16
votes
0answers
199 views

Why was the side door to the hechal unlocked so oddly?

The hechal (central room) of the bes hamikdash had its main entrance on its eastern end. To either side of that entrance were cubicles, and the main-floor cubicles on each side had a door to the east ...
12
votes
0answers
70 views

What kind of seder did a non-oleh l'regel have during the time of the Bais Hamikdash (and for that matter, the entire 40 years in the desert)?

Our haggadah did not always exist - it appears to be primarily from the time of the Mishna. Before then, there was a Korban Pesach and specific procedures for organizing family and/or friends to eat ...
10
votes
0answers
135 views

What cracks disqualify a Shmurah Matzah as whole?

What cracks disqualify a hand-baked (typically Shmurah) Matzah as whole for the purposes of lechem mishneh and the Seder? I've been told that: Cracks in the center of the matzah that do not reach ...
10
votes
0answers
633 views

Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?

I've seen and heard a story about the Rambam told multiple times along the lines of this particularly concise retelling: There is a beautiful story of a disagreement that Maimonides had with a ...
9
votes
0answers
169 views

Why is there a custom to join “Hashem” and “Elokenu” together in the line Al Taazvenu in Shema Kolenu in Selichot

In Shema Kolenu, based on the Posuk in Psalms 38:22 we say the phrase: Al Taazvenu Hashem Elokenu Al tirchak mimenu | Don't leave us Hashem Our God Don't distance yourself from us. The ...
8
votes
0answers
203 views

Why do Chabad wedding invitations show the wrong time?

It has recently come to my attention that Chabad wedding invitations in the US are often bilingual Hebrew/English and the time given for the wedding on the Hebrew side is wrong (perhaps a copy of the ...
8
votes
0answers
61 views

Studying Holocaust Responsa on Tish'ah BeAv

One of the restrictions practiced on Tish'ah BeAv is the study of Torah, because Torah study "gladdens the heart". Several exceptions have been formally codified, which are of a nature germane to the ...
8
votes
0answers
96 views

status of owned land after Moshiach comes

what will be the status of owned property in Israel when Moshiach comes. Will a person's apartment remain his? or perhaps the land will be redivided.
8
votes
0answers
289 views

Can a garment be assur for men and women because it is both beged ish and beged isha?

I've been wondering about garments like the frilly pink/purple yarmulkas and talleisim used in liberal Judaism. Since yarmulkas and talleisim are probably normally beged ish, and pink/purple frilly ...
8
votes
0answers
176 views

The stolen maple syrup and kashrus

Does anyone know if there is going to be a kashrus problem with maple syrup next year? A rather large amount of maple syrup was stolen last year. The thieves did not keep it in the original casks, ...
8
votes
0answers
154 views

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

I have seen the custom of bothering the chazzan during the musaf service on Simchas Torah. I have seen people tie the chazzan's gartel to a chair, or try to move the chazzan to a diffrent place. I ...
7
votes
0answers
72 views

If you're having a slow day are you halachically required to reduce your hourly rate?

Say you work as a contractor that charges an hourly rate. If on any given day you feel sluggish due to poor sleep or some other reason, are you supposed to reduce your rate for that day to compensate ...
7
votes
0answers
64 views

Post mortem Tahara

I'm looking for sources discussing the religious aspect of the Tahara done on deceased Jews. I recall someone mentioning that the religious aspect of it was a practice we picked up from the Muslims ...
7
votes
0answers
49 views

Ya'amod by an Aliya

The root of the word Ya'amod means to stand in place. See Hebrew dictionary here. Thus why do we call up someone to an Aliya with the word Ya'amod? We are not asking him to stay in place, we are ...
7
votes
0answers
115 views

Will Moshiach identify Jews currently thought to be non-Jews?

The Rambam writes in Malachim 10:2: ואינו בא לא לטמא הטהור. ולא לטהר הטמא. ולא לפסול אנשים שהם בחזקת כשרות. ולא להכשיר מי שהוחזקו פסולין. אלא לשום שלום בעולם. [Eliyahu] is not coming to make ...
7
votes
0answers
71 views

Magazine subscription that doesn't cancel

Many magazines (in the United States, anyway) today find the main profitability is in having higher subscriber numbers to show advertisers and really don't care if the subscriber is paying. The main ...
7
votes
0answers
103 views

Is it allright to use/wave the Argentinian flag?

The Sun of May in the flag is inspired by an ancient Inca god. It is used by the Argentinian flag and the Uruguayan flag. It is a representation used as a homage to the ancient empire, inspired by ...
7
votes
0answers
97 views

Is it acceptable to put “God is Life” on a T-Shirt?

I am a member of the Jewish Community Center. I had a T shirt designed that says "Jewish Community Center" with a design of olive branches and the word's "God is Life". Is this acceptable? Must the ...
7
votes
0answers
134 views

Downvoting someone you dont know

Onaat devarim is a biblical prohibition to commit verbal abuse (Bava Metzia 58b based on Vayikra 25:17 "וְלֹא תוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹקיךָ כִּי אֲנִי ה' אֱלֹקיכֶם", "one shall not ...
7
votes
0answers
95 views

What in a siddur can be changed?

There are many different editions of siddurim with many commonalities but also many differences, see here for discussion on MY. Also different communities use different siddurim to match their ...
7
votes
0answers
126 views

How to make a koishele?

People use "lulav holders," or "koisheles," small containers of woven lulav leaves to hold their lulav sets (lulav + hadass + arava) together, as seen in the picture below. My father showed me how ...
7
votes
0answers
75 views

What are the origins of the תושלב"ע prayer at the end of holy books?

When I finished the Book of Bereishit this Shabbos, the Tanakh I was reading concluded with this prayer: תם ונשלם תהילה לאל בורא עולם (Finished and completed. Praise to G!d, Creator of the Universe.) ...
7
votes
0answers
163 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, ...
7
votes
0answers
204 views

Lubavitcher Rebbe on the Shoah

There is a controversial analogy attributed to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, in which the Shoah is looked upon as a surgical procedure, with God being likened to a surgeon who removes a limb in the best ...
7
votes
0answers
313 views

Do the laws of Negiah depend on sexual orientation?

The Rambam writes (Hilchos Isurei Biah 21:1): כל הבא על ערווה מן העריות דרך אברים, או שחיבק ונישק דרך תאווה ונהנה בקירוב בשר--הרי זה לוקה מן התורה One who comes upon one of the Arayos via ...
7
votes
0answers
111 views

Does halakha count primates as “almost human”?

I have read that the although the halakha requires koah gever (human strength/exertion) for pouring water over hands for n'ttilath yadhayim but it says explicitly in the Mishna that a qof (monkey) may ...
7
votes
0answers
151 views

How do we determine the nature of the reign of the kings when the numbers don't seem to add up?

In the book of 2 Kings, the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were separate. In Amaziah's (Judah) 15th year, Jeroboam (Israel) began to reign. In Jeroboam's (Israel) 27th year, Azariah (Judah) began to ...
7
votes
0answers
424 views

Can a convert (ger) become a chabad shliach?

"A convert may not hold a position of Jewish communal authority." (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim 1:4) The Tzitz Eliezer ruled that a convert may not serve in a lone communal position but he may ...
7
votes
0answers
380 views

Origin of the allegory of the long spoons

A common version of the allegory of the long spoons tells how Rabbi Hayim Elhanan ben Yehudah Leyb Tsedek or Tzadikov (*1813, ✡1883) of Rumšiškės went to see the difference between Heaven and Hell. ...
7
votes
0answers
210 views

Is 'A father and son sleeping with a betrothed young woman on yom kippur' an expression?

Bava metza 83b: Rabbi Elazar brebbi Shimon is afraid that he may have wrongfully caused someone to be hanged, but is reassured that the hanged and his son 'slept with a betrothed maiden on yom ...
7
votes
0answers
893 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
345 views

Why demand Amen via V'Imru Amen (ואמרוּ אָמֵן) at end of kaddish versus just amen elsewhere?

There are lots of blessings where we say Amen at the end, and even lots of places within kaddish where we say Amen, so why at the end of kaddish must we command others to say Amen by saying V'imru ...
7
votes
0answers
112 views

Why do we read vayechal twice on a fast?

I have been doing some research on the question of vayechal at mincha and have hit a roadblock. So far, here are the questions I have considered and feel ok with as "answered": why lain at mincha on ...
7
votes
0answers
99 views

Collecting Tzedakah from someone who may (or may not) be mentally incompetent

I just witnessed something I thought I'd never see. Someone soliciting signatures on the street for whoknowswhat gently turned someone away. The reason? "It's for fundraising." Now I'm sure, like I ...
7
votes
0answers
385 views

How obligated is one to say Kaddish for a deceased relative?

People often talk about an obligation -- Chiyuv -- to recite Kaddish at every opportunity for some time after the death of a relative. (Which relatives are obligated and for how long does not seem ...
7
votes
0answers
161 views

Publisher prohibiting purchaser from sharing

Tradition articles are downloadable from the Tradition Online website, which prohibits further distribution of the materials. On each download page there is the following warning: It is strictly ...
7
votes
0answers
153 views

Father being Matir Neder for himself: does it affect the family?

If a father is Matir Neder on a minhag (gebroktz, let's say) for himself for a valid reason, does that include his whole family? Are they now also permitted to eat gebroktz because that is now the ...
7
votes
0answers
148 views

How were coins that were destined for the Dead Sea managed?

A mishna on Meila 11a talks about money that a nazarite set aside for his offerings; if he died before completing the term and had set money aside specifically for the sin-offering, those coins are ...
7
votes
0answers
160 views

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av?

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av? I understand that this used to be a custom, in addition to allowance of a more relaxed approach to women's tznius on that ...
7
votes
0answers
119 views

Counting towards a Keriat HaTorah one who accidentally ate

We have Halacha that at least 6 people need to be fasting in order to read the Torah in a fast day. However, let's say there are 10 people and 5 are definitely fasting and one who accidentally ate ...
6
votes
0answers
39 views

Davening schedule for someone with a night shift

The only way I can really convey what I'm asking here is to tell a [fictitious] story: Chaim Yankel is a late-hour delivery driver for a company. Since he works before daybreak, his schedule is much ...
6
votes
0answers
56 views

What is the function of “Eloheinu” in blessings?

Many blessings open with the familiar formula: ברוך אתה יהוה אלהינו מלך העולם In additions, many blessings close with the familiar shorter formula: ברוך אתה יהוה Now, we know (Berakhot ...
6
votes
0answers
104 views

Dr. Bronner's soap

If you read the label of a bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap you will find--as I was flabbergasted to find--that the very last words are a whimsical English translation of "Shema Yisroel." Dr. Bronner ...
6
votes
0answers
78 views

Relationship between Chabad and the Malachim today

These days, what is the relationship between Chabad and the Malachim? How close are they -- do members of the groups marry each other, participate in each other's mosdos at all, etc.? Do Chabad ...
6
votes
0answers
42 views

Source for the Beit Yosef's צ

In most forms of k'tav stam (Sephardi, Ari, Jeckisch, et c.) the righthand yud of the letter צ is reversed (see fig. 1). On the other hand, the Beit Yosef's צ uses a regular י shape in the righthand ...
6
votes
0answers
82 views

Did Rambam have Rashi's works?

While the Rambam lived a century after Rashi, I cannot recall ever seeing or hearing the Rambam cite or mention Rashi or any of his works. Is there any evidence that Rambam had access to Rashi's ...
6
votes
0answers
63 views

How can the child of a convert know/find out if the conversion was valid?

A non-Jewish woman converts to Judaism, marries a Jewish man, and has children. She has told her children that she was converted by an Orthodox beit din, to be sure that her children are all ...
6
votes
0answers
93 views

Eliyahu HaNavi's role in Moshiach's arrival according to the Rambam

The Rambam says in Hilchos Malachim 12:2: There are some Sages who say that Elijah's coming will precede the coming of the Mashiach. All these and similar matters cannot be definitely known by man ...
6
votes
0answers
69 views

What will happen to most of the text of our prayers once the next Temple is built?

King Solomon, who built the 1st Temple, said during its inauguration, (I Kings 8:30): וְשָׁ֨מַעְתָּ֜ אֶל־תְּחִנַּ֤ת עַבְדְּךָ֙ וְעַמְּךָ֣ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִֽתְפַּֽלְל֖וּ אֶל־הַמָּק֣וֹם ...
6
votes
0answers
54 views

Saying half a pasuk

There seems to be a problem with breaking a pasuk up. This question refers to it as to be avoided, and this answer lists the issue and potential exceptions. The question is also discussed here. In ...

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