5
votes
2answers
184 views

Can one buy a slave nowadays?

Assuming that there's no legal issues (like the slave doesn't mind, or doesn't know that he can run away), can one buy a slave nowadays in America to have the laws of an Eved Kenaani?
5
votes
2answers
295 views

Why can men wear pants if pants are immodest?

I have a question from another post here. If pants are considered to be immodest garments in general, aside from the issue of them being a male garment, why are they permissible for men to wear? Are ...
5
votes
1answer
196 views

What does “Aman deAmar” mean?

I go to a Gemara shiur, and the rabbi always says "the first aman deamar", "the second aman deamar"... What does it mean exactly? What is the meaning of the different words?
5
votes
1answer
392 views

Can we use hair clippers?

According to this article by Tzomet, it is forbidden for Jewish males to shave their beards with a razor; however, most electric shavers (with the possible exception of "lift and cut" shavers) are ...
5
votes
1answer
307 views

Is there anything wrong with messing with the rules of Dreidel?

In this article on Slate, Ben Blatt calls the classic rules of Dreidel "slow and unfair," citing simulation-based statistical analysis, and proposes his own modified rules to speed up the game. Given ...
5
votes
2answers
81 views

What happens if a sefer torah might have a mistake?

If a sefer torah has a definite mistake, it cannot be used, and the reading must be done again from a kosher torah. (SA OC 143:4) But what if it only might have a mistake? For example, if it's ...
5
votes
2answers
107 views

Are mouse-deer kosher?

Mouse-deer do chew cud (they has four stomachs), but have not two, but four hoofed toes. Are they kosher?
5
votes
2answers
121 views

Do any commentaries explain the charade that Yosef put the brothers through as done with bad intention?

It seems that over the last few hundred years all the commentators that have written on the subject, and all the darshanim I hear talking about it, take for granted that the entire episode concerning ...
5
votes
2answers
84 views

Why no Chazaras HaShatz at Maariv

Why do we do Chazaras HaShatz for Shacharit and Mincha, but not for Maariv? (It would be appreciated if you can find a source/support)
5
votes
1answer
151 views

May a non Ethiopian Jew celebrate Sigd?

Ethiopian Jews recently celebrated their festival of Sigd, which involves reaccaptence of the Torah, communal fasting and feasting, and prayers. Is it acceptable for someone of a Minhag other than ...
5
votes
2answers
74 views

Stam viYesh Halacha k'…?

This question is a followup to these comments When the Shulchan Aruch brings two opinions as to what the halacha in a given situation is, the first is brought without a name, and the second is ...
5
votes
4answers
274 views

Are non-Orthodox marriages recognized by Orthodox rabbis?

Let's suppose a couple was married by a Reform rabbi in a standard reform ceremony (with egalitarian ketubah, and many other modifications to traditional kiddushin). If the couple later become baalei ...
5
votes
2answers
84 views

Prayer of Avraham Avinu at Mount Moriah

On Yom Kippur and in Selichos we pray "The One who answered Avraham Avinu's prayer on Mount Moriah, should answer us". "מי שענה לאברהם אבינו בהר המוריה הוא יעננו". What did Avraham pray for at Mount ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

Can one be counted in a minyan if one has already davened?

Can one be counted in a minyan if one is present for Minchah/Ma’ariv but has already davened Minchah? Related question: Should I alter my schedule to daven Minchah with a minyan?
5
votes
2answers
441 views

Killing animals for tefillin — how?

Are there halachas for how an animal for tefillin must be killed? Or can it, for example, be shot, assuming it was shot by a non Jew. If there are no restrictions, why not? (one would think that we ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Understanding a Fine Point in the Rambam's Laws of Yibbum

In MT, Hilkhot Yibbum veChalitzah 7:11, the Rambam presents the case of three brothers, two of whom are married to two sisters and the third of whom is married to an unrelated woman. In the event that ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

What happened to Siman 168?

If you look in the Tur Yoreh Deah Siman 168 (so too the Shulchan Aruch), you'll notice that there's nothing there. Was it lost sometime in history? It looks like the Shulchan Aruch also didn't have ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Bat mitzvah gift from non-Jew

Would it be offensive for my daughter to give her friend a Star of David necklace for her Bat Mitzvah? We are not Jewish but my daughter wants to recognize her friend in a meaningful way. Thank you.
5
votes
2answers
218 views

Israel Am v.s. Goy

Is Israël an Am or Goy or both? whats the Torah definition and best translation of both terms? Because it seems that Israël is being called both Am as a Goy. (Am Kadosh: Devarim 26:19 and Goy ...
5
votes
1answer
90 views

How much of a gap in schach is acceptable?

How large of a gap is allowed in a sukkah's schach (roof) without invalidating it? (in tefachim and inches/feet, if possible) Would it make a difference if the gap was in the middle of the roof, or ...
5
votes
3answers
106 views

Did anyone recognize (pray, follow, worship) God between Adam and Avraham?

As I understand it, God created Adam, who had direct communications with God. According to the questions and answers in these four questions, at the time of Avraham the existence of God had been ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

Transferring “kippah clips” between domains on Shabbat, if the clips are sewn to the kippah

A) Imagine the following: It is Shabbat, and I am using a kippah with sewn-in spring-loaded hair clips. The clips are clipped to my hair. I don't live inside an eruv. May I walk from a private domain ...
5
votes
2answers
160 views

Why haven't I seen the Havinenu prayer in Sidurs?

I was reviewing recently Rambam's laws of prayers and ran across this ( הלכות תפילה פרק ב,ב ): בכל תפילה משלוש תפילות אלו שבכל יום, מתפלל אדם תשע עשרה ברכות אלו על הסדר. במה דברים אמורים, ...
5
votes
1answer
109 views

What's with this “approved for Pesach” tape?

That's masking tape from the hardware store, with an "approved for Pesach" label by the Badatz. What??
5
votes
1answer
41 views

Is “קל ארך אפים” said if the Torah's not to be read from?

Tachanun is supplemented on Mondays and Thursdays by extended tachanunim starting "V'hu rachum". On those days, after tachanun is half-kadish (kadish l'ela, as some call it), a short paragraph that ...
5
votes
1answer
61 views

Understanding the difference between shevus and gezeirah

I know that, in general, there is a difference in strictness between the two categories of protective measures, but am having difficulty in explaining the difference between the two.
5
votes
2answers
73 views

Tashlumin with a minyan

If a person accidentally forgets to daven during the day, in most cases he has the opportunity to "make up" that davening by saying shmoneh esrei twice in the next davening. This is called tashlumin. ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Can a Jew name a child after a (deceased) non-Jew (non-relative)?

Can a Jew name a child after a (deceased) non-Jew (non-relative)? Is there any prohibition against it?
5
votes
1answer
108 views

Will reading Questions and Answers on Mi Yodeya gain a Jew entrance into Olam Haba?

"One who learns Halachos every day is a Ben Olam Haba" (Babylonian Talmud Niddah 73a) If a Jew reads the halachic questions and answers on this forum everyday, does that guarantee he or she will ...
5
votes
2answers
116 views

Too fast or no minyan?

Suppose the only minyan available for someone to attend is one which moves far too fast for him. Even with arriving early and starting ahead of time, he only has time to say a fraction of psukei ...
5
votes
0answers
52 views

Who instituted the idea of moving parshat V'Zot Habracha to the middle of the week?

I understand that Ezra began the concept of an annual Torah cycle where each parsha is to be read on a Shabbat (except if coinciding with Yom Tov.) However, V'Zot Habracha was scheduled to be ...
5
votes
2answers
69 views

Allergen information says “may contain…”

If a product is labeled dairy, but the allergen information says "may contain traces of milk," can I assume that it is actually only dairy equipment? If it didn't say anything, maybe they just didn't ...
5
votes
1answer
100 views

Can I plan to make a Siyum in the nine days to eat meat?

The Rema says that one can eat meat in a Seudas Mitzva during the nine days. Does that mean I can purposely plan to make a Siyum then? Can I invite whoever I want? If not, what are the parameters?
5
votes
2answers
239 views

Laws regarding excessive conversation while dating

In speaking with a friend regarding conversation between men and women who are dating, this is what they said: So I asked someone who knows about these things and she said that it originates from ...
5
votes
0answers
78 views

Welcoming non-Jewish guests

Is there a mitzvah of welcoming guests who are non-Jews? I know Avraham welcomed non-Jews into his home, but that could be different for several reasons: There was no formal mitzvah and he was just ...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Can I change my mind after I fill out a tzedaka form?

If I fill out an online submission form for charity, including the amount I wish to contribute, and then before I click submit I decide I don't want to give the money, is that considered reneging on a ...
5
votes
3answers
341 views

The Western wall (Kotel Hamaravi) forever

What is the source that the western wall of har habayis will never be destroyed? I remember learning it somewhere and heard it numerous times but forgot the source.
5
votes
2answers
635 views

What's the source for naming children after Alexander the Great?

I know many Jews whose actual bris-given name is Alexander, and this has been a popular name even among great tzaddikim of the past (such as R. Alexander Ziskind). I've heard a legend (mentioned on ...
5
votes
0answers
137 views

Can a man miss tefilah with a minyan because his wife is overwhelmed with the children?

Assume a scenario where a man's wife requires extra help at home during a busy part of the day and requests that her husband skip minyan (and daven alone) in order to help her. (For example, let's say ...
5
votes
2answers
232 views

Why don't some do yibum today, l'chatchilah?

According to the Mishna (Bechorot 1:7) the reason not to perform yibum nowadays is people don't have intention l'shem mitzva when performing yibum. Firstly I would like to know if there are any other ...
5
votes
2answers
276 views

Bathroom or shema if you only have time for one?

If you wake up 5 minutes before sof zman kryat shema and you have to use the bathroom. Going to the bathroom when necessary is deorayasa (Shulchan Aruch 3:17) and so is saying the shema. Also there ...
5
votes
3answers
145 views

Prohibition to wear black for mourning?

I've heard a rumor floating around to the effect that Jews should not wear all black as an expression of mourning. Is there anything to that? If so, is there anything inherently wrong with it, is it a ...
5
votes
1answer
123 views

Reasons for allowing התר מכירה in this day and age

Here is the concluding paragraph from an article from Torah L'Daat (red volume, BeHar 'בענין אם יש קנין לנכרי בארץ ישראל להפקיע קדושת שביעית') that discusses the halachic boundaries of whether ...
5
votes
2answers
126 views

Was Bar Kochba a King?

The Rambam (Hilchot Melachim 11:8) says the following: ואם יעמוד מלך מבית דויד הוגה בתורה ועוסק במצוות כדויד אביו, כפי תורה שבכתב ושבעל פה, ויכוף כל ישראל לילך בה ולחזק בדקה, ויילחם מלחמות ה'--הרי ...
5
votes
1answer
87 views

About what was Beit Shammai more lenient than Beit Hillel?

I have the impression that in general, when Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai disagreed, the former was more lenient than the other. But it's not always the case; the g'mara on Rosh Hashana 14b talks ...
5
votes
1answer
150 views

Is Chabad halachically monolithic?

Is there such a thing as a machlokes in practical halacha within Chabad? As far as I know (which isn't very far), Chabad has, or at least had until 2 decades ago, one central figure leading the ...
5
votes
1answer
179 views

In a non-life-threatening emergency, can a female doctor do a hospital procedure on a male or vice versa?

Surgery usually requires viewing parts of a naked person. Are there halachic problems with a doctor of opposite gender doing this on a Jewish patient? If the procedure is one where part of the body ...
5
votes
2answers
102 views

Is a Torah that does NOT have the (rabbati) large and small letters (keti'ah) still kosher?

I have a Torah in my shul that does not have any large or small letters where required (e.g. - the 1st letter in the Torah, "Breishit", is written larger than the rest.) Is this Torah still considered ...
5
votes
3answers
218 views

Why aren't Job or Psalms 90 in the Pentateuch?

In the Tanakh, the Jewish Biblical Canon, there are three categories of works: the Torah of Moses, and what are know as the 'Prophets' and 'Writings'. This categorization is outlined and mentioned in ...
5
votes
3answers
117 views

Etymology of מחילה

I am looking for a possible etymological root for the word מחילה as meaning forgiveness. The word מחל does not appear in Tanach1, and neither does מחילה, nor does מוחל, and I was unable to find any ...

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