6
votes
0answers
131 views

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av?

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av? I understand that this used to be a custom, in addition to allowance of a more relaxed approach to women's tznius on that ...
6
votes
0answers
226 views

Can you fulfill Netilat Yadayim by dipping your hands in a sink?

According to the Gemara in Hullin on 107a, if there's a vessel with a hole in it, and there's a "stream" (more than a drip but not necessarily the "sheffoferet hannod" required for a real mikveh) ...
5
votes
0answers
56 views
+100

Does the chametz sales contract need to be enforceable under secular law?

We go to great lengths to ensure that our pre-Pesach chametz sale is effective according to halacha. Thus, we effect the sale via various means of acquisition: kinyan kesef, kinyan sudar, kinyan agav ...
5
votes
0answers
55 views

Chometz Cookies on Pesaḥ

According to the Sephardic tradition that egg matzah can be permissible on Passover (see e.g. http://etzion.org.il/vbm/english/archive/moadim70/02-70moed.htm), is there any reason why they would not ...
5
votes
0answers
66 views

May a nutrition scientist perform research on chametz as part of his job on Hol Hamo'ed Pesach?

For this question, I am interested only in the aspect of handling the chametz and "benefitting" from it on Hol Hamo'ed, not any problems, possibly of going to work. (Let's assume that if the worker ...
5
votes
0answers
55 views

The angle of heseiba and derech cheirus

Heseiba (reclining) is a Rabbinic ordinance of the Passover seder intended to invoke the style of derech cherut ("the way of freedom" - associated with luxury/aristocracy). Some Rishonim (medieval ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

Why are we so concerned about mistaking meat on Pesach?

The Shulchan Aruch in siman 469 and 476 lays out the concerns we have that someone might mistake you main course for a real Korban Pesach. This includes not saying 'this meat is for Peasach' and not ...
5
votes
0answers
45 views

Custom of singing Aishes Chayil before kiddush

It seems that not everyone [always] sang/sings Aishes Chayil with Sholom Aleichem at the Friday night Shabbos table. When and how did the custom of singing Aishes Chayil at the table begin? Who ...
5
votes
0answers
28 views

When do other punishments exempt one from a fine?

I'm not well-versed in the laws of various punishments and how they interact in the g'mara. I've seen places -- most recently Ketubot 45, today's daf -- where it says that somebody is punished with ...
5
votes
0answers
50 views

How is one allowed to say a bracha in a Mikvah?

There's an argument (In Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah siman 200) if women say their Bracha in the Mikva itself. According to the Sefardim, they do it clothed (but can do it with water up until the neck), ...
5
votes
0answers
29 views

Do the Havdalah flames have to join into one?

I know that Havdalah candles are supposed to have multiple wicks, in order to form a "torch". My question is, to what extent do the flames generated from the wicks need to work together to form a ...
5
votes
0answers
42 views

Why are “Chiddushei” seforim rarely cited in the Nosi Keilim?

I noticed that when quoting Rishonim, Beis Yosef/Nosei Keilim tend to focus on Poskim (Rif (and main commentary)/Rosh/Rambam, Mordechai, Teruma, Rabbeinu Yerucham, etc.) and responsa. Very rarely do ...
5
votes
0answers
32 views

Is a psik reisha d'lo nicha or d'lo echpat judged against a communal standard?

If I perform an action on Shabbos which will cause a secondary (forbidden) action, the secondary action is assessed as to whether it is desirable, detrimental or neutral (as per Difference between ...
5
votes
0answers
52 views

A Jew is born in space. What time rules does he follow?

I know that the title sounds like a sequel to a TV show (Lost in space). But based on a statement in this article : The Rabbis therefore rule that a person should continue to follow the time ...
5
votes
0answers
31 views

Does Torah reading need to be repeated if you said it with an “assumed” minyan?

I'm not good with the title for this scenario: Suppose that there where 10 men in the shul - 9 everyone knew, and the 10th no one knew. He wore a yarmulka, so everyone assumed that he was Jewish. ...
5
votes
0answers
30 views

Rava and Rabbah? Differentiating between two (?) amoraim

Inspired by this question, I have often heard people pronounce the name רבא as Rava and the name רבה as Rabbah. Is there a basis for this differentiation? Does anybody know where it comes from?
5
votes
0answers
42 views

Source for a Talmudic story of three caskets

In the Merchant of Venice, suitors attempting to win Portia's hand must choose from 3 caskets (of gold, silver and lead). Those who chose wrong must leave immediately and never marry anyone. One who ...
5
votes
0answers
60 views

Is becoming a “Talmid HaRambam” limited to the Rambam?

This answer explains (very nicely) the justification and practice of those who consider themselves followers of the Rambam, as opposed to any other opinion. In the cited responsa of the Beis Yosef, ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

Why not read missing words (in Esther) from a printed copy?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 141:19: צבור שאין להם מגילה כשרה כדינה מכל מקום אם היא כתובה כהלכתה רק שחסרים איזה תיבות באמצעה כיון שלא חסר בה ענין אחד שלם יכולין לקרות מתוכה עם הברכות והטעות יקרא הקורא ...
5
votes
0answers
35 views

Is judging others unfavorably a prohibition?

Is judging others unfavorably a prohibition? If so, what is the source for it? Also, do any of the sages offer any advice for overcoming judging other unfavorably?
5
votes
0answers
78 views

'Agunoth and Mamzerim after the Holocaust

What have Posekim decided regarding families that were torn apart as a result of the Holocaust, particularly with respect to marriages where the husband was taken and never seen again (but not ...
5
votes
0answers
122 views

What should you do if you washed and planned to have a meal with bread but realized that the bread went bad?

Say you had in mind to have a regular meal with bread. After washing and saying homotzi lechem min harataz and taking a bite of bread, you realize that the bread is bad. Now all you have left to eat ...
5
votes
0answers
52 views

Issues of lifnei iver with an inaccurate clock

Is there any problem with lifnei iver (giving bad information) in having an inaccurate clock that someone else will look at? I'll examine a few cases here. The clock is a few minutes off. I don't ...
5
votes
0answers
73 views

Is the mourning for a late relative dependent on the state of their relationship before death?

Are the halochos (laws) about observing mourning rituals for a relative (e.g., shiva, shloshim, etc.), affected in any way by the state of the relationship between the mourner and deceased before his ...
5
votes
0answers
44 views

Containers and wine

Is there any outer container (a frame or box, perhaps) into which an open bottle of non-mevushal wine can be placed that will shield the bottle in such a way that, if a non-Jew (or heretic) casually ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

How big can a chanukia get?

I recently saw this story about students at YU who lit up their dorm windows to turn the entire building into a giant chanukia (just the form, not a real one). That inspired a question: Exactly how ...
5
votes
0answers
35 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
5
votes
0answers
90 views

I would like to see an actual Vilna Shas

I would like to see the pages of an actual Vilna Shas. I know there are many many reprints out there in bookstores, my bookshelf, and websites like http://www.e-daf.com, but that's not what I want. I ...
5
votes
0answers
72 views

why do we greatly honor the Davidic line of kings?

I have trouble understanding why we greatly honor the Davidic line of kings, why we pray for the restoration of the dynasty. Taking as examples the last six major kings of the Davidic line, they ...
5
votes
0answers
53 views

Is one allowed to kill false witnesses to his own capital crime?

Reuven and Shimon conspire to execute Levi in Beis Din (court) for killing Yehuda by their testimony. Levi asks around and there are no witnesses who will come forward, and a few people told him that ...
5
votes
0answers
82 views

What defines a “בהמה” (also “חיה”)?

As discussed in *Dag* (דָג) in kashrus halacha, *Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha, and *Of* (עוֹף) in kashrus halacha, there are different rules used to determine the kashrus status of ...
5
votes
0answers
49 views

Why was the oil in the temple tamei at all?

Regarding the story of Chanukah and the need for tahor oil, I recall hearing in a shiur one time that there are 4 things which are not susceptible to tumah from the Torah; oil (a subset of mashkin) ...
5
votes
0answers
51 views

Does a sotah make a bracha?

Before drinking the sotah water does the woman make a blessing? If so would it be shahakol or something else?
5
votes
0answers
121 views

Do i have a responsibility to report users breaking the rules?

If I know that a certain user of a website is breaking the rules, can I just turn a blind eye, or must I report it? Also, Does it matter what kind of rule it is? (E.g. No swearing vs. age ...
5
votes
0answers
46 views

Beracha achrona on yogurt?

Do you make a boreh nefashot on yogurt according to sepharadim? Is it treated like a liquid, like ice cream, or as a solid? This is in relations to the time needed to eat it. If it's liquid, you ...
5
votes
0answers
50 views

Why don't we say “Misod” for Geshem and Tal?

On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Shat"z says a short paragraph at the beginning of his repetition that starts with the words "מסוד חכמים ונבונים," which is an explanation for the insertion of extra ...
5
votes
0answers
160 views

Does Judaism appreciate the wanton destruction of idolatry done by Islamic groups?

Many of the idolatrous heritage sites like Bamiyan Buddha, Sufi shrines, and Hindu idols are being destroyed by Islamic fundamentalists around the globe. Does Judaism allow a non Jew to demolish such ...
5
votes
0answers
90 views

How is the Sefer Ha'Aruch supposed to be used?

The Sefer Ha'Aruch is a type of dictionary that is quoted by Rashi and Tosfos. I took a look at the sefer the other day and couldn't figure out how it's supposed to be used. All I saw was a list of ...
5
votes
0answers
72 views

What is the proper hebrew pronunciation of Rav Hirsch's first name?

Among the Modern Orthodox I hear Rav Hirsch's name only said in its English form ("Samson"). Amongst the Yeshivish I hear the form "Shamshon." My question is, was his Hebrew name Shamshon or Shimshon? ...
5
votes
0answers
61 views

How far do I have to go to take care of myself?

The mitzvah of V'nishmartem (Devarim 4:15) requires a person to take care of their health (Shulchan Aruch C.M. 427:8, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 32:1). How far does this go? Do I have to exercise daily? ...
5
votes
0answers
89 views

Can a Jewish owned business sponsor (or own) a non-Jewish football team?

In recent years, big businesses (including the airlines Emirates, Etihad and Qatar) and wealthy people (including Sheik Mansour) from UAE and Qatar have been sponsoring or purchasing some of the ...
5
votes
0answers
50 views

Who instituted the idea of moving parshat V'Zot Habracha to the middle of the week?

I understand that Ezra began the concept of an annual Torah cycle where each parsha is to be read on a Shabbat (except if coinciding with Yom Tov.) However, V'Zot Habracha was scheduled to be ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Havdalah: mistake in the bracha

If a person saying havdalah began the last bracha (benediction) without mentioning sheim umalchus (God's name and dominion) i.e. he said ברוך אתה השם המבדיל בין קודש לחול וכו׳, skipping אלוקינו מלך ...
5
votes
0answers
111 views

Why don't more orthodox Jews homeschool?

Given the significant cost of Jewish day-school tuition (at least in the US) and the negative experience that some students have in those day schools (I'm speaking from my own experience as well as ...
5
votes
0answers
83 views

Does the Torah ever allude to Earth being a spherical celestial body in space?

Taken at face value, the instances in which the Heavens and Earth are mentioned in the Torah, it is the Heavens above and Earth below. From what I gather, many secular scholars take from this that the ...
5
votes
0answers
56 views

During the nine days, can we do something “slightly dangerous” in order to fulfill a mitzvah?

During the nine days, many hold that we refrain from activities that are considered even slightly dangerous; for example, air travel. However, I have read that R' Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (who ...
5
votes
0answers
73 views

What is the inheritance of the righteous gentiles in olam-ha-ba?

In olam-ha-ba (the world to come) if righteous jews inherit the land of Israel and if the righteous gentiles shall rule with the righteous Yehudim in olam-ha-ba (the messianic age) do the righteous ...
5
votes
0answers
75 views

Welcoming non-Jewish guests

Is there a mitzvah of welcoming guests who are non-Jews? I know Avraham welcomed non-Jews into his home, but that could be different for several reasons: There was no formal mitzvah and he was just ...
5
votes
0answers
74 views

Do the laws of Ribis apply to loans of virtual currency?

If a Jew lends a player in a multiplayer online game money, and he knows without a doubt that that player is Jewish, does the prohibition of ribis apply? (After all, the only thing that changed was a ...
5
votes
0answers
132 views

Can a man miss tefilah with a minyan because his wife is overwhelmed with the children?

Assume a scenario where a man's wife requires extra help at home during a busy part of the day and requests that her husband skip minyan (and daven alone) in order to help her. (For example, let's say ...

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