All Questions

2
votes
0answers
17 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
17 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
12 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
9 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!
9
votes
1answer
153 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
31 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
33 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
502 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
2answers
47 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
48 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
106 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 ...
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?
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Should a Jew from outside Israel who is visiting Israel for Sukkot eat in the Sukkah on Shemini Atseret?

Halachipedia writes that Outside Israel, on the eighth day of Sukkot (first day of Shemini Atseret), one should eat in the Sukkah without a Bracha of Leshev BaSukkah. The source for this is ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Is there a requirement to fast if Ebola is reported in the city?

I remember learning in mesechet Taanis that if there is a plague in the city with a certain number of people and there are people dying daily that the city should declare a fast. Is there any ...
4
votes
2answers
53 views

Blatant foreshadowing in the Torah

Genesis 13:10 has the following verse: ויישא-לוט את-עיניו, וירא את-כל-כיכר הירדן, כי כולה, משקה--לפני שחת יהוה, את-סדום ואת-עמורה, כגן-יהוה כארץ מצריים, בואכה צוער Translation of bold: ...
-3
votes
1answer
50 views

Jewish source for “blood and money don't mix”?

There is a teaching (example 1, example 2) which states that "blood and money don't mix" (i.e. that family or friends should not do business together). Is there a Jewish source for this teaching?
-2
votes
0answers
28 views

How many ways are there of classifying “aggressive acts of war” in the Jewish Religion?

In a related question I asked What is the Jewish position on aggressive acts of war? There has been extensive conversation in the comments of that question asking for clarification on what is meant by ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Can an oven be kashered without a torch soon after use?

I have been told that an oven may be kashered without the use of a torch for Libum even if it has not had 24 hrs at rest! Is this possible and if so how?
2
votes
0answers
36 views

If a Jewish neighbor becomes the subject of a scandal, is it loshon hara to follow it in the press?

It has happened a few times -- Jewish neighbors or acquaintances, some of them communal leaders and/or public figures -- have been arrested and charged with a crime or crimes of such a nature they are ...
3
votes
3answers
85 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, ...
7
votes
3answers
60 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?
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Tribe Plates on door of Heichal Shlomo

On the door of the Heichal Shlomo in Jerusalem are several square plates which appear to symbolize the twelve tribes. I'm having trouble figuring out which tribe each of these plates corresponds ...
3
votes
2answers
397 views

How does the oral Torah not contradict Dvarim 4:2?

If God intended there to be an oral Torah, why would He say not to add anything? Shouldn't He have at least mention this exception in the Torah, so we know the Talmud is divine? Devarim 4:2 ב ...
7
votes
0answers
115 views

Did any of chazal encounter Mohammed?

Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, lived in Saudia Arabia, mainly in Mecca and (later) Medina. He lived from 570-632CE. According to this wikipedia article there were Jews in Saudia Arabia at that time: ...
3
votes
3answers
57 views

Is there a source where Emuna and Bitachon are described as separate ideas?

In the sefer Emuna UBitachon, the Chazon Ish popularized the idea that Emuna and Bitachon are really two parts of one idea, one being the belief in the idea, and one being the idea believed in. Is ...
6
votes
1answer
703 views

What is the Jewish position on aggressive acts of war?

I am reading the "The Jewish State" by Theodor Herzl, he proposes the creation of a Jewish State through mostly financial means. I don't recall a war in recent (hundreds of years) where the Jewish ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

If a Niddah spits on you are you Impure?

In ויקרא טו it discusses Zav for a man, Niddah and Zavah. There are some methods in which ritual impurity are transmitted which are listed for a Zav, but not for the other two, such as spitting. ...
5
votes
1answer
46 views

How could (or why did) Raba follow Rav's stringencies but not his leniencies?

Eruvin 6 amud 2 says someone who follows the stringencies of Bes Shamay and of Bes Hilel is a fool walking in darkness: rather, it says, one should follow the one or the other, both when it is lenient ...
2
votes
0answers
14 views

Why the different wording for the three proofs atop שבת דף מ ע״א?

The Bavli, Shabas 40 amud 1, cites a disagreement between Rav and Sh'muel. It then brings three proofs to Sh'muel's view. Each proof quotes what appears AFAICT to be a b'raysa, and each proof is ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Mesorah of Rabbeinu Gershom

Rabbeinu Gershom, whose takkanot are considered binding by many Ashkenazim, is often the earliest name which I hear being cited in relation to the Ashkenazi mesorah. From whom was his mesorah, if ...
4
votes
2answers
892 views

Are We Not Supposed To Eat Fat?

In Leviticus 3-17 it states: All fat is the lord's. It is a law for you for all time throughout the ages, in all your settlements: you must not eat any fat or any blood. כָּל-חֵלֶב לַיהוָה ...
6
votes
1answer
27 views

The name change of the Divrei Chamudos

The shaar blatt (page with the brief list of what's in the book) of my Shas (and this Shas) says that the Divrei Chamudos was originally called the Lechem Chamudos and the Maadanei Yom Tov was ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Where was Abraham coming from in Genesis 13:9

When Abraham and Lot separate in Genesis 13, Abraham tells Lot: הֲלֹא כָל-הָאָרֶץ לְפָנֶיךָ, הִפָּרֶד נָא מֵעָלָי: אִם-הַשְּׂמֹאל וְאֵימִנָה, וְאִם-הַיָּמִין וְאַשְׂמְאִילָה. "Is the whole land ...
2
votes
0answers
21 views

How are Jewish cemeteries inaugurated?

Are there any methods necessary to make a cemetery Jewish, or can one just start burying people wherever one legally can?
2
votes
1answer
32 views

When was the first Beis Hamikdash built?

The Gemara in Moed Katan 9 said that the Beis Hamikdash was inaugurated right after being finished, while I've seen a Medrash that it was finished in Cheshvan and the inauguration was put on hold. ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Were there more than just 2 or 7 pairs of animals on Noach's ark?

Noach was told to take a pair (male & female) of all non-clean animals, and 7 pairs of clean animals into the ark. However, Breishit 6:21 says: And take thou unto thee of all food that is ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

The earlier an idea in the Torah is presented, the more primary it is

I remember hearing or reading once that ideas/lessons taught early on in the Torah (she'biksav), say in Be'reishis, are more primary ideas than those that are presented later on. My question is, does ...
3
votes
1answer
223 views

Can a Sukkah be covered with paper?

Can paper be used for schach? Paper comes from wood, which grows from the ground. Also, paper seems like peshutei kli etz - a wooden vessel without a receptacle, which does not accept tum'ah. So it ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Can someone follow the opposite minhag on the bracha for matza during the year?

The Ashkenazic custom is to wash and say hamotzi on matza all year round. The Sephardi custom is to make mezonot when it's not Pesach. Is someone allowed to follow the opposite minhag? I have heard ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

How do we know that we can interpret the torah non-literally beyond what is found in the talmud?

I have often heard "drashot" or homiletic interpretations of many verses in the torah. How do we know that the torah can be explained in a non-literal way beyond the non-literal explanations found in ...
11
votes
3answers
959 views

Is there a “5 second rule” for foods becoming non-Kosher?

OK so I don't actually mean a 5 second rule. But is there an amount of time that it takes for something hot that comes in contact with a non-Kosher utensil or surface to become not kosher? For ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Zohar and the Yetzer Hara

I saw an unsourced advice to a general audience about reading the Zohar Ha-Kodesh as a segula in fighting the yetzer hara. I am wondering if there is a legitimate source for this, beyond the fact ...
1
vote
1answer
15 views

A question about Tefillin and the customs relating to strapping of tefillin

Why do we strap the tefillin around our arm 7 times? Also, what is the significance of the way we wrap the tefillin around our finger?
1
vote
2answers
85 views

what is love — Rebbe of Kotzk: “You don't love fish.” King Solomon: “Whoever loves silver”

Where can I find the source of the following story about the Rebbe of Kotzk? At a Shabbat dinner, a chassid once told the Rebbe of Kotzk, "I love fish." The Rebbe responded, "You don't love fish. If ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

How to adjust the knot on tefillin shel rosh? (double daled)

Sometimes the knot on the tefillin shel rosh needs to be adjusted, either due to growth, haircut, or borrowing a pair of tefillin. How is that knot adjusted? What piece of the retzuah (strap) should ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

How to adjust the knot on tefillin shel rosh? (single daled)

Sometimes the knot on the tefillin shel rosh needs to be adjusted, either due to growth, haircut, or borrowing a pair of tefillin. How is that knot adjusted? What piece of the retzuah (strap) should ...
2
votes
2answers
27 views

Akum, Nochri, and Goy

I see a lot of texts where the words גוי, נכרי, עכו"ם are all used interchangeably. Usually I notice it in places where two people are using different versions of a text (one from a newer publication, ...
9
votes
1answer
32 views

What is the difference between curses that would require changing lashon?

In parshat Lech Lecha, (Bereishit 12:3) Hashem promises Avram that וַאֲבָרְכָה, מְבָרְכֶיךָ, וּמְקַלֶּלְךָ, אָאֹר, And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. Why ...

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