14
votes
1answer
270 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
120 views

Can an ultrasound be relied upon?

I have read reports of the accuracy of gender prediction from an ultrasound with numbers ranging from 90-98%. There is a halacha (Y.D. 194:11) that if a fetus sticks its hand [or possibly any limb] ...
12
votes
1answer
192 views

Mizmor L'Toda with Melody

The Shulchan Aruch in Orach Chaim 51:9 rules that "The Psalm of Thanksgiving [i.e. Psalm 100] should be recited with a melody, for all songs are destined to fall into disuse, except for the Psalm of ...
12
votes
1answer
256 views

Intentionally using a grace period on a rental

I recently rented a bike for a few hours, and the person in charge of the rental told us that we have "X number of hours, and a 15 minute grace period," followed by the warning that if we don't return ...
10
votes
1answer
157 views

How do we understand Moshe's rebuke

On Devarim 1:1, Rashi comments that the various places listed are in fact veiled references to episodes in which the Jewish people rebelled. Thus Moshe was offering a kind of concealed rebuke. My ...
10
votes
1answer
253 views

Eating out Friday night of Chanukkah

If one is lighting Chanukkah candles inside (for whatever reason) relying on the publicization to himself and his family, then what should he do on Friday night if he is eating out? Must he make the ...
9
votes
1answer
176 views

May one mix-and-match to create their own Hebrew pronunciation?

In the introduction to his siddur (down the bottom of the linked page), Rabbi Yaakov Emden emphasises the strict importance of a proper Hebrew pronunciation when davening. In particular, he ...
9
votes
1answer
300 views

Scheduling a USPS Pickup for Shabbos

So it turns out that the USPS has a feature where you can ask them to come and pickup a package. So you go online to their site, enter your information, choose a date for the pickup, and tell them ...
8
votes
1answer
121 views

May one beautify his Payos?

Rashi (B'reshis 37:2) calls it an "an act of immaturity [to fix one's] hair (...) so he would look good". Obviously, payos are made from hair, but they are not considered regular hair within kabbala ...
8
votes
1answer
112 views

Can you make a Siyum on something in Torah without understanding it?

May one make a Siyum on Tanach simply by reading without understanding the meaning of what one is learning?
8
votes
1answer
298 views

Rabi Yochanan Ben Zakai, or Josephus?

Josephus in Wars 3. 8. 9. records a story of how he meets Vespasian, tells him that he will become ruler, and Titus will take over his position. Vespasian, although sceptical at first eventually ...
8
votes
1answer
91 views

Does Beis Din have the authority to quarantine?

In light of the recent discussions about the legality of quarantining potential Ebola patients, I was wondering if Halacha has the mechanism for such a thing. In an autonomous Jewish society, in ...
8
votes
1answer
125 views

Will reading Questions and Answers on Mi Yodeya gain a Jew entrance into Olam Haba?

"One who learns Halachos every day is a Ben Olam Haba" (Babylonian Talmud Niddah 73a) If a Jew reads the halachic questions and answers on this forum everyday, does that guarantee he or she will ...
8
votes
1answer
358 views

Are the seventy distinct languages and nations listed?

It's a well known concept that there were 70 nations and 70 original languages. Is there any agreement about which ones they were/are? I found this which lists the nations, but I'm interested in ...
8
votes
1answer
109 views

Why is there no decree against bathing in Chamei Teverya?

Gemara Shabbos says that originally one was allowed to bathe on Shabbos in pre-heated bath-houses. However, (in short) due to the fact that the bath-house directors would violate Shabbos (by heating ...
8
votes
1answer
249 views

Does a Jewish idolater's pouring of non-mevushal wine make that wine forbidden to himself?

We see from this answer that wine poured by a Jew who rejects Judaism is yayin nesech. Would that cause the wine to be forbidden even to himself, or is it only forbidden to others? Would he be ...
8
votes
1answer
195 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
362 views

Tattling on fellow Mi Yodeyans

We are currently in the beginning of the 2012 Mi Yodeya Moderator Election. To what extent can one avail oneself of the exception of "to'elet"="for a purpose" to the standard rules of Lashon HaRa' ...
8
votes
1answer
173 views

Mesorah exchange between communities

Based on this thread What exactly prevents Ashkenazim from accepting Mesorah from other communities on things that we have not done in our own community? Taking an extreme reverse example, can ...
8
votes
1answer
277 views

Are there any ill-effects for mis-directed prayers?

Inspired by the end of this answer: Just remember that all non-Jews don't follow the Sheva Mitzvot and could [even] be in Avodah Zarah and then would...a blessing [of theirs] matter? It might even ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

Is Smuggling Candy and Snacks Into a Movie Theater Forbidden?

Ever since I was a kid, we have routinely brought our own pre-packaged snacks into movies in order to avoid the exorbitant prices of those sold in the theaters. Is it permitted to bring such snacks ...
7
votes
1answer
164 views

השלכת אחרי גאיך morning activities before prayers

Assuming one wakes up after נץ החמה (so individual prayer vs communal isn't an issue) but significantly BEFORE your community prays: What activities may one engage in or, conversely, What may one ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

What if someone accidentally gave an Aliya to a non-Jew?

A gabbai called someone up for an Aliya. Yaamod, Reuven ben Shimon Shlishi. Then, it turns out that Reuven isn't Jewish (he thought he was, his mother had a reform conversion and he thought that was ...
7
votes
1answer
196 views

Mi Yodeya and Teaching Non-Jews

There is an established halachic principle that we do not explicitly teach Torah to non-Jews. Though the exact parameters of this law is debated, the principle issur itself isn't. According to some ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

מחני נא — Moshe's real name isn't mentioned

In Shemot 32:32, Moshe tells Hashem: וְעַתָּה אִם תִּשָּׂא חַטָּאתָם וְאִם אַיִן מְחֵנִי נָא מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ: And now, if You forgive their sin But if not, erase me now from ...
7
votes
1answer
210 views

A Jew is born in space. What time rules does he follow?

I know that the title sounds like a sequel to a TV show (Lost in space). But based on a statement in this article : The Rabbis therefore rule that a person should continue to follow the time ...
7
votes
1answer
120 views

Sleeping at the Kotel on Tisha B'av

This Tisha B'av morning I was at the Kotel for shachrit, and I noticed a whole bunch of people sleeping there. I'm not talking about people who nodded off during slichot due to low blood sugar, I'm ...
7
votes
1answer
81 views

If someone accidentally steps backward before the end of Shmoneh Esrei, what should he do?

If one steps backward before the end of Shmoneh Esrei, (either because he mistakenly thought he was up to עשה שלום... for a second, or because someone bumped into him,) how should he precede with his ...
7
votes
1answer
140 views

Proving Jewish identity through gravestone

What needs to be considered to show that under a grave marker lies a Jewish person?
7
votes
1answer
296 views

When will the period of Acharonim end?

What will mark the end of the period of Acharonim? What in general demarcates rabbinical eras? Are these halachic rules or conventions?
7
votes
1answer
211 views

I “stole” an ice cube. What can I do for Kaparah?

Yesterday, I was stung by a bee while walking at the zoo. After icing down the sting for a while, I continued on my way. A few minutes later, however, the bee-sting began to hurt again. I happened ...
7
votes
1answer
145 views

Not Bentching on a Kos when wine is already on the table

According to this answer R' Moshe Feinstein Paskened that, since for many years the practice of Bentching on a Kos (reciting grace after meals over a cup of wine, as formally constructed in the ...
7
votes
1answer
273 views

Can you sing during the sheva brachos?

I have been to weddings where, during the recitation of the seventh bracha under the chuppah, the congregation sings "asher bara...". Sometimes it is along with the one reciting the bracha and other ...
7
votes
1answer
114 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
1answer
80 views

Is it a sin to joke about sinning?

For instance, to joke about committing suicide or something less extreme like eating non-kosher. My inclination is towards saying that it is forbidden since it might desensitize one to the idea ...
6
votes
1answer
53 views

Do contemporary Sefardi poskim absolutely require ten men at a wedding?

Beit Yosef, Tur Shulchan Aruch Even HaEzer 62: Rashba, responsum 1127, was asked about a city in which there are no ten men for reciting the [seven] blessings [at the wedding], and it's impossible ...
6
votes
1answer
245 views

Kissing when one person is meaty and the other is milky

I know that someone cannot eat milk immediately after meat and vice versa. Is it ok for two people to kiss if one person has just had meat and the other has just had milk? Do they, perhaps, need to ...
6
votes
1answer
80 views

Why no halachos in the Babylonian Talmud like in the Palestinian?

Most Jewish texts have a easy way to pin down a citation. Some are numbered. For example, Rambam and Y'rushalmi and Tosefta have chapter and halacha. Some of these have different numberings in ...
6
votes
1answer
167 views

Frozen raspberries without supervision

My wife was told by a friend that a certain legitimate kashrus organization says that frozen raspberries do not require supervision, and upon calling the organization, she was told that the process ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

Is there a penalty under the law for attempted adultery?

If a married man or woman propositions sexual misconduct to a person, or a man or woman propositions a person they know is married, is there a prescribed penalty according to the law, i.e. would a a ...
6
votes
1answer
193 views

May a non Ethiopian Jew celebrate Sigd?

Ethiopian Jews recently celebrated their festival of Sigd, which involves reaccaptence of the Torah, communal fasting and feasting, and prayers. Is it acceptable for someone of a Minhag other than ...
6
votes
1answer
558 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 button right-over-left. Would a female wearing the former be transgressing the prohibition on ...
6
votes
1answer
372 views

Igrot Kodesh of the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt'l

There is a practice among Chabad chasidim to ask questions via the "Igrot Kodesh" (a collection of published correspondence from the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe). The procedure involves writing a ...
6
votes
1answer
180 views

Any Halachic problems with app publishing?

I'm currently in the process of developing a mobile app, that, be'h will have various Israel related feeds. I was wondering if there could be any Halachic issues with respect to including news feeds ...
6
votes
1answer
258 views

Honorific for a non-Jew

My question is somewhat simple: is there an honorific for particularly righteous, deceased non-Jews? Related: is זכרונו לברכה ever used for non-Jews? I don't recall ever having seen this. EDIT: I ...
6
votes
1answer
216 views

Preparing food for Yom Tov Sheni

Orach Chaim 503 says that one may not prepare from the first day of Yom Tov for the second day of Yom Tov. However, if one is going to eat even one piece of meat on the first day, they may fill up a ...
6
votes
1answer
167 views

Do you have to listen to angels?

Does one now (or ever in the past) have to listen to the instructions of an angel? If so, would that include listening if the angel told you to violate a Torah commandment (either temporarily or ...
6
votes
1answer
137 views

All Sifre HaRamhal? (Rabbi Moshe Chayim Lutzato)

Is there a set that has "Kol Sifre HaRamhal"? The have "Kol Sifre HaHida" and other Rabanim, so maybe they'll also have all Sefarim of the Ramhal?
5
votes
1answer
40 views

Understanding derivation of rule that “פרו ורבו” is mandatory only for men?

The Gmara (Yevamot 65b) says that the reason why men are the only ones that have to keep "פרו ורבו" is because right after it its written "וכבשוה" (the human has to take over the world), and men are ...
-2
votes
0answers
37 views

Safe places at the end of days

I got the impression that in the end of days there will be not one safe place in the world. I did learn in Gemara Sanhedrin 97a that anywhere outside of Jerusalem will not be safe within the land. ...

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