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Sep
11
comment Does a fathers obligation to teach his sons a parnassah extend to his daughters too?
I doubt they made conditions in the mitzvos that would kick in if circumstances changed in the future. It is also debatable if it essential for the woman to earn a livelihood even nowadays, though I guess that depends if her husband is in kollel..
Sep
11
comment Does Down Syndrome make one a Shoteh?
If he destroyed the box when opening it, I think its muttar.
Sep
9
comment Are late or overdue fees Ribbis?
Alex, since there could be some way it gets damaged, the rental cost can be considered as coverage for that. But if the terms exclude any possibility of other payments, I think the rental charge may run into issues of ribbis.
Sep
9
comment Are late or overdue fees Ribbis?
The library book case is definitely OK but I don't think there's an inherent exemption on non-fungible things. Its just that the charges can be considered to cover the costs of wearing out the item or the like. But I think it could be possible to violate ribbis in certain circumstances. E.g. if the borrower must also pay for any wear-and-tear and and damages.
Sep
8
comment Can I wash and say “please pass the salt”?
Even people who know the gemara still refrain from speaking, probably b/c that's what everyone else is doing.
Sep
6
comment Bentching in Yeshiva, a restaurant or other Public areas
It seems reasonable. Anyways, the harachamans are not set in stone, you can add in your own.
Sep
6
comment Which modern-day fruits require Shehechiyanu?
It depends on your location. In Israel I don't think you can get any fruit at any time of the year at a local store.
Sep
6
comment Car falls into my ditch- I'm not responsible?
Nowadays, if the Sanhedrin was around, they would need to enact many takkanos in monetary law. They were given very wide powers in such matters to deal with different circumstances.
Sep
5
comment Judaism and successful life - which details in jewish culture determines success?
There are many reasons to believe that it is genetic. For example, many successful Jews do not have a Jewish upbringing. The success rate is also not the so high for all Jewish groups.
Sep
5
comment Does a fathers obligation to teach his sons a parnassah extend to his daughters too?
The gemara in Kiddushin says it about Torah; I added in the passuk it quotes. I think its clear in the gemara that all the mitzvos are for the father to the son, but earning a livelihood wasn't the woman's responsibility.
Sep
4
comment Sheidim: are they fact, or fiction?
It was given as an example. There are other reasons we wash our hands, such as "beriyah chadashah", that we're like a new creation when we wake up. Anyways, a gzeira can stay in a certain way, even if there are reasons to do it differently. Though most halachos relating to 'shedim' and 'zugos' are not in fact kept today, sonmething the rishonim already discuss.
Sep
2
comment Why the vast difference of opinion about the age of the Universe?
There is also a more extreme approach which I left out that says the science is completely wrong. While science is not certainly correct, at a certain point it becomes quite difficult to argue with certain conclusions. For example, there are not that many people who still think the earth is flat or at the center of the solar system. I think the age of the Earth and universe is a similar issue.
Sep
2
comment Reconciling the evidence for the Uncertainty Principle with belief in an omniscient G-d
Tom, it may be that anything that is extremely unlikely can be considered a miracle above nature. Though I'm not sure that there has to be such a strong separation between them. Even without quantum mechanics, the splitting of the sea can just be considered a very unlikely event.
Sep
1
comment Does a Food Mashgiach have to Sacrifice his Life?
Its comparable in that you cannot issue a public psak that distorts the truth out of fear of harm.
Aug
31
comment What portion of his income would a Jew following the sacrificial laws give?
Also, there are some other gifts, such as the parts of the animal given to the kohen. One should also mention ma'aser kesafim, which according to a minority opinion is a biblical requirement.
Aug
30
comment hat and jacket during davening
Perhaps one could make the claim that a hat is an absolute form of respectful clothing, irrespective of the current style. But the MB seems to imply that the current time and minhag do matter. Also, the particular hat that people wear now is just from the gentile style of a century ago. I think people should go back to the more authentic turban.
Aug
16
comment “Is the market-based distribution of income fair or unfair?”
10% do not go to the Kohanim. The Kohanim received terumah, which can be any amount mdoraysa but mdrabanan should be about 2%. They also received terumas ma'aser (10% of the levi's 10%) and other gifts, but not a flat 10% of nay total. I don't think peah came near 10% either, but people gave tzedakah separately also.
Aug
12
comment Boruch Shem Kevod Malchuso L'Olam Voed - why do we whisper it?
Its a high expression of praise that the angels say. Humans may say it too, but only whisper it. It would be too brazen to say out loud normally. The exception is Yaakov on his deathbed, or a Jew on Yo"k, when we are at a level where it can be said out loud.
Aug
7
comment Rambam on Olam Haba, Mashiach, and Techiyat haMeitim
Obviously the Rambam didn't deny techiyas hamesim, just he didn't say it would happen with mashiach, but at a later stage. But your answer (before your comment) implies its all one event.
Aug
7
comment Rambam on Olam Haba, Mashiach, and Techiyat haMeitim
The ramchal was a kabbalist so he does not follow the Rambam on some issues.