All Questions

4
votes
2answers
282 views

Should someone who isn't 100% certain of God's existence be considered a kofer?

I was told by two respected Roshai Yeshiva that one who isn't certain of God's existence (an agnostic) is not deemed to be a kofer (denier of His existence) as long as he thinks that His existence is ...
6
votes
1answer
28 views

The name change of the Divrei Chamudos

The shaar blatt (page with the brief list of what's in the book) of my Shas (and this Shas) says that the Divrei Chamudos was originally called the Lechem Chamudos and the Maadanei Yom Tov was ...
8
votes
2answers
136 views

Pirates and Torah

In the 16th and 17th centuries European nations granted "letters of marque" licensing pirates to attack rival nation's ships. The major powers at the time were England, Portugal, Spain, and France ...
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Can someone follow the opposite minhag on the bracha for matza during the year?

The Ashkenazic custom is to wash and say hamotzi on matza all year round. The Sephardi custom is to make mezonot when it's not Pesach. Is someone allowed to follow the opposite minhag? I have heard ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

How to adjust the knot on tefillin shel rosh? (single daled)

Sometimes the knot on the tefillin shel rosh needs to be adjusted, either due to growth, haircut, or borrowing a pair of tefillin. How is that knot adjusted? What piece of the retzuah (strap) should ...
8
votes
2answers
79 views

Why does the cave of machpelah have special significance?

Avraham spends considerable money and effort to acquire the cave of machpelah. I think the medrash mentions that Adam and Chava were buried there. My question is, is the cave of machpelah special ...
4
votes
0answers
42 views

Must the entire decoration be within 4 t'fachim of the schach?

Inspired by Can too many decorations render a sukkah invalid? If there is a big decoration hanging from the schach, is it OK as long as the top (part, or most of the decoration) is within 4 tefachim, ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

What does the munach say?

I'm asking according to Ashkenazi leining. The trop mark i have trouble with is the munach. It has two different sounds - a sort of "shaky" sound when it's on its own, and a sort of nothing sound when ...
3
votes
1answer
83 views

In What year was “Al Pi Kabalah” first quoted for a Halachic ruling?

The phrase "al pi Kabalah" (based on Kabalah) is often used in teshuvot for various minhagim or halachot. When is the first recorded instance of somebody recording the Halacha either "al pi Kabalah" ...
4
votes
2answers
101 views

Source for Immersion after Biblical Niddah

Unlike other ritual impurities, which explicitly list various immersion or washing requirements, biblical niddah has no such explicit requirement in the written Torah ( to the best of my knowledge ) ...
2
votes
0answers
15 views

Why the different wording for the three proofs atop שבת דף מ ע״א?

The Bavli, Shabas 40 amud 1, cites a disagreement between Rav and Sh'muel. It then brings three proofs to Sh'muel's view. Each proof quotes what appears AFAICT to be a b'raysa, and each proof is ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Does the Jewish tradition command Jews to love Christians?

Does the Jewish tradition command Jews to love Christians, who believe in a triune (trinity) God and believe that Jesus is God or a part of the triune God? If so does this extend to fringe minority ...
5
votes
1answer
165 views

Preparing food for Yom Tov Sheni

Orach Chaim 503 says that one may not prepare from the first day of Yom Tov for the second day of Yom Tov. However, if one is going to eat even one piece of meat on the first day, they may fill up a ...
9
votes
1answer
104 views

Can a yefas toar be Jewish?

I realize that when the torah discusses אשת יפת תואר it specifies כִּי-תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה, עַל-אֹיְבֶיךָ (Bamidbar 21:10) But I would still like to know if the halacha of אשת יפת תואר could ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Should I only make one Berachah, or should I make one on each different food?

When I was in "Pirchei" boys' youth groups as a child, at snack time I was taught to make a "Mezonos" on my cake, "Shehakol" on my drink, and "Haetz" on my sliced fruit. Then, at the end, the group ...
2
votes
0answers
22 views

How are Jewish cemeteries inaugurated?

Are there any methods necessary to make a cemetery Jewish, or can one just start burying people wherever one legally can?
1
vote
1answer
104 views

Torture in Jewish Law Used Against the Enemy

Does Halacha allow Jews to commit physical or psychological torture against their enemies when necessary (e.g. in a time of war, to get vital information from them, etc.) and to what extent is it ...
2
votes
3answers
80 views

What should a woman think about during candle lighting?

I often see women closing their eyes and concentrating after lighting Shabbos or Yom Tov candles. I was told that this is an auspicious time to pray. I would like to know if any commentators discuss ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Source for saying Shir Hama'alos but not Al Naharos Bavel

I have noticed that most people say Shir Hamaalos before bentching at their Shabbos and Yom Tov seudos. However, I have noticed very few people say Al Naharos Bavel before bentching on a weekday. As ...
0
votes
1answer
103 views

At what temperature is a food Boleya in the utensil

Say I have a pot that I used for beef soup. Then an hour later I forgot I used the pot for meat and I decide to make soup with cheese. I throw the cheese in it and put it on the fire. About 5 seconds ...
6
votes
4answers
149 views

Waiting Between Meat & Dairy According To The Geonim

It seems as though the Geonim - although disparate and diverse in their opinions on many issues - seem to be rather united on the understanding of the Gemara on the subject of waiting after meat ...
4
votes
2answers
168 views

Is Gematria accepted by all?

It is widely accepted that each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a Gematria (numerical value) attached to it. These numerical values often provide insight when comparing one Gematria to either ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

source for a story: man who went to milk a lion

When I was a kid I heard the following story at least a few times in grade school from the school headmaster (probably around Rosh Hashanah time). It's based on a Jewish legend or midrash, and I'd ...
9
votes
2answers
86 views

Threatening to sue with no intention to do so

Let's say that a person is rightfully owed a sum of money, and the debtor refuses to pay them. Can they threaten to take the person to Beis Din or a secular court, even if they have no intention of ...
1
vote
1answer
16 views

A question about Tefillin and the customs relating to strapping of tefillin

Why do we strap the tefillin around our arm 7 times? Also, what is the significance of the way we wrap the tefillin around our finger?
0
votes
0answers
24 views

How do we know that we can interpret the torah non-literally beyond what is found in the talmud?

I have often heard "drashot" or homiletic interpretations of many verses in the torah. How do we know that the torah can be explained in a non-literal way beyond the non-literal explanations found in ...
1
vote
2answers
29 views

Akum, Nochri, and Goy

I see a lot of texts where the words גוי, נכרי, עכו"ם are all used interchangeably. Usually I notice it in places where two people are using different versions of a text (one from a newer publication, ...
4
votes
2answers
59 views

Can a charity employ a collector on commission without informing donors?

This question is related. A charitable organisation wishes to employ a collector on commission. Does the organisation have a duty to inform potential donors that (a) the collector is on ...
0
votes
3answers
52 views

If meal continued into the night what do I say in benching

started eating before (shekiya) night, Rosh Chodesh came with the night started on Rosh Chodesh and the next day is not Rosh Chodesh started on Shabos/yomtov and the next day is not Shabos/yomtov (if ...
16
votes
7answers
1k views

Why are women exempt from (many) time-bound mitzvot?

I have heard two reasons for women being exempt from time-bound mitzvot and both seem problematic, so either there are additional explanations or I am not properly understanding these two: Women ...
5
votes
1answer
107 views

Women wearing men's “women's shirts”

Some chassidic shirts are basically identical to women's dress shirts, save for the bust shape, i.e. they botton right-over-left. Would a female wearing the former be transgressing the prohibition on ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

Third blessing on the second night of Channukah

If someone didn't light Channukah lights on the first night, does he/she then say the third blessing (Sh'hecheyunu) on the next night?
4
votes
1answer
33 views

Why is there no clear Chabad custom regarding Tzom G'dalya s'lichos: early morning or during shacharis?

In the 2005/5765 Kehot edition of סליחות על־פי מנהג חב״ד/Slichos appears part of a letter by the last Lubavitcher rebbe with no date on it. It reads, in part: לא שמעתי הוראה בסדר סליחות ליום זה ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Is there a set of “base”(factor?) midrashic numbers and what are they?

I've always wanted to do an analyses of the Torah based on the numbers given and their midrashic meanings. Specifically, I'm looking for "base" numbers: that is, which are meaningful inherently, not ...
13
votes
4answers
314 views

What does Dovid Melech Yisrael Chai Vkayam mean?

I'm pretty sure Dovid, the king of Israel is dead and buried. If so, what does this song really mean and why do we sing it? Why do we pick Dovid specifically and not some other tzadik, like Moshe?
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Forgot Atta Chonantanu and haven't said Havdalla yet before davening Shacharis

In the event that one forgot to say atta chonantanu in Maariv, they do not repeat Shemoneh Esrei (S.A. O.C. 294:1). The reason for this is because it is not necessary to repeat, as one can say ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Choosing between forbidden acts?

Is there a general rule or rules that one can use to determine which one of two forbidden activities should be chosen in the event that for whatever reason, it is inevitable one of them must be done ...
3
votes
2answers
172 views

Ayin Hara indifference

If someone does not care about it, does Ayin Hara affect him?
1
vote
4answers
673 views

Ayin Hara - The evil eye - Hocus Pocus

There are people that do some sort of procedure with lead that they claim gets rid of Ayin Hara. Is this hocus pocus or true?
1
vote
3answers
166 views

Preparing a dish on Shabbos by night for the day time (in regards to Borer)

It says in SA OC Siman 321 Sif 19 in the Rema that normally it's ossur to peel garlic or onions however that's only to leave them to eat at a later time. However if it's being done to eat right away ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

Is it permissible to play with cards?

Someone told me the other day, that playing cards (with ace, jack king and queen...) contain Tumah and therefor should not be played with. Did anyone hear of this? If yes, do you have a source?
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Why isn't eating milk with chicken kosher?

I remember learning that the reason you don't eat milk with beef is because you shouldn't cook a calf in its mother's milk. However, when you are dealing with two different species, this same logic ...
1
vote
0answers
35 views

Why the custom at the end of Tashlich to shake off Tzitzis?

In the Siddur Nussach Ari it says by the end of Tashlich to shake the ends of your Tzitzis, I heard that this symbolizes the tossing of a persons sins in the depth of the water (as in the verse " ...
1
vote
2answers
57 views

halacha of honoring your Wife

can someone please clarify the halachic side of the topic of honoring one's wife. i.e. what is halachically obligatory (beyond what one is obligated towards other people) and what is just good ...
6
votes
2answers
110 views

Government “swearing-in” ceremony

Typically in the US, members of Congress and other government officials are sworn in on a bible appropriate to their religion. Is it appropriate for Jews to be sworn in on a Tana"ch, or should some ...
9
votes
2answers
409 views

What is the halacha regarding the expulsion of a student deemed a “nuisance student”?

Are there Halachic sources regarding the expulsion of a "nuisance student"? Or Halachic sources of not expelling a "nuisance student"? (Is this issue ever addressed as a real halachic issue?) Below ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

What constitutes as a ברכה שאינה צריכה?

What exactly is a ברכה שאינה צריכה? I have heard, in a shiur about halachot of shabbat, that during shabbat, when you say fewer berachot, you should first say bircat hamazon and then make new ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

Learning while the Chazzan recites piyutim

During the Chazzan's repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei, one is generally required to pay absolute attention and avoid learning etc. What about when the Chazzan is reciting piyutim during his ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

Was Cham influenced by the people destroyed in the mabul?

In Parshat-Noach, was Cham influenced by the bad people G-d destroyed before the mabul (by his actions with his father)?
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Why do the men (of Menashe) get no credit?

The Daughters of Zlophchad pointed out that the inheritance of their father would be passed to a different family because he had no sons. Moshe responds that they, the daughters, will inherit him ...

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