5
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0answers
84 views

Following the stringencies of different opinions

There is a tangential discussion in 'Eruvin, Daf 6b-7a about whether or not we can take the stringencies of two conflicting opinions. The Gemara seems adamant that we cannot, though there are examples ...
5
votes
0answers
66 views

Pidyon Shevuyim - when does it apply?

Does the Mitzva of Pidyon Shevuyim apply in a case where one is being held in prison for having committed a crime or only where a innocent person was captured for ransom? If it does apply to cases ...
5
votes
0answers
59 views

“Secular” studies in the Rhineland academies of the 11th-13th centuries

This is perhaps a fairly specific question, and I don't know if it belongs here or on the History stack exchange, but I would like to know more about the Rhineland academies that were headed by people ...
5
votes
0answers
54 views

Can a synagogue appropriate the contents of charity boxes not removed before a specified time?

There are lots of charity boxes from different organisations put out on a table in the foyer of our synagogue on Purim. The wardens have attached a note that says that boxes not taken away by the end ...
5
votes
0answers
73 views

Why is Shimshon buried “in the grave of his father” and not father and mother?

Nearly everywhere in the story of Samson, more than in most stories in Tanakh, both parents are mentioned quite frequently. Leading up to birth, both parents share about equal page-time. After ...
5
votes
0answers
88 views

Geographic size of an Eruv

Inspired by Is Juneau, Alaska -- surrounded by natural barriers -- a natural eruv Is there a maximum square mile or square kilometer area that may be enclosed by an Eruv? (sources)
5
votes
0answers
62 views

What is the status of the “minor tractates”?

There is a collection of "minor tractates" some of which contain material not found in other works of torah sh'baal peh (the oral law). What is the origin of these tractates? Who wrote/compiled them? ...
5
votes
0answers
87 views

How does deep snow affect carrying on Shabbos?

Thinking about the snow in Boston and the discussion at Shabbos 5a, if there was more than 10 tefakim (handbredths) of snow on the ground, would a reshus hayachad (private domain) extend from the soil ...
5
votes
0answers
83 views

Protocol/requirements for repeat visits to a Shiv'ah house

What are the Protocol/requirements for repeat visits to a Shiv'ah house? Are there any formalities that can be set aside (letting them speak first, sitting with them, as opposed to chatting by the ...
5
votes
0answers
125 views

Has anyone since Rashbi been considered so regularly involved in Torah study so as to be exempt from prayer?

In SA OC Siman 106 Sif 2, the Machaber says that someone that for whom "Toraso Umanaso" ("his torah is his occupation", ie a person that is constantly engaged in Torah study) like Rebbe Shimon Bar ...
5
votes
0answers
198 views

Statistics regarding how many people convert yearly

What are the statistics for the last 50-100 years as to how many people convert and become Geirim yearly?
5
votes
0answers
104 views

Mistake when buying ring to get married with

The following case might perhaps be too localized however I'm asking it as a theoretical question in order to understand these laws in Choshen Mishpat and Evan HaEzer better. A Kallah (bride) went to ...
5
votes
0answers
125 views

Abrahamic covenant and Brit Milah - how is the covenant passed down?

Why is it so that if a Jew has a male child with a non-Jewish woman the child is not circumcised, even though, like Ishmail, the child is under Abrahamic (but not Mosaic) covenant, since the father is ...
5
votes
0answers
177 views

Source for not referring to Chanuka lights as a “menora”

Following up on this question about the use of the words "menora" or "chanukiya" to refer to Chanuka lights: I find it interesting that the use of "chanukiya," popularized in 1897 through a secular ...
5
votes
0answers
51 views

Should the leaders of Jewish organisations be elected or appointed?

Organisations, including synagogues, are set up by people with common interests or concerns. As such organisations develop, they need to provide for their future leadership. Are there sources that ...
5
votes
0answers
136 views

Which rabbi said “if a horse had the mind of Kant …”?

I recall hearing in yeshiva that one great rabbi -- I think one of the baalei mussar? once said: If a horse had the mind of Kant, it would author volume after volume of great philosphical works -- ...
5
votes
0answers
198 views

Why did Israeli sportsmen keep their hats on during their national anthem?

Last year I was at the international softball tournament and I noticed that players from Israel took off their baseball caps during the other teams anthems (as is common courtesy), but kept them ...
5
votes
0answers
123 views

Hazi“v La”kh: what's behind the division?

The Talmud (Rosh Hashana 31a) tells us that the Haazinu song (Devarim 32) was sung weekly in the Temple and divided into six segments, given by the mnemonic HaZIV LaKh הזיו לך (where each letter is ...
5
votes
0answers
108 views

Putting poison inside bamboo rods (s'chach)

It says in Shulchan Aruch (OC Siman 629 Sif 3) that one may cover a Sukkah with "chitzim" (arrows) that don't have a "beis kibbul." However, if they do have a "beis kibbul," then it's not valid for ...
5
votes
0answers
76 views

Answering Amen to quiet Berachoth

According to this answer citing RaM"A (124:11), you can answer Amen to any Berachah even if you don't hear it, so long as you know which one is being said. Does this apply only to Tefillah BeTzibur ...
5
votes
0answers
104 views

Ose shalom post shemona esre

Basic Background: Following the shemona esre prayer, the sages instituted concluding the prayer with the verse "yihyu leratzon" followed by "petira"- symbolically exiting from before G-d through ...
5
votes
0answers
157 views

Siyum Masechta Ketana

When I celebrate my completion of a minor tractate (e.g. Masechet Derech Eretz or Kutim or Gerim), can I say Hadran and/or Kaddish at my Siyyum (party)?
5
votes
0answers
144 views

Good resource for learning vowel pronunciation

In trying to improve my leyning, I'm trying to get the finer points of vowel pronunciation down. What is a good resource to learn, e.g., the difference between a patach and chataf-patach or a ...
5
votes
0answers
154 views

What is the lineage of Yona ben Amitai?

The gemarah (Yerushalmi succa 5:1) and midrash (yalkut shimoni Yona, remez 550) indicate that the prophet Yona ben Amitai descended from Zevulun (father) and Asher (mother). However other sources ...
5
votes
0answers
68 views

How does a recent bar mitzva “complete the weekly portion with the community”

When a person becomes bar mitva during the year, 98% of the time the community has already read 1 or even 50 weekly portions. Does the bar mitzva need to make up those portions? Would it matter if ...
5
votes
0answers
265 views

How obligated is one to say Kaddish for a deceased relative?

People often talk about an obligation -- Chiyuv -- to recite Kaddish at every opportunity for some time after the death of a relative. (Which relatives are obligated and for how long does not seem ...
5
votes
0answers
73 views

On What Subjects Does One Say Birchas HaTorah?

Must one say Birchas Hatorah before learning Aggadata in the Gemara? Biographies like Shem Hagedolim (a biography of various Rabbonim written by the Chida)? Artscroll biographies?
5
votes
0answers
310 views

Why ad meah v'esrim?

Why do we bless people with "ad meah v'esrim"? Aren't we supposed to believe moshiach will come by then, and there will be eternal life (according to some opinions)? Thus by giving a blessing for a ...
5
votes
0answers
145 views

Late sunset times and Jewish observance

This question is distinct from other questions which ask how and when to begin Shabbat, etc. when there is no sunset. I am asking about places in which sunset occurs very late during certain times of ...
5
votes
0answers
308 views

Selling a house to a non Jew

Notwithstanding anti discrimination laws which may disallow a seller to only sell to other Jews exclusively. Suppose a Jewish fellow - living outside of Eretz Yisroel - lives on a block which is ...
5
votes
0answers
145 views

Jewish Status of the Patriarch's Wives?

Judaism is clear on the matrilineal descent. Yet it's not clear to me that the Matriarchs after Sarah were "Jewish" - they were Abraham's relatives, they were not Canaanites as requested by Abraham, ...
5
votes
0answers
185 views

Relations among King David, the Sanhedrin, and the high priest

Do we have any historical source that discusses the relations among King David, the Sanhedrin during his reign, and the high priest during his reign? Were they on friendly terms? Was there a power ...
5
votes
0answers
78 views

Fasting for Medical Recovery

Yesterday, a request was publicized in the name of R' Chaim Kanievsky to accept a fast in the afternoon to fast today for the medical recovery of R' Y.S. Elyashiv, unless it interferes with one's ...
5
votes
0answers
149 views

Maharal and Kabbala (a few questions)

Since the Maharal (born 1512) lived around the same time as the Arizal (born 1534), and it doesn't seem like they had any acquaintances. Which sources did the Maharal utilize when learning Kabala? ...
5
votes
0answers
100 views

Why are the kinos about Jeremiah's appeal to the avos out of order?

The kina (elegy, said on the ninth of Av) about Jeremiah's going to ask the avos to pray (kina 21 in at least some versions) is said before the one about Tziyon's telling him to do so (22). Why this ...
4
votes
0answers
28 views

Does the chametz sales contract need to be enforceable under secular law?

We go to great lengths to ensure that our pre-Pesach chametz sale is effective according to halacha. Thus, we effect the sale via various means of acquisition: kinyan kesef, kinyan sudar, kinyan agav ...
4
votes
0answers
64 views

What is the definition of Zera Yisrael? Please read description

Shalom Aleichem, I am considering a halachic conversion to Judaism after having converted (along with several family members of mine) with a reform rabbi several years ago. In my research and studies, ...
4
votes
0answers
41 views

Can one sell Chametz he doesn't know about?

If one sold his Chometz in his house for Pesach, and then found (on Pesach) some old Chometz food lying around, does he have to burn it? He probably didn't have it in mind during the sale, but on the ...
4
votes
0answers
52 views

Renting digital services to Jews who are known to work on Shabbes

Given the following scenario: A Jew is the sole owner of a digital business which rents its services (a digital platform that does not require human intervention from part of the owner) for a monthly ...
4
votes
0answers
38 views

Burial Pod- Kosher?

So I just saw this on Facebook [warning: some links at the bottom of the page contain imagery which is not tzanua] In short, this mentions a concept in which the body of the deceased is put into a ...
4
votes
0answers
27 views

What happened to Michayhu?

As described in Ⅰ M'lachim 22 and Ⅱ Divre Hayamim 18, King Ach'av of Yisrael (the northern kingdom) suggested that King Y'hoshafat of Y'huda join him in battle against Aram. A number of ...
4
votes
0answers
23 views

Explicit shaimos printed in prayer books

The gemara in Shabbos 115b cites a Tosefta seemingly condemning those who publish prayer-books (and amulets) with G-d's name: "...מכאן אמרו כותבי ברכות כשורפי תורה". Nonetheless, it is common practice ...
4
votes
0answers
85 views

Four cups of wine, but no matzah!

At the seder, the third cup of wine is drunk after Birkat Hamazon. If a person has plenty of wine, but no matzah (and hence no Birkat Hamazon), should he still drink the third cup of wine? If so, ...
4
votes
0answers
22 views

Interpreting Abayyei's mnemonic in Megillah 31a

In Megillah 31a, Abayyei lists the sections from the Torah that we read on each successive day of Pesach as follows: "משך תורא קדש בכספא פסל במדברא שלח בוכרא". Each of the eight words within this ...
4
votes
0answers
25 views

How are Birchos Krias Shema blessings on Krias Shema?

The Ramban (Brachos 11b) writes that Birkas Kriyas Shema are blessings over the Mitzva of saying Shema. What's in the text of Birkas Kriyas Shema that has to do with Shema? It talks about angels, ...
4
votes
0answers
39 views

Can you carry an object from the step outside your house inside your house?

According to the laws of carrying on shabbos one may not carry from one domain to another aside from a makom petur ("exempt area"). A makom petur is less that 4X4 handbreadths and more than three ...
4
votes
0answers
43 views

Locating a copy of Sifra (Torat Kohanim)

Now that we are starting Sefer Vayikra, this seems like an opportune time to ask a question that has been bugging me for years! Where can I find a good copy of Sifra (aka "Torat Kohanim")? A ...
4
votes
0answers
44 views

Different Washing for Eating Bread and Going to the Bathroom

Why is there a different style of hand washing for after going to the bathroom (alternating between hands) and before eating bread (consecutively on each hand)?
4
votes
0answers
45 views

Why not פִּטְדָּֽה?

Exodus 28:17 and 39:10 tell that the second stone in the first row of the breastplate of the high priest was פִּטְדָֽה (often translated as topaz). The first unaccented syllable is פִּטְ which is a ...
4
votes
0answers
36 views

Determining Normative Halacha

I don't really understand the process for establishing what "the halacha" is in a particular case. I know that there are rules in the talmud to decide whom the halacha follows when there are ...

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