6
votes
8answers
478 views

Sefarim to learn in Elul

Which sefarim are traditionally learned in Elul*, because they have a special significance to the mood and message of the month? *Or even without a tradition, which sefarim are good to learn during ...
2
votes
0answers
48 views

Ayin hora - evil eye

I have observed a Phenomenon among older Eurpoean Jewry ( i.e. Yiddishe mammes and bubbes) not to display pictures of their children or grandchildren ( eineklach) in open areas for fear of ayin hora. ...
7
votes
1answer
299 views

Origin of Reform/Conservative “scarf” talleisim

I've noticed that Reform and Conservative often use small "scarf" talleisim (here's an image). Where did this practice originate? (Is there any connection to the scarves that some Christian priests ...
7
votes
0answers
75 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, ...
10
votes
1answer
128 views

Why does the torah give us exact dates for the flood?

This question asks why the flood didn't end on the 18th of Cheshvan (one year after the start). My question is more basic: why does the torah give us precise dates here at all? Bereishit 7:11 tells ...
2
votes
3answers
111 views

Do Jews Believe Dinosaurs Lived in the Same Time Period as Humans?

According to the book of Genesis, animals and humans were created on the 6th day. I am wondering what Jews think of dinosaurs. When tested for dating (radioactive decay), their bones appear to be ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Is there a problem with “Mar'it ayin” by attending a company picnic?

Theoretical: Let's say that a company plans a picnic in a "semi-park" area. I.e. - it is a tree-lined public thoroughfare that many people including Jews, walk through. (I added this fact b/c I have ...
3
votes
1answer
60 views

Is there a commentary on tehillim that maps perakim to episodes in David's life?

Sometimes it's fairly easy to tell when David is writing about a particular event such as לדוד בשנותו את טעמו לפני אבימלך At other times it's less obvious, but you get a 'lightbulb moment' when ...
0
votes
1answer
131 views

Having a girlfriend

Is there anything wrong with a young man who is not looking to get married having a girlfriend? Assume that he would not touch her or have sex with her.
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Why do we throw kids in the air on Simchas Torah?

Why on Simchas Torah do we through our kids into the air when saying, "משה אמת ותורתו אמת"? Is this is a minhag or some nonsense that someone made up?
3
votes
1answer
43 views

source for a story: man who went to milk a lion

When I was a kid I heard the following story at least a few times in grade school from the school headmaster (probably around Rosh Hashanah time). It's based on a Jewish legend or midrash, and I'd ...
7
votes
2answers
117 views

42 camps and 42 non-refuge Levite cities (Masei)

What is the significance of the numerical correspondence between the 42 camps or waypoints mentioned in the recounting of the forty years of wandering (Bamidbar 33) and the fact that 42 of the 48 ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Why does Chabad do hakafot erev Shemini Atzeret

Growing up, I typically went to a Chabad and I have noticed that they have hakafot on erev Shemini Atzeret (meaning the night of Shemini Atzeret). What is the reason and why do they do this?
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Why don't we wear tefillin on Yom Tov sheni?

In Hilkhoth Tefillin 4:10, the Rambam states the basic and well-known halakhah that "...shabbathoth wi-yamim tovim enan zeman tefillin..." (Translation: "Shabbat and Yom Tov are not times for ...
7
votes
1answer
450 views

Leaving cities during plagues

Over the Yomim Tovim I happened to skim through a copy of Rav Hirsh's sefer "Horeb". In one section he discussed a directive from Chazal to leave a city struck with plague. With Ebola having been ...
3
votes
1answer
47 views

Notched 2x4 for maamid?

Let's assume that there is a lechatchila to not use metal object that are mekabel tumah (susceptible to tumah) for something that supports the s'chach ("maamid"), which can be avoided by using ...
4
votes
0answers
28 views

Naming after two people

Can one person be given one name (as opposed to a double name) which is meant to "correspond" to two different deceased individuals? I.e. Chaim and Shprintza have a daughter. Chaim's grandmother was ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Writing the name of Hashem [duplicate]

When writing sheim Hashem, why do people replace one letter with a kuf/ as in קל, יקוק, ה', צבקות, שקי etc.?
8
votes
3answers
198 views

Watching TV on weekdays (not on shabbat)

Is it generally allowed to watch TV at my home (I am male and living alone)? I wrote "generally," meaning watching on a regular weekday (i.e. not Shabbat or Holiday) and just watching normal programs, ...
16
votes
5answers
408 views

Can an apikores (heretic) count in a minyan?

Suppose there is a person who openly denies the divinity of the Torah, breaks the Sabbath and declares himself an atheist, but goes to synagogue for the sense of community or for cultural reasons. Can ...
12
votes
2answers
730 views

Why are we forbidden to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur

Why are we forbidden to wear leather shoes on Yom Kippur? Is it because leather shoes are a sign of wealth, or comfort; or does it have some thing to do with cruelty to animals?
0
votes
1answer
82 views

Heter to own Sefarim

Over Shemini Atzeret, I was talking with one of the (heterodox) rabbanim at the local Hillel (I daven with the Orthodox minyan there) and he mentioned that he suspects that in about 15-20 years, ...
10
votes
4answers
268 views

What's the origin of having more than one name?

I suppose this is more of a history question: as in when did Jewish people start naming their children with more than one name? But I would also be interested in knowing the circumstances behind it? ...
6
votes
1answer
314 views

12-step recovery programs with Gentiles

Based on well-known results, 12-step programs based on Alcoholics Anonymous and branching out to narcotics and such, appear to be extremely effective. However, since Jews are roughly a 1:100 ...
4
votes
4answers
92 views

“And it was evening, and it was morning, *one* day”?

Gen. 1:5: וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם אֶחָד And it was evening, and it was morning, one day Gen. 1:8: וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם שֵׁנִי and it was evening, and it was ...
4
votes
0answers
29 views

Tefillin Gassot

According to this video, gassot have only been around for about a century. I know for a fact that when my father became bar mitzvah, his grandfather got him tefillin dakkot (his father got new ...
3
votes
0answers
39 views

Drinking during davening

I am not clear what the rule is for drinking and then davening in the following sense (can be considered a follow to Drunken Davening). On the one hand, in the SA 99 we have that someone is not ...
10
votes
2answers
148 views

What is Ya'aleh Veyavo about?

Ya'aleh Veyavo is said on three occasions: in the third blessing of Birchas Hamazon, in the third to last blessing of Shmoneh Esrei on Rosh Chodesh and Chol Hamoed, and in the Kedushas Hayom (middle ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Saying Kaddish Yatom with Permission from Living Parents

If both of my parents are living and they give me a reshut to say kaddish yatom if there is no avel, however the rav wishes that I not say it due to possible issues of marit ayin, who do I follow? ...
6
votes
1answer
148 views

reason for black lines on wool talis katan

What is the reason why wool talis katanim have black lines on them? Why don't talis katanim of other materials have them also?
5
votes
1answer
28 views

Process by which one changes their name

Leaving aside the reasons why someone would change their name. Is there a process that a person needs to go through in doing so? At what point does the new name-change comes into effect?
14
votes
1answer
218 views

How did plants survive the Mabul?

Inspired by this answer: As far as I can tell, there is no mention of Noach bringing plants into the ark. Moreover, it appears Noach had nothing to do with the survival of the plants, given that the ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Yeshiva Bochurim and Seforim [closed]

I was curious to know, what seforim do yeshiva bochurim learn in yeshiva? (i.e. Kovetz Mefarshim, Shita MiKubetzes and Chiddushei HaRan etc.)
0
votes
0answers
21 views

what determines the time of sunset? [closed]

The time of sunset is based on observation, but is not the actual time the sun goes below the horizon. Should this be adjusted or is the apparent sunset acceptable?
4
votes
4answers
50 views

Connection between עָרוּם and עֲרוּמִּים

In the story of Adam, Eve and the snake the word 'עָרוּם' is used in two completely different contexts, yet they feature on pasuk after the other: Bereishit 2:25 : וַיִּהְיוּ שְׁנֵיהֶם ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

From whence are the laws of Sukkot derived?

The laws of arba'at haminim and of building sukkot (the structure, not the holiday's name) abound. From whence are these laws derived? Are they all considered Halakhah Le'Moshe Mi'Sinai?
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Is it permissible to post photos of pages of a siddur (containing YHVH) online?

I am planning to write a detailed blog post about the weekday Shacharit service, and I want to illustrate it with photos of pages from my ArtScroll siddur. Is this permissible, given that the pages ...
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Cohanim in Auschwitz

A lot of people died in Auschwitz, and since cohanim are not allowed to become tamei (ritually impure) by touching a corpse, may cohanim enter Auschwitz?
5
votes
1answer
37 views

Proper Hagba Procedure: Text Facing Table?

I recently was asked to be a magbiah. Before I came to the bimah, the chazzan turned the scroll so that the text was facing down (toward the table). So, when I grasped the atzey chaim and lifted it, ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Shisha Ve'esrim Ushlosh Meyot - mi yodeya?

Who knows three hundred twenty-six? ?שישה ועשרים ושלוש מאות - מי יודע The traditional Passover song "Echad - mi yodeya" implies a possible presupposition that there is a Jewish significance to be ...
2
votes
2answers
100 views

Why is the information that Malchi-Tzedek was a priest not written earlier in the posuk?

In parshas Lech Lecha, after Avraham had successfully conquered the four kings and rescued his nephew Lot, it says (Bereishis 14,18): וּמַלְכִּי-צֶדֶק מֶלֶךְ שָׁלֵם, הוֹצִיא לֶחֶם וָיָיִן; וְהוּא ...
6
votes
1answer
85 views

Redeeming maaser sheini on paper money

I know that the mishna says that maaser sheini* can only be redeemed on coins and not something else. (See this answer.) However, this was written around 2000 years ago, and the way money works has ...
4
votes
2answers
167 views
+100

Shouldn't the flood have ended on the 18th of Cheshvan?

Inspired by this question: New date at sunset: question on Sifse Chachamim The Torah tells us that the Flood started the 17th of Cheshvan (Bereshit 7:11) and concluded the 27th of Cheshvan (Bereshit ...
3
votes
1answer
179 views

Saying Misod and Reshut (introduction) for piyutim, then skipping them

I have seen that many yeshivos (and recently, even some shuls) often say just Misod and the Reshus on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and then skip the actual piyutim they are meant to introduce! This ...
8
votes
2answers
89 views

A child's tendency to skip words corrected/prompted by an instructor

When I am helping my young child say Birkat Hamazon or other prayers, I sometimes correct her pronunciation of a word or prompt her when she forgets what the next word is. In these situations, she ...
1
vote
0answers
17 views

How much of the standard תורה service is done on שמחת תורה?

I've seen a number of Simchas Tora customs in Ashkenazic practice and/or prescribed by Ashkenazic prayer books. Specifically, I think I've seen both sides of each of the following dichotomies, ...
6
votes
1answer
47 views

What options are there for chanukiah lighting in southern latitudes?

What options are there for lighting chanukiyot in southern latitudes where younger children will be going to bed well before sunset? Adults may stay up for lighting chanukiyot but what options are ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Who's מרן and what book is ד״ח in דברי יואל?

The fourth responsum in volume 1 (Orach Chayim) of Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum's Divre Yoel refers (near its start) to "פסקו של מרן ז״ל בד״ח ח״ב סי׳ ו׳", "the ruling of our master's (OBM) in D.Ch. volume 2 ...
3
votes
0answers
18 views

What's wrong with Rashi's explanation of Hechsher Mitzvah?

A Daf Yomi Shi'ur that I listen to went into details about Hechsher Mitzvah when we reached Yevamoth 6a. Essentially, Rashi says that the Gemara's term, "Hechsher Mitzvah", is referring to a scenario ...
1
vote
4answers
144 views

Judaism and Communism

Does the Torah model of society value concepts such as liberty and democracy, or does it value a model based on Communism i.e. a non-materialistic, equality-based society etc.? Torah and Rabbinic ...

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