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Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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2answers
62 views

Learning from stories that are impossible to negate

The Talmud is full of Musar stories in the following pattern: a Rabbi did X and G-d made him Y, therefore we all should do X so G-d will make us Y. In many cases, G-d's reaction can be the opposite ...
12
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3answers
466 views

How could Rav be disproved?

Frequently, when the Gemara tries to disprove Rav from a Mishna, it answers that he's considered a Tanna and can argue on a Mishna. But there's this case in Berachos 37a, where Rav and Shmuel both ...
5
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1answer
84 views

Retroactive psak and conversions

B"H I constantly read about Orthodox conversions which are retroactively nullified by the Israeli Rabbanut, sometimes affecting multiple generations. I am not writing this question to express or ...
3
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2answers
58 views

How are we supposed to interpret “Derech eretz kadma l'Torah”?

I'm having a lot of trouble understanding how we should interpret the pseudo-midrash "דרך ארץ קדמה לתורה", ~~ "Derech eretz should come before Torah." The actual text of the midrashic source is: ...
0
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0answers
33 views

When were the Talmud Tractates names codified?

I'm looking for the sources on When the (60?) Tractates names were codified within the 6 Sdarim (see WIKI here). Possible options: Given to the Adam Harishon / Abraham Given to Moses and on ...
3
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0answers
38 views

Rabbi's redaction of the Mishnah details

What did the Rabbi's redaction of the Mishnah exactly include (as opposed to what already was established presumably since Moses): the order of the 6 Sdarim (Zraim, Moed etc)? the list of the ...
1
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0answers
38 views

Can a Beit -Din force a Jew to save another Jew's life?

A Jew that's terminally ill R"l, and the only treatment is thru a bone marrow transplant. He has a very special type of blood (this is not a biological question). So theoretically and Halachicly (if ...
1
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0answers
31 views

Anti-altering measures in the Written Torah

The famous ו דגחון Sugiah in Kiddushin 30a: "א"ל: ניתי ס"ת ואימנינהו, מי לא אמר רבה בר בר חנה לא זזו משם עד שהביאו ספר תורה ומנאום? א"ל: אינהו בקיאי בחסירות ויתרות, אנן לא בקיאינן" Said they [...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Anti-altering measures of the Oral Torah

The Oral Torah was [presumably] forbidden to be written down. The Gemmorah clearly shows that even in a span of 100 years there were huge differences in recalling the Mishnaic formulas. For example "...
1
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1answer
78 views

The first Halachic compendium that does not follow the Mishnaic order (not שו"ת)?

Since Abraham, the original Oral Torah allegedly consisted of the currently known 6 Sdarim (although the number of Masechtot was much bigger, up to 6000?). The Mishnah and naturally the Talmud are ...
9
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0answers
40 views

In the Talmud is there a way to distinguish when a verse is brought as מקור or אסמכתא?

The Talmud is full of the standard procedure of the Sages interpreting Tanakh verses to learn various laws and behaviors. Is there a way to tell when a Rabbi cites a Pasuk as a traditionally known ...
0
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0answers
21 views

How many levels of importance of positive obligations are there?

This is not a Halachic question - this is a philosophical one. When learning Halachic books from the Talmud through Rambam and Shu"A to Mishnah Berurah, one meets different levels of positive ...
0
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0answers
77 views

What are some beginners' beliefs about Judaism that serious scholars know are not true? [closed]

This is a very common experience when a Jew without the knowledge and practice holds certain beliefs about Judaism, Jewish history, the Sages, the books etc. He buys a Gemmorah, finds a ...
3
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0answers
32 views

How is Tadir determined when either one can be considered more common?

There is a principle called “Tadir v’she’eino tadir, Tadir kodem” - when presented with something commonly done and something less commonly done, the one that’s done more common takes precedence (...
1
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1answer
74 views

How Sanhedrin was possible if there was no agreement about the juridical procedures?

Learning the [beginning of the] Sanhedrin tractate is difficult for me to see the never-ending disagreements between the Tannoyim and/or Ammoroyim (any combination) about the very procedure of ...
1
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0answers
27 views

Mitzvot distribution by categories

This site gives a nice basic infographic on the distribution of the 613 Mitzvot by 4 categories: positive/negative, where, who, penalty. (I would love to have it in verbal tabular form though). I'm ...
6
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1answer
80 views

Do prominent Rabbis have a list of problems to resolve?

In science, every scientist, such as a mathematician, a physicist or a biologist, has a list of unsolved problems he tries to solve in his lifetime. Judaism is full of untouched / unsolved / ...
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0answers
39 views

Rabbinic self-awareness of personal experience in Psakim

Rashi on the Pasuk in Shmos 28,4: " וְאֵלֶּה הַבְּגָדִים אֲשֶׁר יַעֲשׂוּ חֹשֶׁן וְאֵפוֹד וּמְעִיל וּכְתֹנֶת תַּשְׁבֵּץ מִצְנֶפֶת וְאַבְנֵט וְעָשׂוּ בִגְדֵי קֹדֶשׁ לְאַהֲרֹן אָחִיךָ וּלְבָנָיו ...
1
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1answer
21 views

Patur B'Dinei Adam VChayav B'Dinei Shamayim

Often times, the Gemarah will say that one is פטור בדיני אדם וחייב בדיני שמים. One such example is 91a in Bava Kamma. In such a case, although Beis Din can't administer punishment, the criminal must ...
0
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0answers
75 views

Minhag Hamakom in America according to R' Moshe Feinstein

I've heard that R' Moshe Feinstein said there's no Minhag Hamakom (Minhag of the area/Community) in America. Where can I find this? Is he saying that there is no one "unified" Minhag Hamakom that ...
0
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1answer
68 views

What does it mean Halachicly: “Hamechaber omitted those Halochos”?

There are numerous Halochos that appear in Rambam and even HaTur, and do apply nowadays, but HaMechaber omitted it completely from Shu"A, like Hilchot Teshuva, Hilchot שמירת הנפש, Hilchot Deot and ...
0
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1answer
93 views

Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and Minhag Avoisenu

Rabbi SZA held (in I believe Meorei Eish) that electricity is only forbidden on Shabbos because of Minhag Avoiseinu. Double AA also says that he heard orally that Rabbi SZA held that certain ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Do the Talmudic disputes prove absence of ruled Halachah (הלכה פסוקה)

This is a serious question about our understanding of the development of the current Halachah. When I started my Teshuvah some 30 years ago, I was told that the Sages knew the Whole Torah and their ...
2
votes
1answer
26 views

May a Kohen bury limbs of his 7 krovim (first degree relatives) which were removed during their lifetime?

According to the opinion that limbs removed from a live person should be buried, may a Kohen bury limbs of his 7 krovim [first degree relatives) which were removed during their lifetime?
4
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1answer
49 views

Does a body part taken from a dead person, and transplanted onto a live person lose its *Tumah*? [duplicate]

Does a body part taken from a dead person, and transplanted onto a live person lose its Tumah? [May a kohen enter a room where there is someone who received a body part transplant from a dead person?]...
5
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0answers
36 views

Why learning from examples VS learning from Halakhot?

Our Talmud uses different methods to teach Halachot, one of them is telling stories about Rabbis and concluding the Halachot from their behavior. One of the famous is R' Akiva in Brochos 62 (check ...
1
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1answer
30 views

Is the vicinity of an ark valid for “Nefilat Apayim” (covering the face for Tachanun)?

One afternoon last week it was too hot in the shul, so we davened Mincha just outside the shul on the patio. The shul has an aron Kodesh, and while we were on the patio, and the Aron was visible ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Is there any qualification required to obviate bishul akum?

In an effort to avoid the problem of bishul akum, a Jew should be a part of the cooking process. In order to be using "aish yisrael" a Jew must turn on a flame, add something to the fire, or have ...
5
votes
1answer
76 views

Can one post a negative comment on a site such as Google or Yelp?

This answer states Chafetz Chaim's 7 rules regarding to'elet for Lashon Hara. When a service provider posts his business on a ratings site such as a doctor's site like Zocdoc, or one of the travel ...
4
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2answers
242 views

When why and how was the Talmud sealed

Throughout my life I've heard that the Talmud is sealed and rabbinic enactment can't be repealed. But from where do we know this? Why was it done? HOW was it done? A gzeirah? A minhag?
9
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3answers
129 views

Who is the Ba'al Nefesh of the Mishnah Berurah?

In a number of places, the Mishnah Berurah writes that a ba'al nefesh (lit. 'one with a soul' i.e. a pious person) ought to be stringent in a certain matter. For example, a ba'al nefesh ought to ...
-3
votes
1answer
118 views

What would be the status of the hair of a person who underwent a full gender change procedure concerning שער באשה ערוה? [duplicate]

What would be the status of the hair of a person who underwent a full gender change procedure and now looks completely like the opposite gender, concerning שער באשה ערוה? [A woman's hair is considered ...
1
vote
2answers
814 views

Is making someone believe you came to see him, while you were really there anyway, allowed?

If someone goes to visit a patient in the hospital, and while he's there he is met by another patient who thinks that the visitor came especially to see him, is he obligated to tell his friend that "I ...
1
vote
1answer
73 views

In a situation where אמירה לעכו"ם is permitted, how can one be sure that the person he is talking to is truly a Goy

In a situation where אמירה לעכו"ם (telling a non-Jew to do something for a Jew, which the Jew is forbidden to do) is permitted, if a person goes to a non Jew and asks him to do it, how can he be sure ...
10
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3answers
148 views

Regurgitating Living Forbidden Species

The endurance artist David Blaine is covered in this video showing the technique where one could learn to swallow certain live animals. And, at will, regurgitate the live animal (for example, a frog). ...
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votes
1answer
94 views

Is someone permitted to force another person to do an Aveira by threatening him with death?

Is someone permitted to force another person to do an aveira (sin) by threat of death, [If the person doing the forcing does not actually intend to carry out his threat]? If not, why not? Since the ...
4
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0answers
27 views

When do we force people not to behave like Sedom

Inspired by DonielF's comment (Further, there are very limited cases in which we apply כופין על מדת סדום. Just because it’s זה נהנה וזה לא חסר doesn’t mean that we can force him to give his stuff.) to ...
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1answer
62 views

Can one coerce someone to donate a mitzvah item that he is not using?

Many people own various mitzvah items that they do not use. It could be a Kiddush cup, tallit, and notably, tefillin. I know that ideally, someone should convince (force?) them to perform the mitzvah ...
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0answers
26 views

Why does G-d care about small minutiae? [duplicate]

As an Orthodox Jew, I recently decided to start learning Shulchan Aruch to become more careful about halacha and my person conduct. However, I have found myself in an unexpected hashkafic crisis. ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Do non jews really have 8 Mitzvot and not just 7? [duplicate]

According to this thread http://judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/13447/is-it-a-discouraged-or-an-unacceptable-practice-for-a-gentile-to-keep-the-sabbat?lq=1 It seems that non jews aren't allowed to ...
1
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1answer
76 views

Examples of halacha v'ein morin ken

There are some actions which are permitted, but we do not teach about, in order that people will not abuse or misuse the law. This is called halacha v'ein morin ken ("halacha, but it is not taught"). ...
2
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1answer
42 views

“Ben Ha'arbayim” vs. “Ben Hashmashot”

There seem to be two terms used to mean "twilight". The Torah uses the term בן הערבים as in the time for the Mincha and Pesach offerings. Talmudic literature uses the term בן השמשות I know that ...
1
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0answers
62 views

Was Rashi a rebellious student?

In his commentary to the Talmud, Rashi usually just gives us a simple explanation of the word or phrase he is commenting on. However, every so often he quotes his teachers. It seems to me that when he ...
7
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1answer
93 views

Situations where your own opinions define Jewish law

I am asking this question to evoke a list of situations in which one's personal feelings, intuitions, beliefs, and/or tastes have a role in creating the halacha. I can think of a few on my own. With ...
4
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0answers
44 views

How do we determine what is inevitable enough to be a Psik Reisha?

Regarding a psik reisha, my earlier question focused on whether the resultant action is judged according to a standard, but I am also unclear about what determines the "inevitable" nature of the ...
7
votes
3answers
287 views

Is there any rabbinical precedent, ancient or recent, to tell somebody that they are Jewish?

Is there any rabbinical precedent, ancient or recent, to tell somebody (for any reason) that they are Jewish (if such a person is unaware and does indeed have matrilineal Jewish descent)? Scenarios ...
2
votes
3answers
169 views

Pay attention to rare cases?

I am searching for a Talmud quote, with specific reference, that says, roughly: We do not pay attention to very rare cases in making our rulings. I know it exists. (I am not referring to the Mishna ...
0
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0answers
61 views

Psikat halacha in our day

Can a rabbi change/delete a psak of any rabbi before him? I know that a psak of a sanhedrin needs a similar sanhedrin to cancel their psak, but for a psak of a rabbi like shulcan aruch, do we need a ...
4
votes
3answers
142 views

Is the mitzva of 'Shikcha' the act of forgetting, or the act of not going back to collect what was forgotten?

Someone asked me a riddle: what mitzva can be done without kavana? Answer: Shikcha. I contended that the mitzva is the act of seeing what was forgotten and not going back to collect it, therefore it ...
5
votes
3answers
97 views

If something is not explicitly prohibited, is it permitted?

I had this disagreement with someone. I said that everything is 'b'chezkas' heter, and is mutar unless there is a source that assurs it. He said that everything is assur unless you find a source that ...