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Jul
14
comment Is the Oral Law mainly of Divine origin or is it largely influenced by the rabbis/cultures of the time?
@mevaqesh edah.org/backend/JournalArticle/1_2_henkin.pdf .
Jul
14
comment Is the Oral Law mainly of Divine origin or is it largely influenced by the rabbis/cultures of the time?
@DoubleAA yeah forgive me I'm going with Ashkenazic common practice today, whatever its source (or lack thereof). Would you advise a different example of a rabbinic obligation enacted only on men?
Jul
10
comment Torah - as a source of ritual impurity
@ShalombenZahar yes, it's very funny. The best way to achieve proper protection of the scroll was for the rabbis to decree it to be a very low-grade contaminant, so low-grade it doesn't affect us today. Recall that "ritually impure" does not equate to "evil." Members of Jewish burial societies are holy, righteous people, but they're ritually impure because they touch corpses -- doing a tremendous mitzvah in the process.
Jul
9
comment Can a Jewish actor participate in a pie-throwing scene that uses non-kosher pies?
I'd read they usually use shaving cream these days, which would be permissible.
Jul
9
comment Torah - as a source of ritual impurity
@ShalombenZahar no! Miqva and disqualification for the day is for stronger sources of contamination, such as a dead lizard. Touching a Torah scroll would simply require him to wash his hands, then he can get back on duty.
Jul
8
comment Providing services to a forbidden ceremony
@Loewian the Gemara says clearly that "Lifnei De-Lifnei" is allowed. I'm enabling him to turn around and enable pagans by selling it to them. That's the idea here: I wholesale frankincense to Bob's Pagan Supply; Acme Worship-R-Us; and Mister Frankincense -- all of which are businesses that knowingly, directly, sell to pagans for their worship. Even if I'm the sole supplier to all of them.
Jul
2
comment Is there any way a pious jewish man can have many women legally and halacally?
Methinks the downvoters lack a sense of dark humor ...
Jul
2
comment In adultery, why is a wife is guilty, and a husband not?
@JimThio you're correct. I was just pointing out that in Judah's case, the text says he was widowed.
Jul
1
comment Use induction on Yom Tov
I assume you could leave a metal heat diffuser on from before yomtov?
Jun
30
comment Doesn't gezera affect the Torah?
@mevaqesh yes, thank you; I thought that might be more detail than the questioner here is ready for. I didn't say "because the Torah prohibits" (which would include issurei lavin), but rather "because the Torah deems incestuous" (in an attempt at a simplified reference towards issurei kareis).
Jun
30
comment Doesn't gezera affect the Torah?
The Torah's law was "relinquish private debts." The enactment was to make most debts public instead. There are plenty more workarounds like that: sell 2% of your pregnant cow to a non-Jew so you don't have to deal with the special laws of the firstborn; gift your estate evenly between your children one moment before death, rather than have fights because the firstborn gets double. In all these cases, we're advising workarounds, but the "thou shalt not" is still in place.
Jun
29
comment In adultery, why is a wife is guilty, and a husband not?
@JimThio look again. Judah's wife had died by then. bible.ort.org/books/… But extramarital relations/prostitution wouldn't be prohibited until a few centuries later, when the law is given at Sinai. Tamar is about to be branded because she was supposed to stay within the family (which, it turns out, she did).
Jun
29
comment In adultery, why is a wife is guilty, and a husband not?
@JimThio please modify your language. As discussed elsewhere, non-marital relations are theoretically punishable by lashes, either by biblical or rabbinic prohibition; it doesn't warrant the theoretical death penalty that "adultery" does. Since a married man in biblical times could have run off and married a single woman off the streets and then gotten involved with her, the only charge on which he could be brought is "extramarital relations" if he didn't marry her. Again, monogamy has been the law for the last 1000 years, and cheating on your wife is disgusting and horrible don't ever do it
Jun
29
comment Is it still adultery if the other spouse consents?
@JimThio in the Bible, Amos Ch. 6 talks about "disgusting beds." The Talmud (post-Biblical) read that as referring to wife-swapping.
Jun
29
comment What does adultery mean in the 7th commandment?
@JimThio different conjugations of the same verb. "Sin'af" means "you will do ne'ifa" (preceded by a "DON'T")
Jun
28
comment Does a married women going through the conversion process need to cover her hair?
@Loewian presumably her husband is either already Jewish, or preparing to convert. In such cases, I've seen them do a halachic wedding almost immediately after the conversion -- because we wouldn't allow this halachically-unmarried couple to be secluded together.
Jun
24
comment Were new arrivals stuck at Ellis Island for Shabbos?
@intuit thanks for the info! The laws of techum (not walking past the city limits) may have kept them stuck even if there were no papers to sign -- but good point, there usually were.
Jun
23
comment For someone wearing tzitzis outside his clothes, should he have the strings and / or the knots visible?
@Mefaresh I'm afraid I don't have an official text or rabbi. Just several older guys in yeshiva who told me that's how it was done, and why.
Jun
23
comment For someone wearing tzitzis outside his clothes, should he have the strings and / or the knots visible?
@Mefaresh the strings all look the same. Some people tie better KNOTS than others.
Jun
22
comment Scaling Time to Reconcile Genesis with Science
This is a general "how to understand Genesis Ch. 1" question, totally irrespective of Schroeder's time-scaling. Verse 1 says "and the earth", but later verses talk about the earth per se as on Day 3.