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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

1) See Shabbat 23a, which discusses Menorah on Chanukah: מברך אשר קדשנו במצותיו וצונו להדליק נר של חנוכה והיכן צונו רב אויא אמר מלא תסור רב נחמיה אמר שאל אביך ויגדך זקניך ויאמרו לך Soncino translation: What benediction is uttered? — This: Who sanctified us by His commandments and commanded us to kindle the light of Hanukkah. And where did He ...


7

In the translation of Michtav M'elyahu (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 the fact associated ...


6

Synopsized from Yad Malachi (K'lalei Haposkim - HSh"' VRM"' #13,14,16,17): When the Shulchan Aruch quotes an unattributed halacha followed by one introduced with the words "yesh om'rim" it indicates that the unattributed opinion is authoritative. This is [almost] universally agreed despite the fact that occasionally the conclusion of Beis Yosef coincides ...


6

Although there was some initial confusion on this question among some poskim, because the Siddur was printed during the Alter Rebbe's lifetime, where as the Shulchan Aruch was only printed after his passing (even though he wrote the Shulchan Aruch when he was 26 years old), his children write that the Siddur was written later than the Shulchan Aruch, ...


6

I'm not entirely clear what you're confused about, but you seem to be mixing two ideas together. A Jew, generally speaking, will always remain a Jew. He may be excommunicated, but he will always be bound by the commandments and his responsibilities as a Jew. However, that does not mean that he automatically is rewarded in the world to come. He has to earn ...


5

This is a very important question which bothered me for a long time by until I saw the explanation of Rav Yeruchom Perlow in his introduction to the commentary on the Sefer HaMitzvos of Rav Sa'adyah Gaon. The question that he addresses is why some of the Gaonim and Early Rishonim invested so much time and effort in working out the list of the 613 mitzvos. ...


4

Tearing plastic, paper, leather, et al. on Shabbos The Shulchan Aruch HaRav (340:17) (and I believe, the Minchas Chinuch) holds that the melacha of tearing only applies to composite items. I.e., fabrics, which are made from multiple threads, or anything else that is two or more items connected together. Therefore, there is no prohibition, Biblical or ...


4

It's basically been debated by rabbis for the last 500 years. (Rabbi Mordechai Willig shlit'a writes about this in Beis Yitzchak in Hebrew a few years ago, and in a very recent YU-to-go journal (in English) related to dating and marriage. The Gemara says if a parent says "I know you just found Joe Schwartz's wallet, but don't return it to them!", the child ...


4

It is possible for a Reform Jew to break Shabbos. From the perspective of traditional Judaism, it doesn't matter whether they believe in the laws. If they don't follow them, they are transgressing. From a Reform perspective, your description of Reform Judaism is inaccurate. The fact that hilchot Shabbos exist is indisputable. They're written in the Torah, ...


4

Bavli Chullin 10b: מנא הא מלתא דאמור רבנן אוקי מילתא אחזקיה? אמר רבי שמואל בר נחמני אמר ר' יונתן, אמר קרא: ויצא הכהן מן הבית אל פתח הבית והסגיר את הבית שבעת ימים, דלמא אדנפיק ואתא בצר ליה שיעורא! אלא לאו משום דאמרינן אוקי אחזקיה.‏ Whence do we know that which the Rabbis said, "establish it based on its previous status [Chazaka]"? Rabbi Shemuel bar ...


4

The Shulchan Aruch came about, because its author, Rav Yosef Karo, declared that the era of the Rishonim has ended, and one can no longer make halachic decisions based on one's interpretations of the Gemara, but rather on the basis of the interpretations and rulings of the Rishonim (the Halachic authorities of the several hundred years before his time). ...


4

By your logic, then, I could say "please pray as my proxy", then I can go home and sleep. Someone can't be your "proxy" -- shliach -- to pray for the same reason you can't be my proxy to wear tefilin or eat matza. It's a mitzvah that applies to your own body. I can have someone circumcise my son, slaughter my Passover sacrifice, build a protective fence ...


4

I was always taught that the Mishna is the most authoritative because it was redacted while the braisos were deliberately left out of that text, and this becomes apparent when learning gemara because amoraim following braisos are challenged by quoting mishnayos but rarely the other way around. However the only print source I can think of off hand is The ...


4

Harav Yishak Yosef Shelit"a, our current Rishon Lesion writes in Yalkut Yosef Kitzur Shulhan Aruch that we should never chose what science says over Hazal. There are a few reasons as to why. One of the most accepted answers is "Nishtanu HaTvaim"- nature has changed and therefor Hazal said what they said because what they said was true at their time.


4

From the Gemara, one would learn the relevant Rishonim, Achronim, Teshuvah literature, and later Halakhic works... there's quite a lot to go through on any given 'sugyah' (Talmudic topic). Regarding the choice that a posek is faced with when there are differing opinions on the matter, there are a few general rules aptly referred to as 'kelalei hapsak' ...


4

R' Nissim Gaon on Shabbos 132b says the following: ובזה הפירוש שפירשנו יסיר מלבך ספק גדול שמסתפקין בו בני אדם ושואלין עליו והוא שאומרין מאחר שאנו יודעין שאזהרת לאו קשה מציווי עשה היאך יבא עשה וידחה האזהרה של לאו שהיא חמורה ממנו ומדרך הידוע שהחמור דוחה הקל ולא עוד אלא שפעמים שעולה על דעתן שיש בענין הזה ענין חזרה בדבר הראשון. והתשובה הוא מה שהקדמנו שהאזהרה ...


3

Yes, a Reform Jew can absolutely transgress a mitzvah. That Reform doesn't say up front "here are all the mitzvot you must accept" does not mean that no Reform Jew accepts any. Reform (as taught today; I can't speak to early history) isn't about rejecting mitzvot. A Reform Jew reaches an understanding of halacha through a different path than others, and ...


3

I think the following story about R' Yishmael ben Elisha may answer your question (This is a translation of story told in a couple places in the Talmud Yerushalmi): Rabbi Ishmael's mother was a very pious woman, and she worshipped her son. But one day she astonished the Sages when she appeared before them to complain about her son. Said she, "Rebuke my ...


3

When discussing someone of the stature of the Rambam, it is important to recognize that whatever Islamic and Greek sources he studied, they were filtered through one of the greatest Jewish minds of all time. The Rambam attested about himself that he read every book composed on religion available in Arabic; his greatness was that he was able to assimilate ...


3

The concept of "freedom of contract" certainly exists in Jewish Law (with limitations, as you mentioned). The Rambam formulated this concept as follows: "כל תנאי שבממון קיים". He mentions it in numerous places: הלכות אישות, פרק ו, הלכה י, ופרק טז, הלכה ח; הלכות שמיטה ויובל, פרק ט, הלכה י; הלכות מכירה, פרק יג, הלכה ג, ופרק יט, הלכה ח; הלכות שלוחין ושותפין, ...


3

The Talmud Yerushalmi says that it is forbidden to Kill lice on Shabbat. ("killing lice is like killing a camel") http://www.hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=14141&st=&pgnum=20 The Talmud Bavli says that killing lice on Shabbat is allowed.


3

While there is an accepted Halachic framework for answering questions, an integral component of that framework involves local, or personal, custom; one need only look at any chapter of the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Brurah to observe just some implications that custom has on practice. While you may say that the differences are only between Sephardic or ...


3

Coming from a similar background, I highly recommend Yalqut Yosef as a first stop as opposed to Mishneh Torah or Shulhhan Arukh. In contrast to Mishneh Torah and Shulhhan Arukh, Yalqut Yosef - having been written relatively recently - has modern examples that are more practical to the Ba'al Teshuva. If you can manage in Hebrew, the Yalqut Yosef Kitzur ...


3

Contemporary poskim discuss how to approach statistics -- we tend to work with concepts of mi'ut hamatzui -- a "commonly occurring though less than 50% event", for which we do need to check; vs. mi'ut sh'eino matzui -- a rare event, for which we don't. Many poskim treat 10% as the cutoff line for mi'ut sh'eino matzui, based on a fascinating application from ...


3

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in 190:1 states that our roofs don't need a fence since we don't use them. Obviously slanted roofs are therefore exempt. He goes on the say that not only roofs, but any place where there's a danger of falling off and getting killed, requires a fence. For the record, this fence needs to be 10 tefachim high and strong enough that a ...


3

Regarding your main question: My question is: If the Geonic tradition is clear on this point, why did some Rishonim require one to wait no matter what? When there was a shift from one era to another, they were accompanied by major shifts in the world as well. One of the main differences between Geonim and Rishonim is the shift towards logical ...


3

I do not think every question requires an answer. however this author obviously did not pay attention to Harav Moshe Zatzal's reasoning. The simple reason why HaRav Moshe allowed this was due to the severe financial penalties a company would incur if they lied and passed off something else as cows milk.


3

The poskim discuss the idea that gezel akum, as opposed to ta'us akum, is prohibited. The two reasons that are given are because it moves into the normal realm of gezel, or because it is geneivas da'as. The Sha'ar Hamishpat (Siman 348 sif katan 2) says that the practical difference between the two is restitution, because geneivas da'as has no restitution. ...



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