3
votes
2answers
106 views

Must one follow a community's candle-lighting time?

If one belongs to a synagogue, and the synagogue tells its members that the community's Shabbos candle-lighting time is a certain time, is one obligated to light at that time (or by 18 minutes after ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

Tanning on Shabbos

Is it permissible to suntan on Shabbos? The possible prohibition would be tzoveah -- dyeing. Is it considered permanent enough to be Biblically prohibited? Is it dyeing at all being that no coloring ...
2
votes
3answers
184 views

Kashering with a potted plant

On Friday, my grandmother made a comment about kashering a knife by sticking it in a potted plant (with very loose soil), something which will not kasher anything. What is the origin of this ...
6
votes
0answers
59 views

At what point do we reject a minhag?

I was learning the halachos of berachos on things that are ground up, and it seemed pretty clear to me that the blessing on chocolate should be ha'etz. I found discussion in some more contemporary ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Try to understand the order that Lavan searched Yaakov's tents

In Bereshis 31:33 the pasuk describes Lavan's search for his idols in Yaakov's tents: וַיָּבֹא לָבָן בְּאֹהֶל יַעֲקֹב | וּבְאֹהֶל לֵאָה וּבְאֹהֶל שְׁתֵּי הָאֲמָהֹת וְלֹא מָצָא וַיֵּצֵא מֵאֹהֶל ...
5
votes
2answers
61 views

Theological Aspects of Hebrew Grammar

Are there any aggadic, kabbalistic, halachic or other theological teachings related to the grammar or morphology of Hebrew? I am not referring to the orthography (or anything at all related to ...
6
votes
0answers
59 views

Children's Names

I noticed a lot of times in the TaNaKh, how children were given specific names for a specific reason. Take Binyamin for example, his original name at birth was "Benoni" (son of my sorrow) but his ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

How can Hashem make a mistake in thinking to make the world with Elokim (Midas Hadin)

Genesis 1:1 Rashi s.v. ברא א-להים: ברא א-להים: ולא אמר ברא ה׳, שבתחלה עלה במחשבה לבראתו במדת הדין, ראה שאין העולם מתקיים, הקדים מדת רחמים ושתפה למדת הדין, היינו דכתיב (להלן ב ד) ביום עשות ה׳ ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Which witness testifies about a blasphemer?

In Rambam Hilchos Avodas Kochavim Perek 2 halacha 8 it says that if someone curses the name of God, the court examines the witnesses as to what they heard. The "great one" (Rambam's words) of all the ...
2
votes
0answers
46 views

Earliest and Latest Times for Kabbalat Shabbat?

If one is davening alone, what are the earliest and latest times for reciting Kabbalas Shabbos? If one was too busy preparing for Shabbos to say it at the normal time, may one recite it at any time ...
1
vote
2answers
52 views

What is the point of the first possuk of the Torah?

1:1 Breishis According to Rashi that says that the possuk is an introduction (in the beginning of creation of the heavens and the earth). My question is why does the torah need a introductory ...
1
vote
2answers
97 views

Is the “pursuit of happiness” mentioned in the U.S. Declaration of Independence really a right “endowed by the Creator”?

Near the beginning of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, we have these words: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among ...
-1
votes
1answer
97 views

Tzitzit while sitting at home

In the summer time, when it's hot and humid and additional clothing layers can be uncomfortable, while sitting at home is a man allowed to wear just a t-shirt or is it necessary to have the tzitzit on ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Chazan and Tefillah

The leader of the Tefillah is referred to as a חַזַּן. The word חַזַּן, although translated as a cantor, actually comes from the word חֲזוֹן which means vision. Is there a source for this?
-1
votes
0answers
47 views

An example of the Gemara changing a Mishnah

I was hoping someone could help me find an example of a heichi ka'amar from the Gemara, in which the Gemara says that when the Mishnah said "X" it really meant "Y" (or at least should have said "Y"). ...
5
votes
0answers
79 views

Can dew really make an eggshell fly?

In פרשת בשלח 16:14, it says -- The layer of dew went up, and behold, on the surface of the desert, a fine, bare [substance] as fine as frost on the ground. On that verse, Rashi says ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

Why does one have to see the moon to do Kiddush Levana?

I had a debate regarding Kiddush Levana with a yeshiva bachur. From my recollection, Kiddush Levana is not meant to compensate or "simulate" Kiddush Hachodesh where witnesses had to see the moon and ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Is there a book that cross-references where the names of animals are mentioned in Tana"ch?

I was impressed with the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo, as it had a verse that mentioned the name of the animal. Is there a book that simulates this idea, i.e. a book that quotes the verse of all the ...
11
votes
1answer
135 views

Having fun with telemarketers

Growing up, we had a separate home phone line that was listed in the phonebook and had a distinctive ring. So we knew when someone was calling us who had gotten our number out of the phonebook. This ...
5
votes
1answer
52 views

When was the last time when we had 4 consecutive leap years when Matot and Masei were read separately?

I noticed that the only times that parshat Matot and Mas'ei are read separately outside Israel is during a leap year when the first day of the previous Rosh Hashannah occurred on Thursday. This would ...
1
vote
3answers
93 views

Is it possible to become a tzaddik?

By "tzaddik" I mean a person who does no sins and has no evil inclination. Is it possible to become a tzaddik? Or you have to be born one? For example: If someone is not raised Jewish and then ...
2
votes
2answers
70 views

If a ger is like a newborn, are they tahor? Can they prepare the para aduma?

If a ger (convert) is considered like a newborn are they tahor? If this is the case then if we were able to find a red cow then shouldn't the ger be able to to prepare the para aduma? Normally the ...
13
votes
4answers
137 views

Is pharisaical - or any similar allusion to the Pharisees - offensive to modern Jews?

This question is inspired from an English Stack Exchange question: http://english.stackexchange.com/questions/182014/what-is-the-word-for-a-pious-person-who-never-helps-others In short, is the term ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

wearing sunglasses on shabbas

Can one wear non-prescription sunglasses on shabbas in a place where there is no eruv? Do we say since if the sun gets blocked one might come to take them off in a karm'lis, or do we say it's like ...
3
votes
1answer
280 views

How did the priests deal with excess blood during the Temple dedication?

What did the priests do with all the excess blood when Solomon dedicated the Temple? They sacrificed 22,000 head of cattle and 120,000 sheep and goats. That would be about 360,000 (US) gallons or 1.36 ...
1
vote
2answers
77 views

Marriage and Menstruation

I'm not Jewish, but I have a question I am curious about. I recently posted this on the Christianity stack exchange website, but did not get many good answers, since most Christians generally don't ...
5
votes
2answers
191 views

When is a Yartziet Observed?

When is a Yartzeit observed, the day of death or the day of burial? I ask this question in response to the news of the terrible death of the three boys in Eretz Yisrael who died weeks before their ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

How can you get Ka'asher Zamam if you became a Chalal

There is a rule that Ka'asher Zamam vilo Ka'asher Asa: the second set of witnesses have to appear in court "before the punishment" in order that the first witnesses get the punishment Ka'asher Zamam. ...
3
votes
2answers
95 views

Nevuah or just a dream

How would we know if we "dreamed" of Hashem talking to us, but were actually getting Nevuah? Even Shmuel was confused the first time...in fact, he also lived in a time when Nevuah had been withheld ...
8
votes
1answer
59 views

How do you “take someone to beis din”?

Reuvain and Shimon are having a monetary dispute. Reuvain wants to take Shimon to beis din to settle the dispute, how does this work in practical terms? Does Reuvain have to tell Shimon first? Can he ...
2
votes
0answers
27 views

Why do we cover our eyes during Shema? [duplicate]

There is a very widespread custom to cover one's eyes with one's hand during the first pasuk of Keriyas Shema. Where/when did this custom originate, and what is the reason for it?
0
votes
3answers
149 views

Why didn't Eliyahu Hanavi reveal himself to me?

What does it take to have Eliyahu Hanavi reveal himself to someone? There are people today who know the whole Talmud Bavli baal peh with Rashi and Tosfos and the whole Tanach and Mishnayos baal peh, ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Is there a Shiur/Book on Talmud Bavli that has Rashi Inside Translated in English?

Is there a shiur online on Gemorah that has Rashi inside said over in English, explaining the simple meaning well? (length should be 30-60 minutes) Alternatively, is there a book on Talmud Bavli ...
10
votes
2answers
93 views

How can Eliyahu say that almost no one in the market has a share in Olam Haba?

Ta'anit 22a recounts (in the g'mara) a story of R. Beroka b. Haza'ah and Eliyahu ha-Navi in a marketplace in Be Lapat, which a note in my Soncino translation says is in Khuzistan. R. Beroka asks ...
10
votes
3answers
577 views

Why is Bil'am not surprised that his mule is talking to him?

During the scene in parshat Balak, it says that "God opened the mule's mouth" and it asked Bil'am why he hit him. Bil'am answers the donkey. It seems that he is not surprised at all that the donkey is ...
1
vote
0answers
47 views

Why do Tefillin have filler material in the base of the batim?

Mikshah tefillin are tefillin battim which have no filler material in the titurah (base). Why is filler material even necessary? The photo below illustrates the thickness with a piece of filler ...
5
votes
2answers
74 views

Snakes talking?

I am wondering why snakes no longer talk. The Lord punished the serpent by making him crawl on his belly and eat dust, and be at odds with Eve's offspring, but it does not mention taking away the ...
3
votes
0answers
33 views

Monetizing ads on Shabbos?

Is there any issue with me running adverts on my app since I receive money when people click on the ads on Shabbos?
4
votes
1answer
52 views

How are nazir and sota connected?

The g'mara quotes a baraisa saying that כל הרואה סוטה בקלקולה יזיר עצמו מן היין Anyone who sees a sota in her disgrace (would/should) swear off wine. The word יזיר, as I understand it could ...
3
votes
6answers
113 views

What is the point of Davening/Praying

What is the point of praying? It is for sure not because Hashem needs/wants it. (Hashem is not lacking in any way he is infinite, and thus does not need our tefillos or our mitzvos) And it seems ...
1
vote
0answers
38 views

What's “כי אתא פלוני אמר פלוני”?

The phrase "‫כי אתא [name] אמר [name],‏ [statement]‏‬‬" appears many times in the Bavli. For example, Rosh Hashana 35:1: כי אתא רבין אמר רבי יעקב בר אידי אמר רבי שמעון חסידא לא ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Is asking for a blessing in his granary asking for a miracle?

The Gemara in Taanis 8b says: "Ein Berachah Metzuyah Ela b'Davar ha'Samuy Min ha'Ayin" (blessing is found only in an item which is hidden from the eye) One who enters his granary to measure ...
9
votes
5answers
804 views

Can a gentile pray in a synagogue?

I am an 18 year old male interested in converting to Judaism, I have been reading the Tanakh amongst other things and have been learning more about the religion. My question pertains as to whether or ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Can I use the “Sabbath mode” on the refrigerator if it is not certified?

We are looking to buy a new refrigerator that has a Sabbath mode. We noticed that both the GE Profile and Kitchenaid fridges have Sabbath modes, but the Kitchenaid is certified by the Star K and the ...
5
votes
1answer
40 views

What is the reason for the specific items listed in Pirkei Avot 5:6 being created just before Shabbat?

Pirkei Avot chapter 5, mishnah 6 says: Ten things were created at twilight of Shabbat eve. These are: the mouth of the earth [that swallowed Korach]; the mouth of [Miriam's] well; the mouth of ...
6
votes
3answers
178 views

Is it permissible to write the English/secular date?

Is it permissible to write the secular/Christian date? Example: On a letter (bad example but you get what I mean). Some conceivable issues: We're told "this month (Nisan) shall be for you the head ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

What blessing is made on a taco, burrito, or plain flour tortilla?

My copy of "Guide to Blessings, The Brochos for Various Foods" compiled by Rabbi Naftali Hoffner (NCSY/OU) states that tortillas get the "Shehakol" blessing because they are made of maize (corn) ...
3
votes
0answers
27 views

How can there be machlokes in gezairah shavos?

The Gemara says (Nidah 19b, among other places), אין אדם דן גזירה שווה מעצמו - a person can't make up gezaira shavos, they have to have been learned from one's teacher. If so, how can there ever be a ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Why Choose Talmud Bavli For The Daily Study

As we know it is a big custom to learn a daf of Talmud Bavli a day (Dafyomi). My question is why did they choose to pick Talmud Bavli. There are so many other Subjects that could actually affect ...
3
votes
3answers
128 views

Are “Price-Tag” Attacks halachically sound?

Certain fringe elements* in Israel are known for committing crimes in reaction to Palestinian attacks. This attacks have in the past included the destruction of Palestinian-owned olive groves and ...

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