Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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53 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
73 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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43 views

Confusion between Kosher Torah Scroll in Greek and Chumashim?

When discussing the question of "why-is-a-greek-torah-scroll-kosher", the Mishna in Meggila 1.8 reads: אֵין בֵּין סְפָרִים לִתְפִלִּין וּמְזוּזוֹת אֶלָּא שֶׁהַסְּפָרִים נִכְתָּבִין בְּכָל לָשׁוֹן, ...
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25 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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1answer
67 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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3answers
149 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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64 views

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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16 views

Can a prophet contradict Sanhedrin?

A supplementary question to "can-sanhedrin-disregard-or-contradict-a-prophet". IIRC, the Halachah is not SET by a prophet, but he can definitely hold a different, Heavenly opinion (see Tanuro ...
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47 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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26 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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1answer
31 views

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
49 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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28 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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43 views

How were the Qumran people allowed to use a solar calendar?

Follow up on this question which assumes that the basis of having the Judaic calendar as a primarily lunar calendar is based on a Mechilta interpretation that God showed Moshe the moon. In a sense, ...
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14 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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45 views

Can presenting a Talmudic story as a dream be a valid interpretation?

I asked once about the boundaries of the Talmudic interpretation, but this Metivtah literally blew me off my feet (on B"M 59b, Tanuro Shel Akhnai): I think Rabeinu Chananel is a respected Rabbi but ...
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1answer
73 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
80 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
62 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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4answers
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Is there a concept of “peer review” in Rabbinical Judaism?

"Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competences as the producers of the work (peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a ...
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1answer
44 views

Elu Ve'Elu - can half truth be called truth? [duplicate]

Many Talmudic sources themselves, interpreters and commentators seek to reconcile contradicting opinions by steering each opinion off to a different scope/topic. Someone gave an example of a cylinder,...
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15 views

How Eilu V'Eilu “דברי אלקים חיים” means “those are both TRUE”?

In the famous saying "אלו ואלו דברי אלקים חיים" (see Eruvin for example), what does "דברי אלוקים חיים" mean? Does it appear as a verse in Nach? Why in the name of אלקים? What does Jיים mean here? ...
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1answer
29 views

Eilu V'Eilu from Heaven - who said it applies to every Rabbi?

IIRC, the only examples of Elu Ve'elu (אלו ואלו דברי אלקים חיים) appear in the Talmud in the name of the Heaven (see here): Machlokes B"H and B"S (see for example Eruvin 13b): ...a Divine Voice ...
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37 views

What is the halacha if a Jew injures another Jew during battle training?

I am not aware of any information in the written or oral Torah which discusses what was involved in preparing Jewish army troops for battle, but I assume that soldiers would spar with each other and ...
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72 views

Reasons for scattering Talmudic subjects over different Masechtot

It is easy to criticize the Rabbinical sources for inconsistency, as I did many times, but I would truly like to find a plausible and reasonable explanation for a certain trend in the Talmud based on ...
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64 views

What's the reasoning behind “לעולם ישנה אדם לתלמידו דרך קצרה”?

As I can clearly see the Talmud suffers greatly from the conciseness of the Mishna (and similar Mishnaic sources), its statements are easy to remember but sometimes hard to understand as the phrasing ...
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0answers
65 views

Examples of a decision ruled by voting of Sanhedrin in the Talmud

If I understand correctly the Peshat of the Torah (Deut 17), when a Machlokes raises, there's a simple and Kosher way of resolving it - gathering the High Court and voting on it and, of course, ...
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1answer
68 views

Why Levi'im's holding of their cities is not called נחלה? [closed]

Following my previous question "measuring-levis-cities". The tribe of Levi got hold of the Cities of Refugees. IIRC, they all received some real estate inside and outside the walls that they ...
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28 views

Why did the Sages suddenly stopped relying on Bat Kol? [duplicate]

:אמר רבי אבא אמר שמואל ,שלש שנים נחלקו בית שמאי ובית הלל .הללו אומרים הלכה כמותנו והללו אומרים הלכה כמותנו יצאה בת קול ואמרה אלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים הן והלכה כבית הלל Rabbi Abba said that ...
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1answer
61 views

Does “לא בשמים היא” apply to Moses?

גופא אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל: ,שלשת אלפים הלכות נשתכחו בימי אבלו של משה "אמרו לו ליהושע שאל א"ל "לא בשמים היא Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: Three thousand halakhot were forgotten during ...
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26 views

How much should Rosho Verubo be for Succah measurements?

The Gemmorah (Succah 3 and Mishna on 28) states that the requirements for a Succah are that a person can fit it "ראשו ורובו" - the head and most of the body. IIRC the average body is 3 Amot (18 ...
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1answer
65 views

Why are some sins counted twice?

I am looking to understand the theology behind a negative commandment being repeated in the Torah in order to make whomever transgresses it punishable for 2 sins. See for example Rashi on Vayikra 25:...
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32 views

Do we have Hilchot Shotrim (Policemen laws)?

"מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה לְמַנּוֹת שׁוֹפְטִים וְשׁוֹטְרִים בְּכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה וּבְכָל פֶּלֶךְ וּפֶלֶךְ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים טז יח) "שֹׁפְטִים וְשֹׁטְרִים תִּתֶּן לְךָ בְּכָל שְׁעָרֶיךָ". ...
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34 views

Underage Jewish King in Judaism

Parshas Shoftim deals with some Mitzvos for a Jewish King. IIRC, a son inherits his father king and can be appointed as such at any age1 - Solomon, for example, was 12 and Yoash was 7 ("בֶּן-שֶׁבַע ...
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1answer
52 views

What's more important in deciding halacha - precedent or the present?

Rashi, explaining the pasuk on inquiring of a judge (Devarim 17:9), says "and to the judge who will be in those days": Although this judge may not be [of the same stature] as other judges who ...
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1answer
71 views

Is conspiracy a crime under Jewish law? If so, under what circumstances?

In US law, criminal conspiracy is a crime. (See below for definition.) Is there a similar concept in halacha and, if so, under what circumstances and how does it work (e.g., when is it a crime and ...
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1answer
233 views

Does Isaiah 66 say that the non-Jews can keep Shabbos?

Given the context of Isaiah, I always seen the expression כל בשר as a reference to am yisroel, given the expressions of לא רחמה and לא עמי in Hosea 1-2. I've always understood it as all Israel in its ...
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0answers
40 views

Is synthetically generated water Kosher for Mikve? [duplicate]

Following "was-beer-miryam-kosher-as-a-mikve", Water can be generated synthetically from hydrogen and oxygen (don't try it at home!). Is this water Kosher for Mikve dip?
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3answers
213 views

Did Israelites who stayed in Egypt become halachically Jewish?

Some sources indicate that not all of the Israelites left Egypt during the Exodus. On the other hand, the initial "conversion" of the Israelites to Judaism occurred at Matan Torah at Mt. Sinai during ...
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1answer
96 views

Was Be'er Miryam Kosher as a Mikve?

Following "did-the-bnei-israel-go-to-the-mikveh-in-the-desert": Based on our Halacha, given its divine supernatural essence, would Be'er Miryam be Kosher as a Mikve, if its water would pour out to a ...
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4answers
197 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 ...
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1answer
255 views

Which drashot require a mesorah?

From what I've heard, two of them have definite rules: Kal Vachomer doesn't need a mesorah. Gezeirah Shavah does need a mesorah. But what about everything else, such as a Hekesh, or a Clal u'prat, ...
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1answer
78 views

Birchas Ha'Gomel and probabilistic dangers

There are many questions of the type "Is Bh"G said after X". The simplified understanding of the Gemmorah in Brochos 54b (see Rash"i "צריכין להודות - כשיוצאין מן הסכנה:") is that the 4 cases present [...
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1answer
84 views

Why there's no Deoraytah prohibition of altering Torah scroll?

Following my other question "no-anti-altering-failsafe-measures". Please correct me if I'm wrong, one who alters one letter of a Torah scroll invalidates it in whole (שו"ע יו"ד רעד). But I don't ...
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2answers
69 views

Does Judaism discourage inquiring after the dead? [closed]

My aunt has recently passed away suddenly. It is hard to believe. Although I am coming to understand more and more the meaning of her passing, I am still unsettled that HaShem has let this decree ...
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0answers
54 views

Why does steam impart dairy or meat status onto a cover?

Steam is a separate category as aroma in hilchot Kashrus. The former, if hot, contacts a pot cover, that cover would take on the dairy or meat status of the food below it. However, when water is ...
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3answers
508 views

Understanding the reasoning for “be killed rather than kill”

Sanhedrin 74a teaches us the source for how we know a person should be killed rather than kill: סברא הוא [...] מי יימר דדמא דידך סומק טפי דילמא דמא דהוא גברא סומק טפי It's based on logical ...