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Dec
9
comment Women using tampons before marriage
@Shokhet okay, done. Was trying to give Malka the credit...
Dec
8
comment Women using tampons before marriage
Rabbi Ribner and Dr. Rosenfeld recommend using tampons pre-marriage in A Newlywed's Guide to Physical Intimacy‌​. The authors are affiliated with Yeshiva University.
Dec
5
comment What did medieval rabbis like Maimonides write, generically? What do modern rabbis write?
@Zyzzyva as far as their authority, yes. You could also categorize works by types. I've seen cataloging such as: "Talmud commentaries, Rishonim"; "Talmud commentaries, Achronim"; "Respona, Rishonim"; "Responsa, contemporary", and so on. ("Maimonides' code and its commentaries" usually gets its own category.)
Dec
4
comment Gender in Vayishlach 33:6-7
First answer -- makes you think what the family dynamics were like. "Dan, Naftali! Come downstairs for dinner!" No can do, mom! You're a maidservant. We're sons of Israel.
Dec
3
comment Saying kaddish when davening in a minyan that isn't your nusach
If I'm not mistaken, Rav Moshe gives you the option of following your own nusach for birchos krias shma or other quiet parts (provided you stay quiet). As a child, when they davened at a Chassidish place, his father instructed him to follow their text and daven nusach Sefard, except for saying Bameh Madlikin rather than KeGavna. (As reported in the biography prefacing volume 8.)
Dec
2
comment When and why did the custom that a Nidda hides from the public that she is a Nidda start
@Yishai that's fascinating. Did they just ignore the rule of tum'at eretz amemim? (The al taharat hakodesh pretty much becomes unworkable when the center of Jewish life is outside of Israel, for that reason.)
Dec
2
comment What is the most common way of indicating qere/kethib in the biblical text?
Most translations ignore the nuance entirely, and translate one or the other. To get the same effect, I'd like to see the Keri in strikeout, followed by the Ketiv. E.g. "you will betrothe a woman, but another man will [expletive in strikeout] lie with her."
Dec
1
comment Should Ya'akov have married Rachel?
@Nic yeah from what we see in the verses, she's passive until doing the competition-for-kids thing. We would hopefully assume that she's okay with the whole thing when he's kissing her and offering labor to her father for her hand in marriage ...
Dec
1
comment Who asked Rav Moshe about capital punishment?
@SethJ it's well-known. The Gemara says they stopped the death penalty when the Sanhedrin was exiled from the Temple office; R' Aaron felt that meant no government could use capital punishment from that point on. I've heard this from his talmidim, and I believe also on a yutorah shiur ... but sorry I can't pinpoint a written source at the moment.
Nov
30
comment Should Ya'akov have married Rachel?
@ThinkingSkeptically not really. Okay oops he married Leah, now what. Rachel is thinking, "I still want to marry Jacob, co-wife and all." Jacob is thinking, "I still want to marry Rachel, co-wife and all; plus I made that commitment to her." Again, given that people at the time were used to the co-wife relationship, going ahead and marrying Rachel seemed like the least-damaging resolution at the moment.
Nov
28
comment Origin of the common M'chalkel niggun
Argh! Now I can't get it out of my head!
Nov
27
comment Source for guest bed in Sedom as a parable for education
No I'm not the firsthand source. I've heard it quoted as such from both Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz and Rabbi Eli Fischer, if it helps. Would have to check with some talmidim or the like.
Nov
27
comment If a Cohen slept with non-Jews, may he marry a Jewish woman who has done the same?
Yup, Cohen status is something you're stuck with, you can't choose to relinquish it.
Nov
27
comment Rav Shlomo Wolbe and children
Not quite the same, but R' Yaakov Kaminetsky pointed to the Gemara about the "guest bed" in Sodom, where if you were too short they stretched you; too tall, they cut off your limbs; he said this was the state of our educational system. And R' Ephraim KiTov has an essay called "al chet shechatanu lefenecha bechinuch habanim" about shoving Gemara at kids who aren't ready for it.
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.