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Apr
2
comment Using a plata on Shabbat
This is nitpicky, but Rabbi Asher Lopatin is now the president of Yeshivat Chovevei HaTorah. So aside from no longer being in Chicago (he is now based in New York), I might characterize his affiliation not as Modern Orthodox but as Open Orthodox. That distinction may be important to some people.
Mar
30
comment The Layman's Masechta (Mishnayoth) for a Siyum
The first chapter of Megillah has quite a few concepts gathered from all over the place. It is, after all, the defining case of "ein bein".
Mar
30
comment Time limit on making a Siyum
@DoubleAA, depends on the masechta, depends on the person. If there are people regularly making siyumim somewhere you frequent, then yes, perhaps. But if asked "What is the end of Masechet Ploni?" there are fairly few values of ploni for which I have a ready answer.
Mar
26
comment Did courts ever execute?
@DoubleAA, whether a kohen may make himself tamei on the same day that he was tamei to a close relative is a machloket Rambam & Raavad. I can look for citation.
Mar
23
comment Does demolition of terrorists' homes have any basis in Judaism?
@DoubleAA, it could be permitted based on hefker beit din (though even if hefker, it may be bal tashchit to destroy a home). It could be permitted based on pikuach nefesh (if it is an effective deterrent).
Mar
12
revised Emotional distress with the overly sensitive
Title was overbroad, narrowed focus
Mar
11
awarded  Nice Answer
Mar
10
comment What siddur do Open Orthodox people use?
I suspect that at this point at least, those who want to make Open Orthodox suggested changes (such as omitting the bracha sh'lo asani isha, the mention of niddah in long Tachanun, etc) are knowledgeable enough to make them "on the fly". Those who don't know enough to skip these passages might not care enough about them.
Mar
8
comment If a nations laws are immoral in the face of Torah laws, are we still obligated to abide by them?
I expected from the title for this to be a more halakhicly ambiguous case, like bankruptcy law, which from a halakhic perspective is theft in that you don't repay your loans, but from a legal perspective is an exemption from repaying them.
Mar
6
comment Chazan praying for the sick in Refainu
Would we take "choleh b'toch beito" from your final paragraph literally? Must the person live in the house of the one praying? Is "beito" metaphorical to mean only his family, but not for example his chevruta (as Beit Aharon refers to all kohanim, whether they lived in Aaron's house or not) Or does it mean only the sick he personally knows, but not an entire list of people to whom he has no special connection? (I guess I should probably just ask this as a question on its own)
Feb
23
comment Have women accepted Zachor on themselves?
This is very new. R' Ezra Schwartz from YU said the Chazon Ish didn't think it was important for women in his own family to attend.
Feb
23
comment Can a Jew join Christians in saying grace before meals?
If you say "Thank you Jesus for this food", either you are giving thanks to the Christian deity, or you are saying there is a guy named Jesus who provided you with the food in some way (he grew it, or cooked it, or bought it for you, etc). And unless it is really obvious that you mean the latter, it very much looks like the former, which is a problem.
Feb
23
comment process for Gabbai to call his son to the Torah
A gabbai in a shteibel used to regular call his firstborn son, and mention always "Bni bechori Nadav". Data point, but hardly an answer really.
Feb
23
comment Titles and prefixes for calling people up to the Torah
If I were the gabbai and a man of 60 asked to be called "ha-bachur", I'd assume it was to make him feel young. I'd say it, but I'd expect it to get a laugh.
Feb
23
comment May a Jew sell marijuana?
@DanF, no. If something is prohibited to me but permitted to you, I can sell it to you. If a nazir had wine and wanted to remove temptation, he could sell off all his wine. Kosher slaughterhouses regularly sell improperly shechted animals and other things to non-Jews. But this discussion is irrelevant if you think everyone has to follow R' Moshe.
Feb
16
awarded  Necromancer
Feb
15
comment Can a man miss tefilah with a minyan because his wife is overwhelmed with the children?
There is a story of a fellow who usually came late to minyan/yeshiva. A functionary approached him to inquire about his habitual tardiness. He said, "Every day, as I am going towards minyan, I see a woman who has many children and many household chores. She cannot manage them all by herself. So I stop to help her." The functionary responded, "Oh, that's different. Is she a widow?" The man said, "Thank G-d, no. She is my own wife."
Feb
8
comment Shaliach tzibur who publically transgresses a Biblical commandment
Is your question on those who publicly violate mitzvot most of the community does not violate, or are you asking if I have to find the rare individual who honors his parents appropriately and doesn't speak lashon hara? If the latter, who will daven?
Feb
4
comment What's the reason behind having an additional atara on the middle of the talis gadol?
I always assumed it was related to the gartel and dividing top from bottom.
Feb
4
comment Do modern Jewish cemeteries separate the “righteous” from the “wicked”?
Rav Herschel Shachter regularly jokes that this is why each shul has its section in the cemetery. We assume everyone who went to this shul is guilty of approximately the same sins.