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25

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". ...


15

First look up the sources people quote, so that you know what they're saying inside. Then, when you ask you Rav, tell him I had this question and did some research. This is what I found, what is the practical Halacha? You can tell him where you got the idea about which sources to look up, but at that point it shouldn't matter. You're not telling him that ...


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

There is no one simple answer for this; however, if you had to pick the one biggest name among Sefardi rabbis living today, that would be Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, shlit'a. While not all Sefardim follow him all the time, his word is definitely given a great deal of weight. Is that who you had in mind? The Shulchan Aruch (written about 450 years ago) is ...


11

The Semichah that was given at least through the time of the Gemara was the real semichah. Moshe literally "leaned" on Yehoshua (and made him a link in the tradition of Sinai). Sometime Following the destruction of the Second Temple, semichah was lost (at least until the 4th or 5th centuries CE, and maybe even continued on a small scale until the time of ...


11

I always assumed the motivation was to provide information from a diversity of posekim, when they differ on something, so that readers will be aware that there are varying opinions/traditions. An extreme version of this is an edition of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch compiled by R' Mordechai Eliyahu that includes glosses with the opinions of the Mishna Berura and ...


11

Its only considered a psak if it's a new case that requires original analysis. If you are just reciting a halachik fact, it is not a psak halacha. It does not require a posek and the person can still go and ask someone else. (I heard a similar statement b'shem R' Hershel Schachter).


11

Easy. Just take any halacha whose rulings range from permissible to forbidden and have a parent ask you to do it. For example: If a parent asked you to carry something on Shabbos within an eruv in a large city. One opinion would be that you must do it because of kibbud av v'em. The other opinion would say it's assur, and that you are required to disobey ...


11

From SimchasTorah's excellent answer to Is it permissible to open soda cans on shabbos? Even someone who does not open cans on Shabbos may use a can that was opened on Shabbos even if they were opened for him (Iggres Moshe: O"C Chelek Daled Siman Kuf Yud Tes Ois Heh) and does not require the person who opened it to drink from it. Non the less he may ...


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

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

R. J.D. Bleich covered this topic in a recent Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical Literature [paywall]. In the article he discusses a number of possible issues that have been raised with Silk-screen Sifrei Torah, but says that most of them are not so strong. He says there is one serious objection where the burden of proof falls on the innovators to show ...


9

One issue is how a rabbi is ordained (semicha as we know it), which is effectively a professional license. A semicha such as "Yoreh Yoreh" (to "instruct" in matters between man and G-d, such as food kashrut) or "Yadin Yadin" (to "judge" in matters between man and man, such as a contract dispute) generally conveys a license to pasken -- and even make ...


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

The Lubavitcher Rebbe says that he was worthy that his sefer was accepted by all Jews since he was "a man who wanted life" (Ish Ha-chofetz Chaim). The Lubavitcher Rebbe there suggested that people learn Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim, the Rama, the Nosei Keilim, Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch (the Shulchan Aruch Harav) and the Mishna Brura.


9

I feel a bit of sadness in writing this, because I think it's something that should be - but isn't at all - obvious. You can certainly seek out rabbis who can give general answers about Halachah without knowing you, perhaps without ever meeting you, but you shouldn't. You should, instead, seek out a rabbi with whom you can be comfortable asking these ...


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

Rav Moshe gives no litmus test. But one must be honest with themselves, and learn as much as possible, and double check their understanding.


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

Rav Belsky, on page 9 of Shulchan Halevi (English version), explains that while theoretically silk-screening could be kosher for writing Stam, there are some issues which can come up. He mentions that forgeries would increase, and there there could be a problem of kesidran ("written in order," which Teffilin and Mezuzah require). Then he brings an issue ...


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 ...


7

Aside from all the halachic considerations related to needing to ask your Local Rabbi (eg. knowing the nuance of your situation, taking all things into consideration, knowing the various sources relating to the issue, our desire not to cause others to make mistakes in Jewish law) there are two additional areas that add to the need to consult with your Local ...


7

This is an excellent and very, very, important question for a website like this, one that I've been thinking about from the beginning. First of all, let me identify with the answers provided by Shalom and Alex and reiterate that mi.yodeya does not provide professional (particularly rabbinic) advice.(1) We try to alert users to this with red writing at the ...


7

As mentioned by Shalom, Rav Ovadia would probably be called the "Sefardi rav." Other Sefardi rabbis that people also follow such as: Rav Mordechai Eliyahu (who passed away very recently 1-2 years ago); Rav BenSion Aba Shaul (passed away 1998); Rav BenSion Musafi Shelita; Rav Shelomo Amar (Sephardic Chief rabbi); Rav Eliyahu Bakshi Doron (former chief ...


7

Why should you have to mention it? Just say "I have a Shaaloh". If he answers differently than a (sourced) answer here, say "someone pointed out this Igros Moshe/Shmiras Shabbos Khilchaso etc." You could ask (out of curiosity) why he paskins (rules) differently. Just like one doesn't have to say "We were discussing this Halacha in the bar yesterday..." you ...


7

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 ...


7

The MA holds that we split up the 12 hours of a day from Alot HaShachar (the beginning of day) to Tzeit HaKochavim (the end of the day). The Gra holds that the 12 hours are split from sunrise to sunset independent of what is considered day or night. All agree that noon must be when the sun is highest in the sky. (This can be proven from the gemara that says ...


7

The Kaf HaChaim OC 489 sk 112 seems to permit Chadash liquid derivatives (such as whiskey) even for someone who is particular about regular Chadash grain.


7

The Gemara (Eruvin 64a): אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל שתה רביעית יין אל יורה R. Judah stated in the name of Samuel: He who has drunk a quarter of a log of wine must not give a [halachic] ruling. The Rambam (Hil. Bias Mikdash 1:3): וכשם שאסור לכהן להכנס למקדש מפני השכרות כך אסור לכל אדם בין כהן בין ישראל להורות כשהוא שתוי And just as it is ...


7

When I got married I was told by my Rabbi who gave me a Choson Shmeus that it is the husbands responsibility. I have no idea what you are talking about when you say "The man often wants to know why, which they are usually reluctant to tell him". I never asked why on a Psak and if I did my Rav would not hesitate to explain. You say "The man often asks is ...



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