16
votes
0answers
235 views

Why was the side door to the hechal unlocked so oddly?

The hechal (central room) of the bes hamikdash had its main entrance on its eastern end. To either side of that entrance were cubicles, and the main-floor cubicles on each side had a door to the east ...
12
votes
0answers
80 views

What kind of seder did a non-oleh l'regel have during the time of the Bais Hamikdash (and for that matter, the entire 40 years in the desert)?

Our haggadah did not always exist - it appears to be primarily from the time of the Mishna. Before then, there was a Korban Pesach and specific procedures for organizing family and/or friends to eat ...
10
votes
0answers
143 views

What cracks disqualify a Shmurah Matzah as whole?

What cracks disqualify a hand-baked (typically Shmurah) Matzah as whole for the purposes of lechem mishneh and the Seder? I've been told that: Cracks in the center of the matzah that do not reach ...
10
votes
0answers
678 views

Where did the “a cat will always be a cat” story about the Rambam come from?

I've seen and heard a story about the Rambam told multiple times along the lines of this particularly concise retelling: There is a beautiful story of a disagreement that Maimonides had with a ...
9
votes
0answers
86 views

Post mortem Tahara

I'm looking for sources discussing the religious aspect of the Tahara done on deceased Jews. I recall someone mentioning that the religious aspect of it was a practice we picked up from the Muslims ...
9
votes
0answers
107 views

status of owned land after Moshiach comes

what will be the status of owned property in Israel when Moshiach comes. Will a person's apartment remain his? or perhaps the land will be redivided.
9
votes
0answers
400 views

Origin of the allegory of the long spoons

A common version of the allegory of the long spoons tells how Rabbi Hayim Elhanan ben Yehudah Leyb Tsedek or Tzadikov (*1813, ✡1883) of Rumšiškės went to see the difference between Heaven and Hell. ...
9
votes
0answers
176 views

Why is there a custom to join “Hashem” and “Elokenu” together in the line Al Taazvenu in Shema Kolenu in Selichot

In Shema Kolenu, based on the Posuk in Psalms 38:22 we say the phrase: Al Taazvenu Hashem Elokenu Al tirchak mimenu | Don't leave us Hashem Our God Don't distance yourself from us. The ...
8
votes
0answers
82 views

If you're having a slow day are you halachically required to reduce your hourly rate?

Say you work as a contractor that charges an hourly rate. If on any given day you feel sluggish due to poor sleep or some other reason, are you supposed to reduce your rate for that day to compensate ...
8
votes
0answers
215 views

Lubavitcher Rebbe on the Shoah

There is a controversial analogy attributed to the Lubavitcher Rebbe, in which the Shoah is looked upon as a surgical procedure, with God being likened to a surgeon who removes a limb in the best ...
8
votes
0answers
371 views

Do the laws of Negiah depend on sexual orientation?

The Rambam writes (Hilchos Isurei Biah 21:1): כל הבא על ערווה מן העריות דרך אברים, או שחיבק ונישק דרך תאווה ונהנה בקירוב בשר--הרי זה לוקה מן התורה One who comes upon one of the Arayos via ...
8
votes
0answers
299 views

Can a garment be assur for men and women because it is both beged ish and beged isha?

I've been wondering about garments like the frilly pink/purple yarmulkas and talleisim used in liberal Judaism. Since yarmulkas and talleisim are probably normally beged ish, and pink/purple frilly ...
8
votes
0answers
179 views

The stolen maple syrup and kashrus

Does anyone know if there is going to be a kashrus problem with maple syrup next year? A rather large amount of maple syrup was stolen last year. The thieves did not keep it in the original casks, ...
8
votes
0answers
161 views

Minhag of bothering the chazzan on Simchas Torah

I have seen the custom of bothering the chazzan during the musaf service on Simchas Torah. I have seen people tie the chazzan's gartel to a chair, or try to move the chazzan to a diffrent place. I ...
8
votes
0answers
192 views

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av?

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av? I understand that this used to be a custom, in addition to allowance of a more relaxed approach to women's tznius on that ...
7
votes
0answers
50 views

How early can I take down my mezuzos before a move?

Suppose a Jew will be vacating an apartment or other property rented from a gentile. In such a case, he is permitted to take down his mezuzos before leaving. How long before actually moving out may he ...
7
votes
0answers
63 views

Basis for not doing a full sof-aliya trop on Hashem's name

The Ashkenazi leining for the end of an aliya generally has a drop of 4 tones. In my preferred key, that's from D to A (hit y then e on this virtual piano). However, some baalei kriah in my shul do ...
7
votes
0answers
54 views

Why are Ashkenazi haftarahs longer than that of Sephardim?

A look at Wikipedia confirms my suspicion that when Ashkenazim and Sephardim read the same haftarah, the Ashkenazim generally start earlier and/or finish later than that of Sephardim. Is there a ...
7
votes
0answers
88 views

Relationship between Chabad and the Malachim today

These days, what is the relationship between Chabad and the Malachim? How close are they -- do members of the groups marry each other, participate in each other's mosdos at all, etc.? Do Chabad ...
7
votes
0answers
58 views

Ya'amod by an Aliya

The root of the word Ya'amod means to stand in place. See Hebrew dictionary here. Thus why do we call up someone to an Aliya with the word Ya'amod? We are not asking him to stay in place, we are ...
7
votes
0answers
127 views

Will Moshiach identify Jews currently thought to be non-Jews?

The Rambam writes in Malachim 10:2: ואינו בא לא לטמא הטהור. ולא לטהר הטמא. ולא לפסול אנשים שהם בחזקת כשרות. ולא להכשיר מי שהוחזקו פסולין. אלא לשום שלום בעולם. [Eliyahu] is not coming to make ...
7
votes
0answers
74 views

Magazine subscription that doesn't cancel

Many magazines (in the United States, anyway) today find the main profitability is in having higher subscriber numbers to show advertisers and really don't care if the subscriber is paying. The main ...
7
votes
0answers
109 views

Is it allright to use/wave the Argentinian flag?

The Sun of May in the flag is inspired by an ancient Inca god. It is used by the Argentinian flag and the Uruguayan flag. It is a representation used as a homage to the ancient empire, inspired by ...
7
votes
0answers
101 views

Is it acceptable to put “God is Life” on a T-Shirt?

I am a member of the Jewish Community Center. I had a T shirt designed that says "Jewish Community Center" with a design of olive branches and the word's "God is Life". Is this acceptable? Must the ...
7
votes
0answers
137 views

Downvoting someone you dont know

Onaat devarim is a biblical prohibition to commit verbal abuse (Bava Metzia 58b based on Vayikra 25:17 "וְלֹא תוֹנוּ אִישׁ אֶת עֲמִיתוֹ וְיָרֵאתָ מֵאֱלֹקיךָ כִּי אֲנִי ה' אֱלֹקיכֶם", "one shall not ...
7
votes
0answers
98 views

What in a siddur can be changed?

There are many different editions of siddurim with many commonalities but also many differences, see here for discussion on MY. Also different communities use different siddurim to match their ...
7
votes
0answers
132 views

How to make a koishele?

People use "lulav holders," or "koisheles," small containers of woven lulav leaves to hold their lulav sets (lulav + hadass + arava) together, as seen in the picture below. My father showed me how ...
7
votes
0answers
81 views

What are the origins of the תושלב"ע prayer at the end of holy books?

When I finished the Book of Bereishit this Shabbos, the Tanakh I was reading concluded with this prayer: תם ונשלם תהילה לאל בורא עולם (Finished and completed. Praise to G!d, Creator of the Universe.) ...
7
votes
0answers
168 views

Is there a problem with saying “for Pete's sake”?

Is there a halachic issue with invoking the name "Peter," or, as is more commonly used, "oh, for Pete's sake!," which I assume is a reference to Saint Peter. ( Wikipedia agrees with this conjecture, ...
7
votes
0answers
54 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
85 views

Time limit on making a Siyum

Suppose one learned a complete Mesechta and is just about ready to make a Siyum. Is there a time limit as to when he should make the Siyum? Can he wait 3 months to complete the last few lines?
7
votes
0answers
119 views

Does halakha count primates as “almost human”?

I have read that the although the halakha requires koah gever (human strength/exertion) for pouring water over hands for n'ttilath yadhayim but it says explicitly in the Mishna that a qof (monkey) may ...
7
votes
0answers
155 views

How do we determine the nature of the reign of the kings when the numbers don't seem to add up?

In the book of 2 Kings, the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were separate. In Amaziah's (Judah) 15th year, Jeroboam (Israel) began to reign. In Jeroboam's (Israel) 27th year, Azariah (Judah) began to ...
7
votes
0answers
438 views

Can a convert (ger) become a chabad shliach?

"A convert may not hold a position of Jewish communal authority." (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim 1:4) The Tzitz Eliezer ruled that a convert may not serve in a lone communal position but he may ...
7
votes
0answers
930 views

Rabbi Soloveitchik's wife and hair coverings

I've heard from some that Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's wife didn't cover her hair. I haven't managed to find a source for this. If there is a source, what is it, and if it's true, what was her ...
7
votes
0answers
381 views

Why demand Amen via V'Imru Amen (ואמרוּ אָמֵן) at end of kaddish versus just amen elsewhere?

There are lots of blessings where we say Amen at the end, and even lots of places within kaddish where we say Amen, so why at the end of kaddish must we command others to say Amen by saying V'imru ...
7
votes
0answers
118 views

Why do we read vayechal twice on a fast?

I have been doing some research on the question of vayechal at mincha and have hit a roadblock. So far, here are the questions I have considered and feel ok with as "answered": why lain at mincha on ...
7
votes
0answers
101 views

Collecting Tzedakah from someone who may (or may not) be mentally incompetent

I just witnessed something I thought I'd never see. Someone soliciting signatures on the street for whoknowswhat gently turned someone away. The reason? "It's for fundraising." Now I'm sure, like I ...
7
votes
0answers
68 views

What is the reason for the lights lit on the desk of the prayer leader?

What is the reason for the candles or lights lit on the desk of the chazzan (prayer leader)? In a shul today I saw candles lit on a table at least 6 feet from the reader. Does that fulfill the ...
7
votes
0answers
399 views

How obligated is one to say Kaddish for a deceased relative?

People often talk about an obligation -- Chiyuv -- to recite Kaddish at every opportunity for some time after the death of a relative. (Which relatives are obligated and for how long does not seem ...
7
votes
0answers
162 views

Publisher prohibiting purchaser from sharing

Tradition articles are downloadable from the Tradition Online website, which prohibits further distribution of the materials. On each download page there is the following warning: It is strictly ...
7
votes
0answers
157 views

Father being Matir Neder for himself: does it affect the family?

If a father is Matir Neder on a minhag (gebroktz, let's say) for himself for a valid reason, does that include his whole family? Are they now also permitted to eat gebroktz because that is now the ...
7
votes
0answers
201 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
7
votes
0answers
150 views

How were coins that were destined for the Dead Sea managed?

A mishna on Meila 11a talks about money that a nazarite set aside for his offerings; if he died before completing the term and had set money aside specifically for the sin-offering, those coins are ...
7
votes
0answers
122 views

Counting towards a Keriat HaTorah one who accidentally ate

We have Halacha that at least 6 people need to be fasting in order to read the Torah in a fast day. However, let's say there are 10 people and 5 are definitely fasting and one who accidentally ate (...
6
votes
0answers
62 views

Davening to change nature

Im mashcehes Brachos (Bavli) 60 the gemara states that one should not pray that their unborn baby be a boy if its after the time the baby has formed already in the womb. However,in Masheches Brachos ...
6
votes
0answers
67 views

Are Tibetan Prayer Flags a form of Avodah Zara?

I recently received in the mail a set of prayer flags as part of a mailer, which got me thinking (and researching). Without a question, using the flags normally would be an act of darchei emorie or ...
6
votes
0answers
54 views

Davening schedule for someone with a night shift

The only way I can really convey what I'm asking here is to tell a [fictitious] story: Chaim Yankel is a late-hour delivery driver for a company. Since he works before daybreak, his schedule is much ...
6
votes
0answers
116 views

Dr. Bronner's soap

If you read the label of a bottle of Dr. Bronner's soap you will find--as I was flabbergasted to find--that the very last words are a whimsical English translation of "Shema Yisroel." Dr. Bronner ...
6
votes
0answers
98 views

What is the origin of using tombstone symbols?

I was at a cemetary today and noticed a few interesting "icons" placed on certain tombstones. Someone explained to me the following: spread-out fingers used for a Cohen, representing the position of ...

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