2
votes
3answers
143 views

What was Hevel (Abel's) sin?

The Arizal says that Hevel was reincarnated many times to purify his sin. What was his sin?
2
votes
2answers
159 views

Lubavitcher Rebbe's view on Rashi

The Lubavitcher Rebbe's view on Rashi is that he is completely and utterly pshat. His main source for this is Rashi's own statement (Genesis 3:8) "ואני לא באתי אלא לפשוטו של מקרא," "I only came to ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

How to implement the Mesilas Yesharim

The book Mesilas Yesharim prescribes a ladder of stages to master. Must one master each lower stage before moving on to the next one, or can he work on two or more simultaneously?
2
votes
1answer
139 views

How exactly can a get be forced

Under what rules can a get be forced and still be kosher? There seems to be contradiction. On the one hand, a get 'meusa' is posul; on the other hand, bais din can force him.
2
votes
1answer
275 views

How early in the cycle can a woman who is undergoing IVF go to mikvah?

How absolutely early can a woman undergoing IVF (in vitro fertilization) go to mikvah: is there a limit to the 7 deoraita days or is it even earlier like after five or six days, when she would still ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Sin offering for Zavah?

Vayikra 15:30, "And the kohen shall make one into a sin offering and one into a burnt offering, and the kohen shall effect atonement for her, before the Lord, from the uncleanness of her discharge." ...
2
votes
2answers
107 views

Is Rashi teasing us?

In Bereishit 3:22 Rashi says the following: and now, lest he stretch forth his hand, etc.: And if he were to live forever, he would be likely to mislead people to follow him and to say that he ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

Is there any source for throwing bread during tashlich? [duplicate]

Is there a reliable Jewish source that encourages throwing bread when performing tashlich?
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Lack of Benching Rosh Chodesh Tishrei [duplicate]

I have heard that the reason we do not Bench Rosh Chodesh Tishrei is in order to confuse the Satan. Now the Satan is no fool. How is the Satan getting confused when we pull this trick year after year? ...
2
votes
1answer
89 views

Must a non-Jew who eats trief or a nevaila immerse himself?

Vayikra 17:15: And any person, whether a native or a stranger (gair), who eats carrion (nevaila) or what was torn (trief), shall immerse his garments and immerse himself in the waters, and shall ...
2
votes
2answers
124 views

Vehu Rachum and Selach Lanu for Maariv after Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur is the day that Jews repent. It is a day that we are cleansed from our sins. Yet immediately after Yom Kippur is over we pray Maariv which starts with "Vehu Rachum Yechaper Avon". Then by ...
2
votes
3answers
120 views

Laughing in this world

The Shulhan Aruch (Orah Haim 560:5) states אסור לאדם שימלא פיו שחוק בעולם הזה.‏ It is forbidden to a person that he fill his mouth with laughter in this world. I don't think I've ever ...
2
votes
1answer
639 views

Can a Jew join Christians in saying grace before meals?

Can a Jew join Christians in saying grace before meals? I'm asking about any text, from the religious texts here to "This food smells good". Also does whether Jesus is invoked make a difference? ...
2
votes
1answer
306 views

What is the Heter for the prevalent Clothing among Women?

The Eida HaChareidis1 paskened (and R' Wosner agreed) in accordance with the Mishna Berura2, who requires women to go in public places only when wearing redid (a head-covering wrapping the entire body ...
2
votes
1answer
285 views

Source for the Mitzvah Tanz

At a Chassidishe Wedding, there is a special dance done, known as the Mitzvah Tanz. Where is the source for this dance and what is the meaning behind it? Also, why is it not done at Litvish Weddings? ...
2
votes
2answers
221 views

Why does Rashi cite the Midrash of Pharaoh's daughter stretching out her arm?

There's a famous Midrash cited by Rashi (Shemoth 2:5), that says Pharaoh's daughter stretched out her arm and that it extended beyond its natural length to pull in the basket containing the baby from ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

Corporations and Jewish ethics

Mitt Romney famously remarked that "corporations are people too." I don't buy that, but I've been wondering about what Jewish ethics says about how we should treat them. Specifically, If we speak ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

For the Noahide laws, what should Noahides, who are unaware of the biblical God, do? [duplicate]

Being a Noahide Gentile seems to be harder than it looks. Noahides must follow the seven commandments. I wonder what happens to those innocent peoples who practice polytheistic, traditional folk ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

How do Ethiopian Jews see the Book of Jubilees?

Is the Book of Jubilees considered to be on par with Chumash by the Beta-Israel?
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Near a bad smell, one might want to do Sh'ma, the Amidah, blessings, study, or think Torah. Is halacha equally strict about all five acts?

"Just as one separates oneself from excreta, urine, a foul odor, a corpse and the sight of nakedness for Kri'at Shema, so too, he should separate himself for Shemoneh Esreh". —Rambam. Hilchos ...
2
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
110 views

When is kedusha “over”?

As an extension of this question: When I daven and am still davening when the shaliach tzibbur repeats shmoneh esrei, I know I am supposed to stand quietly during kedusha and continue with my ...
2
votes
2answers
188 views

Why is the name 'Yerushalayim' absent from the Torah?

Bereishit Rabbah (56:10) tells us that Yerushalayim was named as a unification of Avraham's "Yireh" after the akeidah and Malkhitzedek (who was really Shem) who greeted Avraham after saving Lot who ...
2
votes
3answers
130 views

Miswa of Lifne Iwer isn't what the words mean literally?

My fellow Jew (let's call him Bob) and I were discussing the Miswa of "You shall not place a stumbling block in front of a blind person (Wayikra 19)". Bob was saying that that verse was referring to ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

A woman's singing voice when there are other singing voices

There is a famous Teshuva of the Sridei Aish, Rabbi Yaakov Yechiel Weinberg, that permits one to hear kol isha (a women's singing voice) when there are other people singing. Where is this Teshuva ...
2
votes
2answers
146 views

Should one living in Israel leave?

The Torah commands us, ‘Venishmartem meod lenafshotechem' ['You shall take care exceedingly of your lives' — Deut. 4:15). It seems anyone living in Israel is in grave danger due to the recent ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Internet-advertising on Shabat (by and for Jews)

Others here have raised the general questions of whether or not various forms of Internet-presence (belonging to a Jew) can remain open on Shabat: blogs/websites, in general e-commerce sites, in ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Can a woman make an eiruv for her minor children?

The g'mara on Eiruvin 82b explains that a man can make an eiruv for his minor children and Canaanite slaves without their consent, but for adult children, his wife, and Hebrew slaves they must ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

Voting on “Who's good for the Jews?”

In a civil election, does Judaism teach that one should vote for candidates who will be "good for the Jews" (i.e. they support laws that are more favorable to Jews as a whole than the laws that the ...
2
votes
1answer
192 views

Do non-jews have soul mates?

We know that Jews have soul mates: people whom they are destined to marry. Do non-Jews have people they are destined to marry?
2
votes
1answer
572 views

What if somebody says the Shem Hameforash?

Suppose I am having a conversation with a person who is unfamiliar with Jewish tradition, and the person casually attempts to pronounce the Shem Hameforash according to its letters, as some secular ...
2
votes
2answers
549 views

Is it considered Pikuach Nefesh if you break Shomer Negiah to give someone emotional comfort?

I've asked myself this before, but I'm not sure. Say that you see someone depressed, severely depressed and they just need a hug. If they're the same gender, that's all fine and dandy. However, if ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

Shoe-tying order when tying another's shoes

Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 2:4–5: ינעול מנעל ימין תחילה ולא יקשרנו ואחר כך ינעול של שמאל ויקשרנו ויחזור ויקשור של ימין One should don his right shoe first but not tie it, then don his ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Amen on a Berachah that may be out of place but isn't false

An answer to another question says that, when a particular modern-day Torah scholar heard someone recite the blessing of "SheHalak" (recited in the presence of only the most eminent scholars of Torah ...
2
votes
1answer
298 views

What God must gentiles believe in?

In the Rambam's Mishne Tora, the end of chapter 8 of M'lachim reads: Any [gentile] who accepts seven commands and is careful to fulfill them is among the pious of the nations of the world and has ...
2
votes
1answer
331 views

How do rabbis explain the reason for the Spanish Expulsion. Why did the Jewish people deserve it

I notice you already have this question for the Holocaust but haven't found it for the Spanish expulsion. I understand that many great people gave reasons for it, like the seder hadoros, tsror hamor ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Eating new grains on the 17th vs the 18th of Nisan

The Shulhan 'Aruch (OC 489:10) states: אסור לאכול חדש אף בזמן הזה בין לחם בין קלי בין כרמל עד תחלת ליל יח בניסן ובארץ ישראל עד תחלת ליל יז בניסן "It is forbidden to eat new (grains) even ...
2
votes
1answer
207 views

Responding to “that's not a Jewish name”

My ancestry is not eastern-European, and sometimes when I meet people in a Jewish setting and we introduce ourselves, I'm met with "that's not a Jewish name" (referring to my last name, mostly). I ...
2
votes
0answers
120 views

Is a Jew able to go hunting?

What is the Halacha in regard to whether or not a person can go hunting? What have Poskim said on this issue?
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Meditation before Mitzvah activities

Who invented the meditation that is often printed before such things as counting the 'Omer, inviting the Ushpizin, and other Mitzvoth or Mitzvah-related activities, and what is the basis for it?
2
votes
2answers
119 views

Is idolatrous belief forbidden for Jews, or is it just practice?

Suppose a Jew believes that there are multiple gods, but he does not worship them in any way. Is this a violation of the prohibition against idolatry for Jews? We see from this answer that similar ...
2
votes
3answers
398 views

Chachma, bina vaadat. Whats the difference?

Whats the difference between the concepts: chachma, bina and daat? We see them listed together in the amida.
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Learning Torah without understanding

The Magen Avraham in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim Siman 50 Sif-Katan 2 writes that learning (Torah) is only called "learning" if one understands what they learn (see there for the context in which he ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Language of Mishneh Brurah - Sefiras HaOmer and counting before Aleinu

Shulchan Aruch 489:1 says that after Maariv of the second night of Pesach we begin to count Sefiras HaOmer. The Mishneh Brurah there in note 2 says that one should count before "Aleinu" because "col ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Why was Ephraim's count not affected by leaving early?

According to the medrash pirkei deRebbi Eliezer (48) 200,000 Ephraimites left Egypt many years before Moshe took the Jews out and were killed. There are other midrashim and a gemarah which quote ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Whence “בלי עין הרע”?

What is the source, or earliest reference, I guess, of using the phrase, "בלי עין הרע"?
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Is it a mitzvah to save someone from execution by Beth Din?

I am wondering how the laws of pikuach nefesh might apply to a situation of mitath beth din. Would bystanders be obliged to save the condemned from his lawful execution? What about members of the beth ...
2
votes
1answer
88 views

Receiving someone else's chametz mail

Yesterday, I heard the door open and close. I went over and discovered that the mailman had delivered the mail. A magazine (which I looked forward to reading), some envelopes and a small package. I ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

Why “מִי וָמִי” instead of “מִי וּמִי”?

I have always thought that as a general rule, the vav conjunctive prefix is usually a "וְ". But, when the word being "prefixed" either starts with a shva or starts with a "lip-letter" (בומ"פ), the vav ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Animal testing of cosmetics and other products

To what extent does tzaar baalei chayyim--the prohibition on causing needless pain to animals--apply to animal testing of products such as cosmetics? What are the potential halachic problems for both ...

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