Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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36 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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1answer
79 views

Chayecha Kodmin 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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1answer
223 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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178 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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66 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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104 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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1answer
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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116 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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87 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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44 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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88 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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71 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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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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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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81 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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61 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
129 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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98 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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88 views

In case of Halachic doubt should one ask a Rabbi or assume anything will work? [duplicate]

Following comments on my other question "how-an-open-succah-oriented": Let's imagine one is facing a new Halachic reality he never heard of: he always built Succah on his 5th-floor balcony and then ...
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45 views

Is there Biblical reference to the existence of Halachah Lemoshe Misinai?

The definition of the Law(s) of Moses Misnai in WIKI from the Talmudic Encyclopedia (see also here): A Law given to Moses at Sinai refers to a halakhic law for which there is no biblical reference ...
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1answer
250 views

Why was Ruth's conversion acceptable?

Most rabbis do not allow conversion for ulterior motives (e.g to marry a Jew), because it is not for the sake of God. Let us look at the words of the prototypal convert in the Tanach. What did she ...
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42 views

Does existence of a Machlokes prove the lack of established Halachah?

I'm trying to understand the methodology and the dynamics of the Halachah and when the Gemmorah presents a Machlokes that is resolved generations later I arrive at the conclusions that there was no ...
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Seeking a comparison of Jewish and America law [closed]

There are at least several questions on this site about comparisons of Jewish and American law (samples below). I seek an article or book that compares Jewish and America law (where they overlap). ...
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2answers
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Does the mitzvah of knowing Torah exist as separate from mitzvah of learning Torah?

According to views of some authorities (Shulchan Aruch HaRav and others), learning without pronouncing words or listening to Torah recordings does not qualify as the mitzvah of Talmud Torah. ...
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1answer
61 views

What areas of Halochos require definition of a house/dwelling?

Following my previous question, What Halochos require defining a Kosher dwelling/house, like "is such a house Kosher for Y"? For example, we can surely ask it for a Succah, or a Mezuzah or for ...
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55 views

Sources for juxtaposing two opposing approaches to Jewish Halachah

Throughout different realms of Halochos I spot two opposing approaches to ruling the practical Halochos - let's call them Absolute and Personal: The Absolute approach rules/proposes Halochos that ...
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25 views

What is the source for the omnisignificance of Torah [duplicate]

In his book, The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History professor James Kugel discusses the idea that each and every word (letter?) in the Torah posses significant meaning (pp. 104-105), ...
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2answers
68 views

How to differentiate between a “revealed” Halacha and Paskened one?

THis question mimics a similar question about mathematics - is it discovered or created. Our Rabbis ruled a lot of Halochos. Some of them are considered "the revelation of the original Halochos G-d ...
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3answers
111 views

How do we know something is “Halacha Lemoshe Misinai”?

When I read in the Talmud, Shulchan Aruch, etc. that a halacha is halacha leMoshe Misinai (a law given to Moses at Mt. Sinai), I compare it to a "postulate". It seems like a statement or rule that we ...
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97 views

Inventing Halachot or revealing (restoring) them?

תנא אלף ושבע מאות קלין וחמורין וגזירות שוות ודקדוקי סופרים נשתכחו בימי אבלו של משה: אמר רבי אבהו אעפ"כ החזירן עתניאל בן קנז מתוך פלפולו One thousand and seven hundred inferences, and verbal ...
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97 views

Source of opinion that Talmud Yerushalmi was corrupted by Karaites

In the entry for Talmud Bavli/Yerushalmi in Chida's Shem Hagedolim Hashalem (c.1800, the older versions do not have this paragraph), he references a theory from maskilim of his time that the Rabbis ...
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68 views

Streaming services on Shabbat and holy days [duplicate]

More and more non-traditional congregations stream their Shabbat and Yom Tov services, for the benefit of hospital patients and shut-ins. If done automatically, or managed by Gentiles, or started ...
2
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1answer
121 views

Is one allowed to publicize stories about Rabbis without asking them first?

THe approach of learning Halochos or Middos or behaviors from observing Tzaddikim's behavior alone is very common in our literature and is even rooted in Gemmorah (Brochos 62): תניא אמר רבי עקיבא ...
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1answer
94 views

When and why did we stop to receive lashes on Yom Kippur as Shu"A prescribes?

Shu"A Orach Hayim 607.6 כל הקהל לוקים מלקות ארבעים אחר תפלת המנחה שמתוך כך יתן אל לבו לשוב מעבירות שבידו: הגה ונהגו שהנלקה אומר וידוים בשעה שנלקה וכו'‏ All of the congregation receives ...
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30 views

Were Kohanim in the Temple obligated in Torah reading?

Following "synagogue-in-the-temple", In the times of the Second Temple, assuming that not all Kohanim were involved in Temple Service all the time: Were they obligated in Torah reading and was ...
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70 views

What is the Chidush that Parashat Hamelech is read off the Torah scroll in Hebrew?

ואלו נאמרין בלשון הקודש: מקרא ביכורים, וחליצה, ... ברכת כהנים,... ופרשת המלך... (Sotah 32a) these are recited only in the sacred tongue, Hebrew: Bikkurim and Chalitzah and the blessings and ...
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160 views

Source for “no Yetzer Harah when a Torah Scroll is opened/read”?

Following my question on "separation of men and women on Hakhel", in this Drashah (thanks Lee) R' Uri Sherki (Mercaz Harav) explains the lack of separation of men and women on Hakhel by the fact ...
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Source that Power generators on Shabbos override Shlom Bayt (in Israel)

Power generators are very popular with Haredim in Israel that traditionally don't rely on Isral Electric Company's electricity on Shabbos. On Rosh Hashana, the power generator of a famous Yeshiva in ...
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Considerations for electing the Nassi - theoretical vs practical?

In theory Rambam Hilchot Sanhedrin 1.3 teaches us: הַגָּדוֹל בְּחָכְמָה שֶׁבְּכֻלָּן מוֹשִׁיבִין אוֹתוֹ רֹאשׁ עֲלֵיהֶן וְהוּא רֹאשׁ הַיְשִׁיבָה וְהוּא שֶׁקּוֹרִין אוֹתוֹ הַחֲכָמִים נָשִׂיא בְּכָל ...
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Is one allowed to endanger his life for learning Torah like Hillel did?

The famous story about Hillel's devotion to Torah learning, in Yoma 25b, tells that Hillel endangered his life by trying to listen to Shmayah and Avtalyon in extremely cold weather until he fell ...
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1answer
52 views

If “not in Heaven”, can Sanhedrin disregard or contradict a prophet?

It is a Mitzvah to listen to a prophet (non-capital) and it is a Mitzvah to listen to the Sanhedrin (capital). While it's accepted that a prophet can't establish new Halochos, he can command on ...
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28 views

High Priest vs Sanhedrin - who decides?

Who outpowers whom in Halochos of running the Temple - the Nassi and the Sanhedrin or the High Priest and his team of working Kohanim, assuming he's a Chacham also? If the Sanhedrin, what means do ...
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25 views

Can external criteria be considered when setting the Halacha?

וכי מאחר שאלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים מפני מה זכו בית הלל לקבוע הלכה כמותן? מפני שנוחין ועלובין היו ושונין דבריהן ודברי בית שמאי ולא עוד אלא שמקדימין דברי בית שמאי לדבריהן The Gemara asks: Since ...
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What does it mean “נצחוני בני” after “לא בשמים היא” and “אחרי רבים להטות”?

There's something seemingly erratic in Heaven's behavior as reflected in the Gemmorah. If "לא בשמים היא" and "אחרי רבים להטות" were established Heavenly Halachot why would G-d smile and state "My ...
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1answer
50 views

If “not in Heaven” how could Nac"h be the source of Halacha?

As the Gemmorah states (Temura 16a), the idea of "Not in Heaven" traces back to Moses' death and Yehoshua was the first asked to use it and he refused, referring to that verse. Nevertheless, from ...
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30 views

Why let the Sages stay anonymous in arguments?

This bothers me a lot - the idea of using anonymous "Chachamim" in arguments. I don't understand why is it important or useful to hide their names. The Mishnah uses it extensively and makes it very ...
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15 views

Additional examples of Appealing to Bat Kol?

Besides Tanuro Shel Akhnai story (B"M 59b) where R' Eliezer appealed to the Heavenly voice to prove him right, what are additional examples of Chachamim appealing to the Bat Kol to prove their ...
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1answer
77 views

How life stories turned into Halachot - Mishnaic examples?

The first Mishna in Brochos states: מעשה ובאו בניו מבית המשתה אמרו לו לא קרינו את שמע אמר להם אם לא עלה עמוד השחר חייבין אתם לקרות There was an incident where Rabban Gamliel’s sons returned ...
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1answer
167 views

Do halachic authorities actually believe in eilu v'eilu?

This answer https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/93714/13680 states the following viewpoint [...] HKB"H does not care about the truth anymore, as long as they arrived at their conclusion sincerely ...
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2answers
84 views

Why didn't the Heavenly Voice testify for Elu Ve'Elu in Tanuro Shel Achnai argument?

There are a couple of iconic arguments in our Gemmorah and Tanuro Shel Achnai (BM 59)is surely one of them. Here's a short recap: R' Eliezer had an argument with some Chachamim, and R' Yehoshua was ...

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