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Nov
20
comment How is Rav Feinstein's psak regarding subway travel and the sexes distinguished today by those wanting to sit separately on buses and planes?
@BruceJames R' Ellinson wrote to Rav Moshe that as Rav Moshe discourages cross-gendered handshakes, he should say the same for cross-gendered mass-transit rides as well. Rav Moshe replied that handshakes could in some circumstances be "derech chiba"; mass transit is definitely not. (More broadly, some poskim say all touching is prohibited, not limiting it to "derech chiba." R Moshe seems to have a middle ground, if I'm reading it correctly; avoid types of touching that could reasonably be misconstrued as derech chiba.
Nov
20
comment Can one do Nisuyin through a shliach?
@user6591 Rabbi Rakeffet tells the story of some bochur who asked that to numerous teachers, who threw him out of the classroom. He answered the kid respectfully -- in fact, R' Chaim Brisker suggests that kessef and shtar are general mechanisms that effect all sorts of halachic statuses; thus the proxy clause goes along with them. Biah is a halachic mechanism unique to marriage, so the general rule of proxies does not apply.
Nov
19
comment If a woman converts to Judaism while pregnant, will her child be a Jew?
@BruceJames that surprises me. The waiting is to see whether she's pregnant. If we know she is, then we know how to do deal with that halachically! Regardless, most poskim today (already going back to R' Hershel Schachter's father, R' Melech Schachter) will allow a pregnancy test rather than a 3-month wait before a new convert can get married.
Nov
18
comment Postmortem organ donation in halacha
@Bochur613 that we don't care if the recipient is Jewish? It's on a tape I heard from Dr. Rosner shlita, who learned with Rav Moshe. No I don't have it in writing. Though I've also spoken with a posek who had heard (secondhand) that Rav Moshe paskened otherwise.
Nov
17
comment Explaining to children why we don't celebrate Halloween
@Scimonster I wouldn't have to delve into the exact details of its pagan roots. But if you're not allowed to point to its pagan roots, the question is like saying: "explain why we don't eat chametz on pesach, without saying anything about the Torah or Egypt." The reason we don't do it is because it has pagan roots!
Nov
17
comment Are non-Orthodox marriages recognized by Orthodox rabbis?
@RobertS.Barnes funny. But there the parties intended for it to be halachically binding, as that's what would be needed for their legal loophole. The Gemara talks about a kohen who "married" lots of women just so they could eat terumah -- the intention was a halachic status of marriage. Whereas something like (Rav Moshe Feinstein addresses this question) a sham marriage for the purposes of obtaining American or Canadian citizenship, in which no one ever wanted a halachic marriage.
Nov
13
comment Is it forbidden to publish misleading advertising?
Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society had a piece long ago about advertising, including something like weasel words, "cleans like a white tornado" [sound cool, but means nothing] -- which is a bit different than actually promising something false.
Nov
12
comment What is the significance of the gifts that Eliezer gave to Rivka?
Rabbi Soloveichik observed that a would-be convert is asked two general questions: "do you agree to keep the commandments?" and "do you want to belong to the Jewish people?" Hence: the half-shekel represents membership in the people, and the ten commandments represents the nuts-and-bolts actions.
Nov
12
comment What does Rashi mean by לין שם דבר?
@ShmuelNavi, "makom" is clearly a noun. The point is that "lin" is a noun. "A place for A NIGHT'S SLEEP." Compare: "do we have a place in our house for A PIANO?" [noun], vs. "do we have a place in our house for PLAYING MUSIC?" [verb -- well, gerund, but close enough].
Nov
10
comment Hotels, electronic keys, and shabbat
"Leave a present in the room." It's a nice idea in theory, but practically -- imagine the 50-year-old rabbi who walks up to a 20-something female desk clerk and says "hi um, I have a present for you in my hotel room, would you follow me there?"
Nov
10
comment Is Jewish -Islamic system intermingling allowed in Judaism?
@narnia it starts with traditional rabbinic law as a "vote", then works from there based on understandings of personal autonomy and morality.
Nov
10
comment Can you give an animal a tranquilizer, and proceed to slaughter it?
@Shokhet be forewarned -- your notion of Daas Torah may be challenged. You'll see R' Chaim Ozer writing in the early 1930s that the German government will soon come to its senses and allow traditional shechita.
Nov
10
comment Can you give an animal a tranquilizer, and proceed to slaughter it?
@Shokhet there's a kuntress printed at the back of newer editions of the Sridei Aish. (It's also on the Bar Ilan CD/website.)
Nov
10
comment Jewish Marriage and Pleasure
PLEASE OH PLEASE GO READ judaism.stackexchange.com/a/33902/21
Nov
10
comment Jewish Marriage and Pleasure
PLEASE I BEG YOU SEE judaism.stackexchange.com/a/33902/21
Nov
6
comment Is a bracha said when eating non-food items (e.g. paper)?
@Scimonster a bicycle is the R' Chaim Naeh shiur; an airplane is the Chazon Ish shiur.
Nov
5
comment This is on the RamBam isurei biah Chapter 15 - Halacha 25…Asufi of possible Gentile lineage?
@rudy so you're getting into questions of safek-mamzer, not safek-akum. Perhaps consider rephrasing your question title?
Oct
31
comment Where can I find a transliteration of the ketubah text?
See also audio: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/40422/21
Oct
28
comment Is there a “5 second rule” for foods becoming non-Kosher?
@WAF yeah that's pretty much what puts the Chamudei Daniel on the map for most of us. Actually I think he has one or two notable stances in Taharas HaMishpacha as well. (Sort of like "the Or Zarua's opinion" -- to some of the world, that's the heter on chadash grown by non-Jews; and to others, it's the extra veset.)
Oct
26
comment The hebrew meaning of the name Laila
@DoubleAA woops! Sorry. I think that was my brain's way of saying "layla tov."