6
votes
1answer
97 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
78 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
275 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
919 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
168 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
120 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
105 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
132 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
4answers
307 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
4answers
295 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
374 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
163 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
155 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
4answers
396 views

What's “Modern Orthodox(y)”?

Is there a definition[1] of "Modern Orthodox(y)" that either has wide acceptability[2] or has the support of an expert (say, a renowned rabbi some consider Modern Orthodox, or an anthropologist ...
6
votes
1answer
168 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
160 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
209 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
255 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
134 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
172 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
218 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
139 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
181 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
87 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
521 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
364 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
165 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
1answer
286 views

Why did Miriam die in the desert?

We are told why Moshe and Aharon passed away in the desert (Bamidbar 20:12), but we are not told why Miriam died. According to Rashi (Bamidbar 1:49, 26:64), only the men who were counted in the ...
6
votes
0answers
80 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
137 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
1answer
184 views

What is the Shekhina?

To what are people referring when they talk about the Shekhina? Is it a form of God? A part of God? An attribute of God? Perhaps it is something else entirely? Also, what is the etymology of the ...
6
votes
3answers
136 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
142 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
168 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
202 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
184 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
157 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
215 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
270 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
3answers
215 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
312 views

May we genetically engineer stuff?

The possibilities of genetic engineering continue to grow. May a Jewish scientist genetically engineer things?
6
votes
1answer
180 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
162 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
713 views

Working in a non kosher yogurt store

I was asked a question this afternoon and I don't know a good answer (yet) so I'm posting it. I have been asked in the past whether a Jewish person may work in a non-Kosher restaurant that serves ...
6
votes
5answers
464 views

May we intervene with Religious OCD sufferers?

On what level may we (or may we not) intervene with OCD sufferers when they are not related to you in any way? I am referring to a sizable demographic of religious OCD sufferers, who don't ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

Why switch the reference from “גוי” to “עם” in Tachanun?

Why does the prayer "Shomer Yisra'el" in Tachanun say in two of the verses the word גוי in the first and last phrase, but עם in the middle phrase? שומר גוי אחד שמור שארית עם אחד ואל יאבד גוי אחד ...
6
votes
2answers
120 views

Why are Chazal asking if words are spelled with א or ע?

In Shabbos 77a-77b, Chazal ask about the spelling of a series of words, questioning whether the words are spelled with an alef - as in גראינין - or with an ayin - as in גרעינין. Wasn't ayin vocalized ...
6
votes
2answers
85 views

Asara Ushlosh Meyot - mi yodeya?

Who knows three hundred ten? ?עשרה ושלוש מאות - מי יודע In the spirit of the song "Echad - mi yodeya", please post interesting and significant Jewish facts about the number 310. There is lazy ...
6
votes
1answer
110 views

“Prepare your Menora before Shabbat!”

In this recent "Halocho a Day" blog post, Danny Schoemann leads off with This week, Shabbat is also Erev Chanuka; prepare your Menora before Shabbat! This sounds like a nice idea for reducing ...

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