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24

It is definitely allowed according to halachah; this teacher was probably speaking about what he felt was the pious and holy way to behave. But the truth is that one must be extremely careful when trying to act "beyond the letter of the law," that he should not damage his Sholom Bayis in the process. The Chazon Ish in his "Iggeres Kodesh" (cited in Mishkan ...


12

Certainly the literal sight issue is moot. But we'd apply the same principle, he should not marry someone unless he has good reason to believe it will be a happy marriage. A blind man in fact asked this question of Rabbi Yuval Cherlow of Petach Tikva, explaining that he would normally feel a woman's face to determine if she is attractive. Rabbi Cherlow, in ...


11

In Be'er Moshe, R' Moshe Stern relates how it was the custom in his home not to allow children to see their reflection in the mirror before their teeth come in or before they begin to speak. In regard to several of these type of (bizarre) customs, he writes: וכל אלו הג׳ מנהגים בכלל מנהג נשים זקינות שעליהם כתב הרשב״א שאל יזלזלו בדבריהן ובמנהגיהם כי בודאי ...


11

The Mileches Shlomo on Kilayim (8:6) says the gemara in Sanhedrin says that the Dor HaMabul (generation of the flood) turned into monkeys and that is one of the reasons we make the bracha Mishaneh Habriyos translated- who changes the creations-on monkeys.


11

Yes. The gemara in the beginning of Sukkah discusses different factors that would invalidate a sukkah, but transparency isn't an issue. You can also make the walls with 4 horizontal strings, each within 3 tefachim from the other one. Though if it was completely transparent, i.e. invisible, perhaps there would be an issue that no one could tell they're in a ...


11

In a book I own called שער העין - Shaar HaAyin by a Rabbi Eliyahu Ariel in Chapter 7 Footnote 14 he says that this does not qualify for the special blessing on a rainbow as that was only for rainbows in clouds which are similar to the one by Noah. However, he suggests that it qualifies as an amazing natural wonder (similar to lightning) and would therefore ...


10

No, one may not pray in front of a mirror. The Radbaz in a responsum (4:107) gives both of the reasons you mention as explanations. From DailyHalacha.com The question surrounding the permissibility of praying facing such a window arises from a discussion of the Radbaz (Rabbi David Ben Zimra, Egypt, 1480-1574) regarding praying in front of a mirror. It is ...


9

A blind person cannot make the b'racha of borei m'orei ha'esh on the flame. (Shulchan Aruch OC 298:13) However, he certainly may recite the rest of havdala. (Mishna B'rura 298:34)


8

In the words of the Shulchan Aruch (OC 49:1), אף על גב דקיימא לן דברים שבכתב אי אתה רשאי לאומרם על פה כל דבר שרגיל ושגור בפי הכל כגון קריאת שמע וברכת כהנים ופרשת התמיד וכיוצא בהן מותר So Shema and the blessings of the kohanim are OK to say by heart since "everyone is fluent in them". Many poskim discuss what is considered "everyone is fluent in", and ...


8

As you said, Ralbag (and most of the commentaries) understand this to be talking about statues of some kind. (Metzudas David to 5:8 also cites this as a second explanation.) So according to that view of things, David had nothing against the blind and lame people any more than against any of the other Jebusites. Metzudas David's first explanation (to 5:6), ...


8

http://www.chabadyavne.com/contents.asp?fid=82&av=2327 The Piskei Teshuvos 61:5 mentions from the Arizal that the hand has to actually cover the eyes. However the Kloizenberger Rebbe Zatzal held that you may just cover the glasses with your hand. In Chabad they lift the glasses and place the hand on the eyes.


8

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 298:3-4 says: The person needs to be close enough to the fire to potentially benefit from it, should he so choose (It is described there as being able to sort money by the light of the torch). The Mishna Berurah there (S"K 13) says that if one who is listening wants to fulfill his obligation, he too must be that close. Our ...


7

What the minor is doing can be verified by a sight check after the fact (similar to your verification above). The gadol is there to make sure the tzitzis are tied lishma, which a minor may not be thinking about (or know about). I think we can agree that the gadol needs to prompt the katan to perform the initial knot on each set lishma. The rest of the ...


7

Absolutely not assur. In fact seeing actual chometz is not assur either.


7

Yalkut Yosef 61:4 ואין צריך להסיר המשקפיים בעת שנותן ידיו על עיניו בקריאת שמע.‏ He holds you don't have to remove the glasses.


7

Jewish Action, Summer 2005 edition, has a "What's the truth about..." column by Rabbi Dr. Ari Z. Zivotofsky on not meeting for the week preceding the wedding. His main point is the lack of old sources for this custom, but he does cite several newer sources and the reasons they give. See there for the details, but the reasons and post-facto rationales offered ...


7

The Talmud (Brachot 58b) says that upon seeing good creations or trees one says ברוך...שככה לו בעולמו. The Tur (OC 218) quotes an argument between the Raavad and Rosh if blessings like these should be recited only the first time one sees the object, or even if the object hasn't been seen in 30 days. He rules like the latter opinion (Rosh). The Tur in OC ...


6

There are many cases in Halacha which involve having someone in the room. For many of them, an actual person in the room is required; a video camera is not enough. But if we just need to be sure about something, a video often works. For many laws of kosher, the requirement is to be sure that the food is kosher; a video camera may be good enough for this. ...


6

Based on the Shulchan Aruch 298:3-4 and the Mishna Berura there, the main "staring" is to ascertain that you have benefited from the light. The Shiur for this is the light enabling one to distinguish between 2 similar coins from separate countries. Since seeing the difference between light nails and darker skin is a similar shiur of light, and there is ...


6

There are those who say that if the office is monitored by closed circuit television and the monitors are in a different room than the people in Yichud, then there is no Yichud problem. (Minchas Ish 20:8) As regards closed circuit television cameras being a mitigating factor in a Yichud situation, see Nitei Gavriel 45:8,9. ...


6

It is superstition, which Jewish women likely absorbed from the surrounding culture. I wrote in another answer about upsherin and the Pennsylvania Germans / Dutch, where the Pennsylvania Germans are continuing an old superstition from Europe (and where upsherin is explicitly not practiced by Tannaim/Amoraim). Similarly, R' Menasheh Klein's endorsement of ...


6

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein allowed the photo grey lenses, though others disagree. For more on the theory behind this, see this excellent article from the Star-K's Rabbi Mordechai Frankel (based on the ruling of Rabbi Moshe Heinemann). It discusses the related question of diapers that change color when wet.


6

I saw an excellent comprehensive article on exactly this topic It brings down all the opinions and reasons, but the bottom line is that these photo chromic lenses are permitted on shabbos.


6

In Maseches Suka daf dalet amud beis (copied below), Rava rejects Abaye's proposal for an platform without walls because there is a requirement that they be "ניכר". Therefore there may be a basis for transparent walls being invalid. היתה גבוהה מעשרים אמה ובנה בה עמוד שהוא גבוה עשרה טפחים ויש בו הכשר סוכה סבר אביי למימר גוד אסיק מחיצתא א"ל רבא בעינן מחיצות ...


6

You are not supposed to gaze at it, however if you notice it you make a Bracha. When one sees a rainbow a bracha should be made. However, one should be careful not to stare at a rainbow for too long (Orach Chaim 229:1). The Be'er Hataiv 2 in Orach Chaim 229:1 says that looking at a rainbow weakens the eyes. ...


6

Per מסכת עירובין דף יג עמוד ב he was not called Rabbi Meir because he was blind. He was known as Rabbi Meir although his real name was Rabbi Nehorai due to the fact that he enlightened the Chachomim in Halacha. "תנא: לא רבי מאיר שמו אלא רבי נהוראי שמו, ולמה נקרא שמו רבי מאיר - שהוא מאיר עיני חכמים בהלכה" There is also a Gemara מסכת מגילה דף יח עמוד ב which ...


6

The Ritva writes (RH 11a): ויומי ניסן לאו דוקא אלא כל מקום ומקום לפי מה שהוא דמלבלבי.‏ "The days of Nissan" is not precise, but rather every place according to when the trees blossom. Based on this, Rabbis Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss (Minchat Yitzchak 10:16) and Tzvi Pesach Frank (Har Tzvi OC 118) ruled that in the Southern Hemisphere the blessing ...


6

Although they're marginal, there are authorities who discuss this. In Sefer HaChinuch, at the end of Mitzvah # 188 (קפח): ונוהגת בכל מקום ובכל זמן בזכרים ונקבות. שגם להן אסור להרהר אחר האנשים זולתי בבעליהן, שעליהם ראוי להן להמשיך כל חשקן וחפצן, וכן יעשו בנות ישראל הכשירות. ועובר עליה וקרב אל הערוה קירוב בשר כדי שיהנה ממנה, במזיד ובהתראה לוקה, ואם עבר ...


6

There are two opinions in the medrash cited in Aryeh's answer; R' Yehuda permits women gazing upon men. His opinion is accepted by Sh'muel in B'rachos 48b. Although R' Yochanan follows R' Yosi's interpretation of the pasuk there, the gemara does not record that he added the phrase אם כן עשית בנות ישראל כזונות. In fact, R' Yochanan himself allowed women to ...



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