Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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54 views

Differences in Halachic wording - “This isn't X” or “This is not Kosher X”

In Succah 8b I noticed two different wordings regarding a Succah: א"ר לוי משום ר"מ שתי סוכות של יוצרים זו לפנים מזו - הפנימית אינה סוכה R' Levi said in the name of R' Meir: two craftsmen’s ...
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86 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 ...
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1answer
92 views

What is the finest measurement in the Talmud?

The standard Talmudic measures of length include, for example, Amah, Tefach, and Etzbah. But those measures are pretty loose, around 20% of freedom. What object or usage, in our Halacha, requires the ...
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1answer
86 views

In case of Halachic doubt should one ask a Rabbi or assume anything will work? [duplicate]

Following comments on my other question "how-an-open-succah-oriented": Let's imagine one is facing a new Halachic reality he never heard of: he always built Succah on his 5th-floor balcony and then ...
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43 views

Is there Biblical reference to the existence of Halachah Lemoshe Misinai?

The definition of the Law(s) of Moses Misnai in WIKI from the Talmudic Encyclopedia (see also here): A Law given to Moses at Sinai refers to a halakhic law for which there is no biblical reference ...
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1answer
232 views

Why was Ruth's conversion acceptable?

Most rabbis do not allow conversion for ulterior motives (e.g to marry a Jew), because it is not for the sake of God. Let us look at the words of the prototypal convert in the Tanach. What did she ...
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39 views

Does existence of a Machlokes prove the lack of established Halachah?

I'm trying to understand the methodology and the dynamics of the Halachah and when the Gemmorah presents a Machlokes that is resolved generations later I arrive at the conclusions that there was no ...
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79 views

Why is the Bavli Talmud followed over Yerushalmi if the Yerushalmi is earlier? [duplicate]

There is clear, even overriding, preference for following older sources within the Bavli. Why then does halacha rely so much on the newer Bavli, rather than the older Yerushalmi? Related: Why the ...
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55 views

Seeking a comparison of Jewish and America law [closed]

There are at least several questions on this site about comparisons of Jewish and American law (samples below). I seek an article or book that compares Jewish and America law (where they overlap). ...
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2answers
109 views

Does the mitzvah of knowing Torah exist as separate from mitzvah of learning Torah?

According to views of some authorities (Shulchan Aruch HaRav and others), learning without pronouncing words or listening to Torah recordings does not qualify as the mitzvah of Talmud Torah. ...
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57 views

What areas of Halochos require definition of a house/dwelling?

Following my previous question, What Halochos require defining a Kosher dwelling/house, like "is such a house Kosher for Y"? For example, we can surely ask it for a Succah, or a Mezuzah or for ...
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40 views

Mechitzah vs Dofen for a Succah (partition vs wall)

I'm confused by the argumentation of Koshering the walls of a Succah. The basic univocal understanding of Rabbis is that the Succah is a temporary dwelling (כעין תדורו). As I understand a basic ...
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55 views

Sources for juxtaposing two opposing approaches to Jewish Halachah

Throughout different realms of Halochos I spot two opposing approaches to ruling the practical Halochos - let's call them Absolute and Personal: The Absolute approach rules/proposes Halochos that ...
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25 views

What is the source for the omnisignificance of Torah [duplicate]

In his book, The Idea of Biblical Poetry: Parallelism and Its History professor James Kugel discusses the idea that each and every word (letter?) in the Torah posses significant meaning (pp. 104-105), ...
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2answers
60 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-d ...
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3answers
102 views

How do we know something is “Halacha Lemoshe Misinai”?

When I read in the Talmud, Shulchan Aruch, etc. that a halacha is halacha leMoshe Misinai (a law given to Moses at Mt. Sinai), I compare it to a "postulate". It seems like a statement or rule that we ...
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1answer
80 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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92 views

Source of opinion that Talmud Yerushalmi was corrupted by Karaites

In the entry for Talmud Bavli/Yerushalmi in Chida's Shem Hagedolim Hashalem (c.1800, the older versions do not have this paragraph), he references a theory from maskilim of his time that the Rabbis ...
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62 views

Streaming services on Shabbat and holy days [duplicate]

More and more non-traditional congregations stream their Shabbat and Yom Tov services, for the benefit of hospital patients and shut-ins. If done automatically, or managed by Gentiles, or started ...
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1answer
98 views

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 ...
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1answer
91 views

When and why did we stop to receive lashes on Yom Kippur as Shu"A prescribes?

Shu"A Orach Hayim 607.6 כל הקהל לוקים מלקות ארבעים אחר תפלת המנחה שמתוך כך יתן אל לבו לשוב מעבירות שבידו: הגה ונהגו שהנלקה אומר וידוים בשעה שנלקה וכו'‏ All of the congregation receives ...
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29 views

Were Kohanim in the Temple obligated in Torah reading?

Following "synagogue-in-the-temple", In the times of the Second Temple, assuming that not all Kohanim were involved in Temple Service all the time: Were they obligated in Torah reading and was ...
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68 views

What is the Chidush that Parashat Hamelech is read off the Torah scroll in Hebrew?

ואלו נאמרין בלשון הקודש: מקרא ביכורים, וחליצה, ... ברכת כהנים,... ופרשת המלך... (Sotah 32a) these are recited only in the sacred tongue, Hebrew: Bikkurim and Chalitzah and the blessings and ...
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3answers
155 views

Source for “no Yetzer Harah when a Torah Scroll is opened/read”?

Following my question on "separation of men and women on Hakhel", in this Drashah (thanks Lee) R' Uri Sherki (Mercaz Harav) explains the lack of separation of men and women on Hakhel by the fact ...
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66 views

Source that Power generators on Shabbos override Shlom Bayt (in Israel)

Power generators are very popular with Haredim in Israel that traditionally don't rely on Isral Electric Company's electricity on Shabbos. On Rosh Hashana, the power generator of a famous Yeshiva in ...
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14 views

Considerations for electing the Nassi - theoretical vs practical?

In theory Rambam Hilchot Sanhedrin 1.3 teaches us: הַגָּדוֹל בְּחָכְמָה שֶׁבְּכֻלָּן מוֹשִׁיבִין אוֹתוֹ רֹאשׁ עֲלֵיהֶן וְהוּא רֹאשׁ הַיְשִׁיבָה וְהוּא שֶׁקּוֹרִין אוֹתוֹ הַחֲכָמִים נָשִׂיא בְּכָל ...
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14 views

Is one allowed to endanger his life for learning Torah like Hillel did?

The famous story about Hillel's devotion to Torah learning, in Yoma 25b, tells that Hillel endangered his life by trying to listen to Shmayah and Avtalyon in extremely cold weather until he fell ...
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1answer
51 views

If “not in Heaven”, can Sanhedrin disregard or contradict a prophet?

It is a Mitzvah to listen to a prophet (non-capital) and it is a Mitzvah to listen to the Sanhedrin (capital). While it's accepted that a prophet can't establish new Halochos, he can command on ...
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26 views

High Priest vs Sanhedrin - who decides?

Who outpowers whom in Halochos of running the Temple - the Nassi and the Sanhedrin or the High Priest and his team of working Kohanim, assuming he's a Chacham also? If the Sanhedrin, what means do ...
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25 views

Can external criteria be considered when setting the Halacha?

וכי מאחר שאלו ואלו דברי אלהים חיים מפני מה זכו בית הלל לקבוע הלכה כמותן? מפני שנוחין ועלובין היו ושונין דבריהן ודברי בית שמאי ולא עוד אלא שמקדימין דברי בית שמאי לדבריהן The Gemara asks: Since ...
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32 views

What does it mean “נצחוני בני” after “לא בשמים היא” and “אחרי רבים להטות”?

There's something seemingly erratic in Heaven's behavior as reflected in the Gemmorah. If "לא בשמים היא" and "אחרי רבים להטות" were established Heavenly Halachot why would G-d smile and state "My ...
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1answer
50 views

If “not in Heaven” how could Nac"h be the source of Halacha?

As the Gemmorah states (Temura 16a), the idea of "Not in Heaven" traces back to Moses' death and Yehoshua was the first asked to use it and he refused, referring to that verse. Nevertheless, from ...
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29 views

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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14 views

Additional examples of Appealing to Bat Kol?

Besides Tanuro Shel Akhnai story (B"M 59b) where R' Eliezer appealed to the Heavenly voice to prove him right, what are additional examples of Chachamim appealing to the Bat Kol to prove their ...
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75 views

How life stories turned into Halachot - Mishnaic examples?

The first Mishna in Brochos states: מעשה ובאו בניו מבית המשתה אמרו לו לא קרינו את שמע אמר להם אם לא עלה עמוד השחר חייבין אתם לקרות There was an incident where Rabban Gamliel’s sons returned ...
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1answer
83 views

Do halachic authorities actually believe in eilu v'eilu?

This answer https://judaism.stackexchange.com/a/93714/13680 states the following viewpoint [...] HKB"H does not care about the truth anymore, as long as they arrived at their conclusion sincerely ...
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65 views

Why didn't the Heavenly Voice testify for Elu Ve'Elu in Tanuro Shel Achnai argument?

There are a couple of iconic arguments in our Gemmorah and Tanuro Shel Achnai (BM 59)is surely one of them. Here's a short recap: R' Eliezer had an argument with some Chachamim, and R' Yehoshua was ...
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4answers
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Is there a concept of “peer review” in Rabbinical Judaism?

"Peer review is the evaluation of work by one or more people with similar competences as the producers of the work (peers). It functions as a form of self-regulation by qualified members of a ...
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1answer
46 views

Elu Ve'Elu - can half truth be called truth? [duplicate]

Many Talmudic sources themselves, interpreters and commentators seek to reconcile contradicting opinions by steering each opinion off to a different scope/topic. Someone gave an example of a cylinder,...
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71 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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38 views

What is the halacha if a Jew injures another Jew during battle training?

I am not aware of any information in the written or oral Torah which discusses what was involved in preparing Jewish army troops for battle, but I assume that soldiers would spar with each other and ...
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1answer
113 views

Reasons for scattering Talmudic subjects over different Masechtot

It is easy to criticize the Rabbinical sources for inconsistency, as I did many times, but I would truly like to find a plausible and reasonable explanation for a certain trend in the Talmud based on ...
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66 views

Examples of a decision ruled by voting of Sanhedrin in the Talmud

If I understand correctly the Peshat of the Torah (Deut 17), when a Machlokes raises, there's a simple and Kosher way of resolving it - gathering the High Court and voting on it and, of course, ...
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1answer
68 views

Why Levi'im's holding of their cities is not called נחלה? [closed]

Following my previous question "measuring-levis-cities". The tribe of Levi got hold of the Cities of Refugees. IIRC, they all received some real estate inside and outside the walls that they ...
3
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1answer
63 views

Does “לא בשמים היא” apply to Moses?

גופא אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל: ,שלשת אלפים הלכות נשתכחו בימי אבלו של משה "אמרו לו ליהושע שאל א"ל "לא בשמים היא Rav Yehuda says that Shmuel says: Three thousand halakhot were forgotten during ...
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27 views

How much should Rosho Verubo be for Succah measurements?

The Gemmorah (Succah 3 and Mishna on 28) states that the requirements for a Succah are that a person can fit it "ראשו ורובו" - the head and most of the body. IIRC the average body is 3 Amot (18 ...
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1answer
67 views

Why are some sins counted twice?

I am looking to understand the theology behind a negative commandment being repeated in the Torah in order to make whomever transgresses it punishable for 2 sins. See for example Rashi on Vayikra 25:...
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32 views

Do we have Hilchot Shotrim (Policemen laws)?

"מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁל תּוֹרָה לְמַנּוֹת שׁוֹפְטִים וְשׁוֹטְרִים בְּכָל מְדִינָה וּמְדִינָה וּבְכָל פֶּלֶךְ וּפֶלֶךְ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים טז יח) "שֹׁפְטִים וְשֹׁטְרִים תִּתֶּן לְךָ בְּכָל שְׁעָרֶיךָ". ...
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36 views

Underage Jewish King in Judaism

Parshas Shoftim deals with some Mitzvos for a Jewish King. IIRC, a son inherits his father king and can be appointed as such at any age1 - Solomon, for example, was 12 and Yoash was 7 ("בֶּן-שֶׁבַע ...
2
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1answer
52 views

What's more important in deciding halacha - precedent or the present?

Rashi, explaining the pasuk on inquiring of a judge (Devarim 17:9), says "and to the judge who will be in those days": Although this judge may not be [of the same stature] as other judges who ...