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7

I recently wrote an article for Torah Musings that focuses on a part of the answer that hasn't been focused on yet. "What does Mesorah Mean?" http://www.torahmusings.com/2015/08/what-does-masorah-mean . To quote just enough to capture the thesis, although it omits much of the argument and R JB Soloveitchik's poetry: ... We speak of someone “having a ...


7

I don't think we find anywhere in Torah that we would ever make a calculation like this. While there is a discussion in Meseches Shabbas about doing an issur d'rabbanan to stop someone from doing a d'oraissa, the Gemara concludes that even that is not permissible. There are also halachos of when one is permitted to stop learning Torah to perform mitzvot, but ...


6

Rabbi Eliezer spent the latter years of his life in Cheirem because he refused to accept a "majority" opinion that disagreed with his own. In case you think that is doesn't apply to be "strict on yourself only", there's an incident in Mishnah (Brachot 1:3) about Rabbi Tarfon who endangered himself to "lie down" to say the night-time K'riyat Shema. His ...


6

In my current and previous workplaces I have been the only visibly practicing Jew, and I got (and get) questions fairly often. Now my coworkers, unlike your people on the street, aren't asking me to make a ruling for them (they're not Jews), but I think in both cases we are seen as a representative, possibly a source of authority, so people who want to know ...


6

The Maharal (e.g. in Derech Chaim chapter 5 p.259 in old version) limits the extent of the application of "elu v'elu" to the disputes of Beth Shammai and Beth Hillel. He further explains that it does not mean Beth Shammai are halachically right - rather that indeed though they are wrong with regard to psak halacha (as indicated by the bath kol that announced ...


5

תלמוד בבלי מסכת עירובין דף יג עמוד ב אמר רבי אבא אמר שמואל: שלש שנים נחלקו בית שמאי ובית הלל, הללו אומרים הלכה כמותנו והללו אומרים הלכה כמותנו. יצאה בת קול ואמרה: אלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים הן, והלכה כבית הלל חידושי הריטב"א מסכת עירובין דף יג עמוד ב אלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים. שאלו רבני צרפת ז"ל היאך אפשר שיהו שניהם דברי אלהים חיים וזה אוסר וזה מתיר, ותירצו כי ...


5

First off, this is a perfectly valid and very important question, and it deserves a thorough, well thought out answer. While I'm not sure I can provide that, I'll try to give at least a small answer to try to explain this phenomenon. There is a concept in the tradition known as "Shivim Panim Latorah" which loosely translates to 'there are 70 interpretations ...


5

R. Chaim Vilozhiner (Derech Hachaim 1:21) writes that each sin causes a flaw in your soul. The punishment that is the consequence of this flaw heals it. The Derekh Hashem similarly (1:4:5) "sin detracts from one's perfection". The Michtav Me'Eliyahu explains the expression "Aveira goreres aveira" by saying that after repeatedly doing a given sin, it becomes ...


5

@Micha Berger suggested to differentiate between (1) the need to get our halachic rulings from "the Gedolim" and (2) how much are we expected to listen to them beyond the domain of actual halachic rulings? On the first question, Dr Eli Turkel wrote a very interesting article on the topic in Tradition (The nature and limitations of rabbinic authority). He ...


4

The Ramma in siman 90 siff 23 explains the reason not to pray in front of pictures is because it distracts one from concentrating. This is the same reasoning The Mishna Berurah there uses to explain the Mechaber. So in fact any picture that distracts, such as one found on clothing as the Mechaber mentioned, are problematic. The Mishna Berurah also ...


4

According to Gaonic tradition, there are 30 Mitzvot that women are exempted from. בתשובות הגאונים ליק (סימן קכ) מובאת מסורת בשם ר' סעדיה גאון וכתוב שם כך:‏ כתב רבנו סעדיה גאון ז"ל שלשים מצות הן שהאנשים חייבים והנשים פטורות, ולא פירש אותן. והרב ר' יצחק בן גיאת כתב פירושן ואלו הן: מילה. ‏ והראיה. ‏ ויוצא צבא כל זכר.‏ ושקלים ...


4

No, a wire would not be a good shechita knife, because when it's cutting, it goes entirely under the neck, which is a problem of חלדה, "tunneling." חלדה is one of the five main halachos of shechita. See שמלה חדשה 24:9 et seqq for more info. To borrow an illustration of חלדה from a previous answer of mine, this is not חלדה, but if the circled area goes under ...


4

Great question. The halakhah actually discusses the idea of having "ready-made" ssissiyyoth which are then attached to the corner of a garment. This concept is called `oseh min ha-'asui (essentially, "attempting to fulfill the misswah [of ssissith] from something already made beforehand"), and it is not permissible. The Rambam (Hilkhoth Ssissith 1:12-13) ...


4

The Talmud (Art Scroll Yevamot volume 2 63a4) PDF of actual gemara page states: Rav's wife would aggravate him. When he would tell her, "Prepare me lentils." she would [instead] prepare chimtzei (Rashi - possibly peas) [If he said, "Prepare me] chimtzei", she would [instead] prepare lentils. (Meiri states that she would do the opposit of what he ...


4

See the Tosfos Rid in Maseches Kiddushin 42b: התוס' רי"ד: "יש מקשים, אם כן לכל דבר מצוה יועיל השליח, ויאמר אדם לחברו: שב בסוכה עבורי, הנח תפילין עבורי! ולאו מילתא היא, שהמצוה שחייבו המקום לעשות בגופו האיך ייפטר הוא על ידי שלוחו והוא לא יעשה כלום, בודאי בקידושין ובגירושין מהני כי הוא המגרש ולא השליח, שכותב בגט אנא פלוני פטרית פלונית, וכן נמי ...


4

Rabbi Aqiva Eiger (shu”t #136) says that there are two types of doubt, and each has its own mechanism for birur, for clarification. The case of qavu’ah is one where the reality was once established. So in principle, there is a specific halakhah assigned already to this case. The doubt is in what that halakhah is. In this situation, we do not invoke rules ...


4

Bereishis Rabba (44:1) asks whether it matters to G-d whether we slaughter an animal from the front of the neck or the back. (This question is even more difficult when you realize that in usual shechitah a bird is slaughtered from the front of the neck, but meliqah, a sort of slaughtering done for qorbanos with the kohein‘s nail was done from the back!) Rav ...


4

Halachipedia says: Definition of the 4 domains There are 4 categories of domains on Shabbat: the Reshut HaRabim (public domain), Reshut HaYachid (private domain), intermediate area (Karmelit), and exempt area (Makom Patur). A Reshut HaYachid is defined as an area of at least 4 Tefachim by 4 Tefachim surrounded by walls of at least 10 ...


4

The comments, above, approach the correct analysis. This question is discussed in detail in Talmud Shabbat 23a, near the middle of the page (as seen in the Sefaria site). There is a statement that says that one makes the blessing "Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the Chanukah light." It is a given that Chanukah, ...


4

This is answered directly by Rambam in his introduction to the Mishna Torah. This authority to make new laws was taught directly by Moshe Rabbeinu as cited below from Deuteronomy 17:11. "The mitzvot given to Moses at Mount Sinai were all given together with their explanations, as implied by [Exodus 24:12]: "And I will give you the tablets of stone, the ...


4

In the Path of the Just ch.1 Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato says: Behold, our sages, of blessed memory, have taught us that man was created solely to rejoice in G-d and to delight in the splendor of the Shechina (divine presence). For this is true joy, and the greatest possible pleasure that can possibly exist. The place of this joy is, in truth, in ...


3

The Arukh Hashulhan discusses this issue in detail in Orah Haim 4. Your assumption is indeed correct; when clean hands are the only goal, such as when you scratch your head or the like, using a faucet or other flowing water would be fine, if not preferable to using a vessel. However, the netilah prior to eating bread and before shacharith involve other ...


3

THIS IS ALL PURELY THEORETICAL!!!! In broad terms, that's precisely the Talmud's argument. Though I think you mean verse 26. Talmud Pesachim, 25b: דתניא ר' אומר (דברים כב) כי כאשר יקום איש על רעהו ורצחו נפש כן הדבר הזה וכי מה ענין רוצח אצל נערה המאורסה הרי זה בא ללמד ונמצא למד מקיש רוצח לנערה המאורסה מה נערה המאורסה ניתן להצילה בנפשו אף רוצח ניתן ...


3

From the Sefer Ateres Moshe Aron: 1.Esrog - charif , Magen Avraham 557:33 in the name of the Rashba 2.Onion - charif , Shulchan Aruch 96:2 ,Sifsei Daas 96:12 3.Olive - charif (see footnotes for further discussion ) 4.Horseradish - charif , Rama 96:2 , Darchei Moshe 96:4 (stricter than radish) 5.Sauerkraut - charif , Taz 96:12, Yad Yehuda 96:32 - not ...


3

Shokhet cites Sh'miras Shabas K'hilchasah as saying that, to save a life on Shabas, if there is no difference in speed or quality of care, that one should choose to do a rabbinically prohibited action, instead of one that is Biblically prohibited. (Note the "if there is no difference". Otherwise, saving a life takes priority.) Note that, as Daniel ...


3

According to this article on the Seforimblog, it was as a reaction to Karaites who were lax in regards to meat, interpreting "in its mother’s milk" as referring only to the milk of its mother. To very briefly summarize the main points, originally, Karaites forbade meat consumption entirely (theoretically allowing only the consumption of sacrifices. In the ...


3

Study a halacha book. Check its sources, and look them up. Check their sources and look them up. Check their sources and look them up. Etc. You'll have an original source for every (or almost every) aspect of halacha. Study those original sources and all their descendants, and you'll be able to see which aspects of halacha come from kabala. (I've no source ...


3

I will keep it short and give just a few resources: Tanya (First chapter):A righteous person is not a person that has more mitzvos vs. aveiros. A person is called a complete Rasha when he is in the middle of an Aveira. Mefarshim on sukkot second chapter: Or Zaru'a , Ran on the Rif: A person can not stop a mitzva for another mitzva. The reason for is ...


3

The prohibition of taking medicine for someone who is only slightly ill comes for the gezeiro/decree of shehikas sammonim (grinding materials to make the medicine) as it says in Pninei Halocho הוסיפו חכמים וגזרו על מי שסובל ממיחוש או מקצת חולי שלא יעסוק כלל ברפואות, היינו שלא יאכל או ישתה תרופות, ולא יסוך את גופו בתרופות, ולא יעשה פעולות שנועדו ...



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