4
votes
1answer
31 views

The Vilna Gaon's definition of Torah lishmah

The Vilna Gaon in his perush on aggados Chazal (Brachos 57a D"h hameikiz dam) says that a person who learns Torah lishmah does not need to work on his middos and does not need Pirkei Avos. I would ...
10
votes
1answer
431 views

Who gets shelishi if there are no Israelim?

Imagine that the Cohen family reunion is on a Monday. A minyan is planned with a sefer Torah. However, the gabbai, a kohen, looks around and sees that the minyan has nine kohanim and one levi - who ...
12
votes
3answers
157 views

A practical joke that leads to a mitzvah

When I was in Yeshiva, someone somewhere in Klal Yisrael played a practical joke. Sometime during the week of Parshas Vayeishev, a text message went around saying something to the effect of "a 17 ...
5
votes
2answers
221 views

Is there any basis for Chabad minhagim regarding tallit gadol?

I often daven at Chabad shuls and I have noticed that they have some particulars regarding tallit usage inconsistent with the rest of Ashkenazi Jewry, including: not wearing when receiving an aliyah ...
3
votes
0answers
71 views

May a male use a female for massage or vice versa?

There is a related question In a non-life-threatening emergency, can a female doctor do a hospital procedure on a male or vice versa?. The answer to that question, addresses limited situations, and I ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

Is using a Kindle on Shabbat permitted?

A Kindle is an e-book reader that uses "e-ink" rather than an LCD screen. It has physical controls to turn pages. If left unused it enters a sleep mode, and you can return to reading by moving a ...
4
votes
2answers
42 views

Was Uriah Jewish?

Uriah the Hittite (mentioned in 2 Shmuel 11 and various other places) seems to be Jewish based on his name (Light of God). So why was he called "the Hittite"? Is there any opinion that he was not ...
3
votes
1answer
446 views

Sealing an envelope on shabbat

On Shabbat, is it permissible to seal an envelope that does not require moistening, ie an envelope that has a PEEL & SEAL flap?
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Will 2 days of Rosh Hodesh & Yom Tov be necessary after Mashiach? [duplicate]

As I understand it, the origin for having a 2nd day of Rosh Hodesh & Yom Tov is that messengers were only able to travel a certain distance from where the Sanhedrin was to convey the declaration ...
6
votes
2answers
148 views

Opening bottles and creating a Keli on Shabbath

Does opening a new bottle create a new Keli, such that it would be prohibited on Shabbath? (I personally don't think so for a few reasons. However, someone posted this question a little while ago ...
3
votes
1answer
26 views

Sin Offerings — what did you do after sin, before you got to the temple?

The Torah clearly stipulates what offerings God's people are to make in atonement for sins, but what was the status of those people after they had sinned (providing it was not a sin worthy of death) ...
8
votes
1answer
98 views

What defines “on this earth” from a halachic standpoint?

Rabbi Ben-Zion Firrer asked whether Torah Law must be observed in space, since Deuteronomy 12:1 says one should follow the Commandments "all of the days which you are alive on this earth." What ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

Why is the information that Malchi-Tzedek was a priest not written earlier in the posuk?

In parshas Lech Lecha, after Avraham had successfully conquered the four kings and rescued his nephew Lot, it says (Bereishis 14,18): וּמַלְכִּי-צֶדֶק מֶלֶךְ שָׁלֵם, הוֹצִיא לֶחֶם וָיָיִן; וְהוּא ...
7
votes
2answers
77 views

Do we know more about נבח?

The last verse of Parshas Mattos (Bamidbar 32:42) is about a fellow named Novach who conquered a city and named it after himself: וְנֹבַח הָלַךְ וַיִּלְכֹּד אֶת קְנָת וְאֶת בְּנֹתֶיהָ וַיִּקְרָא ...
3
votes
2answers
574 views

Why is the hat often black?

We see here and here questions about wearing a black hat. However, why is the hat black? Is there some sort of kedushah to wearing a black Stetson or Borsalino which is lost in other colours? Or is ...
5
votes
3answers
133 views

Jewish alternative to a Christian self-help book

I had a bad psychological trauma some time ago and I felt the urgent need to review myself. I found that reading self-help books helped me. I tried to learn Mussar books (Mesillat yesharim, Chafetz ...
4
votes
0answers
31 views

How can the order of Ovinu Malkeinu be explained? Forgiveness comes before repentance

The order of the lines in [Ovinu Malkeinu] is troubling. It starts with a confession אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ חָטָאנוּ לְפָנֶיךָ (and אָבִינוּ מַלְכֵּנוּ אֵין לָנוּ מֶלֶךְ אֶלָּא אָתָּה) and follows with ...
2
votes
0answers
34 views

What is the importance of the tallit during prayer?

What is the difference whether one wears a tallit or not during תפילה (prayer/worship, sacred service)?
16
votes
2answers
431 views

Jews under Charlemagne

Jews under Charlemagne in the 8th century and the Carolingian emperors were accredited food providers in addition to providing wine for Christian mass. I am looking for halachic responses to these ...
2
votes
1answer
24 views

“El Male Rachamim” on Tisha b'Av

Typically we do not say "El Male" on days when tachnun would not be said, however, is this true of Tisha b'Av, when we have our national day of aveilut?
0
votes
0answers
37 views

backroom, minyan and shul

I read somewhere that people who daven in the backroom of a shul (i.e. a hallway or on the balcony) are not יוצא davening with a tzibur, unless there happens to be a minyan in that room with them. ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

The Chofetz Chayim's system of the olamos

In the sefer Toras Habayis (written by the Chofetz Chayim) in chapter 4 the paragraph that starts with ha'nimshal muvan me'elav, he writes the hierarchy of the olamos (worlds) like this: Briyah, ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Walking In-front of Someone Davening Shemona Esrei

I read somewhere that shtenders, chairs, tables and benches aren’t considered an interruption between the one davening and one passing before him unless the shtender is 10 טפחים tall by 4 טפחים wide. ...
2
votes
0answers
19 views

Asking someone to do melacha for you [duplicate]

Is this permitted: There is a dispute if one can open bottles on Shabbas (just an example), there are shittos (opinions) who allow it, while others forbid it (don't want to get into that now). If I am ...
-2
votes
0answers
31 views

Pre torn toilet paper too long

Whenever I go to a household or a synagogue with pre-torn toilet paper on Shabbos, I find that the strips people tear are at least a foot and a half long. I am able to manage with a regular sized ...
21
votes
7answers
3k views

Is one allowed to smoke Marijuana?

Not taking into account Dina D'malchusa, what are the Halachic problems with smoking marijuana? Is it allowed?
5
votes
2answers
137 views

Changing the spelling of “G-d” and Halachic erasure

Is there a problem of "erasing the name of HaShem" if you erase the English word spelled G-o-d, and if so, is there then a problem of erasing it in order to spell it in a more acceptable way (such as ...
0
votes
1answer
18 views

Sefer and Tikkun L'Choleh

Someone sent me a pdf file of tikkun l'choleh. Does anyone know where I can purchase this sefer?
1
vote
2answers
54 views

Can You Run On Shabbos? [duplicate]

I enjoy running on a daily basis, but I’m not sure it’s permitted to run on Shabbat. I run for around 15-60 minutes. Can you run on shabbat?
-1
votes
0answers
35 views

Watching movies based off the Torah

Do halachic authorities* allow one to watch a movie based off the Torah? (For example, the recent film Noah, or the upcoming film Exodus) *Obviously I mean those authorities who permit watching ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

Learning Tur or derivative sefarim [on hold]

Most halachic works which I can think of off the top of my head follow the general layout of the Tur. Seeing that some of them, such as Shulchan Aruch and its Mapah are highly abridged, versions of ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

shemonah esrei and moving to another location

I heard that one can/ should, step out of שמונה עשרה if they are being disturbed and move to somewhere else. Where is the halachic source for this? I also heard that they may move elsewhere and ...
4
votes
1answer
114 views

Understanding hachnasas orchim

Is hachnasas orchim (welcoming guests) a mitzvah (either of biblical or rabbinic origin)? If not why is it considered more important than greeting the divine presence (bereshis 18:3 Rashi)? Does it ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Which of the Napoleonic wars had no casualties?

The Chasam Sofer (droshos 8th Tamuz) writes about a war in the year 1809 with no causalities on our side. Can anyone tell us which war this was, and where these details may be recorded?
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Women and mayim achronim

I read that women are obligated in washing mayim achronim just as much as men. Where is the halachic source for this?
8
votes
2answers
146 views

Are “Halacha To Moses from Sinai” Undisputed?

I was listening to a lecture in my synagogue in which it was mentioned ( correctly or incorrectly - I don't know ) that a הלכה למשה מסיני - Halach to Moses from Sinai is a law that has never been ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Can I eat chocolate melted in a meaty pot and then combined with dairy?

Suppose I'm making some dessert, like cheesecake or ice-cream sundaes, by melting chocolate and pouring it over the dairy dessert. I realize after doing this that the pot I used was fleishig and used ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Giving Non-Kosher Wine to a neighbor

I know that I may not eat general wine from the store (as opposed to wine that's certified kosher). Can I also not derive other benefit from it? Specifically: Can I give it as a gift to a non-Jewish ...
6
votes
3answers
178 views

Is it permissible to write the English/secular date?

Is it permissible to write the secular/Christian date? Example: On a letter (bad example but you get what I mean). Some conceivable issues: We're told "this month (Nisan) shall be for you the head ...
3
votes
0answers
80 views

Stepping back, forward and bouncing 3 times, after Shmoneh Esrei [duplicate]

Most questions about Shmoneh Esreh appear written and responded to by men. So this is asked by and for women who might want to answer the same thing. According to the other responses, my assumption ...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

replacing a used borrowed item which broke with a new item which is more valuable

If a person borrowed an item from a neighbor (such as a plastic chair) and the item broke due to negligence by the borrower. Can the borrower purchase a new identical item and give that back to the ...
7
votes
1answer
290 views

Is there positive proof that the Rambam did not accept Kabbalah?

I have heard many times that the Rambam's omission of mystical ideas is proof, or evidence, of his rejection thereof. However, if one accepts the authenticity of Kabbalah as being a legitimate ...
5
votes
1answer
26 views

Why repeat the last verse of “Yoshev b'Seter Elyon”

In Nusach ashkenaz, as well as in "V'hi Noam" of Nusach haAri, the last pasuk of "Yoshev B'seter Elyon" (Psalm 91) is repeated. Why is that?
5
votes
1answer
63 views

Why was Batsheva bathing on the roof

In 2 Shmuel 11:2 it says that Dovid saw אִשָּׁה רֹחֶצֶת, מֵעַל הַגָּג Why was she bathing on the roof? Was that common practice? I always assumed that bathing in the ancient world (besides for ...
5
votes
2answers
62 views

How do different scholars define “aggadah”?

It is common to conceive of Shas (Bavli and Yerushalmi) as being an admixture of halakha and aggadah, and I've no doubt that people have differed from one another on the precise delineations of each. ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Washing Once or Twice

Someone told me that technically one needs to pour water on each hand only once since we use large quantities of water. Is there a halachic source for this? I heard that the requirement to pour twice ...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Unclean — Consequences

I know that there are multiple things (food, corpses, menstruation, etc.) that can make one unclean. I'm just uncertain as to what being unclean meant in practicality, especially for touching the ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Washing the hands of the ba'al habayis

I heard that at one's Pesach Seider someone else is supposed to wash the hands of the ba’al habayis. Where is the basis for this halachah? Furthermore, I heard that He should pour once over both ...
-1
votes
0answers
50 views

What do I do if I actually see an angel?

If I were today to see an actual angel of God what is the appropriate behavior? Should I bow? To the ground? Avert my gaze? Make a blessing of shehechiyanu? Something else?
5
votes
1answer
58 views

Looking for a drasha on Yerach ben Yomo/Karnei Para

Anyone have any links to any drashos explaining the significance of the Yerach ben Yomo/Karnei Para trop, and why it appears (uniquely in chumash) in the portion about the Levite cities (Numbers ...

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