1
vote
1answer
28 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 ...
-3
votes
1answer
54 views

What is the evidence that the Rabbis changed Shabbat from sunrise saturday to sunset friday? [on hold]

The writing of the two Rabbis quoted below state that the Rabbis changed the start of Shabbat from saturday sunrise to friday sunset. Rabbi Drazin wrote that "we know for certain that the day began in ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

How should a shul determine its hashkafa? [on hold]

How should a shul determine its hashkafa? Is it the hashkafa of the community at large, or the rabbinate - even if they do not always seem to be identical?
5
votes
0answers
114 views

Hazi“v La”kh: what's behind the division?

The Talmud (Rosh Hashana 31a) tells us that the Haazinu song (Devarim 32) was sung weekly in the Temple and divided into six segments, given by the mnemonic HaZIV LaKh הזיו לך (where each letter is ...
12
votes
3answers
212 views

Punishment in this World or in the World To Come

It says that (in general) Hashem lets a righteous person suffer in this world to cleanse him from sins (so he will have no more sins in the World to Come), while Hashem lets a wicked person prosper in ...
5
votes
2answers
260 views

Bracha on breastmilk?

Should a child old enough to make brachos who is not weaned be encouraged to make a bracha on breastmilk? If so which one? Are there any direct sources for this?
4
votes
0answers
20 views

Threatening to sue with no intention to do so

Let's say that a person is rightfully owed a sum of money, and the debtor refuses to pay them. Can they threaten to take the person to Beis Din or a secular court, even if they have no intention of ...
9
votes
1answer
239 views

Chain of tradition for stories/parables told by Rashi

I've already asked one question about where Rashi got a particularly troubling interpretation of an obscure reference in the Gemara, telling a very detailed and gruesome story about R' Meir and his ...
1
vote
2answers
31 views

Why the difference between Tishrei and Nissan for tachanun?

As mentioned elsewhere on this site, we don't say tachanun during the entire month of Nissan, because a majority of the month is spent "in kedusha," skipping tachanun -- therefore we omit tachanun for ...
5
votes
1answer
23 views

Why didn't Noach look out the window?

After all, a window was clearly part of the Ark's structure, as we see from: Genesis 6:16: צֹ֣הַר׀ תַּעֲשֶׂ֣ה לַתֵּבָ֗ה וְאֶל־אַמָּה֙ תְּכַלֶ֣נָּה מִלְמַ֔עְלָה וּפֶ֥תַח הַתֵּבָ֖ה בְּצִדָּ֣הּ ...
2
votes
2answers
59 views

A theological problem with the Miriam “Magdalene” story in Chagiga 4b

There is an interesting story at the bottom of Chagiga 4b, top of 5a. The Angel of Death is telling a Rabbi of an incident that happened. The AoD has an assistant. The AoD tells him to reap Miriam ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

Innocent babies killed in flood

In Parasha Noach, why were presumably innocent babies killed in the Flood? I would appreciate if someone could provide some elucidation.
3
votes
3answers
52 views

Why not say tachanun until 2 Cheshvan?

It's recorded in most siddurim I've used that some people have the custom to skip tachanun on Isru Chag (the day after Sukkos), and start again the day after, while others don't resume saying it until ...
5
votes
5answers
293 views

Why does evil exist?

I realize this is a very common question, but the problem of evil is an important one, and as far as I can tell, has not been asked here. In short, why does G-d allow evil to exist?
6
votes
3answers
136 views

When do you say Hashem sefatai?

Before saying shemoneh esrei we say "Hashem, sefatai siftach u'fi yagid tehilasecha". Are you supposed to say those words A) Before you take the 3 steps back to start your shemoneh esrei B) One word ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

What is the precise translation of the word ארשע?

The pasuk in Iyov 10:7 states: עַל דַּעְתְּךָ כִּי לֹא אֶרְשָׁע וְאֵין מִיָּדְךָ מַצִּיל Chabad.org translates: It is in Your knowledge that I will not be condemned, but no one can save ...
8
votes
1answer
176 views

In Chabad- Final Halachic Decidor

In the area of Orach Chaim, when there is no established Lubavitch Minhag, i.e. in a case which is not in the Shulchan Aruch Harav (for whatever reason), and is not discussed by any other Lubavitch ...
6
votes
3answers
97 views

Age of Universe and Shabbat

If one believes that our world is billions of years old, i.e. accepting the idea of each day in Sheshis Imei Berieshit (the Six Days of Creation) as eras and not literal days, then how does one ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Who are the original Jews? [closed]

Is the people running Israel at the moment the original Jews and was the letter J in the Greek or Hebrew alphabet?
4
votes
2answers
48 views

Why did the dor hamabul earn a painless death?

There are, apparently, 903 levels of death, and the term vayigva is one of them. According to some, it refers to the simple act of expiration -- the creation of a corpse. Others, like the Rashi ...
1
vote
2answers
99 views

I saw someone claim that, “In Zohar of Pinchos, that an Eishes Ish is לזר מותרת if her husband allows.”?

I saw someone claim that, "In Zohar of Pinchos, that an Eishes Ish is מותרת לזר if her husband allows.", while I doubt this, and have not seen this inside, has anyone seen this inside? (Parshas ...
5
votes
0answers
40 views

Why don't we say “Misod” for Geshem and Tal?

On Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, the Shat"z says a short paragraph at the beginning of his repetition that starts with the words "מסוד חכמים ונבונים," which is an explanation for the insertion of extra ...
7
votes
2answers
73 views

A rabbi asked me to light candles before weekday Mincha/Ma'ariv. Is this customary? Is there a bracha?

Last night, I was pulled in off the street to help an unfamiliar shul make a minyan for Mincha/Ma'ariv. The rabbi greeted me, and when he learned I do not speak Hebrew, he gave me a very nice blessing ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

What is the Halacha regarding Tachanun and Brit in the same shul?

I don't have the ArtScroll weekday Siddur in front of me, now, but essentially, it said that one does not say Tachanun in a shul where a Brit will occur during that day. If a Brit occurs anywhere in ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Are you allowed to wear old Shabbos clothes during the week?

If you have a garment that was specifically designated to be worn on Shabbos (or Yom Tov) are you allowed to start wearing it during the week if it has become worn out from repeated use and thus no ...
3
votes
2answers
192 views

What should you be doing during the repetition of the Amidah?

I asked a posek once, Rabbi Schabes, if you're allowed to learn torah during the repetition of the Amidah. He said that it's prohibited to learn at this time. What exactly should you be doing if ...
1
vote
1answer
22 views

Aseres Yemai Teshuva passages in the Chazzan's repetition

From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, four passages are added to Shemoneh Esrei. In many congregations, during the Chazzan's repetition, each passage is first recited by the congregation, then the ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Source for Africans being Caananites?

In Alex's answer to Did any Achronim comment on the American Revolutionary or Civil Wars? he says that a certain Rav was opposed to the Emancipation Proclamation, because it goes against Noach's ...
6
votes
1answer
274 views

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name?

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name? Our shul received a paper with questions on Simhat Torah, with this question being one of the harder ones. Is there a midrash on her name?
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Pshat in Pasuk of Velo Yavor

Chazal say that the reason why we don't read the Megillah on the 16 is because the passuk (Esther 9:27) says "velo yavor" - וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר. Why is there a need for this Passuk? The Megillah said that ...
3
votes
0answers
16 views

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 ...
7
votes
1answer
43 views

Why is there a dagesh in second camocha, but not in first?

In "Mi camocha ba'elim H', Mi chamocha nedar bakodesh" (from the Az Yashir song by the sea, but also between the shma and the amidah in the morning, and elsewhere): מִֽי-כָמֹ֤כָה בָּֽאֵלִם֙ ...
2
votes
0answers
19 views

Books on Politics

Are there any books that provide a Jewish way of Politics? Anything that would possibly discuss types of governments, economic systems or what a politician should do would fit for what I am looking ...
8
votes
4answers
473 views

Why a human Messiah?

I understand that Mashiach is going to be a human. What is the source for this, and are there any explanations why it must be so? Can't G-d Himself redeem us?
2
votes
1answer
38 views

Why can't one be cured with Asheira wood?

The Gemara in Pesachim (25a) says א"ר יעקב א"ר יוחנן בכל מתרפאין חוץ מעצי אשירה היכי דמי אי נימא דאיכא סכנה אפילו עצי אשירה נמי ואי דליכא סכנה אפילו כל איסורין שבתורה נמי לא לעולם דאיכא סכנה ואפי' ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Torture in Jewish Law Used Against the Enemy

Does Halacha allow Jews to commit physical or psychological torture against their enemies when necessary (e.g. in a time of war, to get vital information from them, etc.) and to what extent is it ...
1
vote
3answers
55 views

What should a woman think about during candle lighting?

I often see women closing their eyes and concentrating after lighting Shabbos or Yom Tov candles. I was told that this is an auspicious time to pray. I would like to know if any commentators discuss ...
8
votes
1answer
63 views

Trying to understand Kol Hanearim

Where does the custom of Kol Hanearim, were all children stand near the person getting an aliah and are covered with a tallis-canopy, come from? What, if anything, is it a segulah for? Why is it done ...
3
votes
1answer
257 views

Why is Mordechai calling all the shots?

To the best of my knowledge there is no indication in Megillas Esther or in the talmud that Mordechai conferred with any of the sages at any point during the events leading up to the undoing of Haman. ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Person in Eretz Yisrael making Eiruv Tavshilin for Bnei Chutz L'Aretz

This might seem like a "funny" question. I don't think this would be permitted and I really have no basis to think why it should be however I'm trying to work out why this wouldn't work (or perhaps ...
5
votes
1answer
729 views

What if the Kohen Gadol accidentally kills someone?

An ordinary person who accidentally kills someone has to go to an Ir Miklat (city of refuge) until the Kohen Gadol dies. But what if it's the Kohen Gadol himself who accidentally kills? He would ...
8
votes
1answer
83 views

We're not supposed to point at stars?

I'm an Israeli Jew living in Israel. I often give "sky tours" where I show children and adults different stars and a view through a powerful binocular at objects of interest. Recently a young boy ...
-1
votes
1answer
150 views

Should we allow women to dance with a Torah on Simchas Torah?

Active women in my shul are demanding the right to dance with a Torah on Simchas Torah, behind the mechitza. They are saying that it is not something forbidden, and that it is religiously healthy. ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

How does the Rambam understand the end of Shir Hashirim?

The Rambam in Hilchos Yesodei HaTorah, 6:9, states: Every mention of the name "Shelomoh" in the Song of Songs is sacred, except [8:12]: "You, Shelomoh, may have the thousand." (trans. by ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Can a person with a disability that causes them to be incontinent put on tefillin? If so, when?

If someone has a disability wherein they suffer from incontinence from time to time are they able to put on tefillin or not? Is there any consideration for psychological or emotional damage that may ...
4
votes
2answers
172 views

Israel Am v.s. Goy

Is Israël an Am or Goy or both? whats the Torah definition and best translation of both terms? Because it seems that Israël is being called both Am as a Goy. (Am Kadosh: Devarim 26:19 and Goy ...
18
votes
10answers
640 views

What are the most essential Jewish websites?

What websites are essential bookmarks on a Jew's internet browser? I am thinking broadly of resources like a place to get online texts or a particularly good blog etc... Please include links as well ...
0
votes
0answers
13 views

Should observant Jews travel to areas that are centres for Avodah Zarah (Idol worship)?

In the light of the recent tragic event in Nepal, the question arose in my mind whether it is correct for observant Jews to travel to the far east where avodah zarah is intrinsic to the society?
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Should or may a non-Jew light candles at Shabbat service? [on hold]

I am posting this question because it is the case in our family, right now, as my wife who is not Jewish was asked to light candles at a reform service. While a version of this question was posted ...
6
votes
2answers
66 views

Designating Muktzeh items before Shabbos/Shabbat for personal use

Can one designate any normally muktzeh item for Shabbat/Shabbos or Yom Tov personal use, like rocks, animals, etc, thus making it not muktzeh? The question essentially is: can one avoid the ...

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