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Jul
12
comment Is it better to wear wool tzitzis?
@Frank, Sephardic rabbis were of the opinion that it must be wool, so they wore wool. (Well the Rosh encountered Jews in Spain wearing linen, but that's another discussion ...). Ashkenazic rabbis said cotton was acceptable, hence many Ashkenazim chose to wear it.
Jul
8
comment Can one follow Rabbeinu Tam time for beginning Shabbos?
Curiouser, minhag America is that shabbos starts at sunset (or maybe in emergency situations, up to 13 minutes later); according to that minhag, doing work after that time is "a serious sin." It's not like a minhag of stand-or-sit at kiddush, where there's far less at stake.
Jul
8
revised Why does one need to kasher burners on a stove for passover?
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Jul
8
answered Can one follow Rabbeinu Tam time for beginning Shabbos?
Jul
8
comment Amon and Moav today
@Avi, Cohen DNA can't prove you're a Cohen, maybe your great-grandfather was a Cohen but married a divorcee, no way DNA can find that out. What if someone thought they were a Cohen but now DNA says they're not ... see the end of Ediyot, no worse than Eliyahu Hanavi. What you're talking about with DNA from 2500+ year old graves is sci-fi.
Jul
8
comment Amon and Moav today
I'm really not sure what DNA has to do with this. One question is using DNA evidence as proof of death; another is questions of paternity (but even if Joe Jew finds his paternal DNA doesn't match his "dad" he's still not a mamzer, as maybe it was a non-Jew, they doesn't generate mamzerut). If someone shows up today and claims to be an Edomite, you'd have to show that his father's father's father's father ... (it's patrilineal) was a pre-Sennacherib Edomite. That's only feasible in sci-fi, to the very best of my knowledge.
Jul
8
comment Amon and Moav today
Clarify: "the majority of the world's non-Jewish population is not prohibited [after converting], so now that the minority [Egypt Edom Amon Moab] mixed into them, we assume any individual comes from the majority population and is permitted."
Jul
8
comment Amon and Moav today
Translation note: Rambam didn't say "discriminated-against peoples", he said "prohibited peoples." Also the last sentence should read "whether Edomite, Egyptian, Ammonite, Moabite, Kushite, or any other people" (I assume the Rambam is saying not to guess true ancestry by race, which is scientifically correct).
Jul
7
answered What is a hakira?
Jul
7
awarded  Nice Answer
Jul
6
comment Why isn't there a single, centralized Sanhedrin today?
The 2004 attempt worked similarly to that of 1538, via the Rambam's mechanism. Though in 1538, the rabbis of Safed said "we're the majority of Israel so no need to contact Jerusalem about this first, we all agree on Rabbi Beirav." In 2004 they announced all over Israel, and no one objected to Dayan Halberstam; semicha was thus "generated" for him, which was then transferred to others (including Rabbi Adin Steinzaltz). It's a tricky situation today, what if the halacha doesn't follow the Rambam? And should the Sanhedrin issue rules that most of the population won't keep?
Jul
5
asked Are there any halachic issues with cut flowers grown in Israel?
Jul
5
answered Different expressions for “permitted” in the gemoro and elsewhere
Jun
30
answered Must EMTs and others rend Kriyah each time they see a patient die?
Jun
29
answered Drunk person doing schechting
Jun
29
answered Eirichin & Nedarim
Jun
28
answered Choking on a Fish Bone
Jun
28
comment What makes something “chukat goyim?”
@Menachem, R' Moshe made clear -- "provided it's appropriate"; if clothing is just plain inappropriate, it's just plain inappropriate.
Jun
27
answered Are you allowed to get married the night going into Shiva Asar B'Tamuz?
Jun
27
asked What did a “don't-issue-rulings” semicha (ordination) look like?