Questions tagged [halacha-theory]

Questions about theoretical issues about psak and general halacha concepts

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68 views

Does Milchemet Mitzvah (obligatory war) require a King?

אֵין הַמֶּלֶךְ נִלְחָם תְּחִלָּה אֶלָּא מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה.‏ וְאֵי זוֹ הִיא מִלְחֶמֶת מִצְוָה?‏ זוֹ מִלְחֶמֶת שִׁבְעָה עֲמָמִים. וּמִלְחֶמֶת עֲמָלֵק.‏ וְעֶזְרַת יִשְׂרָאֵל מִיַּד צָר ...
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98 views

Circumventing the conversion fuss by enslaving and freeing

Can a long path of the Orthodox conversion be circumvented by the following procedure*? Enslaving a Gentile person by buying from him/herself Dipping him/her in a Mikve before a Beis Din for the ...
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2answers
91 views

No new “official” Jewish commemorative days?

The last "official" Jewish commemorative day was added 2000 years ago. Why can't there be any new ones (approved by ALL), considering all that's happened to Jews since? Jewish communities have local ...
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63 views

Rabbinic responsa on Remembering the fallen IDF soldiers

I know it is a heavy and very "politically" loaded question, but I'd try my best to formulate it in a most neutral way: 24 thousands of R' Akivah students allegedly died of their own sins some 2000 ...
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3answers
124 views

Why does a fresh convert retain his property?

It seems pretty obvious that a convert keeps his property. It is also Halachicly valid - a convert does not re-acquire his property back after conversion (see Mishnah_Peah.4.6 or Mishnah_Challah.3.6 ...
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68 views

Fixing tzitzis on shabbos?

This question is assuming that one may not tighten a regular tzitzis knot on shabbos, using the rule of “אין עשה דוחה את לא תעשה ועשה” (as seen in Beitza 8b and Bava Metzia 30a), and that without at ...
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1answer
98 views

Was the bat kol right?

In Bava Metzia 59b, the rabbis are discussing a matter of halacha, and at some point a Voice from Heaven (bat kol) interjects an opinion. The rabbis reply that the Torah is out of God's hands (they ...
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74 views

Breaking an Omer restriction

In a hypothetical case, I have chosen to observe the restrictions of the Omer during the "first half." But then, I am placed in a situation at which happy live music is being played. Does my presence ...
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1answer
47 views

Particular Pesach Halochos historical trends

I'm looking for particular Pesach Halochos that were either permitted in the times of the Gemmorah or Rishonim and forbidden later by the Achronim or the contemporary Rabbis and the vice verse - that ...
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125 views

Why don't we (or when do we) use a lenient definition of nightfall on seder nights?

There are various positions on when we can say maariv (evening prayers), corresponding to various positions on when the day ends (and, thus, a new day begins which starts from the night). But the ...
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29 views

Can being fastidious and delicate (איסטניס) get lenience in cleaning for Pesach?

The agricultural and technological revolutions changed a lot in our perception of food and we all became more fastidious and delicate (is it good for איסטניס?) - we even have expiration dates on ...
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30 views

Why for Rambam learning and teaching Torah are not two different Mitzvos?

Rambam in Sefer Hamitzvos #11 and in Mishne Torah Hil. Talmud Torah rules that studying and teaching Torah are one Mitzvah: היא שצונו ללמוד תורה וללמדה וזהו הנקרא תלמוד תורה, והוא אמרו ושננתם ...
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40 views

Why the Torah is not read in public every day?

Following my previous question, the Prophets (Moses) commanded the Jewish nation to read the Torah in public three days a week (B"K 82a): עמדו נביאים שביניהם ותיקנו להם שיהו קורין בשבת ומפסיקין ...
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17 views

Why fearing the Temple is a Mitzvah on its own?

Rambam Positive Mitzvos #21: היא שצונו לירא מן המקדש הזה מאד עד שנשים בנפשנו משא הפחד והיראה וזה מיראת מקדש והוא אמרו יתעלה את מקדשי תיראו. Rambam brings Safri that explains: ושם נאמר גם כן לא ...
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44 views

Why Poskim don't work and write in groups?

At any given moment there are several leading (and hundreds of secondary) Rabbis and Poskim. Each one running his own Yeshivah, writing his books and issuing his own Psakim. I understood that the ...
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52 views

List of Mitzvot Kiyumis? (ie voluntary/ conditional mitzvot)

Does a list of Mitzvot Kiyumis (voluntary/ conditional mitzvot) exist? Some examples I remember learning: Vilna Gaon (Ma'aseh Rav 185)- Eating Matzah the last 7 days of Pesach Rav Moshe Feinstein ...
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1answer
53 views

What rules did Hamechaber set to himself before compiling the Shulchan Aruch?

Following Doniel's question, did R' Yosef Karo accept himself a set of fixed rules/guidelines by which he is going to compile the Shulchan Aruch? For example, the order of Halochos, what he brings ...
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60 views

Mathematical functions in Jewish Halacha [closed]

What mathematical operators, functions, and constants are mentioned in the Halachah besides addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division? For example: powers and square or other roots, Pi etc....
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70 views

Why Halachot LiMosheh MiSinai can not be derived from the Torah?

The existence of the term "Halachot LiMosheh MiSinai" hints on the fact that some Halochos are not derived / can not be derived from Torah in any way but Moses received them orally. Because if it was, ...
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71 views

Mechanisms of protecting Judaism from misuse

As we can see with Nazi Germany, democracy can be a dangerous thing. Many countries try to override democracy with a special status of the supreme court, able to invalidate the parliamentary laws (to ...
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102 views

How can the Sanhedrin ever err?

On the one hand we know that if a Sanhedrin issued an erroneous decision (which was acted upon) they must bring a sacrifice (Vayikra 4:13). On the other, we have the concept of "lo bashamayim hi" (...
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20 views

Can an artificial intelligence serve as a judge and/or posek? [duplicate]

If the vast corpus of halachic material including information on how sources are weighed and how halacha has been decided through the ages was compiled and processed through an artificial intelligence ...
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3answers
141 views

What is the theological basis for changes in the practices of Judaism over the centuries?

There are many events or practices in the Old Testament which might seem brutal to a modern Western person; for example, I remember reading a passage about a man who was stoned to death for collecting ...
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2answers
89 views

Why doesn't “Yatir Bechorot Yatir” semicha exist nowadays? (ie besides “Yoreh Yoreh” & “Yadin Yadin”)

The gemara in Sanhedrin 5a teaches us about 3 different levels of semicha: “Yoreh Yoreh”- primarily in Yoreh Deah, but can also include Shabbos, Niddah etc- which allows the person to issue rulings ...
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1answer
68 views

Were Rabbinic Laws like Muktzeh given at Sinai

Did Rabbinic Laws such as Muktzeh exist in the time period between the receiving of the Torah and the time they were written down and institutionalised in Halacha? Are there different opinions on ...
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1answer
80 views

If a person forgot whether they have already recited krias shema al hamita are they permited to say hamapil and should they do so?

based on the idea of sufek derabanan lekula (a doubt in regards to a rabbinical ruling results in a leniency) and sufek d'orysa lechumra (a doubt on a Torah ruling results in a stringency) being that ...
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55 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 ...
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50 views

Why Mishnah doesn't mention Halochos of Mishloach Manot, Matanot laEvionim and the Seudah?

Following my previous question on the origin of Purim Halochos, I wondered why the Mishnah doesn't mention Halochos of Mishloach Manot, Matanot laEvionim, and the Seudah and only mentions a lot of ...
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21 views

Do the 3 Mitzvos of entering Israel apply to the Second Temple?

וכן היה רבי יהודה אומר ג' מצות נצטוו ישראל בכניסתן לארץ: להעמיד להם מלך ולהכרית זרעו של עמלק ולבנות להם בית הבחירה (Sanhedrin 20b) Rabbi Yehuda says: Three mitzvot were commanded to the Jewish ...
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1answer
29 views

Why does S"A start Hilchot Shabbat with the laws between a Jew and a gentile?

The Shulchan Aruch Hilchot Shabbat (siman 243) starts with the laws between a jew and a gentile. Why does it specifically starts there when it is more likely to discuss the importance of Shabbat at ...
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2answers
68 views

How to follow the Halacha?

Most of the people (if not all) follow the psak halacha of a specific Gadol HaDor. But many times, there are halachot which are not presented by a certain Galdol haDor but by another Chacham. As for ...
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148 views

How does the Gemara decide which authority to rule like?

Consider various statements in the Gemara such as: Bava Metzia 22b et. al.: והלכתא כוותיה דאביי ביע"ל קג"ם The Halacha follows Abaye in Ya'al Kegam Kesuvos 13a et. al.: הלכתא כרב נחמן ...
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35 views

If Mordechai knew he would endanger the whole nation would he bow to Haman?

If I understand the plot correctly, the story of Haman's hatred to Mordechai and the whole Jewish people started with Mordechai disobeying the king's laws. First, did Mordechai (as a prophet) know he ...
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43 views

Why does Rambam count learning from Midos in 613 Mitzvos?

This is a follow-up question to "why-one's-daughter-is-not-mentioned-in-arayos-in-the-torah" (please read before continuing). Both the Gemmorah and Rambam agree that the prohibition of one's daughter ...
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1answer
101 views

Why one's daughter is not mentioned in Arayos in the Torah?

Gemmorah Yevomos 2b: אלא בתו כיון דאתיא מדרשא חביבא ליה With regard to his daughter, since this prohibition is actually derived from a homiletical interpretation and is not explicitly stated ...
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37 views

Is “Half the tribe” an administrative unit?

The Torah says that the land was handed to two AND A HALF tribes (Num 32:33): וַיִּתֵּן לָהֶם מֹשֶׁה לִבְנֵי־גָד וְלִבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן וְלַחֲצִי שֵׁבֶט מְנַשֶּׁה בֶן־יוֹסֵף אֶת־מַמְלֶכֶת סִיחֹן׃ ...
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34 views

Halachic limitations on testing Hashem with Tzedaka

THe Gemmorah (Taanis 9a) discusses the idea of testing Hashem with charity/tithes and brings proof from Tanach (Malachi 3,10) - you give your charity and Hashem maximizes your "earnings": אשכחיה ר' ...
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186 views

Is the base for bloodletting in the Talmud purely “scientific” or traditional?

Bloodletting (הקזת דם) was a commonplace medical procedure in the Mishnaic times (see Shabbos 129). It is widely accepted that the ancient healers believed that: "... many diseases were caused by ...
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1answer
56 views

What was in the beginning of Halachah? [closed]

In a civilized state here are tons of laws and regulations. We can trace them all to when they were officially legislated. For instance traffic laws or real estate laws. But what was before they were ...
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59 views

How studying Torah without Machlokot is possible?

The idea of Machloket-less study and transmission of the Oral Torah is very basic in Judaism. I spot two approaches: That of Sanhedrin 68b - there were Machlokot and different approaches and schools,...
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28 views

The Rabbinical definition of the term “Halacha”

This term is used everywhere in Judaism, but I have a feeling that the meaning varies greatly, for example, some Talmudic conclusions "הלכה היא" are not accepted as the ruling Halachah either by the ...
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47 views

What criteria allow rabbis to use the “Shomer Petayim” principle?

There is a principle called shomer petayim (Meaning "G-d protects the simple". Based on Psalms 116:6.) which rabbis occasionally use to allow people to do something that would probably be considered ...
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44 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 ...
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1answer
136 views

Why is the principle of Svarah a source for some Halachik concepts but not others?

There are instances in the Talmud (usually fleshed out by the Rishonim) where we learn a concept that is **so logical** that we don't need a pasuk or drasha to teach it to us, THAT'S how logical it is....
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115 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 ...
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29 views

Derobonon extensions of mide'oraita laws - list

In Mas. Kiddushin, 45b, the gemara discusses a woman who has undergone eirusin but the status of her nesuin is in doubt. The question arises as to whether she can (if she married a kohein) eat of his ...
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3answers
156 views

Is hastening death of a Jew allowed for a non-Jew?

A Jew may not do anything which will hasten the death of another Jew. This is a selection from here, by Rabbi J. David Bleich (I added the bolding) The practice of euthanasia-whether active or ...
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2answers
76 views

Do cremated animal remains contaminate with Tumas Mes, Nevela or Sherets?

If I keep an urn at home containing the ashes of my deceased and cremated favourite pet, if I touch/carry the ashes does this make me tamei ?
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1answer
109 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 ...
4
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0answers
58 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 ...