5
votes
1answer
174 views

What is the source for a Bar Mitzva seuda?

What sources are there for our minhag of doing a Bar Mitzva Seuda (meal), and do the sources state that the seuda must specifically be done on the day of the Bar Mitzva (or the night of)? And is this ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

simple faith versus blind faith

There is a view that it is better to avoid studying philosophical works such as the Rambam's guide for the perplexed or the Shaar Yichud from Duties of the Heart. This is based on the idea that Emunah ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Is a child born to a kidnapper also considered kidnapped?

According to Torah law if a man kidnaps a woman and has a child with her is that child now considered kidnapped as well? The question being has the man now violated the prohibition of kidnapping ...
5
votes
1answer
85 views

Does a siyyum in the 9 days obviate other issurim?

Each year, I try to coordinate my learning so that I can make a seudat mitzvah during the nine days and some close friends can have some meat and wine to celebrate. Does the siyum also allow them to ...
5
votes
1answer
86 views

Is there dancing at a divorcee's wedding

When a divorcee gets remarried, is there dancing at the wedding or is this prohibited?
5
votes
0answers
140 views

What should I do if my synagogue faces away from Jerusalem? [duplicate]

Due to an major oversight in its design the synagogue in my home town (London) is built with the Aron facing north west instead of east. A while ago I asked someone about this and they said that it ...
5
votes
0answers
156 views

Does a Jewish idolater's pouring of non-mevushal wine make that wine forbidden to himself?

We see from this answer that wine poured by a Jew who rejects Judaism is yayin nesech. Would that cause the wine to be forbidden even to himself, or is it only forbidden to others? Would he be ...
5
votes
2answers
131 views

Questions about the destruction of Sodom and the vicinity

I am having a hard time making heads or tails of the story of the destruction of Sodom and the vicinity. All questions below are questions about the narrative of the story based on the interpretation ...
5
votes
1answer
189 views

How to handle cadavers

My fiancée is going to university, working towards a degree in dentistry. For about a year, she will be required to handle cadavers in the classes. First of all, is this forbidden in Torah? Secondly, ...
5
votes
1answer
156 views

Agnostic Jew serving as the tenth for a minyan

I remember reading a responsum on the issue of agnostic Jew's serving as the tenth for a minyan, but do not remember the outcome. Does anyone know the rule? Also, do we count, as the tenth man, a ...
5
votes
1answer
563 views

Does someone maternally Jewish, but without documented proof, need “giyur l'chumra”?

If a person is Jewish by maternal decent, but can't prove it conclusively through documents. Do they need to convert? Do they need normal conversion or giyur l'chumra? What are the steps involved? I ...
5
votes
3answers
282 views

Why is Moshe (mostly) absent from the haggadah?

Somebody asked at my seder this year why Moshe is largely absent from the magid. I have heard that the reason is because we're supposed to focus on God, and also that Moshe was very humble and there ...
5
votes
2answers
600 views

Drinking Water after Eating Fish

Is anyone familiar with the practice of not drinking water after eating fish? I know that something has to be used to clean your mouth before eating meat, but somehow I got the idea in my head that ...
5
votes
1answer
241 views

Parshas Tzav - 96 Pesukim?

At the end of each Parsha many Chumashim have the number of Pesukim that are in that Parsha. By Parshas Tzav they all say 96 which is the Gematria of Tzav צו. However if counted there are 97 Pesukim. ...
5
votes
0answers
68 views

Pidyon Shevuyim - when does it apply?

Does the Mitzva of Pidyon Shevuyim apply in a case where one is being held in prison for having committed a crime or only where a innocent person was captured for ransom? If it does apply to cases ...
5
votes
2answers
317 views

Not interlacing fingers in prayer

I have heard from an unauthoritative source that one should not interlace his fingers while praying, because, l'havdil, Christians do. Is there any authoritative source for the claim that it's ...
5
votes
2answers
157 views

Must one give maaser from virtual money?

If a person achieves a gain or a payment of a currency that that is purely virtual and does not have any physical counterpart (ie it is not associated with a financial institution) must one give ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

the Laws of Noah--how are the nations to know them

If the laws of Noah are the laws for the nations and they are handed down by Jewish oral tradition, how are the nations to know them?
5
votes
0answers
104 views

Who authored the 13 Ani Maamin's?

The Rambam in his Hakdama to his Pirush on Perek Chelek in Mesechtas Sanhedrin mentions the points of belief a Jew must have. To the best of my knowledge these are the basis of the well-known ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

Postmortem organ donation in halacha

I know we generally accord respect to our dead, which includes not mangling their bodies. On the other hand, obviously saving lives is more important than, well, almost anything, including respect for ...
5
votes
1answer
305 views

Why is Shekalim in the Bavli?

I have a few different sets of Shas Bavli, and most of them contain Shekalim from the Yerushalmi. (The Steinsaltz version does not, for example, though the Oz v'Hadar version does). When did people ...
5
votes
4answers
147 views

What is the practical ramifications of Emunah being a mitzvah or not?

There is a machlokes Rishonim whether emunah in Hashem is a mitzvah or not. The Rambam and Ramban sayig that it is. The Bahag (a Gaon), R' Kreskas, Tashbetz and others saying that it's not or that it ...
5
votes
1answer
303 views

Rambam's method for calculating the conjunction of the moon (and sun)

I think I'm missing something basic here... The Rambam, in Hilchot Kiddush Hachodesh (6:3) says that the interval between one conjunction to the next is is 29 full days, 12 hours of the 30th day, and ...
5
votes
1answer
341 views

Minhag not to learn Torah on the night of Nitel (Who and where)

This related question explains what this minhag is and a couple of reasons for it. I was wondering to what extent is this minhag practiced today apart from Chabad (see Hayom Yom - 17 Tevet)? Do all ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

“For Zion's sake” - Where in the liturgy?

Is Isaiah 62:1 found anywhere in the liturgy? I seem to remember a reference or two in Selichot, but I can't find it there now, nor can I find it anywhere else.
5
votes
1answer
251 views

Why was Yaakov punished for not honoring his parents?

Bereshit 37:34 (translation by machon-mamre): וַיִּקְרַע יַעֲקֹב שִׂמְלֹתָיו, וַיָּשֶׂם שַׂק בְּמָתְנָיו; וַיִּתְאַבֵּל עַל-בְּנוֹ, יָמִים רַבִּים And Jacob rent his garments, and put ...
5
votes
1answer
334 views

Is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery?

Besides the permitted reasons for male kohen, is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery for other reason?
5
votes
2answers
401 views

Cold-brew coffee on Shabbos

One can make coffee by soaking grounds in cold water for an extended period. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_brew Is it permissible to start the process on Shabbat, or if not, to start it ...
5
votes
3answers
113 views

How old was Eisav when he fell into bad ways?

Rashi on Bereishis 25:30 states that Hashem shortened Avraham's life by 5 years (180->175) in order that he shouldn't see Eisav, his grandson acting wickedly ('Tarbut Ra-ah'). And on that day, ...
5
votes
1answer
181 views

Why does Yakov bless Ephraim and Menashe at the same time?

Why does Yakov bless Ephraim and Menashe at the same time? Why not bless them one after the other?
5
votes
1answer
73 views

Why didn't Eliezer go straight to Avraham's family?

Avraham made Eliezer promise that he would only find a wife for Yitzchak from his family. It seems to follow then, that as soon as Eliezer would arrive in Aram Naharaim he'd go straight to Avraham's ...
5
votes
2answers
103 views

Can Sforim be used as a shtender?

Is it ok to place the sefer that you're learning from slanted on top of another sefer/sforim - sort of like a shtender or is is this considered to be a zilzul (disrespectful) to the sforim?
5
votes
1answer
692 views

Can a non-Jew recite the Shema?

Can a non-Jew recite the Shema and other Jewish prayers? Is there any one which is off limits to non-Jews? Thanks.
5
votes
5answers
171 views

What was the sin of the builders of the tower of Bavel?

God seems very angry with, and punishes the builders of the tower of Bavel, but it is not clear exactly what their sin was. Did they violate one of the 7 mitzvos b'nei Noach? What exactly was their ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

When do we change back the ark-cover etc from white to the rest-of-the-year colour?

When do we change back the proches (ark-cover) etc from white to the rest-of-the-year colour? I would have thought right after Simchas Torah or possibly Isru Chag?
5
votes
0answers
199 views

Why did Israeli sportsmen keep their hats on during their national anthem?

Last year I was at the international softball tournament and I noticed that players from Israel took off their baseball caps during the other teams anthems (as is common courtesy), but kept them ...
5
votes
1answer
232 views

Covering your head with a tallis at night - problem?

I once heard from a friend that if you are wearing a Tallis at night, for example as the Chazan for maariv or everybody at maariv of Yom Kipppur, you should not cover your head with it as some people ...
5
votes
0answers
123 views

Hazi“v La”kh: what's behind the division?

The Talmud (Rosh Hashana 31a) tells us that the Haazinu song (Devarim 32) was sung weekly in the Temple and divided into six segments, given by the mnemonic HaZIV LaKh הזיו לך (where each letter is ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

Saying slichos at any time but “ashmores haboker”, should we take out references to the early morning time so we are not “lying”?

Many of the Slichos refer to the early morning time: "Ashmores Haboker", which is clearly not applicable to those who say late slichos (say at 8 AM) or who say it early at night (say at 10 PM, let's ...
5
votes
0answers
108 views

Putting poison inside bamboo rods (s'chach)

It says in Shulchan Aruch (OC Siman 629 Sif 3) that one may cover a Sukkah with "chitzim" (arrows) that don't have a "beis kibbul." However, if they do have a "beis kibbul," then it's not valid for ...
5
votes
3answers
168 views

Can you fulfill the obligation to pray if you can't hear the leader?

The gemorah in Sukkah daf 51b explains that, in the enormous shul in Alexandria, in order for everyone to know when to answer Amen when the shliach tzibbur (prayer leader, aka sha"tz) was davening, ...
5
votes
1answer
253 views

Customs surrounding fasting when a sefer torah falls to the floor?

Based on this question I would like to know what the earliest source for fasting when a sefer torah falls comes from? Is is true that if a person is in the room but turns away so as not to see it ...
5
votes
4answers
402 views

Check cashmere for Shatnez?

Is one required to check cashmere clothing for shatnez? Cashmere is a kind of wool that does not come from sheep.
5
votes
2answers
186 views

Cooking meat and milk on the way to burning them

If someone cooks meat and milk together at a very high temperature, so that they will be burned to ash, in the time that it takes from getting the ingredients to a hot temperature to the point that ...
5
votes
0answers
159 views

Siyum Masechta Ketana

When I celebrate my completion of a minor tractate (e.g. Masechet Derech Eretz or Kutim or Gerim), can I say Hadran and/or Kaddish at my Siyyum (party)?
5
votes
0answers
146 views

Good resource for learning vowel pronunciation

In trying to improve my leyning, I'm trying to get the finer points of vowel pronunciation down. What is a good resource to learn, e.g., the difference between a patach and chataf-patach or a ...
5
votes
7answers
344 views

Sources for/about breaking a plate at a wedding

Are you aware of any literature that either provides a source for or discusses the significance of the two mothers breaking a plate at the "Tisch" at a wedding? It's not hard to find mentions of this ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Having dessert “in mind”

This has always confused me. One is not supposed to make unnecessary Berachoth, so one should "have in mind" to eat all of the foods that will be served in the meal when one begins the meal and makes ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

When do Sefardim start mourning in a year that Tisha B'av is postponed until Sunday?

As mentioned here, Sefardim observe the mourning period known to Ashkenazim as "The Nine Days" only during the week that Tisha B'av occurs. Tisha B'av falls out on Shabbat this year (5772), and the ...
5
votes
1answer
276 views

Contradiction in the Shulchan Aruch Harav

It says in the Shulchan Aruch Harav in sif 5 and 6 that there are two opinions as to what garments are obligated in tzitzis: Since the blessing says "Lehisateif BaTzitzis", only garments which can ...

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