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14

It's not either/or but "both, and". Judaism has a system of rules, halacha, by which we are to live our lives. Halacha is not negotiable, so that might sound like "all or nothing". Instead, think of it as what you aspire to, even if it's not what you currently do, which is closer to "do what you can" (but not a free pass :-) ). As Dan noted, there are ...


11

If appearing at the minyan without hat would disturb the other people (or their standard practice), then you have a question. Otherwise (e.g. most people at shul don't wear hats), this should be straightforward; daven with the minyan. Shulchan Aruch says "one should strive very much [yishtadel me'od] to daven with a minyan." You won't find anything about ...


11

Judaism is indeed a religion with a large number of rules, but it is certainly not "all or nothing." On one hand, the mitzvot are not considered to be simply guidelines. They are strict rules that every Jew should be careful to follow. So, in your example, Judaism says that you should not go to work on Shabbat. We have faith that we will be able to care ...


10

In the words of the esteemed sage Jerry Garcia: Constantly choosing the lesser of two evils is still choosing evil. I'd advise the individual to get out of the situation as best as he can. There's a similar legend has it regarding Ridbaz, who was a rabbi in Chicago in the early 1900s. He found himself "accidentally" locked into a freezer when ...


10

The Lubavitcher Rebbe says (in a long speech about "Family Planning") that One of the strongest objections is fear of financial inability to support children. Naturally, parents want the best for their children, and fear of being unable to provide adequately is a powerful deterrent to having them. This is a genuine concern -- but based on an assumption ...


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

Likutei Dinim Toras haKohanim Siman 75 says that since Rachel was the one Yaakov had in mind to marry first therefore Rachel is listed first.


9

I think an answer can be inferred from the Aruch Hashulchan's detailed discussion in 673:9-12. He sources the Tur, who says explicitly that there are two non-mitzva lights in addition to the official Chanuka lights. One is a "helper light" called the shamash and the other is an "extra" one. The shamash is used to light the other light(s). In practice this ...


8

Quoting from נטעי גבריאל: הלכות והליכות בר מצוה והנחת תפילין, פרק כו הלכה ב נעשה בר מצוה בחנוכה רשאי להדליק נ"ח מבעו"י להנוהגים להדליק נ"ח תמיד לפני השקיעה, ונכון להדליק בבין השמשות [One who] became a bar mitzva on Chanuka may light the candles during the day [if he is among] those who always light before sunset, but it is correct to light ...


8

Firstly, I don't know of anyone who requires a kippa as opposed to some other head covering. So if at work he could wear a beret, hard-hat, baseball cap, coonskin cap, deerstalker, you name it, by all means do that. There's the issue of head coverings for praying; for making blessings; for eating; and then at all other times. Much of yarmulka as we know ...


7

I work at a job in sales where I deal with contracts and large amounts of money. I am also one of the few people on the team who are Jewish. My rav reasoned that due to the fact that some people are unhappy with the service we provide (and would immediately blame the fact that I was Jewish on their dissatisfaction) that wearing a kippah would cause a ...


7

Don't forget that Kohelet said "For there isn't a righteous person on earth who does only good and never sins". Do as much as you can and always strive to do better. If not being able to keep Shabbat properly upsets you enough, you will find another job that enables you to keep Shabbat, and so on for all the rest. I heard once "How can a Tzaddik sin?" - and ...


7

Rambam, Hil. Avodas Yom Hakippurim 1:3 (from Yoma 12a-b): זה שנכנס תחתיו אינו צריך חינוך אלא עבודתו מחנכתו "The one who replaces him doesn't need any inauguration; his performing the avodah [of Yom Kippur, which is reserved for the kohen gadol] inaugurates him." So he doesn't need anointing at that time (and not after Yom Kippur either, because as ...


6

Same answer as Gershon, just with more English: "Mincha gedola" (earliest mincha) is 12:30PM assuming 6AM sunrise 6PM sunset. It's the earliest time for Mincha. "Mincha ketana" is 3:30PM on a 6-to-6 day. Theoretically the ideal time to say mincha is mincha ketana or later; however, often schedules work out that it's better to get it in earlier, in which ...


6

This is the psak of Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan in the third Biur Halacha on Siman 58. Of course when davening alone, it is still advisable to go to a minyan later to hear all the dvarim shebekdusha that you missed, like kaddish, kedusha, barchu, and keriyat hatorah.


6

IIRC I have heard personally from Rabbi Yisrael Reisman (Brooklyn) that a kohen leads birkas hamazon at each meal. I do not recall whether he gave a source or what it may have been.


6

I asked this question just this week to HaRav Zundel Kroizer. I asked if I could fly to EY knowing I would miss minyanim and kadeshim during the flight, but improve my learning here. He said the zchus of learning was far greater.


6

First, Mazel tov on your new home! A rabbi once told me that the order should be: outside doors, then bedrooms, then dining room, then living room, then kitchen. I don't have sources on this, but here's a list of all rooms that biblically require a mezuzah: http://www.mezuzadepot.com/tag/rooms-that-require-a-mezuzah/ Entrance into a house Bedroom ...


6

ואם לא מל, חייב כרת. הגה: ובכל יום עוברים בעונשין אלו. ‏ And if he was not circumcised, he receives Karet (Spiritual Excision). Gloss: And he receives this punishment each day. (Shulchan Aruch YD 261:1) CYLOM for a practical ruling, but it seems from the above that the milah should be scheduled as soon as possible to avoid excessive Karet. (I'll ...


6

The Mishnah Brurah (549:1) explains that the main point of a fast is to do teshuvah, and not the fast itself: By Ninveh, concerning G-d undoing the decree to destroy them, it says "And G-d saw their actions," not "And G-d saw their fast." The fast is merely a preparation for the teshuvah. He continues, quoting the Chayei Adam, that those people who spend the ...


6

This is one of those areas where he really, really needs to be consulting his rabbi. As noted in the question, you can't just flip a switch and -- boom! -- you're observant; it's a process. But, per Avot 2:5, you also can't say "I'll do it later"; later may never come. Only your own rabbi can help you chart a path between these two extremes. (Which is ...


6

There's a concept called "תדיר ושאינו תדיר, תדיר קודם", which loosely translated means "between something frequent and something infrequent, we do the frequent first" (see Mishna Zevachim 10:1). In this case, since motsi is frequent and al achilat matzah is infrequent, we say motsi first. The Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe's לקוטי טעמים ומנהגים להגדה של פסח ...


6

Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 240:11 addresses how to correct a parent when they have made a mistake: ראה אביו שעבר על דברי תורה, לא יאמר לו: "עברת על דברי תורה". אלא יאמר לו: "אבא, כתוב בתורה כך וכך", כאילו הוא שואל ממנו ולא כמזהירו, והוא יבין מעצמו ולא יתבייש. If you see your father violating the Torah, do not say "you have violated the Torah." ...


6

According to My Rav Say Elokai Neshama, Bircat HaTorah, and Bircat HaShachar Say Baruch She'Amar, Ashrei, and Yishtabach If you can put on tallit and tefillin, and say just the above passages, in the time that it takes the rest of the minyan to say all of Psukei D'Zimra, then it's better to do so, in order to pray with a minyan. This is assuming that ...


5

According to Rebbi Y'huda Hanasi we do not know.


5

V'Talmud Torah K'negged Kulom


5

From here (based on Maimonides Commentary on the Mishnah, Avot 3:15) : The Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Yisrael Meyer HaCohen Kagan, says that this explains how we should give Tzedakah, charity. He says it is better for an individual if he or she gives 100 individual dollars to 100 poor people, than all to one person. This way, one becomes accustomed to fight ...


5

There is an advantage to praying Mincha Gedola (mincha between 6.5 halakhic hours into the day and 9.5) as "Zerizim Makdimim L'Mitzvos" (alacritous ones are early to fulfill commandments). There is also an advantage to praying Mincha Ktana (from 9.5 until the end time (10.75 or 12)), as mincha k'tana more accurately projects the time of the Korban Tamid Shel ...


5

R. Ephraim of Vilna writes (http://hebrewbooks.org/pdfpager.aspx?req=1405&st=&pgnum=94, bottom of left column and on) that "apparently, it appears to say that sometimes we find that it is appropriate to turn over an individual, even to be killed, in order to avoid some damage to the public...to prevent any stumbling block or difficulty for the ...


5

The Lubavitcher Rebbe told a story about his father, the Rov of Dnepropetrovsk: "The city in which my father was a Rov, was in southern Russia [Dnepropetrovsk, now Ukraine] which had many wheat fields, which supplied the whole Russia with grain. Since he was one of the bigger Rabbonim, the hechsher on baking matzos was always under his hechser. When the ...



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