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38

The civil date line doesn't affect the Halachic day with regards to Shabbos. Where is the location date line is subject to Halachic argument According to the Chazon Ish, the Halachic dateline hugs the coast of Australia, China and Russia. Anything to the east (Japan, etc) is considered to be on the same day as the United States. Therefore, it's Shabbos in ...


24

The question of where the Halachic International Dateline is is its own independent question. The decision in Samoa would only matter if we left date-line issues to governmental/secular authorities, which is not the case. The day to keep Shabbos in Samoa would be seven days from the last time it was to be kept, according to which ever opinion we should/do go ...


23

I'd bet that sign was referencing the theoretical punishment that a Jewish court could have administered, during Temple times, under Jewish self-rule, when such events were exceedingly rare and shocking, and with overwhelming evidence: Male-to-male sex is punishable by death by stoning. Murder is punishable by decapitation. The Talmud states that of those ...


17

It seems The Star K picked up on the question: How to Keep This Shabbos in Samoa? STAR-K Tells Us How (Samoa & Tokelau To Cross International Date Line)


15

Rav Moshe Shternbuch reportedly sees no problem with it.


13

An employer is paying the premiums on an employee's insurance policy, which will then pay the medical expenses incurred by the employee committing a halachically-unacceptable act. With respect to "Lifnei Iver" or "placing a stumbling block before the blind," there are multiple mitigating factors: The prohibited act may never happen. The employee may never ...


13

Obviously, I can't actually speak for the family involved, however, in general, giving any kind of Christian religious symbol to a Jewish family will be considered offensive. The meaning conveyed by the cross for most Jews is very different from the meaning that Christians see in it, and not the least bit positive.


10

Summary: Many believe that when it comes to applying halacha on a level that will affect the general public, we must be far more conservative in our concern for the welfare of others. In a modern sense, we would call this an application of the Law of Large Numbers, whereby we are concerned for far reaching cases of pikuach nefesh such as the general economic ...


10

Thanks to Reddit user Bar Kappara (by way of @Isaac Moses) for this answer: Devarim Rabba 3:3: It is told of Rabbi Shimon ben Shetach that he once purchased an ass from an Ishmaelite. When his disciples came, they found a jewel suspended from its neck and said, "Master, 'The blessing of Hashem, it makes rich.'" [Proverbs 10:22] Rabbi Simon ben Shetach ...


9

Although one might think to conclude that homosexuality is worse than murder based on the specific punishments court can impose upon them (stoning for homosexuality and decapitation for murder), this simplistic understanding is not borne out upon further investigation. I know I shouldn't just quote on this site, but no one says it better than the Rambam ...


9

Rabbi Yair Hoffman has an analysis in the 5 Towns Jewish Times here (hat-tip to VIN for pointing me to it): The article views the question primarily around the issue of Onaah which it defines as 16.7% above or below market value (and possibly just a pricing mistake regardless). If that issue applied, then the sale would be invalid. The conclusion of the ...


9

NO. Rabbi Isaac Herczog discussed the concept, and rejected it. (Rabbi Hershel Schachter has discussed this in several lectures.) "Zikui" works as follows. I want to gift someone a nice challah knife on shabbos, but it's best to avoid gifts on shabbos as it looks like a business transaction, so on Friday afternoon I say, "I'm sure Shmerel would want to ...


8

There are several differences between this fragment and the Leiden manuscript and first edition of the Yerushalmi. Some of the fragment readings have been suggested by mefarashim. If you are familiar with this sugya, you will know that there is a (partial) parallel in Hagiga and that in the previously known text of this Yerushalmi, the words hacha and hatham ...


8

Our sources discussed this concept long ago. See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 151:1, e.g. the Talmud discussed whether I may sell frankincense to pagans knowing that they will use it for idolatrous worship. There is a key distinction between enabling a sin (i.e. it would be impossible or incredibly difficult for the sinner to sin without you, or you are ...


7

According to this site: Magen Shalome, built by Shalome Solomon Umerdekar and his son Gershone Solomon, Karachi’s last synagogue, was demolished in the 1980s to make way for a shopping plaza. Most of the Karachi Jews now live in Ramle, Israel, and built a synagogue they named Magen Shalome. Some Jewish families do remain, but they prefer to pass ...


7

A good summary of a lot of the pros and cons: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1507393/jewish/Is-It-Okay-to-Celebrate-Bin-Ladens-Death.htm A couple of key paragraphs: For the same reason, Solomon tells you not to rejoice over the fall of your enemy. If that’s the reason you are celebrating—because he is your enemy, that you have ...


7

The Talmud (Taanit 11a) proscribes marital relations during a famine. (See Tosfot and Rambam regarding if this is an obligation or supererogatory.) The Shulchan Aruch rules this way in OC 240:12 and 574:4 (exceptions are given for childless couples and on the night the woman goes to the Mikvah) and the Rama there extends the law to other times of pain ("שאר ...


6

There does not seem to be any appreciable difference between the standard text and the one that was just found. There are a few minor variations, some of which resemble the version recorded by R. Shlomo Sirilio (an early Acharon who wrote a commentary on Yerushalmi). In many places the text of the fragment is truncated, apparently because this scribe (or an ...


6

There are many different views on this topic, Gil Student cites some of them here. Below is my personal opinion on this weighty topic. I think such an exchange is forbidden. While the mitzvah to redeem captives is extremely important, the Mishnah says they cannot be redeemed for more than their value. The gemara gives 2 explanations for this - either ...


6

A lot of ink has been spilled on this topic. Kaftor Vaferach (ch. 6) reports that Rabbeinu Yechiel of Paris (who immigrated to the Land of Israel, with his students, sometime in the 1250s) proposed in 5017 (1257) to go to Jerusalem and offer korbanos, and mentions the concerns about tum'ah (which he goes on to dismiss, since public korbanos override it) and ...


6

Re what happens when two customs collide? This is very important question. The answer: in historic times, despite disagreements, the two camps would still be friends with each other and the followers would marry each other (the proof of real friendship). Source: Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai would marry each other (despite their many disagreements on ...


6

To the best of my understanding, based on discussions with my Rav, no one says the internet is Assur. The Rabbonim feel that unchecked internet has been and continues to lead to moral decay. The gathering is to discuss how to limit its use only for necessary needs, in a way that is permitted.


6

Point 1: See Mishnah Brurah 104:25 that says it is forbidden to speak unless one is an Oines. Point 12: See Mechabar 104:5 that says if the hefsek took as long as it takes to finish the Tefilla then one must start over, otherwise one starts again from the Bracha that he was in the middle of. For more complicated details look at the Mishnah Brurah there. ...


6

Regarding the Milah, the Shulchan Aruch states (YD 261) that if the father doesn't circumcise his son, the obligation to ensure he is circumcised devolves onto the local Beit Din. Regarding the name, the Ritva (Responsum 158) seems to take it for granted that an orphan son will be named after the now-dead father. Presumably the same would apply for ...


6

Last night, i asked this question of someone who served in the war. He said that when they were in the field, there was no time for davening, and he didn't say that they said the extremely short version, so i assume they didn't. On the base for a break, they were able to daven, but not everyone was able to put on tefillin. He didn't say exactly why not; ...


6

David Rosen of Emory University School of Law writes as follows on page 44. Regarding destruction of homes of living terrorists these actions seem easy to justify under Jewish Law. Ezra 10:8 mentions confiscation of property as a criminal sanction when one disobeys lawful orders. The court, under the biblical commandment, may expropriate ...


5

A quick search of discussions on the web seems to point to there being no particular bracha and that Oseh Ma'aseh B'reishit is not called for, for a solar eclipse. As a kal vachomer, I would say that if there is nothing said for the still infrequent but more spectacular solar eclipse, then for the transit, why would there be? This site suggests other textual ...


5

A couple good places to start would be here and here, both from the Eruv Blog. The second link, which itself contains many relevant and detailed links, addresses the technical issues of the geography, demographics, and (artificial) geology of Brooklyn that govern the permissibility/restrictions of an eruv. The first link addresses a non-legal complication ...


5

The gemara strongly implies that metzitzah is done for health reasons. Nowadays, we can follow that tradition safely by doing it with a tube. It seems ironic to to follow the gemara's health-suggestions in a way (b'peh) that we know to cause health-risks. However, some groups feel that there are other reasons for doing Metzitzah and that it should still be ...



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