2
votes
1answer
44 views

What was the significance of the ram by the Akeida?

The Akeida ends off with Yitzchok being spared and Avraham finding a ram as a replacement sacrifice. In general, what exactly was the nature of this symbolic sacrifice? Rashi tells us that with ...
3
votes
1answer
21 views

How can the Gemara bring a proof supporting רבינו from רבי אבא?

In Brachot 49a, it talks about what people must say in birkat hamazon. The top of the page is part of a braita, which quotes רבי אבא as saying that to fulfill their obligation, one must mention, ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

How much foreskin remaining by a bris is too much

If someone as a baby had a bris done by a mohel but feels he still has foreskin going over his glands, then does he need another bris or has he fulfilled his obligation?
-2
votes
0answers
34 views

Playing music in the car with the windows open

Shmuel is playing music in car. He decides to crank up the volume and opens his windows so that rest of society can hear the music. Is there anything wrong with it? Does halachah talk about this?
4
votes
0answers
29 views

Getting in the way of a zealot

When Pinchas slew Cozbi and Zimri, he was acting in accordance to a lesser known law, the law of the zealot, that says that if one sees certain sins being performed (I don't know what qualifies) he is ...
2
votes
1answer
17 views

Why is the Miracle of Oil mentioned so much later than records of Chanukah celebrations?

The miracle of oil isn't really mentioned until the Talmud, and is absent from all earlier sources for Chanukah like the Books of Maccabees, Josephus, and others. I have seen historians claim that ...
0
votes
1answer
22 views

How do we respond to the argument of “stupid design”?

What would counter-arguments from the Jewish perspective be to arguments like the ones in this video against intelligent design? The basic premise is that humans, Earth, and the universe are, in fact, ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

Can I use the Flavia coffee machine in my workplace?

There is a coffee machine (also makes tea and hot chocolate) in my workplace that uses individual packets (not pods) for the drinks. I do not know what the mechanism is for turning that into a drink ...
11
votes
2answers
88 views

How often and for how long should one pray for a sick person?

Are there rules/guidelines for how often to include a sick person in the refa’enu prayer in the amidah, and for how long to include them? Should one pray for that person every time one prays until one ...
8
votes
5answers
204 views

Why didn't Yosef's brothers recognize him?

The Posuk says (Genesis 42:8): וַיַּכֵּר יוֹסֵף אֶת אֶחָיו וְהֵם לֹא הִכִּרֻהוּ Translated as: Now Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him The question is: How did ...
5
votes
0answers
37 views

Is there a problem with saying “for Pete's sake”?

Is there a halachic issue with invoking the name "Peter," or, as is more commonly used, "oh, for Pete's sake!," which I assume is a reference to Saint Peter. ( Wikipedia agrees with this conjecture, ...
2
votes
3answers
172 views

Preparing a dish on Shabbos by night for the day time (in regards to Borer)

It says in SA OC Siman 321 Sif 19 in the Rema that normally it's ossur to peel garlic or onions however that's only to leave them to eat at a later time. However if it's being done to eat right away ...
-1
votes
2answers
56 views

How are there arguments over how God works?

How can there be arguments over basic, major points in Jewish machshavah? How do we not all agree (and by "all", I mean all major primary sources) over how God works? How did this not come through in ...
4
votes
0answers
48 views

Is the mourning for a late relative dependent on the state of their relationship before death?

Are the halochos (laws) about observing mourning rituals for a relative (e.g., shiva, shloshim, etc.), affected in any way by the state of the relationship between the mourner and deceased before his ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Passing gas while listening to a Jewish song on my MP3 player

In Hilchot Kri'at Shema 3:14, Maimonides wrote: If one is reciting [the Shema] and passes gas, he should stop until the odor subsides and resume his recitation afterwards. The same applies to one ...
6
votes
1answer
35 views

Why is sleeping with shoes on a taste of death?

The gemarah in Yoma 78b teaches that sleeping with shoes is a taste of death. This is also codified in halacha. I would like to understand why this is the case. What is it about sleeping with shoes ...
6
votes
3answers
136 views

Government “swearing-in” ceremony

Typically in the US, members of Congress and other government officials are sworn in on a bible appropriate to their religion. Is it appropriate for Jews to be sworn in on a Tana"ch, or should some ...
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Being more stringent than your Rebbe

Is there a problem with acting more stringently in halacha than your Rebbe acts? If so, what if you are not in front of your Rebbe? If so (to #1), is having a longer beard or peyos considered a ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Is there a halachic problem with saying “Christ” as a name?

Since (according to the Gra (YD 157:3), cited in this answer), there is no issue in saying the name "Jesus," would there be an issue in saying the name "Christ"? This name might be more problematic ...
5
votes
2answers
170 views

How to display the Torah when doing hagbah

I have seen several methods of how to show the open Torah to the congregation when doing (Ashkenazi) hagbah. The simplest is to lift the Torah, turn in a full 360 degree circle, and then sit down. I ...
12
votes
8answers
322 views

Why Didn't Yosef tell Yaakov He was Still Alive?

What do the meforshim say on why Yosef didn't tell Yaakov he was still alive? Do any critique him?
5
votes
1answer
32 views

Can one light a Chanuka Menora using fiberglass wicks

A friend of mine posted this picture of her Dad's Chanuka Menora. Obviously it's not using olive oil, but that's no worse than using candles. In these lamps the wicks are simply fiberglass pipes ...
3
votes
3answers
94 views

Electric Menorah

Are electric menorahs good for lighting on Chanukah? To remove some of the more obvious issues, let's assume that: It runs on batteries It's an incandescent bulb There are separate physical ...
3
votes
3answers
201 views

What can I do if I don't have a Chanuka menorah?

There are opinions that hold that one needs a menorah, some sort of kli (vessel) to light Chanukah lights with; but even according to the contrary opinions, it's certainly easier to light when one has ...
10
votes
0answers
89 views

Is there a problem 'wearing' a virtual Saint Lucia hat?

Is there any prohibition, perhaps related to lo teileichu b'hukat hagoyim, in "wearing" a virtual hat which celebrates Saint Lucia day? Related
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Lighting the Chanuka menorah in my moving trailer

If I live in a trailer, can I light the menorah by the window of the trailor while it's moving (driving down the highway, lets say) and fulfill the mitzvah of lighting the Chanuka lamp?
4
votes
0answers
63 views

Do i have a responsibility to report users breaking the rules?

If I know that a certain user of a website is breaking the rules, can I just turn a blind eye, or must I report it? Also, Does it matter what kind of rule it is? (E.g. No swearing vs. age ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Are there any safrut teachers in Boston?

I have, as I've expressed in previous questions, a strong interest in safrut. As such, I would love to learn the relevant halachot and beautify my writing, which although it would likely be kosher ...
1
vote
1answer
20 views

Berachot before/after Shema in Berachot 2a

On Berachot daf 2a, the gemara says that we have two berachot before Shema and one after (in the morning) and two before, followed by two after (in the evening). As far as I'm aware, there are three ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Were Shmouel and Rav members of the Beth Hillel or the Beth Shammai?

Do we know which Academy Rav and Shmuel belonged to? Maybe they weren't members of any House.
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Menorah with uneven spacing

The following assumes lighting an additional candle for each day of Chanukkah: Two may light in a single Menorah for the first three days of Chanukkah; each in his end of the Menorah. This does not ...
4
votes
3answers
648 views

Where is it taught that you can't sleep with socks

I remember hearing that you can't sleep with socks. I think Rambam stated this (correct me if i am wrong), but where in Rambam was it said and why do we do it?
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Learning Torah on Christmas

Can one learn Torah on Christmas day? I've heard there are a number of opinions on this: what are their sources? I've heard that Chasidim don't study anything Xmas night as well as the 6th of ...
4
votes
2answers
865 views

Kosher status of medicine that comes in a gel capsule

What are the kashruth issues involved in the taking of gel-capsule medicine which does not have kosher certification?
3
votes
0answers
22 views

Are you allowed to take pills with gelatin [duplicate]

According to Halacha, are you allowed to take pills that are covered with gelatin? It's an antibiotic for acne.
6
votes
0answers
21 views

How do you avoid 'al tiftah peh l'satan'?

There is a principle of al tiftach peh l'satan (Ketubot 8b) - literally "don't open your mouth to the Satan". How can concern for this principle be avoided when discussing possible bad future ...
6
votes
2answers
90 views

Kill a no-longer-profitable horse?

My understanding is that a horse is killed when its profit no longer matches its expense. Is this something Jews should/may do? I can think of some pros and cons, but wonder what authorities have ...
1
vote
0answers
14 views

Asking A Gentile To Perform Safeq Melakhah

Citing HaRav HID"A and Hakham 'Ovadiah A"H, HaRav Eliyahu Mansour states in his Daily Halacha that: The Hid"a [...] writes that it is permissible to ask a non-Jew to place a pot of cold liquid on ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Are the seventy distinct languages and nations listed?

It's a well known concept that there were 70 nations and 70 original languages. Is there any agreement about which ones they were/are? I found this which lists the nations, but I'm interested in ...
7
votes
1answer
58 views

Cannibalism, Jew or Gentile?

Suppose one is stuck on a deserted island with two people, one Jewish, and the other a gentile. If, G-d forbid, both of them died and one were forced to become a cannibal to survive, which person is ...
1
vote
3answers
715 views

What is the torah view on the dinosaurs?

What is the Torah view on the dinosaurs? There's no mention of them in the Torah, only that the world was created in 6 days. If they existed, Adam and his descendants should have seen them. Yet ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate to men?

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate specifically to men. Not men in relation to women. In other words, I'm not looking for "Men must act in a certain way when around women," I'm looking ...
5
votes
3answers
268 views

How was Ya'akov allowed to favor Yosef over Re'uven?

In Devarim 21:16 - 17 it states that the father cannot favor the son of the beloved wife over the older son of a hated wife. If we assume the notion that our forefathers performed all the mitzvot of ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

Is there a Mitzvah to love parents?

Is there a special mitzvah to love one's parents? If so, does it require the parent's awareness of that love?
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Meteg on a short vowel

Short vowels are closed with a consonant when unstressed. A cantillation (trope) can set off a short vowel as an open vowel. Can a meteg do the same thing? I have seen a meteg do as such on the ...
4
votes
3answers
164 views

Why didn't the Kohanim wear Tzizis?

The Kohen Gadol wore 8 garments, and regular Kohanim wore 4. Why wasn't tzizis one of their required garments? Also, did they have to fulfill the mitzvah of tzizis before or after their daily service, ...
8
votes
5answers
196 views

Were Haman's possessions hung on a tree?

In Maoz Tzur we say: רב בניו וקנייניו,‏ על העץ תלית His many sons and his possessions, You hung on a tree Were Haman's possessions really hung on a tree?
-4
votes
0answers
24 views

How do I explain the various meanings of “Ruach HaKodesh” in English?

I know "Ruach HaKodesh" can mean a higher spiritual state of an individual and I also am aware of it literally meaning "holy spirit". I am looking for clear and concise English terms for the various ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Does anyone hold that you could be “masneh al mah shekasuv baTorah” in all cases?

The gemara on Bava Metzia 94a brings a discussion about "מתנה על מה שכתוב בתורה," about someone who makes a condition that is contrary to something that is written in the Torah. דתניא האומר לאשה ...
6
votes
1answer
487 views

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?

Is there a problem of "chukat goyim" with the bride having "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" at her wedding?

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