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1d
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."
May
27
comment Must a woman cover her hair in bed when she is niddah?
@R.Mo Chazal felt it was important that a man see that his wife looks pleasant, regardless of the phase of month. Depending on the couple and the situation, he might be fine seeing her in a snood 24x7, but he may prefer to see her real hair when there are no visitors. That's a question for a local rabbi. Rav Moshe's quote was about a woman who wants to shave her head altogether.
May
25
comment Does a Jewish idolater's pouring of non-mevushal wine make that wine forbidden to himself?
JD Bleich had a piece about this in Tradition a few issues back. Need more later.
May
25
comment Source for Immersion after Biblical Niddah
possible duplicate of What is the punishment spelled out explicitly in the Torah for having relations with a post-menstrual woman who has not gone to the Mikvah?
May
23
comment Psalm of retaliation
T'motet rasha ra'a?
May
23
comment Why can't we use products in food that are a דבר מעמיד
@DavidFeigen if you extracted, say, a curdling enzyme from the fruit, yes that would be a davar hamaamid. The fruit is non-kosher, so what's extracted from it is too. (Preservatives, like a metabisulfate or the like, are unlikely to be "davar hamaamid" as your food looks identical one hour before and one hour after you add it. It just keeps it looking that way much longer!)