11
votes
4answers
345 views

May I drink water while wearing tefillin?

If I am wearing Tefilin, and I feel very thirsty, should I take off my Tefllin to drink, (if I am even allowed to interrupt) or am I allowed to drink water while wearing Tefilin?
11
votes
1answer
401 views

הוא is he? Or is it?

The third-person feminine pronoun in Hebrew is היא, "hee." But in most instances in the Torah, the word is spelled הוא, with a vav rather than a yud as the middle letter. How does this make sense ...
11
votes
1answer
215 views

How does Judaism regard homeschooling?

The title quite says it. I'm specifically more interested in unschooling.... It is said in Ktubot, 50:b, that: אמר רב יצחק באושא התקינו שיהא אדם מתגלגל עם בנו עד שתים עשרה שנה מכאן ואילך יורד ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a “Sephardic Jew”?

My name is Paul Avila (yea, I know, doesn't sound Jewish at all) I was born in the Azores Portugal and moved to the United States when I was 2. People always ask me if I am Persian. Never ...
11
votes
1answer
457 views

Kapparos on money - How much?

If one does the Minhag of Kapparos on money, how much money should be used for each person? (Sources.)
11
votes
3answers
482 views

Time dilation and waiting between meat and milk

Suppose Ploni eats some meat. He then gets in a spaceship and accelerates to some significant percentage of the speed of light for a short trip into outer space, and then returns home. At the time ...
11
votes
1answer
235 views

Does a child own what he's implicitly given by his parents?

I assume that when a parent owns an object and a child uses it, it remains the property of the parent's absent any intent/declaration on the parent's part to grant it to the child (and absent an act ...
11
votes
2answers
161 views

Is a quarry a kosher mikva?

I live near a rock quarry that was discontinued and somehow filled with water. I don't know exactly how this one was filled but from looking online it seems that usually what happens is that while ...
11
votes
1answer
238 views

Is all-night Shavu'ot learning as prevelant in the Southern Hemisphere?

In the Northern Hemisphere, Shavu'ot falls in the late Spring or early Summer. As a result, sunrise is relatively early, so learning "all night" and then praying the morning service at the earliest ...
11
votes
2answers
509 views

Heretics in the bathroom

From my understanding a torah scroll written by a heretic has no sanctity and should be burned (Gittin 45b). May one read torah related material, written by a heretic but that contains nothing ...
11
votes
2answers
718 views

What is a “Rabbi Meir Bal Hanes” tzedaka?

I have seen several Tzedaka organizations calling themselves something like "Colel Chabad (or Kupas Ha'Ir) Rabbi Meir Baal Haness Charity". What does it mean that it is a "Rabbi Meir Baal Haness" ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do Fish not need Shechita?

In order to eat "regular" Kosher animals, there is a requirement for the animal to undergo Shechita (ritual slaughter). If an animal were to be killed / die without Shechita it is forbidden to be ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

How often did the average Israelite bring offerings to the temple?

In addition to the mandated communal offerings, individual Jews were liable for, or permitted to bring, a variety of offerings of their own. How often did the average Israelite bring each type of ...
11
votes
1answer
127 views

Facing Yerushalaim during Kaddish

Must one face Yerushlaim (or the Hechal) when reciting Kaddish,the way one should for Amida? This seems to be generally practiced; does it have a source in the Shulchan Aruch or achronim or is it a ...
11
votes
2answers
269 views

Rashi on Yerushalmi

Why is there no Rashi on Yerushalmi? What can I learn instead? Is there anything that can replace it, and why was it not written?
11
votes
1answer
323 views

Why do Sifrei Emes use different taamim?

I know that the Sifrei Emes (Tehillim, Mishlei, Iyov) use a different system of taamim. Why is this? What is it about these books that makes it that they cannot — or should not — use the ...
11
votes
1answer
201 views

Why did the Vilna Gaon not approve of singing the zemiroh “Tzur Mishelo” on Shabbos?

I understand that the Vilna Gaon did not approve of singing the zemiroh “Tzur Mishelo” on Shabbos because it could be valid as Grace after Meals. But on Shabbos, Grace after Meals is not valid ...
11
votes
1answer
214 views

When do we read a vav prefix as “or” rather than “and”?

This answer cites the Ralbag as interpreting a (critical-to-the-question) vav prefix on a verb as "or". I've heard before that a vav prefix is not always "and" and can be "or" or even "but". Is ...
11
votes
4answers
409 views

How to keep bees out of the Sukkah?

Many years (but not all), we have had bee problems in the Sukkah. This is probably caused by the fact that we continue to use honey for dipping the Challah throughout Sukkos. What are some practical ...
11
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I avoid thirst when fasting?

I started fasting on Yom Kippur as an adult, about 10 years ago. A couple times I had to drink a glass of water either after Kol Nidre or before Shacharit, because I felt completely dehydrated (I did ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

חס ושלום! (whatever that means)

What on earth does חס ושלום mean literally, or what is its etymology? Why do people use that phrase in particular to "ward off" bad things? (That last part of the question is not asking whether saying ...
11
votes
1answer
500 views

Does one choose one or two pesukim for names?

What posuk does one choose at the end of shmonei esrei if one has two names? do you use two pesukim? or take the posuk that starts with the first initial of the first name and ends with the last ...
11
votes
3answers
640 views

What has the Holocaust taught us as a people?

The Holocaust was one of the most horrific and important events in our history. What have rabbis said are lessons we should take from it? I am looking for lessons that should apply to all Jews, ...
11
votes
2answers
817 views

Taking a Shower after the Mikvah

Is there any problem with taking a shower after dipping in the Mikvah? I once heard there was.
11
votes
3answers
228 views

Is it possible to convert a Rosh of a Rabeynu Tam Tefillin into a rosh of a Rashi Tefillin?

If I find a Rabeynu Tamm tefillin and I do not have another one , can I take it appart , and I know how to , and change the ROSH from Rabeynu Tam to a Rashi tefillin ?
11
votes
4answers
537 views

Clapping on Shabbos

Is one allowed to clap one's hands on Shabbos? Does it matter whether one is clapping to a beat or trying to get someone's attention?
11
votes
3answers
782 views

Where did the “different bracha for mishloach manos” idea come from?

Rambam and Shulchan Aruch say you can send two types of meat as mishloach manos on Purim. Yet somehow I (and many other people, apparently) were taught that the two different items have to be in two ...
11
votes
2answers
321 views

Blind and Marriage

The Gemara tells us that a man may not marry a woman without first seeing her because if she turns out to be displeasing to him then he will transgress the mitzvah of "Ve'ahavtah lerei'acha ...
11
votes
2answers
186 views

Does the term “ארץ ישראל” ever appear in Tanach?

Do these words ever appear together as one phrase in Tanach?
11
votes
1answer
284 views

2.4 million killed according to Rashi in B'shalach. Why does no one talk about it?

In the begining of Parshat B'shalach, Rashi says that one p'shat for "Vachamushim" means one fifth, because during Makas Choshech, 4 out of 5 were killed out, and it happened during the time it was ...
11
votes
4answers
372 views

Crocs on Yom Kippur?

Given the prohibition of wearing certain footwear on Yom Kippur, is one allowed to wear Crocs on Yom Kippur? Or are they too comfortable or something?
11
votes
3answers
504 views

How Kabbalistically accurate is the golem-making procedure described in “Niflaos Maharal”?

There's been plenty of discussion about the historic authenticity of "Niflaos Maharal", a book that appeared in the early 1900s describing how the Maharal made a Golem to defend the Jews against blood ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the lemon slice added to a soda in many bars a problem kosher-wise?

Many bars (and hotel lobbies) will add a lemon wedge to the top of a glass of soda; often it's used to differentiate between Diet Coke (gets the lemon) and regular Coke (no lemon). Does this pose a ...
11
votes
1answer
172 views

Puk Chazi - Go and See

There is a concept from the Gemara referred to as "Puk Chazi", go and see (as I understand). What are the applications and qualifications of this idea? Does "Puk Chazi", i.e. noting what people ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Oops, I just missed the siyum for Fast of the Firstborn

I am a firstborn. Suppose I wake up late on Erev Pesach and walk into shul right after they finish the siyum. Can I still partake in the post-siyum meal, or am I too late? More precisely, what are ...
11
votes
3answers
540 views

Is it better to wear wool tzitzis?

Is it better halachikally (according to jewish law) to have the beged (garment) of your tzitzis to be made from wool as opposed to cotton? Is it a chumrah?
11
votes
2answers
464 views

What do I do when asked to “open the Aron” or “take out the Torah”?

If I'm in synagogue and someone asks me if I can "open the Aron" or "take out the Sefer Torah," what will I be expected to do, and when?
11
votes
1answer
2k views

Puzzles on Shabbat

Is it permitted to put together puzzles on Shabbat with children? Does it matter what kind of puzzle it is (jigsaw vs. fit the piece in the wooden hole)? Does it matter if there are words on the ...
10
votes
1answer
271 views

Is a birthday cake celebration forbidden as a non-Jewish custom?

From what I understand the custom to celebrate a birthday with a cake adorned with candles that makes a wish on and blows out stems from a Greek ritual. As such I would like to know if any halachic ...
10
votes
6answers
173 views

What did “נ ג ה פ” stand for before the miracle? [closed]

As is well known, the reason we play dreidel on Hanukkah is this: Before the miracle of Hanukkah, when the gentiles who controlled the land severely restricted Torah study, Jewish children would ...
10
votes
1answer
427 views

Do you have to be able to see to do shechita?

In the wake of a question about shechita on a boat (ok, with a cutlass, but also on a boat), the topic of other unusual shechita conditions came up in chat: Can I do it in on a boat? Can I do it ...
10
votes
4answers
191 views

Significance of “Shema Yisrael”

The verse Shema Yisrael (Devarim 6:4) is highly significant. It is Biblically required to be recited twice daily, it is to be said at the end of one's life, and appears in the liturgy at the end of ...
10
votes
2answers
185 views

Is a wooden knife מקבל טומאה?

I know that פשוטי כלי עץ טהורים (wooden vessels that are flat [without a receptacle] cannot become טמא [ritually impure]). (כלים ב:א) What about a wooden knife? It has a function, but doesn't have a ...
10
votes
1answer
153 views

Does braille go to sheimos?

Do things that, when written in print, require placement in sheimos (such as shem Hashem and divrei Torah), need to be placed in sheimos when written in Braille? Would we say that since most people ...
10
votes
3answers
623 views

Why is Bil'am not surprised that his mule is talking to him?

During the scene in parshat Balak, it says that "God opened the mule's mouth" and it asked Bil'am why he hit him. Bil'am answers the donkey. It seems that he is not surprised at all that the donkey is ...
10
votes
2answers
199 views

Calling Someone a Rasha

Sometimes people will speak lashon harah about someone saying that it is allowed because he is a "rasha." Then you may hear others saying that today we never really know who is a rasha and we can't ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

Where does the custom of a second “bar mitzvah” at 83 come from?

I have noticed more 83 year old men celebrating their second bar mitzvahs, and cannot find any source for this. Is it a new custom? Does it have any basis in pre-20th century practice?
10
votes
1answer
304 views

Allowing unmarried/homosexual couples into a hotel

Recently there has been a high profile case in the UK concerning a religious christian couple who own a hotel. Due to their personal religious beliefs their policy was to refuse a room to couples who ...
10
votes
2answers
346 views

Must a Divorced Man Wear a Tallis While Davening?

According to a common custom among Ashkenazim, a man only starts wearing a tallis while davening after he gets married. Does a divorced man continue to wear a tallis when davening? Or could/should he ...
10
votes
3answers
150 views

Why does Yosef use intermediaries to ask Paro for permission to bury Yaakov, when until now he addressed Paro directly?

Bereishit 50:4, after Yaakov's death and mourning, says that Yosef spoke to Paro's house (בֵּית פַּרְעֹה) and asked them to ask Paro for leave so he could go bury his father. During the famine and ...

15 30 50 per page