6
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0answers
103 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
185 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
210 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
131 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
145 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
96 views

Coerced testimony in halacha

My chavrusa and I were going through Sanhedrin (40b) this evening, and the topic of how to get accurate statements from witnesses. Rashi mentioned the concept of moving the witnesses around in order ...
6
votes
0answers
155 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
254 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) ...
6
votes
0answers
494 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
84 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
48 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
31 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
48 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
36 views

Source for the Beit Yosef's צ

In most forms of k'tav stam (Sephardi, Ari, Jeckisch, et c.) the righthand yud of the letter צ is reversed (see fig. 1). On the other hand, the Beit Yosef's צ uses a regular י shape in the righthand ...
5
votes
0answers
68 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
58 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
72 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
41 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
91 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
36 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
57 views

Yom Kippur and IV drips

This is a somewhat silly question, but I'm sure it has a good answer and I'd like to know what it is. Unfortunately, I was hospitalized recently and I ended up being in hospital over Yom Kippur. ...
5
votes
0answers
38 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
62 views

Do we say “baruch shem kvod” in a whisper when not saying Shma?

As per this question, we whisper the statement Baruch Shem Kvod Malchuto L'olam Va'ed duirng shma (except on Yom Kippur). But what about when we say the phrase not as part of shma? Do we whisper it ...
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
90 views

Borei P'ri or Borei F'ri hagefen?

Have heard a few mizrahi recordings for qiddush and am noticing that some of them use borei f'ri hagefen. When i looked up Qiddush in my Egyptian siddur (Farhi Siddur) i noticed the Pei had no dagesh. ...
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
43 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
116 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
43 views

Studying Holocaust Responsa on Tish'ah BeAv

One of the restrictions practiced on Tish'ah BeAv is the study of Torah, because Torah study "gladdens the heart". Several exceptions have been formally codified, which are of a nature germane to the ...
5
votes
0answers
61 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
54 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
47 views

Why are you allowed to say the elokay nitzor in the end of the amidah on shabbat and yom tov?

You are not allowed to ask for personal requests on shabbat and yom tov when praying to god. However the elokay nitzor following the amidah has a format of a request and is yet still said on these ...
5
votes
0answers
70 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
150 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
61 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
110 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
66 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
71 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
26 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
74 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
191 views

What is the definition of Zera Yisrael? Please read description

Shalom Aleichem, I am considering a halachic conversion to Judaism after having converted (along with several family members of mine) with a reform rabbi several years ago. In my research and studies, ...
5
votes
0answers
61 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
75 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
63 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
47 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
29 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
128 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), ...

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