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Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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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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The origin of Purim Halachot

We hold that the written Torah was given together with the oral law. However, Meggilat Ester was written by the Sages. Purim is full of Halochos, as the Meggila says "קיימו וקבלו", but it does not ...
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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
56 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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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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Why "know-it-all- Adam should be commanded at all?

THe last couple of question dealt with Adam's commandments in Eden. And it pushes me back to understand the very nature of a commandment: Let's imagine a little kid that should be commanded not to ...
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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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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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“Half the tribe” - Administrative unit?

The Torah says that the... was handed to two AND A HALF tribes: וַיִּתֵּ֣ן לָהֶ֣ם מֹשֶׁ֡ה לִבְנֵי־גָד֩ וְלִבְנֵ֨י רְאוּבֵ֜ן וְלַחֲצִ֣י שֵׁ֣בֶט מְנַשֶּׁ֣ה בֶן־יוֹסֵ֗ף אֶת־מַמְלֶ֙כֶת֙ סִיחֹן֙ מֶ֣לֶךְ ...
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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' ...
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Bloodletting - purely “scientific” or some tradition?

Bloodletting (הקזת דם) was a very commonplace medical procedure in the Mishnaic times (see Shabbos 129). It is widely accepted that the ancient healers believed that: "... many diseases were ...
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What was in the beginning of Halachah? [closed]

In a civilized state here are tons of laws and regulations. We can trace them all to when they were officially legislated. For instance traffic laws or real estate laws. But what was before they were ...
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How studying Torah without Machlokot is possible?

The idea of Machloket-less study and transmission of the Oral Torah is very basic in Judaism. I spot two approaches: That of Sanhedrin 68b - there were Machlokot and different approaches and schools,...
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The Rabbinical definition of the term “Halacha”

This term is used everywhere in Judaism, but I have a feeling that the meaning varies greatly, for example, some Talmudic conclusions "הלכה היא" are not accepted as the ruling Halachah either by the ...
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What criteria allow rabbis to use the “Shomer Petayim” principle?

There is a principle called shomer petayim (Meaning "G-d protects the simple". Based on Psalms 116:6.) which rabbis occasionally use to allow people to do something that would probably be considered ...
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R' Chanina B"T's strange behavior at his execution (Kalah 5, 4)

We all know the heroic story of R' Chanina Ben Tardion in its version in Avodah Zarah 18b as he was wrapped in Sefer Torah and burned alive. Interestingly, Masechet Kalah 5, 4 (sorry couldn't find a ...
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Why is the principle of Svarah a source for some Halachik concepts but not others?

There are instances in the Talmud (usually fleshed out by the Rishonim) where we learn a concept that is **so logical** that we don't need a pasuk or drasha to teach it to us, THAT'S how logical it is....
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If the Dodo bird had a tradition of being kosher & was resurrected, would it be OK to eat again?

Came across an article titled "Could scientists resurrect the dodo bird?" and it made me wonder: suppose there was a mesorah that the Dodo bird was kosher before it went extinct in 1681. If we in ...
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A truth vs THE truth in Judaism

The word "אמת"/truth is used everywhere in Judaism in relation to all of its writings, both Tanach and the Oral Law. At the beginning of my Teshuva, it made me very confused, especially when applied ...
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Derobonon extensions of mide'oraita laws - list

In Mas. Kiddushin, 45b, the gemara discusses a woman who has undergone eirusin but the status of her nesuin is in doubt. The question arises as to whether she can (if she married a kohein) eat of his ...
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Is hastening death of a Jew allowed for a non-Jew?

A Jew may not do anything which will hasten the death of another Jew. This is a selection from here, by Rabbi J. David Bleich (I added the bolding) The practice of euthanasia-whether active or ...
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Do cremated animal remains contaminate with Tumas Mes, Nevela or Sherets?

If I keep an urn at home containing the ashes of my deceased and cremated favourite pet, if I touch/carry the ashes does this make me tamei ?
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What happens to those who have not completed their conversion post to the coming of moshiach?

Given that moshiach can come at any time, what will happen to those that are in the process of conversion? Certain passages such as yevamos 24b, geirus would no longer be performed in the messianic ...
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What happens if Hebrew Slave goes on strike?

@Joel's answer to my previous question "whats-so-slave-ish-in-the-hebrew-slave" showed a possible difference between a slave and an employee - the later can simply walk away. That made me think: what ...
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Controversies in counting the 24 organs of freeing the slave

I've already asked a couple of questions on the counting of the 248 body organs, see the list. Lately, I asked some question on slavery and here's where those topics cross. The Gemmorah in Kiddushin ...
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What gives a rav authority to grant his own semichah?

I have heard many stories about people receiving private semichah from rabbanim, even into the 20th century, under such figures as the Chofetz Chaim, R' Moshe Feinstein, and R' Isser Zalman Meltzer; a ...
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What's worse: eating a cheeseburger or eating pork?

Both eating a non-kosher cheeseburger and pork are assur, but suppose one is stuck on a desert island and has only these two options (the bun has already been eaten). What should one do? Is eating ...
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52 views

What's so slave-ish in the Hebrew Slave?

I'm trying to compare the status and duties of a Hebrew slave that sells himself to slavery versus a man that agrees to work for 7 years (שכיר שבוע), as in B"M 9,11: "שְׂכִיר שַׁבָּת, שְׂכִיר חֹדֶשׁ, ...
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What are the practical parameters of Mitzvah Haba'ah B'Aveirah?

There are a few questions which ask about whether the concern of a mitzvah which is (or whose practice is) contingent upon the existence of a sin applies in specific cases. But are there any clear cut ...
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What prevents a needy from stealing and being sold into slavery?

Imagine a poor Jewish guy with a screaming wife and 12 little kids that went bankrupt and lost everything he had. He still needs to support himself and his family. What prevents him from selecting ...
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Why did G-d promise the former slaves to continue cultivating slavery?

This question is a different aspect of the previous question "why-parshas-mishpatim-begin-with-laws-of-slaves". A man that is discharged from a prison promises to never get back. A nation that was ...
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How to beware of the prohibition of Ona'a?

When learning about Ona'a (ShuA CM רכ"ז) I notice, that despite the long list of Halochos there are no measures of prevention mentioned either for the seller or the buyer(as far as I could see). I ...
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Can a “brain controlled” prosthetic be used on Shabbat?

New prosthetics are controlled by brain waves which seem to make the prosthetic an extension of the body in an "organic" way, in that we control all of our own limbs through the same brain waves and ...
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What did R' Zeira mean to forget from his Babylonian learning?

Following the previous question: The Gemmorah BM 85a: "ר' זירא כי סליק לארעא דישראל יתיב מאה תעניתא דלשתכח גמרא בבלאה מיניה כי היכי דלא נטרדיה" "When Rabbi Zeira ascended from Babylonia to ...
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Severity of covering the hair for women

I've heard Rabbi Yaron Reuben saying women who do not wear kisui rosh (putting the dispute of wigs as an exception), are like a woman who sinned before her husband. The Rabbi said that the kohen used ...
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Can one's merits or one's part in the World To Come be traded?

Say, someone is very afraid of his sins and the future punishment in Afterdeath. However, he did a lot of Mitzvos also and he's promised a part in the WTC as all Jews are. Can he trade in the ...
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Gender transition and divorce [duplicate]

If a married woman undergoes gender reassignment surgery(warning: explicit language is used) and hormonal treatments to become a male how would a halachic divorce be performed? Would one even be ...
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How did Tur and Mechaber omit explicit Mitzvos?

When answering to "is-holding-memories-considered-bearing-a-grudge" I noticed that while נקימה ונטירה (revenge and grudges) are two explicit Mitzvos DeOrayso counted by Rambam, Smag, Chinuch, etc, ...
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How could the law of marrying the rape victim ever be implemented?

I ask this in good faith as I am religious. How is it possible for this situation to come about? If you claim the rapist must receive a punishment via the fines, then we know that at least two ...
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Why the Gemmorah's disputes are left unresolved?

In the Gemmorah we can see three types of the Halachic resolution of a dispute: the issue is settled and the Halachah is clearly ruled multiple approaches mentioned but there's no clear resolution ...
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Can G-d be put in Charem

I came across this article: The Time Has Come for God to Reveal the Messiah, Says Jerusalem’s Chief Rabbi. The jist of the article that Chief Rabbi Amar and two other Rabbis announced as a ruling ...
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When and how a court's sale is invalidated?

The topic of דיינים שטעו is common in the Gemmorah. Numerous passages discuss what happens when a court gives a "wrong" ruling as a result of different mistakes, either in Halachic knowledge, common ...
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Logic and psychology of forgoing 17% (שתות)

While researching on Shtut, WIKI says that the reason for that forgiveness is either הלכה למשה מסיני or human psychology. Indeed, Rambam Mechira 12,3 writes: "הָיְתָה הַהוֹנָיָה פָּחוֹת מִזֶּה ...
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Difference between “בני העיר” and “בני המדינה”

Shu"a C"M 231, 27: "רשאים בני העיר לקוץ להם שער לכל דבר שירצו ולהתנות ביניהם שכל מי שיעבור קונסים אותו כך וכך: " ibid 15: "בני מדינה שרצו להוסיף על המדות או על המשקלות לא יוסיפו יותר על שתות" ...
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The assessment (שומה) of the judges - how it's done?

There are a lot of Mishnayos and Gemoros discussing שומת דיינים. E.g. Kesubos 99b: "מתני׳: שום הדיינין שפיחתו שתות או הוסיפו שתות מכרן בטל" "The assessment of the judges of the value of a ...
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If a Mesorah for letter pronunciation is rediscovered, would we have to change our pronunciations?

Let's say that someone finds some historical evidence that a particular system of pronunciations, whether it be currently extant or not, is the one which Klal Yisrael used at the time of Kabalas ...
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Who was responsible for keeping the original measures - weights and rulers?

The Torah obligates us to keep the proper measures in weights and rulers, like Amah and Tefach and Log and Shekel and Selah. Let's imagine there's an argument in court about house footage - one says ...
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How do we explain the application of כל הקבוע כמחצה על מחצה and כל דפריש מרובא פריש?

related: Does דבר שיש לו מתירין apply to כל דפריש‎? Sh O, O Ch, 439 (1). This is one of the places where we find the difference between כל הקבוע כמחצה על מחצה and כל דפריש מרובא פריש. דין מי ...