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13

The midrash in Sh'mot Rabbah (2:5) offers some explanations: Why fire? To inspire him with courage so that when he comes to Sinai later he is not afraid of the fire.1 Why a thornbush? R' Yehoshua b. Karchah said: to teach that no place is devoid of God's presence, not even a thornbush. R' Eliezer said: just as the thornbush is the lowliest of all trees ...


5

There are two problems as explained at this article There are two major kosher concerns with “pure maple syrup.” First, an observant Jew is required to turn on the evaporator because only an observant Jew is allowed to “light the fire” that cooks a kosher food item. Second, while the sap is boiling, farmers drip animal fat into the mixture to ...


4

You asked: Have there been any (scientific) studies that prove the benefits of Orlah? Well, as you will see from the answer to your second question, it's not about benefits. You can see from articles like this one that most fruit trees don't bear (real) fruit for the first 3 - 4 years. You then asked: What is the reasoning behind Orlah ...


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I was just referred to "How to keep your aravos fresh throughout sukkos: The definitive guide for frustrated palm-frond wavers", an apparently anonymous document describing a series of nine experiments, carefully testing different strategies for keeping Aravot fresh. Read the whole thing to see all of the strategies tested and all of the results, including ...


4

Rashi says God appeared in a thornbush to show He was sharing the Jews' pain.


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Small serations are kosher, large ones are not. See Halachipedia's entry on aravos.


3

To summarize this book: Rabbi Moshe Sofer considers it an unacceptable attempt to emulate the gentiles. (Responsa Bet Shearim, YD No. 402). In a similar vein, R. David Tzvi Hoffman cites Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (in Shut Malmad Lehoil Part II YD Number 109) opined that putting flowers on a grave is forbidden as imitation of non-Jewish practices. ...


3

Yes. Per Rabbi Yitzchak Abadi Regarding: Subject: maple syrup Message: Is any brand of pure maple syrup KP? Thanks Reply: if there are no added ingredients-yes. But I'm pretty sure there are other ingredients-please list YA Product in question: Berkley & Jensen Pure maple syrup ingredients: pure maple ...


3

This is an excellent question! I don't think that I can answer it definitively, but the following information might be of use to you. If you have a look at Avraham Grossman's Rashi (trans. Joel Linsider; The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization, 2012), you will see that he features a bit of a discussion of this issue on pp145-147. He quotes various ...


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As a chef, I can assure you that the use of animal fat as a defoaming agent is no longer a common practice in maple syrup production. In virtually all cases, the role formerly filled by animal fat is now either unnecessary, or it is filled by either a specially manufactured defoaming agent or a small amount of vegetable oil. The defoaming agent, ...


2

I have seen a number of places that seem to say that hydroponics is mutar during shmittah. If this is the case for plants that normally grow in the ground (such as tomatoes), then the algae in your fish tank would also be mutar. The same question would apply to a fish pond. Note in the footnote below that there are those who say it is forbidden. Also I am ...


2

Rambam writes (Maachalos Asuros 10:11-12): ספק ערלה וכלאי הכרם בארץ ישראל אסור. בסוריא והיא ארצות שכבש דוד מותר. כיצד היה כרם וערלה וענבים נמכרות חוצה לו. היה ירק זרוע בתוכו וירק נמכר חוצה לו. שמא ממנו הוא זה שמא מאחר. בסוריא מותר ובחוצה לארץ אפילו ראה הענבים יוצאות מכרם ערלה או ירק יוצא מן הכרם לוקח מהן. והוא שלא יראה אותו בוצר מן הערלה או לוקט ...


1

Yes they are allowed. Due to the special status of Eretz Yisroel, generally, vegetables grown there must have ma’asros, tithes, separated. However, if the AeroGarden kit is used to grow vegetables in Eretz Yisroel, ma’asros need not be separated from the vegetables. This is because hydroponically-grown vegetables are free from the obligation to ...


1

A great summary of all the kashrut issues with tea can be found at http://www.star-k.org/articles/kashrus-kurrents/kashurs-kurrents-2013/summer-kashrus-kurrents-2013/1145/the-kashrus-of-tea-with-no-strings-attached/ Rooibos Tea is not a tea in that - as you point out - it is not Camellia sinensis. The blanket statement that all plain non-flavoured ...


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Tishre 1st of Tishre - The new year for animal tithes -- Animals born in one year do not combine with animals born the following year - Rambam, Hilchot Bechorot 7:6 10th of Tishre - Shofar was blown on the 10th of Tishre on a Yovel Year to signal the freeing of the slaves - Vayikra 25:9 15th of Tishre - Chag Ha'Asif -- Celebrating the ingathering of the ...


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As per Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 6 it would seem forbidden to pray there. סעיף ו' צוֹאַת אָדָם, אַף עַל פִּי שֶׁאֵין לָהּ רֵיחַ רָע, וְכֵן צוֹאַת חָתוּל וּנְמִיָּה וְצוֹאַת תַּרְנְגוֹל אֱדוֹמִי (תַּרְנְגוֹל הֹדּוּ) (אינדיק) מַרְחִיקִים מֵהֶן. וּשְׁאָר צוֹאָה שֶׁל בְּהֵמָה חַיָּה וָעוֹף, מִסְּתָמָא אֵינָהּ מַסְרַחַת וְאֵין צְרִיכִים לְהַרְחִיק מֵהֶן. אֲבָל ...


1

For further sources, R Yosef Tzvi Rimon in his (highly recommended) reference book on shmita adresses this question indirectly and writes (pp. 34-35) Since the Sages permitted labors that are forbidden by rabbinic decree in cases of financial loss, it is permitted to water one's garden when necessary (but less frequently than usual) [...] Generally ...



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