Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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41 views

Food brachot before and after eating

Does a bracha said after eating a specific food rely on the food being eaten or on the bracha (and its intention) made at the beginning? If, hypothetically, I make a shehakol at the beginning and then ...
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39 views

Can one make a Siyum During Shiva?

Related to this, this, this and this. During Shiva, a mourner is allowed to study Sefer Iyov. Assuming that learning this one sefer is enough to make a siyum, could a mourner make a siyum during the ...
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62 views

What is the source to forbid Toldos תולדות?

There are times that Torah gives specific "examples" of what is forbidden (e.g. 39 melachos given via a reference to the actions done in the משכן or through other means; Or The Torah ...
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1answer
562 views

Maggid Mishnah on relying on approximations for π and √2

In a previous discussion, it was stated: The Maggid Mishnah in Hilchos Shabbos (17:26) says that one may rely on π=3, but he says in Hilchos Eiruvin (3:2) that one may not rely on √2=1.4. I can't ...
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69 views

What is the source for non-literal understanding of V'Chai Bahem?

The concept of V'Chai Bahem - "do the mitzvos to live by them" (Vayikra 18:5) - is usually understood to refer to one's physical existence (i.e. the mitzvos should not be performed if they ...
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75 views

Ben Sorer Umoreh/Murderer Absolved?

We are told by the Gemoro Sanhedrin 72A (brought by Rashi on Devorim 21:18) that the Ben Sorer is killed because the Torah foresees that he will eventually kill somebody. However the Rambam rules (...
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77 views

Anthropology, Structuralism, Halacha

Halacha is a typological ideal which we desire to manifest in our actual behavior. Inasmuch as life itself has a structure, halacha is contoured exactly to life in its entirety and beyond. Halachic ...
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2answers
71 views

Does a mourner sit in a low chair outside the house?

A mourner, during the first 7 days sits on a low chair. The mourner also generally does not leave the house. One exception would be if there is no minyan that can be set up in the mourner's house, so ...
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63 views

What method is used to halachically pluck a chicken's feathers after shechita

It seems the standard way to remove chickens feathers after slaughtering is to scald the chicken in hot water for up to a couple minutes before plucking the feathers. (as an example, here's some ...
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1answer
58 views

Is there a “pre-aninut” status?

This is a question of 2 different possible statuses, each with its own implications. In Maurice Lamm's "The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning," he writes (page 26) He is not considered an ...
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38 views

Can one go from being an Aveil to being an Onein?

A person is an onein while taking care of arrangements for a burial, and, from what I have learned, if that person's work is finished and that person leaves the body or the body leaves the person for ...
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Aninut and food

After the death of a close relative and before the burial (or the cessation of involvement with the body) one is in a stage of Aninut. During that time, one is exempted (or even forbidden) from many ...
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102 views

What is the criteria of safek pikuach nefesh?

An expert in a particular field (a doctor, an actuary, etc.) can advise on the risk of mortality from a specific activity of anywhere between 0% and 100%. At what threshold of risk would the halacha ...
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133 views

Mincha ketana vs just before shekia

I have read that one can pray mincha gedola be'minyan instead of mincha ketana be'yachid. But would praying "just before shekiya" be'minyan still be more recommended than mincha ketana be'...
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1answer
77 views

Sfek Sfeka for a Bar Mitzvah

Suppose a boy was born Bein Hashemashos. Since this is a period of "maybe it's still day, maybe it's already night," seemingly the doubt would translate into "maybe he was born on day 1,...
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2answers
84 views

Why specifically a fig on shabbos?

Why is a dried fig specifically the quantity one must carry to be liable on Shabbos? I would have thought the size of something functional - an olive, egg, or even a barley corn - would be the ...
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148 views

If somebody does not want to join an eruv

The din is that for an eruv to be kosher everyone in the 'building' has to join. In the olden times each one provided food. If somebody didn't want to, it could be taken by force. Today one person ...
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95 views

What are the parameters of shomer pesaim Hashem?

While the Torah forbids one to place himself into a situation of danger, some degree of slightly risky behavior is allowable under the concept of shomer pesaim Hashem. Are the parameters of this ...
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161 views

Tznius in the modern world

In the modern world just walking outside (especially in the summer) presents some pretty significant tznius issues. Presumably you’re allowed to go to the grocery store. Why are we allowed to (much of ...
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50 views

Why will we pasken like Beis Shammai when Moshiach comes if the reason why we follow Beis Hillel is related to the fact that they had more members

It is my understanding per this Mishna that the reason why we rule like Beis Hillel in the majority of cases is related to the rule of "following the majority". I know there are other reasons given (i....
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100 views

Should we prevent a chumra in the laws of Shabbos that exceeds the normal understanding?

The halacha is that generally a keli shelishi does not cause bishul. The Chazon Ish says that a keli shelishi (or revii) above yad soledes bo does cook those things that are kalei habishul. A ...
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1answer
594 views

Is typing or writing the same as “saying” for the sake of Sefirat Ha'Omer?

In an effort to ensure that we only count the Omer with a bracha properly, we are careful not to say what day it is until we have counted formally -- this is discussed and explored here. But is ...
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2answers
155 views

What was Tamar's capital crime?

On what basis did Judah have the right to sentence Tamar to be burned (Genesis 38)? What capital offense did she commit?
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Gemara Paskens for itself

Why does the Gemara decide to pasken in a select few cases and otherwise leaves the machlokes open ended for us to decide?
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1answer
75 views

Rules in Halacha

I know in general we rule l'halacha like Beis Hillel except in a few cases. I know there are other rules where one rabbis rulings top another's in general (not referring because of the era they are ...
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1answer
127 views

Are you allowed to risk dying to save others?

I would like some clarification about the risks of trying to save someone's life by breaking a commandment, or pikuach nefesh. In Bava Metzia 62a, Rabbi Akiva ruled that your life has priority over ...
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85 views

Is there a Rabbinical stance on “Ghost Hunting” and whether it is an allowable activity?

Strange topic but I was curious if anything existed in relation to it. "Ghost Hunting" can be done for different reasons. Typically, it's in reference to paranormal investigators seeking evidence of ...
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62 views

Does one bentch on an achila gasa?

After eating an excessive amount to a point that would be termed achila gasa which I will leave undefined, does a person have an obligation to recite grace after meals (or another bracha achrona as ...
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62 views

Leaning (heseiba) on Pesach

related to this question The halacha requires that on Pesach, when drinking at least the first 2 cups of wine or eating the matzah for the mitzvah, a person leans. The S"A (O"C 472:7) codifies it as ...
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37 views

Why is the use of indoor plumbing allowed on shabbos? [duplicate]

Use of indoor plumbing on shabbos involves moving water or waste from/to public and private domains, which could involve a biblical prohibition of hotzoa. Why is this allowed on shabbos?
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How did the Rabbis know that people were intentionally leaving food on the stove?

The Talmud (Shabbat 38a) records the following rabbinic decree: מאי גזירתא דאמר רב יהודה בר שמואל א"ר אבא אמר רב כהנא אמר רב בתחילה היו אומרים המבשל בשבת בשוגג יאכל במזיד לא יאכל וה"ה לשוכח ...
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Conversion to Judaism (proper) [duplicate]

Well today is the first day of pass over and it has been a year since my conviction that the intellectual-spirtual-natural/theological tenants of Judaism merits validity and spiritual fulfillment in ...
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40 views

How many times does the law follow Samuel in ritual practice?

The Talmud (Shabbat 22a) records the following: איתמר רב אמר אין מדליקין מנר לנר ושמואל אמר מדליקין רב אמר אין מתירין ציצית מבגד לבגד ושמואל אמר מתירין מבגד לבגד רב אמר אין הלכה כרבי שמעון בגרירה ...
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129 views

Chayecha Kodmin - Your own life comes first for countries

Although I am loath to ask a Covid 19 related question, one particular current debate caught my attention. Most readers are probably aware of the gemara in Bava Metzia 62a where we find the rule one ...
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283 views

How physically close do people need to be for a minyan to count?

The current health situation has resulted in restrictions on large group prayers. Minyans have been included in such restrictions. Though this is the case, certain groups have been shown praying ...
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2answers
259 views

If our leadership do not take disease outbreaks seriously, are they considered responsible for deaths that follow?

As of late, there has been a controversy in various Jewish communities around the world. Certain Rabbis and certain individuals have actively circumvented the preventative measures to help stop the ...
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70 views

If a Gett is given on condition the husband does not return what is considered “returning”?

Apologies if this is answered simply elsewhere -- I haven't studied the laws of Gittin, but this question doesn't seem to be addressed in the connected mishna in Gittin 76a. In Ketuvot, 2b, the text ...
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109 views

Are Jewish conjoined twins permitted to marry? [duplicate]

Being that it is forbidden to marry siblings may conjoined twins marry? Are they considered siblings or one person?
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110 views

Can one separate Maaser at a distance from the Tevel to save another from eating Tevel?

I heard a class about the rabbinic prohibition against separating Maaser at a significant distance from the Tevel (שלא מן המוקף). The Rabbi mentioned that one is allowed to violate this prohibition* ...
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1answer
124 views

Why do most Siddurs vowelize Gd’s name?

I’m noticing that in most siddurs, while you’re not meant to pronounce Gd’s name as it’s written, they vowelize the letters as if it’s meant to be said. Is this for kavannah? Why would we need vowels ...
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107 views

Allegory vs. Literalism in Judaism and How to Tell the Difference [duplicate]

In the following article, the author makes a compelling argument for why Judaism doesn't always approach scripture literally. However, although there are many examples throughout the Bible for the use ...
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48 views

Is indirect “benefit” (Hana'ah) also forbidden?

Some things are forbidden via halacha in local terms, such as eating, but some things are so forbidden that we may not derive hana'ah, benefit from them in any way. Chameitz She'avar alav HaPesach, ...
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2answers
133 views

When did “Lo B'Shamayim Hi” Come Into Effect?

The concept of Lo B'Shamyim Hi (It is not in heaven) is a central tenet to the Halakhic process amongst Rabbinic Jews and is summarized nicely by this Wikipedia Article: The phrase "not in Heaven" ...
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72 views

Volunteering to pay for an ulterior motive

I have been trying to put into words what I think might be wrong with this hypothetical -- I'm not even ready to ask about a halachic answer because I'm not clear on what the halachic question is: I ...
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1k views

What was the source of Samson's strength?

It’s a popular notion that the source of his strength is his hair, but that doesn’t seem right to me. Most supernatural powers are blessings by God for some purpose. It is known that Samson was a ...
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79 views

A woman saying Shehechyanu on Channukah

I have been reviewing some discussions of a married woman's obligation to light Channukah candles. It appears that according to some, a married woman, whose husband is lighting at home does not light. ...
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85 views

How could Yehoshua hold up the sky without the consequences in the natural order? [duplicate]

I heard one explanation of this passage in Sefer Yehoshua, that the "stopping" of the sun had to do with the ceasing of its light. Yehoshua arrives at Giv'on at night, and thus Yehoshua prays for the ...
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1answer
63 views

Differences in Halachic wording - “This isn't X” or “This is not Kosher X”

In Succah 8b I noticed two different wordings regarding a Succah: א"ר לוי משום ר"מ שתי סוכות של יוצרים זו לפנים מזו - הפנימית אינה סוכה R' Levi said in the name of R' Meir: two craftsmen’s ...
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2answers
149 views

Justice, mercy and halacha?

The prophet Micah said: Micah 6:8 It has been told you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: Only to act justly [‘asot mishpat], to love mercy [ahavat chesed], and to walk ...
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101 views

What is the finest measurement in the Talmud?

The standard Talmudic measures of length include, for example, Amah, Tefach, and Etzbah. But those measures are pretty loose, around 20% of freedom. What object or usage, in our Halacha, requires the ...

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