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Jun
7
comment May a convert serve on a beit din for gerut?
@JJLL the Talmud (~500) says a convert may not be on a chalitza panel, may judge non-Jews, and may not judge capital cases involving born-Jews. The medieval debate (~1100) was whether a convert may financially judge a born-Jew. Then in the 18th century, decisors addressed the conversion-panel question and felt different precedents were accurate: is it like chalitza, therefore no; is it like judging a non-Jew, therefore yes; or is it like financially judging a born-Jew, which makes it a medieval debate where we generally conclude no.
Jun
7
comment May a convert serve on a beit din for gerut?
@JJLL the earliest sources we have directly addressing this question is in the 1700s. The question is what older precedent to apply.
Jun
5
comment davening in a shul with member who are mechalel shabbos be'farhesya
@Fred Rabbi Rakeffet quotes a discussion about the permissibility of opening a shul someplace where most people drive; he said what he'd heard from late 20th-Century poskim is that if there is theoretically a minyan within walking distance, then you're not telling people to drive.
Jun
4
comment Can a yeshiva principal force students to tattle on other students
@DanF he refers to men wearing wedding bands as "maybe mechu'ar for the exceedingly God-fearing." "Maybe deplorable"? Doesn't sound right. "Maybe distasteful."
Jun
4
comment Can a yeshiva principal force students to tattle on other students
I think "deplorable" is slightly too strong of a translation for how R' Moshe uses "mechu'ar." "Distasteful", perhaps.
Jun
4
comment How and why are eunuchs forbidden to enter the congregation per Devarim 23:1 but are accepted in Isaiah 56:4-5?
Additionally, the prohibition in Deuteronomy applies only to those who had mechanical injury to their reproductive organs. Isaiah includes those who lost fertility to disease.
Jun
3
comment What prayer may be said upon the death of a beloved pet, specifically, a dog?
I'm sorry for your loss.
Jun
3
comment Is a mechanical grogger muktzah?
Just to clarify -- there was a rabbinic prohibition against musical instruments and other noisemaking tools.
May
31
comment How did kinyan ketzatzah work?
@rikitikitembo excellent question; it's obsolete now anyhow. Malbim reads that ktzatza was dominant in the times of Ruth, and we're told "what had been done previously" was chalipin; Boaz had to reinstitute it, as ktzatza could be misconstrued as disapproval of his choice of spouse.
May
31
comment The letter Dalet
@MichaelKatz how do we know how they pronounced it a thousand years ago?
May
28
comment Loshon hara to a therapist
@Mefaresh yes he mentioned that citation from Chafetz Chaim -- but then gave this explicit example as an application.
May
27
comment Difference in law between male and female adultery
@DoubleAA agreed! The original question was answered by halachic mechanics. Now it's a philosophy question!
May
27
comment Four Zakef-groups in one half-verse
@Daniel there's an xkcd about that! xkcd.com/1513
May
26
comment Four Zakef-groups in one half-verse
I feel like there should be an xkcd about this.
May
26
comment Four Zakef-groups in one half-verse
Pro tip: mechon-mamre already splits the text by verse. You then split it by etnachtas, and count zaqefs in each segment.
May
22
comment Candle for Havdalah during Kiddush of Chag Saturday night
Some do take two candles, put them together, then separate them and put them back in their holders. Rav Moshe Feinstein allowed this if it was your family custom. Other options: wrap two birthday candles together with foil, and put them in a holder. Make the bracha, light them, and leave them till they burn out. OR, dig up a chanukah floating wick and poke another hole through the cork for a second wick, then put that in a small oil bowl.
May
22
comment Providing services to a forbidden ceremony
@wfb and you'd apply that to a a service provider as well? (My job is to bake cakes with whatever writing my customer wants on them.) Nu.
May
21
comment Providing services to a forbidden ceremony
@Wfb there was a longstanding practice whereby the Jews would not sell cakes to two men, but the non-Jews would?
May
21
comment Providing services to a forbidden ceremony
@wfb it's actually been suggested that Rambam's reading in that Gemara had to do with knotting shoes on shabbos, not switching shoelace colors.
May
21
comment Eating bread/pastries from a non-Jewish baker
@bondonk en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Release_agent