12
votes
5answers
927 views

Why does the Tefilin Shel Yad have a protective cover?

When you purchase Tefilin, the Tefilin Shel Yad has a protective cover. Why? Is it Halachically necessary?
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Sources For Listening To/Not Listening to Non-Jewish Music

What are sources for it being allowed to listen to non-Jewish music and sources for it being prohibited?
12
votes
5answers
517 views

Is one allowed to have a Thanksgiving Meal?

Is celebrating Thanksgiving with a formal sit down meal against Halacha?
11
votes
4answers
490 views

In regards to writing, can soda bottles be opened on Shabbos?

Specifically, when the writing - such as an expiration date - is printed in dot matrix style across the line between the bottle cap and the bottle cap's ring, what are the issues involved in opening ...
11
votes
1answer
940 views

how does one do hechi kedusha?

I am interested in two cases: 1) the congregation is davening mincha in a rush, and doing a "hechi kedusha" (btw, what is the etymology of this phrase) 2) an individual arrives late for mincha and is ...
10
votes
2answers
756 views

Would a baalat teshuva need a get from each previous sexual relationship?

Would a baalat teshuva need a get from each previous sexual relationship? In light of the idea that marriage can be contracted solely through bi'ah/public knowledge of the couple's relationship (as ...
10
votes
2answers
910 views

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen?

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen? How does the situation differ if only the mother, or only the father, is a convert? (I have read that "ideally" the child of two converts should not ...
10
votes
1answer
399 views

Do married men stop saying a bracha on their *tallit katan*?

This question concerns the Ashkenazic practice. I was always told that the tallit katan (worn under clothing, every day, starting in preschool years) got the bracha of al mitzvat tzitzit, but the ...
10
votes
1answer
217 views

Group coordination for a siyum

My understanding is that a siyum should be made on the last bit of the text being studied. Thus, if the entire Mishna (all six "orders") is studied for someone's yahrzeit, the last mishna (individual ...
10
votes
4answers
388 views

Jewish names that are not common

Why is it that many names of Tanoim and Amoroim are not commonly used? These were big Tzadikkim yet their names are almost unheard of. For example Tarfon, Chisda, Pupa, Avtalion, etc.
9
votes
2answers
148 views

What level of understanding is required in “learning” for purposes of making a siyum?

When learning as part of a coordinated group siyum, what level of understanding of the material is expected/required? How do you know if you've done enough to fulfill the mitzvah? Is it about effort ...
9
votes
4answers
407 views

Was Eisav Jewish?

Was Eisav Jewish? Eisav was born to the same father and mother as Yaakov. It may be possible to say that Yaakov was not Jewish either as it was before Matan Torah, however if Yaakov was Jewish, then ...
9
votes
2answers
294 views

Berachos over food mixtures

My breakfast regularly presents me with a beracha conundrum. It usually consists of a bowl of bran flakes (mezonos), often sprinkled with raisins (etz) and/or sunflower seeds (adama), and ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is Maris Ayin?

What is the precise definition of Maris Ayin, and to what cases does it apply? (i.e. what are the parameters for applying it)
9
votes
2answers
331 views

Do photocopies of torah need to be put in shaimos?

Do photocopied sheets (such as chumash or gemara) need to be put in sheimos or can they be thrown straight into the garbage?
8
votes
1answer
291 views

*Asher Bamayim* (אשר במים) in kashrus halacha

To find the kashrus status of an organism, we first need to correctly classify it as plant, animal, bird, or asher bamayim*, as each group has its own distinct requirements. E.g., animals need to chew ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Sefira Restrictions During Chol Hamoed Pesach

For those who hold sefira from the first day until the thirty-third, are the restrictions in effect during chol hamoed? While you are not allowed to cut your hair even during chol hamoed Succos, can ...
8
votes
3answers
530 views

Is human blood treif?

OK, I know it isn't kosher, but what is the shiur? And do we hold "chetzi shiur assur min haTorah"? For an application, what if you get a cut while hiking in the woods; is it assur to clean the wound ...
7
votes
1answer
248 views

Davening in front of a picture of 'Avodah Zarah

This afternoon I found myself Davening in a classroom. It must have been a comparative cultures type of class, judging by the items that were hanging on the walls - posters and artwork and such. As I ...
7
votes
2answers
434 views

When may one do a Hechi Kedushah?

May a Chazzan decide on his own to do a Hechi Kedushah, or are there rules for when it is appropriate/mandated?
7
votes
2answers
247 views

Self-defense (in a case of one's capital, not a capital case)

There is a well known rule that if A is threatening B's life, B may kill A, if necessary, to prevent that. Is there any such rule in non-capital cases? Specifically: If A is threatening B with ...
7
votes
4answers
294 views

Chodosh - where does it apply?

Does the prohibition against consuming new grain ("Chodosh") before the second day of Passover (Leveticus 23:14) apply only in the Land of Israel or in the Diaspora as well? (Sources appreciated)
7
votes
1answer
258 views

Removing Tefilin before Mussaf

I've seen some people remove their Tefillin before Mussaf on weekdays of Rosh Chodesh. Why do they do this?
7
votes
2answers
450 views

Is Yom HaAtzma'ut a Chag?

Is Yom Ha-Atzma'ut (Israeli Independance Day) considered a Chag (Jewish Holiday)? I have been to three types of Shuls (Synagogues) on this day: Those that have added the saying of Hallel but without ...
7
votes
5answers
761 views

Tzitzis while exercising?

Does one need to wear tzitzis while exercising? Isn't it disrespectful to the tzitzis to make them all sweaty?
6
votes
2answers
276 views

which kings must Moshiach descend from?

Moshiach must definitionally descend from David, and according to this answer he must also descend from Shlomo. However, Moshiach cannot descend from Yehoaichin because of Yirmiyahu's curse. Are ...
6
votes
2answers
449 views

How can I know a rav has daas Torah

I have been privileged to know rabbis of great wisdom and knowledge who could address my issues with unique and helpful insights through the prism of Torah. I always understood them to have "daas ...
6
votes
5answers
683 views

Chassidic Rebbes don't use Hebrew Grammar?

I have not witnessed enough test cases to statistically verify anything, but I have heard various Chassidic Rebbes make b'rachos and daven out loud, and without fail, they mispronounce a majority of ...
6
votes
3answers
506 views

Gambling at casino

Is it halachically permissible to gamble at a casino?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Electric Appliances and Mikva

Do electric appliances need to be dunked (toveled) in a mikva? Obviously, if the parts that touch the food are removable (e.g. an electric mixer's bowl and blade, or a blender's carafe, or the ...
5
votes
0answers
86 views

What defines a “בהמה” (also “חיה”)?

As discussed in *Dag* (דָג) in kashrus halacha, *Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha, and *Of* (עוֹף) in kashrus halacha, there are different rules used to determine the kashrus status of ...
5
votes
1answer
220 views

What is the level of “Divrei Kabbalah”?

There are times in the Gemara that laws are derived from Psukim in Nach. They are called "Divrei Kabbalah". What status do they have (are they considered like Torah Laws or like Rabbinic laws). For ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Which surnames are exclusively Kohanim's and why?

It is well known that is a person has a certain surname (last name) they are more likely to be a Kohen. Examples: Cohen - for obvious reasons Kahn Katz - stands for "Kohen Tzedek" What are some ...
5
votes
1answer
156 views

False portrayal on an anonymous Q&A site

If one posts a question on an anonymous Q&A website there is an assumption that other users either do not, should not, or need not know the identity of the person. Thus all interactions between ...
4
votes
3answers
309 views

Why is a prayer leader still removed for omitting V'lamalshinim?

TL;DR The Ashkenazi nusach of V'lamalshinim omits explicit mention of heretics. Therefore, recitation or omission of this blessing by the prayer leader seems to no longer serve as a signal for ...
4
votes
3answers
392 views

Relations with messianists

Do any rabbis comment on how to relate to members of the subset of Chabad who believe that the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson zt"l was the Messiah? For example, do non-messianist Orthodox rabbis ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Step-by-step Kashering: Hag'alah

What is the step by step process of Kashering for the method of Hag'alah? Assume I've never done it before, and I am taking a recently used, non-Kosher metal pot and a number of cutlery and cooking ...
4
votes
2answers
293 views

Why does God care about our service?

The Rambam in yesode hatorah says that God has no emotions. He does not change, he does not get angry nor have joy. Everything you see in tanach is just so that we can understand. The commentary ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Will a “lower” Berachah made MiSafek exempt a different food that requires that Berachah (and vice versa)?

Let's say you aren't sure which Berachah to make on a food before you eat it. Generally the rule of thumb is that you make the most specific Berachah that you know will capture the essence of that ...
4
votes
1answer
443 views

If chametz is batel before Pesach

If chametz can be batel before Pesach, why don't we buy (before Pesach) any commercially produced product with year-round (i.e., not Pesach-specific) kosher certification which does not list chametz ...
3
votes
1answer
299 views

Can Moshiach be a woman?

Is there any statement by chazal or the poskim which precludes Moshiach from being a woman?
3
votes
1answer
197 views

What is the significance of the Mishcan in Judaism?

A good part of Sefer Shemos discusses the tedious details of the construction of the mishcan (tabernacle). To the layman, these commandments seem very illogical. Aside from the fact that God ...
3
votes
2answers
292 views

What's the most efficient method for learning biblical Hebrew?

I have gone through some basic schooling at a modern yeshiva. For 10 years I haven't touched a Chumash, but would like to get back into it. I have started reading the Artscroll Chumash--reading the ...
3
votes
2answers
665 views

What are the Halachic boundaries of Eretz Yisroel?

What are the Halachic boundaries of Eretz Yisroel?
2
votes
2answers
357 views

Is it allowed to make paintings of living creatures?

Among the Ten Commandments is: Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the ...
2
votes
4answers
367 views

Honor parents who want you to violate halacha?

Suppose a parent feels very strongly against a certain aspect of halacha, for whatever reason. What would be an appropriate way to follow halacha while maintaining kibbud av v'eim?
2
votes
3answers
262 views

Precise Zemanim?

This site (see the paragraph starting with "accuracy") says that no one can predict the times for sunrise and sunset to within a minute accurately for a given location because of certain atmospheric ...
2
votes
1answer
184 views

Mourning Greetings

The Shulchan Aruch in Yoreh Deah Siman 385 outlines the prohibition regarding "Sheilat Shalom" (greeting with peace) to a mourner. Does this prohibition include such terms as "Hello" "Good morning" ...
1
vote
1answer
189 views

What parts of the service do you say when late to Shacharit?

According to the Shulchan Aruch (please cite Saeef and Siman so I can read further): What should one do when he's late to Shachrit? What should he skip and what must he say?
32
votes
10answers
806 views

How do I get myself to yearn for moshiach if I'm comfortable in the diaspora?

Intellectually I know that we're supposed to yearn for the coming of the mashiach and the in-gathering in Eretz Yisrael. I know that one of the Rambam's 13 principles calls for this. We pray for ...

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