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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17
votes
1answer
304 views

How to determine “population statistics” for population dependant Halachot?

There appear to be several halachot that are based on "a majority of Israel". For example: Mishnah Berachot 54a: הרואה מקום שנעשו בו נסים לישראל אומר ברוך שעשה נסים לאבותינו במקום הזה IF ONE ...
17
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3answers
605 views

Eating out Friday night of Chanukkah

If one is lighting Chanukah candles inside (for whatever reason) relying on the publicizing to himself and his family, then what should he do on Friday night if he is eating out? Must he make the ...
15
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3answers
519 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
14
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3answers
329 views

Is there such a thing as “Veset Halom”

One friend of mine told me that his wife always sees a special dream before her veset. Always the same one. Could such think be counted as veset kavua? I understand that technically a dream doesn't ...
12
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2answers
891 views

What are the mitzvot that a gentile is forbidden to do?

I know that some mitzvot like keeping shabbat, putting tefillin are forbidden for a gentile to do because they are a sign of the covenant between Israel and HaShem. What are the full list of the ...
12
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1answer
750 views

May a woman with artifical metal legs wear a short skirt or pants?

May a woman (or a man) wear immodest clothing over an artificial part of her body? (Lets assume that beged ish is not a consideration) i.e. if she has artifical legs, may she wear short shorts? ...
11
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3answers
956 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 ...
11
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0answers
510 views

Tattling on fellow Mi Yodeyans

We are currently in the beginning of the 2012 Mi Yodeya Moderator Election. To what extent can one avail oneself of the exception of "to'elet"="for a purpose" to the standard rules of Lashon HaRa' (...
10
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0answers
121 views

Is the obligation for Gentiles to establish a system of courts communal or individual?

One of the seven laws of Noah for gentiles is to set up a system of courts. Is the obligation to set up a system of courts a communal obligation on Gentile communities, or does every single Gentile ...
10
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1answer
551 views

Notched 2x4 for maamid?

Let's assume that there is a lechatchila to not use metal object that are mekabel tumah (susceptible to tumah) for something that supports the s'chach ("maamid"), which can be avoided by using ...
10
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1answer
724 views

Does one need a sukkah to eat bread/mezonot at work

If one goes to work on the days of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, is he deemed to be travelling and exempt from the sukkah? If there is no sukkah that he can reach from work on his lunch break, may he eat bread ...
9
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0answers
124 views

Who is pulled to safety first?

If a group of people are in mortal danger, all of the same gender (cf. Horayot 13a; some suggest that the Mishnah on Horayot is not discussing a case of rescuing from physical danger, cf. Tziz Eliezer ...
9
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0answers
245 views

May one ride in a utilitarian car?

A new study has confirmed the obvious: people want to survive: even though participants approve of autonomous vehicles that might sacrifice passengers to save others, respondents would prefer not ...
9
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0answers
136 views

Looking for a particular idea from Reb Yonason Eibshitz

I recall reading a quote from Reb Yonason Eibshitz concerning a judge on a beis din of 23 faced with a strange situation. The defendant seems to the judge to be guilty of murder, but this judge is the ...
9
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1answer
123 views

Does Beis Din have the authority to quarantine?

In light of the recent discussions about the legality of quarantining potential Ebola patients, I was wondering if Halacha has the mechanism for such a thing. In an autonomous Jewish society, in ...
8
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82 views

What is the status of professional video game players?

A friend remarked to me that playing video games professionally today is the equivalent of professional gamblers in the times of the talmud, specifically in that both are not involved in "Yishuvo shel ...
8
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0answers
135 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 ...
8
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1answer
237 views

Is shenayim mikra (only) a minhag according to the Chofetz Chaim?

R. Yisrael Meir Kagan writes that every Jewish man needs to know the weekly Torah portion and understand it. He says that the reason why all of Israel reads the verses twice and the translation once (...
8
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100 views

Hackintosh in Halacha

A Hackintosh is a bootlegged version of Apple's macOS loaded onto a computer that has not been manufactured by Apple and doesn't have a license to run macOS. According to Apple's macOS license, I. ...
8
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0answers
85 views

Spam texts to run up a person's bill

Many cell phone plans allot a person a certain number of texts each month and charge for every text over that limit. This is for both texts sent and received. Now, phone calls can be denied, but ...
8
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1answer
207 views

How does a recent bar mitzva “complete the weekly portion with the community”

When a person becomes bar mitva during the year, 98% of the time the community has already read 1 or even 50 weekly portions. Does the bar mitzva need to make up those portions? Would it matter if ...
8
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1answer
339 views

A Jew is born in space. What time rules does he follow?

I know that the title sounds like a sequel to a TV show (Lost in space). But based on a statement in this article : The Rabbis therefore rule that a person should continue to follow the time from ...
8
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1answer
228 views

What in a siddur can be changed?

There are many different editions of siddurim with many commonalities but also many differences, see here for discussion on MY. Also different communities use different siddurim to match their ...
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77 views

Outdoor prayer facing rainbow

Berakhot 59a אמר רבי אלכסנדרי אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי הרואה את הקשת בענן צריך שיפול על פניו שנאמר כמראה הקשת אשר יהיה בענן וגו׳ ואראה ואפל על פני לייטי עלה במערבא משום דמחזי כמאן דסגיד לקשתא אבל ברוכי ...
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94 views

Is a doctor obligated to force vaccination?

As per the injunction of "לא תעמוד על דם רעך" - "Stand not [idly] over the blood of thine fellow"(Leviticus 19:16), is a Torah-observant doctor obligated to vaccinate an unvaccinated patient for a ...
7
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33 views

Distribution of כבוד אב between kids

Imagine a family of parents and 5 kids sitting at the Shabbos table and the father says - "I'm thirsty - bring me some water". All the kids are immediately obligated in כיבוד אב D'Oraysoh and the ...
7
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94 views

Telling yourself lashon hara

There are several websites that let you send an email to yourself in the future (example). It's also possible to accomplish something similar in a lower-tech way, like making a time capsule. Are you ...
7
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0answers
108 views

Can anyone warn a man's wife to give her the status of a sotah?

In the Mishna, Sotah 4:5 (and Bavli 27a) it explains that in certain situations Beit Din may warn a woman not to be secluded with a man and this warning carries the legal status of kinuy such that if ...
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117 views

Parameters of לא תעשון כן לה' אלקיכם

There is a prohibition to destroy a synagogue based on the verse (Deut. 12:4) לא תעשון כן לה' אלקיכם, "you shall not do so unto the Lord your God." Rambam, in the minyan hamitzvot at the beginning of ...
7
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256 views

The status of Christian bibles nowadays

In Shulchan Aruch OC 334:21 it is established that holy scripture written by a pagan should be burnt, האפיקורסים דהיינו האדוקים בעבודת כוכבים וכן מומרים לעבודת כוכבים שכתבו להם כתבי הקודש אין ...
7
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1answer
417 views

Kiddush on Sukkos before tzeit?

The first night of Sukkos we make kiddush after tzeit (Rama 639:3). My understanding is that this is purely because of the bracha of לישב בסוכה which you can't say until it's definitely night (Magen ...
7
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2answers
187 views

When and how often would someone say Kiddush Levana (Blessing for the moon) if he were on another planet?

This M.Y. answer says that there are differing views as to whether someone is exempt from mitzvoth while in space. If we were to follow the opinion that one is obligated, should a person on Jupiter ...
7
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0answers
141 views

Is altering human genetics wrong in Judaism?

So, our colonists of the oceanic planet Mayim (yes, that's its name), of whom every single one is a Jew, have encountered a problem: there is no more room on the buoyant-colony-thing that they live in,...
7
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0answers
113 views

Why not read missing words (in Esther) from a printed copy?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 141:19: צבור שאין להם מגילה כשרה כדינה מכל מקום אם היא כתובה כהלכתה רק שחסרים איזה תיבות באמצעה כיון שלא חסר בה ענין אחד שלם יכולין לקרות מתוכה עם הברכות והטעות יקרא הקורא בעל ...
7
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0answers
131 views

Is one allowed to bid on a house if he knows another Jew has already made an offer?

This question is related to the halachic concept of ani hamehapech b'charara, or tortious interference, which I happened to just come across in studying Mishnah Peah. If one has been looking at a ...
7
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0answers
202 views

Halachic opinions on tefillin peshutim

I was discussing the subject of tefillin with my father motzei-Shabbat and particular, the battim (leather boxes that contain the parshiyot, or parchment scrolls). We ended up wondering what the mid-...
7
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0answers
208 views

Beam for s'chach with wood glue + embedded screws

Let's assume that there is a lechatchila to not use metal object that are mekabel tumah (susceptible to tumah) for something that supports the s'chach ("maamid"), which can be avoided by using ...
7
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0answers
187 views

eBay Judaica auctions

I occasionally check eBay for assorted items; this is typically for the science half of my life, but I sometimes find Judaica which probably should not be sold there. For example, I know that in the ...
7
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1answer
238 views

Person in Eretz Yisrael making Eiruv Tavshilin for Bnei Chutz L'Aretz

This might seem like a "funny" question. I don't think this would be permitted and I really have no basis to think why it should be however I'm trying to work out why this wouldn't work (or perhaps ...
7
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0answers
408 views

After-death care of a non-Jewish relative

If a Jew has been entrusted with the after-death care of a non-Jewish relative, what should be done? Specifically, if the non-Jewish relative requested to be cremated after death, can or should a Jew ...
7
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0answers
322 views

How does one proceed at a stand-up Kiddush?

How does one proceed at a Kiddush where the one making Kiddush can sit down but everyone else stands? The cake is not covered before kiddush. In every case attendees make a brocho before eating or ...
7
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1answer
249 views

Is there a penalty under the law for attempted adultery?

If a married man or woman propositions sexual misconduct to a person, or a man or woman propositions a person they know is married, is there a prescribed penalty according to the law, i.e. would a a ...
7
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1answer
304 views

Would a Greek sefer torah be read from in Greek?

If a sefer Torah was written in Greek, would it have been publicly read from in the Greek translation only, or would they also use a Hebrew scroll?
7
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1answer
313 views

May a non Ethiopian Jew celebrate Sigd?

Ethiopian Jews recently celebrated their festival of Sigd, which involves reaccaptence of the Torah, communal fasting and feasting, and prayers. Is it acceptable for someone of a Minhag other than ...
7
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2answers
459 views

Can you fulfill Netilat Yadayim by dipping your hands in a sink?

According to the Gemara in Hullin on 107a, if there's a vessel with a hole in it, and there's a "stream" (more than a drip but not necessarily the "sheffoferet hannod" required for a real mikveh) ...
7
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1answer
440 views

Kissing when one person is meaty and the other is milky

I know that someone cannot eat milk immediately after meat and vice versa. Is it ok for two people to kiss if one person has just had meat and the other has just had milk? Do they, perhaps, need to ...
7
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1answer
218 views

What if someone accidentally gave an Aliya to a non-Jew?

A gabbai called someone up for an Aliya. Yaamod, Reuven ben Shimon Shlishi. Then, it turns out that Reuven isn't Jewish (he thought he was, his mother had a reform conversion and he thought that was ...
6
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1answer
151 views

Halacha of not being obligated to spend more than a fifth of one's money on a mitzvah

It is brought down in halacha (Orach Chaim 656) that a person is not obligated to spend more than 20% of his money on performing a positive mitzvah. Is the 20% calculated according to his total bank ...
6
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1answer
121 views

Birkas Hamitzvah on food which is normally assur, but allowed due to pikuach nefesh

From Making a bracha on food which is normally assur, but allowed due to pikuach nefesh, if you eat normally forbidden foods because of pikuach nefesh, you make a bracha on them. Does the same apply ...
6
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0answers
146 views

Are relations permitted with one's wife who does not safeguard Shabbos?

One who transgresses Shabbos publicly has the status of a Gentile (Shulchan Aruch Y"D 2:5 and Shulchan Aruch Harav on it). Furthermore, Jews are forbidden from having relations with Gentiles. That ...