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As in, a method of asking a halachic question to a qualified halachic expert Rabbi, anonymously.

Is there a collection of verified, reputable "anonymous shaila lines", by country or city? If not, could this question serve as a place for one in the meantime?

If so, please provide what anonymous shaila lines you know about, ensuring to include their location, the number, email address or website link, what minhagim they cater for (e.g. sefardi, ashkenazi, etc), and what establishes their reliability (the last one is essential for the answer to remain on topic on Mi Yodeya, otherwise it will just be opinion based).

Feel free to also post any references to halachic discussion about asking anonymous shailas. It seems like a fairly new thing to me, I would be glad to see some responsa on it, if it exists. Thank you.

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  • Tip: make an answer "community-wiki" and we could make it as a reference place :)
    – Shmuel
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 19:45
  • I found this app on the web. I have no personal experience or firsthand knowledge with it so I won't include it in my answer, but I'm putting it in the comments. mishmarshaila.com/index.html
    – chortkov2
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 21:15
  • Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/83612/…
    – chortkov2
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 21:33
  • Also related: judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/8303/…
    – chortkov2
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 21:34
  • BTW: I just discovered a topic in Kiryana D'Igarta by the Steipler Gaon. I think in vol. 2, p. 34 under "בענין תפילת הדרך ביום השני" the Steipler relates the story that someone was asking if anonymous shaila was permitted. I remember reading that this can be.....
    – Shmuel
    Commented Aug 6, 2023 at 12:05

4 Answers 4

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Kav Halacha

Kav Halachah is a 24/6 'shaila line'. Rabbanim based in Eretz Yisroel, Lakewood, New York, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne and Johannesburg answer the hotline.

Phone numbers: IL: +972553-200-200 USA: 732-707-6666 AU: 03-9111-2444 UK: 020-4538-4538

Federation ShailaText

ShailahText is run by a group of London-based Rabbanim affiliated with Federation Beis Din. They reply to any halachic query within 4 working hours. [Mentioned in @Dov's answer]

SMS: +447403-939-613. Alternatively, ask on their website.

In their words:

Wherever possible it is preferable to send questions to your own Rav who knows you personally. ShailaText is not intended to be used as a substitute for a Rav.

Din-online

Dinonline.org is a website with a database of thousands of shailas and a great search engine, under the auspices of Rabbi Yosef Fleischman (of the famous Kollel Choshen Mishpat) with an option to ask online.

Minchas Asher

R' Asher Weiss has a website of his shiurim (audio, video and written). There is also an option to submit a shaila to R' Asher Weiss.

STAR-K Institute of Halacha

STAR-K, while primarily a Kashrus organization, have opened a department for general halacha too, directed by R' Mordechai Frankel and under the auspices of Harav Moshe Heinemann. Shailas can be submitted online here, or by calling in to 410-484-4110 x238.

Meishiv Kehalacha

Meishiv KeHalacha is a website disseminating Sephardic halacha, which has an AskTheRabbi feature.

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  • I mentioned ShailaText in my answer...
    – Dov
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 20:41
  • 1
    @Dov I see that now. Your answer hadn't yet appeared when I started my answer. :)
    – chortkov2
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 21:12
  • it was finished and published a good 25 mins before yours?
    – Dov
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 21:16
  • 1
    The pains of not clicking on the '1 new answer' notification while drafting my own...
    – chortkov2
    Commented Aug 1, 2023 at 21:28
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Here is a community wiki. Thanks Shmuel!

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There's an app called instaRabbi. That might be of interest to you. They cater to any minhag type. You just have to specify that in the question. Star K also has a ask the rabbi feature in their app. That is only partially anonymous because it functions through email.

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There is a very widely used service provided by the Federation Beis Din in London called ShailaText and it is manned by several local Rabbonim.

It writes on the website:

The ShailaText service was never intended to take the place of someone having their own Rov, someone who knows and understands them and with whom they have an ongoing relationship. However, for people who for whatever reason have not yet managed to establish such a figure in their lives, or who are not able to reach their own Rov, it’s crucial that other avenues exist for them to find answers to their shailos.

In its first year, ShailaText was contacted by over 1200 individuals, and answered nearly 7000 questions on a variety of topics, ranging from kashrus to hilchos Shabbos and yom tov and Taharas Hamishpocha.

ShailaText guarantees to respond to shailos within four working hours. When an SMS is sent to the ShailaText number, it is received by an administrator who ascertains the general topic of the question. Certain shailos are immediately directed to the correct department in the Federation, for example a query on the kashrus of a particular product will go to the Kashrus Department, and a more intricate shaila in Choshen Mishpot would be forwarded to the Beis Din (although as a general rule, such shailos are beyond the scope of the service to respond to in their complexity).

The majority of questions received by the service, however, are forwarded to a team of Rabbonim with many years of combined experience and wide expertise in different halachic areas. The ShailaText Rabbonim receive the shailos via an interactive mobile platform; they discuss the shaila amongst themselves and provide a response, with validation via a general consensus. The final answer is then sent back to the administrator and passed on to the original sho’el.

This process ensures anonymity every step of the way – no information other than the mobile phone number of the questioner, and any other details they choose to reveal, are seen by the administrator, and the Rabbonim themselves do not even see the number. Many highly sensitive shailos have been processed by the team, some of which may never have been asked had confidentiality and anonymity not been assured in this manner. From time to time situations may arise where further discussion is need – in these cases the sho’el is provided with the phone number of a ShailaText Rov and invited to contact them at their convenience – or if preferred, and with permission, their number is passed on for the Rov to contact them. ShailaText will also encourage the questioner to contact the appropriate organisation to receive further help and support where needed, particularly in situations where their mental health or shalom bayis is in apparent jeopardy.

Finally, where the shailos received by the service are very complicated with far-reaching ramifications, the ShailaText team is fortunate to have the full backing of the Federation Beis Din – they meet regularly with Rav Zimmerman, Rov of the Federation and Av Beis Din, and refer shailos to him whenever necessary.

Questions can also be submitted via the website here.

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