4
votes
0answers
62 views

Can an Israeli work in public on second-day yomtov if there are non-observant Jews around?

Shulchan Aruch says an Israeli Jew who is just visiting non-Israel should not work in public on the second day of Yomtov so long as he is in "yishuv" (and commentaries explain "yishuv yisrael") -- a ...
4
votes
0answers
31 views

Is the celebration of salvation affected by the deaths of those who were not saved?

There is a obligation to thank G-d when one is saved from a life-threatening situation. Some have a custom to publicly celebrate, often with a festive meal. Some even make it a yearly occurrence. ...
4
votes
0answers
100 views

What sources did people use to support Shabbtai Tsvi's messianism after he died?

I can understand the appeal of a messiah in 1600s Eastern Europe. I can understand that we want a messiah and we're willing to accept one, whether it be Bar Kochva or Shabbtai Tsvi. But on what ...
4
votes
0answers
87 views

Washing oneself on Erev Shabbos with hot water

The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 260) writes that there is a mitzvah to wash one's body on Erev Shabbos with hot water, as seen in Tractate Shabbos 25b. The Biur Halacha writes that one can argue about ...
4
votes
0answers
119 views

After-death care of a non-Jewish relative

If a Jew has been entrusted with the after-death care of a non-Jewish relative, what should be done? Specifically, if the non-Jewish relative requested to be cremated after death, can or should a Jew ...
4
votes
0answers
87 views

What scribal variations (decorations etc) have changed from the earliest sifrei torah until now?

This article reports on the identification of what is possibly the oldest complete sefer torah we have, dated c.1155-1225, at the University of Bologna. (The scroll was previously thought to date to ...
4
votes
0answers
166 views

How should parents divide wedding expenses with their child's future in-laws

Today there are many different practices that have been "adopted" (not formally though) among the various Jewish communities on how the parents of an engaged couple divide up the expenses of the ...
4
votes
0answers
658 views

Rabbi Soloveitchik's wife and hair coverings

I've heard from some that Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's wife didn't cover her hair. I haven't managed to find a source for this. If there is a source, what is it, and if it's true, what was her ...
4
votes
0answers
113 views

Is the bracha of Retzei (avodah) a Bakasha?

In a standard shmoneh esrei, we have a middle section of bakashot. Because we do not make bakashot on Shabbat (as evidenced in this question), the middle 13 brachot are omitted. However, the final ...
4
votes
0answers
64 views

Looking for Passages of harsh criticism in the Shakh

Notwithstanding the fact that the Shakh includes a passage in the introduction to his Nequdat Kesef, claiming that his objections to other scholars are meant only respectfully, I have heard it said ...
4
votes
0answers
80 views

Why do we make a blessing on the blossoming of fruit trees (birkat hailanot)?

What is the reason that we make a blessing on fruit trees which are about to blossom, known as birkat hailanot? Is there something unique about the potential blossoming of fruit trees versus any other ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Explanation in Tosfos Pesachim Daf 99b

Tosfos writes the following in Pesachim Daf 99b: לא יפחתו לו מארבע כוסות. מתוך הלשון משמע קצת שאין נותנין לבניו ולבני ביתו כי אם לעצמו והוא מוציא את כולם בשלו וסברא הוא דמאי שנא ארבע כוסות מקידוש ...
4
votes
0answers
41 views

Shir Hama'alos in “Barech”?

Among the many hagada versions in use at the seder I attended this year, some of them included Shir Hama'alos before birkas hamazon in the "Barech" section and others did not. Is there any reason to ...
4
votes
0answers
52 views

Would my sale of chometz affect others?

If one person made a mistake or abused the chometz sale system by selling something that he does not own, would that affect the overall sale between the Rabbi of the community and the non-Jew? For ...
4
votes
0answers
68 views

Levana or Yareach?

In the entire Tanach the moon is generally called Yareach. There are 3 instances where it is called Levana. One is ישעיהו: כד. כג. וחפרה הלבנה ובושה החמה. Another one is ישעיהו: ל. כו. והיה אור הלבנה ...
4
votes
0answers
43 views

Davar Ha'avad on Chol HaMoed — Loss coming later

It says in SA OC Siman 537 that one is allowed to do a malacha on chol hamoed if it's a "davar ha'aved". That is to say if the person doesn't do the malacha now it will come to a loss ("hefsed".) ...
4
votes
0answers
107 views

On what basis do we understand references to Orion and the Pleiades in Iyov?

Iyov 38:31-32 reads: הַתְקַשֵּׁר מַעֲדַנּוֹת כִּימָה אוֹ מוֹשְׁכוֹת כְּסִיל תְּפַתֵּחַ: . הֲתֹצִיא מַזָּרוֹת בְּעִתּוֹ וְעַיִשׁ עַל בָּנֶיהָ תַנְחֵם: Can you tie the chains of the Pleiades ...
4
votes
0answers
160 views

Opened “please-take!” food items in a non-Jewish workplace

Is it alright to consume unsupervised food items at work that are open and available to anyone, assuming the items were initially known to be Kosher1 and there's no evidence of tampering? Items that ...
4
votes
0answers
94 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
109 views

Nature of cryptic prophecies

I understand that prophecies in the Tanach seem to be very cryptic until the prophecy actually happens: then do the verses become clear and be correlated to the happened events. What are good examples ...
4
votes
0answers
226 views

Do other Chasidic communities follow Shulchan Aruch HaRav?

The Maggid of Mezeritch told the Baal HaTanya to put together a Shulchan Aruch for Chasidim. The result is the Shulchan Aruch HaRav, which is used as a final authority for halacha in Chabad ...
4
votes
0answers
166 views

Sitting or Standing for Kaddish - historical divergence between Conservative and Orthodox minhag

At most (maybe even all?) Conservative synagogues, the congregation remains seated during every kaddish (except mourner's kaddish, and then only mourners rise). At Ashkenazic Orthodox synagogues, the ...
4
votes
0answers
81 views

Dagesh for adornment

On Sh'mos 2:3 and 15:17, Minchas Shay notes that הַצְּפִינוֹ and מִקְּדָשׁ have a dagesh in their respective second letters "for adornment (tif'eres)". Is this aural or visual adornment? How/Why is ...
4
votes
0answers
121 views

Scheduling a USPS Pickup for Shabbos

So it turns out that the USPS has a feature where you can ask them to come and pickup a package. So you go online to their site, enter your information, choose a date for the pickup, and tell them ...
4
votes
0answers
81 views

Understanding the servants' hard/soft hearts

In Parshas Bo (10:1) we read that God hardened the hearts of Pharaoh's servants - כִּי אֲנִי הִכְבַּדְתִּי אֶת לִבּוֹ וְאֶת לֵב עֲבָדָיו. The Ohr HaChaim explains that this is so that the servants ...
4
votes
0answers
136 views

Writing HaShem's actual name in English

Is it permissible to write out HaShem's actual name (the "Tetragrammaton") in English (or any other, non-Semitic, language)? Does it make a difference how you spell it, ie., whether you write it in ...
4
votes
0answers
83 views

What happens to the soul when dozing for a minute or ten?

Tradition tells us the soul leaves the body when sleeping. Is the same true when drowsing in a chair, which is usually not a deep sleep and you are still aware of background noise?
4
votes
0answers
196 views

Learning b'iyun vs. b'qius

When I was in yeshiva, I heard a story that I wouldn't mind having verified. Apparantly, two individuals once argued over whether b'iyun (בעיון; "in-depth", commentary-focused) learning or b'qius ...
4
votes
0answers
166 views

How/Why do amulets work?

Assuming that kameot (Jewish amulets) do provide some real protection (not simply putting the mind of the wearer at ease) how/why do they work? Meaning, why would writing the various obscure names of ...
4
votes
0answers
69 views

Are you yotzei by lighting candles through a grama?

Does one fulfill the mitzvah of lighting candles (sabbath or chanukah) if done by a grama (indirect action)? Example
4
votes
0answers
74 views

Problem of Ribis in giving loan in order to give Tzedeka

(In order to understand the dinim of Ribis and if this particular case would be problematic I will give a localized example. However please don't close the question or say it's too "local" because the ...
4
votes
0answers
64 views

How were the “seven good men of the city” appointed?

How were the “seven good men of the city” שבעה טובי העיר appointed? Was there an election and if so who could be candidates?
4
votes
0answers
115 views

Shin on Tefilin - changed in Belz?

I recently heard that in Belz they changed the Shin on the Tefilin Shel Rosh due to an old pair that was found that the Rebbi believed to be the true Mesorah. Is this true? How does the new Shin ...
4
votes
0answers
415 views

Origin/meaning of common surname Naiman (or similar)

What is the origin and/or meaning of the common Jewish surname Naiman (or Neiman, Najman, etc.)? According to this site the common Jewish name is of Germanic origin, meaning "Newcomer". However, ...
4
votes
0answers
71 views

Is there a sourced edition of Tz'enah Ur'enah?

Tz'enah Ur'enah looks like a worthwhile collection of midrashim -- insightful, accessible, and physically easy to read (this last is why I'm less likely to curl up with my Sefer Ha-Aggadah for an ...
4
votes
0answers
54 views

Different names for Dovid in regular Selichos vs Yom Kippur Selichos

Why do we refer to Dovid Hamelech as "Mashiach Tzidkecha" in Selichos (towards the end, paragraph begins with those words) except on Yom Kippur when we refer to him as "Dovid Avdecha" (in the same ...
4
votes
0answers
85 views

What if the Gabbai Tzedakah runs away?

Suppose a Gabbai Tzedakah passes our good friend Reuven while making his collection rounds. Reuven reaches into his pocket for his wallet and removes the money he wants to donate. By the time Reuven ...
4
votes
0answers
98 views

Explaining lack of mixed dancing

How do you explain to non-frum relatives why your simcha will have separate dancing?
4
votes
0answers
166 views

Lithuanian minhag for talis katan material

Not an halachic question, but we can read many things about talis katan: wool over cotton, tzitzis out or in, etc. It seems that the Lithuanian minhag was to tuck them in, but what about the material? ...
4
votes
0answers
147 views

using this website on tisha b'av?

It is known that one's not allowed to learn on tisha b'av; what is the halachic status of using this site on tisha b'av?
4
votes
0answers
123 views

Frozen clothes during the Nine Days

Recently, some have advocated freezing clothing, particularly blue jeans, instead of washing them to conserve water. Assuming this works to some extent, can it be done during the Nine Days? Can I ...
4
votes
0answers
252 views

Why is wine poured by a non-Jew forbidden?

The S"A 125:1 (YD) states that a non-Jew pouring non-Mevushal wine makes (at least) that wine unfit, but other than citing earlier authorities (maybe, I can't figure that part out) he doesn't give a ...
4
votes
0answers
88 views

The case of the missing Maharsha (Sota 49, BK 82, M'nachos 64)

There was fighting among the Chashmonaim, and one group besieged the other in Jerusalem, passing animals over the wall for the korban tamid, but eventually passing a pig. This story is recounted (in ...
4
votes
0answers
110 views

Language of a ketubah for marriage

Can I write a ketubah in English or possibly in Hebrew? Or must it be in Aramaic? The problem is that my friends and I do not speak Aramaic any longer. Our Babylonian-Jewish ancestors did, but we ...
4
votes
0answers
134 views

Kevias Ittim Vs. the General Mitzva of Talmud Torah

The basic mitzva of learning Torah can be fulfilled minimally with Kerias Shema. This comes from a Gemara in Menachos (99b) which goes through several conflicting interpretations of the verse in ...
4
votes
0answers
169 views

Do you have the right to burn your own books?

There are stories of Rabbis who have composed works only later to burn or otherwise willfully destroy them (Rabbi Nachman and The Kotzker Rebbi come to mind). I would understand if they had these ...
4
votes
0answers
90 views

an adult's responding to a child's sneeze with a blessing, or vice versa

The halacha states (Mishnah Brurah 230: 7) that one should respond to a sneeze with a blessing and the person who sneezed and was blessed should return with a blessing in kind. this is not done if you ...
4
votes
0answers
127 views

Young boys returning Chumashim after Torah reading

I often see young boys going around shul after the Shabbos/Yom Tov morning Torah reading to collect Chumashim and return them to their shelves. Is this an actual 'minhag' with a history behind it? If ...
4
votes
0answers
106 views

Matzah Shemurah on the 8th day of Pesaḥ (in the Diaspora)

According to those who hold that there is a Kiyyum Mitzvath 'Aseh DeOraitha (a fulfillment of a positive Biblical commandment) every time one eats a KeZayith (olive size's worth) of Matzah on Pesaḥ, ...
4
votes
0answers
562 views

Using a non-kosher toaster oven

What is the permissible way to use a non-kosher toaster oven? My thought process was that, when cooking milk in a meat oven, the covering of the dish and the rack makes it acceptable. Would covering ...

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