6
votes
1answer
571 views

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?

Is there a problem of "chukat goyim" with the bride having "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" at her wedding?
6
votes
2answers
743 views

How to pray in public places?

If you're stuck in a public place (e.g. airport, mall) and need to daven (pray) -- usually it's Mincha, right before sunset: what's the best way to do it?
6
votes
4answers
361 views

Priority of Davening with a Minyan

Is it better to Daven [pray] with a earlier large minyan or better to wait to daven later with a much smaller minyan where I will be needed as the tenth?
5
votes
1answer
60 views

Meat and dairy shamir worms? [closed]

If I used a shamir to cut through over-baked colov yisroel NY pizza and also to penetrate my mother-in-law's dry meatloaf, would I need one shamir worm for meat and the other for dairy, or can I use ...
5
votes
2answers
405 views

Why do we celebrate Chanukah?

The more I read about Chanukah, the less I understand why we celebrate the holiday. The victory, as I understand it, was costly and very short-lived. Yes, the Temple was restored, but only to be ...
5
votes
1answer
531 views

Should you say a new Bracha on coffee when leaving the coffee shop?

If I drink a coffee in a coffee shop, do I need to make another blessing when continuing outside if that's common for me to do? http://berachot.org/halacha/10_location.html says: "Additionally, you ...
5
votes
1answer
64 views

Kaparos with fish

In How to do kapparos with fish it discusses doing Kaparos with fish. Is anyone aware of any group or individuals that do Kaparos with fish?
5
votes
4answers
146 views

Does Judaism encourage secular learning?

Does Judaism encourage secular learning? Maths, Sciences: Biology, Chemistry, Automata Theory et cetera . . .
5
votes
1answer
63 views

Tzedakah and Maaser - one obligation or two?

I understand that the obligation to give Maaser from our income is a sub-category of the overall commandment to give Tzedakah but consider the following question: If I made a promise (Neder) to give ...
5
votes
4answers
144 views

Is there a basis for the practice of starting Shmoneh Esreh with the chazzan?

When davening with a minyan which is doing "heiche kedushah," some start saying the silent Shmoneh Esreh together with the chazzan. However, the Rama (Orach Chaim 109:2) says that ideally one should ...
5
votes
2answers
453 views

Do I sit Shiva after my parents if I am converted to Judaism?

If the parents of a ger pass away, must the convert sit shiva for them? If so, is it preferable to sit shiva in the mourner's hometown or the parent's hometown?
5
votes
1answer
78 views

What's the source that Rabbi Akiva's students stopped passing away on Lag BaOmer?

The source of Rabbi Akiva's students passing away during Sefira is from the Gemara in Yevamos 62b רבי יהושע אומר נשא אדם אשה בילדותו ישא אשה בזקנותו היו לו בנים בילדותו יהיו לו בנים בזקנותו שנא' ...
5
votes
2answers
190 views

Is scaring someone allowed?

Is scaring or startling someone for no reason allowed? What if there is a reason, such as helping them get rid of the hiccups? By scaring I am referring to causing someone to be afraid, such as by ...
5
votes
1answer
220 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
249 views

Do the rules of chametz apply to IV nutrition?

Does chametz apply only to what is eaten orally or to any type of nutrition / food regardless of how it is ingested?
5
votes
3answers
67 views

How did the Levites erect the mishkan at each stop if they couldn't the first time?

In Exodus 39:32–33, the Jews finished building the various parts of the Tabernacle and brought them to Moses. The commentary of Rashi: They brought the Tabernacle, etc., because they ...
5
votes
1answer
187 views

Biblical Prohibition of Breaking Shabbos/Shabbat

Somebody does not think that something is breaking Shabbos but suspects it may be an issue, yet they don't want to delve into the law because they don't want to stop doing what they are doing and they ...
5
votes
1answer
211 views

I would like to see an actual Vilna Shas

I would like to see the pages of an actual Vilna Shas. I know there are many many reprints out there in bookstores, my bookshelf, and websites like http://www.e-daf.com, but that's not what I want. I ...
5
votes
3answers
157 views

Is “pikuach nefesh” on shabbos “hutrah” or “dichuya”?

Whenever two mitzvos come into conflict with each other, and one is given precedence over the other (such as in the case of מילה on Shabbos, or any עשה דוחה לא תעשה), there is usually discussion over ...
5
votes
3answers
238 views

Is there any Mikras Gedolos in English?

Is there any Mikras Gedolos in English? I am interested in learning Meforshim on Chumash, and I wanted to know if there were any online or in a store.
5
votes
1answer
139 views

How are “Orthoprax” people treated in halacha?

There are several cases of people who identify as "Orthoprax", meaning that they follow mitzvot, but do not believe in G-d. (Most notable have been the cases of anonymous rabbis like the aforelinked ...
5
votes
1answer
154 views

Would a Greek sefer torah be read from in Greek?

If a sefer Torah was written in Greek, would it have been publicly read from in the Greek translation only, or would they also use a Hebrew scroll?
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Why does this app require me to agree not to use it on Shabbat?

I downloaded a Shabbat Alert app for my iPad, because i needed an alarm that would shut off after a few minutes. It worked fine (except that my iPad was muted), and it seemed to be quite halachic. In ...
5
votes
2answers
479 views

Akum, Nochri, and Goy

I see a lot of Halachic and Aggadic texts where the words גוי, נכרי, עכו"ם are all used interchangeably. Usually I notice it in places where two people are using different versions of a text (one from ...
5
votes
0answers
73 views

Why don't we say “Misod” for Geshem and Tal?

On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Shat"z says a short paragraph at the beginning of his repetition that starts with the words "מסוד חכמים ונבונים," which is an explanation for the insertion of extra ...
5
votes
2answers
326 views

Do I need to wear a different tallit katan when I sleep?

If I wear a tallit katan during the day and also to bed, can I wear the same one during the day and also to bed? Or must the one I wear to bed be a different one than the one I wore during the day? ...
5
votes
2answers
118 views

Are you allowed to extract buried Shemos?

I understand that the burying of Sheimos, in a sense, is similar to burying a dead body. I assume that in the same way that you cannot dig up a dead body except for some unusual situations, you cannot ...
5
votes
1answer
174 views

When is the Halacha like Raba and when like Abaye?

I've run across variations of the following: קיימא לן דהלכתא כרבא בכל מקום פרט ליע"ל קג"ם That the halacha is like Raba in every place in the Talmud except six place where it is like Abaye. The ...
5
votes
2answers
264 views

Covering eyes for Shema

What is the requirement of covering our eyes for Shema? For example, do your eyes need to be closed? Must one cover with their hand? Does it matter which hand is used?
5
votes
1answer
180 views

Did Yael Sleep with Sisra?

I've read that Yael slept with Sisra, but this obviously isn't directly in the text. What is the source for this and the reasoning behind it. Wasn't Yael married?
5
votes
2answers
309 views

Is Goy meant to be a pejorative term?

I have never heard this word before, but the Wikipedia article insists: The word is also used to pejoratively describe those not of Jewish descent. It is commonly used to refer to Christians and ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

Tune for Aishes Chayil

In all of my experience at Friday night meals, Aishes Chayil is always sung to the same tune. In the US and Israel, in Yeshivos and hotels, I've only heard one tune used. What's the origin of this ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Why shouldn't we pray outdoors?

In the answer to another question about tefilla, I read: "that it was against halacha to stand outside and daven out in the open under the Kippas HaShamayim [canopy of the heavens]." This is new ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

Badikas Chamatz in courtyards of cities today

Shulchan Aruch HaRav says: קרקעית החצר אין צריך בדיקה לפי שעורבין ושאר עופות מצויין שם והם אוכלים כל חמץ שנופל ואפילו אם ידוע לו שיש שם בחצר ודאי חמץ אין צריך ליטלו משם בשעת בדיקת ליל י"ד ואפילו ...
5
votes
3answers
144 views

Noachide Dietary Restrictions

Noachides are not commanded to keep Kosher but we do know the sixth commandment given us is "The prohibition of eating flesh taken from an animal while it is still alive" can someone clarify (Not give ...
5
votes
0answers
63 views

Immersing a dish used for a gift

(Based in part on this question.) If I purchase a new dish that would require immersion, and I use the dish FOR a gift (I bring brownies on the dish to my Jewish neighbor), and I do not intend to ...
5
votes
4answers
276 views

How did Abraham conclude that the world must have a master?

Abraham is said to have arrived at the existence of Gd in Gen Rabah 39: אמר רבי יצחק משל לאחד שהיה עובר ממקום למקום וראה בירה אחת דולקת אמר תאמר שהבירה זו בלא מנהיג הציץ עליו בעל הבירה אמר לו ...
5
votes
3answers
156 views

Niqqud of the name of the מהר"ץ חיות

What is the correct niqqud to put on the name of the מהר"ץ חיות? Wikipedia claims that his last name is spelled Chajes in English, and that Chayes or Hayot may also be seen. This seems to imply that ...
5
votes
2answers
275 views

understanding tzimtzum k'peshuto

According to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, the Vilna Gaon holds that the tzimtzum is to be understood literally, that God literally withdrew Himself from the creation. How can this be understood given that ...
5
votes
0answers
130 views

Referring to Gentile Priest as “Father”

Is it permissible to either refer to or address a gentile priest as "Father XXXXXXXXX"? What alternatives might there be?
5
votes
4answers
160 views

How does one calculate how much time to devote to torah learning and how much time for livelihood?

In Judaism, the study of torah is considered above all else. However, there is also a need to be able to provide for one's family. How does one calculate the amount of time one should devote to torah ...
5
votes
1answer
483 views

What did Rambam say about non-Jews putting on tefilin?

My mother says she's Jewish and I am also, but I'm still worried that maybe I am not and she is not and her mother is not and just they don't know but believe to be. Is there anywhere that the Rambam ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

Receiving financial benefit to give maaser money

Is there any problem with receiving money in exchange for giving maaser or tzedeka to a particular person. For example Reuvan has $1000 maaser and Shimon comes to him and says "give the money to levy ...
5
votes
1answer
253 views

A source for the claim that the Satmar Ruv (R' Yoel Teitelbaum) said to VP Hubert Humphrey “Sell weapons to Israel!”

There is a commonly quoted anecdote that when Vice President Hubert Humphrey came to the Satmar Rav for votes in 1968 and asked him what he could do for him the Satmar Rav replied "Sell weapons to ...
5
votes
1answer
363 views

What is meant by the 974 “worlds” that were “created and destroyed”?

Midrash Tehillim 90:13 says that God created and destroyed 974 worlds before this one. What exactly does that mean? I've heard it used in defense of a modern understanding of evolution and cosmology ...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Source for bechorot losing/reclaiming priesthood

At a parshat hashavua shiur that I regularly attend, the rabbi has stated on multiple occasions that the bechorot (firstborn sons of Israel) were supposed to serve the purpose that the Leviim and ...
5
votes
1answer
711 views

Does someone maternally Jewish, but without documented proof, need “giyur l'chumra”?

If a person is Jewish by maternal decent, but can't prove it conclusively through documents. Do they need to convert? Do they need normal conversion or giyur l'chumra? What are the steps involved? I ...
5
votes
2answers
164 views

Eliyahu was answered as soon as he prayed. How does that prove the importance of mincha over other prayers?

The gemoro in Berachot 6b says, Rabbi Chelbo said in the name of Rav Huna: one should always be careful about the prayer of Mincha, as Eliyahu was answered only at the time of the prayer of ...
5
votes
6answers
560 views

How did Vashti grow a tail?

In מגילה דף יב (Megillah 12a-b) it gives two reasons as to why Vashti did not go to Achashveirosh when he requested her to the party. The first reason is that Vashti had Tzarat (a metaphysical skin ...
5
votes
8answers
347 views

Why did Avraham wait to have a bris?

Chazal tells us (Midrash Rabbah Bereishis 64:4 and 95:3; Yoma 28b, based on. Gen. 26:5; Kiddushin 82a) that the Patriarchs observed the mitzvahs before they were given. But Avraham did not circumcize ...

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