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Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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Are complete chuliyot (the groupings of 3 windings) a requirement in tzitzit?

Generally speaking, the chuliyot are a constant reminder of the arrangement and system of the three kavin (also called pillars) which G-d established throughout all of creation. But are they an ...
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23 views

Halachic ground for opening an voluntary war against other nations

Jews are Halachicly allowed to start a voluntary war to conquer and enslave other nations and to expand the Jewish kingdom (Rambam Melachim 5). As the Halachah forbids both killing and robbing non-...
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1answer
36 views

Which mourning laws does an Ashkenazi son follow after his Sefardi mother's death?

An Ashkenazi son (his father was a Yekke) who mourns after his Sefardi mother - does he follow Ashkenazi Minhagim of Avelut (Kaddish for 11 months exactly for example) of Sefardi?
2
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1answer
89 views

Exemption from wearing tallit katan other than in extreme heat?

בס"ד I saw an exemption for wearing a tallit katan if the tempature is extremely high. I think this was cited by the Tzitz Eliezer, but I can't find it. Are there other exceptions?
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1answer
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'Tadir' and Brachos

There is a rule 'תדיר ושאינו תדיר, תדיר קודם'. Loosely translated: When faced with two mitzvos, one must first perform the one which occurs more frequently. Q: When it comes to bracha achrona, we ...
2
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1answer
90 views

Does a child's life take precedence over a parent's life?

The Talmud in Bava Metzia 62a brings a scenario where if two people were traveling in the desert and one has a flask of water but there's only enough water for one of them to reach civilization alive: ...
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1answer
54 views

Is armed bank robbery considered Gezel or Gnevah?

Halachicly, Is armed bank robbery, in working hours, where the robbers wear masks and are unidentified, considered Gezel or Gnevah? I'm confused with Rambam's definitions in Hilchos Gnevah 1.
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Beis Din postponing a divorce for dividing couple's property? [closed]

The Israeli law stipulates the official Rabbinical divorce with a formal division of a couple's property in a civil court (if it doesn't sound English please edit). That procedure can last for years, ...
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57 views

Why can Avodah Zara be בטל בשישים?

If עבודה זרה is so strict, why can it be בטל by 1/60 in דבר שלא במינו? (see :עבודה זרה ע"ג)
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1answer
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How do we understand the thought that we should worship G-d and follow his will because we are his servants?

Why are we G-d's "servants/ slaves"? He doesn't need any servants/slaves. How do we understand, "Go and do mitzvos, because we are his slaves!" (Ana avda dikudsha brich hu.)
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How Gezel (seizing) is acquired?

While the term Gezel is used extensively for all kinds of monetary misbehavior, my question is about its classic form - seizing property in front of the owner. As in B"R 54: "רַבִּי תַּנְחוּמָא ...
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0answers
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Logic behind אם אינו ענין

Every now and again Chazal use a method of exegesis of the form אם אינו ענין ל___ תנהו לענין ___‏ which means that if a word or phrase is extra, due to the halacha it apparently teaches being ...
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2answers
492 views

Do Rabbis admit emotional involvement in their rulings?

Emotions affect the way humans solve problems and make decisions. Leniency or stringency of Halachic Psakim might sometimes stem from the way Rabbis experience the reality emotionally - for example, ...
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Does Milchemet Mitzvah (obligatory war) require a King?

אֵין הַמֶּלֶךְ נִלְחָם תְּחִלָּה אֶלָּא מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה.‏ וְאֵי זוֹ הִיא מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה?‏ זוֹ מִלְחֶמֶת שִׁבְעָה עֲמָמִים. וּמִלְחֶמֶת עֲמָלֵק.‏ וְעֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד צָר ...
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Circumventing the conversion fuss by enslaving and freeing

Can a long path of the Orthodox conversion be circumvented by the following procedure*? Enslaving a Gentile person by buying from him/herself Dipping him/her in a Mikve before a Beis Din for the ...
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2answers
86 views

No new “official” Jewish commemorative days?

The last "official" Jewish commemorative day was added 2000 years ago. Why can't there be any new ones (approved by ALL), considering all that's happened to Jews since? Jewish communities have local ...
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63 views

Rabbinic responsa on Remembering the fallen IDF soldiers

I know it is a heavy and very "politically" loaded question, but I'd try my best to formulate it in a most neutral way: 24 thousands of R' Akivah students allegedly died of their own sins some 2000 ...
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3answers
110 views

Why does a fresh convert retain his property?

It seems pretty obvious that a convert keeps his property. It is also Halachicly valid - a convert does not re-acquire his property back after conversion (see Mishnah_Peah.4.6 or Mishnah_Challah.3.6 ...
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Fixing tzitzis on shabbos?

This question is assuming that one may not tighten a regular tzitzis knot on shabbos, using the rule of “אין עשה דוחה את לא תעשה ועשה” (as seen in Beitza 8b and Bava Metzia 30a), and that without at ...
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1answer
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Was the bat kol right?

In Bava Metzia 59b, the rabbis are discussing a matter of halacha, and at some point a Voice from Heaven (bat kol) interjects an opinion. The rabbis reply that the Torah is out of God's hands (they ...
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Breaking an Omer restriction

In a hypothetical case, I have chosen to observe the restrictions of the Omer during the "first half." But then, I am placed in a situation at which happy live music is being played. Does my presence ...
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1answer
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Particular Pesach Halochos historical trends

I'm looking for particular Pesach Halochos that were either permitted in the times of the Gemmorah or Rishonim and forbidden later by the Achronim or the contemporary Rabbis and the vice verse - that ...
3
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2answers
120 views

Why don't we (or when do we) use a lenient definition of nightfall on seder nights?

There are various positions on when we can say maariv (evening prayers), corresponding to various positions on when the day ends (and, thus, a new day begins which starts from the night). But the ...
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0answers
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Can being fastidious and delicate (איסטניס) get lenience in cleaning for Pesach?

The agricultural and technological revolutions changed a lot in our perception of food and we all became more fastidious and delicate (is it good for איסטניס?) - we even have expiration dates on ...
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Why for Rambam learning and teaching Torah are not two different Mitzvos?

Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos #11 and in Mishne Torah Hil. Talmud Torah rules that studying and teaching Torah are one Mitzvah: היא שצונו ללמוד תורה וללמדה וזהו הנקרא תלמוד תורה, והוא אמרו ושננתם ...
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39 views

Why the Torah is not read in public every day?

Following my previous question, the Prophets (Moses) commanded the Jewish nation to read the Torah in public three days a week (B"K 82a): עמדו נביאים שביניהם ותיקנו להם שיהו קורין בשבת ומפסיקין ...
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Why fearing the Temple is a Mitzvah on its own?

Rambam Positive Mitzvos #21: היא שצונו לירא מן המקדש הזה מאד עד שנשים בנפשנו משא הפחד והיראה וזה מיראת מקדש והוא אמרו יתעלה את מקדשי תיראו. Rambam brings Safri that explains: ושם נאמר גם כן לא ...
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Why Poskim don't work and write in groups?

At any given moment there are several leading (and hundreds of secondary) Rabbis and Poskim. Each one running his own Yeshivah, writing his books and issuing his own Psakim. I understood that the ...
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45 views

List of Mitzvot Kiyumis? (ie voluntary/ conditional mitzvot)

Does a list of Mitzvot Kiyumis (voluntary/ conditional mitzvot) exist? Some examples I remember learning: Vilna Gaon (Ma'aseh Rav 185)- Eating Matzah the last 7 days of Pesach Rav Moshe Feinstein ...
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1answer
52 views

What rules did Hamechaber set to himself before compiling the Shulchan Aruch?

Following Doniel's question, did R' Yosef Karo accept himself a set of fixed rules/guidelines by which he is going to compile the Shulchan Aruch? For example, the order of Halochos, what he brings ...
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Mathematical functions in Jewish Halacha [closed]

What mathematical operators, functions, and constants are mentioned in the Halachah besides addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division? For example: powers and square or other roots, Pi etc....
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Why Halachot LiMosheh MiSinai can not be derived from the Torah?

The existence of the term "Halachot LiMosheh MiSinai" hints on the fact that some Halochos are not derived / can not be derived from Torah in any way but Moses received them orally. Because if it was, ...
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Mechanisms of protecting Judaism from misuse

As we can see with Nazi Germany, democracy can be a dangerous thing. Many countries try to override democracy with a special status of the supreme court, able to invalidate the parliamentary laws (to ...
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How can the Sanhedrin ever err?

On the one hand we know that if a Sanhedrin issued an erroneous decision (which was acted upon) they must bring a sacrifice (Vayikra 4:13). On the other, we have the concept of "lo bashamayim hi" (...
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Can an artificial intelligence serve as a judge and/or posek? [duplicate]

If the vast corpus of halachic material including information on how sources are weighed and how halacha has been decided through the ages was compiled and processed through an artificial intelligence ...
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3answers
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What is the theological basis for changes in the practices of Judaism over the centuries?

There are many events or practices in the Old Testament which might seem brutal to a modern Western person; for example, I remember reading a passage about a man who was stoned to death for collecting ...
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2answers
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Why doesn't “Yatir Bechorot Yatir” semicha exist nowadays? (ie besides “Yoreh Yoreh” & “Yadin Yadin”)

The gemara in Sanhedrin 5a teaches us about 3 different levels of semicha: “Yoreh Yoreh”- primarily in Yoreh Deah, but can also include Shabbos, Niddah etc- which allows the person to issue rulings ...
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1answer
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Were Rabbinic Laws like Muktzeh given at Sinai

Did Rabbinic Laws such as Muktzeh exist in the time period between the receiving of the Torah and the time they were written down and institutionalised in Halacha? Are there different opinions on ...
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If a person forgot whether they have already recited krias shema al hamita are they permited to say hamapil and should they do so?

based on the idea of sufek derabanan lekula (a doubt in regards to a rabbinical ruling results in a leniency) and sufek d'orysa lechumra (a doubt on a Torah ruling results in a stringency) being that ...
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What determines whether things which are forbidden because of a danger are still prohibited once we know there's no danger?

There are certain things which are prohibited because of danger, many of which are listed here. A good number of them are confirmed by modern science to not cause any (physical) harm (ex. meat and ...
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Why Mishnah doesn't mention Halochos of Mishloach Manot, Matanot laEvionim and the Seudah?

Following my previous question on the origin of Purim Halochos, I wondered why the Mishnah doesn't mention Halochos of Mishloach Manot, Matanot laEvionim, and the Seudah and only mentions a lot of ...
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Do the 3 Mitzvos of entering Israel apply to the Second Temple?

וכן היה רבי יהודה אומר ג' מצות נצטוו ישראל בכניסתן לארץ: להעמיד להם מלך ולהכרית זרעו של עמלק ולבנות להם בית הבחירה (Sanhedrin 20b) Rabbi Yehuda says: Three mitzvot were commanded to the Jewish ...
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Why does S"A start Hilchot Shabbat with the laws between a Jew and a gentile?

The Shulchan Aruch Hilchot Shabbat (siman 243) starts with the laws between a jew and a gentile. Why does it specifically starts there when it is more likely to discuss the importance of Shabbat at ...
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2answers
62 views

How to follow the Halacha?

Most of the people (if not all) follow the psak halacha of a specific Gadol HaDor. But many times, there are halachot which are not presented by a certain Galdol haDor but by another Chacham. As for ...
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4answers
132 views

How does the Gemara decide which authority to rule like?

Consider various statements in the Gemara such as: Bava Metzia 22b et. al.: והלכתא כוותיה דאביי ביע"ל קג"ם The Halacha follows Abaye in Ya'al Kegam Kesuvos 13a et. al.: הלכתא כרב נחמן ...
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If Mordechai knew he would endanger the whole nation would he bow to Haman?

If I understand the plot correctly, the story of Haman's hatred to Mordechai and the whole Jewish people started with Mordechai disobeying the king's laws. First, did Mordechai (as a prophet) know he ...
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41 views

Why does Rambam count learning from Midos in 613 Mitzvos?

This is a follow-up question to "why-one's-daughter-is-not-mentioned-in-arayos-in-the-torah" (please read before continuing). Both the Gemmorah and Rambam agree that the prohibition of one's daughter ...
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1answer
72 views

Why one's daughter is not mentioned in Arayos in the Torah?

Gemmorah Yevomos 2b: אלא בתו כיון דאתיא מדרשא חביבא ליה With regard to his daughter, since this prohibition is actually derived from a homiletical interpretation and is not explicitly stated ...
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30 views

Is “Half the tribe” an administrative unit?

The Torah says that the land was handed to two AND A HALF tribes (Num 32:33): וַיִּתֵּן לָהֶם מֹשֶׁה לִבְנֵי־גָד וְלִבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן וְלַחֲצִי שֵׁבֶט מְנַשֶּׁה בֶן־יוֹסֵף אֶת־מַמְלֶכֶת סִיחֹן׃ ...
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Halachic limitations on testing Hashem with Tzedaka

THe Gemmorah (Taanis 9a) discusses the idea of testing Hashem with charity/tithes and brings proof from Tanach (Malachi 3,10) - you give your charity and Hashem maximizes your "earnings": אשכחיה ר' ...