (orthodox) later finds out she was Jewish anyway through her mother, does she need a new ketubah since the one she has says bas Avraham and giyorta? Would the answer be different if the ...
-2
votes
2answers
171 views

Why was this world created?

As I've researched, G-d has many creations, trillions of worlds before this world, and will create many after this world. Why did G-d create this world?
11
votes
7answers
1k views

Do surgically removed body parts require Kevurah?

If one has surgery (may it never be necessary) that requires the removal of an organ of the body (e.g. a gallbladder or appendix), is burial required? Or can the body part simply be discarded?
7
votes
1answer
59 views

What is Sha'arei HaAnavah?

Rabbeinu Yonah (Sha'arei Teshuvah 1:24) mentions "Sha'arei HaAnavah". What is this? I have never seen a book by that name attributed to him.
1
vote
1answer
319 views

Going to a wedding of a gentile

It says in SA YD Siman 152 Sif 1 that it's ossur to go to a wedding (seudah) that a gentile is making for his son. The Shach and Taz both discuss over there if for reasons of "aiveh" if one is allowed ...
3
votes
1answer
133 views

Why did David's kingdom split if he didn't sin?

According to one opinion in the Gemara (Bab. Shab. 56b), the reason David's kingdom split was because he sinned by believing Lashon HaRa'. According to another opinion, though, he never sinned at all. ...
3
votes
2answers
135 views

Unrelated kadish in a shiv'a house

What should someone who would otherwise be saying kadish (whether as an obligation or not) do in a shiv'a (mourning) house? Should he say kadish along with the mourners (I'm asking according to the ...
6
votes
3answers
123 views

Ya'akov's brief amnesia

In Parashas Vayechi, Ya'akov calls for his sons to gather so that he can tell them about what shall befall them at the end of days. Gen. 49:1. He never gets to that, however, because, according to ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Magicians of Egypt (sometimes referred to as Jannes and Jambres)

Exodus 7:11 ESV Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. Exodus 7:11 Hebrew Study Bible (Apostolic / ...
9
votes
1answer
134 views

Years and years and years of Yishmael

Genesis 25:17 says: וְאֵלֶּה שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל מְאַת שָׁנָה וּשְׁלשִׁים שָׁנָה וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנִים וַיִּגְוַע וַיָּמָת וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל עַמָּיו׃ And these are the years of the life of ...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

is there an authoritative list of the ways to expound the torah?

We are all familiar with Rebbi Yishmael's 13 principles for expounding the torah, however there are other systems not included in his list. I remember once hearing a shiur that there are over 40 ways ...
6
votes
3answers
333 views

Investing in Halacha

Does anyone know some halachik sources that discuss investing in stocks? There are many potential issues. For example, do you need to worry (about ribbis) if your money is used to lend with interest? ...
6
votes
1answer
97 views

Removing Yarmulka last when undressing (source)

I have noticed that some people remove their Yarmulka last when undressing and wear it first when dressing. Is this custom mentioned anywhere?
9
votes
1answer
165 views

Didn’t the Ishmaelites know they were buying their second cousin?

In studying bereishis I have come up with questions about Joseph and his brothers that have long bothered me. One question is in parsha vayeshev, where we read how Joseph was sold by his brothers to ...

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