Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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1answer
76 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
80 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
61 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 ...
3
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44 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
503 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 ...
4
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1answer
89 views

Source that אמונת חכמים applies to the Sages' knowledge besides Halachah

Tons of Jewish responsa (incl. this site) is based on a common belief/premise that the Talmudic Sages knew what they say and that everything they said is true - אמונת חכמים (see this question on this ...
3
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1answer
52 views

Earliest application of "frailty/feebleness descended upon humanity” (״ירדה חולשה לעולם״)

A popular saying in various fields of halachah (Jewish law) is “frailty/feebleness descended upon humanity” (״ירדה חולשה לעולם״). This is perhaps most known in the area of fasting where some ...
4
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2answers
1k views

May a man marry the women with whom he committed adultery?

A single man commits adultery with a married woman. Later the woman divorces her husband, and wishes to marry the single man with whom she had the meretricious relationship. Is this allowed?
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2answers
133 views

Did Rabbis speculate on the future of Judaism? [closed]

As we all know, Judaism is a flexible, human-driven (human Rabbis I mean), masses-friendly religion. While the basic premises remain intact, the Halachic norms change - things that were widely ...
2
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0answers
51 views

How was the appropriate death penalty decided for each sin?

There are four capital punishments (Skilah, Sreifah, Hereg and Chenek) and there seems to be a hierarchy in terms of severity (heavy to light) but is there any discussion of how the specific crime ...
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1answer
64 views

Did Rabbis reflect on their cognitive processes?

I was probably too harsh attributing various cognitive biases to Rabbis, so I'd like apologize and to step back. With some background in Cognitive sciences, I'm very interested in understanding the ...
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59 views

Sources discussing Trick Candles

Are there any rabbinic sources which discuss whether one can blow out a "trick candle" on Shabbat? I see issues related to m'chabeh but also possibly mavir, but because the intent is not to relight, ...
3
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2answers
148 views

Do slaves owned by jews observe shabbat (day of rest)?

To my understanding it is a commandment of God that those who live among jews observe Shabbat. Historically, slaves owned by jews must have lived among them. Does Gods commandment apply to slaves, if ...
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3answers
121 views

Can Rabbis decide whether non-Jews are getting a piece of the Next World?

I remember asking about the limitations of the Rabbinical rulings, based on "לא בשמים היא" within Judaism. After other questions dealt with deciding whether Gentiles in general or any specific group (...
3
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2answers
346 views

Amira L'Akum not on Shabbat

One may not ask a non-Jew to do an action on behalf of the Jew if the action is assur on Shabbat (a gross over simplification, I know). This would constitute Amira L'Akum (or Nochri). Is there a ...
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59 views

How MiYodea and other knowledge-sharing sites influence the future of Judaism?

The previously unknown availability and abundance of knowledge, both religious, and scientific surely impose a serious challenge to the existing structure of Torah study. I hear many Rabbis, Ram"im, ...
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34 views

Is it a mitzvah to create a situation for others to be mekayem a mitzvah?

I recall reading (though I can't find it) that the person who was punished for collecting sticks on Shabbat was actually doing so in an effort to help others see the laws of Shabbat in practice (or ...
2
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2answers
54 views

Is there an idea of Beit Din unlawfully pardoning, as opposed to unlawfully killing?

A Jewish Court is allowed to kill a person if it considers the killing worthy even if it is unlawful by the existing Jewish Halacha. This is called עונשין שלא מן הדין (Meggilat Taanit 86, also ...
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2answers
138 views

What constrains Judaism from developing into violent fanaticism?

When we discuss the religious that spun off Judaism, we attribute their malicious and unanimously condemned artifacts like Crusades and Jihad to the fact that they "altered the sacred tradition" or ...
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3answers
2k views

Why were Er and Onan punished if they were under 20?

As seen from this question, the Heavenly Court does not punish an individual (at least in this life) if he or she is under 20. However, according to Seder Hadoros (Year 2217) Er and Onan were 7 or 8 ...
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2answers
90 views

Did Yiftach's daughter have to comply with his vow?

In Judges chapter 11 Yiftach vows to dedicate whatever first comes out of the doors of his home to God (perhaps to be sacrificed as an offering) should he be victorious in battle. After his victory ...
6
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1answer
86 views

Can a Judge Issue a Ruling After his Death?

In a recent decision (No. 18-272, Yovino v. Rizo, decided February 25, 2019 Per Curiam, properly cited as 586 U. S. ___ (2019)), the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) dealt with the matter of a ...
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39 views

Blessing for indistinguishably unrecognizable corn

Halachic authorities rule that very similar products, such as different brands of Corn Flakes, have different blessings. See, e.g., Rabbi Dovid Haber, writing for the Star-K, and citing Rav Moshe ...
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61 views

How does Rambam decide what defines a Mitzvah?

Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos lists 14 rules that guided him in writing his Sefer Hamitzvos. Practically all of them focus on what does not consitute a Mitzvah Deoraytah: השרש הראשון שאין ראוי למנות ...
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1answer
67 views

Why must a convicted Jew be executed immediately?

Here are some speculations why I would think Judaism would never execute [rightfully] convicted Jews right away: We don't like killing people (even those who deserve it) and try everything within our ...
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1answer
247 views

Did Rabbi Akiva accept arguments from ignorance?

There's a common principle found in various academic disciplines, that absence of proof does not equal proof of absence (ie: a lack of evidence for something doesn't mean that it does not exist). I am ...
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2answers
237 views

How many Mitzvos does the Mishnah cover?

How many (out of the 613 Deoraytah) Mitzvos are explicitly discussed in the 6 Sdarim of the Mishah (not including those that are only mentioned tangentially, like Kibud Av at the beginning of Peah)?
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75 views

Source for the requirement for an action to be within “toch k'dei dibbur” of a warning for Capital Punishment

In order for a person to be killed by Beis Din via a capital punishment, there needs to be: a) 2 witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15) that saw him transgress a sin that is liable to death. b) a warning ("...
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3answers
98 views

What Jewish monetary laws defy common logic?

While most laws stem from the Sages' logic presented in the Gemmorah, there is a subset of Halochos called Hukim (decrees) that are to be taken without understanding their reasoning. Are there Hukim ...
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1answer
83 views

Where did Moses' applied scientific knowledge disappear?

I had a series of seemingly true statements that lead me to a contradiction I'm unable to solve: Moses knew all the Torah => Moses knew all the Halacha. Moses knew all the Halochos of Shabbos => when ...
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0answers
17 views

Counting parts of a Mitzvah as a Mitzvah (Rambam's 12th principle)

Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos lays [his own] principles of what counts as a Mitzvah and what's not. The 12th principle says that: שאין ראוי למנות חלקי המלאכה מהמלאכות שבא הצווי בעשייתם כל חלק וחלק בפני ...
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0answers
37 views

Case Study: Kashrut of Tapioca Starch

I have heard different answers from representatives of the cRc and the Star-K regarding the kashrut of un-certified tapioca starch. While both agree that it requires a hechsher for Pessach, the Star-K ...
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0answers
25 views

Do the works on sacrifices require Blessings to validate the intent?

Disclaimer: this is not a Halachic question and I didn't research much yet. There's a whole subject of having wrong thoughts when bringing a sacrifice and performing numerous actions by the owner or ...
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1answer
88 views

Are women allowed to have an alternative lifestyle haircut? [duplicate]

Is it permissible for a woman have a haircut where they shave half of her hair off and leave the other side of her hair untouched - a style strongly associated with lesbians, bisexuals, transgender ...
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0answers
49 views

“A prophet cannot renew Halachot” rule limitations

Divrei HaYamim describes the process of building of the first Temple, hinting that the exact plan was prophesied: וַיִּתֵּן דָּוִיד לִשְׁלֹמֹה בְנוֹ אֶת־תַּבְנִית הָאוּלָם וְאֶת־בָּתָּיו ...
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3answers
653 views

Is the first of the 10 Commandments considered a mitzvah?

I realize that the English translation of עשרת הדברים / דברות is better translated as "Ten pronouncements" rather than "10 Commandments". However, in viewing the text, 2 - 10 seem to be commanding ...
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0answers
31 views

Obligation of a Beis Din to judge and decide on Issurim?

THe question about the baby switch made me think of this question: In the realm of Issurim (Arayos, Mamzerim, conversion, Kohen, etc) when new evidence arises, is a Beis Din and what Beis Din ...
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1answer
51 views

Are there limitations of the principle “Not in Heaven”?

A similar question was closed, but I'm going to elaborate on it: It is universally accepted that after the principle was accepted (B"M 59b) in times of R' Eliezer, the Rabbis have the power to rule ...
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1answer
63 views

Why did Sanhedrin deal with who has a share in Olam Habah?

The Gemmorah (Sanhedrin 104b) describes that the members of the Great Assembly dealt with the question of who does or does not deserve a share in the World to Come. As they demonstratively disagreed ...
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38 views

Altered non-porcine treif animals- kosher or not? [duplicate]

If one was able to alter a non-porcine treif animal to make it chew its cud and have split hooves, would that animal be kosher? This question If a pig was genetically modified to chew its cud, would ...
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32 views

Derech g'dilasan: the requirement for mitzva objects to be used in the manner in which they grew

The mishna quotes Rabbi Yosi (Suka 3:14) saying that if one carried a lulav in the public domain without thinking on the first day of Sukos which was also shabas it would not count as a violation of ...
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1answer
42 views

How the crown of a good name (כתר שם טוב) was Halachicly left out?

רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר, שְׁלשָׁה כְתָרִים הֵם, כֶּתֶר תּוֹרָה וְכֶתֶר כְּהֻנָּה וְכֶתֶר מַלְכוּת, :וְכֶתֶר שֵׁם טוֹב עוֹלֶה עַל גַּבֵּיהֶן Rabbi Shimon said: There are three crowns: the ...
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1answer
34 views

What signs in Gemmorah suggest that a ruling must hold forever?

The reasoning of the Gemmorah's Rabbis is very fluid and everchanging, each generation offering new interpretations, considerations, measures, and decrees. Usually, the development of the Halachah, ...
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3answers
100 views

Torah 'not in Heaven' and free choice

The concept of “Torah lo b’shomayim hi” is usually taken to mean that the halacha is not decided (by G-d) in Heaven, but rather by people here on Earth. However, since nothing happens outside of G-d’s ...
3
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1answer
44 views

Why is the halacha according to R. Meir against R. Shimon?

The mishna Keilim 7:4-5 (just :5 in other versions) brings a series of cases in which an item is connected by Rabbinic law (and not by Torah law; see Rambam's commentary) to another item, and in each ...
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2answers
81 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
24 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-...
0
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1answer
39 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
105 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?
5
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1answer
79 views

'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 ...