5
votes
2answers
124 views

Is there such a thing as a Kaddish L'vatola?

In this answer there is a reference to a Kaddish that is better left unsaid as it is a Kaddish L'vatola. Kaddish does not seem to have anything in it which cannot be said in a vacuum. Is there any ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Advice for Lighting in a Sukkah

I'm seeking advice for safe, cost-effective lighting inside a Sukkah. My goals are: Minimize risk of fire. Even florescent lights can get hot enough to spark dry kindling in certain circumstances. ...
4
votes
1answer
393 views

Did Rashbi Write the Zohar?

In my experience, many religious Jews think that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai wrote the book we have today called the Zohar. The Zohar is a Jewish work of mysticism that was published in the 13th century. ...
4
votes
2answers
220 views

Shachris in the Dark

When do people who live in places where it is dark for days Daven Shachris and put on Tefillin? Please provide a source (Mareh Makom).
4
votes
5answers
278 views

Bad things happening to good people

Why do bad things happen to good people? And, even if they do, bad things, not good things, should happen to bad people!
3
votes
3answers
254 views

Does God benefit from our keeping of the Mitzvos?

Does Hashem benefit from mankind doing the commandments of the Torah?
3
votes
1answer
286 views

Sheimos in newspapers and parsha sheets

How should one dispose of Jewish newspapers, newsletters, children's parsha sheets, etc. that contain Divrei Torah? I believe some poskim require/allow it to be double wrapped and then left outside to ...
3
votes
3answers
897 views

Attending non-frum event

Is it permissible to attend a non-frum event, such as a wedding or bar/bat mitzvah of a family member or friend?
2
votes
2answers
282 views

Will A Non Jew who did not keep the Noachide Laws be Held Accountable?

Will A Non Jew who did not keep the Noachide Laws be Held Accountable on yom hadin? After all, he can claim he didn't know anything about them. Maybe there is a difference between a gentile in ...
23
votes
1answer
241 views

What do you do if you made a Tzedaka pledge and now the organization folded?

Recently a friend of mine asked me the following question. He pledged $500- to a Yeshiva, yet before he paid the pledge the Yeshiva closed. Does he still have to pay his pledge to another Tzedaka or ...
19
votes
5answers
12k views

Is there a problem with Triangle K? If so, what?

I want to know what the OU's or any other Orthodox kashrut agency's problem is with Triangle K. I have read about the Ralbag family which founded and runs the Triangle K and they are clearly Orthodox. ...
17
votes
5answers
501 views

Why do we still do chazarat hashatz?

This question assumes that the purpose of chazarat hashatz is to allow for those who were unable to say their own shmoneah esrei (assumedly due to Hebrew illiteracy) to fulfill their obligation to ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

When did we start counting the Year since Creation?

This year is 5772 / תשעב (Taf-Shin-Ayin-Bet) on the Hebrew Calendar. What is the earliest reference to the Year counting from the Creation of the world?
16
votes
4answers
674 views

Shape of the Luchot

According to the Talmud in Bava Batra 14a, the Luchot HabBerit were square. Where did the common "tablet" shape come from, with rectangles and a rounded top? Besides in pictures, I see it in ...
15
votes
4answers
384 views

Kashrus status of turkeys

From what I have heard there were those that did not eat turkey (such as Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky Zatzal) due to a question whether we have a Mesorah as to the Kashrus of this bird. I know that many ...
15
votes
4answers
2k views

If masturbation is so bad, why is it not in list of 613 Mitzvos?

If masturbation is, as stated in the Shulchan Oruch (Even HaEzer 23:1), "the worst sin in the Torah", then why is it not listed in any of the various lists of 613 Mitzvos and why is there no verse in ...
14
votes
7answers
596 views

How did the moon shrink?

The Bavli, Chulin 60:2, says (in my own loose translation): Rabbi Shim'on ben Pazi noted a contradiction: [B'reshis 1:16] says, "God made the two big luminaries" and "the big luminary… and ...
14
votes
2answers
356 views

Answering Multiple People Saying Kaddish Out-Of-Sync

Many times there is more than one person saying Kaddish in shul. Unfortunately, because people say things at different speeds, and have trouble hearing each other across long distances, the Kaddish ...
14
votes
10answers
511 views

Yaakov Marrying Two Sisters

According to those that say the Avos kept the Torah beforehand (here), how was Yaakov allowed to marry two sisters? (Yes, I'm aware that there are many answers)
13
votes
4answers
239 views

Who is the voice of Tosafoth?

Tosafoth were the sons-in-law, grandchildren, and students of Rashi (and their students), and "they" wrote a commentary on the Talmud that is often at odds with Rashi's earlier commentary. Sometimes ...
13
votes
2answers
340 views

Are Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin really Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin?

I once heard from a Sofer the shocking revelation that Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin do not actually follow Rabbeinu Tam's opinion. Is that correct? Did I misunderstand? Are there any Soferim in our ...
12
votes
5answers
381 views

Plural of “Nafka Minah”

(Inspired by HodofHod's commment here: Four Holy Cities) What is the proper plural for the common Aramaic phrase Nafka Minah נפקא מינה which means something along the line of "practical differences"? ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is chicken “meat” (with regards to basar bechalav) and an egg not?

Why is chicken considered meat but fish is not? Also, why is an egg considered pareve? And if we can eat chicken eggs, why can't we eat caviar (fish eggs)?
12
votes
4answers
503 views

Why is the idea of sefirot not shituf?

Why are the sefirot not considered a problem of Shituf? Is there anything wrong with believing in sefirot?
12
votes
5answers
521 views

Is one allowed to have a Thanksgiving Meal?

Is celebrating Thanksgiving with a formal sit down meal against Halacha?
11
votes
4answers
492 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
2answers
211 views

ribis and foreign currency conversion

I am afraid that I have only recently started to study this kind of thing and I completely unlearned compared to most of the contributors here, so I apologize if my question is somewhat ...
11
votes
1answer
968 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
270 views

Rabbinic speculations on history

Sometimes in the Rabbinic literature traditions are related about what happened in history, with multiple different opinions. For example, there was a historical development in the script used by ...
10
votes
2answers
787 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
957 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
406 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
220 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
412 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
159 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
415 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
296 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
351 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
299 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
553 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Blowing bubbles on Shabbos

Is there any halachik problem with blowing bubbles on Shabbos? If so what melacha categories does it fall under? Does the age of the blower matter?
7
votes
1answer
254 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
250 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
3answers
652 views

Is there sufficient evidence to support the theory that ancient Israel practiced monolatry?

I just came across this Wikipedia article on monolatrism that says some people believe ancient Israel practiced monolatry. The highest claim to be made for Moses is that he was, rather than a ...
7
votes
4answers
299 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
264 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
454 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
803 views

Tzitzis while exercising?

Does one need to wear tzitzis while exercising? Isn't it disrespectful to the tzitzis to make them all sweaty?

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