All Questions

2
votes
0answers
28 views

Concerning the time when Esther must be read

The first Mishnah in Tractate Megilla says: מגילה נקראת באחד עשר, בשנים עשר, בשלושה עשר, בארבעה עשר, ובחמישה עשר--לא פחות ולא יתר. The Megilla is read sometimes on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

sources that neatness brings brocho/mazal

I heard in a daf yomi shiur on the end of Moed Katan (27a ‘Couch of Fortune’) that Jews kept an extra neat bed for brocho/mazal. One of the reasons that he gave was that in general neatness brings ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Do all printed kodesh materials require Geniza?

Case 1: I print a english translation of something Kodesh. Case 2: I mistakenly print out a few pages from a sefer. I have no intention of using those pages and do not learn from them. Question: Do ...
6
votes
1answer
814 views

When did people living for 900 years start to look old?

In the early days of the world, the standard age of living was well into the hundreds, with many people living until they were 800 or 900. Being that people lived so long, when did they start to "look ...
9
votes
2answers
92 views

Threatening to sue with no intention to do so

Let's say that a person is rightfully owed a sum of money, and the debtor refuses to pay them. Can they threaten to take the person to Beis Din or a secular court, even if they have no intention of ...
11
votes
2answers
112 views

Why didn't Noach look out the window?

After all, a window was clearly part of the Ark's structure, as we see from: Genesis 6:16: צֹ֣הַר׀ תַּעֲשֶׂ֣ה לַתֵּבָ֗ה וְאֶל־אַמָּה֙ תְּכַלֶ֣נָּה מִלְמַ֔עְלָה וּפֶ֥תַח הַתֵּבָ֖ה בְּצִדָּ֣הּ ...
2
votes
2answers
43 views

Why the difference between Tishrei and Nissan for tachanun?

As mentioned elsewhere on this site, we don't say tachanun during the entire month of Nissan, because a majority of the month is spent "in kedusha," skipping tachanun -- therefore we omit tachanun for ...
-5
votes
1answer
94 views

Is there really evidence that the Rabbis changed the day's beginning from sunrise to sunset? [closed]

The writing of the two Rabbis quoted below state that the Rabbis changed the start of the day from sunrise to sunset. Rabbi Drazin wrote that "we know for certain that the day began in the Temple at ...
12
votes
5answers
211 views

How to pray for something

How is one supposed to pray for something he needs? Is he/she supposed to request it from God once or repeat the request over and over, or make arguments why he deserves it or something else? It ...
12
votes
3answers
148 views

A rabbi asked me to light candles before weekday Mincha/Ma'ariv. Is this customary? Is there a bracha?

Last night, I was pulled in off the street to help an unfamiliar shul make a minyan for Mincha/Ma'ariv. The rabbi greeted me, and when he learned I do not speak Hebrew, he gave me a very nice blessing ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

Books on Politics

Are there any books that provide a Jewish way of Politics? Anything that would possibly discuss types of governments, economic systems or what a politician should do would fit for what I am looking ...
3
votes
1answer
74 views

Are you allowed to wear old Shabbos clothes during the week?

If you have a garment that was specifically designated to be worn on Shabbos (or Yom Tov) are you allowed to start wearing it during the week if it has become worn out from repeated use and thus no ...
13
votes
1answer
76 views

Why is there a dagesh in second camocha, but not in first?

In "Mi chamocha ba'elim H', Mi camocha nedar bakodesh" (from the Az Yashir song by the sea, but also between the shma and the amidah in the morning, and elsewhere): מִֽי-כָמֹ֤כָה בָּֽאֵלִם֙ ...
4
votes
2answers
102 views

Why not say tachanun until 2 Cheshvan?

It's recorded in most siddurim I've used that some people have the custom to skip tachanun on Isru Chag (the day after Sukkos), and start again the day after, while others don't resume saying it until ...
6
votes
3answers
124 views

Age of Universe and Shabbat

If one believes that our world is billions of years old, i.e. accepting the idea of each day in Sheshis Imei Berieshit (the Six Days of Creation) as eras and not literal days, then how does one ...
6
votes
1answer
748 views

What if the Kohen Gadol accidentally kills someone?

An ordinary person who accidentally kills someone has to go to an Ir Miklat (city of refuge) until the Kohen Gadol dies. But what if it's the Kohen Gadol himself who accidentally kills? He would ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Should observant Jews travel to areas that are centres for Avodah Zarah (Idol worship)? [closed]

In the light of the recent tragic event in Nepal, the question arose in my mind whether observant Jews ought specifically to travel to the far east where avodah zarah is intrinsic to the society?
1
vote
1answer
37 views

How does the Rambam understand the end of Shir Hashirim?

The Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, 6:9, states: Every mention of the name "Shelomoh" in the Song of Songs is sacred, except [8:12]: "You, Shelomoh, may have the thousand." (trans. by ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Why can't one be cured with Asheira wood?

The Gemara in Pesachim (25a) says א"ר יעקב א"ר יוחנן בכל מתרפאין חוץ מעצי אשירה היכי דמי אי נימא דאיכא סכנה אפילו עצי אשירה נמי ואי דליכא סכנה אפילו כל איסורין שבתורה נמי לא לעולם דאיכא סכנה ואפי' ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Can a person with a disability that causes them to be incontinent put on tefillin? If so, when?

If someone has a disability wherein they suffer from incontinence from time to time are they able to put on tefillin or not? Is there any consideration for psychological or emotional damage that may ...
1
vote
2answers
113 views

I saw someone claim that, “In Zohar of Pinchos, that an Eishes Ish is לזר מותרת if her husband allows.”?

I saw someone claim that, "In Zohar of Pinchos, that an Eishes Ish is מותרת לזר if her husband allows.", while I doubt this, and have not seen this inside, has anyone seen this inside? (Parshas ...
2
votes
2answers
77 views

A theological problem with the Miriam “Magdalene” story in Chagiga 4b

There is an interesting story at the bottom of Chagiga 4b, top of 5a. The Angel of Death is telling a Rabbi of an incident that happened. The AoD has an assistant. The AoD tells him to reap Miriam ...
9
votes
1answer
110 views

We're not supposed to point at stars?

I'm an Israeli Jew living in Israel. I often give "sky tours" where I show children and adults different stars and a view through a powerful binocular at objects of interest. Recently a young boy ...
2
votes
3answers
83 views

What should a woman think about during candle lighting?

I often see women closing their eyes and concentrating after lighting Shabbos or Yom Tov candles. I was told that this is an auspicious time to pray. I would like to know if any commentators discuss ...
9
votes
1answer
69 views

Trying to understand Kol Hanearim

Where does the custom of Kol Hanearim, were all children stand near the person getting an aliah and are covered with a tallis-canopy, come from? What, if anything, is it a segulah for? Why is it done ...
3
votes
0answers
31 views

Can a Shul collect payment from one who does not follow specific rules?

In Sources to encourage returning s'farim to their places it has a picture of a sign saying that usage of seforim is on condition that one obligates himself to pay $18 to the synagogue fund if ...
2
votes
2answers
145 views

Das Torah regarding taking notes during Shiurim

I wanted to know what the Seforim for Bnei Torah say about writing notes during a shiur. Should one listen without writing anything and only later listen to a recorder while writing notes?
5
votes
2answers
188 views

Israel Am v.s. Goy

Is Israël an Am or Goy or both? whats the Torah definition and best translation of both terms? Because it seems that Israël is being called both Am as a Goy. (Am Kadosh: Devarim 26:19 and Goy ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

what Difference between Shamash and eved

Why is the servant-candle on the menorah called “shamash” (meaning servant) instead of “eved” which is the word for servant in Hebrew
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Polite way to break up with a chavrusa?

I've been learning with someone for quite some time, but it just hasn't seem to be working out. There are too many interruptions, he seems to space out a lot, and not much progress is made with the ...
5
votes
5answers
336 views

Sources to encourage returning s'farim to their places

Hanging signs saying the above was not enough to make people in my synagogue put back the s'farim they have used into the bookcases. What other mitzvos could I bring on my next edition of the signs? ...
4
votes
0answers
30 views

Meaning of the verses ana hashem hoshia/hatzlicha na?

In Hallel (and in Havdala for Sefardim) the following verses are recited: Ana Hashem hoshea na. Ana Hashem hatzlicha na. The simple translation would be: Please, O Lord, save now! Please, O ...
4
votes
2answers
62 views

Learning while the Chazzan recites piyutim

During the Chazzan's repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei, one is generally required to pay absolute attention and avoid learning etc. What about when the Chazzan is reciting piyutim during his ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

How should a shul determine its hashkafa?

How should a shul determine its hashkafa? Is it the hashkafa of the community at large, or the rabbinate - even if they do not always seem to be identical?
6
votes
2answers
67 views

Did Cain and Hevel have דעת?

Kayin and Hevel were born before Adam and Chava sinned and ate from the Tree of Knowledge. (See Rashi to 4:1.) Did Kayin and Hevel ever receive the understanding that their parents got from the ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Shin of tefillin mentioned in the Gemara originally a reference to the division of the compartments of the Shel Rosh?

The source for [at least one of] the Shins on the tefillah shel rosh is the Gemara (b.Menahoth 35a): ואמר אביי שי"ן של תפילין הלכה למשה מסיני וצריך שיגיע חריץ למקום התפר רב דימי מנהרדעא אמר כיון ...
3
votes
0answers
50 views

is it ok to use the walls of the sukka as a hanger

Is it ok to have a nail in (sticking out of) the wall of the sukka from before sukkot and use it to hang a jacket during sukkot? Will it make a difference if the nail is facing in or out? A possible ...
1
vote
0answers
42 views

The Vilna Gaon and Tefillah

The Vilna Goan explains that while tefillah and teshuvah for a a sin are accepted by Hashem as an atonement, the sin still exists. However, a korban would completely eradicate the sin, as if it had ...
-1
votes
1answer
49 views

Does everyone say the piyut addressing Af beri?

According to the opinion that Machnisei Rachamim should not be said as we don't pray to angels, is there a problem to address Af Beri? I haven't heard of anyone skipping that piyut.
10
votes
1answer
54 views

Is there a malach taking care of rain or not?

The Gemara in Taanis 2a mentions rain as one of the items that Hashem never gives the key of which over to a messenger. אמר ר' יוחנן ג' מפתחות בידו של הקב''ה שלא נמסרו ביד שליח ואלו הן מפתח של ...
3
votes
2answers
121 views

Big-picture commentary on the siddur

There are many commentaries on the siddur. However, most of them focus in detail on the words of the prayers. I'm looking for a commentary which looks at the "big picture" of each prayer. That is, ...
3
votes
0answers
16 views

Leaving and coming back while still eating

There is a halacha that a change of location necessitates a new beracha. However, if one is in the middle of eating something while they change location, they can finish that item without making a ...
1
vote
1answer
67 views

The blessing שהחינו‎ for a new wrist watch?

If you acquire a new wrist watch, do you make the blessing Sheheheyyanu?
7
votes
0answers
40 views

Do you have to consider neighbors when building a shul?

Are there any halachic obligations to consider the averse effects that building a shul may have on Jewish neighbors? This may include things like lowering property value, noise and other disturbances, ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

Machlokes Hatanaim when Kriat Shema should be said

The first Blat of Berachot tells us about a Mahlokes when Krias Shema should be recited. There are almost 10 shitos there. What is the Machlokes-is there a Sevara for each shita? For instance, the ...
7
votes
2answers
157 views

Why does the Mishnah/Gemara begin with Masekhet Berakhot?

As mentioned (link 1, link 2) and I've seen on the ArtScroll Talmud series (though I don't have a picture to support the fact), the Mishnah/Gemara "begin" with Masekhet Berakhot. Why was this order ...
5
votes
3answers
653 views

Okay to address a rabbi with “you”?

I find it awkward to constantly say "Rabbi" instead of "you" while in a conversation. For example: "Hello Rabbi. I once spoke with the Rabbi regarding X. The Rabbi said Y. I think that the ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Has Judaism succeeded or failed at being a light unto the nations? [closed]

In Isaiah 42:6 we read I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and have taken hold of thy hand, and kept thee, and set thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations I have ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

How do we learn “Taamei HaMitzvos”?

The Rambam famously believed that sacrifices were given to ween people off idolatry. Therefore, it can be assumed that when Mashiach comes, there won't be a need for sacrifices. Yet, the Rambam ...
5
votes
0answers
47 views

Why don't we say “Misod” for Geshem and Tal?

On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Shat"z says a short paragraph at the beginning of his repetition that starts with the words "מסוד חכמים ונבונים," which is an explanation for the insertion of extra ...

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