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Oct
8
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?
@DoubleAA he actually addresses that. "But it will cause thoughts!" Still, take the bus or subway. But if it causes an um, anatomic reaction, a man shouldn't -- but Rav Moshe doesn't think that Joe Baalabos who's busy with kids, job, mortgage, wife, minyan, and daf yomi is really going to have that kind of reaction.
Oct
1
comment Can one accomplish Tzedaka through a will?
@Shokhet it's probably a Daas Zekenim mibaalei hatosfos then? Sorry I don't recall.
Sep
30
comment How can yeast be kosher lǝPesach?
You'll also see "torula yeast" in some ingredients. Papermakers have "wood soup" in need of disposal, and the torula yeast eat the nutrients in that. Win for the papermakers, win for the yeastmakers, win for kashrus because pine is kosher l'pesach, pareve, lamehadrin!
Sep
30
comment How can yeast be kosher lǝPesach?
@DoubleAA Se'or is your sourdough starter. It still contains flour and water.
Sep
15
comment When did walking from Ner Israel yeshiva to Baltimore no longer require Eruv Techumin?
@YEZ thank you. Those who do place one -- where do they place it? Near the I-695?
Sep
1
comment Colored underwear during seven clean days
@ZachB thank you so much!
Aug
21
comment Where could an extreme ultra-orthodox baal t'shuva etc. realistically find a shidduch?
This is less than an answer but more than a comment -- if you hear they're suggesting a shidduch that's ridiculously "out of your league", it's probably too good to be true -- e.g. s/he's related to a big-name rosh yeshiva, but they're not telling you that the actual person in question has severe behavioral problems.
Aug
20
comment How do we know that a potential korban is not אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה וּמְחִיר כֶּלֶב?
@AvrohomYitzchok why should it be any different? We don't concern ourselves with theoretical rare events.
Aug
20
comment Bootstrapping problem: havdalah ends shabbat (for one who didn't daven ma'ariv) but lighting the candle is melacha?
@SAH we don't use the name of G-d for baruch hamavdil.
Aug
19
comment What should a Jew do if encountered by ISIS?
@eramm thank you. To whom was Igeret HaShmad addressed?
Aug
17
comment What should a Jew do if encountered by ISIS?
@ElyBeauEastman "chutz" means "outside." "Chutz la'aretz" means "outside the land of Israel." The question would [presumably] be the same if some random hapless Jew got lost and wandered into the wrong part of Iraq.
Jul
23
comment Aside from the days set aside for impurity, what exactly is a man allowed to do with his wife in regards to intimacy?
@Shokhet -- most Ashkenazim and some Sephardim say our tradition has been lost as to which ones. R' Ovadya Yosef zt"l said for mainstream sephardim, they don't "treif" up your dishes, but don't eat them.
Jul
23
comment Am I allowed to give my kid a non-Hebrew (non-Jewish?) name?
JD Bleich says "they didn't change their names" means I was born Zev, but now I go to City Hall and tell them to make it William instead. That's different than what I choose to name my children.
Jul
15
comment Bishul Akum: State Dinners
@CharlesKoppelman not sure I understand your point. If I walk into a vegan restaurant where a non-Jew has cooked lentils from scratch, then as far as I can see that would be a serious Bishul Akum issue. (We focus on the main ingredient, lentils; regardless of how/if they're seasoned.) Whereas my grocery store may carry OU pre-cooked, vacuum-sealed lentils; not a Bishul Akum issue. The rule was set as "whatever is good enough for a state function", and has some local subjectivity to it. (The Star-K talks about foods that would be good enough to stand alone in some countries, but not in others.)
Jul
9
comment What's the source for naming children after Alexander the Great?
Rav Moshe says it can't be that the Jews were forced to name their children Alexander, or else he would have forced them to have the statue. (As the Gemara says he respected the Jews.) It's certainly possible that he asked nicely about the statue, and they felt bad so they offered to name their kids instead. (Rav Moshe's point is that it's not all-out prohibited to give your kids non-Jewish names. "And don't tell me those who named their kids Alexander were absolutely forced to do so..."
Jun
24
comment Geirim and accepting Mitzvos
@msh210, yes; but for instance, Rabbi Rakeffet suggests that if someone converts Orthodox and belongs to an Orthodox synagogue where all the people there affiliate Orthodox, never drive on shabbos, but eat salmon at non-kosher-certified restaurants, then if that convert does it too, it's no challenge to the sincerity of the conversion -- s/he is looking around at the common practice, figuring that's fully keeping the mitzvos, and following it.
Jun
22
comment Kosher items to stock in a cafeteria
Yogurt. Make sure to find a brand with kosher certification (and not just a "plain K.")
Jun
20
comment Why people keep saying 12 tribes of Israel when there are 13?
@JimThio, yes. As for the "ten lost" -- around the year 500 BCE, there was Jewish reign over only two parcels of land: Benjamin and Judah. (They, plus scattered Levite cities, made up "the kingdom of Judah" -- but there was still a line that said "Tribe of Benjamin's land" here, "Tribe of Judah's land" there. [The line actually ran right through the Temple in Jerusalem!] You're right, Simeon just disappeared into Judah long before. I guess "the ten lost tribes" is more like "the ten tribes who no longer had parcels by the year 500."
Jun
17
comment Is the Christmas tree an Ashera?
@DoubleAA but if a building was built to house an idol, that building would be prohibited.
Jun
11
comment Please explain the meaning of the word “Be'emunah” in the last paragraph of “Yekum Purkan”
Or better yet -- "with integrity." It echoes II Kings 12:16, "for the craftsmen worked with integrity."