5
votes
1answer
499 views

Version of the Tanach that pre-dates Jesus

Are there any versions of the Jewish bible (Tanach) preserved today that pre-dates Jesus (B.C.E. era)? I feel that any version after has a good chance of being biased towards or against Christianity.
5
votes
3answers
128 views

Is “pikuach nefesh” on shabbos “hutrah” or “dichuya”?

Whenever two mitzvos come into conflict with each other, and one is given precedence over the other (such as in the case of מילה on Shabbos, or any עשה דוחה לא תעשה), there is usually discussion over ...
6
votes
1answer
330 views

Women wearing men's “women's shirts”

Some chassidic shirts are basically identical to women's dress shirts, save for the bust shape, i.e. they botton right-over-left. Would a female wearing the former be transgressing the prohibition on ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Why the use of “King of Egypt” at the beginning of Shemot 14::5?

The beginning of Shemot 14:5 says, "It was told to the King of Egypt...". Why use this term instead of the more common term "Pharoah"?
5
votes
3answers
226 views

Does listening to Torah content count as the mitzvah of Talmud Torah?

Do I get the miztvah of learning Torah, by listening to your answers of these peoples questions?
5
votes
1answer
81 views

Parshas Chukas: Hitting the rock vs. Talking to the rock

Hashem is angered that Moshe hits the rock instead of following His specific instruction to speak to the rock. “Hashem said to Moshe and Aharon: Because you did not believe in me to sanctify me in the ...
10
votes
5answers
344 views

Is Listening to a Torah Tape considered Talmud Torah?

It says in the Baal HaTanya's Hilchos Talmud Torah that one fulfills his obligation to learn Torah only if he says the words. Moreover, a Chavrusa fulfills his obligation only because Shomeya Keoneh. ...
2
votes
1answer
44 views

If one or more women complete a Talmudic tractate, can they make a siyum?

There is this related M.Y. question about women joining a men's siyum. If one or more women complete a Talmudic tractate can / should they make a siyum? I know that women cannot form a minyan, ...
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Chabad Inyan regarding the universality of the Lubavitcher Rebbe [closed]

As I have mentioned elsewhere, the only active Orthodox schul in my town is a Chabad, and the mora d'asra is very dogmatic about the idea that R' Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Lubavitch was the rebbe ...
2
votes
0answers
54 views

Can the Rav enforce his own made-up rule as a “penalty”?

Several years ago, while making a trip to the Catskill area, I stopped near the large shul in Woodbridge, NY (I forgot its name). The rabbi has a reserved parking spot across the street from the shul. ...
0
votes
2answers
30 views

How attached can one be to a Makom Kavua'?

tl;dr When I first joined my Shul, I floated between different Minyanim and didn't feel as though I truly had a set place where I belonged. After a couple of years, I picked the "main" Minyan in the ...
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Someone illegally parked in a disabled parking spot. Is he liable if a disabled person injures himself

Sadly, I read in a local paper, about this incident: Someone illegally parked in a disabled spot at a doctors office. A disabled person arrived for his doctor's appointment, and saw that the only ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

A hungry beggar asks to use your credit card to buy food. Must you give it?

This M.Y. answer states that if a beggar asks you for food, you do not investigate, but provide food. I assume that if you give cash so that the beggar can buy food, that is the same. A few months ...
2
votes
1answer
461 views

Is a person allowed to prejudge a beggar before giving tzedaka?

The scenario: Last week while waiting for the NYC subway, a well-dressed woman asked me if I had a spare Metrocard swipe (the Metrocard is a prepaid fare card.) As she did not seem like a beggar, I ...
2
votes
3answers
67 views

The wicked rewarded here seemingly aren't rewarded in full. Fair?

I'm reading volume 1 of Strive for Truth, Rabbi Aryeh Carmell's English-language adaptation of Michtav Meeliyahu, and one of the first essays cites Chazal as explaining that one reason good things ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

What was the significance of the ram by the Akeida?

The Akeida ends off with Yitzchok being spared and Avraham finding a ram as a replacement sacrifice. In general, what exactly was the nature of this symbolic sacrifice? Rashi tells us that with ...
8
votes
1answer
404 views

Changing minhag about tallit gadol

I first became involved with a non-orthodox congregation where it was customary for everyone over Bar Mitzvah age to wear a tallit gadol. However, I understand that it is an Ashkenazi minhag not to ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Al Tarbeh Sicha Im Haisha- including Text Messaging?

The Mishna in Pirkei Avot says "Al Tarbeh Sicha Im Haisha", do not converse excessively with a woman. Does this apply to text messages as well?
5
votes
2answers
74 views

Standing/Sitting on Motzei Shabbat for Vihi Noam and Uva LeTzion

I have noticed that some people are particular to stand on Motzei Shabbat for Vihi Noam and Uva LeTzion, whereas others are particular to sit. Is this really something significant? Whose opinion is ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

Child from the relations Yael had with Sisra

According to Shoftim 5:27, per the explanation found in Yevamos 103a (in the name of רבי יוחנן), Yael had relations with Sisra. אמר רבי יוחנן שבע בעילות בעל אותו רשע באותו היום שנאמר בין רגליה ...
5
votes
0answers
45 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the original meaning of the word “hevel”?

I am not religious myself, but lately I have found myself somewhat attracted to Ecclesiastes. Reading about it, I am fascinated about what seems to be endless meanings and interpretations of the word ...
-1
votes
2answers
62 views

signs of Messiah's imminent arrival

What are the main signs given by the sages that the Messiah's arrival is imminent and have those signs been fulfilled in our times?
0
votes
3answers
409 views

Creation of State of Israel and birth of Abraham - 1948

According to the Jewish calendar, Abraham was born on the year 1948. The state of Israel was declared in 1948 according to the secular calendar. Is there any significance to this or is it just ...
7
votes
1answer
80 views

Making a bracha on food which is normally assur, but allowed due to pikuach nefesh

In general, one eating forbidden food does not make a bracha. In certain cases, foods which are usually assur are allowed to be eaten out of a concern of pikuach nefesh -- danger to life. For ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Can a Jew join Christians in saying grace before meals?

Can a Jew join Christians in saying grace before meals? I'm asking about any text, from the religious texts here to "This food smells good". Also does whether Jesus is invoked make a difference? ...
2
votes
3answers
194 views

Preparing a dish on Shabbos by night for the day time (in regards to Borer)

It says in SA OC Siman 321 Sif 19 in the Rema that normally it's ossur to peel garlic or onions however that's only to leave them to eat at a later time. However if it's being done to eat right away ...
1
vote
1answer
91 views

If the prayer leader does not distinguish between Gimmel and Ghimmel for Amida he can't be yotzi for others

I was at a Shabbat table and someone told me that, according to Hacham Ovadia Yosef, the one leading the prayers cannot motzi others (i.e. cannot relieve others' prayer obligations) if he does not ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Milk from a worshipped cow

The gemara in Avodah Zarah 34b brings the shitta of Rav Achdevoi who holds that if one wants to be mekudeshes with intestinal fluid from a calf that was worshipped then the person is not mekudeshes. ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Can anybody read from the torah or prophets in a synagogue?

I am trying to understand the context of a passage from the Christian gospels. Luke 4:16 says that Jesus went into the synagogue and started reading from the book of Isaiah. At that time could ...
3
votes
1answer
167 views

Being more stringent than your Rebbe

Is there a problem with acting more stringently in halacha than your Rebbe acts? If so, what if you are not in front of your Rebbe? If so (to #1), is having a longer beard or peyos considered a ...
-3
votes
1answer
36 views

Adding “rav” to ploni's father's name

When he was studying in Israel, my father purchased monogrammed tallit bags in Me'ah She'arim for himself and for his father, ז”ל. On both bags, the form used is "Ploni b"r (ben harav) Ploni". neither ...
1
vote
1answer
76 views

Bracha on Tzitzit

If one takes a nap and has the intent to put tzitzit back on, does he need to make a new bracha when he does so? Is it considered hesach hadaas (loss of concentration)? Or does his intent obviate ...
5
votes
2answers
460 views

Chovos Halevavos vs. Mesilas Yesharim

The three basic texts that R' Yisroel Salanter wanted people to learn were Chovos HaLevavos, Mesilas Yesharim and Cheshbon HaNefesh. (source: here) what is the difference between Chovos Halevavos and ...
9
votes
1answer
226 views

Yichud at night, if both of the woman's parents are home

Is it permissible for a man to be at a woman's home at night if both of her parents are at home, but sleeping? What if they are awake?
2
votes
2answers
45 views

What was Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi's role in compiling the Mishnah?

I have always heard that Rabbi Yehuda Hanassi "compiled" the mishna. What were his roles in compiling it in the form that we currently have it? Specifically, did he perform any of these roles: ...
7
votes
1answer
208 views

What b'racha do you say on seeing the Aurora Borealis (if any)?

If one is so lucky as to see the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) or its southern equivalent, does one say a b'racha? If so which one? I've heard that oseh ma'aseh v'reishit applies to comets and ...
8
votes
1answer
65 views

וְהִתְקִין לוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ בִּנְיַן עֲדֵי עַד Is the translation of מִמֶּנּוּ **His** very self or his very self?

The Koren Sacks siddur translates the 4th of the 7 wedding blessings as: אֲשֶׁר יָצַר אֶת הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם דְּמוּת תַּבְנִיתוֹ, וְהִתְקִין לוֹ מִמֶּנּוּ בִּנְיַן עֲדֵי עַד: who ...
5
votes
1answer
58 views

What's the source that worldwide acceptance of psak makes it binding forever?

The Rambam writes in the introduction to Mishna Torah נמצא רבינא ורב אשי וחבריהם, סוף גדולי חכמי ישראל המעתיקים תורה שבעל פה, ושגזרו גזירות והתקינו תקנות והנהיגו מנהגות ופשטו גזירותם ותקנותם ...
8
votes
5answers
221 views

Recommendation for learning Hilchos Shabbos with family

I am looking for a sefer to use to learn Hilchos Shabbos at the Shabbos table. I used to use Orchos Shabbos, but I found that while I enjoyed it and got a lot out of it, the rest of my family had a ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

Maimonides' Responsum on Pre-Sinaic Mitzva Observance

The Maimonides Reader (p. 478) quotes Maimonides' responsum to Hasdai Ha-Levi where he states that our forefathers didn't keep the mitzvos at all. Where else can this responsum be found? ...
4
votes
0answers
41 views

Is a person allowed to sit in someone's reserved shul seat before that person appears?

My shul sells tickets for High Holiday seating. These are paid specific seats for the person who reserved them. Sometimes, outsiders attend the shul on Rosh Hashanna. Our shul doesn't refuse them ...
1
vote
1answer
53 views

Looking for verses for my Hebrew name to use during the shmona esrei

I'm looking for verses for my Hebrew name Yehudah Yitzchuk to use during the shmona esrei. Is there more than one to choose from? Is there a link to the source(s)?
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Is one permitted to change his minhagim? ashkenaz to sefardi

If a person grew up sefardi and wanted to change his minhagim to ashkenaz (including pronunciations) is it permitted to do so?
6
votes
2answers
100 views

Halacha when mashiah has come

We pray for mashiah to come. After mashiah has arrived, are those prayers eliminated or changed? Also, will Halacha itself be changed or eliminated?
3
votes
2answers
181 views

Is there an English translation online of the Ramban on Chumash?

The title pretty much says it- I'm looking for an English translation of the Ramban on Chumash online (preferably for free).
3
votes
3answers
55 views

For someone wearing tzitzis outside his clothes, should he have the strings and / or the knots visible?

Assuming one wears his Tzitzis out , is there a preference to leaving only the strings out but the knots in, or is it better to leave out the knots as well? I teach in a Yeshiva for Baalei Teshuva ...
9
votes
2answers
836 views

What does it mean for one's soul to “be like dust to everyone”?

From the end of the Amidah: "To those who curse me, let my soul be silent; and let my soul be like dust to everyone". What does it mean, for one's soul to be like dust? And why is it a good thing?
2
votes
2answers
70 views

What learning style do Yekkes have?

There's a Yeshiva in Washington Heights named after (and supposedly run in the spirit of) R' S. R. Hirsch. All I could find is a Donation page there. What kind of learning goes on there (or in ...
2
votes
4answers
295 views

Why aren't we Mahmir (stringent) with just Mikvah when ruling leniently on a technicality in Niddah cases?

I know from experience and some introductory study of the laws of Niddah that rabbis typically try to find leniencies wherever possible in issues of family purity. In many instances, a Posek will rely ...

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