7
votes
1answer
225 views

Why does the Mishna misquote the Tanakh?

In a number of instances, the Mishna provides quotes from Tanakh that differ from the versions of Tanakh that we have today. So, for example, Sotah 6:4 (31b). There, the mishna quotes Deuteronomy ...
7
votes
1answer
236 views

What does the title “Hatomim” mean?

I have stumbled upon the title "Hatomim" before people's names in Chabad-oriented documents on the Internet. What is the meaning and significance of this title, in this context? Practically ...
7
votes
2answers
134 views

Why are Torah study and trips, specifically, banned on the 8th of Av?

The Rama, Orach Chayim 553, says: The practice is that we do not study [Torah] the day before the ninth of Av from midday on, except such matters as are permitted [study material] on the ninth…. ...
7
votes
2answers
240 views

“If there's no Hadran there's no meat”?

I happened to observe a Facebook conversation regarding an upcoming Siyum, ostensibly taking place because someone had put forth great effort to complete a tractate of Talmud, and not because the ...
7
votes
2answers
171 views

Do Jews view Scripture as the “word of God”?

I am curious whether Jews view Scripture (i.e. the Tanach) as "the word of God," and if so, in what way? Is it "inspired" by God? Is it a "product of the Spirit of God"? Is God the "Author"? [etc.] ...
7
votes
4answers
190 views

Why do we pray for our prayer to be accepted?

The sixteenth blessing of the Shmoneh Esrei says, שמע קולנו...וקבל ברחמים וברצון את תפילתנו: "Hear our voice...and accept our prayer with compassion and favor." It seems redundant and circular to ask ...
7
votes
2answers
162 views

Did Chava tell Adam she was giving him fruit from the etz ha'das?

When Chava gave Adam fruit from the etz ha'das to eat did she tell him where the fruit was coming from or not?
7
votes
2answers
344 views

Using a cell phone as a watch on Shabbos

I seem to recall learning that it is permissible to use a cell phone as a watch on Shabbos as long as the time is always displayed on the front and no buttons would need to be pressed in order to ...
7
votes
3answers
161 views

Which type of government is suitable in the present world according to Jewish Law?

Which type of government is suitable in the present world according to Jewish law? Is democracy allowed in Biblical or in Jewish law? (I came to this question from wondering why the modern state of ...
7
votes
1answer
232 views

Correct way to deal with a damaged mini-torah?

My son is 4 years old. When he entered Hebrew School at the local (Reform) synagogue, they gave him a mini-torah as part of a Consecration ceremony. Specifically this one: ...
7
votes
2answers
136 views

Stuffed nose and havdallah

If I have a stuffed nose and cannot smell besamim, can I make havdallah? Do I still say borei minei besamim even though I can't consciously smell them, with the assumption that I'm still benefiting ...
7
votes
3answers
310 views

Why can't a mixed gender meal of 3 form a zimun?

In a group of two women and one man (or one woman and two men), why can they not have a zimun together? Is it because of different levels of obligation in bentching? If so, why is a woman ...
7
votes
1answer
152 views

Change of name in Megillat Esther from Hegeh to Hegai?

In Megillat Esther, the Pasuk (2:3) says that Achashverosh gathered the girls and placed them in the women's house, and the one who guarded them was הגא (ending with an א and with a segol under the ...
7
votes
1answer
209 views

What is the significance of Eliyahu haNavi's travels prior to being taken up into heaven and Elisha haNavi's travels afterwards?

If I am reading and understanding the text correctly, in chapter 2 of II Melachim (2 Kings) Eliyahu (Elijah) and Elisha haNevi'im travel from Gilgal to Bethel to Jericho to across the Jordan. After ...
7
votes
1answer
183 views

Understanding hachnasas orchim

Is hachnasas orchim (welcoming guests) a mitzvah (either of biblical or rabbinic origin)? If not why is it considered more important than greeting the divine presence (bereshis 18:3 Rashi)? Does it ...
7
votes
2answers
179 views

Tzitzis Thrown Over Shoulder = Still Wearing Them?

Many times I've seen people throw the front half of their tallis katan over their shoulder so that it doesn't get in their way. Mostly teenagers playing sports or people doing something that might get ...
7
votes
1answer
138 views

In what way was Niniveh wicked?

What was so especially "wicked" about Niniveh that Jonah would have to go there? Were they wicked in that they worshiped different god(s)? This is pretty much what every other country did. Were they ...
7
votes
1answer
246 views

Where does our blessing for daughters come from?

In many Jewish homes on Shabbat, the head of the household would bless his sons to be like Ephraim and Menasheh but would bless his daughters to be like the matriarchs . What is the source, if any, ...
7
votes
3answers
239 views

Sitting for “Ashre”?

I have seen people seemingly careful to sit down when beginning the paragraph of prayers that starts "Ashre yosh've vesecha" (Ps. 84:5). One such person told me that he was, in fact, careful to do so, ...
7
votes
3answers
400 views

K'shaim Shenichnas L'Bris Kain Yikones L'Torah L'Chupa U'Lmaasim Tovim: why that order?

When a baby boy has his Bris we wish him "K'shaim Shenichnas L'Bris Kain Yikones L'Torah L'Chupa U'Lmaasim Tovim" - just like you entered the covenant so to should you enter into Torah, marriage, and ...
7
votes
2answers
302 views

Yaakov Kissing Rachel

In Parashat Vayetzeh, Yaakov goes to Lavan's house, but prior to his arrival he meets up with Rachel. Shockingly, the Pasuk says that he kissed her and cried (29:11). How exactly are we to understand ...
7
votes
2answers
397 views

What is the appropriate response of someone outside Israel during a war?

During a war or large scale military operation what are some of the best things for a person living in chutz l'arertz to do? Is saying tehillim and doing extra chesed enough? Should a person run to ...
7
votes
1answer
162 views

גמר חתימה טובה gender

During the nine and a half days ending with Yom Kipur, we wish each other "גמר חתימה טובה" (an end to the good signing). This seems very strange. Shouldn't it be "גמר חתימה טוב" (a good end to the ...
7
votes
2answers
196 views

What are the 3 things Rabeinu Gershom banned?

I've heard that Rabeinu Gershom (a 10th-11th century scholar) banned 3 things, and I know one of them is polygamy. Does anyone know what the other two are?
7
votes
1answer
150 views

What is the point of the prophecy of Nachum?

The prophecy of the navi Nachum seems to be entirely related to the eventual destruction of the city of Ninveh. Why does the fate of Ninveh need to be recorded for the Jews for all time? If, for ...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

What can be done to hush someone praying a loud amidah?

If someone is praying an amidah in a loud voice that disturbs the rest of the congregation are any of the following permitted: by someone (a) praying his own amidah or (b) who has finished to hush ...
7
votes
1answer
218 views

Why call so many olim “moreinu”?

I davened in a couple of different Chassidish shuls over the past few days, and in two different places (Tenka and Munkacs), I noticed that nearly all men who were called up for an aliya were ...
7
votes
1answer
437 views

Is a picture of a woman prior to marriage with hair uncovered considered ervah once she gets married?

Another question asks whether pictures of erva are erva. My question assumes, for the sake of argument, that they are, and asks: Once a woman gets married, her hair becomes ervah, so are all pictures ...
7
votes
3answers
397 views

Masada - heroic martyrdom or immoral murder/suicide?

Was the mass coordinated mutual killing at Masada (for lack of a better term) an act of heroic martyrdom or immoral murder and suicide? While it is unknown for certain what exactly transpired, ...
7
votes
2answers
464 views

what are the origins of the requirement for a minyan?

From what is the requirement for ten adult Jewish males for certain prayers derived? I kind of assumed this may be in some way related to Abraham's struggle to find the righteous males in the cities ...
7
votes
3answers
475 views

Ostrich eggs in Shul?

Kinyan L'Shabbos (published weekly by Hamodia) - July 18, 2012, page 11 has a fascinating article by Rabbi Avraham Y. Heschel regarding an ancient custom of displaying ostrich eggs in a Beis Knesses. ...
7
votes
5answers
278 views

Does one need to perform a delayed brit milah at the first possible time?

If a baby is sick on the 8th day, the brit is pushed off until the baby is healthy. Once the mohel and doctor determine that the baby is healthy, does the brit need to be performed right away (on that ...
7
votes
1answer
284 views

Jews were on 49th level of Tumah. Says who?

There is a well known idea that when the Jews left Egypt during the Exodus, they were on the "forty-ninth level of tumah". Many explanations are given for this and it is expounded upon at length by a ...
7
votes
1answer
398 views

When do the restrictions of 3 weeks start when 17 Tammuz is on Shabbos?

When do the restrictions of 3 weeks start when 17 Tammuz is on Shabbos (e.g. this year)? Do they start motzei shabbos (already 18 Tammuz), since the 17 Tammuz is technically on shabbos or do they ...
7
votes
1answer
215 views

Zohar vs. Yerushalmi

M"B 25:42 makes it clear that we always follow Gemara over Zohar. And we similarly follow Bavli over Yerushalmi (as is clear from the Hirhurim article quoted in this related discussion). However, do ...
7
votes
2answers
253 views

Why are modern conversions valid?

I have heard that Rashi said that there are three requirements for conversion: brit milah; mikveh; korban in Beit Hamikdash. If this is true, why is it that this is not rendering modern conversions ...
7
votes
3answers
82 views

Why couldn't the Jews do Teshuva by the incident of the spies?

After Hashem chastised the Jews for not wanting to go into Eretz Yisrael, and told them that they will have to die in the desert, the Jews seemed to have had a change of heart. A few even were willing ...
7
votes
1answer
861 views

Does casual sex establish a marriage?

Do premarital sexual relations effect Kiddushin (betrothal/first step of Jewish marriage) if there is no intention of getting married? If so, is the physical act itself determinative of whether or ...
7
votes
1answer
239 views

How was Rabbi Yochanan allowed to walk with his son's bone?

It says in Brachos 5B that R' Yochanan used to show people his tenth son's bone (all of his children passed away, and he used to carry a bone of his tenth child). How was he allowed to not bury this ...
7
votes
3answers
305 views

Resources for learning Hebrew from scratch?

I was raised as a Jewish identifying secular child, and it's only in my adolescence/adulthood I've really become at all observant. One of the problems is, of course, I've never had a Hebrew class! ...
7
votes
1answer
111 views

Prenatal testing

I've been hearing that some people are discouraging prenatal testing for halachic reasons but it seems pretty important to me. Does anyone know if there's actually something halachicly wrong about ...
7
votes
1answer
84 views

Dancing during kidush levana on sefiras haomer

After making kidush levana there is a custom to dance and sing a song "Tovim meorot...". Is it permissible to dance after kidush levana of the month of Iyar, as it falls during the mourning days of ...
7
votes
1answer
98 views

Connection between the metzora's purification and the Four Species of Sukkos?

In the procedure prescribed for the first stage of a metzora's purification (Lev. 14:1-7), the Torah lists four items to be dipped into a mixture of blood and water: a live bird, a piece of cedar ...
7
votes
1answer
228 views

Timtum Halev not b'derech achila

Does the notion of Timtum Halev -- dulling of the heart (spirutal damage) which Rabbeniu Bachaye explains in Vayikra 11:43 -- apply when the non kosher food was put in one's body without doing it ...
7
votes
1answer
117 views

Is the Haftarah a Minhag?

Is reading the Haftarah a Minhag? I know that the practice was instituted when we couldn't publicly read torah, and then it was kept. Does that make it a Minhag?
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How are sorcery or witchcraft viewed in Judaism and Jewish Mysticism?

How are sorcery or witchcraft viewed in Judaism? I have heard that it has something to do with Kabbalah. Please correct me if I am wrong. Also Solomon (may peace and blessings be upon him) is falsely ...
7
votes
3answers
89 views

Melachah on Shabbath - after Shabbath

If Melachah was done on Shabbath, can the product of that Melachah be enjoyed after Shabbath, and if so, under what criteria (does it depend on how long after Shabbath, or on the need, or something ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

What was Moshe's “masveh”?

The Torah relates that Moshe donned a מסוה to hid the luminescence of his face, when addressing the community. What was the nature/appearance of this "masveh"?
7
votes
3answers
184 views

Is Daylight Saving Time a Mitzvah DeOraitha or Takkanah DeRabanan? [closed]

This week many in the U.S. will change their clocks for Daylight Saving Time. Is this a Mitzvah DeOraitha or Takkanah DeRabanan? I can't seem to find any source for this except a poorly worded and ...
7
votes
3answers
240 views

Can one “take over” the Megillah reading?

Suppose the one who is leining (reading) the Megillah needs to stop in the middle of leining, and is unable to continue. Is someone who was there the entire time allowed to take over?

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