12
votes
2answers
157 views
+100

Is there a halachic problem with the Columbia University seal on the floor of the library?

The seal of Columbia University has the YKVK (G-d's 4 letter name) on the floor of the library. People walk on the seal. Is this chilul Hashem or is there some other halachic problem with this? Does ...
10
votes
1answer
99 views
+50

What if you undo a shabbat melacha?

If you plant a seed shortly before the end of shabbat (zoraya) and then un-bury it after shabbat, or you put an uncooked food into an oven and then take it out within seconds without it having baked ...
0
votes
0answers
4 views

Liability for bed bugs

If one tenant in an apartment brings in bed-bugs (and that can be proven), and they spread throughout the building, and the other tenants have to vacate their apartments to be fumigated, or whatever ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Where could an ultra-orthodox baal t'shuva etc. realistically find a shidduch?

When it comes to shidduchim, the ultra-orthodox (both chassidim and non-chassidim) often seem to discriminate against equally (or even more) religious (children of) baalei t'shuva, gerim, persons of ...
5
votes
0answers
60 views

When does Shabbat's capital punishment end?

If it's after nightfall, and you failed to make "Baruch hamavdil" or havdala at the end of Shabbat, are you liable to capital punishment (stoning) for all the work you did since as you would on ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

What constitutes an “Enemy of God”?

(I'm not referring here to Tenokim Shenishbu.) Devarim 7: "And he repays his enemies in his lifetime to make him perish, he shall noy delay for his enemy, in his lifetime shall he pay him". Who are ...
11
votes
2answers
259 views
+50

10th man drove to shul on shabbat

If one of precisely ten men, who form a minyan, had driven to shul (the synagogue) on shabbat, is that an acceptable minyan? I would have though not, since one is benefiting from his melacha on ...
5
votes
3answers
119 views

Is there anything halachically or hashkafically wrong with installing reference computers in a Bet Midrash?

With the vast amount of information available on the web, I am curious why I have not seen any Batei Midrash equipped with a number of central computers that can access only "kosher" web sites geared ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Enabling a Jew in a melacha

I know you're not supposed to do a melacha on Shabbos in order to prevent another Jew from doing one. But is it prohibited to do something (not a melacha) which will likely enable another Jew to do a ...
12
votes
3answers
191 views

A practical joke that leads to a mitzvah

When I was in Yeshiva, someone somewhere in Klal Yisrael played a practical joke. Sometime during the week of Parshas Vayeishev, a text message went around saying something to the effect of "a 17 ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

saying asher yatzar while in an improper state

If you used the bathroom but you're not in the right state to say Asher Yatzar (about to take a shower or not properly dressed). What should you do?
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Why does the use of horse manure as fertilizer not make produce non-kosher?

Horses are non-kosher and its manure is also non-kosher. If you use the manure as fertilizer on, say, potatoes, isn't there some concern that the potatoes may absorb some part of the manure? If so, ...
0
votes
0answers
15 views

Prince of Yerushalaim named Merishadek?

I have been asking a lot of questions lately. As you can guess, I have another. My auto mechanic is an Eastern European Jew whose father was a Charedi student in Romania (the man himself is not a very ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Preparing for the weekday on Shabbos after nightfall

We know there is an issur of hachanah on Shabbos (preparing from Shabbos for the weekday.) Is there a problem of hachanah (preparing something) "on Shabbos" when it's already after nightfall and no ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Examples of having to choose between two “lavs”?

There are classic examples of having to choose between two positive commandments (e.g. if one only has money for one, do you buy wine for Shabbas or candles), and there are known cases where a ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Translation of 'Takana'

What would a fitting colloquially accepted translation of the word takana be? Assuming we are dealing of course with a rabbinic decree and so as to convey the intent as apposed to 'gzeira', 'syag', ...
1
vote
0answers
36 views

Ruling of the Chazon Ish on expelling an at-risk-of-nonobservance bad influence

In HaRav Aharon Feldman shlita book, "The Eye of the Storm", in the chapter entitled, "The Chazon Ish", Rav Feldman lists some questions that were asked to the Chazon Ish. One of them is, May a Rosh ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Is one allowed to use a pedometer on Shabbat?

If the pedometer is reset and already on before Shabbat starts, am I allowed to attach it to my person and walk with it on Shabbat, within an eruv? It is electric, and it appears to count steps with a ...
3
votes
4answers
334 views

What to look for when going on shidduchim?

Are there any sources in the Torah that list the qualities and traits one should look for when going on shidduchim? I am not looking for personal preferences, but actual Torah sources (Tanach, ...
0
votes
2answers
26 views

What do “Batél Beshishim Lechatechila” and “ Mevatél Issur Lechatechila” mean?

What do "Batél Beshishim Lechatechila" and "Mevatél Issur Lechatechila" mean?
1
vote
2answers
183 views

Validity of Houston Kabbalah centers?

For you Houstoners, there is a building on S Shepherd called "The Kabbalah Center" that uses a map of the 10 sefirot as it's logo. It looks like something that might exist in other cities. All the ...
1
vote
1answer
14 views

Is Mar'it Ayin instituted to prevent Lashon Hara or Motzi Shem Ra?

My understanding - Lashon Hara is gossip about the truth; Motzi Shem Ra is slander - based on false assumption. Let's say that someone saw me go into a non-kosher restaurant. All I did was use the ...
0
votes
1answer
15 views

How do we know that a potential korban is not אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה וּמְחִיר כֶּלֶב?

 אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה וּמְחִיר כֶּלֶב are invalid for an offering. Devorim 23:19. For example, as Rashi explains, “If one exchanged a dog for a lamb [this lamb is unfit for a sacrifice].” How does the ...
3
votes
2answers
60 views

Loshon hara against non-Jews?

It would seem to be ethically(1) and Jewishly(2) inadvisable--but is there actually a halacha against speaking loshon hara about non-Jews? Related: Loshon Hara against public Jewish and non-Jewish ...
-1
votes
0answers
37 views
+50

When and how often should you make a bracha on a snack that is being passed around?

If you don't have your own plate of a certain food, but are just taking from a communal plate/bowl that is being passed around (i.e. a bowl of popcorn), should you make a bracha rishona each time you ...
2
votes
1answer
253 views

Can you derive benefit from another Jew's melacha if it happened a long time ago?

We aren't supposed to derive benefit from melachot performed by other Jews on Shabbos. But what if it didn't happen this Shabbos? What if our guest brought a bottle of liquor as a gift last Shabbos, ...
2
votes
1answer
10 views

Compare Devarim 14:11 and Devarim 14:20- Is there a difference in meaning between “tzipor” and “of”?

The two verses Devarim 14:11 and 14:20 appear to say the same thing except that v 11 uses the word "tzipor" and v 20 uses the word "of". Aren't they the same thing? If yes, what is the second verse ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Is there a problem with “Mar'it ayin” by attending a company picnic?

Theoretical: Let's say that a company plans a picnic in a "semi-park" area. I.e. - it is a tree-lined public thoroughfare that many people including Jews, walk through. (I added this fact b/c I have ...
3
votes
1answer
31 views

Sin Offerings — what did you do after sin, before you got to the temple?

The Torah clearly stipulates what offerings God's people are to make in atonement for sins, but what was the status of those people after they had sinned (providing it was not a sin worthy of death) ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

What is the difference between kosher and permitted food?

I wish to allude to this answer, which distinguishes between "kosher" and "permitted" (and "non-kosher" and "forbidden") foods for purposes of knowing when to make a bracha. Can someone explain this ...
5
votes
0answers
55 views

Rambam claiming some of Hazal were superstitious

I forgot where, but I remember reading the Rambam z"l saying that some Hazal believed in superstitions, ideas such as ayeen haro because they lived in small villages with lack of science, and ...
0
votes
1answer
6 views

Is dvar sheina mitchaven permitted if the melacha is inevitable?

My question refers to the class of permitted actions that may inadvertently cause melachas as byproducts. (For example, with hair brushing, the intention is not to pull out the hair, but this does ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

Toasters in motels / cabins

I rented a cabin last week. In the kitchen was a clean toaster - not a toaster oven, but the "retro" kind for 2 slices of bread. Could I have used it? My assumption was it's OK b/c the electrical ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

Do all Jews claim to be the actual bloodline descendants of The Ancient Israelites?

I am Jewish and have Jewish friends. My Jewish friends and I don't believe that we are actual descendants of The Ancient Israelites nor do we feel that it matters if we are or not but I understand ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Why is the information that Malchi-Tzedek was a priest not written earlier in the posuk?

In parshas Lech Lecha, after Avraham had successfully conquered the four kings and rescued his nephew Lot, it says (Bereishis 14,18): וּמַלְכִּי-צֶדֶק מֶלֶךְ שָׁלֵם, הוֹצִיא לֶחֶם וָיָיִן; וְהוּא ...
2
votes
2answers
51 views

Coffee Machines in Hotels

Many hotels have coffee machines in the rooms. They also usually provide the necessary ingredients, such as disposable filters and coffee grinds. What are the potential problems with using such a ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

Planting grass during shmita

Is it permissible to plant grass during the shmita year? As this question indicates, there is a machloket regarding planting non-fruit trees during shmita. If grass is like a tree, it would be ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Insertion of Piyutim

In the Minhag Rheinus, we have piyutim which are added by ma'ariv and shacharit on yom tov, as well as on certain Shabbatot. While I am aware of the position of some of them (Yotzer, Ofan, Zulat, ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

What does Kares actually mean?

I want to give a shiur in Shul about Shabbat and how it Rambam and others say that one gets Kares if one doesn't keep it and it says in the Chumash 'that he is cut of from his people'. A person came ...
0
votes
1answer
19 views

Are Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Hatam Sofer Talmid) and Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Krasner Rav) related?

Are Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Hatam Sofer Talmid) and Rabbi Hillel Lichtenstein (the Krasner Rav) related ? Is there any "ideological" link between the two ?
0
votes
2answers
67 views
+50

Ben Noah and his obligations regarding vows

A hypothetical case: Ben Noah in the process of giyur. Stood before the Beis Din and was asked question 'Will you follow the mitzvot as fully as a goy can up until the end of the process of giyur and ...
4
votes
0answers
27 views

Giving to a “mission” collection

In some religions, people accept upon themselves some kind of "mission" to do whatever act to help others. In many cases, it involves collections to send to the poor, or to 3rd world countries. The ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

Is Nespresso usable on Pesach?

Can one use Nespresso coffee on Pesach? Would one need a separate machine?
14
votes
3answers
564 views

How can the Rambam's Eighth Principle of Jewish Faith be believed in light of Hazal?

The Rambam's eighth Principle of Jewish Faith states that the entire Torah in our possession - every verse - was dictated to Mosheh Rabbenu and that it has not changed. However, we have explicit ...
6
votes
3answers
778 views

What was the name of Rachel and Leah's mother?

What was the name of Lavan's wife, the mother of Rachel and Leah?
3
votes
0answers
32 views

Explain apparent contradiction regarding “binah” in the bracha “Chonen Hada'at”

The Bracha Chonen Hada'at seems to have an apparent contradiction regarding "binah". The beginning of the blessing separates "da'at" from "binah" by implying that "G-d gives man graciously da'at and ...
2
votes
2answers
74 views

Do the Jews know the location of the omer of manna?

Do the Jews know the location of the omer of manna? Is there a story? Is it lost? It sure would be helpful in proving God to Atheists. Then Moses said, “This is the thing which the LORD has ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

when is shushing in a shul permited, when forbiden and when obligated

In my shul there is someone who shushes people that talk. He believes that he is obligated to do this. I understand that there is a prohibition against embarrassing people publicly and that sometimes ...
3
votes
1answer
239 views

According to Jewish sources: which language came first, Hebrew or Aramaic?

I've heard that Aramaic and Hebrew are similar languages in vocabulary, syntax, and structure. There is, however, some debate about which is the older, or original, base language. After a bit of ...
1
vote
1answer
28 views

Terumot and Maasrot in Israeli Shuks

Ordinary Israeli fruit and vegetable stands do not carry teudah. Does the Israeli government ensure terumot and maasrot are taken at some point? For example, can one taste produce in Machane Yehuda or ...

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