All Questions

4
votes
3answers
57 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
8 views

Did Noah have grandchildren before the flood?

Did Noah have any grandchildren before the flood? Genesis 10:1 et seq. discuss Noah's grandchildren born after the flood, but doesn't say they were his first grandchildren. If he did have any ...
7
votes
3answers
64 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?
0
votes
0answers
7 views

How should holy objects be buried?

I understand shemos must be buried. Are there any restrictions on the manner or location of burial? (For example — just some ideas off the top of my head — need it be in a container which ...
3
votes
2answers
400 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
118 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: ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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. ...
4
votes
2answers
893 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
50 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
32 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
16 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
35 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
42 views

Why doesn't the king of Belah get a name?

Bereishis 14:2 names the 5 kings who were on Team B in the war between the 4 kings and the 5 kings. Regarding 4 of the 5 kings on Team B, we are told their name and their domain. But by the king of ...
4
votes
1answer
24 views

Forgot atah chonantanu in maariv, but have to say tashlumin

If someone doesn't daven shemoneh esrei for certain reasons, he is able to make it up by davening two shemoneh esreis at the next davening ('tashlumin). The second one is the exact same as the first, ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

Blessings on Birthdays

There is apparently a practice among contemporary Jews of giving out blessings on one's birthday. Is there any source for this in the Jewish tradition?
2
votes
1answer
68 views

How is one allowed to say the word “Hashem”?

There's a famous Taz (quoted in Kitzur) which says that one isn't allowed to say the name of Hashem in foreign languages (So saying/writing B-ga or G-d in vain would be forbidden). Why would Hashem ...
-1
votes
0answers
12 views

Measurements for the Bais HaMikdash

Since everything is computerized now, when the Bais HaMikdash is rebuilt, will we use the computer to rebuild? I.E., the measurements for the offerings, the entire rebuilding, etc.?
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Why does Hashem allow Noah et al to eat *all* animals?

Reading the parsha today, I noticed for the first time that Bereishit 9:3-4 seems remarkable (JPS translations): .כָּל-רֶמֶשׂ אֲשֶׁר הוּא-חַי, לָכֶם יִהְיֶה לְאָכְלָה: כְּיֶרֶק עֵשֶׂב, נָתַתִּי ...
7
votes
1answer
169 views

Proliferation of species after the flood

I am curious as to how many species didn't go extinct immediately after the flood. There were 2 of each non-kosher animal that came off of the ark. I assume that the foxes and lions got hungry ...
3
votes
1answer
58 views

Who are the descendants of King David today?

Since the Messiah should come from the line of David, I think it is necessary to know the family line of a person who claims to be the Messiah. Do we still have the descendants of King David today? ...
5
votes
1answer
42 views

Bat mitzvah gift from non-Jew

Would it be offensive for my daughter to give her friend a Star of David necklace for her Bat Mitzvah? We are not Jewish but my daughter wants to recognize her friend in a meaningful way. Thank you.
5
votes
2answers
40 views

What if, when the Kohanim washing their hands, less than ten remain?

Before Birkas Kohanim, the Levi'im wash the Kohanim's hands. In many communities, this occurs during the chazzan's repitition of Shemoneh Esrei, and in a room outside the main shul. Normally, there ...
1
vote
2answers
40 views

Washing station where one eats

We have a small synagogue: the room where we pray gets converted into the dining area. The back wall of the room has a washing station already. There is some money to update the synagogue, and some ...
2
votes
2answers
137 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
38 views

Why didn't Terach go to the Land of Canaan?

In Genesis 11:31, Terach takes Avraham (then Avram), Sarah (then Sarai), and Lot to the Land of Canaan, i.e. Israel. However, they stopped in Charan, and Terach spent the rest of his life there. Why ...
0
votes
0answers
6 views

Biologically, what are sirchos?

Biologically, what are Sirchos? Are they a Tumor?
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
11 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
90 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
4answers
795 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 ...
3
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
22 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
134 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
92 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
8 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
18 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
34 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
31 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
175 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
22 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
14 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
47 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
296 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
34 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 ...

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