Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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Erev Rosh Hashana 5781 - mikvah via 'tes kavin' [duplicate]

Given the nature of the pandemic Rav Hershel Schachter amongst many others have advised against going to the mikvah (see here) in letter dalet: Instead people are being advise to 'dip' via a shower ...
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Justice, mercy and halacha?

The prophet Micah said: Micah 6:8 It has been told you, O man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you: Only to act justly [‘asot mishpat], to love mercy [ahavat chesed], and to walk ...
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The one who begins with a mitzvah ends it

The Rema in Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 581 notes how the person who leads the Selichos continues with davening. He then notes an additional custom: ויש מקומות נוהגים שהמתפלל סליחות יתפלל כל היום And ...
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Can one pay fair market price for a mitzvah use instead of stated unreasonably exorbitant price?

A sign below was posted in a men's mikveh. It appears that this establishment is temporarily gouging guest prices to an extreme amount to prevent guests from using the mikveh, while allowing annual ...
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Not to read Sipurei Milchama - can one major in History?

It is clear from the Shulchan Aruch that one should ideally stay away from certain types of books - not just on Shabbos, but the whole time. In Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 307:16 it writes the ...
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237 views

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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111 views

How to differentiate between a “revealed” Halacha and Paskened one?

THis question mimics a similar question about mathematics - is it discovered or created. Our Rabbis ruled a lot of Halochos. Some of them are considered "the revelation of the original Halochos G-...
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125 views

Sources for which Mitzvot require early training

I'm looking for examples the Sages prescribe for educating for keeping Mitzvos (חינוך למצוות), for example: "קָטָן הַיּוֹדֵעַ לְנַעְנֵעַ, חַיָּב בַּלּוּלָב:" Mishnah Succah 3,15 "מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁהַבֵּן ...
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Exact distances and sizes in the Mishna

In many locations in the Mishna, it is mentioned what should be done if something has an exact measurement. For instance in Shekalim: Coins which were found between the [chest inscribed] “shekels” ...
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63 views

Can I drive an electric car that has been left on before Yom Tov if food was placed on the batteries before Yom Tov?

DISCLAIMER: I was referring to what I saw on the Chabad article(the first one linked to as "Yom Tov Laws") I am not considering at all Yom Kippur, I meant Yom Tov in terms of the idea of &...
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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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398 views

In what sense is Hanukkah “a Yom Tov like other yamim tovim”?

The Machzor Vitry (§234) finds a scriptural source for Hanukkah in Leviticus 24:2. That the stipulation that Israelites should collect pure olive oil for the menorah should follow on from a ...
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חזקה מעיקרא vs ספק

I am in the middle of מחלוקת with someone as to, if I originally had a חזקה and now there's a ספק to whether that status is still true, whether I maintain that original status or my status changes to ...
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41 views

Food brachot before and after eating

Does a bracha said after eating a specific food rely on the food being eaten or on the bracha (and its intention) made at the beginning? If, hypothetically, I make a shehakol at the beginning and then ...
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569 views

Tweeting on Shabbat: d'oraita or d'rabbanan violation?

There was a dangerous situation in my community on Shabbat and I knew (from the amount my house phone was ringing and my cell phone was buzzing) that people I knew across the world would be concerned ...
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Can one make a Siyum During Shiva?

Related to this, this, this and this. During Shiva, a mourner is allowed to study Sefer Iyov. Assuming that learning this one sefer is enough to make a siyum, could a mourner make a siyum during the ...
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124 views

Inventing Halachot or revealing (restoring) them?

תנא אלף ושבע מאות קלין וחמורין וגזירות שוות ודקדוקי סופרים נשתכחו בימי אבלו של משה: אמר רבי אבהו אעפ"כ החזירן עתניאל בן קנז מתוך פלפולו One thousand and seven hundred inferences, and verbal ...
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546 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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What is the source to forbid Toldos תולדות?

There are times that Torah gives specific "examples" of what is forbidden (e.g. 39 melachos given via a reference to the actions done in the משכן or through other means; Or The Torah ...
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291 views

What is so special about being part of the 613 mitzvos?

There are arguments in the Rishonim about what the 613 mitzvos are. But even if you hold something's not part of the 613, it's still a mitzva, so what's so special if it is part of the 613?
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563 views

Maggid Mishnah on relying on approximations for π and √2

In a previous discussion, it was stated: The Maggid Mishnah in Hilchos Shabbos (17:26) says that one may rely on π=3, but he says in Hilchos Eiruvin (3:2) that one may not rely on √2=1.4. I can't ...
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What is the source for non-literal understanding of V'Chai Bahem?

The concept of V'Chai Bahem - "do the mitzvos to live by them" (Vayikra 18:5) - is usually understood to refer to one's physical existence (i.e. the mitzvos should not be performed if they ...
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176 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 (...
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113 views

What are the parameters of shomer pesaim Hashem?

While the Torah forbids one to place himself into a situation of danger, some degree of slightly risky behavior is allowable under the concept of shomer pesaim Hashem. Are the parameters of this ...
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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 פעם ...
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286 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 ...
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78 views

Ben Sorer Umoreh/Murderer Absolved?

We are told by the Gemoro Sanhedrin 72A (brought by Rashi on Devorim 21:18) that the Ben Sorer is killed because the Torah foresees that he will eventually kill somebody. However the Rambam rules (...
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Anthropology, Structuralism, Halacha

Halacha is a typological ideal which we desire to manifest in our actual behavior. Inasmuch as life itself has a structure, halacha is contoured exactly to life in its entirety and beyond. Halachic ...
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Does Dina deMalchuta include international law?

Chaza"l set forward a regulation that "dina demalchuta dina," the law of the land is the law (Bava B'atra 54b). International law is a set of near-universally recognised modes of conduct between ...
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71 views

Does a mourner sit in a low chair outside the house?

A mourner, during the first 7 days sits on a low chair. The mourner also generally does not leave the house. One exception would be if there is no minyan that can be set up in the mourner's house, so ...
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Can I defend my animals with lethal force?

We know that it is permitted, in self-defense, to kill one who is trying to kill you, and I have heard that this applies to other people too (I see someone trying to kill someone else and I intervene)....
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58 views

Is there a “pre-aninut” status?

This is a question of 2 different possible statuses, each with its own implications. In Maurice Lamm's "The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning," he writes (page 26) He is not considered an ...
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What method is used to halachically pluck a chicken's feathers after shechita

It seems the standard way to remove chickens feathers after slaughtering is to scald the chicken in hot water for up to a couple minutes before plucking the feathers. (as an example, here's some ...
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Can one go from being an Aveil to being an Onein?

A person is an onein while taking care of arrangements for a burial, and, from what I have learned, if that person's work is finished and that person leaves the body or the body leaves the person for ...
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140 views

Mincha ketana vs just before shekia

I have read that one can pray mincha gedola be'minyan instead of mincha ketana be'yachid. But would praying "just before shekiya" be'minyan still be more recommended than mincha ketana be'...
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How was the Mekalel given the death penalty if the punishment wasn’t known?

Inspired by How was the Mekoshesh given the death penalty if the punishment wasn't known yet? The OP there asks how the Mekoshesh, the one who chopped wood on Shabbos could be put to death if he ...
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Aninut and food

After the death of a close relative and before the burial (or the cessation of involvement with the body) one is in a stage of Aninut. During that time, one is exempted (or even forbidden) from many ...
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655 views

why is flatulence forbidden in tefillin and during prayer

Why is flatulence forbidden in Tefillin and during prayer? Is it because partials of the feces get stuck to the body so now you do not have a clean body? or what?
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What is the criteria of safek pikuach nefesh?

An expert in a particular field (a doctor, an actuary, etc.) can advise on the risk of mortality from a specific activity of anywhere between 0% and 100%. At what threshold of risk would the halacha ...
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86 views

Why specifically a fig on shabbos?

Why is a dried fig specifically the quantity one must carry to be liable on Shabbos? I would have thought the size of something functional - an olive, egg, or even a barley corn - would be the ...
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81 views

Sfek Sfeka for a Bar Mitzvah

Suppose a boy was born Bein Hashemashos. Since this is a period of "maybe it's still day, maybe it's already night," seemingly the doubt would translate into "maybe he was born on day 1,...
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152 views

If somebody does not want to join an eruv

The din is that for an eruv to be kosher everyone in the 'building' has to join. In the olden times each one provided food. If somebody didn't want to, it could be taken by force. Today one person ...
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What should a woman who can only do Chalitza do if her Yevam can't do it?

In some cases of Zikas Yibum, there is a Rabbinic prohibition against their doing Yibum (eg. the deceased husband's brother is a Mamzer, cf. Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 174) and as such they must ...
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169 views

Tznius in the modern world

In the modern world just walking outside (especially in the summer) presents some pretty significant tznius issues. Presumably you’re allowed to go to the grocery store. Why are we allowed to (much of ...
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157 views

What was Tamar's capital crime?

On what basis did Judah have the right to sentence Tamar to be burned (Genesis 38)? What capital offense did she commit?
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Can one use terumah to light a stove?

In Pesachim 23a, the gemara (in the name of Rav Papa) derives from Numbers 18:27 that the prohibition of terumah to non-priests only applies to eating and drinking, but not to other forms of enjoyment....
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172 views

What makes something “worthy of being honored”?

When a piece of meat is in a mixture that should nullify it, we don't consider it nullified if it is ראוי להתכבד, or "worthy of being honored", something you would serve to a guest. Is there some kind ...
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Why will we pasken like Beis Shammai when Moshiach comes if the reason why we follow Beis Hillel is related to the fact that they had more members

It is my understanding per this Mishna that the reason why we rule like Beis Hillel in the majority of cases is related to the rule of "following the majority". I know there are other reasons given (i....
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100 views

Should we prevent a chumra in the laws of Shabbos that exceeds the normal understanding?

The halacha is that generally a keli shelishi does not cause bishul. The Chazon Ish says that a keli shelishi (or revii) above yad soledes bo does cook those things that are kalei habishul. A ...
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Halachah: What's the difference between this site and looking up a question in a book?

Per our oft-cited FAQ, and our frequent use of the disclaimer to consult one's own rabbi in matters of practical Halachah, we do not, as a matter of policy, accept questions, or provide answers, ...

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