6
votes
2answers
192 views

Feet together or just heels for Shmoneh Esrei?

During Shmoneh Esrei, i've always learned that the feet should be kept together, for whatever reason. However, lately i've noticed people who only keep their heels together, but not the rest of their ...
6
votes
2answers
94 views

Snakes talking?

I am wondering why snakes no longer talk. The Lord punished the serpent by making him crawl on his belly and eat dust, and be at odds with Eve's offspring, but it does not mention taking away the ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

What is the reason for the specific items listed in Pirkei Avot 5:6 being created just before Shabbat?

Pirkei Avot chapter 5, mishnah 6 says: Ten things were created at twilight of Shabbat eve. These are: the mouth of the earth [that swallowed Korach]; the mouth of [Miriam's] well; the mouth of ...
6
votes
4answers
263 views

Is it permissible to write the English/secular date?

Is it permissible to write the secular/Christian date? Example: On a letter (bad example but you get what I mean). Some conceivable issues: We're told "this month (Nisan) shall be for you the head ...
6
votes
2answers
191 views

Did I steal anything by eating from someone else's all-you-can-eat order?

I was eating in a restaurant with my friend, who ordered an "all-you-can-eat" menu item (so he could take as much food as he wants) and gave me some of the food to taste. I ate about a plateful. ...
6
votes
1answer
93 views

What's up with those “drushy” Rashis in Nasso

In Bamidbar chapter 7, around verse 19, Rashi suddenly turns uncharacteristically "drushy". He starts bringing all kinds of gematrias about the korbanot that the nesiim bring. But the gematrias don't ...
6
votes
2answers
74 views

I thought Gezeirah Shavah requires Mesorah

In Masecheth Rosh Hashanah (9b), the Gemara uses a Gezeirah Shavah from Tishrei, with the word שנה, to support the Mishnah's ruling that 'Orlah is counted from Tishrei. In response, however, the ...
6
votes
1answer
241 views

Can I use a Keurig coffee machine if someone else has used a non-kosher “pod”?

My office has a Keurig machine. They work by inserting small plastic cups, called "pods", that contain coffee or other items. As I understand the machine's mechanism, hot water drips through the pod ...
6
votes
2answers
893 views

Angel in the womb for women?

The Talmud (Niddah 30b) teaches us that when a child is in the womb, an angel comes and teaches it the entire Torah, which he subsequently forgets. The simple reading of the Gemara gives no reason to ...
6
votes
2answers
157 views

Adopting minhagim not from your mesorah

Is it appropriate to adopt minhagim that have historically not been observed by your community? Examples Ashkenazim pointing to the sefer Torah, usually with the pinky, during hagbah (after Krias ...
6
votes
1answer
116 views

Lending Money and Inflation

When lending money, Jews are not allowed to charge other Jews interest. However, due to inflation, the value of money decreases with time, such that the money that is repaid is worth less than that ...
6
votes
1answer
103 views

Redeeming maaser sheini on paper money

I know that the mishna says that maaser sheini* can only be redeemed on coins and not something else. (See this answer.) However, this was written around 2000 years ago, and the way money works has ...
6
votes
3answers
131 views

Are the works of Maimonides treated as divinely inspired?

How are the writings of Moses Maimonides typically "seen" by Jews? Are his works considered to be directly inspired by God (such as the Tanakh) and therefore infallible, or are they considered to be ...
6
votes
1answer
96 views

First Use of the Phrase “Cheit HaMeraglim”

The negative report given by the people who are sent to scout the land of Cana'an before Bnei Yisrael go in, resulting in the punishment that they have to wander for another 38 years in the desert, is ...
6
votes
4answers
282 views

Is it kosher to eat live fish

In some countries people like to eat animals that are still alive (e.g. dancing squid / octopus). Clearly these animals are not kosher, but it is also possible to eat kosher-types fish that are either ...
6
votes
1answer
125 views

Graciously accepting gifts [closed]

I delivered Shalach Manos today to a number of people. Much to my dismay, everyone accepted them graciously and gratefully, and not a single person expressed how disappointed they were with my gifts. ...
6
votes
5answers
499 views

Effect of Maariv being originally optional

Is there any practical application of the fact that maariv was originally instituted as an optional prayer, and only later became binding because it was universally accepted? Full disclosure: I ...
6
votes
4answers
283 views

Is cholent required?

Is making cholent on Shabbos a minhag that is so universal that it has in effect become required for Ashkenazim? Or, if I am correct that it is required (by at least some authorities) to have hot ...
6
votes
5answers
370 views

Is there any source that says that women should / should not get drunk on Purim?

The prevalent מנהג is that women do not get drunk on Purim. I assume this due to tznius (modesty) concerns. Is there any ancient or recent source that explicitly discusses women not/yes drinking on ...
6
votes
2answers
156 views

Why did Moshe need to go up Har Sinai to be told to go down?

Exodus 19:20-21 וַיֵּ֧רֶד יְהוָ֛ה עַל־ הַ֥ר סִינַ֖י אֶל־ רֹ֣אשׁ הָהָ֑ר וַיִּקְרָ֨א יְהוָ֧ה לְמֹשֶׁ֛ה אֶל־ רֹ֥אשׁ הָהָ֖ר וַיַּ֥עַל מֹשֶֽׁה׃ וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יְהוָה֙ אֶל־ מֹשֶׁ֔ה ...
6
votes
3answers
142 views

Shabbos activities for kids

We have three children aged 11 (boy), 4 (girl) 2 (boy). We started keeping Shabbos a while ago and we realise that it gets hard for the kids at some point. I was wondering if you could suggest ...
6
votes
1answer
163 views

What is the earliest source of the story of Serach bas Asher and the harp?

This post indicates that the earliest source for the story of Serach bas Asher and the harp, wherein she notified Yakov that Yosef was still alive in a very subtle musical fashion, is a very late ...
6
votes
4answers
156 views

Rashi and Corporealsim

Shemos 7:4- וְלֹא-יִשְׁמַע אֲלֵכֶם פַּרְעֹה, וְנָתַתִּי אֶת-יָדִי בְּמִצְרָיִם; וְהוֹצֵאתִי אֶת-צִבְאֹתַי אֶת-עַמִּי בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, בִּשְׁפָטִים, גְּדֹלִים There, Rashi ...
6
votes
2answers
201 views

reason for black lines on wool talis katan

What is the reason why wool talis katanim have black lines on them? Why don't talis katanim of other materials have them also?
6
votes
1answer
249 views

When will the period of Acharonim end?

What will mark the end of the period of Acharonim? What in general demarcates rabbinical eras? Are these halachic rules or conventions?
6
votes
2answers
132 views

What is the correct order of directions for shaking the lulav?

I remember last year seeing two different orders of directions for shaking the lulav. In one case people did left, right, front, back, up, down, while in the other they did front, right, back, left, ...
6
votes
1answer
147 views

Any Halachic Problems with App Publishing?

I'm currently in the process of developing a mobile app, that, be'h will have various Israel related feeds. I was wondering if there could be any Halachic issues with respect to including news feeds ...
6
votes
1answer
212 views

How to vowelize “כתובה” (“marriage document”)?

The promissory note a husband gives his wife when they wed is called a כתובה. In my experience, people usually pronounce/vowelize this word "כְּתֻבָּה / k'suba". Such a form (mishkal) exists in ...
6
votes
1answer
137 views

“Nahhat Ruahh l'Yotzro” source

At the end of מוסף לשבת in דרכי אבות השלם (p. 375), a quotation is written in the name of רבי יהודה: אמר רבי יהודה: אשרי מי שעמלו בתורה ועושה נחת רוח ליוצרו Can anyone help me find the exact ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

Chazon Ish and Medicine

I have recently studied the Chazon Ish's work Emunah U'Vitachon and in the opening pages, the Chazon Ish displays a vast knowledge of human anatomy. Also, the Chazon Ish successfully mapped out a plan ...
6
votes
2answers
84 views

Does Rashi's commentary on a quoted mishna reflect the true explanation?

Often the Bavli will quote a mishna from another maseches (tractate) or another part of the same maseches. Does Rashi's commentary on the Bavli's quotation of the mishna reflect his interpretation of ...
6
votes
2answers
463 views

How do we understand Talmudic predictions of Moshiach?

There are some predictions in the Talmud for when Moshiach/Messiah will come. Avoda Zara 9b brings a Beraisa and Rabbi Chanina that say when Moshiach will come (the opinions are a few years apart), ...
6
votes
1answer
348 views

Marriage Where Witnesses can Never be Found

Suppose a Jewish man and Jewish woman end up stranded on an island in the South Pacific as a result of a plane crash or ship wreck, with no other survivors, and no hope of rescue. In fact, respective ...
6
votes
2answers
160 views

English-speaking yeshivoth for beginners

Can someone recommend a postsecondary yeshiva for English-speaking beginners in the US, Europe or Israel? By "beginners" I mean people without good skills in gemara. For example, I studied Jewish law ...
6
votes
0answers
76 views

Are placebos permitted without telling the person they are getting one?

Does Judaism allow placebos where the person thinks it does something, and is thereby cured, even though the item does nothing? Is this gnevas da'as (or some other issur), or because it can help them ...
6
votes
1answer
134 views

How much of the sefer torah did the king read each day?

According to D'varim 17:18-20, a king was required to write for himself a sefer torah and read from it each day ( וְקָרָא בוֹ כָּל-יְמֵי חַיָּיו). This doesn't say he had to read the whole sefer each ...
6
votes
2answers
334 views

Is it permitted to learn in kollel without earning a living?

Based on this post which states in part: Ramoh in Yoreh Deah, 246:21 “A person should hire himself out for alien work rather than requiring assistance from others”; “The man who is ...
6
votes
3answers
131 views

Why seem to sell and be mafkir chametz?

My understanding is that we do both of the following: We (appoint a rabbi as an agent to) sell our chametz to a gentile. This sale takes place the morning of the day before Pesach, before the ...
6
votes
2answers
140 views

If Hashem brought about Macos Bechoros by himself, with out any angel, then what is the משחית?

If Hashem brought about Macos Bechoros by himself, with out any angel, then what is the משחית that would not harm the Bnei Yisroel mentioned in Shemot Chapter 12, Verse 23? Premises based on the ...
6
votes
1answer
165 views

What's “chosen” about Jews?

Jews are commonly referred to as "the chosen people". I've heard it comes from Exodus 19:5 ("וִהְיִיתֶם לִי סְגֻלָּה מִכָּל הָעַמִּים", "ye shall be Mine own treasure from among all peoples", JPS). ...
6
votes
2answers
197 views

How to salt a chicken at home?

I'm Sara Gittel from the Shtetl and I just got back to my home with my freshly shechted chicken that I had brought to our local Shochet. I seem to have forgotten though how to salt it. Can please ...
6
votes
3answers
173 views

Meat right after Milk… make a new bracha?

Suppose someone is planning on having some dairy food just before a meat meal. May the person make a bracha to cover the entire dairy/meat meal, or must he finish his dairy, make a bracha achrona, and ...
6
votes
1answer
151 views

Is it ever permissible to break Shabbos in order to relieve someone of suffering?

Is it ever permissible to break Shabbos in order to relieve someone (a human or an animal) of suffering? I am talking about excruciating suffering, not merely discomfort, and I am not talking about ...
6
votes
2answers
209 views

Why do we quote the pasuk from Pesach Sheni for Korech?

At the seder, by Korech (the sandwich) we state So did Hillel do. When the Temple was standing he would bind [meat from the} Pesach [offering] Matzah and Marror and eat them as one. As the verse ...
6
votes
2answers
254 views

What is Ruach Rah

Right in the beginning of Shulchan Aruch we see this idea of "Ruach Rah". In regards to washing ones hands and all that comes before that -- not walking more than 4 amos without washing one's hands, ...
6
votes
0answers
103 views

Is Juneau, Alaska — surrounded by natural barriers — a natural eruv

I recently visited Juneau, Alaska. It is a small city of 35,000. The city limits are quite large, however -- 3,225 square miles -- but much of this area is separated from downtown Juneau on Douglas ...
6
votes
3answers
211 views

The media in Shushan [closed]

Esther 10:2 says: הֲלוֹא-הֵם כְּתוּבִים, עַל-סֵפֶר דִּבְרֵי הַיָּמִים, לְמַלְכֵי מָדַי Behold, they are written in the book of chronicles of the kings of the media. Who were the kings ...
6
votes
3answers
302 views

May we genetically engineer stuff?

The possibilities of genetic engineering continue to grow. May a Jewish scientist genetically engineer things?
6
votes
1answer
171 views

Why was Hosea acceptable to the people if he took his adulterous wife back?

Hosea is described by Rabbi Yochanan in Pesachim 87a as the greatest of the four major prophets. At G-d's command (Hosea 1:2), he married a prostitute, Gomer, and fathered children, although there ...
6
votes
2answers
160 views

Shechting non-Kosher animals

The question was asked: If someone for example is sick and must eat from a non-kosher animal. Must it be shechted (slaughtered) first like a kosher animal? I don't see any reason why it should, since ...

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