2
votes
0answers
62 views

If a Beis Din Makes a Mistake When Calculating Kiddush HaChodesh, Does it Count?

On one hand, the Rambam says (in 2:10) Once the court sanctifies the new month, it remains sanctified regardless of whether they erred unwittingly, they were led astray [by false witnesses], or ...
6
votes
1answer
202 views

Women and Tefillah - per the Rav

I remember a long time ago hearing that the Rav (Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903–1993)) held that women should pray three times a day. Can anyone verify this, and what is the reason/source ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?

If masturbation is, as stated in the Shulchan Oruch (Even HaEzer 23:1), "the worst sin in the Torah", then why is it not listed in any of the various lists of 613 Mitzvos and why is there no verse in ...
10
votes
0answers
94 views

Why do we write the number 16 as tet + zayin? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How could the numerals יה and יו be used irreverently? I understand that we write the number 15 as tet vav as opposed to yud hey to avoid writing the shem Hashem, but ...
7
votes
1answer
111 views

Prenatal testing

I've been hearing that some people are discouraging prenatal testing for halachic reasons but it seems pretty important to me. Does anyone know if there's actually something halachicly wrong about ...
5
votes
1answer
226 views

What is the level of “Divrei Kabbalah”?

There are times in the Gemara that laws are derived from Psukim in Nach. They are called "Divrei Kabbalah". What status do they have (are they considered like Torah Laws or like Rabbinic laws). For ...
9
votes
3answers
336 views

Does kosher mean healthy?

What is the relation between kosher and healthiness? G-d wants us to eat properly but also to be healthy. For example, it is better to try not to eat too much meat (even if it's kosher), and more ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the source of the Birkat Habayit?

What is the source of the text of the Birkat Habayit: May this house be a place of happiness and health, of contentment, generosity and hope, a home of creativity and kindness. May those ...
11
votes
2answers
222 views

Cooking meat and milk as a chef

In this article an Orthodox woman describes how her rav permitted her to enroll in culinary school. Although he apparently did not permit cooking meat and milk together, is there any angle to permit ...
11
votes
4answers
6k views

Is swordfish Kosher?

What's the deal with swordfish? Is it Kosher? Which sources say yes, and which sources say no? EDIT: I know that R' Dr. Moshe D. Tendler is well known for having consulted with scientists (in 1951) ...
7
votes
2answers
189 views

Speaking Yiddish vs. the host language at home

I understand that, before World War Ⅱ, the Jews of Hungary and Germany mostly spoke Hungarian and German, respectively, amongst themselves (at home), whereas the Jews of Poland mostly spoke Yiddish ...
8
votes
1answer
132 views

Can steam make one Fleishigs?

If I go and lean my head over a pot on the stove, open my mouth wide, allow the steam that's rising to enter my mouth, and then swallow it (don't try this at home), does that give me a status of being ...
3
votes
1answer
400 views

In a non-Jewish youth hostel, is it problematic to stay in a mixed-gender dorm instead of a male-only one?

I'm male. Say I stay in a non-Jewish youth hostel dorm room which is mixed-gender instead of male-only. Might I encounter yichud problems? Might I encounter any other halachic problems? What's your ...
5
votes
1answer
731 views

Being a houseguest in a non-frum or non-Jewish home

I'm Jewish, so I have to keep many laws in mind. Kashrut, tefillin, yichud, kol isha, and more. When staying as a houseguest in a non-frum or non-Jewish home, what are some of the issues I might ...
9
votes
1answer
272 views

What happened to Rabbi Akiva's money?

The Gemara in Nedarim (50a) lists six sources of wealth from which Rabbi Akiva became exceedingly wealthy, including half of Ben Kalba Savua's money (Kesuvos, 63a). Rashi on Bechoros (58a) maintains ...
5
votes
1answer
96 views

Merit and Ein Mazal L'Yisrael

The Gemara (Shabbos 156b) tells a story with Shmuel and a non-Jewish astrologer named Avlait. They observed people entering a swamp. Avlait said that a certain man would not emerge from the swamp ...
4
votes
1answer
471 views

Gigantic Tiger Fish - Is it Kosher?

Is this fish Kosher? It apparently has both fins and scales. Is there any problem with its having teeth, or its not having been discovered until now (and therefore being outside of our Mesorah)?
5
votes
3answers
177 views

Who reads the Haggadah?

In my family's Seder, and in one of the two others I've been to, the reading is done by taking turns going around the table. Mostly it is read in the language of one's preference, but some (myself ...
10
votes
2answers
878 views

A site to search Kosher Symbols by characteristics?

Several years ago, I found a website that let me search and sort Kosher symbols by look and other characteristics. It seemed like each symbol was tagged with its distinctive features. This was very ...
3
votes
0answers
83 views

The, um, Seder of the Seder [closed]

Since I have only experienced a handful of families' traditions of how they conduct their Sedarim, I thought I'd ask what others do. What are some of the widely practiced customs for how to actually ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Hardboiled eggs and salt water at the Seder

I've participated in only 3 different families' Passover Seders, so my experience is limited in terms of different families' traditions. How widespread is the custom of eating a hardboiled egg in ...
6
votes
2answers
214 views

Why a Beitzah on the Seder Plate?

Why do we use a roasted (maybe?) egg on the Seder Plate to represent the Festival offering?
5
votes
2answers
468 views

Preparing the Beitzah for the Seder Plate

What is the appropriate way to prepare the Beitzah for the Seder Plate?
5
votes
1answer
163 views

Some years have a siman, what does it mean?

I saw on a calendar that each year has a siman, for example 5772 has the siman 517. Here are the simanim for the next few years: 5773: 203 5774: 1523 5775: 517 5776: 1217 Does anyone know ...
7
votes
4answers
462 views

Removing mezuzah spoils doorpost

I have put up my mezuzot with double-sided tape, but when I took them off to check the scrolls either the paint came off with it or it left a sticky mess behind. Is there a better way to put up a ...
1
vote
1answer
384 views

Does Jewish law forbid Internet usage?

The Ichud HaKehillos LeTohar HaMachane anti-Internet rally is coming up in a few weeks, on May 20, 2012. What do contemporary halakhic authorities say about the permissibility or prohibition of using ...
7
votes
2answers
124 views

Bar Mitzva boy taking haircut in Sefira

If a boy becomes Bar Mitzva during Sefira, may he take a haircut for the Simcha - similar to a Bris where the father is allowed to take a haircut in Sefira?
8
votes
1answer
121 views

What constitutes an acceptable barrier so that another person can pass by someone saying the Amidah?

The Shulchan Aruch/Mishna Berurah 102 (4) [15] writes that one may not walk within four Amos in front of somebody praying the Amidah. What constitutes an acceptable barrier in front of the person so ...
5
votes
1answer
89 views

Is one allowed to ask another to kasher his items that may get damaged when kashered?

There is a halacha which prohibits one to kasher items which may get damaged when kashered (as there is a concern that one may not kasher his item well). Are you allowed to ask someone else to kasher ...
7
votes
2answers
223 views

What is the minhag followed in the Bnei Tzion Siddur?

Bnei Tzion is an Israeli siddur published in 1996 by Sinai Publishing in Tel Aviv. It's a Sephardi siddur but has some interesting variants (e.g., very similar Havdalah to Ashkenazi practice). I'm ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Were Maftir Honors in 19th Century different from today?

I received a travel-diary for a man who was born in Huncovce (also known as Hunsdorf, once a famous yeshiva town, second only to Pressburg), Slovakia. He was born in 1851, presumably had some Torah ...
8
votes
3answers
131 views

The difference between צדיקים and חסידים

What's the difference between צדיקים and חסידים? I assume that there is a difference because of Psalms 145:17. Also at the end of Nishmat Kol Chai where it says "uvdivrey tzadikim titbarach uvilshon ...
4
votes
2answers
149 views

Answering amen to a post-nightfall mincha

If I come to shul early for maariv and it is already past nightfall and there is a minyan that starts davening mincha am I allowed to answer amen to chazaras hashatz? Sources please.
4
votes
1answer
130 views

Why does smashing an earthenware vessel resolve the problem of the absorbed material of a cooked offering which has gone beyond its time limit?

Vayikro 6:21 An earthenware vessel in which it is cooked shall be broken, but if it is cooked in a copper vessel, it shall be purged and rinsed with water. Rashi explains, “[An ...
7
votes
1answer
85 views

Dancing during kidush levana on sefiras haomer

After making kidush levana there is a custom to dance and sing a song "Tovim meorot...". Is it permissible to dance after kidush levana of the month of Iyar, as it falls during the mourning days of ...
6
votes
3answers
327 views

Davening with an Egalitarian Minyan

I will be participating on a summer program this summer with egalitarian davening, including women leading, laining, having aliyot, etc. Can I respond amen to their brachot? Can I respond to their ...
5
votes
2answers
147 views

Yumatu and the plural in Dev 24

Devarim 24:16 makes a statement which is central to Jewish theology. The posuk makes clear that a father will not be put to death for the sins of his son and that a son will not be put to death for ...
6
votes
2answers
123 views

Correct Niqqud for ואטהר in Sefira Nusach

Context: In the Ashkenaz / Sefard (and possibly others) Nuschaos of Sefira, there is a prayer starting with the words "Ribbono Shel Olam [רבונו של עולם]" that is said. Towards the end of this prayer ...
13
votes
3answers
370 views

Why is a “leper” allowed to sit with other “lepers”?

In Parshat Tazria (Vayikra 13:46) we are told: All the days the lesion is upon him, he shall remain unclean. He is unclean; he shall dwell isolated; his dwelling shall be outside the camp As ...
4
votes
1answer
224 views

Which challah does one cut on a Shabbas yom tov?

The Shulchan Aruch (274:1) brings down that on shabbas night you cut the bottom challah. The Rama adds that on Shabbas day and yom tov night you cut the top challah for kabbalistic reasons. What do ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Working with Conservative Jews [closed]

I am working this summer on a Conservative summer program as a staff member. I discussed with the employer issues of me being orthodox (such as egalitarian davening) and we worked out some of these ...
1
vote
1answer
262 views

Dancing on Yom Haatzmaus

One is not allowed to dance during the mourning days of s'firas haomer (Mishna B'rura 493:3). According to all major customs, Yom Haatzmaus (Israel's independence day) falls during the mourning days ...
7
votes
0answers
143 views

How were coins that were destined for the Dead Sea managed?

A mishna on Meila 11a talks about money that a nazarite set aside for his offerings; if he died before completing the term and had set money aside specifically for the sin-offering, those coins are ...
7
votes
1answer
198 views

Wheelchair-bound and matir asurim, zokef kefufim?

Is someone who is wheelchair-bound obligated to say matir asurim or zokef kefufim if they cannot get up?
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Connection between the metzora's purification and the Four Species of Sukkos?

In the procedure prescribed for the first stage of a metzora's purification (Lev. 14:1-7), the Torah lists four items to be dipped into a mixture of blood and water: a live bird, a piece of cedar ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Clothing and shame, etymologically speaking

I have been unable to find an etymological connection between the root for shame בשש (especially as it turns into the forms of בושה בושת) and the word for "clothe" לבש. Shame was introduced in ...
11
votes
1answer
357 views

Should I say “amen” to a malformed bracha?

If I hear somebody substantially mispronounce a bracha, should I say amen anyway (recognizing the intent) or remain silent? I'm not talking about nuances like pronouncing 'ayin or distinguishing ...
5
votes
2answers
61 views

Why no procedure with birds, etc., for clothing tzaraas?

The Torah (Lev. 14:1-7) prescribes that when a person is healed of a tzaraas lesion, a kohen is to perform, as the first step in his purification, a procedure involving two birds and several other ...
4
votes
3answers
84 views

Shemona Vetish'im Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred ninety-eight? ?שמונה ותשעים ומאתים - מי יודע In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 298. I wash ...
6
votes
0answers
123 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 ...

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