6
votes
0answers
27 views

Does Judaism prefer that Jews not be employed but to get sustenance from business if possible?

I heard that an employee is like a slave to the employer. And maybe this is the source of this idea the The coen gadols prayer ולא יהיו עמך ישראל צריכים פרנסה זה מזה ולא מעם אחר  And the ...
6
votes
0answers
186 views

Original source for Maharil endorsing tunes as “MiSinai”?

Cantor Goffin describes how over 500 years ago, Maharil endorsed several cantorial tunes as "MiSinai" -- "so authoritative it's as if they go back to Sinai" -- for use in the prayers. What's the ...
6
votes
0answers
59 views

Division of Al Cheit

Al Cheit has a chorus line ועל כולם, אלוה סליחות, סלח לנו, מחל לנו, כפר לנו after the first 20 Al Cheits, then after the next 12, then after the next 12. Who made this division? Why was it not divided ...
6
votes
0answers
92 views

Answering Amen to quiet Berachoth

According to this answer citing RaM"A (124:11), you can answer Amen to any Berachah even if you don't hear it, so long as you know which one is being said. Does this apply only to Tefillah BeTzibur ...
6
votes
0answers
66 views

What is the reason for the lights lit on the desk of the prayer leader?

What is the reason for the candles or lights lit on the desk of the chazzan (prayer leader)? In a shul today I saw candles lit on a table at least 6 feet from the reader. Does that fulfill the ...
6
votes
0answers
200 views

Siyum Masechta Ketana

When I celebrate my completion of a minor tractate (e.g. Masechet Derech Eretz or Kutim or Gerim), should I say Hadran and/or Kaddish at my Siyyum (party)?
6
votes
0answers
106 views

Shomronim and Halakha

Do the Baraitot brought down by Masechet Kutim and other random halachot in the Talmud that were said about "kutim" apply to the 750 remaining Samaritans in the world today (who currently live in ...
6
votes
0answers
187 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
6
votes
0answers
214 views

Prosthetic limbs in halacha

What is the status of prosthetic limbs in halacha in terms of being considered part of the body? Is it considered: As if I were born with it? As a living piece of flesh, but not a piece of me? ...
6
votes
0answers
132 views

American Idol and HaMalbin Pnei Ḥavero BeRabim

(Inspired by this question) Is watching televised talent shows, such as "American Idol", which are known to invite contestants to embarrass themselves in front of millions, and even have judges whose ...
6
votes
0answers
3k views

Is Rum Kosher for Passover?

Specifically, is Bacardi Superior Original Premium Rum kosher for Passover? The label doesn't say so, nor does it say that it's kosher in general for that matter, but since it has a sugar base, ...
6
votes
0answers
151 views

Seeking Ramchal's Hoker u'MeKubal in English

Is the Ramchal's Hoker u'MeKubal available in English? I have already read Derech HaShem, Daas Tevunos, Mesillas Yesharim, and Ma'amar HaGeulas, so I would be interested in other of his works in ...
6
votes
0answers
509 views

מֶה, מָה, מַה - Meh, Mah, Ma - What's the difference?

What causes the difference in vowelization of the Hebrew word for "what"? In some contexts it is מֶה, in others - מָה, and in yet others - מַה. The hypothesis that an acquaintance and I converged on ...
5
votes
0answers
90 views
+50

No Hallel in the seder?

I used a reprint of an old haggada this year (I think it was this one) on the second night. Through the meal everything was as I expected, other than a few differences because the haggada is Egyptian ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Preparing kitniyot for Shabbat immediately after Pesach

In a year like this, where the last day of Pesach (for Israelis) is on Friday, can kitniyot be cooked on Pesach for use on Shabbat? I know that eating kitniyot that don't have to be prepared is not a ...
5
votes
0answers
38 views

Blessing on Star Anise

Star anise is technically the fruit of the evergreen tree Illicium verum. However, this fruit is not used as an edible fruit, only as a spice. What blessing do the authorities determine is the right ...
5
votes
0answers
46 views

Why are Ashkenazi haftarahs longer than that of Sephardim?

A look at Wikipedia confirms my suspicion that when Ashkenazim and Sephardim read the same haftarah, the Ashkenazim generally start earlier and/or finish later than that of Sephardim. Is there a ...
5
votes
0answers
67 views

May I change Megillot in the middle of reading Purim Megillah?

I read the majority of Megillat Esther in my shul. At night, a few teenagers like to read a few verses from the Megillah, as well. Last year, I used my personal Megillah. When one of the boys came up ...
5
votes
0answers
46 views

Why do Rabbis curse in the Gemara?

I've always believed cursing people is forbidden in Judaism, but I recently read the following on the Gemara: Berakhot 13b והא רבי יהושע בן לוי לייט אמאן דגני אפרקיד For lo, R. Joshua b. Levi ...
5
votes
0answers
43 views

How and why did R. Akiva Eiger try to emulate the Rashba?

I'm attending a bar mitzva celebration recently, and the father of the boy gives a short speech. During his speech he mentions in passing that Rabbi Akiva Eiger (1761–1837, modern-day Austria ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

Discrepancy in section headings between Tur and Shulchan Aruch

Over here I asked about the source of the section headings in the Tur. In a comment it was indicated that the Tur himself assigned these headings. In most Shulchan Aruchs that I have checked, the Tur ...
5
votes
0answers
98 views

If you check for bugs according to halachic requirements, and then there is a bug in the food, are you liable?

If one or one's wife does everything that is needed for checking, but one accidentally eats a bug anyway, is one liable for the sin(s)? I'd also be interested in knowing whether one would be liable ...
5
votes
0answers
22 views

When does a place become a shul w/r/t saying me'ein sheva Friday nights?

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 268:10 plus commentaries gives the rule that me'ein sheva (magen avot etc) isn't said at a private home, because it lacks the regularity of a shul. If someone has a ...
5
votes
0answers
51 views

What is the origin of using tombstone symbols?

I was at a cemetary today and noticed a few interesting "icons" placed on certain tombstones. Someone explained to me the following: spread-out fingers used for a Cohen, representing the position of ...
5
votes
0answers
34 views

How did R' Yaakov Risher arrive at the exact number of responsa that he published?

Volume 1 and 3 of Shvus Yaakov have 182 responsa in each, corresponding to the numerical value of the author's name, Yaakov. Volume 2 has 188 responsa. After responsum 182 of volume 2, the author ...
5
votes
0answers
54 views

Teaching Machshava and Hashkafa to Non-Jews

I know there is a prohibition against teaching Oral Torah to Non-Jews, but what about Machshava and Hashkafa? Sometime Non-Jews ask questions and the answer relates to either Hashkafa/Machshava. Is it ...
5
votes
0answers
49 views

R Yonah's position about saying Hashkiveinu before nightfall

The Talmud (Berachot 8b-9a) tell us that the Halacha is according to the opinion that, at least if forced to, one can fulfill his obligation for the night time reading of Shema after dawn before ...
5
votes
0answers
50 views

Which manuscript of the Mishna did the Bartenura check?

In Kelim 28:5, the Mishna comments upon the susceptibility to impurity of various objects whose primary usage has been changed. A canteen that is turned into a mat, or a mat that has been turned into ...
5
votes
0answers
75 views

Are there any contemporary “Gedolim” that prohibit the use of davening from a smart phone?

It took me a long time to upgrade my technology, but I admit that lately, I have been using my smart phone during davening. My rav doesn't object, but some of my friends told me that it's prohibited ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Must hand washing be done with pure (fresh) water?

It seems from here both that some types of water are considered too salty to be acceptable for ritual handwashing and that mikvah water is always considered acceptable. I am left wondering what, ...
5
votes
0answers
77 views

Best Jewish place to live - financially

I have seen studies done in the past as to the best places to retire or best cities for raising a family. I was wondering if anyone ever did a study comparing housing costs, kosher food costs, Jewish ...
5
votes
0answers
44 views

What % of kohanim were not members of a mishmar?

In the time of the Temple, kohanim were assigned to work in the Temple on a rotating, weekly basis. The term for such a a crew was a mishmar. But there were more kohanim than were needed. So some ...
5
votes
0answers
94 views

Should you ask a stranger in your shul if he is Jewish?

We've had a few questions similar to this one that deal with assuming that you have a minyan, when in fact you don't. Shuls are, generally, open to anyone. We usually assume that when a stranger ...
5
votes
0answers
37 views

Why, in Yom Kippour and RH davening, when we say Tefilas responsively, does sometimes the baal Tefila go first, sometimes the congregation?

Why, in Yom Kippour and RH davening, when we say Tefilas responsively, does sometimes the baal Tefila go first, sometimes the congregation? For example, Shema Koilanu, aveenu Malkainu, the Baal tefila ...
5
votes
0answers
39 views

Repeated Hagbah by the same individual

From this question, it's clear that there is a halachic requirement to do a "good" hagbah. This one emphasizes that, by saying that a gabbai who knows the individual can't do a good job shouldn't ...
5
votes
0answers
84 views

Is altering human genetics wrong in Judaism?

So, our colonists of the oceanic planet Mayim (yes, that's its name), of whom every single one is a Jew, have encountered a problem: there is no more room on the buoyant-colony-thing that they live ...
5
votes
0answers
20 views

Apartment buildings higher than the shul

Shabbat 11a states that a city in which houses (but not towers or castles/fortresses [unsure about the translation]) are built higher than the synagogue will eventually be destroyed. ואמר רבא בר ...
5
votes
0answers
45 views

Has completing the entire Talmud ever been a tenet of Rabbinical Ordination?

Has there ever been a requirement in any Rabbinical program to finish the entire Talmud, not just select mesechtas + related halachos?
5
votes
0answers
120 views

Names with origins of avoda zara

I gave my daughter a second name after my father's, for which I came up with a female version. I saw that the name does exist, but I never bothered to see the origin for some reason. Now, after five ...
5
votes
0answers
44 views

Why are there only 8 Martyrs in the Tisha b'av kinnos

The kinna on Tisha b'av says there are 10 Martyrs, but only 8 are named. In the Yom Kippur version, however, all 10 are mentioned. Why are 2 missing from Tisha b'av?
5
votes
0answers
63 views

Where can I find a complete Shulchan Aruch without too many abbreviations?

I am looking to buy a Shulchan Aruch, but unlike Buying a Shulchan Aruch, I am concerned with different requirements I don't want a lot of abbreviations. I have spent some time learning Yoreh Deah ...
5
votes
0answers
55 views

Reason for “Oseh Shalom” in 3 places

The phrase starting with the words עושה שלום במרומיו ("He who makes peace in his high places") is said in 3 places and always at the end (or very near it): Birkat Hamazon Kaddish Shmoneh Esreh ...
5
votes
0answers
71 views

Were new arrivals stuck at Ellis Island for Shabbos?

If I understand correctly, if your airplane or boat arrived on Shabbos, you're stuck within a ~half-mile radius of the boat or plane until after Shabbos because of techum. (I'd heard some discussion ...
5
votes
0answers
158 views

Can a horse owned by a Jewish owner run in any of the Triple Crown races?

All of the "Triple Crown" horse races (Kentucky Derby, Preakness, and Belmont) occur on Shabbat. If the horse's owner is Jewish, (I just learned that American Pharaoh's owner is Jewish; I didn't know ...
5
votes
0answers
63 views

Is there any source or place that offers “Bet Midrash for Dummies”?

Don't let the title of my question fool you into thinking this is a Purim question. I'm comfortable learning in a Bet Midrash. I can locate most of the "basic" books that I need such as a Chumash, ...
5
votes
0answers
119 views

Why do we avoid inviting people to a b'rit milah specifically, and not other celebrations too?

I have learned, and seen in practice, that we don't invite people to a b'rit milah directly but rather just announce a date and place. The reason, according to this answer citing Rema Yoreh Deah ...
5
votes
0answers
71 views

Did people who were not priests or Levites enter the Tabernacle for ritual purposes?

(Note: I am posting this more specific follow-up to a previous question based on the recommendation of Isaac Moses here.) Aaron and his descendants were designated as priests to do the ritual service ...
5
votes
0answers
82 views

What bracha is Seitan/wheat gluten?

What bracha does one make on wheat gluten, a.k.a. Seitan? http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seitan I'm aware of this opinion saying it's Shehakol http://www.yeshiva.co/ask/?id=113 I'm curious though if ...
5
votes
0answers
28 views

What is involved in “shnayim mikro v'echod targum” for someone travelling from outside the land to Israel when the sedrahs are different?

What are the principles involved in “shnayim mikro v'echod targum” for someone travelling from outside the land to Israel when the sedrahs read in those places are different. (I have already asked my ...
5
votes
0answers
85 views

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 ...

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