Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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Why can Jews get their ears pierced but can't get tattoos?

If the Torah forbids tattoos, why doesn't it ban peircings. Isn't it self harm? If you could quote your sources that would be appreciated.
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Where are the "many times" (פעמים רבות) referred to by Maimonides in his commentary on Mishnah Sotah 3:4? Which statement of בן עזאי?

The Mishnah Sotah 3:4 states: אֵינָהּ מַסְפֶּקֶת לִשְׁתּוֹת עַד שֶׁפָּנֶיהָ מוֹרִיקוֹת וְעֵינֶיהָ בּוֹלְטוֹת וְהִיא מִתְמַלֵּאת גִּידִין, וְהֵם אוֹמְרִים הוֹצִיאוּהָ הוֹצִיאוּהָ, שֶׁלֹּא תְטַמֵּא ...
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What's the Halachic status of the Moshiach and "presumed to be the Moshiach"?

"If a king should arise from the House of David who is versed in Torah and engages in Commandments, ... and he enjoins all of Israel to follow in its ways and encourages them to repair its ...
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Why is there no birkas hamitzva on kiddush?

There's a general rule that there's a birkas hamitzva before performing a mitzva. How come no blessing is recited before the mitzva of kiddush?
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How does Matzah contribute to simchas yom tov

I always understood the concept/reason to sometimes be lenient, known as מניעת שמחת יום טוב, a lack or decrease in the joy of Yom Tov, to be referring to cases where a significant portion of the meal ...
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Reaquiring chametz

Mishna Berura on Shulchan Aruch Siman 434 Seif 2 מיד בלילה יבטלנו - הטעם הוא דאע"ג דמדאורייתא בבדיקה לבד סגי דמן התורה סגי באחד מהן או בביעור או בביטול דאפילו אם ישאר שם חמץ בבית אינו עובר עליו ...
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Can intercourse mean marriage even without any actual marriage?

If two people have intercourse, can it sometimes be considered that they are now married on some level, or in any sense? I don't remember the sources, but there is a concept that a man gives a part of ...
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What if there were no kohanim?

I don't know if this question was asked before, but: If, hypothetically, when the Mikdash will be built, somehow it was discovered that all kohanim were genealogically invalidated - chalalim in the ...
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Different kinds of living water

In terms of purification Halacha, what is living water? Is there a difference between groundwater and rainwater?
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Why is a beracha levatala considered saying G-d's name in vain?

If for example one was holding a piece of pineapple and with concentration made the bracha of HaEtz, with the intention to praise G-d for creating fruit, and then afterwards realizes that he made the ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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May a gentile look like a Jew?

It seems that Jews ought to be distinguishable from the other nations. There are many accounts, especially from insular communities, of people changing little details in their dress just to be ...
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3 answers
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Torah Laws to fit Ancient Societal Values?

I've heard many times the argument that many Torah Laws and sanctioned behaviors (such as slavery, killing entire enemy nation, marrying a rape victim, etc.) are to be understood (in an ethical sense) ...
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Who says Beis Shammai don't hold of "Aseh docheh lo saaseh"?

A pretty ubiquitous concept in Torah is the idea of aseh docheh lo saaseh, that a positive mitzvah can override a negative precept. I recently saw in a contemporary sefer that Beis Shammai don't hold ...
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Hypothetical question about a mamzer [duplicate]

Is someone a mamzer if they were born to an unmarried Jewish woman with an unmarried Jewish guy and were put up for adoption and taken in by a married Jewish couple?
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The procedure of checking new scrolls against the Torah scroll in the Ark

I remember an interpretation of the purpose of the Torah scroll in the Ark (or maybe another scroll in the Temple), to check other scrolls against it. Rabbis constantly claim the veracity and ...
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Beside "לא תבשל", what phrases appear several times in the Torah and interpreted as different Halachot?

Famously, "לא תבשל" appears three times in the Torah in different verses: "רֵאשִׁ֗ית בִּכּוּרֵי֙ אַדְמָ֣תְךָ֔ תָּבִ֕יא בֵּ֖ית ה"א לֹֽא־תְבַשֵּׁ֥ל גְּדִ֖י בַּחֲלֵ֥ב אִמֹּֽו׃" ...
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Is acting stringently so that "he shall be blessed" an authentic mechanism?

Many times in Halachic literature I have come across the formula in which one can follow the law more stringently than is necessary, and for that he will be blessed (תבא עליו ברכה). Does this ...
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Is Dina Demalchutah ever mentioned in Tannaic sources?

I was looking up in the Sefaria, but the only reference to the Dinah Demalchutah I could find was in the Babylonian Talmud in the name of the Babylonian Amorah Shmuel (דינא דמלכותא) and only in his ...
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3 votes
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A barmitzvah boy saying shehechiyanu on new tefillin when wearing them prior to barmitzvah

Following on from this question and assuming that you make the bracha of shehechiyanu on new tefillin... If a barmitzvah boy has the custom to start wearing his tefillin early. So for example, in ...
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3 votes
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When someone does a wrong action to us. How can we be sure that what we are seeking is only justice instead of revenge?

What is the border that separates revenge from justice? Leviticus 19:18 You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your countrymen. Love your fellow as yourself: I am the LORD Leviticus ...
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Following Secular Law

If a person lives in a country where citizens are innocent until proven guilty, do they commit a sin only when they are officially found guilty or at the moment the potentially criminal activity ...
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Which takes precedence- study of Chovos Halevavos or Halacha?

In its introduction, Chovos Halevavos places great emphasis on the importance of Chovos Halevavos. It also seems to have contradictory implications as to what should be learned first; in one place the ...
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Kol Isha specifically from/of a woman? [duplicate]

I have been reviewing the questions related to Kol Isha (including links about parrots, men with feminine voices, radio recordings and Siri singing) but I was asked whether halacha has dealt with ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Why is hitting children Halachically allowed?

Corporal punishment for children is was a as a prescription for effective Torah learning, as it says : "He who spares the rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him early." ...
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1 vote
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Who gets the candy

My wife had a situation in her class today and I was wondering what the din would be. Girl A (5 year old) pulls a candy out of her bag. Girl B (also 5 year old) says it’s her candy. We know that girl ...
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Performing mitzvot "in bundles"

The Talmud lays down the principle: אֵין עוֹשִׂין מִצְוֹת חֲבִילוֹת חֲבִילוֹת -- One does not perform mitzvot in bundles. [Sotah 8a, also Pesachim 102b, Berakhot 49a] Another Talmudic quote is ...
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Details of the origin of the term "מושך ערלתו"

Without going into much detail, the idea is totally inapplicable in our Halachic reality because we cut the ערלה completely. I understood that in rabbinic times where the term originated, that wasn't ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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'Reuben and Shimon' as example names

Can anyone help me to find out where the custom of using the names 'Reuben and Shimon' as placeholders – eg in responsa – originated, or any other discussion on the custom?
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1 vote
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Halachic status of Israeli airspace and waters

I am presenting this hypothetical not because I want a ruling but because I want to understand the halachic mechanism involved and I'm wording the case specifically to avoid certain answers (so please ...
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1 answer
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Mitzvah habaah beaveirah with a rabbinic prohibition

Is fulfilling a biblical mitzvah by transgressing a rabbinic prohibition considered "mitzvah habaah beaveirah", where they lose their credit for the mitzvah (see Sukkah 30a)? For instance ...
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Did king David cause damage by viewing/ היזק ראיה?

In 2 Shmuel 11 David views Batsheva bathing on her rooftop. Do any commentaries discuss if in so doing did David cause monetary damage under the principle of invasion of privacy (היזק ראייה)?
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-1 votes
1 answer
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What are Sabbath Observing Animals? What are the implications of Sabbath Observant Animals?

A friend of mine brought me a source/comment from Avodah Zarah 1:6 which stated Jews are prohibited from putting Sabbath observant animals into the position where they will have to break the Sabbath. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Shach's understanding of significance of Shulchan Aruch writing "there are some who require"

Hope this isn't too nuanced. There's a pretty established rule in the Shulchan Aruch that when he writes a law, and then writes "some say" (ויש אומרים) something else, he's ruling like the ...
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1 vote
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What are the parameters of Meta Halachic principles?

In his book, The Narrow Halakhic Bridge Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth identifies a halachic category called meta-halacha (p. 249 and on) which he explains (I paraphrase) as principles a posek (decided of ...
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Can one take a lateral flow test on Shabbos?

DISCLAIMER: This is just halacha-theory and not searching for a p'sak Would taking a lateral flow test on Shabbos be absolutely forbidden due to the melacha of tzoveya - dyeing? After taking the swab ...
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1 vote
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Orientation of Esrog relative to person versus relative to ground

This question was originally going to be saved for Purim Torah in Jest, but after thinking about it, I feel this can have practical ramifications. How does one hold an Esrog before making the Bracha '...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Implications of the appendix "אני ה'" in Biblical Mitzvot

Many Biblical Mitzvos end with "אני ה'" or "אני ה"א" or the like. Some are interpreted, some are totally ignored. For example (Leviticus.19): "אִישׁ אִמּוֹ וְאָבִיו ...
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1 vote
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What rabbis openly allowed/promoted wearing wigs?

When discussing wigs as a means of covering women's hair, I only heard that rabbis recognized them only aposteriori. What prominent rabbis publicly allowed their use apriori?
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How Golden Calf massacre can be reconciled with the Halachah

In Moses' words, God ordered a massacre in a very specific way: infidels should be executed with swords, and one should target his own relatives first: ".וַיֹּאמֶר לָהֶם כֹּה־אָמַר ה' אֱלֹהֵי ...
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1 answer
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Is it permitted to trim but not shave pubic hair? [duplicate]

Is it permitted for a man to trim his armpit hair and pubic hair? I know shaving is not permissible under certain circumstances but would trimming be allowed?
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Setting up a scraping function to run on Shabbos [duplicate]

What halachic (if any) considerations are there if one has a function that is scraping a website and then populating a database with the data running over Shabbos? It will finish on Shabbos and when ...
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1 vote
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Is Halacha (Shulchan Aruch, Mishnah Brurah, etc.) confined to Rabbinic and Torah prohibitions?

From what I understand: Early halachic compilations (throughout the Geonim period) sourced directly from Talmud Bavli Talmud Bavli often sources opinions by actions and text in the Torah, and oral ...
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Legitimacy of rulings accepted through spontaneous rabbinic gatherings

The Torah prescribes settling the law in a very special place: "If a case is too baffling for you to decide, be it controversy over homicide, civil law, or assault—matters of dispute in your ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Rabbi Shlomo Goren and the Langer Case

I am trying to understand the Langer controversy. I have only have seen the Charedi side been explained. Are there any seforim/books/online articles which explain Rabbi Goren's position?
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5 votes
2 answers
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How was the mishna actually transmitted orally

I've recently begun a project to memorize the mishna. The technique I am using is surprisingly effective. This came as a result of my feeling nostalgic for the days when the Oral Torah was truly oral. ...
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Instances of Shevua Shechal Bo

Does the concept "Shevua Shechal Bo" come up within the context of halacha or hashkafa in any area other than the the week leading up to Tisha B'Av? It just seems like a unique measure for a ...
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What determines a "majority of travelers"?

In Mas. Sh'kalim, 20A, the gemara discusses whether one can consume meat or cheese that he finds in a public space. One reason to allow it is because "רוב מהלכי דרכים" most of the travelers ...
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How should rabbis answer questions on disputed issues?

You have a halachic question. Unknown to you, there is a dispute on the matter. Some rule as (A) and some rule as (B). You ask your Rav. He will give you one of three answers: (1) The answer is (A)...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Jewish clergy to marry inside his congregation?

Does the Halacha allow a single/ widow(er) member of the congregation to flirt and date with the single/ widow(er) rabbi/ cantor of the same congregation in hope of a marriage ?
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16 votes
4 answers
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Ship of Theseus in Halacha

How would Halacha deal with the Ship of Theseus thought experiment? For example, if one made a neder (vow) not to have any hana'ah (benefit) from a certain ship and over time every single piece of ...
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