14
votes
5answers
1k views

High School Math in the Talmud

I'm currently tutoring someone in math that has an atitude of "what's the point of all this... why would I ever need this..." (which is typical of many high-schoolers). To try to pique his interest, I ...
6
votes
2answers
85 views

Asara Ushlosh Meyot - mi yodeya?

Who knows three hundred ten? ?עשרה ושלוש מאות - מי יודע In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 310. There is lazy ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Why mention God, our god, for the chatas/asham and not for the ola/sh'lamim/toda?

Sidurim (such as Rav Yaakov Emden's, but also modern nusach S'farad ones like ArtScroll's and T'filas Kol Pe) include a short prayer after various of the paragraphs of "Ezehu m'koman" asking God to ...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

Must a parent vaccinate her child?

Is a parent compelled by Halacha to vaccinate her child if it can be statistically proven that, without the vaccine, the likelihood of the child contracting the disease that he is being vaccinated for ...
11
votes
2answers
374 views

Is there a chief Rabbi of the United States?

Is there currently or has there ever been historically a chief Rabbi of the United States? If not, why not?
10
votes
2answers
166 views

Tehilim divided into five sections?

According to Wikipedia, Jewish tradition divides the book of Tehilim into five sections (1-41, 42-72, 73-89, 90-106, 107-150). This is unsourced there; the references at the bottom of the page ...
31
votes
26answers
2k views

About what were rabbis ahead of the times?

I have heard claims that experts in the world of Torah were significantly ahead of their counterparts in the world of natural science (or mathematics, or psychology, or…) in that they knew X ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Why by the mitzvah of chanukka we must light at both doors so other wont be suspicious

The Halacha is: That if one has more then one door at his house, he must light the menorah at all doors... The reason is because others might think that someone lives here but didn't light the ...
10
votes
1answer
535 views

Mentioning Yeshu's name?

Is there a source for not verbally (or in writing, for that matter) mentioning the name of Yeshu (the father of Christianity)? If there is such a source, what exactly is forbidden to say? Is it only ...
9
votes
2answers
258 views

Looking for information on the Savoraim

I am looking for more information on the Savoraim such as a list of who they were, what they wrote outside of comments/amendments in the talmud, meaning do they have responsa, ethical or halachik ...
3
votes
1answer
184 views

How old was Esther?

How old was Esther when she was selected by Achashveirosh? I am familiar with the Yalkut (Esther 2:8) which offers ages up to 80 and seems to settle on 74/75 the numerical value of Haddasah, however ...
13
votes
6answers
728 views

Can you pick your nose?

Is it a violation of halakah to pick your nose (unrefined act, possibly a violation of being a holy nation)? Would there be a difference in halakah if it were the sabbath (possible violation of ...
5
votes
0answers
124 views

Mistake when buying ring to get married with

The following case might perhaps be too localized however I'm asking it as a theoretical question in order to understand these laws in Choshen Mishpat and Evan HaEzer better. A Kallah (bride) went to ...
5
votes
2answers
110 views

When lighting Chanukah candles on both entrances to courtyard, can I use only one candle?

In Hilchos Channukah OC Siman 671 Sif 8 we learn the halacha that if someone has 2 entrances to their courtyard they must light Chanukah candles by both of them. This is so that passers-by won't see ...
7
votes
2answers
130 views

What is it with the donkeys all over Parashat Mikeitz?

So, we got Bereshit 42, psukim 26, 27 כו וַיִּשְׂאוּ אֶת-שִׁבְרָם, עַל-חֲמֹרֵיהֶם; וַיֵּלְכוּ, מִשָּׁם. כז וַיִּפְתַּח הָאֶחָד אֶת-שַׂקּוֹ, לָתֵת מִסְפּוֹא לַחֲמֹרוֹ--בַּמָּלוֹן; וַיַּרְא, ...
2
votes
0answers
105 views

Water from the Kohanim washing their hands by nei'lah

I heard about a minhag the other day (for the first time) and was wondering if there is any makor for it. I was told that people ran out to "catch" the water that was used to wash the Kohanim's hands ...
13
votes
8answers
496 views

How did Yosef showing his circumcision prove anything?

Rashi to 45:4 says that when Yosef told his brothers to approach him, it was to show them his circumcision (presumably to prove he was Jewish). But how would that prove anything? All of Egypt had been ...
4
votes
1answer
358 views

Do Jews believe the content of Maccabees (I-IV) is true?

This related question touches on the book of Maccabees. I was wondering if Jews believe the content of Maccabees (I-IV) is true, even though it is outside the canon. If any of the Rishonim or ...
1
vote
1answer
217 views

Can Isaiah 11:2 be used a basis for the belief that the king messiah will be a prophet?

If a recent thread, I asked, "Will the king messiah be a prophet?" @b a cited a source from Rambam's Hilkhot Teshuva, 9.2 which states, "מפני שאותו המלך שיעמוד מזרע דויד בעל חכמה יהיה יתר משלמה, ...
7
votes
3answers
567 views

Will the king messiah be a prophet?

By the phrase "king messiah," I am referring to the individual who is expected to come and restore the kingdom of David. (For example, the exact individual that Rambam writes about in this portion of ...
2
votes
0answers
158 views

How did the modern day Beis Hora'ah phenomenon develop?

Here in Eretz Yisrael, we find Batei Hora'ah in many cities - places where a moreh hora'ah sits either during special times or perhaps the whole day or different rabbonim throughout the day answering ...
4
votes
1answer
95 views

Asking God for miracles

During Chanukah and Purim, if one forgets to say Al HaNissim during Amidah or Birchas HaMazon in its usual place, the paragraph of Bemei Mordechai or Bemei Mattisyahu is said later on. In this case, ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Why did Yosef wash his face after crying the second time but not the first?

In Miketz, Yosef is seen to cry twice. 42:24: וַיִּסֹּב מֵעֲלֵיהֶם וַיֵּבְךְּ וַיָּשָׁב אֲלֵהֶם He turned from them, cried, and returned to them. 43:30–31: וַיְבַקֵּשׁ לִבְכּוֹת ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Aveilus for an adoptive parent

Are there any dinim of aveilus for a child that was adopted when his adoptive parents pass away? Are there any poskim that spoke about this?
10
votes
1answer
320 views

May a man learn Torah without a Kippah?

Is it permissible for a man to learn Torah without a Kippah? Let's say that he can't wear a Kippah at work, or he lives someplace where it is dangerous to outwardly display signs of being Jewish, ...
3
votes
3answers
312 views

Why do we need a neshama yesera?

On shabbos we get an additional soul (tannis 27b) - what is the utility of this soul? Is it the same one every week? Why would we need an extra soul?
3
votes
0answers
133 views

Why are there only a finite number of people?

If the purpose that we ascribe as the reason for creation (as stated in the Ramchal's Derech Hashem, Klach Pischei Chochma and other works) is for God to bestow his goodness unto creation (bearing in ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

The connection between Tishrei and Tevet

Can anyone steer me towards resources which explore a connection or relationship between Tishrei and Tevet (I assume, on a mystical level). Both months have a fast day on the 10th day and the full ...
7
votes
1answer
194 views

Why don't we read from 2 torahs on every shabbat?

The maftir for many holidays, from the second sefer, has to do with the korban musaf of that day. But shabbat is a "holiday" and there is definitely a korban hayom as evidenced by its inclusion in our ...
3
votes
0answers
58 views

Why do we use the Babylonian month names? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why use Babylonian calendar instead of our own? The Torah refers to the months of the near numerically, the names we employ for things like contracts, birkat hachodesh ...
13
votes
1answer
292 views

Is there a Beta Israel Siddur?

Ashkenazi siddurs are different from Sephardic siddurs, do Beta Israel Siddurs even exist?
6
votes
2answers
285 views

Wearing a hat on Shabas

Many men will wear hats for mincha and for maariv (also for other prayers if not wearing a talis). Many will not. And then I've seen a few who wear hats for mincha and maariv on Shabas but not on ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Why are tzadikim compared to myrtles?

The gemarah (megillah 13b, sanhedrin 93a) states that tzadikim are compared to haddasim. We also know that of the four species the haddas is described as only having a pleasant fragrance but not a ...
2
votes
1answer
121 views

Can you go to a shul dinner if you are in aveilus?

Can you go to a shul dinner or other formal function that is for social convention and not actually enjoyable if you are in aveilus?
3
votes
1answer
95 views

What's done on Zos Chanuka?

I know people call the last day of Chanuka "Zos Chanuka" (taken from Bamidbar 7:84, read on that day). How is it specially commemorated if at all? I've heard it is, but know no details. I'm not ...
2
votes
0answers
170 views

Can a healthy person use a shabbos elevator?

Can a person who has no health issues make use of a shabbos elevator?
8
votes
1answer
162 views

What happens if you borrowed money and the currency became worthless?

In Israel in the late 70s early 80s the currency (Lira) became worthless. Suppose one day the American dollar would become worthless, and one owes another $1,000,000- would the borrower just pay back ...
8
votes
1answer
128 views

Who is the author of the Pirush on the first four chapters of Rambam's Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah?

The first four chapters of Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah have a lengthy commentary that is titled simply "פירוש". In standard editions of the Rambam, it wraps around the text, facing the "כסף משנה" (see ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

“For Zion's sake” - Where in the liturgy?

Is Isaiah 62:1 found anywhere in the liturgy? I seem to remember a reference or two in Selichot, but I can't find it there now, nor can I find it anywhere else.
2
votes
0answers
36 views

What if anything was the correspondence between mishmarim of kohanim and cities?

There were twenty-four watches (mishmarim) of kohanim. Each worked for a week, from Shabas to Shabas, and then the cycle repeated itself. (Rambam, K'le Hamikdash 4.) There were forty-eight cities in ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Woman wearing her husband's comfortable clothing

Is there any printed discussion about a woman wearing her husband's comfortable clothing? While there is an Isur for a woman to wear a man's clothing, I've read in several places that this is about a ...
6
votes
3answers
209 views

May one refuse pain killers?

Given that one may not intentionally injure herself - see Rambam (Chovel U’mazik 5:1 and Shulchan Aruch (Choshen Mishpat 420:31) who rules that it is forbidden for a person to injure herself. ...
8
votes
0answers
110 views

Tznius of the times [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the sources for women to wear/ not wear pants? Why cant women wear baggy pants when now-a-days women who are "tznius" wear tight skirts or skirts above the ...
7
votes
2answers
78 views

How did Yaakov and his family survive “when they finished eating the grain that they had brought from Egypt”.

It says in Beraishis 43(2), “…when they finished eating the grain that they had brought from Egypt, that their father said to them, "Go back [and] buy us a little food."” What were they to eat until ...
1
vote
3answers
247 views

Are gedolei Yisroel fallible?

Is there a source to assert that the leaders of the Jewish people at any given time are always correct in how they lead (perhaps because their decisions are divinely inspired), or is it possible to ...
7
votes
4answers
641 views

Why is the Mesillas Yesharim so popular and accepted?

To overgeneralize, I bet there is a copy of the mesillas yesharim in almost every orthodox home, shul and beis medrash. I'm wondering why this work is so popular and accepted. My wondering is ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Why does Esther change her name?

Esther is initially called Hadassah (Esther 2:7). Why does she change her name, ostensibly even before she is brought to the king's harem?
5
votes
6answers
692 views

The Layman's Masechta (Mishnayoth) for a Siyum

What is a good Masechta of Mishnayoth for someone to learn if they just want to get a basic understanding and complete a Masechta in a relatively short time? Examples where this would be practical ...
4
votes
1answer
77 views

What is the source and substance of the kabbalistic holiday on 17 Shevat?

In the work of Isiah Tishby he records a kabbalistically based holiday celebrated by the Ramchal and his followers on the 17th of Shevat. I'm looking for any further information on this holiday ...
7
votes
2answers
287 views

Making a Seudah into a “Seudas Mitzvah”

The Rema in Hilchos Channukah Siman 670 Sif 2 writes that if zemiros and shvachos (songs and praise) are said by a Seudah on Channukah it becomes a "Seudas Mitzvah" (without this it only has in it ...

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