4
votes
3answers
328 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
245 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
2answers
256 views

Gedole HaDor: who and how

1)Who do we know to refer to as a "Gadol?" 2)How do we determine who is a "Gadol?" For example, how did we determine that Rav Elyashiv is a Gadol? A Gadol HaDor is known as one of the most ...
3
votes
1answer
353 views

What are the differences between Teimani and Ashkenazi/Sefardi sifrei torah?

I have heard that there is a small number of textual differences between Teimani torah scrolls and Ashkenazi/Sefardi ones. What are these differences? If I encounter a manuscript of unknown origin ...
3
votes
1answer
186 views

Making a Bracha on pleasurable things

A couple lines up from the bottom of the first daf of Keitzad Mevarchin, the Gemarah gives its reason for making Brachas. Its answer (my translation) is "It is forbidden for a person to get pleasure ...
2
votes
3answers
309 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
269 views

Dancing on Yom Haatzmaus

One is not allowed to dance during the mourning days of s'firas haomer (Mishna B'rura 493:3). According to all major customs, Yom Haatzmaus (Israel's independence day) falls during the mourning days ...
97
votes
5answers
3k views

Implications of Samoa skipping a Friday

This week, the island of Samoa is switching time zones, causing it to skip from Thursday directly to Saturday. Out of simple curiosity, what implications might this have on any Jews on the island? ...
24
votes
2answers
419 views

Is unmasking an anonymous author addressed by Halacha?

If an individual writes a document for public consumption anonymously or pseudonymously and either explicitly or presumably desires to remain anonymous, is there a Halachic issue with publicly ...
17
votes
11answers
4k views

Talmud Study, Where to start

I would like to start to study Talmud, BUT do not know how, where to start. My Jewish training is basically non-existent. I learned how to read the Hebrew words in the Siddur, Machzor, and Chumash - - ...
16
votes
11answers
4k views

How to learn gemara independently

Is there an organized path that a Ba'al Teshuva can follow to learn Gemara and prepare the Daf by himself? I mean after he is able to learn with Artscroll.
16
votes
3answers
2k views

Is Exercise on Shabbos Allowed?

Is one allowed to do exercises on Shabbos? Are any types allowed? Some examples of different types: Lifting weights or heavy items Jumping jacks Taking a walk (long, but without Techum issues) ...
5
votes
7answers
1k views

Things we do not do because of Danger

What are things Brought down in Halacha that we do not do because of Danger?
17
votes
7answers
1k views

How does Judaism deal with God and paradoxes?

How does Judaism deal with paradoxes relating to the omnipotence of God? For example: Can God create a rock that he himself cannot lift?
12
votes
6answers
4k views

How Do I Know If it's a Hebrew Leap Year?

How can I tell if a given year is a Hebrew Leap Year? The simpler, the better. [Assuming we are using a fixed calendar, not like the "olden days".]
12
votes
3answers
593 views

What's a good website for asking questions about Jewish life and learning and getting crowd-sourced answers?

What's a good website for asking questions about Jewish life and learning and getting crowd-sourced answers?
10
votes
2answers
506 views

“bad impression” vs “Judge your friend favorably”

There are two commonly known halachic concepts. "Marit Ayin", a bad impression, and "Dan Lekaf Zechut", "Judging favorably". Here is a nice article on the concept of Marit Ayin and it briefly talks ...
10
votes
2answers
369 views

Kosherizing Water using Distillation

Suppose I have water that was cooked with non-kosher food. I then take the water and distill it. Would this water be considered permissible to drink?
8
votes
2answers
603 views

Why do you make a Bracha on seeing a monkey?

Why do you make the Bracha Mishaneh Habriyos on seeing a monkey?
7
votes
3answers
271 views

What happened to Avraham's other sons?

After the Torah's account of Avraham's other sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah, being sent to the East with gifts, do we have any tradition about what became of them? Did they ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

ALL Names of God

Where can I find an exhaustive list of all of the names of Hashem (preferably שמות and כינוים) in Tanach and elsewhere? Is this too ill-defined a topic to have an exhaustive answer? Do the 70 in the ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

Is practicing Yoga against Torah?

What does Halacha and Halachic Authorities have to say about the permissibility of a Jew practicing Yoga? Is it Avodah Zarah? If it is problematic, are there methods of doing it where it would be ...
19
votes
3answers
376 views

Do I have to forgive a repeat offender?

If somebody has repeatedly wronged me (in the same way) in the past, am I obligated to keep forgiving him if he asks? On the one hand, maybe this time he finally is really doing teshuva; on the other ...
18
votes
3answers
790 views

How can the Rambam's Eighth Principle of Jewish Faith be believed in light of Hazal?

The Rambam's eighth Principle of Jewish Faith states that the entire Torah in our possession - every verse - was dictated to Mosheh Rabbenu and that it has not changed. However, we have explicit ...
18
votes
5answers
485 views

How to reconcile the possibility that Rashi had a slightly different text of the Torah

In the Parshah of Chayei Sara, in Bereishis 25:6, there is a Posuk that refers to הפילגשים - "the concubines". Rashi expounds that since the word is missing a Yud, it must be a reference to the fact ...
18
votes
2answers
240 views

People half-standing for אלקינו in zimun

When conducting a zimun with ten or more men, the nusach is to say "...ברוך אלקינו שאכלנו משלו". I have noticed that many people, when saying the word "אלקינו", get up from their seats at least a ...
17
votes
15answers
1k views

Are there any jokes in tanach?

Are there any examples of actual jokes in tanach? Please provide sources.
16
votes
4answers
469 views

When did kosher bakeries, restaurants, etc. start requiring supervision?

If my neighbor Shmerel keeps kosher and otherwise appears to be observant to the best of my knowledge, then I'd be allowed to eat in his house (assuming I'm invited), eid echad ne'eman b'issurin, his ...
14
votes
2answers
762 views

Are you allowed to benefit from an electrical appliance turned on during shabbos?

If a jewish person were to accidentally turn on the light in their bedroom, or if the television were accidentally turned on (for these purposes, let's assume that the person in question woke up, ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Nittle Nacht Meaning

What is Nittle Nacht? What does the name mean? What is its significance? Which Halachic authorities speak about it, and what do they say? What is the actual date for it? How is it effected this ...
12
votes
3answers
598 views

Nose Job in Halacha

Is a nose job allowed Hallachicly? Not all cosmetic surgeries, but rhinoplasty in particular, as I heard that rhinoplasty is allowed because we see by a Kohen that having an abnormally long nose is a ...
12
votes
6answers
1k views

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
10
votes
9answers
742 views

Why do we sing “Echad Mi Yodeya”?

Why do we sing the song "Echad Mi Yodeya" at the seder?
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Why isn't the book of the Maccabees part of the Jewish canon?

I believe they are in the Christian canon... why not Jewish?
8
votes
3answers
483 views

Will Moshiach know that he is Moshiach?

I am not asking how I will know who Moshiach is. My question is how will he know to do those things which will let me know who he is. And specifically, will he know long before his revelation that ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Do Jewish people have a collection of books which are the equivelant of the Christian Old Testament?

One claim that is made in our Christian Church is that the Jewish people use the Old Testament and that Christians use both the Old Testament and the New Testament. How correct is this statement? Do ...
8
votes
3answers
292 views

Moshe Rabbeinu's knowledge of future events

If Moshe Rabbeinu was taught the entire Torah on Mt. Sinai (Rashi on Vayikra 25:1, Rambam), how do we explain events such as the incident involving the Bnos Tzelafchad (Bamidbar 27:1-11), or the tamei ...
7
votes
6answers
405 views

Saying words of prayer or Torah while an immodest photo or drawing is in your field of vision?

The halachah is clear (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75) that one may not recite Shema, or any other words of Torah or prayer, while in the presence of parts of the human body that should be covered. ...
6
votes
4answers
320 views

Conditions for Learning Kabala

What are the necessary conditions for being ready to learn Kabala? And if one meets those conditions, what books should he start with? Please provide a source.
3
votes
3answers
817 views

What can a Jew draw? [duplicate]

The Torah prohibits making certain images, (Deuteronomy 4:15-19). It includes males and females, animals, planets, and stars. It seems from these verses that a person's options when drawing the world ...
3
votes
2answers
950 views

Tzar Balay Chaim- Killing Pests?

Are you allowed to kill flies and other pests (mice, mosquitoes, etc.) or would that go under the prohibition of Tzar Balay Chaim?
1
vote
3answers
291 views

Did G-d create evil? [closed]

Did G-d create evil? Scripture says that G-d created everything, right? So then if G-d indeed created everything, does that mean He created evil? Is there Old Testament evidence for why He did or ...
18
votes
4answers
3k views

Is there a list of Mitzvot and their corresponding body parts?

The Talmud (Makkot 23B)and the Zohar (1:170B - unverified English translation here) say that the 248 positive commandments correspond to the 248 limbs of the human body. (The Mishna (Ohalot 1:8) lists ...
16
votes
3answers
398 views

Is it heresy to follow secular dating on the destruction of the first Temple?

There is a discrepancy between rabbinic and secular sources regarding when the first Temple was destroyed -- a difference of some 165 years or so, which are called the "Missing Years." My question is ...
16
votes
4answers
697 views

Why is Sha'ar Ha'Yichud of Chovos Ha'Levavos so “controversial”?

I have heard that Sha'ar Ha'Yichud of Chovos Ha'Levavos is controversial, and that one needs a rebbe in order to learn it. What does the author say that is so difficult to understand?
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Mikvah - Non Jewish Husband

Can a woman use a Mikvah if her Husband is not Jewish (She is currently on the road to becoming a BT)
15
votes
3answers
642 views

Is it permitted for a Ben-Noach be an atheist?

Avoda zarah is one of the things prohibited by the Seven Noachide Laws. But what about atheism? I know that the 7 Laws are often taken to include a larger number of halachot from the Torah, so would ...
15
votes
3answers
377 views

How long can you say Asher Yotzar if you forgot?

If you forgot to say Asher Yotzar and remember a while later, is there a time limit as to when you are allowed to say it?
15
votes
6answers
6k views

Are there any Jewish people alive today who can identify themselves as coming from a particular tribe?

The Christian "New Testament" claims Paul (Saul) was of the tribe of Benjamin. Since Roman times have there been any people who can validly claim they were from a particular tribe? At least at that ...
14
votes
3answers
583 views

Were our symbols for trope and nekudos created by the Masoretes, or transmitted by them?

It is commonly said in secular sources that the shapes of the trope and nekudos we use today were invented by the Masoretes (7th to 11th Century CE), but I cannot find any source in our mesorah to ...

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