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28

I do not think it is a problem for a few reasons. Kin'as sofrim tarbeh chochmah (jealousy among scholars will increase wisdom - Baba Basra 21a). A certain extent of competition in Torah is a good thing. Having people compete for even something as minor as points helps increase Torah and wisdom. There is an issue of a person becoming haughty or seeking honor ...


26

"Mi yodeya" or מי יודע in Hebrew means "who knows," where "mi" means "who" and "yodeya" is the masculine singular participle for the verb "know." This phrase is featured in the popular Passover song "Echad Mi Yodeya" and on the Q&A site for Jewish life and learning Mi Yodeya.


20

Yes. The website uses UTC time. Since I live on the west coast in the US, each "website day" starts at 5 PM. Thus, I simply visit the site after 5 PM on Friday, which during the summer months is not yet Shabbos, and then visit again before 5 PM on Sunday. As far as the website is concerned, I just visited on two consecutive days. The only remaining problem ...


16

Technically, yes. Everything you describe is an aspect of learning Torah. Even just reciting the Shema or a few psukim or one liners from Tanach or Talmud (both agadata and halacha) count for fulfilling the Mitzvah. However, just as we don't use the phrases said after the birchat Ha'Torah in the morning to absolve us from studying the rest of the day, so ...


16

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 ...


15

The way I see reputation points on stack exchange is that they are useful for the people asking questions, not for the person getting the points. That is, when someone comes to the site and asks a question, seeing the points next to a person's name gives that name 'recognition status'. If there is a debate between two people, one has 1 point, and the other ...


12

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 ...


11

I think it depends on the child and is entirely up to the parents' judgement, consistent with their general policies on Internet access and on Halacha learning (1). Hopefully, all parents these days are teaching their kids not to believe everything they read on the Internet (or in real life for that matter) and skills for gauging the credibility of ...


10

As noted in the comments, using electricity is melacha and thus forbidden on Shabbat. See this question for more information about why electricity is prohibited. Since, so far, it is not possible to ask and answer questions on Mi Yodeya without using electricity, the Shabbat-observant participants here do not engage in those activities on Shabbat. (Or Yom ...


9

Disclosure: I'm not an authority on Judaism nor am I Jewish. Therefore, my answer is necessarily incomplete. I'm also an active participant on Biblical Hermeneutics and a moderator pro tempore there. Our FAQ actively solicits answers from a Jewish perspective. Also, I consider myself your friend. Therefore, my answer is hopelessly biased and "too ...


8

It means who knows!


8

Now that we've moved the clocks, I realized that it's possible to do the inverse of @jake's answer from the eastern time zone: shabbat ended this week before 6PM, so if I'd thought of it I could have gotten credit for the day by visiting in that last hour (7PM EST = midnight UTC). Shabbat won't end after 7PM again until March 10, and there are no chagim in ...


8

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 ...


8

It's important to highlight that Christianity StackExchange has a very different atmosphere to Mi Yodeya. Christianity SE is very much true to its mission of being a Q&A site about Christianity. It is not a Christian site. And that post on meta isn't just a claim. It's lived up to throughout the site. In fact, it was recently brought up again in ...


7

The Talmud (Yoma 4b) relates: ויקרא אל משה וידבר למה הקדים קריאה לדיבור? לימדה תורה דרך ארץ, שלא יאמר אדם דבר לחבירו אלא אם כן קורהו. מסייע ליה לרבי חנינא, דאמר רבי חנינא: לא יאמר אדם דבר לחבירו אלא אם כן קורהו. לאמר אמר רבי (מוסיא בר בריה דרבי מסיא משמיה דרבי מוסיא) +מסורת הש"ס: [מנסיא]+ רבה: מניין לאומר דבר לחבירו שהוא בבל יאמר, עד שיאמר לו לך אמור - ...


7

Well it's technically possible to write a script (and I'm sure there have been scripts written already), but an important thing to note is that the homepage doesn't count for a visit, as well as "similar pages" (source). [and there may even be more secret algorithms preventing something like that] Of course, we would then have to analyze whether this would ...


7

Please note that the following answer is not a halachik ruling and should not be read as such. It is a theoretical answer that explores the issue, examining the relevant issues. With regard to the Gemara in Shabbat 33a, it seems clear that the context of discouraging sexual discussion is only when it is done in banter and tastelessly. When it is done for ...


6

Isn't the key phrase there "for yourself"? On a website like this you can get some interesting information and discussion, but it won't be tailored to your specific situation, where you stand in Jewish observance, etc. So no, there is no substitute for a personal Rabbi/mashpia/mentor/whatever you want to call it, who can show you how to integrate the ...


6

For questions that you could look up in a book, and you know what book to look them up in, and you have access to that book, you should go look them up! However, there are many questions and many people for which these conditions will not be met. mi.yodeya is intended to be a tool for certain situations, not a replacement for regular Torah learning. For ...


6

I would suggest that the term "non-Jew" is both precise and neutral, and a perfectly acceptable halachic term as well, as halachic works such as the Shulchan Aruch often refer to א"י or אינו יהודי (non Jew).


6

I don't know of a problem with "gentiles", though "non-Jews" seems equally appropriate.


4

A person should always be involved in torah and mitzvos even not lishmah as through non-lishmah he will come to lishma. (Pesachim 50b) Also, see how Tosfos Taanis 7a distinguishes this from the idea that non-lishma torah is poisonous.


4

Rashi records the famous midrash about Eisav that he asked Yitzchak halachic questions to create the impression that he was punctilious in mitzvah observance. So there at least seems to be a basis for considering such a dishonest question inappropriate. יודע ציד: לצוד ולרמות את אביו בפיו, ושואלו אבא היאך מעשרין את המלח ואת התבן, כסבור אביו שהוא מדקדק במצות: ...


4

I think its great it causes people to think of things they would not in the regular course of learning and a community of some really well informed people is like having a chavrusah so It is a win Win.


3

Perhaps there should be a way to flag a question as soliciting a psak. Similar to how in Wikipedia's reference desk, if a post smells like it's asking for medical advice, the crowd will respond that it's against the rules. WP's Guidelines state: The reference desk does not answer (and will probably remove) requests for medical or legal advice. Ask a doctor, ...


3

No, no, no. See the red letters on top of each page: Like Wikipedia, mi.yodeya makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat mi.yodeya information like it came from a crowd of your friends.


3

Tosfos understand that "Darchei Shalom" is not considered a gift. IMHO that means since you benefit from the resulting peace then it's not a free gift since its win-win for both sides. Similarly when you contribute to an online community you benefit that when you need assistance the online community will be available to help you. So it seems that since it's ...


3

There is no reason it would be obligatory to upvote a question just because you answered it. As Ariel K stated, the answerer is generally helping out the asker anyway. A stronger case could be made for the asker to show Hakarath HaTov to every answerer by upvoting every answer, but that would also be weak. Not every answer is a good one, just as not every ...


2

If the question is interesting enough to answer, it deserves an up vote. If you feel the answer is obvious or if you don't like the question why waste your time answering it! In terms of Halacha, showing respect to the questioner is of utmost importance, to answer in a rude way of to not take note that the question is good is to show disrespect and that is ...


2

Some questions, such as this one, may have an obvious answer, which the answer-er may decide to write. In addition, some questions may be based on faulty premises. For example, it seems on this SE site, questions are frequently upvoted, so this question might not have much basis. By answering a question, one doesn't necessarily imply that "it shows research ...



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