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24

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". ...


20

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 ...


16

"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 ...


15

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


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.


11

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 ...


11

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.


10

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 ...


10

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.


9

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.


9

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 ...


9

Traditional Judaism regards the oral law as the primary means of interpreting the written law - i.e. the Pentateuch and the rest of the Old Testament. The oral law is a combination of specific laws which the Tradition says were transmitted by God to Moses at Sinai and a code of various methods of exegesis by which to derive laws from the Bible. This second ...


9

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 ...


9

From Torah.org (quoting Pischei Choshen, Halvahah 2, note 72): The legal concept of "statute of limitations" is not recognized by the halachah From Daas Torah blog: There is no statute of limitation for crimes in halacha From Matzav.com (concerning loans: In principle, there is no statute of limitations on a loan in halacha (other than ...


8

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. ...


8

There are basically 2 types of additions which are allowed: Those that prevent us from accidentally transgressing - as it says in the first Mishna in Pirkei Avot: Make a fence around the Torah. Those instituted by the Sages and Prophets under the umbrella of " כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר יוֹרֽוּךָ" - "you shall do whatever they teach you" (Devarim 17:10). Keep in mind ...


8

Opinions in arguments that are not leShem shemayim are not included. Almost all of the sources (which I know about) which comment on this issue do so in the context of halakhic arguments. (R' Kook is the exception.) R' Kook (אורות הקודש) seems to hold that in theory, everything is included, but in practice, we only accept "acceptable" opinions that follow ...


8

Basar Shenitalem Min Ha'ayin would be an example of this: The Gemara Bavli in Hullin 95a and 95b, rules that the thing we are worried about is an animal (according to rashi a raven, according to the rambam "a wild animal or vermin" (my rough translation)) switching the meat. The gemara holds that this doesn't apply if it was in the hands of a non-Jew -- ...


8

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 ...


8

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 ...


8

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)


8

It is subject to current societal standards. Aruch HaShulchan YD 101:21: כבר נתבאר דחה"ל תלוי לפי המקום ולפי הזמן והכל לפי ראות עיני המורה It has already been explained that chaticha hare'uya lehischabed depends on the place and the time, and it all goes according to the way it appears before the [particular] rabbi. An important aside, the ...


8

This question is dealt with at great length in the Sefer "The 13 Principles of Faith" (Gutnick edition) by Rabbi Chaim Miller in the Eighth Principle, Lesson Seven, based on the teaching of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. He summarizes the chapter as follows: The Sanhedrin of each generation was authorized to overrule any of the derived laws of the previous ...


8

I think that other people have already answered the question, whether in comments or in the question field itself, but I wanted to point out something about the website to which you linked, Mahalia, and to make sure that you see my comments. Michael Hoffman, who authored that article, denies the charges of being an antisemite on the grounds that he doesn't ...


8

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 ...


8

This is discussed in the Talmud (Shabbat 114) and the Rambam rules (Shabbat 5:21) that no Havdallah is recited after Shabbat when Yom Kippur falls on Sunday.


7

First as far as being posek al pi Kabbalah the inyan is only L'Humra not L'kula. For instance the Zohar says one needs only to wait a half hour between eating meat and eating milk, but we do not hold that way. Aside from that the list becomes quite extensive as Chanoch also said, from the Ramban down to today amongst Sephardi poskim. Of the modern Sephardi ...



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