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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.


12

The Emes Layackov on Shulchan Aruch on Siman 670 Reb Yackov says that Giving gifts on Chanukah is not Chukas Hagoyim it is a Jewish Minhag and they took it from us,The reason is they sent with the children a gift to the Rebbeim and the children got too because they were the shluchim. A much earlier Sefer Chanukas Hatorah a sefer the Magen Avrahom Quotes in ...


12

Well according to Wikipedia, here's the list of organs that can currently be transplanted from a living donor. For something like a kidney donation, the donor has two and gives one. For something like a liver donation, they take a piece from the donor, which he can live without (and will be enough to help the recipient): Lung Kidney Liver Intestine ...


12

As CharlesKoppelman said in the comments above, it is the custom of some Jewish people to prefer surrounding their children with only pure, kosher images, including those of animals. This is, as he said, not universal, nor even extremely common, AFAIK. I suggest you just ask the parents beforehand. They'll be glad to tell you :D Sources for the ...


11

I'm not so sure it's as straightforward as follick said. True that Christianity is avodah zarah for us Jews; true also that it is, according to some posekim, also the same for non-Jews. Nevertheless, one of the major leniencies in this regard (alluded to by Shalom in his answer to the related question) is that most non-Jews nowadays aren't אדוק באמונתם, so ...


11

Tevilath Kelim (by R. Zvi Cohen) 8:6 says that you shouldn't immerse it. In the footnote there he cites Mekor Chaim 14, who says that this is because the giver didn't buy the utensil with the intent to use it for food preparation. (CYLOR, of course.)


9

"and you may correct me if I'm wrong" You are wrong. No agency is universally accepted. Period. (If you meant to ask for agencies that are widely accepted, just "not by all", then that is an entirely different question, and depends on many factors, most practically geography, as some of the other answers indicate)


8

At the risk of being boring, the Bartenura Moscato ("blue bottle") is usually well-received. Mevushal. Easy to find at most kosher wine places these days. For those who prefer something Israeli, there's the Carmel analogue (yes mevushal) of the "blue bottle", and the Gamla (non-mevushal).


8

The body of your question differs slightly from the title, so I will focus on that (i.e. why he wasn't worried Pharoah would say the same thing). Here's an answer from this Ohr Somayach Parsha Q&A (see Kasha section), as heard from Rabbi Michael Bachar: Avraham suspected that the king of Sodom would publicize the fact that he enriched Avraham. ...


8

Aruch HaShulchan 694:2 says that it is clear to him that it does not have to be given directly to the poor man, and can be given through a messenger (Shaliach) on Purim day. Nitei Gavriel Purim 68:6 mentions in the name of the Yad Aharon 694, Chug Eretz 15, and others that if money is given to a messenger (Shaliach) before Purim to give to the poor man on ...


7

"In the name of the Ba'al Shem Tov, don't present a knife as a gift" (Sichot Haran no. 9. First printed in 1798-99. Maaglei Tzedek pg. 3a. This tradition is also found in Baal Shem Tov al Hatorah, Parshas Re’ah in the Mekor Mayim Chaim, no. 6.). There is an in depth article about this issue by Bency Eichorn on the Sefarim blog. In there he says that the ...


7

When I was bar-mitzvah (in 1985), CDs of Torah texts - like Bar Ilan, Tanach Plus, etc. - were years in the future. State of the art then, for portable texts, was microfilm/microfiche. So someone got me a kit (the size of a briefcase) containing a handheld reader, and microfiche cards of a number of basic sefarim (Gemara, Rambam, Shulchan Aruch, etc.); those ...


7

Oholei Shem Siman 59 says that it is not proper to give a Mezuza to a non-Jew to place on his door, per the the Maharil, Kneses HaGedola, and Rishon L'Tziyon. However the Sheyilas Yaavetz Chelek 2 Siman 121 seems to say that if the non-Jew will respect it properly then you may give it to him to put on his door. The Igros Moshe Chelek 5 Yorah Deah 2 Siman ...


6

One issue dealt with by pos'kim is the prohibition against wounding oneself. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in a letter reprinted in Igros Moshe (Choshen Mishpat Ⅰ 103) says that it is permissible to donate blood even though there is no known recipient now, in a case where the donor gets paid for his donation; part of his reasoning is that bloodletting, long thought ...


6

If you like the idea of a decent wine (cabernet, etc.) but find them a touch too dry, try Herzog's Jeunesse (a semi-dry, usually too sweet for real dry wine drinkers). $10-12 a bottle.


6

The Lubavitcher Rebbes used to give Chanuka Gelt on the fourth or fifth night. R' Chein explains that there are two reasons why one may want to give on the fifth night: 1. It never falls out on Shabbos, so one can give gelt on a consistent day. 2. On the fifth night there are more candles lit than not lit (which makes it a somewhat auspicious time). ...


6

The issue is discussed in the נזר התורה journal of Adar 5767, and in responses thereof. Among the sources cited by the author are the following: I. Responsum in Yizchak Burstein's מטעמי יצחק. There, R' Burstein cites Chulin 44b: Whenever R. Zera was sent a gift he would not accept it but whenever he was invited out to dine he would go, for he used ...


5

I enjoy white Zinfandel. It comes in a nice pink shade, and it's got just enough sweetness to pull out of being truly dry. Baron Herzog makes it in California, and Carmel makes it in Israel. It looks like they can be found for under $10 and under $15, respectively.


5

Hot dogs. The perishibility of the hot dog implies immediacy of eating, which complies with (at least) the T'rumas Hadeshen's opinion that the manos should actually contribute to the s'uda. Hot dogs are also compact and durable enough to be packed and walked around the neighborhood, and are substantial meal-worthy food that (ironically) are still delicious ...


5

The nicest Mishloach Manos I got was a scoop of tuna with some salad and some crackers. I was starving when it arrived and it was a perfect lunch.


5

I know the following two Israeli hechsheirim are widely eaten: R' Yehuda Leib Landau's Hechsher The Bedatz Eida Hachareidis. The following Chutz Laaretz Hechsherim are widely eaten: Montreal Va'ad Ha'ir Kedassia This is just a small list. There obviously are many more.


5

I heard in the name of the Maharal (in Gur Arye, but I haven't had a chance to check it inside,) that Avram understood that the wealth Hashem had promised him would come through natural means, and that he therefore didn't mind taking gifts from people. But Bera's gifts were awarded to him for distasteful acts, so he understood that those could not be the ...


5

The book Hege Yona (Jerusalem 5756), by my grandfather-in-law Rabbi Yona Munk, includes the following (in my own free translation): 14:23: "or if I take anything from you, lest you say 'I enriched Avram'" The question that arises is why Avraham agreed to take gifts from Par'o and Avimelech, not worrying they'd say they enriched Avram. One can ...


5

I don't understand the question. The statement that a person who saves one life, saves the world is an aggadic statement, not a halachic one. Halacha does not allow you to sacrifice one life for the sake of many. If you save a life, that is a great and wonderful thing. If you think you are saving a life, but don't actually do so, it doesn't take away the ...


5

In a town where it is not the practice to donate to non-Jews, it is forbidden to give to a non-Jew, and whoever does so is stealing from Jewish beggars, and he certainly doesn't fulfill his obligation with this. However, in a town where it is the practice, he still gives money to non-Jews (because of darkei shalom, cf. Gittin 61a), although he can't fulfill ...


5

The answer, in short, is that it is allowed, and there's no problem of Ribbis. Basically, Ribbis only applies where the money somehow flows from the borrower back to the lender. It does not matter if there's a third-party involved: if that third-party is being sent by the borrower, Ribbis would still apply. In this case, however, the one paying the Ribbis ...


5

Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 658:5) rules explicitly that only if the last person returns the esrog is the first one (and all others) yotzei. Interesting sidebar: The Biur Halacha is in doubt whether they were yotzei only if the last user returned the esrog on his own volition to the original owner or even if the original owner had to demand it back from the ...


4

As far as most used from what I got: A siddur (be careful, people get lots of these) Artscroll English Chumash w/ Rashi (perfect for being maavir sedra w/ rashi). Like this one. English Pirkei Avos As far as good ideas: Portable music player for shiurim (especially if preloaded w/ shiurim) Artscroll Talmud (assuming one or two, anything else would be ...


4

Inspired by Jeremy's answer to another question, a pocket knife (e.g. Swiss Army) would be an awesome and much-appreciated gift by some kids. Of course, this depends on how responsible you deem the kid to be, and it may be worth checking with the parents first. I think I got my first knives a couple of years later, but believe me, I appreciated, kept, and ...


4

I received a pearl necklace that I wore for many years. I also received travel candle holders which I have used for guests for Shabbos as well as when traveling.



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