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17

I recommend that you take a look at the commentary of R' Samson Raphael Hirsch on Leviticus 12, and in particular 12:5. I'll try to summarize the pertinent points here, but I won't do his beautiful thoughts and words justice. The "uncleanliess" you're referring to is "tum-a." According to R' Hirsch, tum-a is a mental condition that would prevent a person ...


15

See this mp3 by Rabbi Aharon Kahn, summarized by Joel Rich here: Once a Kohain is ritually impure due to contact with dead, is there any prohibition of further impurity? This makes a difference for med students and pulpit rabbis. The simple understanding is that for non-Kohens, yes we're all tamei so it makes no difference. You want to live in your own ...


13

Masturbation per se does not change one's halachik status at all, although it does generate an obligation to repent. Ezra originally established that a man who is impure from any seminal emmision (not just masturbatory) cannot say shema, pray or say other blessings until he has gone to the mikva. However this decree was later rescended, and the law and the ...


13

Yes, someone who eats impure food becomes impure themselves (Rambam Shar Avot Hatumah 8:10). However, this needs some perspective. Niddah is one kind of impurity, and another one is that of a corpse (see Numbers 19). The procedure for purifying oneself of Niddah-impurity is by using a mikvah which can and is done today regularly. The procedure for purifying ...


11

The premise of your question seems to be that ostensibly religious people never sin, which is obviously absurd. These men are sinners, who are acting in violation of Jewish law, and if their behavior ever became public knowledge, it would scandalize their communities. The simple reality is that sexual immorality is not, and never has been, exceptional or ...


11

The Shulchan Aruch rules (YD 373:2) that the prohibition of contracting impurity from a corpse does not apply to female descendants of Kohanim. His source is the Mishna in Kiddushin 1:7 which lists 3 biblical prohibitions which do not apply to females: this one, destroying the 5 corners of one's beard, and rounding off the corners of one's hair ("peyos").


11

This is a matter of dispute in the Mishna Oholos 2:2. Rabbi Eliezer says one quarter kav worth of ash does transmit impurity, whilst the Sages say it does not transmit impurity at all. Rambam (Hilchos Tumas Meis 3:9-10) rules like the Sages.


10

Per the Shach in Yorah Deah Siman 369:2 and the Taz in 369:4 since in current times there is no Tahara in Eretz Yisroel therefore there is no additional prohibition for a Kohain to leave Eretz Yisroel over a non Kohain.


10

Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet was asked (Responsum 425) why no rabbinic edict requiring unmarried women to regularly purify themselves in the Mivka was ever enacted in order to minimize the transgressions of those who engage in extra-marital sexual contact. (I note the whole basis of the question is that in the days when women regularly or even semi-regularly were ...


9

Tosafos (Zevachim 102a, ד"ה אני מסגירה) asks this and leaves it unresolved. Netziv (to Sifri on this verse) suggests two possibilities: True that she'd be tahor, but she'd be in a state of suspense (not knowing what the outcome would be) until there is a kohen available - a yet-to-be-born son (or grandson) of Elazar or Isamar - who could check it and make ...


8

First of all: the behavior you describe is wrong. Let's make that entirely clear. I can think of two-and-a-half justifications people may use, to better understand the phenomenon (if it truly is a phenomenon). 1a: Halachically speaking, the Biblical prohibition of "nida" per se only applies to Jewish women. (See Rambam Issurei Biah 4:4). (Rabbinically, all ...


8

“Taharas HaKohanim Kehilchoso” 12 (2) (recently published by Moshe Gross, Beit Shemesh) mentions that there is a machlokes about the rabbinic issur of kohanim to be metamei themselves in “Eretz HoAmim”. He quotes a number of sources including many Acharonim that are lenient (including those quoted in the first answer). He then quotes sources that forbid a ...


8

Anything which can contract impurity cannot block impurity from passing through it (Megillah 26b, Shulchan Aruch YD 371:1). A vessel can only contract impurity if it is made from cloth, sackcloth, leather, bone, wood, metal, or earthenware (Rambam Keilim 1:1, see Leviticus 11:32-33 and Numbers 31:22). Plastic therefore cannot contract impurity, so it can ...


8

In an article titled "The Study of Medicine by Kohanim," Dr. Edward R. Burns concludes: The overwhelming majority of authoritative rabbinic scholars prohibit the study of medicine by a kohen in any school where the dissection of human corpses is required. If a student is given permission to learn anatomy by observation of dissection without ...


7

In general, one's status does not change, and one should not feel that one is prohibited from learning or davening. That said, it is important to take steps to rectify this very serious sin. Aside from the necessary steps for teshuva regardless of the sin, one should go to the mikvah as soon as possible - if one is not available, a shower will do - and ...


7

An improperly slaughtered kosher  animal becomes a nevela. This is apparent from the term which appears several times in the Mishna (e.g. Chulin 6:2) and poskim: השוחט ונתנבלה בידו (one who slaughters and as a result the animal becomes a nevela) This ruling can also be deduced from this Mishna (Chulin 2:4) which comes to teach about nevelot ...


7

Chazal has said that if we begin a mitzvah that we cannot complete on our own, G-d will complete it for us. We could not part the waters at the Sea, alone, but we had to take the first step into the water. See, e.g. Rashi to Exodus 14:15. Moreover, we accept that as mortal humans, we may not be perfect, per se, but that if we make efforts to seek perfect ...


6

First of all, it's not so simple to say that "tum'ah hutrah betzibbur." There is in fact a halachic argument (Pesachim 77a, et al) as to whether it's "hutrah" (completely permitted) or only "dechuyah" (overridden); according to the latter view, tahor oil should still be used if possible. This is in fact the halachah (Rambam, Beis Habechirah 7:23 and Temidin ...


6

If you mean technical ritual impurity (tum'ah) - then that's not an issue; all Jews nowadays are presumed tamei (and if they live in the Diaspora, then they are impure anyway, since all places outside of Eretz Yisrael are tamei by Rabbinical decree). If you mean that he feels unworthy - that's not a good reason to not perform birkas kohanim; that would ...


6

See Halachically Speaking Volume 3 Issue 4 (page 4): Although some poskim say one should wash his hands, the minhag is that one does not have to wash his hands in this situation. The reason is because since that part of the arm is revealed when putting on tefillin it is not considered a place which is normally covered. See there for sources...


6

The Shulchan Aruch 7:1 writes that, throughout the whole day, if one uses the bathroom (gedolim or ketanim) one recites asher yatzar every time, but al netilas yadaim is said only one time in the morning (upon waking up). There are more intricate halachos concerning if one has the runs what should one do about asher yatzer: see Mishna Brurah 7:1. There is ...


6

Chayim K'halacha question 223 - Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Blizinsky - says a Kohain may go on the paths that lead to Auschwitz however may not enter the area where the incinerators are.


5

Even in the times of the Beis Hamikdosh (Temple) it was not mandatory not to eat food defiled by a Nidda; it was a voluntary stringency.


5

I came across this list of sources that discuss it: שו"ת דעת כהן, סימן ריד: יש לומר, שהיה קבור במערה עמוקה תחת הקרקע, שהיתה לו ולמשפחתו קרקע חוץ ממקום המקדש, וחפרו מערה והאריכו אותה עד שהגיעה תחת המזבח Responsa Daath Kohen, 214: One can suggest that it was buried in a cave deep beneath the ground which belonged to him and his family, and they had ...


5

Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 4:18: "These are things require washing with water... One who rubs his head..." The Mishnah Berurah, (s"k 41), says that rubbing the head is not because of a bad spirit on the hands, which is the reason for hand washing in cases such as getting up from bed or leaving a bathhouse or bathroom, rather it is only for cleanliness ...


5

Rabbi Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau (known as the Noda Beyehuda) in his work Doresh Letziyon, Derush 5 (new print p.46-47) poses this question. He takes the view that Shmuel Hanavi was allowed to kill Agag because of the principle of 'Aseh docheh lo saaseh'. The mitzva to kill Amalek (particularly, as he was the last living Amalekite at the time,) superseded ...


4

I Googled it and came up with this page (see top left). It says to look at Zohar Chadash Yisro 31a. In the Zohar, it is referred to as ארבעים ותשע חילי דמסאבותא


4

One way to look at Tuma is that it is a lack of holiness. When a women gives birth she has less life inside her, and thus less holiness. When she gives birth to a girl she lost more holiness than with a boy because the girl inside her also has the capacity to grow life. http://www.613design.com/tti/articles/tahara-tuma.pdf



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