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24

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 ...


17

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 ...


15

I have no time to read the article - and therefore do not endorse anything they write. The Rabbis instituted that Holy Books like a Sefer Torah would defile the hands. Why? Because people would keep their Teruma (tithes to be given to the Cohen) with their Holy Books. This was to prevent their Teruma from becoming Tameh (impure). The rationale was the ...


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 ...


13

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 ...


13

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 ...


13

Excrement and urine of a live animal (and in fact anything except an entire limb from a live animal) are not ritually impure, and thus don't affect your hat. (Rambam Avot HaTumah 2:3) As an aside, excrement and urine of a deceased animal (as opposed to its flesh) also are not ritually impure. (ibid. 1:15)


12

Halachically, you transgress a biblical commandment if you knowingly have relations with a niddah, and the punishment is karet. See this answer, which cites Rambam Laws of Prohibitions on Relations 4:3. According to Rambam Issurei Biah 1:1 (h/t DoubleAA), punishments for forbidden relations apply to both except in a special case not applicable here. By ...


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.


11

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 ...


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.


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

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


8

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 ...


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

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

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 ...


8

I am impressed by the gravity of your inquiry and your care in the matter in that you are seeking real answers to a complicated question. May Hashem help the two of you and anyone else in need of this post. First let's address some issues your question raised in this case, and then let's address the Halachic ramifications. The OP states that your wife is ...


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

While this isn't exactly what you're looking for, it's close: the Rama's Toras Ha'Olah, which does go through just about every mitzvah/halakha in Seder Kodshim and explains the reasoning for their details in a super-cool-scientific-mystical way. It's not an encyclopedia in that it isn't in alphabetical order, but it is ordered systematically, by topic. ...


7

It's actually almost entirely still operative. People and utensils transmit and accept impurity just like they always did. What has changed is a lack of impetus to purify one's self in most instances. There are essentially three ways of overcoming a given impurity: Metzora's Korbanot: A Metzora is impure and he can only become pure again by bringing ...


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 ...


7

This is discussed in Mishna Chagiga 3:8. As seen below, most keilim could become tamei, at which point they would be subject to same purification process as a person -- sprinkling of ashes and mikvah. כיצד מעבירים על טהרת עזרה, מטבילין את הכלים שהיו במקדש, ואומרין להם, הזהרו שלא תגעו בשלחן (ובמנורה) ותטמאוהו . כל הכלים שהיו במקדש, יש להם שניים ...


7

First step what is the problem of the urine? Gemoro Berachoth 22B ת''ר היה עומד בתפלה ומים שותתין על ברכיו פוסק עד שיכלו המים וחוזר ומתפלל להיכן חוזר But it is during the micturition: and in 25A "לא אסרה תורה אלא כנגד עמוד בלבד" "The urine prohibits the Kriath Shema and Tefila during micturition only" But Miderabanan the urine puddle also ...


7

This opinion is cited in the Taz YD 193 sk 4 and 196 sk 5. The idea is roughly that for hymenal bleeding, which only effects a Niddah Derabanan, there is no need to be stringent to add a 5th day. After any ordinary menstrual bleeding, this wouldn't apply. "Marriage" technically has nothing to do with it.


6

In , Hilchos Shechitah » Chapter 3, Halacha 18, the Rambam writes: Whenever we have used the term "unacceptable," the animal is a nevelah and if a person partakes of an olive-sized portion of it, he is liable for lashes for partaking of a nevelah. For only an acceptable slaughter as commanded by Moses our teacher of blessed memory prevents an animal from ...


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

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 ...



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