5
votes
7answers
2k views

Which surnames are exclusively Kohanim's and why?

It is well known that is a person has a certain surname (last name) they are more likely to be a Kohen. Examples: Cohen - for obvious reasons Kahn Katz - stands for "Kohen Tzedek" What are some ...
2
votes
3answers
63 views

Chamisha Ushmonim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred eighty-five? ?חמישה ושמונים ומאתים - מי יודע In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 285. The best ...
14
votes
2answers
228 views

Who is the composer of Haneiros Halolu?

When we light the Menora we say Haneiros Halolu. Who composed these words?
13
votes
3answers
706 views

Eating on someone else's untoveled dishes

One must tovel (immerse in a mikve) various kinds of dishes before first use, and may not eat from his own dishes until they are toveled. Is it likewise forbidden to eat from someone else's untoveled ...
16
votes
3answers
686 views

Shomer Negiah without direct contact?

An interesting thought crossed my mind: does shomer negiah specifically only relate to direct, physical contact, or does it additionally extend to cover cases where there is no direct touch? Though ...
9
votes
1answer
101 views

Is there a minimum size for Chanuka flames?

Do the flames atop the chanukiya need to be a certain size to be valid? At the extreme, are tiny (but sustained) balls of blue flame sufficient?
6
votes
2answers
178 views

The original Mesilas Yesharim

Mesilas Yesharim is a digest version of a previous work by the Ramchal. This work is an ongoing conversation between a wise man and a pious man (Thank you chanoch for the correction). I don't recall ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

Is it permissible to use free public transport on Shabbat? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Riding the Subway on Shabbat Under the following conditions: One is not required to pay for public transport The transport is operating (stopping, starting, driving) ...
7
votes
2answers
101 views

Is there a requirement to stay around after lighting Chanuka candles?

When lighting the Chanuka candles, I understand that they generally need to burn for a minimum of 30 minutes. Is there any requirement for the person who lit the Menorah to stay around for a certain ...
2
votes
3answers
133 views

What is the meaning of the words כהיום הזה in the prayer על הניסים ?

What is the meaning of the words כהיום הזה in the prayer על הניסים ? Are there options other than the Artscroll interpretation, "unquestionable clarity"?
5
votes
1answer
83 views

Lighting the menora in shul and at home. How many brochos need be said?

Our shul has a minyan for mincha before sunset and for maariv after sunset. Between the two, the chanuka lights are kindled. There is a later maariv minyan; the chanuka lights are again kindled before ...
6
votes
1answer
101 views

Are you required to say YiHyu LeRatzon before Elokai Netzor?

After Sim Shalom/Shalom Rav in Shemoneh 'Esreh, many Siddurim print YiHyu LeRatzon (Tehillim 19:15) before Elokai Netzor. Not every Siddur prints this. I don't recall which editions I've seen without ...
7
votes
3answers
682 views

Can I trust a non-kosher home's coffee pot?

I thought I heard that its ok to use a coffee pot in a non-kosher home, but I could be mistaken. Does anyone know?
3
votes
1answer
118 views

Hakaras HaTov in Halachah

Hakaras HaTov (Gratitude) is a very important trait in Torah. Can the principle of Hakaras HaTov create a situation where what is otherwise prohibited becomes permitted?
7
votes
2answers
227 views

Darchei Shalom in Halachah

Halachic Literature will, when relevant, promote certain permitted activities with respect to Gentiles because of "Darchei Shalom" (Ways of Peace). Do we ever find situations where activities that ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

Yochanan Kohain Gadol

The Gemara Brachos 29 tells us that Yochanan Kohain Gadol at 80 years old went off the Derech and became a צדוקי. How does this jive with the Gemara in Yuma עברו רוב שנותיו ולא חטא, שוב לא יחטא - 38 - ...
8
votes
9answers
349 views

When do you say a beracha on a minhag?

When lighting Hanukkah candles in the synagogue, we say a beracha "asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav.." on a minhag. Unlike kiddush in shul, and early counting of the omer in shul, nobody would say that one ...
1
vote
2answers
116 views

Rambam placement of Hilchos Megilla vaChanukah

Why does the Rambam in Mishneh Torah in the Sefer Zmanim place Hilchos Chanukah and Hilchos Purim together in Megillah vaChanukah instead of just placing them separately and why in the title is ...
9
votes
5answers
225 views

Why didn't Yosef's brothers recognize him?

The Posuk says (Genesis 42:8): וַיַּכֵּר יוֹסֵף אֶת אֶחָיו וְהֵם לֹא הִכִּרֻהוּ Translated as: Now Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him The question is: How did ...
2
votes
5answers
188 views

Magicians' Inability to Interpet Pharaoh's Dreams

The Posuk says (Genesis 41:3): וְהִנֵּה שֶׁבַע פָּרוֹת אֲחֵרוֹת עֹלוֹת אַחֲרֵיהֶן מִן הַיְאֹר רָעוֹת מַרְאֶה וְדַקּוֹת בָּשָׂר וַתַּעֲמֹדְנָה אֵצֶל הַפָּרוֹת עַל שְׂפַת הַיְאֹר Translated as: ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Eating meat on Hannuka?

Is there a source to require eating meat at the Hanuka meal?
3
votes
2answers
200 views

Marriv before/after lighting the Menorah

Does one need to Daven Marriv before lighting the Chanukah Menorah or can you light before davening? Why?
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Rambam versus Ramban on Maccabees' taking the kingship from Yehuda

The Ramban (Nahmanides) in Parshas Vayachi says that the the Maccabees' children where killed out because they took the kingship from Shevet Yehuda. I was told (in the name of Reb Solovechick) the ...
6
votes
2answers
164 views

Nice clothes for Hanukkah

Is there a reason to wear special nice clothing on Hanukkah? I would guess not as since there is no festive meal, it doesn't seem like it is a festive day. Ideas anyone?
5
votes
1answer
75 views

Why didn't Hashem call twice to Yitzchak like he did to other prophets?

Avraham Avraham, Yaakov Yaakov, Moshe Moshe, Shmuel Shmuel - why not Yitzchok Yitzchok? Related to Hashem calls people twice and Hinneni We find in Tanach that Hashem called Avraham Avraham, ...
8
votes
3answers
974 views

Were the Books of Maccabees found in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Were there copies of any of the Books of Maccabees (and/or Megillas Antiochus) found amongst in the Dead Sea Scrolls?
5
votes
2answers
103 views

Which night of Chanuka should you give out Chanuka Gelt?

Is there a specific night of Chanuka that is better to give out Chanuka Gelt?
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Which Hasidic rabbi has no beard, and what is the story?

There is a famous Hasidic rabbi who has no facial hair, and I seem to recall that there is a famous story as to why. But I can remember neither which rabbi (or of which sect), nor the story. I do not ...
5
votes
3answers
389 views

If it's your minhag to daven Hanetz, do you do so even without a minyan?

A friend once told me that if one's minhag is to daven with Hanetz (i.e., starting the Amida prayer at sunrise), and if there's no Hanetz minyan nearby, you should still daven Hanetz, even without a ...
10
votes
5answers
608 views

How to tell someone about Shomer Negiah

As I'm sure that many of you have had to "break it" to a coworker or friend that you're Shomer Negiah, have you found a strategy or choice of words that seems most effective? As I wasn't raised frum ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

בימי מתתיהו בן יוחנן כהן גדול - who was the Kohain Gadol? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Bmei Matisyahu ben Yochnan Kohen Godol בימי מתתיהו בן יוחנן כהן גדול - In the days of Matisyahu ben Yochanan Kohain Gadol --"Al Hanisim" prayer said on Chanuka Who ...
4
votes
3answers
128 views

Pronunciation of חשמונאי

A friend today told me that the word חשמונאי traditionally pronounced "Chashmonai" should really be pronounced "Chashmunai" with the vav being read as a shuruk vowel instead of a cholom. Is this ...
0
votes
0answers
81 views

Where's the eighth miracle? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Beis Yosef Question Inspired by this question. If the sealed jug of oil that they found had enough to light the Menorah for one day, then there were only seven ...
3
votes
4answers
75 views

Arba'a Ushmonim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred eighty-four? ?ארבעה ושמונים ומאתים - מי יודע In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 284. I don't ...
-1
votes
1answer
85 views

Sheasa Nisim ALL 8 nights? [closed]

Why do we say SheAsa Nisim all 8 nights? Shouldn't we only say it one night, the first?
4
votes
1answer
5k views

Reliability of the OKS

I dont know if this type of question is allowed but I was told to ask it here The symbol is on some restaurants in the NY tri-state area (like Crumbs Bake Shop for example) and I have heard of quite ...
4
votes
2answers
196 views

What is the story of Yehudit which takes place during the Chanukkah Story?

I have heard many varying and conflicting stories about Yehudit and her effect on the war with the Greeks at Chanukkah time and was wondering if anyone has sources for her story and what it truly is. ...
7
votes
2answers
77 views

Joseph and Chanukkah

The Parshiot about Joseph always fall right before or during Chanukkah. It their a relationship between the Joseph stories and the Chanukkah stories? It there something to be learned from the fact ...
4
votes
2answers
152 views

Who was in charge of l'viyim and their jobs?

L'viyim (Levites) in the bes hamikdash (Temple in Jerusalem) had various roles: some sang, some had overnight guard positions, etc. The kohanim ("priests", if you will) had a rosh bes av (family head) ...
10
votes
1answer
206 views

Eating out Friday night of Chanukkah

If one is lighting Chanukkah candles inside (for whatever reason) relying on the publicization to himself and his family, then what should he do on Friday night if he is eating out? Must he make the ...
11
votes
3answers
178 views

Moshe after t'chiyas hamesim

After the resurrection of the dead, will Moshe have any particular role? If so, what will it be? Sources, please. (The question was inspired a popular song whose lyrics include "Moshe rabenu will ...
7
votes
2answers
114 views

When did Ben Teshuva become Baal Teshuva?

Rabbeinu Yonah in Bava Basra 39a talks about someone who does Teshuva and calls him a Ben Teshuva. What is the earliest reference in history to the words Baal Teshuva? And why did it change from Ben ...
4
votes
1answer
187 views

Do I have to know what brucha I'm making before I begin saying the brucha?

If I'm eating an apple, can I say "Baruch atah Hashem elokenu melech haolam" before I decide that the brucha I'm making is a Haeitz, and not Mezonot, Shahakol, or Haadamah?
12
votes
3answers
513 views

Why do people feel that there is a NEED to wear tzitzit?

There is a law in the torah (and the meforshiim afterwards) to attach tzitzit to all four cornered garments that you will wear. Ok. I understand that. But where did it come to pass that some people ...
1
vote
1answer
155 views

Origin of lighting the chanukiah [closed]

Why did people start to light oil lamps on chanukah? How did the holiday come to be represented by lights? If in fact it was that the menorah was lit for eight days with oil, and that was considered ...
5
votes
2answers
290 views

Jeans as Hukot HaGoyim

Hukot HaGoyim in this case is something done specifically by gentiles and therefore it would be prohibited (see S"A Yoreh Deah 178). So my question is, would jeans fall under this category?
6
votes
2answers
146 views

Can tefillin be what covers our heads?

If we have our heads covered by a kippa/yarmulka to remind that HaShem is above us, does wearing tefilin fulfill that requirement?
6
votes
5answers
263 views

Was the world created with din or with rachamim?

I remember Chazal saying somewhere that the world could not survive, had it been created with din/harsh judgement/strictness. However, in Bereshis, at the very beginning, it says: בְּרֵאשִׁית ...
21
votes
2answers
2k views

Riding the Subway on Shabbat

Assuming that there are no problems regarding paying for it (either you entered the system before Shabbat, or a non-Jew paid for you): What are the halakhic issue with riding the subway on Shabbat? ...
4
votes
2answers
141 views

Can donating to a Gemach be ribbis?

Suppose that Reuven is strapped for cash. He goes to the local Gemach and gets a hefty $10,000 dollar loan for his daughter's wedding. 3 months later, Reuven manages to acquire the money and repays ...

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