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32

We are concerned with being the cause of somebody else erring. Parshat Kedoshim tells us "do not place a stumbling-block before the blind", which is interpreted to mean not only what it plainly says but also "don't be an enabler for a bad outcome". Causing somebody else to unknowingly transgress what God wants us to do is a pretty serious "bad outcome". ...


21

Such halachic restrictions fall into two categories: those which we believe were given as part of the Oral Law along with the Torah, and those that were clearly put in place later by the rabbis. The former is not adding, as it was part of the given word. E.g. Deuteronomy 12:21, to eat non-sacrificial meat, just slaughter it "in the manner I have ...


18

"L'chatchila" means "from the outset", meaning that before one did action 'x' the halacha was that it was forbidden. However, if one was not familiar with that halacha and did action 'x' without knowing that there was a problem, then "b'di'eved" ("after the fact") the halacha might be different, meaning the consequences of what was done would change. In ...


17

Excellent question. The answer is that the Rabbis themselves are invested by the Torah with the duty to protect the basic halacha - see for example Deuteronomy 17:8-11, where it basically states that we are Scripturally bound to comply with the rulings of the Sanhedrin. Furthermore see Pirkei Avos 1:1, which states, "... make a protective fence for the ...


16

Here are a few, off the top of my head: Often there are factors that you may not think are relevant when asking your question, but could certainly be. You may have looked up some kosher-kitchen question about vegetables, not knowing that onions have very different laws than potatoes. There are plenty of gray areas in halacha where the conclusion may be ...


16

In a word, yes. The Midrash (Eichah Rabbah, intro. 2), paraphrasing Jer. 9:12, states: הלואי אותי עזבו ותורתי שמרו, מתוך שהיו מתעסקין בה, המאור שבה היה מחזירן למוטב "Would that, even if the Jewish people abandoned Me, they had kept My Torah! By being involved with it, the illumination in it would bring them back to the right path." Or as the ...


15

There are nine possible reasons not to use Eletricity on Shabbat Opinions about eletricty range from deorita, d'rabanan and technially, not really an issur. The two most commonly cited sources on the topic are the Chazon Ish and R. Auerbach who's opinions on this vary greatly. Igniting a fire The basic example of using eletricity, (turning on an ...


14

What you are discussing are not loopholes. If a person uses a wheelchair to get around, you don't say he's using a loophole. He's doing the best he can under the circumstances. If a person uses a key to unlock his front door, he's not using a loophole, he's behaving as expected. If a person heats his house, he's not using a loophole to deal with the cold. ...


13

See this comprehensive survey at Aish, about plastic surgery in general. It mentions this kohen reason, in the name of Rabbi Menashe Klein, in his Mishneh Halachos, and (IIUC) Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach. But others permit for very different reasons: Thus: In 1961, Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits, considered by many to be the father of the discipline of Jewish ...


13

There is no lav in the Torah against eating outside the Sukkah, so it would just be a bitul aseh. It says "Basukkos teshvu", but does not say anythink like "lo tochal chutz me'suka".


13

How about an Eruv in a big city? For those who hold like Rashi that you need 600,000 people to cross through a city for it to be a rishut harabim, carrying within an eruv is fine, and without an eiruv would usually be an issur dirabanan. However for those who hold like other rishonim who don't need the 600,000, most public areas can be considered a reshut ...


12

I don't have an explicit answer, but since women are not obligated to sit in the sukkah, and we know that women are obligated to fulfill negative commandments, it would stand to reason that eating out of the Sukkah would be a Bittul Asseh.


12

Rabenu Tam (as cited in paragraph 6 of the Rosh's laws of sefer Tora) holds that ink made of gallnuts (which we use even in 'his' t'filin) is no good. Also, Rabenu Tam (as cited in Tosafos to M'nachos 33:1 s.v. "Ha daavida") holds the parchments must be lying flat in their case, and we put them upright (per SA OC 32:45), and even in 'his' t'filin.


12

There are several historical factors to consider, particularly the advent of the internet. We live in the age of information. The gap between rabbinic leadership and the lay is being broached with great rapidity. More people are interested in a more horizontal society wherein they approach sources, analyze them, digest them, etc. and interact on such basis ...


12

The mishna in Y'vamos (6:4) indicates that a widow is forbidden to a Kohein Gadol whether she was a widow only from erusin (when intimacy was still forbidden) or whether she was a widow even from nisu'in: כוהן גדול לא יישא את האלמנה--בין אלמנה מן האירוסין בין אלמנה מן הנשואין. This is quoted as halacha by the Rambam (Hil. Isurei Bi'ah 17:11): ...


12

Mishna in Makoth 2:7 וְכֹהֵן גָּדוֹל שֶׁהָרַג , אֵינוֹ יוֹצֵא מִשָּׁם לְעוֹלָם A Cohen Gadol who kills goes to the Ir Miklat forever. They would have to appoint another one, to do the Avoda on Yom Kippour, as the first one looses his previous job, as the Rambam הלכות רוצח ושמירת נפש at (7:14) says about all those sentenced to Ir Miklat, after they can ...


12

In Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 157:1, the Ramma quotes a Beis Yoseif saying that shaas hashmad is only when the gizeira (decree) is specifically against Jews. The Shach there (#6) clarifies that if the gizeira is against the entire medina (country or jurisdiction), even though Jews are included, it is not called shaas hashmad.


11

The Gemara (Bava Batra 97b) says: סוחט אדם אשכול של ענבים ואומר עליו קידוש היום One can squeeze a cluster of grapes and say Kiddush on it. The Shulchan Aruch rules this way in OC 272:2 So it seems that letting the juice ferment is not a prerequisite for ritual use.


11

The "Letter of the Law" is binding. However, we do generally try to go beyond and satisfy a "Spirit of the Law" which is above the Letter of the Law. Therefore, loopholes which contravene the Spirit of the Law are not generally encouraged, and the topic of what is called הערמה, tricking your way around the law, is somewhat complex but generally discouraged. ...


10

A Rabbi is an expert in his field and has studied for many years. If one needed medical advice, G-d forbid, they would never rely on "crowd-sourced" opinions of a question and answer website, but would go to a trained doctor with practical experience. If this is so with regards physical healing, how much more so when dealing with the health of one's souls. ...


10

See my answer on a man shaking a woman's hand: Rabbi Yehuda Herzl Henkin says it's totally permissible, and it was prevalent in the German community 50 years ago. R' Chaim Kanievski says if someone puts a gun to your head and says "shake this woman's hand [in a business setting] or else I'll shoot you", you still can't do it.


10

I think the answer here is that it is always ok to challenge a gadol - if you do so directly. R' Klein disagreed with R' Moshe, so he wrote to R' Moshe asking about it. Do it respectfully, and from the perspective of someone trying to learn, not as someone who has something to prove. The key is to realize that they are known as a gadol for a reason, and ...


10

Maybe that's just it. With exile having been our dominant mode of existence for most of our history, there is a real danger that we'll come to see that as the norm. By having - and learning about - so many mitzvos, with the details richly given, that we can't perform in galus, then that drives home the point that things are not how they should be, which in ...


10

כִּי אֵל רַחוּם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לֹא יַרְפְּךָ וְלֹא יַשְׁחִיתֶךָ; וְלֹא יִשְׁכַּח אֶת-בְּרִית אֲבֹתֶיךָ, אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע לָהֶם. (דברים ד:לא)‏ For the LORD thy God is a merciful God; He will not fail thee, neither destroy thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which He swore unto them. (Deuteronomy 4:31)


10

This is not meant to be a conclusive answer of all books written, but it so happens that a large majority of them are centered around the structure of 4 very important works, either as commentaries or summaries. Recognizing references to these three works can help you locate and gain some understanding of what a quoted work is. Tanach Tanach contains the ...


10

In the translation of Michtav M'elyahu (Strive for Truth vol. 4 p 355), R' Carmell quotes R' Dessler that halacha does not change even if the reason given for the law seems to be untrue. He says that there may be other reasons other than the one given for the said halacha, and only the most obvious reason was the one stated, so the halacha stands without ...


9

Smoking As stated in this J.SE answer there are not a few rabbonim who hold that smoking is assur. As far as whether it's a Torah violation (rather than a Rabbinic one) Rabbi Shmuel Kaminetsky (at 4:30) is quite clear that he holds it is. Also from that answer, (thank you @ShmuelBrill), there are many rabbonim that hold that it is l'chatchila muttar, if ...


9

Person. You don't need to have tzitzit on a tallit that you keep in a drawer. Source: Talmud Menachot 41. See also Rambam Hil. Tzitzit 3:10-11, Shulchan Aruch OC 19:1


9

As stated above, the death penalty was exceedingly rare. Just regarding the burning part, fascinatingly the Talmud says that to burn someone at the stake is a violation of "love your fellow like yourself." Instead, a death sentence of "burning" is carried out by pouring molten lead down their throat. Still not fun, but it's seen as I believe less painful ...



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