Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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4 votes
1 answer
107 views

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׃" ...
-5 votes
1 answer
61 views

If an AI is programmed to be a Rabbi learn all that is required for a Semikhah or to be Jewish, if it makes a blessing does it count?

Let's say programmers create an AI robot that is conscious and programmed to be a Rabbi, can it receive a Semikhah? If so, if it outputs blessings are they valid?
4 votes
3 answers
195 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
313 views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
59 views

How do poskim in shulchan aruch disagree about the existence of a rabbinical decree?

There are times when Chazal says something and the meaning is debated and there are other times when whether an entire category even exists. How is this so? To give specific examples of what I'm ...
0 votes
0 answers
49 views

Does a convert say kaddish for his parents when they pass? [duplicate]

Does a convert say kaddish for his parents when they pass? If yes is this limited to a Jewish parent (father) or does this include a non Jewish parent? If it does include a non-Jewish parent would it ...
1 vote
1 answer
455 views

Guidelines for what constitutes a modest wig?

Has any reputable posek/rav published a list of guidelines for what would constitute a tzinius wig that is accepted as something one could follow today? It would seem funny if almost everything in ...
2 votes
2 answers
80 views

What type of pain allows a woman to choose to sterilize herself?

In bYevamot 65b there is a discussion as to a woman's mitzvah obligation (or not) to have children. The gemarah cites an episode of a woman who had an (unusually?) painful childbearing experience who ...
1 vote
1 answer
115 views

Definition and origin of the division between interpersonal and God-related Mitzvot

"...for transgressions between a person and God, Yom Kippur atones; however, for transgressions between a person and another, Yom Kippur does not atone until he appeases the other person." ...
4 votes
2 answers
569 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
242 views

How will Sabbath be followed if sun burns out

Einstein's equation E=mc2, predicted that the sun will burn out of fuel (hydrogen) which it converts to helium and produces light and heat energy. Considering the event is supposed to occur after ...
0 votes
1 answer
76 views

What is the definitions of fruits vs vegetables for different Halachic purposes?

IIRC, the scientific definition is simple - fruits contain seeds (apple or cucumber), and vegetables are all other parts of a plant (broccoli, carrots, or potatoes). What are some rabbinic definitions ...
5 votes
1 answer
106 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
285 views

Is this case of double bal tosif, bal tosif?

There are two definitions of Bal Tosif: 1 - Do the mitzva with a change in its form (for example: getting a 5th species along with the Four Species) 2 - Do the mitzva with intention when it's not its ...
5 votes
2 answers
166 views

Tadir Kodem. Why?

What is the reason for the principle תדיר ושאינו תדיר תדיר קודם? Why does תדיר go first? Please provide sources if possible.
1 vote
0 answers
72 views

Make a neder to forbid from oneself reward in the World to Come

I always understood that a neder is forbidding physical pleasure or benefit from oneself. I believe this is the common understanding. However, I saw a surprising statement of the Maharal in his ...
-2 votes
1 answer
140 views

Were children ever given the honor of reading the Torah scroll in the first century? [closed]

Given that in the first century, Jewish boys were taught the Torah from ~6 to 10 in the synagogue, was there ever any likelihood of an exceptionally-literate and gifted pupil being selected to read ...
0 votes
0 answers
33 views

Isaac ben Moses Of Vienna information?

I am doing an essay on Isaac ben Moses Of Vienna and I need information on him and if possible a translation of his works into English though I could use Google translate if I can't find one. What was ...
1 vote
1 answer
68 views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
244 views

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 ...
6 votes
3 answers
373 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?
0 votes
1 answer
86 views

Is a secular court decision considered stealing in 7 laws of noach?

BH There's a couple of slightly related questions How do you handle possible Shabbat issues when receiving a jury summons? Is trying to get out of jury duty permitted halachically? Regarding secular ...
1 vote
0 answers
82 views

Is it technically possible to rely on a heter from a rabbi you have never met?

This is probably a stupid question, but I was wondering if it's possible to rely on a controversial heter that's not generally accepted. For example Rav Messas was matir for married women uncovering ...
1 vote
2 answers
118 views

What Torah issur did the meraglim transgress?

Since the meraglim sinned after the Torah has already been given, it'd seem that to be punished with death they would have had to transgress a Torah issur which carries the capital punishment (or misa ...
0 votes
1 answer
60 views

If Exodus 21:22-25 proves the unborn aren't persons, would verses 28-32 imply that slaves aren't persons?

I've heard Exodus 21:22-25 used in support of abortion in some cases, at least to protect the life of the mother. The argument is that if the negligent death of the mother is punishable by death while ...
2 votes
2 answers
115 views

Metzudat David on Nechemiah 6:12

I was debating with a chavruta today how to understand the following explanation from Metzudat David. The verse in Nechemiah 6:12 says: "Then I realized that it was not God who sent him, but ...
4 votes
0 answers
70 views

Mevushal kol tzorko - what is it for meat?

We poskin (OH 318(4)) that the law of cooking on Shabbos continues until solid food passes מאכל בן דרוסאי, and reaches מבושל כל צרכו - "completely cooked". What does "completely cooked&...
1 vote
1 answer
52 views

Asking for melacha on second day Y"T vs. during early Shabbos

If one makes an early shabbos, one may ask a Jew who has not yet accepted shabbos to do melacha for him (based on this answer and its sources). I would assume that, all the moreso, one could benefit ...
1 vote
0 answers
62 views

A bracha on a tallit gadol and not kosher T"Katan

Does partially intentionally wrong kavanah make a bracha a bracha levatalah? If I put on my tzitzit and notice that a string is missing (or something else which would invalidate it as proper tzitzit) ...
3 votes
1 answer
153 views

Demisexual and the Halachic Ramifications therein

According to the Cleveland Clinic: Demisexuality is a sexual orientation. People who identify as demisexual only feel sexual attraction to someone after they’ve formed a strong emotional bond with ...
2 votes
0 answers
84 views

Does "Not in Heaven" approach break of the chain of tradition (B"M 59b)?

In the famous argument about Tanuro Shel Akhnai (Bava Metzia.59b) R' Eliezer claims to faithfully represent the Heavenly tradition and he's supported by the Heaven. Neither R' Yehoshua, nor God admits ...
2 votes
1 answer
149 views

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.
1 vote
1 answer
73 views

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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
458 views

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 ...
11 votes
2 answers
469 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 (...
3 votes
1 answer
136 views

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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
161 views

From what examples did R' Eliezer learn that Halacha can be decided by miracles?

In the famous argument between R' Yehoshua and R' Eliezer (Tanuro Shel Achnai, B"M 59b) R' Eliezer chose to prove his approach by performing miracles: "Rabbi Eliezer answered all possible ...
0 votes
0 answers
48 views

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?
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
136 views

Did the Ramban say that mitzvos d'Rabbanan are only obligatory in the Land of Israel?

I've heard (maybe seen also?) that the Ramban (Rav Moshe ben Nachman, Nachmanides) said that Rabbincal Commands are only obligatory while in the Land of Israel. Is this true? (If so) Where is it ...
1 vote
0 answers
40 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
114 views

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 ...
12 votes
2 answers
2k views

What constitutes a shinui?

I was recently taught the concept of a shinui to be "something done in a way that is unusual compared to the norm in one's area of residence", with respect to the permissibility of actions done on ...
2 votes
0 answers
101 views

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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
58 views

Different kinds of living water

In terms of purification Halacha, what is living water? Is there a difference between groundwater and rainwater?
18 votes
5 answers
2k views

Why do men or boys have to cover their hair, but not unmarried women?

Whatever the reasons for covering hair (e.g. fear of heaven), they seem to equally apply to men and women. So why don't unmarried women have to cover their hair?
1 vote
0 answers
113 views

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 ...
1 vote
3 answers
160 views

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) ...
3 votes
1 answer
73 views

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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
53 views

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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