12
votes
3answers
266 views

Why are there only four mothers?

Why aren't Bilhah and Zilpah considered matriarchs? If Yaakov married them, obviously they were great people, right?
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Blowing bubbles on Shabbos

Is there any halachik problem with blowing bubbles on Shabbos? If so what melacha categories does it fall under? Does the age of the blower matter?
7
votes
1answer
223 views

Does one do aliya-ending notes when reading Torah in private?

When reading the Torah with cantillation in private, such as when doing "Shnayim Mikra Ve-echad Targum," when one gets to the end of an aliya (formal division of a parasha), does one end with the tune ...
22
votes
7answers
2k views

Sheidim: are they fact, or fiction?

Are there really such thing as sheidim? If so, what are they? Please include sources.
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it muttar to whistle?

Is it allowed for a Jew to whistle? If yes, is it even allowed on Shabbos? If no, why not? Has anyone ever heard that if one whistles at night, that it attracts sheidim and mazikin? And what are the ...
5
votes
12answers
187 views

Shelosha Asar - mi yodeya?

Who knows thirteen? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. After about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number. (What, you ...
9
votes
7answers
756 views

A letter prohibiting television?

I don't have the book myself, but I believe it is called To Touch Kindle a Soul, on chinuch. It contains, in the endnotes a reference to a letter written by Rav Moshe Feinstein zt'l, Rav Shach zt'l, ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the machlokes between the Gra and Ba'al HaTanya?

What is the famous argument between the Vilna Gaon and the Ba'al HaTanya in understanding the Sod HaTzimtzum? And what are some ma'areh mekomos in their works where this Machlokes is seen?
6
votes
2answers
191 views

Baal Habayis in Bentching

When bentching (saying the prayer after meals), one is to insert a blessing for one's host. I have four scenarios, in which I wonder about whether it is appropriate to say the blessing for the host or ...
7
votes
2answers
203 views

Yisrael or Yaakov?

Does anyone have any sources on a conclusive guide to when the name "Yisrael" is used and when the name "Yaakov" is used in the Torah in reference to Yaakov Avinu, the individual?
5
votes
8answers
120 views

Shneim Asar - mi yodeya?

Who knows twelve? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. After about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
14
votes
10answers
518 views

Any primary sources that all Jewish males should l'chatchila stay in learning forever?

Does anyone know of any specific sources in Chazal or Rishonim (or even earlier achronim) that indicate that l'chatchila all Jewish males should learn full time forever? I know that this is the ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

When do you place the Mezuzah?

Possible Duplicate: Mezzuzahs- putting them up, and saying brachot… When do you place the Mezuzah? 30 days after beginning rental or moving in?
7
votes
2answers
309 views

Definition of Leitzanus

I have often seen leitzanus, mockery, defined along the lines of making a joke out of serious matters. Intuitively this is a good definition, but does anyone have a source which spells it out? And to ...
8
votes
4answers
628 views

Schlissel Challah

What is the source for the "Key Challah" Segulah (charm) that is said to bring Parnassah (prosperity)? And which is it: do you put the key in the Challah or do you make the Challah in the shape of a ...
2
votes
3answers
364 views

Shabbos Chol Hamoed Pesach Torah reading

Why is it that we read on Shabbos Chol Hamoed Pesach the Torah portion that is read on a fast-day?
6
votes
5answers
506 views

Shir Hashirim on Shabbos Chol Hamoed

Why is it we read Shir Hashirim on Shabbbos Chol Hamoed Pesach?
2
votes
1answer
251 views

Shopping on Chol Hamoed

Shopping is forbidden on Yom Tov, so there's also presumably a prohibition on it on Chol Hamoed. What are the parameters within which it's permitted on Chol Hamoed?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

Author of Nishmat kol chai

Who is the author of the prayer "Nishmat kol chai" which is said on Shabbat, Yom Tov, and during the great Hallel at the Seder?
2
votes
7answers
120 views

Achad asar - mi yodeya?

Who knows eleven? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point after Pesach, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
2
votes
2answers
659 views

Red/White wine at the Seder

Is there any Halacha or Minhag that specifies if red or White wine should be used for the four cups of wine during the Passover seder and does it matter what you use to spill out during the 10 plagues?...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Mail Delivery on Shabbos

Can you take in the mail on Shabbos?
4
votes
3answers
591 views

Newspaper Delivery on Shabbos

Is getting a paper delivered on Shabbos allowed? If not, what may be done with it upon delivery?
1
vote
2answers
182 views

Pictures of Chometz on Pesach

Is viewing pictures of Chometz allowed on Pesach? To be more specific this would be in reference to an article or event.
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Custom to refrain from eating meat at the Pesach Seder?

I recently heard from two separate people about a custom not to eat any meat at the Seder (i.e. only fish and chicken are eaten). This was surprising to me, as the minhag mentioned in the Mishnah, ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

The beginning of Maftir in Krias HaTorah on Pesach

Why is Bamidbar 28:16 read as the first passuk of Maftir on the first day of Pesach if that passuk has nothing to do with Pesach, rather it refers to the Korban Pesach which was brought the day before ...
13
votes
5answers
673 views

What's the deal with showering on yom tov?

What's the deal with showering on yom tov? I am asking not about shabbos, but specifically about yom tov.
5
votes
2answers
684 views

Starting Shabbat early during the summer

Is there an earliest time one may begin Shabbat during the summer months? We were traveling south and stopped at a Jewish community for Shabbat. The Shul there davened Mincha friday at 6:10, then ...
6
votes
3answers
524 views

Conservative / Nusach Sfard

Are there any Conservative synagogues that daven Nusach Sfard?
6
votes
5answers
922 views

Why Daniel is not Among the Prophets?

If Daniel was one of the Prophets, I do not understand why he is not counted among the Prophets. Why is his book among the Ketuvim and not Neviim?
10
votes
4answers
338 views

Cremations for Jews?

Why shouldn't Jews be cremated?
1
vote
4answers
206 views

Washing hands before Karpas

What was the Brisker Rov's explanation for washing hands before Karpas by ורחץ?
3
votes
1answer
129 views

What does the Korban Pesach signify?

What does the Korban Pesach signify?
4
votes
3answers
224 views

Why do Children Steal the Afikoman?

Why do children steal the Afikoman?
7
votes
6answers
202 views

Shabbos Hagadol

Why is the Shabbos before Pesach called Shabbos HaGadol? Please contribute as many answers as possible.
5
votes
1answer
107 views

Why do we read that part of the Hagada on Shabbat Hagadol?

On Shabbat Hagadol, the Sabbath preceding Pesach, it's customary to review the region of the Hagada starting from "We were slaves" (after The Four Questions) and ending with "to atone for all of our ...
9
votes
20answers
263 views

Asara - mi yodeya?

Who knows ten? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point on Chol Hamo'ed, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
5
votes
7answers
284 views

How do you pick a Hagada to use at the Seder?

There are hundreds or thousands of editions of the Hagada available. How do you choose which one is best to use at the Seder?
13
votes
2answers
301 views

Why does one need to kasher burners on a stove for passover?

I don't use separate burners for milk and meat during the year, nor do I think there's any reason to do that. So why the need to kasher burners before passover?
10
votes
2answers
304 views

What's in the new bit of Jerusalem Talmud?

I just read a news story about a newly discovered sentence-long fragment of the Jerusalem Talmud that apparently resolves a previously unintelligible section of Tractate Bikkurim. Does anyone know ...
4
votes
10answers
134 views

Tish'a - mi yodeya?

Who knows nine? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
3
votes
12answers
145 views

Shemona - mi yodeya?

Who knows eight? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
6
votes
1answer
577 views

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?

Is there a problem of "chukat goyim" with the bride having "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" at her wedding?
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What makes something “chukat goyim?”

One of the most famous examples I have heard is that one should not even tie one's shoes like the non-Jews do in times of persecution. That seems rather excessive. What if the Jews started doing some ...
3
votes
4answers
219 views

Prayer for when you are traveling

We will be taking a long trip by car that will be spread out over three days with a break for Shabbat in the middle. What is the halacha for saying Tefilat HaDerech (Prayer for the traveler)? is it ...
11
votes
2answers
308 views

Should one drink from the leader's cup after kiddush?

Inspired by the upcoming holiday of Pesach, where many minhagim seem to have each person drink from his own cup, I was wondering about the custom of drinking wine from the cup upon which kiddush is ...
11
votes
21answers
511 views

Shiv'a - mi yodeya?

Who knows seven? (I mean really, who doesn't?) Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the ...
11
votes
30answers
447 views

Shisha - mi yodeya?

Who knows six? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. In about one business day, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on to the next number.
9
votes
7answers
1k views

Why do we link Shabbat with the Exodus from Egypt?

My four-year-old son asked me this right after Kiddush on Friday night (more or less verbatim): Why do you say "Mitzrayim" in Kiddush every week? "Mitzrayim" is a Pesach word! In other words, ...
3
votes
1answer
358 views

Forgetting to sell some of your Chumatz before Pesach

If someone sold all the chumatz in their home before pesach, but forgot to sell any chumatz left at their place of work, are they allowed to eat the food left in their office after the holiday?

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