6
votes
3answers
130 views

Government “swearing-in” ceremony

Typically in the US, members of Congress and other government officials are sworn in on a bible appropriate to their religion. Is it appropriate for Jews to be sworn in on a Tana"ch, or should some ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

Being more stringent than your Rebbe

Is there a problem with acting more stringently in halacha than your Rebbe acts? If so, what if you are not in front of your Rebbe? If so (to #1), is having a longer beard or peyos considered a ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Is there a halachic problem with saying “Christ” as a name?

Since (according to the Gra (YD 157:3), cited in this answer), there is no issue in saying the name "Jesus," would there be an issue in saying the name "Christ"? This name might be more problematic ...
5
votes
2answers
167 views

How to display the Torah when doing hagbah

I have seen several methods of how to show the open Torah to the congregation when doing (Ashkenazi) hagbah. The simplest is to lift the Torah, turn in a full 360 degree circle, and then sit down. I ...
12
votes
8answers
319 views

Why Didn't Yosef tell Yaakov He was Still Alive?

What do the meforshim say on why Yosef didn't tell Yaakov he was still alive? Do any critique him?
5
votes
1answer
26 views

Can one light a Chanuka Menora using fiberglass wicks

A friend of mine posted this picture of her Dad's Chanuka Menora. Obviously it's not using olive oil, but that's no worse than using candles. In these lamps the wicks are simply fiberglass pipes ...
3
votes
3answers
91 views

Electric Menorah

Are electric menorahs good for lighting on Chanukah? To remove some of the more obvious issues, let's assume that: It runs on batteries It's an incandescent bulb There are separate physical ...
2
votes
3answers
62 views

What can I do if I don't have a Chanuka menorah?

There are opinions that hold that one needs a menorah, some sort of kli (vessel) to light Chanukah lights with; but even according to the contrary opinions, it's certainly easier to light when one has ...
10
votes
0answers
87 views

Is there a problem 'wearing' a virtual Saint Lucia hat?

Is there any prohibition, perhaps related to lo teileichu b'hukat hagoyim, in "wearing" a virtual hat which celebrates Saint Lucia day? Related
5
votes
1answer
40 views

Lighting the Chanuka menorah in my moving trailer

If I live in a trailer, can I light the menorah by the window of the trailor while it's moving (driving down the highway, lets say) and fulfill the mitzvah of lighting the Chanuka lamp?
4
votes
0answers
61 views

Do i have a responsibility to report users breaking the rules?

If I know that a certain user of a website is breaking the rules, can I just turn a blind eye, or must I report it? Also, Does it matter what kind of rule it is? (E.g. No swearing vs. age ...
2
votes
1answer
47 views
+50

Are there any safrut teachers in Boston?

I have, as I've expressed in previous questions, a strong interest in safrut. As such, I would love to learn the relevant halachot and beautify my writing, which although it would likely be kosher ...
1
vote
1answer
19 views

Berachot before/after Shema in Berachot 2a

On Berachot daf 2a, the gemara says that we have two berachot before Shema and one after (in the morning) and two before, followed by two after (in the evening). As far as I'm aware, there are three ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

Were Shmouel and Rav members of the Beth Hillel or the Beth Shammai?

Do we know which Academy Rav and Shmuel belonged to? Maybe they weren't members of any House.
0
votes
0answers
17 views

Menorah with uneven spacing

The following assumes lighting an additional candle for each day of Chanukkah: Two may light in a single Menorah for the first three days of Chanukkah; each in his end of the Menorah. This does not ...
3
votes
0answers
19 views

Why is sleeping with shoes on a taste of death?

The gemarah in Yoma 78b teaches that sleeping with shoes is a taste of death. This is also codified in halacha. I would like to understand why this is the case. What is it about sleeping with shoes ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

do I have to sit shiva for an estanged brother [on hold]

My brother whom I have not spoken to for over 20 years due to a dispute between us , do I have to sit shivw for him ?
4
votes
3answers
642 views

Where is it taught that you can't sleep with socks

I remember hearing that you can't sleep with socks. I think Rambam stated this (correct me if i am wrong), but where in Rambam was it said and why do we do it?
3
votes
2answers
101 views

Learning Torah on Christmas

Can one learn Torah on Christmas day? I've heard there are a number of opinions on this: what are their sources? I've heard that Chasidim don't study anything Xmas night as well as the 6th of ...
4
votes
2answers
862 views

Kosher status of medicine that comes in a gel capsule

What are the kashruth issues involved in the taking of gel-capsule medicine which does not have kosher certification?
3
votes
0answers
22 views

Are you allowed to take pills with gelatin [duplicate]

According to Halacha, are you allowed to take pills that are covered with gelatin? It's an antibiotic for acne.
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Passing gas while listening to a Jewish song on my MP3 player

In Hilchot Kri'at Shema 3:14, Maimonides wrote: If one is reciting [the Shema] and passes gas, he should stop until the odor subsides and resume his recitation afterwards. The same applies to one ...
4
votes
0answers
18 views

How do you avoid 'al tiftah peh l'satan'?

There is a principle of al tiftach peh l'satan (Ketubot 8b) - literally "don't open your mouth to the Satan". How can concern for this principle be avoided when discussing possible bad future ...
5
votes
2answers
89 views

Kill a no-longer-profitable horse?

My understanding is that a horse is killed when its profit no longer matches its expense. Is this something Jews should/may do? I can think of some pros and cons, but wonder what authorities have ...
1
vote
0answers
13 views

Asking A Gentile To Perform Safeq Melakhah

Citing HaRav HID"A and Hakham 'Ovadiah A"H, HaRav Eliyahu Mansour states in his Daily Halacha that: The Hid"a [...] writes that it is permissible to ask a non-Jew to place a pot of cold liquid on ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Are the seventy distinct languages and nations listed?

It's a well known concept that there were 70 nations and 70 original languages. Is there any agreement about which ones they were/are? I found this which lists the nations, but I'm interested in ...
6
votes
1answer
50 views

Cannibalism, Jew or Gentile?

Suppose one is stuck on a deserted island with two people, one Jewish, and the other a gentile. If, G-d forbid, both of them died and one were forced to become a cannibal to survive, which person is ...
1
vote
3answers
712 views

What is the torah view on the dinosaurs?

What is the Torah view on the dinosaurs? There's no mention of them in the Torah, only that the world was created in 6 days. If they existed, Adam and his descendants should have seen them. Yet ...
4
votes
1answer
206 views

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate to men?

What are the Halachot of Tznius as they relate specifically to men. Not men in relation to women. In other words, I'm not looking for "Men must act in a certain way when around women," I'm looking ...
5
votes
3answers
268 views

How was Ya'akov allowed to favor Yosef over Re'uven?

In Devarim 21:16 - 17 it states that the father cannot favor the son of the beloved wife over the older son of a hated wife. If we assume the notion that our forefathers performed all the mitzvot of ...
6
votes
1answer
66 views

Is there a Mitzvah to love parents?

Is there a special mitzvah to love one's parents? If so, does it require the parent's awareness of that love?
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Meteg on a short vowel

Short vowels are closed with a consonant when unstressed. A cantillation (trope) can set off a short vowel as an open vowel. Can a meteg do the same thing? I have seen a meteg do as such on the ...
4
votes
3answers
161 views

Why didn't the Kohanim wear Tzizis?

The Kohen Gadol wore 8 garments, and regular Kohanim wore 4. Why wasn't tzizis one of their required garments? Also, did they have to fulfill the mitzvah of tzizis before or after their daily service, ...
8
votes
5answers
195 views

Were Haman's possessions hung on a tree?

In Maoz Tzur we say: רב בניו וקנייניו,‏ על העץ תלית His many sons and his possessions, You hung on a tree Were Haman's possessions really hung on a tree?
-4
votes
0answers
22 views

How do I explain the various meanings of “Ruach HaKodesh” in English?

I know "Ruach HaKodesh" can mean a higher spiritual state of an individual and I also am aware of it literally meaning "holy spirit". I am looking for clear and concise English terms for the various ...
0
votes
1answer
27 views

Does anyone hold that you could be “masneh al mah shekasuv baTorah” in all cases?

The gemara on Bava Metzia 94a brings a discussion about "מתנה על מה שכתוב בתורה," about someone who makes a condition that is contrary to something that is written in the Torah. דתניא האומר לאשה ...
6
votes
1answer
486 views

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?

Is there a problem of "chukat goyim" with the bride having "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue" at her wedding?
22
votes
8answers
497 views

Birthdays in Judaism

Is there any significance in Judaism attached to the day someone was born (aside for the 13th year)? Is there anything wrong with celebrating one's birthday? And is it more correct to celebrate the ...
2
votes
1answer
160 views

Jewish dervishes and “Darkeihem”

This photo shows a pair of Jewish dervishes. It has been going around the Jewish-oriented pages of the internet and social media lately, and it got me wondering: would this be a problem of following ...
5
votes
2answers
277 views

Jeans as Hukot HaGoyim

Hukot HaGoyim in this case is something done specifically by gentiles and therefore it would be prohibited (see S"A Yoreh Deah 178). So my question is, would jeans fall under this category?
3
votes
2answers
128 views

Decorating of the Beitzah

Somebody told me in Israel some have the custom of decorating the egg for Pesach (like an Easter egg). Wouldn't that be considered chukas hagoyim or avoda zara?
6
votes
2answers
1k views

What makes something “chukat goyim?”

One of the most famous examples I have heard is that one should not even tie one's shoes like the non-Jews do in times of persecution. That seems rather excessive. What if the Jews started doing some ...
4
votes
1answer
51 views

Chanukah Bushes?

Every year, I hear people (typically heterodox or jokers) talking about "Chanukah bushes" (likely a parallel to Christmas trees). Now, beyond the obvious of this not being a traditional practice, ...
8
votes
4answers
193 views

Why didn't Yosef's brothers recognize him?

The Posuk says (Genesis 42:8): וַיַּכֵּר יוֹסֵף אֶת אֶחָיו וְהֵם לֹא הִכִּרֻהוּ Translated as: Now Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him The question is: How did ...
4
votes
1answer
109 views

Sheidim after the Baal Shem Tov

According to the Minchas Elazar, the Baal Shem Tov evicted the Sheidim from where humans live. Does that mean that they are still located in the wilderness areas and one must be "choshesh" for them ...
9
votes
1answer
162 views

Why have I never seen anyone “slicing the Shema”?

“Slicing the Shema” A good summary is to be found here, on the Israel Koschitzky Virtual Beit Midrash website. In short, “…. ten men who prayed alone can subsequently fulfill their obligations of ...
22
votes
8answers
1k views
+50

Bereishit vs. science

How does Judaism deal with the differences between scientific evidence of the beginning of the world and the account(s) in Bereishit?
3
votes
1answer
81 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 ...
-5
votes
0answers
57 views

Accepting presents from St. Nicholas on Nittel Nacht [on hold]

Is one allowed to accept gifts from St. Nicholas/Father Christmas etc. on Nittel Nacht? I was thinking that they might be issur be'hana (like an actual avodah zarah item) but they could also be ...
6
votes
0answers
108 views
+50

Have any published sefarim referenced research done on Mi Yodeya?

I recently saw an ad for Otzar HaChochma in one of the Jewish magazines, where they claimed to have done a search in their database, and found an obscene number of self-references where recently ...

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