Questions tagged [derabanan]

Questions connected to laws that were instituted by the Rabbis (not Biblical).

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Can a gentile break shabbos only on a Rabbinic level?

A non-Jew is forbidden from observing Shabbos. When someone is in the process of converting, we advise them to keep the entire Shabbos besides for doing one forbidden activity. A common practice is to ...
Michoel's user avatar
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23 votes
5 answers
3k views

Halachic Restrictions not in the Torah, and "shall not add"

How can halachic restrictions that are not in the Torah be reconciled with the Deuteronomy 4:2 passage, which says, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from ...
Peter Olson's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
1k views

When do rabbinic enactments apply if the given reason no longer does?

Often we find gezeiros d'rabbanan designed as preventative measures against more serious transgressions. However, if nowadays the reasoning behind the gezeira does not apply, it seems that sometimes ...
jake's user avatar
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17 votes
5 answers
6k views

Should a non-Orthodox Jew wear tzitzit or not?

It seems obvious to me that in general it’s better to keep more mitzvot rather than fewer, but wearing tzitzit seems like a special case. I’ve asked rabbis in my community about this, but I want to ...
Jon Mitchell's user avatar
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15 votes
5 answers
716 views

The authenticity of rabbinic literature

I am studying the history of various branches of Judaism. I understand the position of rabbinic Judaism that parts of the laws were oral and not written. But this alone would not justify the ...
Kaveh's user avatar
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15 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is Maris Ayin?

What is the precise definition of Maris Ayin, and to what cases does it apply? (i.e. what are the parameters for applying it)
yydl's user avatar
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14 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are there Jews not following the rabbinic laws?

Trying to learn about Judaism more I have been reading this StackExchange for the past few months. As a non-Jew using the correct terminology is a bit hard, so please do feel more than free to edit ...
David Mulder's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
765 views

Why don't Rabbinic fasts end by Ben Hashmashot?

There's a doubt in the Gemara when the new day starts, at sunset or at three stars (Ok, and there's Rabbi Yossi's opinion). When it comes to Shabbos (or any other biblical time), we have to be strict ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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13 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the basis that allows Rabbis to create laws?

I understand that the Torah gives instructions to obey Judges for legal cases and questions, but what is the basis that Rabbis have for creating new laws, such as for celebrating Chanukah with a ...
A L's user avatar
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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
4 answers
1k views

Clapping on Shabbos

Is one allowed to clap one's hands on Shabbos? Does it matter whether one is clapping to a beat or trying to get someone's attention?
Tzvi's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
567 views

Milk After Fowl

If eating milk and chicken is only a rabbinical prohibition, why don't we find that we are more lenient with regards to it. For example, why don't we wait less time between eating chicken and milk? [...
yydl's user avatar
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12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Amira Lakum: say you can't say?

One is not allowed to tell a non-Jew to do a melacha on shabbas, but one can hint and say "it is cold in here", hoping he will realize and shut the air conditioner. Is one allowed to explain to the ...
sam's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
822 views

Precedent for Forbidding Conversion

The Syrian community has a Takkanah in place which bars conversion. In addition to forbidding conversion under their own auspices, they also "Never accept a convert or a child born of a convert", as ...
user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
314 views

In the Talmud is there a way to distinguish when a verse is brought as מקור or אסמכתא?

The Talmud is full of the standard procedure of the Sages interpreting Tanakh verses to learn various laws and behaviors. Is there a way to tell when a Rabbi cites a Pasuk as a traditionally known ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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10 votes
2 answers
305 views

Why did God give the Rabbis so much power?

The Torah demands that we adhere to the laws implemented by the Rabbis (I think the source is "don't veer from what they tell you to the right or to the left"). This has given the Rabbis far-reaching ...
alltheinterwebs's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
1k views

To what extent is homosexuality forbidden among non-Jews?

All homosexual behavior is forbidden among Jews, but some actions are clearly Torah prohibitions (e.g. mishkav zachar), while some might be Rabbinic in nature (e.g. lesbian relations). Are all of ...
user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
438 views

Rabbinic prohibitions among Noachide laws

Are there Rabbinic prohibitions on non-Jews in the context of the 7 Noachide laws? e.g., would they have gezeirot like yichud or negia in order to prevent ariyot?
Jeremy's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
472 views

Who Commanded Us, and For What?

Whenever a Jew performs an activity that is mandated by the Torah, s/he recites the blessing that acknowledges God, "אשר קדשנו במצוותיו" (who sanctified us with his commandments), and who commanded us ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
178 views

Pikuach Nefesh and different levels of Halacha

Here's a theoretical: if someone has to save a life and has two equally easy options, both of which violate halacha, one d'oraita and one d'rabbanan. Should he choose the d'oraita or the d'rabbanan?
Noach MiFrankfurt's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Seven Mitzvos D'Rabanan

I heard there are 620 letters in the Aseres Hadibros which corresponds to the 613 Mitzvos of the Torah and 7 Mitzvos D'Rabanan. What are the Seven Mitzvos D'Rabanan - שבע מצוות דרבנן? Is there a easy ...
C. Ben Yosef's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
319 views

Are there unresolved ‘tekus’ in the Talmud later resolved in responsum?

Often in the Talmud questions are asked which do not yield a result. These non-answers are called ‘teku’ (תיקו). Frequently, the questions which are left with teku are those which are far-fetched. ...
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
410 views

Why is Shmita only Rabbinic nowadays?

I was reading up on Heter Iska and it said that Shmita and Shmitat Kesafim are only Rabbinic today. Why do the Biblical laws no longer apply?
Robert S. Barnes's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
380 views

Has anyone declared a time of oppression regarding the four Temple fasts?

The Sha'ar haTziyun (OC 550 sk 9) speculates if in his day (~1900 CE) there was enough oppression of the Jews to warrant declaring the fasts of 10 Tevet, 17 Tammuz and 3 Tishrei into full fledged ...
Double AA's user avatar
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8 votes
7 answers
620 views

What are the Biblical sources for rabbinic authority?

I am currently learning in a s'micha program. I was challenged by one of my old friends to find a source for our modern understanding of rabbinic authority that does not require circular reasoning ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 159
8 votes
2 answers
850 views

Is the Oral Law from Sinai considered d'oraisa or d'rabbanan?

Are halachos that were received at Sinai (or in the desert shortly after) but not recorded in Tanach--such as the method for kosher slaughter alluded to in Deuteronomy 12:21--considered rabbinical or ...
SAH's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
157 views

Why is there no decree against bathing in Chamei Teverya?

Gemara Shabbos says that originally one was allowed to bathe on Shabbos in pre-heated bath-houses. However, (in short) due to the fact that the bath-house directors would violate Shabbos (by heating ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
7k views

Was chicken originally considered pareve? If so, when and why was this changed?

I heard that chicken was originally considered pareve in the Bible, because it is a type of fowl (i.e. like fish it is pareve, as it is not 'meat'), and that only later was it changed to be meat ...
Jason's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
258 views

Why are we bound to rabbinic laws?

I know that one of the reasons given for our being limited by miderobonon laws is explained in Masechet Shevuot, 39a which says as follows (lifted from dafyomi.co.il) i. "Asher Yeshno Po ha'Yom" ...
rosends's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
436 views

Why use "Kiddushin" instead of biblical "Erusin"?

Why did the Sages see a need of inventing a new word "Kiddushin" e.g Masechet Kiddushin 46a - שצריכה הימנו קידושין , instead of the biblical Hebrew word "Erusin" used everywhere in ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
85 views

Does a fan or light on Shabbos need a Blech?

Obviously they wouldn't need a "blech" like we think of one, but would they need some sort of physical alteration to remind one not to adjust the knobs/switches on Shabbos? More specifically, to ...
yydl's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
2k views

What is the difference between a takana and a gezera?

What is the difference between a takana and a gezera in both definition and application?
Laser123's user avatar
  • 1,259
6 votes
3 answers
317 views

Torah Study Of Rabbinic Laws

Does one fulfill the Biblical precept to study Torah while studying Rabbinic precepts? R. Mordechai of Vilna writes that one does not. Are there disputants? Please answer with exact sources or ...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
324 views

Queen Heleni was married to her brother--but I thought she kept all the derabanans

According to Wikipedia, Heleni HaMalkah was married to her brother. Since she was a convert to Judaism, on a Torah level, her familial relationships were severed. However, as far as I know, there is ...
Daniel's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
424 views

Why no tfillin on second day of Yom Tov?

The decree of keeping two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel is because Rosh Chodesh used to be determined by Beis Din and its messengers couldn't reach all of exiles in time, thereby requiring people ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
622 views

Why is there a prohibition of gevinat aku"m?

I vaguely recall that Talmud Avodah Zarah mentions a prohibition of eating gevinat akum - cheese manufactured by an idol worshipper (as I understand this definition.) If there already was a ...
DanF's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
164 views

If a Jew violates a Rabbinically established "fence" on a law, is that the same as sinning against Hashem?

This question is in no way a challenge to Rabbinical authority. This question has more to do with the philosophy of sin and how Hashem holds us accountable for our actions. If you commit an act ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
356 views

The Abolition of Vidui Ma'aser

Deuteronomy 26:12-15 details a confession that must be recited on the final yontef of Pesach, both on the fourth and on the seventh years of the agricultural cycle, at such a time as there is a temple ...
Shimon bM's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
216 views

Two types of preventative enactment?

I believe this is a strictly academic question. Correct me if I'm wrong. Many of the restrictions enacted by the Rabbis (as opposed to those extrapolated from the Torah) were done so in order to ...
WAF's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
815 views

Understanding the difference between shevus and gezeirah

I know that, in general, there is a difference in strictness between the two categories of protective measures, but am having difficulty in explaining the difference between the two.
Chaim Yehuda Schwartz's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
269 views

Who established the Shema?

The Gemara in Berachos 12b says "They sought to establish [various passages] in the Shema" and "they establish[ed] the passage of tzitzis in the Shema" (Artscroll trans.) I had thought that the ...
yoel's user avatar
  • 7,221
6 votes
2 answers
379 views

A fence within a fence

There is a well known dictum that a lot of rabbinic enactments were created to 'create a fence' around the major sin; the idea being that if someone does something that would be Biblically permitted ...
Barry Hammer's user avatar
  • 1,896
6 votes
2 answers
282 views

Why do we have an explicit rule of Safek Brachos Lehakel if we already have a greater encompassing rule of Safek D'Rabanan L'kulah?

I understand that Safek brachos lehakel might simply be a corollary of Safek D'rabana L'kulah, however I assume there is some nafka minah between the two. The only reason we would have safek brachos ...
Aaron Heideman's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
164 views

Have electric cars been suggested for those who respond to emergencies on Shabbos?

In a nutshell – and I know this is complicated – the Mishna says that some rabbinic prohibitions were lifted to make life easier on emergency responders after they've provided their assistance on ...
Shalom's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
92 views

Is lighting a new flame on Yom Tov a Biblical or Rabbinic prohibition? [duplicate]

Is lighting a completely new fire on Yom Tov a Biblical or a Rabbinic prohibition? Please cite your sources.
user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
213 views

Making a Berachah on rabbinically prohibited foods

Should one refrain from making a Berachah on rabbinically prohibited foods, or does that rule only apply to biblically prohibited foods?
Seth J's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
691 views

Why is the bracha on mashed potatoes "haadama" despite being mashed up but the bracha on applesauce is "shahakol" unless there are pieces in it?

Why is the bracha on mashed potatoes "haadama" despite being mashed up but the bracha on applesauce is "shahakol" unless there are pieces in it that are not mashed up?
Dude's user avatar
  • 4,362
5 votes
2 answers
344 views

Rabbinical violations that are punishable by death?

Are there any rabbinical violations that carry the punishment of kareit (or other death penalty)? I'm wondering because of this answer--which suggests that the prohibition on relations with a non-...
SAH's user avatar
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5 votes
1 answer
939 views

What is a shevut d'shevut, and why is it permitted?

I understand there is a notion called shevut d'shevut (and the related gezeira l'gezeira), whereby, in some cases, one may violate a rabbinic prohibition if and only if this is achieved through ...
SAH's user avatar
  • 19.7k
5 votes
1 answer
194 views

Rabbinical suppport for reducing noise at weddings

There is a verse in Devarim (Deut) - Don't recall exact location that says "Watch your lives very carefully". From here we learn that we must do what we can to preserve our health. So, I'm wondering ...
DanF's user avatar
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