All Questions

6
votes
4answers
912 views

Non-Jews learning or being taught Torah

I read on Mi Yodeya, and elsewhere on the Internet, that the Gemara (Chagigah 13a) says that Jews can't teach Torah to gentiles, and that according to Tosefot (Chagigah 13a sv. ein) this is because ...
-1
votes
0answers
7 views

Measurements for the Bais HaMikdash

Since everything is computerized now, when the Bais HaMikdash is rebuilt, will we use the computer to figure out the cubits, etc., to rebuild?
2
votes
0answers
9 views

My obligation to not let other avoid taxes

Let's say I'm a customer. There is a seller who is offering me a deal in such a way that it is obvious he's trying to avoid paying taxes. (For example, the seller insists on cash payments and a lack ...
1
vote
1answer
133 views

Beis Din observing a female convert's immersion in the Mikvah

The practice today is that the Beis Din overseeing the conversion of a woman will observe her head going below water for the required Tevilah. Given the potential modesty issue - I know that they put ...
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Chalak or Glatt?

Which standard is considered more machmir: chalak (Beit Yosef) or glatt? I have heard that when the Ashkenazim started emigrating in force to Israel, there was an issue of the Ashkenazim being meikel ...
7
votes
5answers
790 views

Is being vegan “kosher”?

Is being a vegan completely following halacha? Even if not eating anything traif (non-kosher), perhaps it's not truly kosher because you are not following the commandments to domesticate animals and ...
2
votes
0answers
16 views

Does Beis Din have the authority to quarantine?

In light of the recent discussions about the legality of quarantining potential Ebola patients, I was wondering if Halacha has the mechanism for such a thing. In an autonomous Jewish society, in ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Does halacha forbid profanity? [duplicate]

This is obviously just for research sake. But what does halacha say about using profanity. Is it forbidden. Can it be used in times of emphasis and where is the line drawn for what is considered ...
10
votes
5answers
129 views
+100

How to pray for something

How is one supposed to pray for something he needs? Is he/she supposed to request it from God once or repeat the request over and over, or make arguments why he deserves it or something else? It ...
4
votes
3answers
90 views

What is Chassidus?

I have heard people say that Chassidus is all different kinds of things. Probably the most often said thing I have heard is that it emphasizes avodas Hashem be'simcha. Now while that might be true, ...
1
vote
0answers
7 views

Why are the names of some mitzvos changed to from “al” or “lo” to “bal”

For example, אַל תְּשַׁקְּצוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם בְּכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם וְנִטְמֵתֶם בָּם (al t'shaq'tzu...) is commonly called בל תשקצו (bal t'shaq'tzu) and אֵת ...
3
votes
0answers
16 views

Can you keep a vending machine freebie?

If someone buys something from a vending machine and two items accidentally pop out (due to some error in the machine), is he/she allowed to keep the extra item? And if not, what should he/she do? ...
1
vote
1answer
146 views

Why Bless on Gum if some say not to

According to Hacham Ovadia Yosef there is a Halacha of Safek Berachot Lehakel meaning that in any case that there is one (or two I can't remember but it doesn't matter for my example) Posekim that ...
3
votes
4answers
241 views

Using a non-kosher rotating pizza oven

A countertop rotating pizza oven has a turntable on which pizza is placed. It has two heating elements: one heats from below the turntable, like a hot plate. A heating element above broils a section ...
2
votes
3answers
157 views

Where was Berit Ben Habetarim done?

I've always imagined that Berit Ben Habetarim was done in Eretz Yisrael, but someone recently told me it happened in Haran. Anybody have any sources for either?
3
votes
1answer
33 views

Microwave oven and goy (me) cooking

Is cooking kosher food by a Goy - in this case me (doing giyur) in a microwave oven making the oven unsuitable for use by a Jew? I asked a rabbi who said there is no halakhic issue. I live in a ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Why does this app require me to agree not to use it on Shabbat?

I downloaded a Shabbat Alert app for my iPad, because i needed an alarm that would shut off after a few minutes. It worked fine (except that my iPad was muted), and it seemed to be quite halachic. In ...
6
votes
5answers
174 views

Onkelos, Anthropomorphism, and The Exodus

Onkelos the Convert is said by the Talmud to be the author of the official aramaic translation of the Pentateuch. Rashi and Maimonides understand Onkelos as having a tendency to interpret physical ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

Why did Ashkenazi Jews not adopt the custom of reading the Book of Job in synagogue on Tisha B'Av, as Sephardim do?

I understand that Sephardim have the custom of reading the Book of Job on Tisha B'Av. Is there any historic discussion among Ashkenazi rabbis regarding why the practice was not adopted by them?
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Where can I find a transliteration of the ketubah text?

Is there a transliteration of the ketubah text anywhere? My Aramaic is a little rusty. Thanks so much!
3
votes
3answers
46 views

What are the most active and educational religious podcasts and blogs?

I’m looking for more Jewish blogs and podcasts to subscribe to, and not wishy washy “Jewish life” ones full of dubious recipes and pop culture tie-ins. I’m looking for intermediate-level, ...
9
votes
1answer
262 views

Is it possible for mesorah to be discovered?

Suppose there was a previously unknown collection of midrash or sayings or halachah or commentary that was discovered in an archaeological excavation and is hundreds or thousands of years old. ...
4
votes
3answers
32 views

לָשַׁע the place

The lands of the Cannanites are described in parashat Noach 10:19 (below) Four of the last 5 places are the cities that were destroyed in the Sodom incident. I would expect that when those four ...
3
votes
2answers
176 views

What is the significance of the shtreimel?

What is the esoteric or hashkafic significance of the shtreimel? Some things I have seen but without details or sources are that it is like a crown, that the number of pelts involved have numerical ...
6
votes
1answer
52 views

Is lying to get someone to stop annoying you allowed?

Another question on this site asks "How do you deal with huge numbers of calls from tzedaka organizations?". The answers are great, but a number of the top voted answers actually seem to suggest that ...
2
votes
2answers
48 views

Can a man fulfill his mitzvah of Talmud Torah through his sons?

A Jewish man has an obligation to learn Torah. However, not every Jewish man is capable of learning well. Even if he would quit his job and go to a full time kollel, he wouldn't accomplish that ...
11
votes
1answer
127 views

Can one have a favorite pasuk/parsha/masechta?

This closed question asks for a 'favorite pasuk', presupposing that such a thing is allowed. When it comes to sugyos or sections/topics of Torah, Chazal say on the one hand, (Eiruvin 64a) that a ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

Where in daily prayers do we, or can we, address our personal feelings, towards Hashem?

The main body of Shmoneh esrei has praise for Hashem, requests, and thanks. There are a couple of standard places to introduce personal supplications. Pesukei dezimra and Birchas Krias Shma can be ...
7
votes
1answer
509 views

Can you say kaddish if some of the 10 people in the minyan are forbidden from answering?

If there are exactly 10 people in a minyan and one or more are forbidden from answering kaddish at that moment, is kaddish allowed to be recited? Examples of such a situation may include if someone is ...
2
votes
1answer
22 views

Avraham's tithe

Genesis 14:20 says that Avraham gave "a tenth of all" to Malki-Tzedek. A tenth of what? His annual income, his assets, the booty from the war, or something else?
9
votes
7answers
840 views

What do I need to know in order to properly have an aliya?

What things should I know in advance in case I get called up for an aliya during a Torah-reading service?
-5
votes
6answers
402 views

Does G_d get incarnated?

There are 3 religions that says so. The obvious one is Christianity with that being it's central term. The second one is Hindu. Khrisna is said to be a God incarnate. But in torah I often see stories ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Hagbah of the Yemenites (Temanim)

I was learning in a sefer which discusses a case where they couldn't do hagbah, and the Mechaber suggested to do the hagbah like the Teimanim which is to leave it on table in some way, but I didn't ...
17
votes
9answers
753 views

Why did Avraham take gifts from Pharaoh, but not the King of Sodom?

In Bereshit 12:11-16, we see that Avraham was willing to receive gifts from Pharoah: 11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife: 'Behold ...
7
votes
2answers
99 views

Why redeem hekdesh?

Kind of related to What is my relationship to an object once I have pledged it as hekdesh? Why would somebody pledge something to hekdesh and then redeem it when he could just donate money directly? ...
2
votes
2answers
34 views

Covenant of pieces; cutting

The birds or pigeons in this covenant making (the ברית בין הבתרים) are not cut in two, but why? What is the meaning behind this?
1
vote
2answers
41 views

Significance of Noach's actions upon leaving the ark

The whole world has just been destroyed due to the failures of the generation of Noach. Noach and his family live for many days in the ark and after the waters subside they leave. Noach builds an ...
1
vote
3answers
33 views

Rambam Kiddush HaChodesh - Chapter Six - halacha 5

a copy of a few lines from the halacha: Similarly, when the days of a lunar year are counted in groups of seven, according to the weekly cycle, there is a remainder of four days, eight hours, and 876 ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Concerning the time when Esther must be read

The first Mishnah in Tractate Megilla says: מגילה נקראת באחד עשר, בשנים עשר, בשלושה עשר, בארבעה עשר, ובחמישה עשר--לא פחות ולא יתר. The Megilla is read sometimes on the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, ...
3
votes
0answers
47 views
+50

sources that neatness brings brocho/mazal

I heard in a daf yomi shiur on the end of moed katan (27a ‘Couch of Fortune’) that Jews kept an extra neat bed for brocho/mazal. One of the reasons that he gave was that in general neatness brings ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Do all printed kodesh materials require Geniza?

Case 1: I print a english translation of something Kodesh. Case 2: I mistakenly print out a few pages from a sefer. I have no intention of using those pages and do not learn from them. Question: Do ...
5
votes
1answer
28 views

How did Pharaoh know that Sarai was Avram's wife?

When Avimelech took Sarah, Hashem came to him in a dream and told him to return Avraham's wife (Bereishis 20:3). When Pharaoh took her, no such event is recorded in the Torah. Pharaoh's household ...
10
votes
4answers
191 views

Online tool for minyan management?

If I'm running a small minyan that sometimes has a quorum and sometimes doesn't, and I'd like to only hold the minyan when I know we'll have ten, is there an online tool to help me manage this?
11
votes
7answers
336 views

How do you deal with huge numbers of calls from tzedaka organizations?

We get at least 20 calls per day that show up on the caller ID without a name and with either no phone number or a number with a New York metro area code. We usually don't bother answering such calls ...
6
votes
1answer
83 views

How do you get oil residue off of a menora?

When you light olive oil in a metal menora, some of the oil invariably finds its way into the cracks between parts of the menora. How do you remove this residue?
2
votes
1answer
107 views

What happens to the chelev (suet) after the butcher removes it from the animal?

Follow up to Are We not supposed to eat fat?: Chelev is called "suet". It is used as cooking oil (non-kosher, obviously), tallow (sometimes used in candle-making), and fuel, among other uses. Do ...
5
votes
1answer
147 views

Turn dairy ceramic pot into parve pot

Can a ceramic pot which I used for cooking milk, very rarely and a long time ago, be turned into a parve pot to boil water only? The pot is actually granitware, constructed of low-carbon steel with ...
5
votes
1answer
795 views

When did people living for 900 years start to look old?

In the early days of the world, the standard age of living was well into the hundreds, with many people living until they were 800 or 900. Being that people lived so long, when did they start to "look ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Why did they cancel the kohein races over an isolated incident?

Mishna Yoma 2:1-2: ב,א בראשונה, כל מי שהוא רוצה לתרום את המזבח, תורם; בזמן שהן מרובין, רצין ועולים בכבש, וכל הקודם את חברו לתוך ארבע אמות זכה. ואם היו שניהם שווין, הממונה אומר להן הצביעו: מה הן ...
7
votes
3answers
62 views

What is the source for untying things before going under the chuppah?

At a wedding recently I saw that the grooms shoes were untied, someone explained to me that there is a custom to make sure there are no knots under the chuppah. Where does this come from?

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