7
votes
3answers
242 views

What's wrong with being haughty?

We find many times in tanach and chazal (eg Sota 5a) where humbleness is praised and haughtiness is condemned. I would like to understand why that is. A person can conceivably fulfill all the ...
8
votes
1answer
573 views

Naming after the Patriarchs/Matriarchs and Biblical heroes

Nowadays it is very common for Jews to name their children after the Patriarchs, Matriarchs, and Biblical heroes. But it doesn't seem (to me) as though this was very common until well into the period ...
7
votes
1answer
340 views

Responding to “that's not a Jewish name”

My ancestry is not eastern-European, and sometimes when I meet people in a Jewish setting and we introduce ourselves, I'm met with "that's not a Jewish name" (referring to my last name, mostly). I ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Renting building from a church

The question of renting a hall in a Church to use for a simcha (bar mitzvah) has been discussed. I have a similar question, however a little different. There is a Christian church that owns a large ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

Kitniyos or Matzah Ashira?

Ashkanazim are forbidden to eat kitniyos or matzah ashira (matzah made with fruit juices) on Pesach. If an Ashkanazi would be sick (or when dealing with an older person) and would have to eat either ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Sitting shiva for non-Jewish relatives?

Should one sit shiva for a non-Jewish relative? Say your mother is Jewish and your father is not, and he dies.
4
votes
1answer
147 views

Apostate Jew performing mitzvahs

It has been discussed many times on this site that a non-Jew may not observe Shabbat (in addition to various other mitzvot that are prohibited to non-Jews). We have also seen that a Jew who renounces ...
5
votes
2answers
169 views

Is there a concept of time in Gan Eden and the world to come?

Does Time exist in Gan Eden and the world to come. I heard that you cant get bored of these places since there's no time there. Also heard midrash that Yitchak Aviinu went to Gan Eden for 2 years ...
2
votes
1answer
214 views

If a non-jew steals is he liable to the death penalty?

Stealing is a Noahide commandment. If a non-jew violates a Noahide commandment he is obligated to die. That means if he steals a shave perutah ( שוה פרוטה, a tiny amount) or something he's obligated ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

Throwing out food with “questionable” hechsher - bal tashchis?

If one receive cooked food from a person that perhaps used ingrediants from a hechsher that one normally wouldn't eat is it bal tashchis to throw out the food? With packaged, store-bought food it ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Ashkenazi unsure whether he or she counted the 'Omer one night

According to the Daily Halacha website: If a person is unsure whether or not he counted a day of the Omer, and cannot determine conclusively if he had counted or if he had missed that day, he ...
2
votes
2answers
358 views

Why is a utensil required when washing one's hands after bathroom use?

I am under the impression that one is required to wash one's hands with a utensil (typically, the same type of cup used to wash before bread) after using the bathroom. Firstly, what is the source of ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

Hatoras Nedarim for wife taking her husband's Minhagim

According to Minchas Yaakov 112:2 and Darchei Teshuva 112:94, one who is always careful with Pas Yisrael and now wants to start eating Pas Paltar would have to be Matir Neder. Suppose a girl who was ...
1
vote
2answers
98 views

Why is Orpah listed first?

In Rus 1:4 it says that Naomi's two sons married to Moabite women, Orpah and Rus. We know that Rus married Machlon (4:10) the older brother and Orpah, Rus's sister (Rus Rabba 2:9) married Kilyon. Why ...
15
votes
3answers
427 views

Why do plastic bags and not fuselages protect against impurity?

In a picture on this article, we see a kohen who has enclosed himself in a plastic bag so as to avoid becoming impure as a result of flying over a cemetery. Why is it that a pressurized fuselage does ...
4
votes
2answers
317 views

What is a non-Jew's purpose in life?

What does a non-Jew have to do in life? Why did God create non-Jews? A Jews purpose in life is to learn Torah and do Mitzvos. What should a non-jew be spending his time doing?
2
votes
0answers
145 views

Is a Jew able to go hunting?

What is the Halacha in regard to whether or not a person can go hunting? What have Poskim said on this issue?
2
votes
2answers
267 views

Using water filter/purification system on Shabbos

(Being asked as a theoretical question. Obviously everyone should ask their LOR.) There is a water filter (or purifier) that works in the following way: The water flows into a part where there is ...
0
votes
1answer
201 views

What's the Hebrew idiom for “what's his name” or “What's his face”

I vaguely remember some phrase used in Torah discussions such as "moni palomy" or "moni plamoni" that means "John Doe" or "What's his name" or "John Q Public". Seems like it was used in Ester, but I ...
2
votes
0answers
94 views

Why is the seder “beseder” (in order)?

Is there any halachic reason why we do the seder in the order that we do? It seems that many of the components of the seder are halachically mandated, but is there any halachic mandate that we do them ...
1
vote
1answer
163 views

Satmar Rebbe's opinion on Mechitza

Where could I find the opinion of the Satmar Rebbe (Rav Yoel) zt'l on the height and laws pertaining to the Mechitzah?
-3
votes
1answer
376 views

Seeking examples of various gematria methods [closed]

Wikipedia lists various methods of calculating gematrias. Mispar Hechrachi (absolute value) that uses full numerical value of the twenty-two letters. Sometimes its also called Mispar ha-Panim ...
3
votes
1answer
707 views

Can the descendants of a mamzer ever become full Jews?

Is there any way for the descendants of a mamzer to ever become Jews with full rights, or are they stuck with mamzerus forever? For example, if a man who is a mamzer marries a non-Jew, and then their ...
3
votes
1answer
709 views

Can a shul give an aliyah to an openly gay Jewish man when it gives aliyah to people who violate Shabbos?

In a Young Israel shul I've attended, the rabbi would not allow the gabbaim to give Jewish men an aliyah if there is reason to believe that the person is openly gay (and acts on his inclination), ...
4
votes
1answer
337 views

Ana B'Koach authorship and the 42 letter name of Hashem

In my Artscroll siddur it tells me that the hymn Ana B'Koach was written by the tanna, Rebbi Nechunia ben HaKana and that the first letter of each word can be used to form the 42 letter name of ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Chasam Sofer on innovation

There is a famous quote of the Chasam Sofer, in which he applies the principle stated in Mishna 'Orlah 3:9 (החדש אסור מן התורה בכל מקום) to the question of innovation within Judaism. Rather than ...
2
votes
0answers
117 views

Origin of using priestly blessing on Friday night

I know why we use Ephraim and Menashe when blessing the children on Friday nights, (see: Why Does Hashem Bless Us Like Efraim And Menashe?) but why do we use Birkat Kohanim? Is there any specific ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Writing Sefer Torah for Melech (King)

It says in the Mishnah (Sanhedrin Daf 21b): וכותב לו ס"ת לשמו — that a Sefer Torah should be written for the King "l'shmo". What does l'shmo in this case mean: for the "sake of the King"? ...
2
votes
0answers
38 views

Meditation before Mitzvah activities

Who invented the meditation that is often printed before such things as counting the 'Omer, inviting the Ushpizin, and other Mitzvoth or Mitzvah-related activities, and what is the basis for it?
1
vote
2answers
264 views

What Chasam Sofer writes in regards to a Kohen Gadol marrying a Basuleh

The Chasam Sofer in Toras Moshe Parsha Emor writes the following: A cohen should marry a basuleh (virgin). The Ramabm counts this as a Mitzvas aseh (positive commandment). However one could have ...
12
votes
3answers
370 views

Can a single-parent father be exempt from time-bound mitzvot?

Rabbis such as Abudraham have explained a woman's exemption from positive time-bound commandments (mitzvot shehazman grama) in terms of a woman's ongoing and preliminary role in supporting her ...
8
votes
7answers
228 views

What's her husband doing at the gates in the middle of her song?

Eishes Chayil is a song sung traditionally on Friday nights. It's the last 22 verses of Mishlei/Proverbs. It speaks about a "Woman of Valor", and literally does nothing but sing her praises. Well, ...
3
votes
1answer
57 views

Comparrison of Tefillin to the Beis HaMikdash

The Darchei Moshe in the beginning of Hilchos Tefillin, Siman 32, cites from the Mordechai (Halachos Katanos) the following: One has to make the mitzvah (of tefillin) "nice" on the outside, "and chol ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Repentance for stealing not accepted?

I've heard before that there is a Gemorah in Baba Kamma (also brought down in Shulchan Aruch Choshen Mishpat Hilchos Genevah) that one who steals something and later wishes to repent and return what ...
3
votes
0answers
92 views

Standing up for an older person who is already sitting down

When an older person walks into a place where you are sitting, you must stand up for them (or least "rise" a little from one's seat.) If someone was sitting in a room and noticed that there was an ...
4
votes
2answers
245 views

May one say the letters of Hashem's name i.e. “Yud hei vov hei”?

We know we cannot pronounce the 4-lettered name of Hashem. Is it allowed to say the letters of Hashem's name ie “Yud hei vov hei” as in the meditation before counting the Omer or must one say “Yud ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

What is special about Molech?

What is unique about the worship of Molech that distinguishes it from other avodah zara enough that it deserves discussion and specific prohibition in the Torah? We see it specifically discuessed ...
3
votes
2answers
120 views

An Arched Tzuras Hapesach

A fundamental element of an eruv is the tzuras hapesach, which is defined here as, "[a] doorway opening. The construction of two doorposts and an overhead lintel." Can one make a tzuras hapesach ...
8
votes
4answers
532 views

What can be done with my annoying smoke detector on Shabbos?

When your smoke detectors battery is dying, it chirps every 30 seconds to remind you to change it. I am in middle of my Friday night meal when this began. May I move the smoke detector to a area where ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

Why do we do anything for Pesach Sheini?

According to my handy Luach, on Pesach Sheini, some people omit tachanun (I haven't looked into any source texts to see who does) and according to the Wikipedia page, some eat matzah but I'm wondering ...
0
votes
0answers
74 views

How should the items on the noticeboard in the synagogue be arranged?

On a board where the name of the week’s parsha and the relevant additions in the prayers are displayed as shown here for example, is there an order of placing the items accepted by halacha or minhag? ...
3
votes
0answers
47 views

Bicurim from something planted in a pot

The Rambam writes the following הגדל בעציץ אע"פ שהוא נקוב והגדל בספינה אינו מביא ממנו כל עיקר שנאמר בארצם. אבל מביא מן הגדל בגג או בחורבה — essentially saying that bicurim is not brought from ...
3
votes
3answers
180 views

Is idolatrous belief forbidden for Jews, or just idolatrous practices?

Suppose a Jew believes that there are multiple gods, but he does not worship them in any way. Is this a violation of the prohibition against idolatry for Jews? We see from this answer that similar ...
26
votes
3answers
1k views

While playing a computer game, may I “worship” one of the game's “gods” to help me win?

I sometimes play a certain computer role-playing game (RPG). In this game, my character (whom I might name after myself but who does not otherwise resemble me) fights mythological creatures and ...
4
votes
2answers
135 views

When should one change one's Minhag with one's Makom (and when should one not)?

I know there are conflicting views on certain issues relating to following a local custom vs. one's family custom. However, what are the general concepts that are applied in determining the Halachah? ...
4
votes
2answers
175 views

What is so special about the 613 mitzvos?

There are arguments in the Rishonim about what the 613 mitzvos are. But even if you hold something's not part of the 613, it's still a mitzva, so what's so special if it is part of the 613?
3
votes
0answers
55 views

Time-limited promotional giveaways for some, fees for everyone later

If someone provides a discount for early payment, and raises the price for others, there is reason to consider this a form of forbidden usury. What if someone is giving away a gift to some as a ...
1
vote
0answers
93 views

Cooperating with the authorities on Shabbos

To what extent, if any, must a Jew go through in order to cooperate with authorities, who are not seeking to persecute Jews, in ways that violate Shabbat? May he violate rabbinic ordinances, or actual ...
5
votes
2answers
305 views

Eating meat on a regular basis

It says in Vayikra Perek 17 Pasuk 13 (Parshas Achrei-Mos): "וְאִישׁ אִישׁ מִבְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וּמִן הַגֵּר הַגָּר בְּתוֹכָם אֲשֶׁר יָצוּד צֵיד חַיָּה אוֹ עוֹף אֲשֶׁר יֵאָכֵל וְשָׁפַךְ אֶת דָּמוֹ ...
1
vote
1answer
105 views

What would be the problem with these strange walls?

The Gemara discusses whether a fence made with just Shesi (horizontal component) or just Eirev (vertical component) is a wall. Some opinions say that its not. Then there is another Gemara which ...

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