The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [current-events]

For questions about Judaism as it is practiced in, and relates to, the present-day world.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Do communities set public fast days for hurricanes or other natural disasters?

I hear occasionally about fast days in Israel when there's no rain. Some examples are in this answer. From one of the links there, R' Mosheh Lichtenstein is not in favor of fasting for rain in a ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

(Why) May a Beit Din refuse to bury a body in order to coerce a man into giving a divorce?

I read recently of a case where a Rabbi (I assume as head of a Beit Din) instructed a Jewish burial society not to bury the body of a woman who is the mother of a man who refuses to give his wife a ...
6
votes
1answer
106 views

Can a Judge Issue a Ruling After his Death?

In a recent decision (No. 18-272, Yovino v. Rizo, decided February 25, 2019 Per Curiam, properly cited as 586 U. S. ___ (2019)), the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) dealt with the matter of a ...
2
votes
2answers
125 views

Should one wish for the destruction of buildings of idol worship?

Two sequential questions, prompted by the Notre Dame fire: Is one obligated to wish that places of idol worship are consumed if they already are on fire? (I would think so, given e.g. OC 224:2) If so,...
10
votes
1answer
203 views

Are Jews allowed to contribute to the reconstruction of the Paris cathedral?

I assume most of you have already heard about the sad events that happened yesterday in France. One of the main symbols of Paris, a functioning cathedral caught on fire and caused huge damage to the ...
9
votes
0answers
124 views

Who is pulled to safety first?

If a group of people are in mortal danger, all of the same gender (cf. Horayot 13a; some suggest that the Mishnah on Horayot is not discussing a case of rescuing from physical danger, cf. Tziz Eliezer ...
3
votes
0answers
77 views

KfP-for-Ashk'nazim rice cakes… now what if they're soaked?

A rabbi visited a ricecake factory, found that the rice never became wet in the process of manufacture (and was sifted well to be sure it's only rice), and decided that the ricecakes, which are anyway ...
7
votes
2answers
125 views

Is Harav Shteinman's tzava'ah (last will) halachically binding?

The Rav Hakadosh Harav Shteinman zatzal wrote in his tzava'ah (last instructions) to the public, not to call him a Tzaddik or Yereh Shamayim, and not to write articles about him in the newspaper. Is ...
5
votes
0answers
222 views

Charlie Gard's parents from a Halachic Perspective

As this question is somewhat extensive, I have divided the post into headers in order to make it easier to read and follow. Background Charlie Gard is a British baby who has a rare genetic disorder ...
8
votes
1answer
404 views

Permission to Drive on Shabbat for the President's Daughter

A few news sources have been reporting on Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner's having been granted rabbinic permission to drive on Shabbat after Ivanka's father's inauguration as president. (See, for ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Flint, Michigan: Who would be HALACHICALLY Liable?

As a hypothetical scenario, we assume that the events of the Flint water crisis are taking place in a location where Beis Din and Jewish law are ascendant. Here's a quick summary of the facts: The ...
3
votes
1answer
273 views

Medically treating a 'rodef' (/terrorist)

Although this is done routinely in Israel, is a doctor halachically allowed to treat a terrorist that has been injured, given that they would be considered a rodef. Or is rodef an 'in the act' status, ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Mosaic Law and ISIS

Recently I had a conversation about ISIS with a friend who is Catholic by faith, he said that ISIS should be stopped but that we (The US or any other foreign power) should not kill them, whereas I ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Was there any foreknowledge of the Paris hostage crisis within Judaism?

Did any school of thought within Judaism (like Kabbalah) predict the Paris hostage crisis? Did any Jewish scholar make a prediction? Are there any rumors about such a foreknowledge? The question is ...
6
votes
1answer
724 views

Is there a punishment for disgracing our prophets/sages?

In light of the recent Charlie Hebdo incident with depictions of Mohammed (and others like), are there any punishments for derogatory depictions of our Jewish prophets and sages (be it in our times or ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Stealing something that could be considered offensive

Recently a video has emerged of a man taking down a Palestinian flag in the neighbourhood of Meah Shearim, Jerusalem. There is no indication as to what happened to the flag after it was taken down. In ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

Underground crypts for burial

In light of this article what are the possible problems with burying the deceased in underground crypts? The article mentions: The head of the Jerusalem burial society told Haaretz that there is ...
8
votes
3answers
900 views

Does demolition of terrorists' homes have any basis in Judaism?

Israel is currently implementing a policy of demolishing the homes of terrorists, even after they have been 'eliminated', as a deterrent to others. Is this kind of action OK, according to halacha + ...
9
votes
1answer
123 views

Does Beis Din have the authority to quarantine?

In light of the recent discussions about the legality of quarantining potential Ebola patients, I was wondering if Halacha has the mechanism for such a thing. In an autonomous Jewish society, in ...
1
vote
0answers
56 views

Is there a requirement to fast if Ebola is reported in the city?

I remember learning in mesechet Taanis that if there is a plague in the city with a certain number of people and there are people dying daily that the city should declare a fast. Is there any ...
8
votes
1answer
493 views

Leaving cities during plagues

Over the Yomim Tovim I happened to skim through a copy of Rav Hirsh's sefer "Horeb". In one section he discussed a directive from Chazal to leave a city struck with plague. With Ebola having been ...
8
votes
0answers
365 views

Does Judaism appreciate the wanton destruction of idolatry done by Islamic groups?

Many of the idolatrous heritage sites like Bamiyan Buddha, Sufi shrines, and Hindu idols are being destroyed by Islamic fundamentalists around the globe. Does Judaism allow a non Jew to demolish such ...
5
votes
1answer
159 views

Did the Israeli soldiers who were involved in Operation Protective Edge eliminate any parts of davening?

I assume that those driving the tanks, going in the tunnels, and otherwise in immediate dangerous situations either completely miss a prayer, or eliminate parts of it. Maybe they are saying "Havinenu" ...
7
votes
2answers
646 views

Can a couple have relations during dangerous times?

May a couple, living in Israel during a war or when Israel is under a constant barrage of rocket and other types of terrorist attacks, engage in marital relations? May a couple living outside of ...
5
votes
3answers
600 views

Which tehillim are best to say for the welfare of soldiers at war?

At least one Israel Defense Forces soldier fighting in Gaza is the son of dear friends of my family. I want to focus my tefilla on his welfare, by name, although I certainly pray for the well-being ...
1
vote
0answers
78 views

Operation Protective Edge and My Brothers Keeper [closed]

In light of current events are there what are the halachic resolutions surrounding Operation Protective Edge and Operation My Brother's Keeper? Issues include: firing at legitimate targets if it is ...
0
votes
0answers
163 views

How should a Jew behave if kidnapped by a non-Jew?

If a Jew is kidnapped by a non-Jew that he suspects may kill him, according to halacha how should he act? Meaning, should he try to escape or not?
7
votes
2answers
200 views

What is the correct emotion to feel upon hearing about enemy civilian casualties?

Recent missiles sent by Hamas landed in Hebron. When my neighbor told me about this, it was unclear whether they had hurt any Arab civilians. I said that I hoped not, while my neighbor basically said ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Is national-brand mozzarella under constant supervision?

Shulchan Aruch and Rama, Yore Dea 115:2, indicate that cheese made by a non-Jew can't be eaten unless a Jew saw it being made. Kraft, a national brand, now has some Ⓤ-certified reduced-fat ...
6
votes
2answers
303 views

When is a Yartziet Observed?

When is a Yartzeit observed, the day of death or the day of burial? I ask this question in response to the news of the terrible death of the three boys in Eretz Yisrael who died weeks before their ...
0
votes
1answer
294 views

Can a Jewish Business Refuse to Serve Certain Customers?

There have been several recent court cases regarding Christian businesses that have refused to provide service to certain customers based on religious grounds. Assuming secular law has no opinion (...
1
vote
1answer
219 views

The new book about the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt"l

What is the response of the Lubavitcher rabbinate (as in Lubavitcher rabbis in general, I am not referring to any specific rabbinical body) to the new book on the Rebbe zt"l by Josef Telushkin? Is it ...
2
votes
1answer
372 views

Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman's statement about waiting for Moshiach

Basically I am looking for more information from neutral or sympathetic sources about Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman's recent statement saying something along the lines of it was too hard for Bnei Torah ...
13
votes
2answers
337 views

Sending a Torah to the Moon

According to this article, there's an organization that wants to blast a Sefer Torah into space for safe keeping on the moon. Are there any halachik problems regarding such an endeavour (and if so, ...
7
votes
2answers
952 views

What is a Get Zikui and in what cases has it been used?

The Safed Rabbinical Court recently gave a woman a "get zikui" to permit her to receive a divorce from her husband who has been in a coma for seven years. See this article. The article describes it ...
5
votes
2answers
367 views

Life support for a dead pregnant woman for the sake of a pre-viable baby

Suppose a pregnant woman dies*, and it's too early in the pregnancy for the baby inside her to have any chance of viability if delivered now, but if the woman's body is kept connected to life-support ...
1
vote
1answer
253 views

Circumcision liability

A story was recently publicized about a Mohel who botched up a circumcision by cutting of more than he was supposed to, requiring six hours of surgery, numerous blood transfusions, a two month ...
4
votes
1answer
185 views

Halachic basis for opposing erection of a giant statute of Jesus in Israel

According to JewishIsrael.com an Arab Christian group plans to build a giant statute of Jesus on Har Kedumin (Mt. Precipice) near Nazareth on Jewish National Fund land. The Minister of Tourism, Uzi ...
3
votes
0answers
380 views

Responses to Dor Daim / Talmidei HaRambam

Occasionally on this site and on other websites I stumble upon things written by Dor Daim or Talmidei HaRambam. I was wondering what the response is to these groups by other contemporary Orthodox ...
11
votes
1answer
423 views

Allowing unmarried/homosexual couples into a hotel

Recently there has been a high profile case in the UK concerning a religious christian couple who own a hotel. Due to their personal religious beliefs their policy was to refuse a room to couples who ...
8
votes
1answer
255 views

Riches found in a purchased item. Return or keep it?

A young rabbi reportedly found nearly $100,000 in a desk he'd purchased second-hand on Craigslist, and subsequently returned the money. Is this story about a Kiddush HaShem, or a Hassid Shoteh (...
3
votes
0answers
67 views

May an employer dismiss an employee to pressure him in a non–work-related matter

Without discussing whether the particular case currently in the news actually qualifies as the situation I’m describing, consider the following case: In his private life, an employee of mine is ...
2
votes
0answers
276 views

May a Jew own/operate a blog open to comments?

In light of recent events I would like to know if a Jew may own and operate a blog or website which is open to comments if it is found that comments can often contain lashon hara, rechilus or motzei ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Is metzitzah b'peh required when an adult is circumcised or in the case of hatafas dam bris?

As we've discussed in a general question regarding the requirements for metzitzah b'peh (MBP), the direct-oral-contact technique to draw blood from the penis of an 8-day old infant at his bris milah ...
9
votes
1answer
266 views

When should one hide her mezuzot?

In light of recent events wherein vandals began burning mezuzot found on the doorways outside of people's houses, I am wondering if there is ever a reason to remove mezuzot to prevent their ...
2
votes
1answer
287 views

NFL and Rosh Hashanah. Ravens and Orioles scheduling debacle

As of now the National Football League is trying to bully the Baltimore Orioles (a baseball team) into moving their long scheduled Sept. 5th game so the NFL Baltimore Ravens can play their opening day ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it permitted for a Jew to accept an invitation by the Pope to attend mass

The chief rabbi of Rome received a special invitation from Pope Francis to attend a special mass on March 19.VINNews article. Normally, a Jew is not even allowed to visit a church, much less a ...
8
votes
1answer
242 views

Do Jews have an obligation to support the effort to free Jonathan Pollard?

I am not entirely clear on all of the particulars of the mitzvah of pidyon shivuyim - redeeming Jewish captives. Nor am I positive that someone jailed by a democratic goverment for breaking secular ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

brit-milah for dead infant [duplicate]

Recent tragedy in NY, young haredi couple killed in auto accident. Wife pregnant with baby boy. Doctors delivered the baby but, tragically, he also didn't survive. Before burial, a brit milah was ...
2
votes
1answer
83 views

Naming an orphan

In light of the recent story in the news of a baby born an orphan. :( Who names him (and performs the bris)? I assume the grandparents, but is there any tradition of which side has priority? (I am ...