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14

Summary: Many believe that when it comes to applying halacha on a level that will affect the general public, we must be far more conservative in our concern for the welfare of others. In a modern sense, we would call this an application of the Law of Large Numbers, whereby we are concerned for far reaching cases of pikuach nefesh such as the general economic ...


13

An employer is paying the premiums on an employee's insurance policy, which will then pay the medical expenses incurred by the employee committing a halachically-unacceptable act. With respect to "Lifnei Iver" or "placing a stumbling block before the blind," there are multiple mitigating factors: The prohibited act may never happen. The employee may never ...


10

Brachos 58a says that upon seeing a "melech Yisrael", one recites the blessing: Baruch ... SheChalak MiKvodo Lirei'av. Bless You God, who apportioned from Your honor to those who fear you! Piskei Teshuvos Orach Chaim 224 writes that the exact same applies to an observant Jew who rules a land other than Israel. If I recall correctly, one of the ...


9

Nachmanides (in his commentary on Genesis) and others posit that we have much to learn from the actions of, especially, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Genesis. In his introduction to 32:4, he writes: This section was written to inform us that God helped His servant and saved him from the power of someone stronger than he, sending His agent and saving him. ...


8

If you say it but don't intend it, it doesn't count as a vow (Yoreh Deah 210:1). However, the Bach and Maharshal (quoted in Be'er Heitev 210:1) say that if he intended to misspeak, what he says counts. But if you were forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance (as in Yirmeyahu's boy scout example), you are allowed to intend in your heart for it not to count (232:...


8

Almost everyone upholds some Torah values at the expense of others. For example, someone may support giving Tzedakah (a good thing) and supporting workers (in general a good thing at times) at the expense of support of positions that Torah doesn't hold of. Remember that some people who support Israel may, at times, not be ethical in office (or may turn ...


8

In an apparently-open letter dated October 3, 1984, R' Moshe Feinstein urged Jews in the United States to vote as a means of expressing hakaras hatov (appreciation) for the democratic system in the United States, which allows for a safe haven in which Jews can live and practice Judaism. The letter did not say anything about influencing government policy.


8

According to Rabbi Noson Auerbach, Napoleon's Sanhedrin had no halakhic importance whatsoevver. The greatest scholar to be part of the Sanhedrin was R. David Zinsheim, whose works on Shas are edited by R. Noson Auerbach (a descendant of R. Avraham Auerbach, R. Zinsheim's in-law), and in the introduction to one of those works, "Michas Ani" (pg 21-24) he ...


8

Interesting question and it is true that artscroll's biography of R Moshe Feinstein doesn't address the question explicitly. Here are a few relevant statements showing R Moshe's position. From the statements below I perceive a "positive-neutral attitude", for sure without any virulence against the State but also not proactively recommending alyah. One ...


7

Although Judaism prohibits abortion, including for non-Jews it doesn't necessarily prohibit all abortion. Certainly in the context of saving the life of the mother, abortion isn't only permitted, it is required. That being the case, a question of a law which permits, but doesn't require or even sanction, prohibited behavior is much more of a political ...


7

The Mishnah in Pirkei Avos (5/13) states succinctly, "One who says, 'that which is mine, is yours and that which is yours, is mine,' is an Am haAretz." Sharing everything (by edict..."What is yours IS mine!") sounds nice but is very much not practical! That attitude led the Soviet Union, which had had overwhelming abundance of wheat fields etc., to fail ...


6

According to this answer at the Institute for Dayanim (an organization I had not previously heard of), voting in a church, not in the sanctuary, is permitted if that's your only option, but you should try to avoid it if you can. They don't address how far you need to go to avoid it (e.g. do you have to leave town for the day so you can use an absentee ...


6

As long as you don't go into the main sanctuary there should not be a problem. There is a makhloket poskim as to whether belief in the trinity is forbidden only for a Jew. Many say a non-Jew may follow these tenets since belief in the omnipotent G-d is still present. However, it is forbidden for a Jew to enter the sanctuary of the church, i.e. where the ...


6

For parts 1 and 2 see this answer. This answer addresses part 3. I have a US security clearance, and the rules that came with that say that I could suffer penalties ranging from losing my clearance to going to jail if I reveal classified information to anybody who (a) does not have a clearance or (b) does have a clearance but does not have a government-...


6

In the beginning of the first chapter of Mesillas Yesharim (see also here), Ramchal writes ויתאמת אצל האדם מה חובתו בעולמו....שהאדם לא נברא אלא להתענג על השם ולהנות מזיו שכינתו A person should realize what his purpose is in this world....that a person was not created except to have joy from Hashem, and to benefit from his Shechinah (Divine ...


6

Wikipedia deals with the question: The Chief Rabbinate of Israel, in 1949, under the guidance of Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel and Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, decided that the Tenth of Tevet should be the national remembrance days for victims of the Holocaust. The Tenth of Tevet fast commemorates the siege of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar II. For this day, it ...


6

Presenting a strictly Chareidi point of view on this site is like walking into a minefield, but here goes. There were definitely religious leaders who were against instituting a special day to commemorate the Holocaust, but not all gave their reasoning. One reason that was given came from Rabbi Gedalia Schor as quoted in Meged Givos Olam. The author there ...


6

Need to provide sources, but on one foot, I think the best way to describe his position was: "a convenient distance." Zionism wasn't Rav Moshe's raison d'etre; neither was anti-Zionism. When you're thousands of miles away, that's a position you can afford to have. Just for perspective, consider the pragmatic view of his senior peer, R' Yosef Eliyahu Henkin. ...


5

The famous saying that you are thinking of is לב שרים ביד השם. Unfortunately this saying is not from Tanach, rather it is an adaption of the Posuk in Mishlei 21:1 לב מלך ביד השם. This is generally understood that leaders do not have free choice on things that affect their subjects, rather God decides that himself and sways the Kings heart. For more of a ...


5

Possible answer to part 1. 1) Here you find the well known statement that "Gemara (Yerushalmi Yuma 8:5) puts it very pithily: “The one who acts with alacrity is to be praised; the one who is asked (concerning whether to desecrate Shabbos) is disgraceful; and the one who asks is a murderer.” The statement is qualified This is because every ...


5

There is an article on this topic by Rabbi Mark Dratch in which he argues that voting for e.g., a pro-abortion candidate is not a violation of "lifnei iver" because it is indirect--one is only voting for a legislator who will then vote to violate the Noahide laws. (This of course would not help for the legislator himself.) However, he concedes that there may ...


5

In all the cases specified there is no Lifnei Iver. The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 14a) says: Said Abaye; We should be particular not to [place a stumbling-block] before [the blind] but we need not be so particular as to avoid placing it before one who may place it before the blind. The simple explanation of this Gemara is that Lifnei Iver does not apply ...


5

Shortly before the year 70, Jerusalem was surrounded by Roman troops. Raban Yochanan ben Zakai attempted to negotiate a surrender with the Romans. He recognized there was no realistic outcome in which Jewish self-rule remained over Jerusalem. He was opposed by Jewish religious terrorists known as the Sicarii (Latin for "dagger people") who wanted to force ...


5

Jews come in all shapes and sizes, and that includes the political spectrum. Here in Canada, we're currently in the final run of an election cycle, and when it comes to marketing to the Jewish community the Conservative Party of Canada has chosen its declared support Israel as its main, and often only, talking point. While position makes Jews one-issue ...


5

In general, the concept of "mesirah" is not "giving over a Jewish person to law enforcement" as much as giving an innocent person over to a ruthless, corrupt, and brutal power. See e.g. Rabbi Yitzchok Grossman: The topic of Mesirah in the modern era is a very fraught area of Halachah. On the one hand, Shas and Poskim have traditionally condemned Mosrim ...


4

I remember learning once that Rabbi Avigdor Miller used to hang up an American flag every year on the 4th of July and believed that all Jews should do the same. Although I could be gravely mistaken, it seems to me that this practice should be considered very pro-patriotism. (Unfortunately I don't have a direct citation from a written source handy, but I ...


4

Under current Israeli law, the post of Chief Rabbi exists in only four cities - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and BeerSheba. The Chief Rabbis are elected for 10 year terms. There are 150 members of the board tasked with choosing the country's two chief rabbis. This board is a mix of orthodox and secular. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Rabbi http://en....


4

The great men of the Jewish faith still have flaws. A serious study of the Jewish Bible would involve asking -- "what was going on with Isaac's marriage?" "Why did Jacob favor one son?" "Did David really sleep with a married woman, or was she technically divorced?" So we speak critically of our own prophets!


4

From Rambam, Hilchos Sanhedrin Ch. 2 (Chabad.org) it appears that, for the most part, the appointment of judges was the responsibility of the Supreme Sanhedrin: Halacha 8 Our Sages relate: From the Supreme Sanhedrin, they would send emissaries throughout the entire land of Israel to seek out judges. Whenever they found a person who was wise, sin-...


4

Sefer HaYovel which was published in honor of HaRav Meir Shapiro Zatzal while he was still alive has the entire article.



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