1
vote
1answer
89 views

Can noisy fans and humidifiers be run on Shabbat in a home that has had a flood?

Talmud Shabbat 18a states that “It is forbidden to place grain in a water mill [on Erev Shabbat] unless it will be ground before nightfall. Why? Rabba said: Because it creates noise.”[10] ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Do chopsticks have to be separated before Shabbat?

A few weeks ago, I was eating sushi at my friend's home. It was a weekday. He gave me a bag of wooden chopsticks that had a warning on the slip saying that the sticks must be separated before Shabbat. ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

Play-doh, Passover, and Purina

from: http://doseofhalacha.blogspot.com/2014/04/toiletries-on-pesach.html On Pesach, anything that is rauy l’achilas kelev (can be eaten by a dog) is considered chametz. The Shulchan Aruch (OC ...
2
votes
5answers
116 views

Other Major Jewish Books Whose Authorship is in Dispute beside the Zohar

I have seen various discussions over time arguing about who wrote the Zohar. In one discussion a person arguing for the side that the Zohar was written by Moses de Leon stated that one interesting ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

When was the one time the Jewish people did not fast on Yom Kippur?

A student of mine asked me this question based on an application he was filling out. I am assuming there is a historical or halachik answer to this question. "When was the one time the Jewish people ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

What is the longest word in Tanach?

One of my students was filling out an application that requested the longest and shortest word in Tanach. I am assuming by the fact that this question was asked that there is a known answer and this ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Can one feed the sheep / goat at the petting zoo sheep “pellets” on Hol Hamo'ed Pesach?

Some petting zoos have a small dispenser containing sheep food. They look like small pellets that I believe are a chametz mixture. Shulchan Arukh, Orach Chayyim 442:1 says: . אבל דבר שיש בו תערובת ...
5
votes
1answer
80 views

Significance of nine months of pregnancy and eleven stars

In the piyyut Echad Mi Yodeya, recited at the Passover seder, we discuss what relates to the first thirteen numbers. Most of these are central to Jewish belief: One is Hashem, two are the Tablets ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

If a glass of wine improves after five minutes, should you say HaTov VeHaMetiv?

A good wine improves as it is exposed to oxygen in the glass after it is poured. Since one is supposed to say a Berachah of HaTov VeHaMetiv if one drinks a better glass of wine than the first (ie., ...
4
votes
2answers
48 views

Standing/Sitting on Motzei Shabbat for Vihi Noam and Uva LeTzion

I have noticed that some people are particular to stand on Motzei Shabbat for Vihi Noam and Uva LeTzion, whereas others are particular to sit. Is this really something significant? Whose opinion is ...
5
votes
0answers
55 views

The angle of heseiba and derech cheirus

Heseiba (reclining) is a Rabbinic ordinance of the Passover seder intended to invoke the style of derech cherut ("the way of freedom" - associated with luxury/aristocracy). Some Rishonim (medieval ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

Why are we so concerned about mistaking meat on Pesach?

The Shulchan Aruch in siman 469 and 476 lays out the concerns we have that someone might mistake you main course for a real Korban Pesach. This includes not saying 'this meat is for Peasach' and not ...
3
votes
1answer
325 views

May one go on a fishing trip during Hol Hamo'ed Pesach where chametz is used as bait?

The captain of the boat charges for the boat tour only. He lends passengers a reel and puts a piece of bread as bait. You never touch the bread, and any fish caught will eat the bread, anyway. At the ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Is there a concise book on how math and measurements are used in Torah and talmud?

Both the Torah and Gemarrah use math in various places, e.g. percentages (5ths (certain penalties); 10ths (ma'aser), etc.) They also use many terms of measurements - e.g. shekel = 20 gerah; numerous ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Are there still communities that eat roasted meat Seder night?

Okay, so we no longer eat a whole roasted lamb Seder night(s). The mishna says in some places the custom is to specifically eat roasted meat, and in others the custom is not to. That's basically what ...
1
vote
2answers
38 views

Does anyone have a suggestion for a good book on dikduk?

I'm looking for a good book on dikduk for strictly loshon hakodesh (for studying tanach and talmud) . Any suggestions? in english preferably
-2
votes
1answer
55 views

Should we say birchas ha-torah before each Passover seder?

Why not precede or start the Passover seder with birchas ha-torah? Is the content of the Passover Seder material that should be preceded by birchas ha-torah? If so, why is birchas ha-torah not in the ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

What will Lubavitchers do in 2052?

There's a Chabad-Lubavitch custom of reciting a psalm of T'hilim corresponding to one's age. That is, for example, in one's fourteenth year of life (e.g. on his thirteenth birthday), he says the ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

How do kidneys give advice?

In parashat Vayikra (3:9)the kidneys are referred to as "העצה". Rashi comments explains that they are called this because they give advice. In what way to kidneys give advice?
3
votes
0answers
28 views

Trying to understand Targum of סביב

It seems every instance we have the word סביב in the Torah, Targum translates it as סחור סחור, a doubling of the word which I would have assumed would suffice in single format. See for instance ...
1
vote
2answers
74 views

Kohen marrying a giyoress

Can a widowed or divorced kohen who already has children marry a woman convert who cannot have children (eg, because of a hysterectomy or being postmenopausal)?
1
vote
0answers
45 views

What if Purim hadn't happen?

It is widely known that Purim is often compared to Yom Kippur in its level of holiness, etc. It is said that the spiritual heights to which one can rise to on Purim are essentially unparalleled at any ...
9
votes
1answer
82 views

Why don't we care if the Pesach pilgrims get rained on?

After Sukkos, we immediately begin saying mashiv haruach, as it is the rainy season. However, we delay saying v'sein tal umattar, the request for rain, until we have given the pilgrims who came to ...
5
votes
0answers
45 views

Custom of singing Aishes Chayil before kiddush

It seems that not everyone [always] sang/sings Aishes Chayil with Sholom Aleichem at the Friday night Shabbos table. When and how did the custom of singing Aishes Chayil at the table begin? Who ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Are all answers in the Torah? [closed]

Are the answers to any question found in the Torah? Or are there some questions that the Torah doesn't address?
2
votes
1answer
20 views

How many chapters of mishna are there? [duplicate]

I was wondering how many chapters of mishna there are. How many perakim and mishnayot in each seder?
0
votes
0answers
33 views

How would the Shekinah Glory be described in contemporary english?

Was the Shekinah really a cloud? I know it shaded the people, but did it produce rain? Is it thought of as a cloud because that was the only word to describe what the people saw? The two passages ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

How should one respond after each plague is named during the seder?

In the Haggadah, the Ten Plagues are recited, and a drop of wine is spilled for each one. However, in the Tunisian tradition (and maybe others), after the reader chants each plague, the others ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Midrashic(?) Proof from Design story about overturned inkwell

I believe I read years ago about an instance where a rabbi presented a heretic with a well written poem that he claimed had actually formed accidentally when he overturned his inkwell. I though I had ...
2
votes
2answers
91 views

Chovos Halevavos' Proof from Design

Where (preferably online) is the passage of Rabbeinu Bahya Ibn Paqud in his Chovos Halevavos (in Shaar HaYichud I believe) in which he proves the existence of the Creator by citing a story where a ...
2
votes
0answers
21 views

How do we know that R' Yehuda does not think writing is a good way to remember something?

The gemara Yoma on page 55a quotes a mishna which has R' Yehuda saying that there were no boxes of money for people to donate for kinei chova offerings because the kohanim could confuse that box with ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Singing shoshanas yaakov on Pesach

I have seen that some sing Shoshanas Yaakov on Pesach to commemorate the death of Haman. Can someone please direct me to an authoritative source for this custom? See references to it here: ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Does Judaism have a concept of holy text literalism?

Apologies if this is an ignorant, foolish or offensive question. I am not Jewish, and am asking to satisfy my curiosity. Some time ago, on a political forum online, I was discussing religious ...
8
votes
1answer
96 views

How did the Cohanim manage to walk on the Copper Mizbeach?

Copper is a very good heat conductor. In the Mishkan the outside Mizbeach was made of copper, and had a fire burning on it continuously. (Actually it's a dispute if it had 3 or 4 fires burning on it ...
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

Rationalism in Judaism

what exactly is the difference between the rationalist approach and the non-rationalist approach in Judaism. I assume both believe in miracles.
6
votes
1answer
83 views

Loshon hara vs. Honor code

Note: This question is in fact hypothetical--but any suggestions for edits that could make it a less ostensibly CYLOR-type question would be welcome. Let's say I attend a university which requires ...
-5
votes
1answer
90 views

Can one accept Muhammad and remain Jewish? [duplicate]

On the premise that one who accepts the Torah as Moses delivered it to us from Mount Sinai, and considering that Islam considers the Tanach as a holy book, can one accept Muhammad as a prophet and ...
0
votes
0answers
42 views

Practice of burning or burying fingernail clippings

I've been reading recently about the practice of discarding of fingernails in a special way, usually by burning or burying. (Sources here) Please discuss this practice. Any information would be ...
1
vote
1answer
63 views

Why must the child ask these four questions?

The Torah, as explained in the Hagaddah, gives examples of four children. Each asks a question in his own way, and receives an appropriate answer. However, the Mishnah in Pesachim 116a teaches: ...
4
votes
0answers
22 views

Interpreting Abayyei's mnemonic in Megillah 31a

In Megillah 31a, Abayyei lists the sections from the Torah that we read on each successive day of Pesach as follows: "משך תורא קדש בכספא פסל במדברא שלח בוכרא". Each of the eight words within this ...
10
votes
1answer
73 views

Why didn't Joshua appoint a leader after him?

When Joshua dies, he doesn't (at least not explicitly in Joshua 24 or Judges 1) appoint a spiritual or military leader after him. Joshua was appointed by Moses (Numbers 27:15-23) and that appears to ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

Dimensions of the Copper/Outer/Olah Mizbeach in the Mishkan

There is a machlokes as to the dimensions of the Copper mizbeach of the Mishkan (Zevachim 59b). One of the disputes is the dimensions of the upper part of the mizbeach where the cohanim would be ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Doing a Mitzva Yourself

Does Rambam ever mention (or reference) the principle that it is preferable to perform every mitzva oneself rather than through an agent? (See e.g. Kiddushin 41a).
0
votes
2answers
112 views

Is tofu cheese “kitniyot” on Passover?

I know Ashkenazi Jews don't eat "kitniyot", certain beans and the like, on Pessach. Is tofu cheese included in that restriction? It's made primarily of soybeans.
3
votes
2answers
435 views

Kashrut with very costy salt?

Currently the cost of the salt (for human consumption) is practically negligible, mostly around $1/kg. But it wasn't always so. There were centuries as salt mining and selling was a governmental ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Finish it later and make a siyum?

Suppose someone part of a work of Torah and, later, picks up where he left off. Can he make a siyum (e.g. to exempt b'choros from fasting erev Pesach or to allow wine before 9 Av)? Possibly ...
2
votes
1answer
81 views

Source for the story about the Satmar Rebbe

I remember a story about a maskil who approached the Satmar Rebbe, and who lamented the fact that Hungarian Jews don't differentiate between the samekh (ס), the sin (שׂ) and the sav (ת). The Satmar ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Studying the Written Torah in English

In terms of fulfilling the Mitzvah of Talmud Torah, when studying the Written Torah, must one learn the translation in tandem with the Hebrew words? Or is it sufficient to understand the meaning, ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

phonetic Shabbat blessing [closed]

I will be unable to light the shabbos candles this coming Friday, but my husband will do it. Can I have a phonetic printing of the Hebrew blessing for him.
1
vote
2answers
136 views

What caused God?

I recently came across this webpage, in which I read the following: You say everything needs a cause, right? So what caused the 1st cause? Why is the 1st cause the exception to the rule? Maybe the ...

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