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Questions tagged [current-events]

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

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13
votes
2answers
355 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, ...
13
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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 ...
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1answer
39 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 ...
1
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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 ...
6
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1answer
111 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
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2answers
127 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
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1answer
204 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
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0answers
125 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 ...
120
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4answers
6k views

Implications of Samoa skipping a Friday

This week, the island of Samoa is switching time zones, causing it to skip from Thursday directly to Saturday. Out of simple curiosity, what implications might this have on any Jews on the island? ...
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2answers
478 views

Does Jewish law forbid Internet usage?

The Ichud HaKehillos LeTohar HaMachane anti-Internet rally is coming up in a few weeks, on May 20, 2012. What do contemporary halakhic authorities say about the permissibility or prohibition of using ...
13
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3answers
1k views

Lottery on Shabbos

Is one allowed to buy a lottery ticket if the lottery will be held on shabbos? Is it a problem of possibly making money on shabbos even though his chances are slim?
11
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1answer
308 views

The stolen maple syrup and kashrus

Does anyone know if there is going to be a kashrus problem with maple syrup next year? A rather large amount of maple syrup was stolen last year. The thieves did not keep it in the original casks, ...
3
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0answers
78 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 ...
4
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2answers
500 views

Handling Conflict between Jewish and Civil Law

This question is an offshoot from the one titled "Questions about Polygamy in Jewish Law and Culture" Taking under the knowledge that the previous question was well answered with an observation: It's ...
7
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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 ...
7
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2answers
126 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
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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
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0answers
367 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
405 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 ...
8
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3answers
441 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 ...
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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 ...
3
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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, ...
2
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1answer
373 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 ...
8
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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 + ...
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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 ...
5
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1answer
195 views

Frozen clothes during the Nine Days

Recently, some have advocated freezing clothing, particularly blue jeans, instead of washing them to conserve water. Assuming this works to some extent, can it be done during the Nine Days? Can I ...
29
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2answers
492 views

Rockets from Gaza while praying

I live in Beer Sheva, Israel where there are presently ongoing rockets fired at us from Gaza. We are warned of an impending rocket by a loud siren that gives us less than a minute to run to a bomb ...
7
votes
2answers
958 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 ...
10
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1answer
508 views

Are there any Synagogues or Rabbis available in Pakistan?

There was once a very thriving Jewish community available in Pakistan. There was a Synagogue in the port city of Karachi as well till 1985. What is the current situation now? What if someone would ...
0
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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 ...
5
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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 ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Homosexuality is “worse than murder”?

A sign at a recent rally protesting New York's 2011 Marriage Equality Act reads Judaism considers male homosexuality a worse sin than murder I imagine that this is a minority opinion, but does it ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

A tree which falls and damages

If one has a tree in their property/yard, (or similarly a tree within a jointly owned courtyard) and it falls into a public area [due to heavy winds] and damages... Is the owner of the tree liable in ...
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 ...
14
votes
1answer
652 views

Mandatory evacuation on Shabbat: what can and can't you do?

A major storm hit New England starting this past Friday. While people knew this was coming and precautions were already in place, apparently (according to a news article I read tonight) some areas ...
11
votes
2answers
325 views

El Al Airfare error and Halachah

What are the Halachic implications of yesterday's El Al airfare snafu? In brief, El Al's air tickets were being sold online very cheap for a while; the price was later corrected, and El Al claimed the ...
6
votes
1answer
725 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
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0answers
89 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 ...
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" ...
1
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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 ...
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
606 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 ...
0
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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?
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
306 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
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1answer
295 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 (...
13
votes
3answers
786 views

Killing Civilians in a defensive war

In the recent Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza, many Palestinian civillians were killed by Israeli air-strikes (the Palestines claim the number is as high as 158, while according to the IDF ...
5
votes
2answers
369 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 ...