5
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74 views

Why Doesn't Rasag Mention Olives In The Five Fruits From Eretz Yisrael?

In his siddur, Rav Sa`adya haGaon (Rasa"g) mentions only four of the five species of peroth ha-ilan which are special to Eress Yisrael, leaving out zethim ("olives"). He does so in two places. ...
5
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0answers
78 views

G-d's name on screen readers

People who are blind or hard-of-seeing often interact with computers using devices called "screen readers". These screen readers will read aloud the words that are written on the screen (or in the ...
5
votes
0answers
214 views

Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?

I've seen and heard a story about the Rambam told multiple times along the lines of this particularly concise retelling: There is a beautiful story of a disagreement that Maimonides had with a ...
5
votes
0answers
42 views

Tourist guides for Kohanim

I recently saw a tourist guide for Kohanim, published online by the Chicago Rabbinical Council, listing certain Chicago tourist sites that are, and are not, problematic for Kohanim. Are there any ...
5
votes
0answers
127 views

Why allowed on Yom Tov?

According to the Torah, melacha isn't permitted on Yom Tov days except for what is needed for food. I read that certain laws, like carrying, don't apply on these days because they are loosened for ...
5
votes
0answers
109 views

Does 'not in heaven' apply to kabbalah?

There is a famous dictum: 'lo ba'shomayim he', meaning that after the torah was given at Sinai its rules, mandates and precepts are determined by man and not dictated by heaven. An example is when ...
5
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0answers
122 views

Is 'A father and son sleeping with a betrothed young woman on yom kippur' an expression?

Bava metza 83b: Rabbi Elazar brebbi Shimon is afraid that he may have wrongfully caused someone to be hanged, but is reassured that the hanged and his son 'slept with a betrothed maiden on yom ...
5
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0answers
51 views

kallah not doing work during sheva brachos

We know that a chasson is not permitted to do work during his Sheva Brachos. Two reasons: Either because he must spend the time bringing joy to his wife or because he is compared to a king and a king ...
5
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0answers
71 views

Siddur for Skolyer Chasidim

Is there a specific siddur for the minhag of the Skolyer Chasidim (Chasidim of Ukrainian town of Skole)?
5
votes
0answers
83 views

When may a person take down his Succah?

When can I take down my Succah? Suppose that after Chol HaMoed begins one is traveling for an extended period and would not like to leave the decorations, s'chach and sides up because they are likely ...
5
votes
0answers
55 views

How are the two tales of dancing in vinyards on the 15th of Av related?

The Mishna tells us (Taanis 26b) that on the 15th of Av, unmarried girls would borrow clothes, dance in the vinyard, and invite the unmarried men to choose them for marriage. The Talmud (Taanis 30b) ...
5
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0answers
122 views

Women tefillah groups

What would be the halachic problems the people have with women's tefillah groups/"minyanim"? I mean when a bunch of women all get together to daven together. They do everything that men would do, ...
5
votes
0answers
52 views

Why can't Eliyahu come on Shabbos Erev Pesach?

The Gemara in Pesachim (13a) writes that R' Elazar Ben Yehuda from Bartosa says that if the day before Pesach falls on Shabbos (when one can't burn Chametz), one should destroy all his Chametz on ...
5
votes
0answers
150 views

What constitutes a shinui?

I was recently taught the concept of a shinui to be "something done in a way that is unusual compared to the norm in one's area of residence", with respect to the permissibility of actions done on ...
5
votes
0answers
175 views

Saying “Elokim” when not referring to Hashem

People often say "Elokim" instead of "Elohim" when speaking in order to avoid taking God's name in vain. I have observed, however, that some people always substitute the word "elokim" for "elohim" ...
5
votes
0answers
192 views

List of oppressors of the Jewish people

We say in the V'hi She'amda passage of the Pesach Hagaddah that in each and every generation there have been those who rose up against us to destroy us, but Hashem saves us from their designs. Is this ...
5
votes
0answers
63 views

Are placebos permitted without telling the person they are getting one?

Does Judaism allow placebos where the person thinks it does something, and is thereby cured, even though the item does nothing? Is this gnevas da'as (or some other issur), or because it can help them ...
5
votes
0answers
82 views

Source for Rebbe Shimon leaving the Mareh on Lag B'Omer

The Aruch HaShulchan writes in Siman 493 Sif 7 that it is said on this day (Lag B'Omer) is when R' Shimon Bar Yochai was nistalek (passed away) and when he came out of the Mareh (cave.) While the ...
5
votes
0answers
66 views

What would have happened if the sin of the spies never occurred?

If the spies had not given a bad report about Eretz Yisroel or the people had not accepted their bad report, how would history have been different? I have heard speculation that upon entering the ...
5
votes
0answers
54 views

Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen to remove Nadav and Avihu?

There were many other people who could have been chosen to remove the dead bodies of Nadav and Avihu from the Mishkan (Vayikra 10:4). Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen for this task as opposed ...
5
votes
0answers
77 views

Following the stringencies of different opinions

There is a tangential discussion in 'Eruvin, Daf 6b-7a about whether or not we can take the stringencies of two conflicting opinions. The Gemara seems adamant that we cannot, though there are examples ...
5
votes
0answers
56 views

Pidyon Shevuyim - when does it apply?

Does the Mitzva of Pidyon Shevuyim apply in a case where one is being held in prison for having committed a crime or only where a innocent person was captured for ransom? If it does apply to cases ...
5
votes
0answers
102 views

Are there any ancient Jewish dances?

From what I've seen most (orthodox) Jewish dancing consists of people running or walking in a circle, sometimes with exciting variations such as foot stomping. Are there any records of ancient ...
5
votes
0answers
84 views

Is it ever permissible to break Shabbos in order to relieve someone of suffering?

Is it ever permissible to break Shabbos in order to relieve someone (a human or an animal) of suffering? I am talking about excruciating suffering, not merely discomfort, and I am not talking about ...
5
votes
0answers
47 views

“Secular” studies in the Rhineland academies of the 11th-13th centuries

This is perhaps a fairly specific question, and I don't know if it belongs here or on the History stack exchange, but I would like to know more about the Rhineland academies that were headed by people ...
5
votes
0answers
52 views

Can a synagogue appropriate the contents of charity boxes not removed before a specified time?

There are lots of charity boxes from different organisations put out on a table in the foyer of our synagogue on Purim. The wardens have attached a note that says that boxes not taken away by the end ...
5
votes
0answers
67 views

Why is Shimshon buried “in the grave of his father” and not father and mother?

Nearly everywhere in the story of Samson, more than in most stories in Tanakh, both parents are mentioned quite frequently. Leading up to birth, both parents share about equal page-time. After ...
5
votes
0answers
49 views

Loshon Hara against public Jewish and non-Jewish figures

Both American and Israeli politics, and of course those of other democracies, can include a lot of personal attacks, both true and untrue, including inuendo about possible adultery, gay or straight, ...
5
votes
0answers
167 views

Hefsek between hagafen and drinking during havdallah

Why does everybody (at least that I have ever seen), say "borei pri hagefen" first of all during havdallah, but not drink the wine until all of the other brachos have been said? Is saying the other ...
5
votes
0answers
76 views

Is Juneau, Alaska — surrounded by natural barriers — a natural eruv

I recently visited Juneau, Alaska. It is a small city of 35,000. The city limits are quite large, however -- 3,225 square miles -- but much of this area is separated from downtown Juneau on Douglas ...
5
votes
0answers
57 views

What is the status of the “minor tractates”?

There is a collection of "minor tractates" some of which contain material not found in other works of torah sh'baal peh (the oral law). What is the origin of these tractates? Who wrote/compiled them? ...
5
votes
0answers
65 views

How does deep snow affect carrying on Shabbos?

Thinking about the snow in Boston and the discussion at Shabbos 5a, if there was more than 10 tefakim (handbredths) of snow on the ground, would a reshus hayachad (private domain) extend from the soil ...
5
votes
0answers
79 views

Protocol/requirements for repeat visits to a Shiv'ah house

What are the Protocol/requirements for repeat visits to a Shiv'ah house? Are there any formalities that can be set aside (letting them speak first, sitting with them, as opposed to chatting by the ...
5
votes
0answers
110 views

Significance of the Kohen's hand gestures?

What is the significance of the shapes (windows?) created by the kohen during birkas cohanim? This question and the ensuant answers detail at least 3 opinions of the gesture, I would really appreciate ...
5
votes
0answers
89 views

Mistake when buying ring to get married with

The following case might perhaps be too localized however I'm asking it as a theoretical question in order to understand these laws in Choshen Mishpat and Evan HaEzer better. A Kallah (bride) went to ...
5
votes
0answers
115 views

Abrahamic covenant and Brit Milah - how is the covenant passed down?

Why is it so that if a Jew has a male child with a non-Jewish woman the child is not circumcised, even though, like Ishmail, the child is under Abrahamic (but not Mosaic) covenant, since the father is ...
5
votes
0answers
105 views

Is it halachically permissible to click on contextual ads with no intention of buying?

Contextual ads are those ads you see when you do a search on Google. The advertisers only pay if someone actually clicks on their ad. It seems "pashut" to me that clicking an ad if you know you're not ...
5
votes
0answers
51 views

Should the leaders of Jewish organisations be elected or appointed?

Organisations, including synagogues, are set up by people with common interests or concerns. As such organisations develop, they need to provide for their future leadership. Are there sources that ...
5
votes
0answers
267 views

How do people daven so quickly, and what's the support for it?

I learned that one must clearly enunciate every word of tefila. At the least this would include Shemoneh Esreh and Shema, but one might presume it includes all of davening. This question can easily ...
5
votes
0answers
81 views

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

I have seen the custom of bothering the chazzan during the musaf service on Simchas Torah. I have seen people tie the chazzan's gartel to a chair, or try to move the chazzan to a diffrent place. I ...
5
votes
0answers
123 views

Which rabbi said “if a horse had the mind of Kant …”?

I recall hearing in yeshiva that one great rabbi -- I think one of the baalei mussar? once said: If a horse had the mind of Kant, it would author volume after volume of great philosphical works -- ...
5
votes
0answers
187 views

Why did Israeli sportsmen keep their hats on during their national anthem?

Last year I was at the international softball tournament and I noticed that players from Israel took off their baseball caps during the other teams anthems (as is common courtesy), but kept them ...
5
votes
0answers
74 views

Why do we read vayechal twice on a fast?

I have been doing some research on the question of vayechal at mincha and have hit a roadblock. So far, here are the questions I have considered and feel ok with as "answered": why lain at mincha on ...
5
votes
0answers
66 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
96 views

Ose shalom post shemona esre

Basic Background: Following the shemona esre prayer, the sages instituted concluding the prayer with the verse "yihyu leratzon" followed by "petira"- symbolically exiting from before G-d through ...
5
votes
0answers
133 views

Siyum Masechta Ketana

When I celebrate my completion of a minor tractate (e.g. Masechet Derech Eretz or Kutim or Gerim), can I say Hadran and/or Kaddish at my Siyyum (party)?
5
votes
0answers
132 views

Good resource for learning vowel pronunciation

In trying to improve my leyning, I'm trying to get the finer points of vowel pronunciation down. What is a good resource to learn, e.g., the difference between a patach and chataf-patach or a ...
5
votes
0answers
120 views

What is the lineage of Yona ben Amitai?

The gemarah (Yerushalmi succa 5:1) and midrash (yalkut shimoni Yona, remez 550) indicate that the prophet Yona ben Amitai descended from Zevulun (father) and Asher (mother). However other sources ...
5
votes
0answers
343 views

Fresh fish need hechsher

Does fresh fish from a supermarket or fish market require a hechsher? I would be tempted to believe that a fish known to be of a kosher variety would not need certification since there is no shechita ...
5
votes
0answers
58 views

How does a recent bar mitzva “complete the weekly portion with the community”

When a person becomes bar mitva during the year, 98% of the time the community has already read 1 or even 50 weekly portions. Does the bar mitzva need to make up those portions? Would it matter if ...

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