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12

The Keset HaSofer, by Rabbi Shlomo Ganzfried, rules (6:4) that when multiple children disagree about the reading of a letter we follow the majority. I suppose if there are only 2 children, we wait עד שיבוא השלישי ויכריע ביניהם -- until a third one comes and resolves the contradiction.


11

Minchas Chinuch argues that indeed, when the Sanhedrin was functioning and we used an observation-based calendar, Chanukah in outlying places would have had to have been celebrated for nine days. "When the Beis Hamikdash is rebuilt, speedily in our days," he says, "and we go back to sanctifying the months based on observation - then faraway places (for Eretz ...


10

We only add an extra day for a D’oraisa like the ‘Sholosh Regalim’. Chanukah is a D’Rabbanan. (See Taamei Minhagim 864 in the name of the Avudraham) In addition as Chanuka starts on the 25th day of the Hebrew month we can presume that the Sheluchei Beis Din would have arrived and everyone would know when it actually began.


7

The general rule with berachot is safek berachot l'hakel- in a case where we are not sure whether we make a beracha we err to the side of not making another one. This is a subset of the general rule of safek d'rabanan l'kulah (we are lenient about doubts which occur on mitzvos from the Rabbis.) The exceptions are berachot that are d'orayta "from the Torah" ...


7

It is discussed in Darkei Teshuva (89:5). He brings an authority that says one may not eat until he is sure 6 hours have passed (or whatever one's customary waiting time may be), and that the general rule of ספק דרבנן לקולא does not apply here. He then brings several others who disagree and believe that the rule does apply here and one may eat dairy if he is ...


6

When one has a door between two rooms there is a list of criteria to determine which side is considered the right side of the door. You should evaluate them in order. As soon as one is met, you have determined the right side and can ignore all of the rest of the list. They are as follows: 1. Pnimi Chitzoni - That is to say, you consider it as if you enter ...


4

The 100% in 100% polyester and 100% silk suits refers to the visible part of the suit. Underneath that is an entire world of stuffing, reinforcement and other junk. The easiest place to see some of these is under the lapel; under the felt is something stiff, and it's not silk/polyester. These hidden parts are made from whatever material the factory can buy ...


4

A giyur lechumra is usually intended for someone who's already fully observing Judaism. The execution is the same -- circumcision or drawing blood for men; declaration of mitzva acceptance and immersion in a mikva witnessed by three rabbis. If someone's already keeping everything but for instance oops, found out they were adopted, then the rabbis assume the ...


4

I just heard another (Chassidic) answer in the Name of the Sfas Emes: Being that Chanuka and Purim happened relatively recently we relate to them better. Hence we are able to achieve the spiritual boost from these Holidays in a shorter time relative to the De'orasia (Biblical) holidays which happened in the more distant past, to which we are less connected. ...


4

In The Laws of Ribbis (chapter 4, section D, paragraph 25, page 88), Rabbi Yisroel Reisman writes: It is important that both the borrower and lender keep accurate records of how much is owed. When records are not kept, there may be uncertainty regarding the balance which is owed. In this case, the borrower may pay the lender an amount of money which is ...


4

As already stated, this site does not replace a Rabbi. But here are some sources. The Mishan in Mas. Orla (3:10) says: ספק העורלה--בארץ ישראל אסור, ובסוריה מותר; ובחוצה לארץ יורד ולוקח, ובלבד שלא יראנו לוקט. If in doubt, then fruit that could be Orla are forbidden in Eretz Yisrael, but permitted in the Diaspora. That's also have the Shulchan Aruch ...


3

According to the Dvar Avraham (1:34), the reason one does not count ספירת העומר מספק is because if you do not know for certain what number it is, that is not considered "counting" at all. According to this reason, if there was an actual doubt, you would not be able to count at all. As the Dvar Avraham explains, אבל לפי דברינו הנ"ל נראה לומר דבר חדש ...


3

Shulchan Aruch Harav also says the same thing, and adds a second reason. וכל מקום שחור ומברך צריך לאמר ג"כ ברכה רביעית שהיא מדברי סופרים כדי שלא יבואו לזלזל בה, ועוד שכך היתה התקנה שבכל פעם שמברך ברכת המזון יברך ד' ברכותה The first reason I understand him to be saying not that you would treat Benching as a whole disrespectfully, but that you would ...


3

When there is a doubt, we rule based on habits. If you've done X all the time for the past 30 days or so, we assume you are in the habit of doing it. If you are not, then we assume you forgot. The level of doubt required is very small, the slightest lack of kavana, is enough to cause a situation of doubt. However, in practice, since we assume (I'm not ...


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

This Young Israel publication says (summarised) that in cases of doubt or of differing views the poskim say to tendsto leniency with regard to tachanun. One should omit tachanun, rather than include it. Some suggest the reason based on the inclusion of the shlosh esrai midos. which should never be recited without proper kavanah. However, not all versions ...


3

The Achronim (Shulchan Aruch OC 316:3) deal with the case of closing a box on Shabbos when there might be fly in it: Safek if there will be a definite Melacha of trapping. I believe there is a large Machloket there between the Achronim, with the Taz famously permitting closing the box. See also the Gemoro in Shabbos 41b about allowing someone to put cold ...


2

First let me say that the laws of Niddah in general and the laws of chatzitzah in particular are very complex. In general the rule is that if she has some valid reason to suspect that she handled something that was an actual chatzitzah she needs to immerse again. See Shulhan Arukh Y"D 198:41 and 199:13 for examples. Now there are cases of certain items ...


2

It seems to me that a disagreement among rabbis can very well acquire the status of a safek. The Gemara in Avodah Zarah (7a) says: היו שנים אחד מטמא ואחד מטהר אחד אוסר ואחד מתיר אם היה אחד מהם גדול מחבירו בחכמה ובמנין הלך אחריו ואם לאו הלך אחר המחמיר ר' יהושע בן קרחה אומר בשל תורה הלך אחר המחמיר בשל סופרים הלך אחר המיקל א"ר יוסף הלכתא כרבי יהושע ...


2

If you don't know a brochah for a specific situation, the dictum of safek brochas lihakel would apply, and you wouldn't say anything for fear of saying the wrong brochah and using Hashem's name in vain. Now, that's ok for experiential brochas like thunder or a rainbow. However, if you want to eat, not so simple - to eat you need a brochah. A good, ...


2

Rambam Laws of Brachot 1:5 The text of all the blessings was ordained by Ezra and his court. It is not fit to alter it, to add to it, or to detract from it. Whoever alters the text of a blessing from that ordained by the Sages is making an error. So "Improvise something and use the b'racha formula" seems to be out. If you know the situation ...


2

There's a dispute among the rishonim whether one may commit suicide rather than fall into the hands of those who would forcibly convert him to Christianity. See http://web.archive.org/web/20080924092609/http://www.math.wustl.edu/~msh210/crusade/suicide.html for a couple of the sources on this, though there are more. Those rishonim who allow (even laud) ...


1

The Baal HaMaor asks (last piece on Pesachim) why we don't count twice for the ספיקא דיומא. He answers that if so, the count will go until the first day of Shavuos (i.e. you'll count "today is 49" on Shavuos itself), and we will come to disgrace Yom Tov. The Raavad answers the same question by saying that if we count on two days we will end up with a ...


1

(For torah mitzvot) one. the mitzva that all males must leave their homes and go to Jerusalem 3 times a year (during the first temple era) leaving all towns and borders undefended seems to be in this category. from a military perspective this is reckless and suicidal (long term high probability of danger) and would leaving them vulnerable to being ...


1

I don't know about the spoon, but the thing about shiv'a n'kiyim is because spotting is entirely M'derabanan. (M'deraisa hargasha or time are what count.) And the same Rabanim who said to watch out for spotting also said to wear colors. So shiv'a n'kiyim is not a good example of this. But I'll give you a better example: Mamzer. In Israel someone was ruled ...



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