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242 views

Is it a Mitzva Deorayta (Biblical Commandment) to serve in the IDF?

בס"ד What do the contemporary poskim say about the serving in the IDF? Do they consider it a Biblical commandment (mitzva de'orayta) if one chooses to serve? I am obviously not talking about the ...
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0answers
106 views

Blessing on Immersing Vessels to Purify Them

A Mikvah can be used to purify humans or certain vessels which have contracted ritual impurity (Rambam Mikvaot 1 (English)). When humans use the Mikvah to purify themselves they recite a blessing ...
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0answers
183 views

Lubavitcher Rebbe on the Shoah

There is a controversial analogy attributed to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, in which the Shoah is looked upon as a surgical procedure, with God being likened to a surgeon who removes a limb in the best ...
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0answers
189 views

May a couple forgo relations out of convenience?

In my chassan classes I was taught that it is important to have relations on the night a wife returns tahor from the mikvah. I do not know the source of this idea. My question is: May the couple ...
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0answers
169 views

What's considered shaving?

During periods of mourning, such as Sefirat Haomer and the three weeks prior to Tisha B'av, shaving is prohibited. What is considered shaving and what is allowed? May you pluck out a few hairs here ...
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0answers
82 views

What book would be a good reference for prayer melodies?

When davening at different synagogues, I notice that some use different melodies for songs (eg: El Adon, Hallel, L'kha Dodi) as well as different nusach (in the sense of melodies for brachot used for ...
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0answers
122 views

eBay Judaica auctions

I occasionally check eBay for assorted items; this is typically for the science half of my life, but I sometimes find Judaica which probably should not be sold there. For example, I know that in the ...
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0answers
130 views

Chapter Endings while Leining Megillot

Inspired by this question. It seems to be a common minhag to have a special trope for the end of a chapter when leining the megillot. I have seen this done in my shul, have done it myself, and also ...
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0answers
67 views

List of Halachot LiMosheh MiSinai

Is there a comprehensive list of things in the Talmud that are "halachot limosheh misinai"- laws that were passed down from Moshe through the generations? An example of such is tefilin needing to be ...
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0answers
41 views

Ruining the celebration of the Mishkan but not Har Sinai

Hashem did not want to mete out any punishments at the giving of the Torah in order to not ruin the joy of the moment (Rashi to Shemos 24:11). But Hashem was fine with seemingly ruining the joy of ...
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0answers
60 views

Immersing a dish used for a gift

(Based in part on this question.) If I purchase a new dish that would require immersion, and I use the dish FOR a gift (I bring brownies on the dish to my Jewish neighbor), and I do not intend to ...
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0answers
78 views

Verses indicating that each person has an equal entitlement to a land-plot

In Numbers 26:53–54 (JPS), the Israelites are commanded: Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names. To the more thou shalt give the more ...
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65 views

Why does Mishneh Torah have Shem uMalchut for Yishtabach?

I was looking into the Seder haTefillot as well as other siddurim based on it, and something always bothered me about Birkat Yishtabach, which as most of you know "closes" the Pesuqei deZimra section ...
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0answers
163 views

Why no 15-minutes-early clause in English rabbis' contracts?

Rabbi Yitzchak Reuven Rubin wrote in 2001: In fact, it wasn't long ago that every rabbi in England was required by contract to "present himself fifteen minutes before the time of Divine worship." ...
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0answers
72 views

Writing the woman's name in a kasubah or get: Plonis *ben* Ploni

Instead of writing the name of the kallah (bride) Rivka bat Chaim (for example) it was written Rivka ben Chaim. In such a case what's the halacha? By a kasubah is it valid? Does it have to be written ...
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0answers
115 views

Identification of Censored Areas of Talmud

Unfortunately, the Talmud and other writings have been subject to censorship since their completion. These alterations seem still to be present in many modern editions of the Talmud. How ...
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0answers
127 views

How many approaches to Torah are there?

Our sages tell us that there are שבעים פנים לתורה (Bamidbar Rabbah). Does this mean that every word, or verse, or some unit, has 70 interpretations, and there are theoretically billions of ...
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0answers
65 views

Why does the depiction of the tablets not contain the full wording?

In every single synagogue I've been in which has a depiction of the ten commandments on tablets, not a single one of them had all the words of the commandments fully written out. Usually they have the ...
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0answers
205 views

Would Harry Potter be killed as a sorcerer?

Before asking my question, I'd like to make it clear that this is being asked in all seriousness, and not as some form of satire or "Purim Torah". I think there is a precedent for asking halachic ...
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0answers
173 views

Source for Chazon Ish on What defines a Lamdan

I recently read an article and the author wrote the following: "The Chazon Ish described the true lamdan as “someone who spends three hours preparing to deliver a five-minute shiur, and when he is ...
5
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0answers
192 views

How should a tallit gadol be washed?

What is the best way to wash a tallit gadol? Mine is a fairly traditional large black and white wool tallit with plain white (not techelet) tzitzit. After a few years in shul it's a little yellow ...
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0answers
52 views

Pharaoh or King of Egypt?

In parashat shemot, how come pharoah is sometimes called the "king of Egypt" and sometimes called "Pharaoh"?
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0answers
205 views

What does “p'ruath rosh” actually mean?

It says in the halakha that a married woman may not go out into the public market place with "p'ruath rosh." I have heard that this means "with uncovered head," but this does not seem to match up ...
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0answers
47 views

Can a store owner avoid hashavas avaidah?

If a Jewish person owns a store where the majority of patrons are Jewish (let's say a pizza store) can he post a sign which says all lost items will be discarded after 30 days, or something similar, ...
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0answers
130 views

Do Sepharadim celebrate Thanksgiving?

A good deal of ink has been spilled in the past century regarding the permissibility and appropriateness of American Jews celebrating Thanksgiving. For the most part, Ashkenazim are split, with some ...
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0answers
62 views

Food that became prohibited because of a fly, then was separated into 3 new parts, nullified?

There was a pot of soup that a fly fell into it. The fly was not located and therefore the whole soup became prohibited. Even though the soup might have 60 parts against the fly, still since the fly ...
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0answers
60 views

responsibility for passing on a virus (medical)

Would one be obligated to pay any of the five types of damages paid upon wounding someone, if they were to infect that someone with a viral/bacterial disease, whether through: Peshia (negligence)? ...
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0answers
77 views

Why don't we say the first verse of Psalm 6 in Tachanun?

When Ashkenazim say Tachanun, they say the text of Psalm 6 without the first verse introduction “To the conductor with melodies on the sheminith, a song of David.” In the text, we say, “I am weary ...
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0answers
207 views

Should you refrain from putting ash on your forehead if your wedding coincides with Ash Wednesday?

Some brides/grooms have a custom to put ash on the forehead at their wedding as a remembrance for the destruction of the temple. Is there any halachic discussion about avoiding this practice if the ...
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0answers
89 views

Why Doesn't Rasag Mention Olives In The Five Fruits From Eretz Yisrael?

In his siddur, Rav Sa`adya haGaon (Rasa"g) mentions only four of the five species of peroth ha-ilan which are special to Eress Yisrael, leaving out zethim ("olives"). He does so in two places. ...
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0answers
128 views

Referring to Gentile Priest as “Father”

Is it permissible to either refer to or address a gentile priest as "Father XXXXXXXXX"? What alternatives might there be?
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0answers
197 views

Order of Masechtos in Seder Moed

According to the standard Shas print (Vilna Bavli), the order of Masechtas is Pesachim-Shekalim-Rosh Hashana-Yoma-Sukka-Beitza. This makes (some) sense as this is the order of holidays. However, the ...
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0answers
96 views

G-d's name on screen readers

People who are blind or hard-of-seeing often interact with computers using devices called "screen readers". These screen readers will read aloud the words that are written on the screen (or in the ...
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0answers
55 views

Tourist guides for Kohanim

I recently saw a tourist guide for Kohanim, published online by the Chicago Rabbinical Council, listing certain Chicago tourist sites that are, and are not, problematic for Kohanim. Are there any ...
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0answers
120 views

What is the Hebrew term for the drawing of the hands inward during lighting of Shabbos candles?

Someone elsewhere asked what is the Hebrew term for the drawing of the hands inward during lighting of Shabbos candle. For example, Chabad.org describes the custom, Extend your hands over the ...
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0answers
155 views

Why allowed on Yom Tov?

According to the Torah, melacha isn't permitted on Yom Tov days except for what is needed for food. I read that certain laws, like carrying, don't apply on these days because they are loosened for ...
5
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0answers
120 views

How to validate Kashruth of an old Shofar?

I have an old Shofar. When I say old, I don't mean a family heirloom or antique - I bought it on a family trip to Israel in the early 1990s. There have been some articles recently discussing the ...
5
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0answers
130 views

Does 'not in heaven' apply to kabbalah?

There is a famous dictum: 'lo ba'shomayim he', meaning that after the torah was given at Sinai its rules, mandates and precepts are determined by man and not dictated by heaven. An example is when ...
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0answers
162 views

Parent dying overseas - visit now or attend funeral?

A person lives far away from a dying parent and cannot afford more than one visit. What do the halachic sources say about when they should visit? Should they visit the parent immediately and miss the ...
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0answers
116 views

Siddur for Skolyer Chasidim

Is there a specific siddur for the minhag of the Skolyer Chasidim (Chasidim of Ukrainian town of Skole)?
5
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0answers
143 views

When may a person take down his Succah?

When can I take down my Succah? Suppose that after Chol HaMoed begins one is traveling for an extended period and would not like to leave the decorations, s'chach and sides up because they are likely ...
5
votes
0answers
111 views

Maharshal's position about the status of Kohanim today

R Shlomo Luria, in Yam Shel Shelomo Bava Kamma 5:35, discusses the status of property nowadays declared by its owner cherem for Kohanim. He takes a strong position against the validity of modern ...
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0answers
85 views

Is a renter allowed to withhold rent if the landlord does not fulfill his duties?

If a landlord drags his feet on fixing things in his property, is the renter allowed to withhold rent until he does so? Alternatively, may the renter bring someone to fix it himself and pay from the ...
5
votes
0answers
174 views

Women tefillah groups

What would be the halachic problems the people have with women's tefillah groups/"minyanim"? I mean when a bunch of women all get together to daven together. They do everything that men would do, ...
5
votes
0answers
106 views

What sources did people use to support Shabbtai Tsvi's messianism after he died?

I can understand the appeal of a messiah in 1600s Eastern Europe. I can understand that we want a messiah and we're willing to accept one, whether it be Bar Kochva or Shabbtai Tsvi. But on what ...
5
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0answers
168 views

After-death care of a non-Jewish relative

If a Jew has been entrusted with the after-death care of a non-Jewish relative, what should be done? Specifically, if the non-Jewish relative requested to be cremated after death, can or should a Jew ...
5
votes
0answers
81 views

Would adding buttons and button holes to a tallis gadol disqualify it?

I've seen fitted tallisim katanim with buttons connected the front and back for smooth wear. Could you also add buttons and button holes to a tallis gadol to hellp it stay on? Or would that ...
5
votes
0answers
76 views

Why can't Eliyahu come on Shabbos Erev Pesach?

The Gemara in Pesachim (13a) writes that R' Elazar Ben Yehuda from Bartosa says that if the day before Pesach falls on Shabbos (when one can't burn Chametz), one should destroy all his Chametz on ...
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0answers
405 views

Saying “Elokim” when not referring to Hashem

People often say "Elokim" instead of "Elohim" when speaking in order to avoid taking God's name in vain. I have observed, however, that some people always substitute the word "elokim" for "elohim" ...
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votes
0answers
247 views

List of oppressors of the Jewish people

We say in the V'hi She'amda passage of the Pesach Hagaddah that in each and every generation there have been those who rose up against us to destroy us, but Hashem saves us from their designs. Is this ...

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