12
votes
0answers
171 views

Why does almost every community say Lecha Dodi?

The prayer Lecha Dodi was composed in the 16th century which is relatively recent as the general Nusach of prayer was founded between 516 BCE – 70 CE by the Anshei K'neset Hagdolah, and its rare that ...
10
votes
0answers
87 views

Bracha over Shelter

Question for a rainy day: Every day we say Brochos to give thanks and praise over various pleasures and gifts that HaShem gives us. However not everything that would seem worthy of a bracha gets an ...
10
votes
0answers
96 views

Can the Jewish people have a king while in exile?

Assuming a time where appointing a Jewish king is possible, if a proper Jewish king was anointed would he continue to retain the status of king if the Jewish people were exiled from the land of ...
10
votes
0answers
101 views

Participating in a non-Kosher food co-op

A food cooperative is a member-owned food store. It is typically set up that in order to shop there at discount prices, each person can become a member if they agree to volunteer a certain amount of ...
10
votes
0answers
230 views

May Hallel be said on Yom Nicanor?

I know that usually, Yom Nicanor is displaced by the Fast of Esther. But in years (such as 2013 / 5773) when the Fast of Esther is displaced due to Shabbat, may Hallel be said on the 13th of Adar, ...
8
votes
0answers
65 views

Was Ankhmahor really Yosef?

I was reading an article today on circumcision a news website I frequent. It displayed a picture from the tomb of Ankhmahor, a high ranking Egyptian official that was, apparently, responsible for mass ...
8
votes
0answers
82 views

The Permissibility of Purim Torah

Saying Purim Torah, funny (or unfunny) puns based off a misreading of a verse, is an age old tradition in the spirit of Mishenichnas Adar Marbin Besimcha. However, the Gemara in Sanhedrin 99b states: ...
8
votes
0answers
112 views

“לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר” in al hanisim on purim this year

As I was reading Al Hanisim this year, something odd struck me "לְחֹדֶשׁ שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר" - the 12th month. What struck me was that this year is a leap year so we actually celebrated Purim in the ...
8
votes
0answers
199 views

Any good sources for Ashkenazi prayer modes and melodies for the whole year?

Anyone know of any good sources for Ashkenazi prayer modes and melodies for the whole year? I'm looking for traditional Ashkenazi nusach, but perhaps not embellished like concert chazzanut. A good ...
7
votes
0answers
67 views

Can a Jew who dies on Mars be buried there?

Recently, the news has been talking about sending people on a 1-way trip to Mars. AFAIK, no Jews have applied or are scheduled to make the trip. B"H, because I see all sorts of interesting halachic ...
7
votes
0answers
38 views

What should a conversion candidate expect at an Orthodox beit din?

This question about conversion before a Reform beit din made me wonder about other cases: what does the examination of a prospective ger by an Orthodox beit din look like today? Does the beit din ...
7
votes
0answers
48 views

Tzitzis: does the same string need to be used for all windings?

While there are over a dozen customs as to how exactly one should tie tzitzis strings, all are in agreement (I think) that it involves winding one string around the others some number of times. I have ...
7
votes
0answers
43 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
96 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
43 views

Understanding the incident with Goliat

In I Shmuel 17 the Jews are camped opposite the Plishtim, preparing for battle. Goliat the giant offers an alternative to fighting, one warrior from each side will do battle, the winner 'wins' the ...
7
votes
0answers
66 views

Is there any halachic problem with an ark having a “lazy susan” for the Sifrei Torah?

Our shul has a small ark. There is room for 4 Sifrei Torah with 2 on each row. As a Ba'al Kri'ah / Gabbai, I find it difficult, sometimes, to shuffle Sifrei Torah between the front and back row, esp. ...
7
votes
0answers
62 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.
7
votes
0answers
41 views

Lashon Harah for anonymous to'eles

Necessary background: Lashon Harah (slander) is prohibited, unless it is for a to'eles (constructive purpose). Can I say Lashon Harah that would be available to everyone, would be beneficial for some ...
7
votes
0answers
147 views

How does the kohein gadol's substitute wife work?

The first mishna of Yoma explains that before Yom Kippur, a substitute wife is prepared for the kohein gadol lest his wife die -- because the torah says he makes atonement for himself and "his house", ...
7
votes
0answers
123 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
204 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
105 views

Proving Jewish identity through gravestone

What needs to be considered to show that under a grave marker lies a Jewish person?
7
votes
0answers
70 views

How do you weigh authority in halacha?

Are there any hard and fast rules as to how to assign relative importance of one authority over another in formulating a psak halacha? For example if the Rambam and the Rashba argue over a specific ...
7
votes
0answers
203 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
130 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
84 views

Onen and Meis Mitzvah

If an onen comes across a mas mitzvah (let's assume there is either another person to be involved with the onen's personal mas or there is more time to be involved with his mas later), is the onen ...
7
votes
0answers
135 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
108 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
23 views

Being Mekayem a zecher

According to the gemara (Megilla 29b, S"A O"C 685) there is a mitzvah to read the special reading of Parshat Zachor on a particular Shabbat (before Purim). This mitzvah is listed as one of the 613. I ...
6
votes
0answers
64 views

Considerations when bringing gifts to religious Jews

I am interested in a more-or-less comprehensive list of things to take into account when buying gifts for religious Jews of various stripes. I always have trouble doing so myself because I am worried ...
6
votes
0answers
41 views

Correcting one's father or one's rav when he is leyning

The Shulchan Arukh (YD 240:2) rules that one is never allowed to contradict one's father in his presence, and that when it comes to one's rav (or one's father if he is a Torah scholar; YD 242:1-2), ...
6
votes
0answers
45 views

Judaism and dementia

Are there any books/articles that discuss dementia from a Jewish perspective? I am looking for a perspective that include coping with, and relevant hashkafa. The intended audience being not the sick ...
6
votes
0answers
49 views

Why would someone offer an Asheira to Hashem?

There's a verse in Tehillim which says "Asheira LaHashem Ki Gamal Alai". Just because there's a camel on me I'm going to burn an Avoda Zara as a sacrifice? Moreover, when I think it was Gidon did ...
6
votes
0answers
59 views

Mental Telepathy

In Rabbi Immanuel Schochet's introduction to the fundamentals to proving religion. He mentions mental telepathy as a phenomenon that although uncommon does exist. ...
6
votes
0answers
38 views

Company matched charitable giving and ma'aser

If my company matches a certain level of charitable giving, can this be included in any way in ma'aser calculations? Does it make a difference if the company matches the donations by giving directly ...
6
votes
0answers
65 views

Would halachic units be shrunk if a person was (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids-style)?

In the classic move Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and its sequels, people get shrunk down to 1/264th of their normal size. So, a person is around 1/4 of an inch tall. If such a thing were even possible, ...
6
votes
0answers
61 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
76 views

What is Kishuf (“magic”)?

In order to avoid the prohibited, we must first know what it is. What is the halachic definition of Kishuf ("magic")? While I am mainly interested in sources, Svaras (reasonings) and thoughts are ...
6
votes
0answers
48 views

Changing location mid-way during Shemoneh Esrei?

In one of these hopefully rare events, I’ve found myself needing to daven Shemoneh Esrei in a hotel lobby. I tried finding a quite place, only to realise mid-way one of the workers telling me I was ...
6
votes
0answers
51 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
78 views

How and when did fedoras arise as acceptable headwear?

Today I learned that the fedora was originally a woman's hat, invented/popularized for women in the late 19th century and only migrating into menswear after 1924 when Prince Edward of England started ...
6
votes
0answers
34 views

Can the Mishnah be interpreted according to both peshat and drash?

There's a statement attributed to the Vilna Gaon (quoted in the introduction to Binas Mikra and in several other places) that the Mishnah can be interpreted through 'derash' and 'peshat', just like ...
6
votes
0answers
104 views

Dilemma for Jewish Scientists

A member of my shul, scientist who was on the short-list to win a Nobel a couple of years ago, made an interesting point about his own ethical issue. As a scientist involved in biology, ...
6
votes
0answers
42 views

Is one allowed to bid on a house if he knows another Jew has already made an offer?

This question is related to the halachic concept of ani hamehapech b'charara, or tortious interference, which I happened to just come across in studying Mishnah Peah. If one has been looking at a ...
6
votes
0answers
26 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
41 views

Did Prof. Rabbi Umberto Cassuto have any insight behind the biblical character Yehudah?

I am the great grandson of Umberto Cassuto, Benyamin Enzo Rocca, and 5 days ago my wife and I were blessed with a son (3rd child). With his upcoming bris in a few days I would like to know if anyone ...
6
votes
0answers
82 views

What was the anti-CRC ruling?

I understand that, circa 1980, a religious authority for Lubavitch hasidim ruled that foods certified as kosher by the Satmar His'achadus Harabanim (CRC) not be eaten. What form did this ruling ...
6
votes
0answers
65 views

Do sociopaths/psychopaths lack “דעת” of Good and Evil?

As YeZ points out in this answer, "daat" is the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Do sociopaths and/or psychopaths lack the דעת of the distinction between good and evil?
6
votes
0answers
125 views

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 ...
6
votes
0answers
49 views

How much of the standard תורה service is done on שמחת תורה?

I've seen a number of Simchas Tora customs in Ashkenazic practice and/or prescribed by Ashkenazic prayer books. Specifically, I think I've seen both sides of each of the following dichotomies, ...

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