8
votes
1answer
121 views

Animals vs. plants: kashrus

Why did God make all plants, but only some animals, kosher? Sources, please.
8
votes
4answers
259 views

What is the practical difference between nebelah and terefah?

The second mishna on Chullin 32a explains that if an animal is rendered invalid by any death which does not occur through proper ritual slaughter it is nebelah while if it is rendered invalid for some ...
8
votes
2answers
251 views

Kiddush Levanah - Saying Aleichem Sholom with the other person?

As discussed here, while doing Kiddush Levanah, we say "Shalom Aleichem" to 3 other people, and they respond back with "Aleichem Shalom". I've seen some people saying "Aleichem Shalom" together with ...
8
votes
2answers
209 views

Two Days of Yom Tov for Visitors

Assuming the reason for two days Yom Tov is because messengers could not reach those places in time to tell them the days of Rosh Chodesh, why is it that if someone visits Israel, but doesn't plan on ...
7
votes
2answers
769 views

Covering eyes when saying Shema Yisrael

When saying Kriyas Shema many have the custom of covering their eyes when saying Shema Yisrael. What is the reason this is done?
7
votes
2answers
115 views

What level of understanding is required in “learning” for purposes of making a siyum?

When learning as part of a coordinated group siyum, what level of understanding of the material is expected/required? How do you know if you've done enough to fulfill the mitzvah? Is it about effort ...
7
votes
1answer
463 views

Naming after the Patriarchs/Matriarchs and Biblical heroes

Nowadays it is very common for Jews to name their children after the Patriarchs, Matriarchs, and Biblical heroes. But it doesn't seem (to me) as though this was very common until well into the period ...
7
votes
3answers
917 views

How much does one have to eat to become Fleishigs?

Is there a minimum amount of meat or chicken required to be eaten in order to change one's status to being "fleishig" (i.e. so that he would have to wait before eating dairy)? [same question can be ...
7
votes
4answers
304 views

Kol Mekadesh - sung Friday Night - המאחרים לצאת מן השבת וממהרים לבא

In Kol Mekadesh that is sung Friday night it says המאחרים לצאת מן השבת וממהרים לבא which seems out of order. Do we not first rush into Shabbos and then delay its departure? Then why do we sing it in ...
7
votes
1answer
374 views

Tallis gadol with white stripes

An interesting question has been posted on the signification of tallis' stripes : Stripes on a Talis About stripes color the Rambam position's noticed as black being closer to techeiles color. My ...
7
votes
5answers
313 views

K'zayis as a weight measurement

The label of the one-pound box of Cohen Halperin Shmura Matza reads: משקל כל מצה כשיעור כזית In English (with some Hebrew thrown in, in transliteration, of necessity), that's: The weight of ...
7
votes
3answers
433 views

Is human blood treif?

OK, I know it isn't kosher, but what is the shiur? And do we hold "chetzi shiur assur min haTorah"? For an application, what if you get a cut while hiking in the woods; is it assur to clean the wound ...
7
votes
4answers
295 views

Is Hashem corporeal?

I heard of a discussion over Peseach about whether Hashem is corporeal. Which classical Jewish sources (Talmud/Achronim/Rishonim) offer definitive opinions about this? (Please cite references!) I ...
7
votes
2answers
558 views

Mixed Minyan in a Shiva House

What to do when helping make a minyan for mourners in a shiva house when at prayer time they insist on davening conservative style, men and women sitting together?
6
votes
6answers
730 views

Is there any benefit for a gentile to convert through one denomination versus another?

Despite being raised Conservative, it has been my impression that the only conversion that "counts" is an Orthodox one. I suspect this is the case for making aliyah, but under what other ...
6
votes
2answers
835 views

A Convert taking on customs of ashkanazim or sephardim

When someone converts is there any determining factor on what minhagim (customs) they will take upon themselves in terms of Ashkanazim or Sephardim? Should it be dependent on the Beis Din they ...
6
votes
2answers
199 views

Tallit Katan and Tallit brachot

Why is that when you wake up you put on a Tallit Katan and then you go to shul and put on a Tallit Gadol? How is it that you can say two different brachot? If it is in fact, that each peice of ...
6
votes
4answers
140 views

How did Rivkah give Yackov Eisav's clothing? Isn't borrowing without permission tantamount to stealing?

How did Rivkah give Yackov Eisav's clothing without asking? וַתִּקַּח רִבְקָה אֶת בִּגְדֵי עֵשָׂו בְּנָהּ הַגָּדֹל הַחֲמֻדֹת אֲשֶׁר אִתָּהּ בַּבָּיִת וַתַּלְבֵּשׁ אֶת יַעֲקֹב בְּנָהּ הַקָּטָן ...
6
votes
1answer
824 views

How did the Ten Martyrs actually die?

On Yom Kippur and Tisha B'av we read about the Ten Martyrs who were gathered and killed by Emperor Hadrian to atone for the Sale of Yosef HaTzadik. In addition to the idea that the Ten Martyrs didn't ...
6
votes
2answers
584 views

How were Achiman, Sheshai and Talmai “Sons of Giants”?

In Bamidbar 13:22, the Torah tells us that the spies saw Achiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the sons of Giants. Rashi tells us they were the descendants of Shamchazai and Azael, angels who fell from heaven ...
6
votes
2answers
909 views

Washing Hands post Funeral

What is the proper way to wash after a Funeral or a visit to the Cemetery?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Electric Appliances and Mikva

Do electric appliances need to be dunked (toveled) in a mikva? Obviously, if the parts that touch the food are removable (e.g. an electric mixer's bowl and blade, or a blender's carafe, or the ...
6
votes
3answers
370 views

Is Yom HaAtzma'ut a Chag?

Is Yom Ha-Atzma'ut (Israeli Independance Day) considered a Chag (Jewish Holiday)? I have been to three types of Shuls (Synagogues) on this day: Those that have added the saying of Hallel but without ...
6
votes
1answer
533 views

Why does the Torah forbid interest only on loans to Jews?

Why aren't we allowed to charge a Jew interest but we're allowed to charge a non-Jew?
5
votes
2answers
527 views

Do the Gemara and the Rema prohibit, or encourage, women putting on talit and/or tefillin?

An article in Ynet Judaism (in Hebrew) addresses the resent controversy regarding the prayer of Women of the Wall at the western wall. And claims the following claims: אף אחד גם לא הקריא להן את ...
5
votes
2answers
247 views

The tree of life if adam was already immortal

What's the point of creating the tree of life if Adam was already immortal when created? I can understand the tree of knowledge of good and evil, since Adam was lacking in this knowledge and if he ...
5
votes
0answers
139 views

Eating out Friday night of Chanukkah

If one is lighting Chanukkah candles inside (for whatever reason) relying on the publicization to himself and his family, then what should he do on Friday night if he is eating out? Must he make the ...
5
votes
3answers
199 views

Is there any issue except for Dina Dmalchusa in counterfeiting money?

If someone were to find a way to make exact forgery of currency (in such a way that it would be impossible for anyone to find that it's counterfeit), would there be any prohibition to do so (except ...
5
votes
1answer
240 views

If Ketura wasn't Hagar, who was she?

The Torah tells us (Bereshit 25:1) that "Abraham took another wife, and her name was Keturah." The Yalkut Shimoni (Iyov 904) says that Ketura was from Yafet (english from here): "Abraham married ...
5
votes
2answers
200 views

What is the meaning of Davar Shebakedusha?

How does something become a Davar Shebakedusha? What is the criteria? This question was inspired by the discussion over here. People half-standing for אלקינו in zimun
5
votes
5answers
241 views

Chodosh - where does it apply?

Does the prohibition against consuming new grain ("Chodosh") before the second day of Passover (Leveticus 23:14) apply only in the Land of Israel or in the Diaspora as well? (Sources appreciated)
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Are Europeans Edomites?

I had always thought that Europeans descended from Yafet, not Shem, and certainly not Shem, Avraham and Yitzhak. I am aware that it was common in the past to equate Rome with Edom, but I always ...
5
votes
3answers
172 views

Saying Mashiv HaRuach in the Southern Hemisphere

In the Southern Hemisphere (Brazil, Australia, South Africa, etc.) in October they are heading into the summer. Do they say Mashiv HaRuach at this time of the year or do they say it from Pesach to ...
4
votes
1answer
211 views

Are children whose mother converted after bearing them Jewish?

If a Jewish man and non-Jewish wife have a child, and the mother completes her Orthodox conversion to Judaism after the child is born, must the child also convert to be considered Jewish, if they were ...
4
votes
2answers
181 views

Time for t'filah and you don't have a siddur: better to daven from memory or wait (and possibly miss the time)?

If the set time comes to daven (on a weekday, let's say) and you unexpectedly don't have a suitable (or any) siddur,1 does halacha call for you to wait (and possibly miss that amidah entirely), or ...
4
votes
2answers
197 views

May one say the letters of Hashem's name i.e. “Yud hei vov hei”?

We know we cannot pronounce the 4-lettered name of Hashem. Is it allowed to say the letters of Hashem's name ie “Yud hei vov hei” as in the meditation before counting the Omer or must one say “Yud ...
4
votes
1answer
327 views

Beracha on lighting yom tov candles : before or after?

There are two minhagim concerning the time the beracha should be said on lighting yom tov candles for a woman, before or after (like shabbos neros). I've read arguments like these : before, because ...
4
votes
1answer
162 views

9 be-Av on Shabbos

When 9 be-Av falls on Shabbos, it is moved to the following Sunday. Are there any restrictions on Shabbos because of 9 be-Av (maybe tashmish is forbidden)?
4
votes
4answers
276 views

Is there a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh?

Is it a Mitzva to speak Loshon Kodesh? (sources)
4
votes
1answer
120 views

6 chapters of Avos in 7 weeks

Some study pirke Avos weekly through the summer, from Pesach to Rosh Hashana. Others do so only for the six Shabasos between Pesach and Shavuos, one chapter a week. I've heard the latter custom ...
4
votes
12answers
499 views

What is the most widespread Israeli Minhag? [closed]

What is the single most widely practiced minhag among Jews in Israel today? By "widely practiced" I mean practiced by the most people.
4
votes
1answer
543 views

What would be an example of permitted vs prohibited cross-grafting with fruit trees?

I haven't studied Tractate Kilayim. I know you can't plant grapes with wheat. What about, say: Jazz apple = Royal Gala apple X Braeburn apple ? Nectarine = Peach X Plum ? Nectaplum = Nectarine X ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

Rules for Cutting Nails

My question about nail-cutting is whether each of the following is halacha, minhag, or old-wives' tales. Not cutting both fingernails and toenails on the same day. Not cutting nails at night (is ...
4
votes
2answers
934 views

What makes something “chukat goyim?”

One of the most famous examples I have heard is that one should not even tie one's shoes like the non-Jews do in times of persecution. That seems rather excessive. What if the Jews started doing some ...
3
votes
1answer
299 views

Must Mashiach have Jewish ancestry, or just Davidic?

So I recently found out that the rulers of Ethiopia claim descent from Shlomo. Since Mashiach needs to come from David, if this is true they fulfill that requirement. However, it is unlikely (or at ...
3
votes
2answers
136 views

Who Commanded Us, and For What?

Whenever a Jew performs an activity that is mandated by the Torah, s/he recites the blessing that acknowledges God, "אשר קדשנו במצוותיו" (who sanctified us with his commandments), and who commanded us ...
3
votes
2answers
209 views

What's the most efficient method for learning biblical Hebrew?

I have gone through some basic schooling at a modern yeshiva. For 10 years I haven't touched a Chumash, but would like to get back into it. I have started reading the Artscroll Chumash--reading the ...
3
votes
4answers
143 views

What advice do the sages give for improving one's concentration in prayer?

Following up on Isaac's question seeking experience-based advice to improve his prayer:, I am seeking something a bit different. I remember reading some advice on the subject given (I think) by Rav ...
3
votes
1answer
239 views

What to do with the candles during Havdalah

What is the proper procedure after saying the Brocho בורא מאורי האש? I understand you "look," but at what?
2
votes
1answer
538 views

will the Messiah be the greatest torah scholar of the generation?

Besides that the Messiah must be of Davidic lineage, must he also be the greatest torah scholar of the generation (of Davidic lineage)?

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