14
votes
5answers
409 views

Saying “Laberiut” “God bless you” or “Gesundheit”

Is there are source for saying "Laberiut" "God bless you" "Gesundheit" or any other response to a sneeze? In other words, are there posekim who mention it in Halacha?
14
votes
5answers
1k views

Is using a Kindle on Shabbat permitted?

A Kindle is an e-book reader that uses "e-ink" rather than an LCD screen. It has physical controls to turn pages. If left unused it enters a sleep mode, and you can return to reading by moving a ...
14
votes
4answers
799 views

Lego on Shabbos

Is Lego Muktzeh? and can Adults use it too?
13
votes
7answers
1k views

How does Judaism deal with God and paradoxes?

How does Judaism deal with paradoxes relating to the omnipotence of God? For example: Can God create a rock that he himself cannot lift?
12
votes
5answers
365 views

Can we argue with gedolim when we are sure that we are right?

I recently saw a teshuva by Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Ohrach Chaim Volume 1 Teshuva 109, that quotes a letter from Rabbi Menashe Klein asking a question on Rabbi Moshe's psak but saying that he does not ...
12
votes
2answers
179 views

How and when does a prophet know that it's God who's speaking to him?

When God addressed Moshe there was an accompanying miracle (and there's midrash about Avraham's case being special too), so it was pretty clear what was happening, but how did the other prophets come ...
12
votes
1answer
242 views

Kubutz and shuruk in Polish/Hungarian pronunciation

What is the origin or basis of the Polish and Hungarian prevalence for pronouncing "oo" vowels as "ee"? The variants of other vowels are easier to understand in the context of phonological shifting, ...
12
votes
15answers
1k views

Why is techeles not universally accepted?

The Machon Ptil Tekhelet has (to my mind) some pretty compelling arguments as to why the Murex Trunculus is very likely the genuine chilazon from which techeles (blue dye) for the mitzva of tzitzis is ...
11
votes
6answers
654 views

Am I liable to be stoned for my devotion to Hashem and the Jewish people?

I have spent over 2 years to this day praying for the Jewish people from the Koren Siddur and Machzorim. I have with my Rebbe's help tried to follow Jewish customs and laws, to my best ability. ...
11
votes
1answer
147 views

Meat מן with milk מן

My kid asked: If the man could be whatever food one wanted, could one eat milk-man after meat-man? (And the same can be asked, but stronger, about cooking or eating the two types together.) I ...
11
votes
7answers
389 views

Is it required to stand during Kaddish?

I've noticed that there are varying minhagim among people whether to stand during Kaddish or not. Is there any actual halacha regarding this and whether it's required?
11
votes
5answers
432 views

Existence of Heaven and Hell

I heard from a Jewish colleague that the concept of Heaven and Hell were not originally part of Judaism. I couldn't find references to these concepts in the Old Testament. So Were these part of ...
11
votes
4answers
407 views

What's a good technique for a not-so-strong person to do [Ashkenazi] Hagbaha?

I've seen many people shy away when asked to do Hagbaha (‏הגבהה‏), thinking themselves too weak. I know for a fact that it doesn't take that much strength to do it correctly, so I'd love to ...
10
votes
2answers
248 views

What is a woman's obligation when it comes to T'fillah?

In Orthodox practice it is commonly thought that women are not obligated in T'fillah (parts of it anyway) due to its time-bound nature. However, what is a woman's obligation? Which prayers must she ...
10
votes
6answers
10k views

Nefesh, neshama and ruach as words for “soul”

All three words can mean something like "soul", e.g., neshama in גלגול נשמות, and ruach in וַתְּחִי רוּחַ יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם (Bereshit 45:27). So, what is the difference?
10
votes
3answers
583 views

Kosher symbols on non-food items

I just bought a box of 100 sandwich bags and on the box there is an (U) symbol. This is neither unique nor uncommon. Why do marks of hechsher appear on non-food products? Is there anyone in the world ...
10
votes
43answers
572 views

Meya - mi yodeya?

Who knows one hundred? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point in the future, subject to holiday and user activity delay, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best ...
10
votes
1answer
228 views

(How) was Tu B'Av observed as a matchmaking/singles-meeting event through history?

I know the Talmud describes how the fifteenth day of the month of Av (Tu b'Av) was a day of ... I'd say "matchmaking", but I think "marriage-minded-singles-meeting" is more like it: אמר רבן שמעון ...
10
votes
3answers
343 views

Music, not allowed the whole year?

The Halacha is ( אורח חיים הלכות תשעה באב סימן תק''ס סעיף ג) That since the Destruction of the Temple we may not listen to any Music. How is it that most people do listen to recordings?
10
votes
4answers
207 views

How do we know what the Chazzan should say aloud?

In many siddurim, the text indicates a position, toward the end of each normal paragraph of prayer, where the Chazzan is supposed to start reading aloud, so that everyone knows when it's time to go on ...
9
votes
4answers
386 views

Why do we eat Milchigs (dairy) on Shavuos?

Why do we have a Minhag to eat Milchigs (dairy) on Shavuos?
9
votes
1answer
764 views

Can a live video feed remove the prohibition of Yichud?

I was wondering if and how a public videostream could affect a potential yichud situation. For example, may a single guy and girl be secluded if they set up a continuously broadcasting camera and ...
8
votes
3answers
509 views

What will happen if the Ark of the Covenant is discovered today?

I read this question and the answer says that the Ark of the Covenant was buried somewhere beneath Jerusalem during the First Temple period (~580 BC), to hide it from the Babylonian invaders. It seems ...
8
votes
2answers
177 views

Free will a prerequisite for punishment?

I read that the angel Metat was subjected to 60 pulsei de-nura (Aramaic: פולסא דנורא "lashes of fire"). I have been taught that angels do not have free will. Did this angel act from free will or did ...
8
votes
1answer
130 views

And let who say Amen?

In light of this answer, why do we say V'imru amen and V'nomar amen at various points in bentching and davening when saying that passage alone? (eg. bentching by yourself, or oseh shalom at the end of ...
8
votes
1answer
644 views

Four Holy Cities

I have often seen reference to the Four Holy Cities: Jerusalem, Hebron, Safed and Tiberias. What is the earliest source to reference this? Why these four cities? Has there ever been a different count? ...
8
votes
4answers
581 views

Walking by an Automatic Door on Shabbos

Is one allowed to walk by an automatic door on Shabbos, if he/she has no benefit of the door opening (i.e. not walking in)? How does this case compare/contrast to the walking by an automatic light on ...
8
votes
5answers
692 views

Good books for non-Jews who are interested in understanding Judaism, especially branches of Orthodox judaism

I have found that the first thing to do when you want to learn something about a subject, is to start with the idea that you know absolutely nothing. I understand, for example, that Judaism has ...
8
votes
3answers
289 views

Kohanic Hand Gestures?

How are Kohanim supposed to position their hands and in what shape during Birkhat Kohanim? Answer with most opinions backed by sources wins.
7
votes
2answers
351 views

If the label says O-U D, but the warning label for allery sufferers says “no dairy”, do we consider the product dairy or not?

I attended a fantastic lecture on kashrus and dairy products by Rabbi Zushe Yosef Blech, shlita, who was asked an interesting question: Can you eat Oreo cookies after a fleishig meal? It was pointed ...
7
votes
4answers
376 views

Is the passage describing an approximation of pi or is it one of the miracles of Bais Hamikdash?

In Sepher M'lakhim we read how different measurement was taken. I wonder if this passage (Ⅰ M'lakhim 7:23) is describing an approximation of PI (3.1415...), or was this one of the hidden miracles? ...
7
votes
2answers
262 views

Why when washing for bread do we splash twice?

Is there any particular reason the procedure for washing hands for bread includes pouring the water twice on each hand? Isn't once enough?
7
votes
1answer
255 views

Organized prayer in the synagogue with less than 10 people - community or not?

Inspired by this question. There are parts of prayer that are not said when praying alone. Some examples (please add any I missed): Friday Night: Birchat Me-in Sheva Shabbos Day before Mussaf: ...
7
votes
6answers
278 views

Saying words of prayer or Torah while an immodest photo or drawing is in your field of vision?

The halachah is clear (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 75) that one may not recite Shema, or any other words of Torah or prayer, while in the presence of parts of the human body that should be covered. ...
7
votes
2answers
219 views

History of Capital Punishment

When is the most recent documented occurrence in Jewish history of a beit din carrying out the death penalty? Or if historical documentation is lacking, when is the most recent time in Jewish history ...
7
votes
6answers
692 views

Custom to refrain from eating meat at the Pesach Seder?

I recently heard from two separate people about a custom not to eat any meat at the Seder (i.e. only fish and chicken are eaten). This was surprising to me, as the minhag mentioned in the Mishnah, ...
7
votes
4answers
713 views

Is being vegan “kosher”?

Is being a vegan completely following halacha? Even if not eating anything traif (non-kosher), perhaps it's not truly kosher because you are not following the commandments to domesticate animals and ...
6
votes
1answer
191 views

Is it heresy to read the Bible literally?

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in this debate with Richard Dawkins says: Rabbis in the 10th century laid down the following principle: If a biblical narrative is incompatible with established scientific ...
6
votes
2answers
872 views

Is it appropriate for a Gentile to attend and/or participate in a Seder?

The context: last year, I saw this sign that announced the time and place that a Jewish Seder (probably Yom Kippur) would happen. I was definitely curious and considered going and at least observing ...
6
votes
1answer
411 views

Can non Jews be buried in a Jewish Cemetery?

Can a non Jew be buried in a Jewish Cemetery under any circumstances?
6
votes
4answers
657 views

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?

Is it forbidden for a woman to learn Gemara?
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Where does the custom to spill of from a drink come from?

I had a lubavitcher classmate in high school who used to spill off from his cup whenever he would drink anything. He claimed it was a minhag. What is the reason/source for this practice?
5
votes
3answers
221 views

Continuing to drink a Beverage after Birchas HaMazon?

Perhaps this is a simple matter that I should be embarrassed not to know (which I am even if it isn't because I need to learn hilchos b'rachos better and always forget to look this question up) ...
5
votes
0answers
317 views

Fresh fish need hechsher

Does fresh fish from a supermarket or fish market require a hechsher? I would be tempted to believe that a fish known to be of a kosher variety would not need certification since there is no shechita ...
5
votes
6answers
480 views

Going to non jewish concert

Is it permitted for Bnei Torah to go to a Classical Music Concert?
4
votes
1answer
145 views

Must one pray with a minyan?

People wrote on this site that there is no requirement for a man to pray with a minyan as a general rule. I took this to mean that one need not attend a minyan he knows meets regularly, instead ...
3
votes
3answers
599 views

Why use Babylonian calendar instead of our own?

Why did the Hebrews not create their own calendar system instead of copying the pagan Babylonians'? I find it interesting that they use a pagan calendar which often honours pagan gods. Why is this ...
3
votes
3answers
173 views

Using Grape Juice for Ad dlo Yoda

Can one use Grape Juice for Ad dlo Yoda on Purim?
3
votes
1answer
2k views

When is the earliest time you can daven ma'ariv during the week?

When is the earliest time you can Daven Maariv on a weekday?
2
votes
2answers
331 views

Which actions are prohibited even to save a life?

I know that many commandments, e.g. keeping Shabbat, not lying, etc., must be violated if doing so is necessary to save a life. For which commandments is this not true? Does it ever matter how many ...

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