Questions tagged [halacha]

NOTE: Like Wikipedia, this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends. // Jewish law. Specifically, the legal process beginning with the written Torah and continuing through the Mishna, Talmud, and the legal codes (e.g., Rambam, Tur, Shulchan Aruch).

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1answer
88 views

Remove beard, but not sideburns?

How come it’s mutar to remove the beard but not the sideburns? The שלחן ערוך & רמב״ם both say they can be removed completely (with scissors or the like). So how come we only apply this halacha to ...
13
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4answers
2k views

Would a convert/Ba'al Teshuvah have to remove any tattoos they may have?

A Jew is prohibited from tattooing himself. If a person with tattoos were to convert to Judaism, would they be required to have the tattoos removed? Would a Jew who got a tattoo and later repented be ...
7
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2answers
62 views

May one choose the recipient of his/her organ donation?

I have decided to donate a kidney. I know that with organizations like Renewal you can choose to donate to someone specifically. I was wondering if it is mutar to browse potential recipients and see ...
3
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1answer
82 views

What is the purpose of the mezuzah on the entrance to Sha'ar Tziyon?

It's been a while since I visited the Old City in Jerusalem. I recall that there is a giant mezuzah on the sidewall of the Zion Gate. I don't recall if all the Jerusalem gates have a mezuzah. I'm ...
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1answer
38 views

Is translation of copyrighted material permitted?

Is there any violation in Halacha if someone translates copyrighted material to a dialect for the sole purpose of making it into a book so that people who do not know the dialect could benefit from it ...
3
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2answers
604 views

Mixed Gender Gyms

Is it halachically permitted for a man to exercise in a gym in which there are women who are not dressed modestly? Does it make a difference if there are no other gyms available for the person to go ...
22
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1answer
2k views

How is gender halachically determined?

I apologize if this is a sensitive topic, but it seems that this question is foundational to some of the discussions that appear here. I hope that my wording is appropriate. If I understand correctly,...
3
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1answer
239 views

Gender Choice in Halacha

Is it Halachicly allowed to chose the gender of your child or does Halacha frown upon this practice?
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1answer
71 views

Is there a halachic requirement for a yeshivah to be single gender?

A few years ago, my son came home from his elementary yeshiva highly annoyed that his rebbe referred to another neighborhood yeshiva as "not a real yeshiva" because the other yeshiva has mixed gender ...
4
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1answer
46 views

Obligation to ask for tzedakah

At what point is one obligated to ask for tzedakah? If one sleeps in a car are they obligated to ask to sleep in an apartment? How about food? If one has a minimal subsistence level may one refuse ...
5
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2answers
454 views

Is Basar Shenisaleim Min Ha'ayin still a problem?

There is a concept in halacha called Basar Shenisaleim Min Ha'ayin (meat that was hidden from the eye). Basically in the olden days, if a non-jew were to deliver meat and there was no siman (sign) on ...
6
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2answers
116 views

How much effort should be expended searching for the missing?

Say a Jewish person gets pulled out to sea while rescuing someone from drowning and goes missing, lost at sea. And then a search for him or his body by the Jewish community, supplementing official ...
3
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1answer
323 views

Is it mutar to receive ordination from the Universal Life Church?

According to Wikipedia, the Universal Life Church is a religious organization that offers anyone semi-immediate ordination as a ULC minister free of charge. The organization states that anyone ...
5
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2answers
151 views

Men making Kiddush (Shabbos day) for women after eating at shul

Women and men are both equally chayiv in kiddush, at least on shabbos. Additionally there is a commonly known rule that a non obligated person (or obligated on a lower level) cannot fulfill a mitzvah ...
17
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4answers
4k views

Is Exercise on Shabbos Allowed?

Is one allowed to do exercises on Shabbos? Are any types allowed? Some examples of different types: Lifting weights or heavy items Jumping jacks Taking a walk (long, but without Techum issues) Doing ...
4
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2answers
514 views

What happens to the debts after Shmitat Ksafim?

The question is rather simple - What happens to a loan after Shmitat Ksafim (I refer only to those entitled for Shmitah): Is the debt fully annulled and the Shtar/agreement invalidated in this world'...
3
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1answer
107 views

Why not fulfill the birchat hashachar with the leader?

In many Shuls, the Shaliach Tzibbur starts the morning service by saying the list of brachot of Birchot hashachar. After that the individuals repeat these brachot to themselves. Why do the ...
2
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0answers
24 views

Breaking one’s word to God

When someone wishes to repent it’s standard practice to ask HaShem for forgiveness while assuring Him that you won’t repeat the sin. But what if that person slips up & repeats the sin, is it ...
4
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1answer
75 views

Kohen with eyeglasses

Is having imperfect eyesight that requires the wearing of eyeglasses a problem for a Kohen? The question is two-fold: 1) Does the imperfect eyesight render him a ba'al mum (physical blemish) which ...
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0answers
38 views

Warm up food by placing in summer heat outside during Shabbat [closed]

I'm hosting shabbat lunch for a larger than usual crowd, and space might run out on my blech. Is it permissible to put my food outside to warm up, seeing as it will be 90F (32C) on Shabbat? I know ...
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1answer
2k views

Are Uncertified Lotus Biscoff Cookies Kosher

According to the company website: Lotus Biscoff Products are not Kosher certified. From Kosher.com: Note: Biscoff brand products, including Lotus Cookies, that are made in Belgium and are ...
4
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1answer
77 views

Can Yom Tov candles be lit at daytime if forgotten at night?

If one were to forget to light candles on Yom Tov eve, but remembers the next morning - can s/he still light during Yom Tov day? (Being daytime, it will only be tosefes oir, and may only be valid if ...
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0answers
16 views

Did Hillel the Elder committed a Gezel? [duplicate]

Can the the famous story of Hillel the Elder, who couldn't pay to enter Beit Midrash and instead listened from the outside to his teachers, be considered as an act of Gezel? Yoma 35b:7-8 Hillel ...
3
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0answers
20 views

May one do the Mitzvah of Nichum Aveilim/Consoling Mourners on Tish'a B'av?

Based on On Tish'a B'Av,can someone say the typical "Mourner's statement" to any/everyone else?, may one perform the mitzvah of Nichum Aveilim for one who is sitting shiv'a on ...
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1answer
120 views
+100

On Tish'a B'Av,can someone say the typical “Mourner's statement” to any/everyone else?

Upon leaving a mourner (when one visits him / her during shiva), one says: המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבילי ציון וירושלים "May G-d comfort you among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem" Since during ...
5
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0answers
78 views

Sitting shiva for intermarrying child

We all heard about families sitting shiva if a child marries out of faith. Are there documented cases of this happening? (With all the rites of Shiva, not just cutting the child out of the family.) ...
4
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1answer
295 views

May a woman be a kvater?

May a woman serve as the sole kvater (person who brings the baby to the sandek) at a bris? At most britot I've been to, the duty of kvater was handled by a woman and a man (typically married), with ...
8
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0answers
125 views

Could there be a Halachik issue with using a DNA kit such as 23andMe?

Besides learning fun facts about one's DNA and ancestry, there's a lot of good that can come out of using one. For example: people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent can learn if they're predisposed to BRCA1 ...
7
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5answers
1k views

Are there cases where you are allowed to swear to G-d?

Is it always forbidden to swear to G-d, or does it depend on truth? I read somewhere that "in vain" means for something false or obvious. If someone doesn't believe me about something very important ...
4
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0answers
54 views

Does a broker keep the leads he worked on?

A broker works at a Merchant Cash Advance Company and the company provides leads to the broker. The broker's job is to sort through those leads, identify the ones that are really interested, build ...
10
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3answers
2k views

Why were Er and Onan punished if they were under 20?

As seen from this question, the Heavenly Court does not punish an individual (at least in this life) if he or she is under 20. However, according to Seder Hadoros (Year 2217) Er and Onan were 7 or 8 ...
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0answers
81 views

What blessing does a midget say on seeing himself?

Following "reciting-the-blessing-of-meshaneh-habriyos-who-makes-creatures-different": what does a man that falls into that category, e.g. a midget, says upon himself? Does he have to see himself (...
12
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1answer
98 views

The process of the evaluation of the Sages' wisdom when electing for the Sanhedrin?

Mishnah Sanhedrin 4,4: "ושלש שורות של תלמידי חכמים יושבין לפניהם כל אחד ואחד מכיר את מקומו" Three rows of the Sages sit before [the Sanhedrin of 71], every one of them knows his place Rambam'...
2
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3answers
135 views

When are electric candles permitted?

I know that different rabbis have issued different rulings on whether it is permissible to light electric candles and recite the appropriate blessings. But do some rabbis permit it in some cases but ...
3
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1answer
237 views

Poskim who hold chalita is necessary?

Are there any famous rishonim or achronim (outside of Yemen & besides the Rambam) who hold doing chalita to meat is necessary?
3
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3answers
504 views

Sending letters to the deceased

Some Chassidim have the custom to leave letters at the graves of deceased Rebbes. Is it mutar to send a letter to any deceased Rebbe (specifically the Lubavitcher Rebbe), or is this similar to Avodah ...
1
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1answer
142 views

Location of halachos of “a chosson and kallah”

Where are the halachos found in shulchan aruch regarding the practical halachos that a chosson is taught before he gets married: how a chosson and kallah have תשמיש המטה on the first night (and other ...
1
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2answers
108 views

Chazal rationale regarding shaving beard

How did our Sages come up with the halacha (or rather idea) that using scissors (or appliances that do not cut the root like most electric shavers) does not constitute 'destroying the corner of the ...
4
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2answers
101 views

How did the initial Mishnaic disagreements arise?

The Wikipedia on Tannaim says this Until the days of Hillel and Shammai (the last generation of the Zugot), there were few disagreements among Rabbinic scholars. After this period, though, the "...
6
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1answer
101 views

Is there a minimum field size for peah to apply?

I know that peah applies to fields of food crops (not other produce) and that halacha is to leave at least 1/60 of the field unharvested for this purpose. What I haven't found is whether there is a ...
4
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1answer
111 views

Can you learn portions of Avot D'Rav Nattan on Tish'a B'Av?

This M.Y. answer provides a list of permissible learning items on Tish'a B'Av. All these items are somehow related to the themes of mourning, the Temple destruction, etc. Avot D'Rav Natan has several ...
46
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5answers
3k views

Are sea sponges kosher?

The sea sponge is scientifically classified as an animal (kingdom Animalia), therefore maybe it would be considered unkosher, as seafood. On the other hand, its phylum Porifera is distinct and ...
-1
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0answers
29 views

Which mitzvos classify one as a Jew? [duplicate]

The Torah says וְאָהַבְתָּ לְרֵעֲךָ כָּמוֹךָ, Love your fellow as yourself. Actual halacha: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch: It is incumbent upon every Jew to love every fellow Jew as he loves himself. ...
4
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1answer
193 views

Can someone say Bircat Hagomel after an outpatient procedure?

I am aware that someone would say Bircat Hagomel after recovering from surgery or another major illness. Can someone say the bracha after outpatient procedures such as a colonoscopy, where they have ...
3
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0answers
49 views

Visiting/using a decommissioned ex-church

Visiting sites previously used for idol worship asks about visiting a historical site previously used for idolatry, and talks about ruins and the possibility of extant religious symbols. My question ...
1
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1answer
101 views

Checking strawberries with a magnifying glass

Most resources mention some type of process of rinsing with detergent etc. Can I just use a magnifying glass in order to see a potential bug? Also, why do the resources say to use soap or detergent.....
0
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0answers
51 views

Can I Use a BlowGun on Shabbos?

Would using something like this constitute a violation of a Rabbinic or Torah Halacha? If I am in my backyard and have an eruv, as long as I dont hit an animal, shouldn't it be ok? What about a foam ...
3
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2answers
108 views

Would medical care be forbidden, if not for the permission of Ex 21:19?

At Bava Kamma 85a , the Talmud and the Rishonim discuss Ex 21:19 as the authority by which a doctor is permitted to heal a patient. Is this discussion really halachic? If no verse mentioned doctors ...
5
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3answers
151 views

Age of Accountability for Gentiles

What is the age of accountability for gentiles? From what age are they subject to punishment for their sins? Please list sources.
8
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1answer
147 views

Gifting a kosher product one wouldn't eat or drink

Can a Jew give his Jewish friend a product which is kosher m'ikar hadin if the person giving it would not eat or drink it himself? The product could be e.g., kosher meat which is not glatt, scotch ...