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Questions tagged [chutz-laaretz]

Questions relating to the Diaspora, as in, outside of the land of Israel.

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66 votes
9 answers
3k views

Did any Achronim comment on the American Revolutionary or Civil Wars?

I've heard that for instance, in the 1800s, the American rabbis in the South were pro-slavery, and the American rabbis in the North opposed to it. But what were the views towards America of the more-...
Shalom's user avatar
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28 votes
3 answers
865 views

The Fanatic Badge

Here on Mi Yodeya, one can earn the "Fanatic" badge for visiting the site for 100 consecutive days. Is it halachically possible to earn the fanatic badge in the Diaspora?
user avatar
27 votes
2 answers
2k views

When Israel and the diaspora are out of sync on parshiyot, why don't we take the first opportunity to re-align?

This year (5772) the seventh day of Pesach is on a Friday, so the diaspora has an 8th day of chag on Shabbat but Israel does not. The diaspora will thus read Sh'mini on April 21, Tazria-Metzora on ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
21 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is it okay to enjoy Christmas lights?

My daughter is always talking about how she hates everything Christmas, including the lights on the houses. I am trying to encourage her that she can like non religious things like the lights, so ...
morah hochman's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
2k views

Are you allowed to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?

Is the US Pledge of Allegiance a form of oath or vow, and if so may one recite it? If one has recited it has one incurred any new halachic obligations?
user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can one join an army?

Is one allowed to join an army (let's say not the Israeli one) as doing so is putting oneself in a place of sakana? If one is not allowed to join an army in general, is one allowed to join an army for ...
Am Haaretz Gamur Mideoraysa's user avatar
17 votes
1 answer
840 views

Second day of Shavous

The main reason for the second day Yom Tov is because in the times of the Beis Hamikdash when we decided to declare months based on the seeing the new moon there where certain places that the ...
SimchasTorah's user avatar
  • 33.3k
16 votes
3 answers
552 views

Sefira Counting in Diaspora

Why don't we count two nights each night, if there was always a Safek (doubt) what the date is. In other words: if we are not sure when the second night of Pesach is, why don't we carry that doubt ...
yydl's user avatar
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16 votes
2 answers
2k views

If the lulav and etrog are biblically mandated, how were people in cold climates able to obtain them before modern times?

The use of the 4 species in the lulav and etrog is biblically mandated. Therefore, when Jews left Israel and moved to cold climates such as northern and eastern Europe, they would have needed to ...
La-comadreja's user avatar
16 votes
1 answer
657 views

What Halachot apply to serving on jury duty?

Halachically, what are the responsibilities of one who is called to jury duty? What if one of the litigants is Jewish, and the halacha would find differently than civil law does in the case, are you ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
1k views

Praying for rain in the Diaspora

Why on this year (and on other years that precede civil leap years) do we start praying for rain in the Diaspora (by inserting the phrase 'Vetein tal umatar") at maariv of December 5 and not maariv of ...
Double AA's user avatar
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15 votes
3 answers
561 views

Why not two days for all holidays?

For those outside of Israel the requirement is for two days of yom tov (and sometimes Rosh Chodesh), originally due to uncertainty and now due to tradition. But we don't do this for all holidays even ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
394 views

Can I omit ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן to catch up in Maariv?

If the Shaliach Tzibbur for maariv (outside of Israel) goes too quickly for me to start the Amidah with him, is there a source which would allow me to omit the section ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן? This ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
15 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is there a Chief Rabbi of the United States?

Is there currently or has there ever been historically a Chief Rabbi of the United States? If not, why not?
user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why do we say Pesach seder brachot both nights?

During the Pesach seder, but not during the rest of Pesach, we say b'rachot for the mitzvot of matzah and maror. (I mean the "asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav" b'rachot.) So it seems that we are only ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Joining a synagogue after two generations non-practising

My (Jewish) great-grandparents came to the UK from Poland during the second world war, but due to their experiences of violent anti-semitism, hid their Jewishness from the public in the UK. The result ...
jfhc's user avatar
  • 221
12 votes
2 answers
391 views

Are there any minhag and customs specific to Czech Jews and have they been documented?

I'm a baal teshuva with Czech Jewish ancestry. I have an interest in the minhag of my ancestors as well as in common cultural practices, and perhaps pass them on where I can. Have they been documented ...
Jakub's user avatar
  • 1,341
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why don't those outside of Israel shake Lulav on Shmini Atzeres?

If one holds that Jews living outside of Israel should sit in a sukkah because of Sfeika Dyoma (We aren't sure what day it is), then why shouldn't we shake lulav and esrog? Worst comes to worst we are ...
Rabbi Yaakov's user avatar
  • 1,058
12 votes
2 answers
264 views

Did Shuls in Europe display their countries' flags prior to the holocaust?

Prior to the holocaust, did Shuls in Europe display their countries' respective flags? Do Shuls currently display their countries' flags? When did it start and why?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
662 views

9 Days of Chanukah?

All Yomim Tovim we celebrate in Chutz Laretz an extra day because of A safek, why do we not do the same for Chanukah?
SimchasTorah's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
337 views

How is a kohen allowed to go outside Israel?

There is a decree which says that all the land outside of Israel is Tamei (as there is a ch'shash that the non-Jews bury their dead outside of official cemeteries). If so, how are Kohanim allowed to ...
Am Haaretz Gamur Mideoraysa's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
358 views

Counting the omer with doubt before the fixed calendar

Currently, according to a previous question on this site, we count the omer without doubt: "Today is the Xth day of the omer" because we have a fixed calendar, and because counting with doubt is ...
Charles Koppelman's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
415 views

Shehechiyanu on Lulav

Why is it that we make Shehechiyanu both nights of Sukkos at candle lighting and Kiddush due to Sefeika DeYoma yet we only make Shehechiyanu on the Lulav on the first day?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
199 views

Babylonian Jewry and Chanukah

For many years I have been bothered by the following. There was a large Jewish population living in Babylonia during the time that the events of Chanukah played out. Yet, I have never seen any ...
user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
642 views

An Ashenazi kohain lives outside Israel. When it is not Yom Tov, can he bless the people in a Sefardi shul?

I am a kohain living outside Israel where the Ashenazi custom is that we only bless the people (duchan) on Yomim Tovim. Where I live, there are Sefardi shuls where the kohanim duchan on Shabbos and ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
831 views

Why the split between Sefardim and Ashkenzim?

Why is there a much bigger split between Sefardim and Ashkenzim and not, say, between Sefardim and people who lived in Bavel? The distance between Spain, and say, Israel should have been big enough to ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Can Jews be rulers of countries other than Israel?

With the current political mayhem in the US, an interesting question regarding whether a Jew is halachically permitted to accept rulership of a country other than that of Eretz Yisrael has arisen. So ...
Leyzer's user avatar
  • 487
10 votes
1 answer
389 views

Is there a U.S. or Canadian yeshiva that offers a Smicha program where the Rosh Kollel can accommodate the deaf?

My son is deaf. I am looking for a Smicha program for him where the Rosh Yeshiva has experience dealing with and accommodating the deaf. My son has a cochlear implant and has SOME hearing, so he does ...
DanF's user avatar
  • 70.7k
10 votes
1 answer
241 views

Birchas Kohanim in the Diaspora

Why do we (ashkenazim) not do birchas kohanim in chutz la'aretz (except on yom tov), but in Israel, we do?
jake's user avatar
  • 28.6k
9 votes
2 answers
750 views

Why is the Boro Park eiruv controversial?

I know I might be hitting a touchy subject, but I'm prefacing it with this so I can clarify right away: I don't want a Psak, or who holds what. That's for each person to figure out... I just want to ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
9 votes
2 answers
383 views

Was the Reish Galuta considered the presumptive candidate for the Melech haMoshiach?

The Reish Galuta, or Exilarch, was, from the time of Zerubavel until the abolition of the office ca. 1000 C.E. (with interregna), a Jewish political leader descended from malchut beit David. In some ...
J. C. Salomon's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
371 views

"Secular" studies in the Rhineland academies of the 11th-13th centuries

This is perhaps a fairly specific question, and I don't know if it belongs here or on the History stack exchange, but I would like to know more about the Rhineland academies that were headed by people ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
  • 18.9k
9 votes
3 answers
505 views

What is the appropriate response of someone outside Israel during a war?

During a war or large scale military operation what are some of the best things for a person living in chutz l'arertz to do? Is saying tehillim and doing extra chesed enough? Should a person run to ...
user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Does one really have 30 days to put up a mezuza outside Eretz Israel?

It is broadly known and codified that one has 30 days to put up a mezuza when renting a home outside Eretz Israel. I heard that this dated from the times where Jews might be expelled in their first 30 ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 53.1k
9 votes
2 answers
371 views

Why no 15-minutes-early clause in English rabbis' contracts?

Rabbi Yitzchak Reuven Rubin wrote in 2001: In fact, it wasn't long ago that every rabbi in England was required by contract to "present himself fifteen minutes before the time of Divine worship." ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
8 votes
11 answers
434 views

Widespread American Minhag [closed]

What is the single most widely practiced minhag (religious Jewish practice that's not mandated by halacha) among Jews in the United States today? By "widely practiced" I mean practiced by the most ...
WAF's user avatar
  • 23.8k
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why still keep two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel?

Why do we continue to keep two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel? The reason for two days was revelant during the temple era as we needed two witnesses to see the new moon. But today, with no Temple ...
Ken's user avatar
  • 3,824
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Illegitimacy in 18th-19th century Europe

I have been capturing genealogical information (Birth, Marriage, Death, Tombstones) in the Spis Region of Slovakia, which includes Jews who migrated from Galicia, parts of Hungary, or were living in ...
Madeleine's user avatar
  • 1,427
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Niagara Falls does it require a Bracha if so which one?

Do you make a bracha when seeing Niagara falls, and, if a bracha is made, which bracha?
YUASK's user avatar
  • 361
8 votes
1 answer
190 views

Did Depression-era U.S. high-school boys attend Jewish schools? [closed]

I'm reading Chaim Potok's The Chosen and have come across (in chapter 1) the claim that, during the Great Depression, in Brooklyn, [e]very Orthodox Jew sent his male [high-school-age] children to a ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Is the ketuba enforceable in American law?

The Ketuba is written in Aramaic, so it might not be easily understood by an English-speaking judge; however, it is still a contract. On the other hand, the ketuba is not (necessarily?) signed by ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 24.9k
8 votes
2 answers
322 views

Speaking Yiddish vs. the host language at home [closed]

I understand that, before World War Ⅱ, the Jews of Hungary and Germany mostly spoke Hungarian and German, respectively, amongst themselves (at home), whereas the Jews of Poland mostly spoke Yiddish ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k
8 votes
2 answers
637 views

Two Days of Yom Tov for Visitors

Assuming the reason for two days Yom Tov is because messengers could not reach those places in time to tell them the days of Rosh Chodesh, why is it that if someone visits Israel, but doesn't plan on ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
8 votes
1 answer
788 views

Kilayim in Chutz la'eretz

What is the din with regards to kilei hayerek in chutz la'eretz? I see that many people have gardens in their backyards with vegetables right next to each other of different types.
Mkroll's user avatar
  • 91
8 votes
1 answer
560 views

Does Orthodox Judaism have a generally held position on American politics? [closed]

The Pew Research Study on Jewish Americans says in part: On these measures (partisanship and ideology), the only other U.S. religious groups that are as conservative and Republican as Orthodox Jews ...
Yishai's user avatar
  • 32.1k
7 votes
4 answers
587 views

Chodosh - where does it apply?

Does the prohibition against consuming new grain ("Chodosh") before the second day of Passover (Leveticus 23:14) apply only in the Land of Israel or in the Diaspora as well? (Sources appreciated)
Gershon Gold's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
555 views

Rav Hirsch and Black Slavery

I once saw Rav Hirsch make a passing reference to black slavery in America in his Collected Writings, but no longer remember where. Does anyone know where this might be?
Jewels's user avatar
  • 2,512
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Explaining to children why we don't celebrate Halloween

Without delving into the Pagan origins of Halloween (or even discussing it altogether - as it may not be allowed l'halocho), how would you encourage Jewish children who've celebrated Halloween in the ...
Shmuli's user avatar
  • 305
7 votes
2 answers
474 views

Secret Ops, The President, and The Blessing On a King

One of the conditions to make the brocha on kings is that they have the power to kill you (see Radvaz 1:296 as well as the Orchot Chaim Brachos 49 that say that this brocha is recited on any monarch ...
Shoel U'Meishiv's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
100 views

Agudath Israel not in the Conference of Presidents

Does anyone know why Agudath Israel of America is not a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations?
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.4k