Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

202 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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15
votes
1answer
179 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

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 ...
10
votes
1answer
536 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
107 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 ...
8
votes
0answers
153 views

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 ...
8
votes
1answer
162 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 (...
7
votes
0answers
182 views

Would suicide be considered acceptable if it was done to prevent yourself being sacrificed to an idol deity?

This is an oddly specific question but the thought came to me and I wanted to know what your opinions on it would be. Historically speaking, human sacrifice was a regular occurrence in various pagan ...
7
votes
4answers
279 views

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 ...
7
votes
0answers
160 views

Why are “Chiddushei” seforim rarely cited in the Nosi Keilim?

I noticed that when quoting Rishonim, Beis Yosef/Nosei Keilim tend to focus on Poskim (Rif (and main commentary)/Rosh/Rambam, Mordechai, Teruma, Rabbeinu Yerucham, etc.) and responsa. Very rarely do ...
6
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0answers
58 views

What determines whether things which are forbidden because of a danger are still prohibited once we know there's no danger?

There are certain things which are prohibited because of danger, many of which are listed here. A good number of them are confirmed by modern science to not cause any (physical) harm (ex. meat and ...
6
votes
1answer
222 views

Moving with magnets: what's the status in halacha?

If I move something on Shabbos with the force of a magnet, is that considered Halachicly like I move it with my hands (גופו), with my force (כוחו), indirect (גרמא), or have I done nothing? This is ...
6
votes
1answer
352 views

Is a psik reisha d'lo nicha or d'lo echpat judged against a communal standard?

If I perform an action on Shabbos which will cause a secondary (forbidden) action, the secondary action is assessed as to whether it is desirable, detrimental or neutral (as per Difference between ...
6
votes
1answer
284 views

What defines a “בהמה” (also “חיה”) for the application of kosher-animal indicators?

As discussed in *Asher Bamayim* (אשר במים) in kashrus halacha, *Tzomeach* (צוֹמֵחַ) in kashrus halacha, and *Of* (עוֹף) in kashrus halacha, there are different rules used to determine the kashrus ...
6
votes
1answer
128 views

Halachic status of ישמך אלקים כאפרים וכמנשה

Yaakov blessed Ephraim and Menashe by stating that future generations would bless their children by saying "ישמך אלקים כאפרים וכמנשה" - "God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh" (Gen. 48:20). Was this ...
5
votes
0answers
46 views

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 ...
5
votes
0answers
64 views

Why learning from examples vs learning from Halakhah?

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 the ...
5
votes
0answers
81 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
121 views

A priori decision to ask multiple rabbis

There is a known law that if one has a ruling from a rabbi, you should not go to a second rabbi for a ruling except under specific circumstances such as where you have real doubts as to the ...
5
votes
0answers
138 views

Is there a chazakah (halachic presumption) that an Eruv is down after a blizzard?

I remember, I was once at shul Friday night, and it was just starting to snow and it was predicted to be a huge blizzard. The Rabbi got up and announced that tomorrow people should work under the ...
5
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0answers
102 views

Poskening Leniently

For situations where a Rav is searching for a lenient ruling, such as in cases of major financial loss or aguna, etc., what are the guidelines that he must follow? Is he allowed to rule like a single ...
5
votes
0answers
196 views

makhloket poskim and hatarat nedarim

Recently, the OU decided to certify quinoa for Pesach. Formerly, the OU held by the view of Rav Yisroel Belsky that quinoa is kitniyot, or at least that Rav Belsky's view created sufficient doubt to ...
5
votes
0answers
106 views

Pouring honey into a hot beverage

Can pouring honey into a hot beverage, such as tea, create a Kashruth concern? In particular, if you pour honey into hot tea with milk, can you later use the same bottle of honey to add honey to a ...
5
votes
0answers
231 views

What constitutes a “Hesped” (eulogy)?

There are certain dates throughout the year when one may not give a "Hesped" (eulogy) because of a certain level of happiness associated with those dates. However, I've attended funerals conducted on ...
5
votes
2answers
144 views

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....
5
votes
0answers
140 views

Following the stringencies of different opinions

There is a tangential discussion in 'Eruvin, Daf 6b-7a about whether or not we can take the stringencies of two conflicting opinions. The Gemara seems adamant that we cannot, though there are examples ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

Clarification on the rule “זה נהנה וזה לא חסר”?

The source is in B"K 20. What is meant by "זה נהנה" and what is meant by "זה לא חסר" - is that only direct monetary damage, indirect damage, psychological/spiritual damage, temporal inconvenience etc?...
5
votes
2answers
152 views

Why a married woman is exempt from honoring her parents?

Although the wife should listen to the husband and make her best to please him, it is not a Mitzvah at all, and there are no DeOraytah obligations on the wife toward her husband (Rambam Ishut 22-24). ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

Medicines v. Spices on Shabbos

Medicines are forbidden on shabbos for the non-critically ill because in the old days, they had to be ground with a pestle beforehand. Must not spices also be ground? How come spices are not also ...
5
votes
1answer
135 views

Practical עשה דוחה לא תעשה

There are a few examples frequently offered for the rule "עשה דוחה לא תעשה": Someone whose garment has four corners and linen can nonetheless put wool tzitzis on it. This is unlikely nowadays, when ...
4
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0answers
90 views

Gemara Paskens for itself

Why does the Gemara decide to pasken in a select few cases and otherwise leaves the machlokes open ended for us to decide?
4
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0answers
34 views

How did the Rabbis know that people were intentionally leaving food on the stove?

The Talmud (Shabbat 38a) records the following rabbinic decree: מאי גזירתא דאמר רב יהודה בר שמואל א"ר אבא אמר רב כהנא אמר רב בתחילה היו אומרים המבשל בשבת בשוגג יאכל במזיד לא יאכל וה"ה לשוכח ...
4
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0answers
39 views

How many times does the law follow Samuel in ritual practice?

The Talmud (Shabbat 22a) records the following: איתמר רב אמר אין מדליקין מנר לנר ושמואל אמר מדליקין רב אמר אין מתירין ציצית מבגד לבגד ושמואל אמר מתירין מבגד לבגד רב אמר אין הלכה כרבי שמעון בגרירה ...
4
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0answers
79 views

A woman saying Shehechyanu on Channukah

I have been reviewing some discussions of a married woman's obligation to light Channukah candles. It appears that according to some, a married woman, whose husband is lighting at home does not light. ...
4
votes
0answers
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". ...
4
votes
0answers
63 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
62 views

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 ...
4
votes
0answers
69 views

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, ...
4
votes
0answers
75 views

The Tzidokim and Halacha

During Beis Sheini, as far as i understand the tzidokim were the majority of Cohanim at the time. And as far as i understand they sat on the Sanhedrin. When we see a machlokes in the Mishnah and we ...
4
votes
0answers
33 views

The sins mentioned in על חטא - why those?

This question about the "אשמנו" list is still left unanswered. My question is about the apparent inconsistency of the "על חטא שחטאנו" list - so many different categories of sins are listed in the ABC ...
4
votes
0answers
30 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
37 views

May one broker the sale non kosher restaurants?

one may not do business with foods that are forbidden to eat (shulchan aruch yore dea 117) However, if a person's business is not selling the treif item and will never comes to own any of the product ...
4
votes
0answers
70 views

Why do we follow the “basra'a” - later one?

We know in Shas that in various situations, when there is a machlokes as to how to pasken, we follow the opinion of he that was chronologically later. (Ex. see Tosafos to B'rachos 13b s.v. Amar Rava.) ...
4
votes
0answers
192 views

Suicide to prevent Zombification

This is a serious question which deals with what is now a fictional construct, but one that has ramifications and which has been dealt with (in other situations) by halachic discussion such as this ...
4
votes
1answer
388 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
95 views

Descrating one Shabbat for many

The Talmud states that one may violate the Shabbat to save a life, because it's worth violating one Shabbat to let someone keep many in the future. Does this principle apply in other cases? For ...
3
votes
0answers
37 views

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
51 views

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
40 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
65 views

How does Rambam decide what defines a Mitzvah?

Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos lists 14 rules that guided him in writing his Sefer Hamitzvos. Practically all of them focus on what does not consitute a Mitzvah Deoraytah: השרש הראשון שאין ראוי למנות בכלל ...
3
votes
0answers
50 views

Case Study: Kashrut of Tapioca Starch

I have heard different answers from representatives of the cRc and the Star-K regarding the kashrut of un-certified tapioca starch. While both agree that it requires a hechsher for Pessach, the Star-K ...

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