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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82 views

Does a Ger have a Chiyuv to get an Aliya?

Inspired by the comments to my answer about (pseudo) 2nd Bar Mitzvahs. Both the Magen Avraham in 282:18 and the Biur Halocho in 136:1:1 mention that the reason a Bar Mitzva boy has a high priority to ...
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Is Sous-vide Cooking or Roasting?

It has been discussed here previously regarding the Sous-vide method of cooking. However I have a separate question. What type of method is halachically categorized as? Is it Tzli or is it Bishul? ...
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Is Baal Kore allowed to drink water in the middle of reading Megillas Esther?

If the reader drinks water to lubricate his vocal cords in the middle of a megilla reading, is it considered an interruption that would require him to re-start at the beginning or is there no need to ...
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147 views

Buying online on friday

Can you buy something from a large online retailer (eg Amazon), which employs non-Jews, on Friday if it has one-day shipping? This would force someone to do the work of mailing/transporting the ...
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1answer
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Patur from mitzvah and do it, have you fulfilled it contradiction

In Hilchos Kriyas Shema, the SA (OC 71:1) says מִי שֶׁמֵּת לוֹ מֵת שֶׁהוּא חַיָּב לְהִתְאַבֵּל עָלָיו, אֲפִלּוּ אֵינוֹ מֻטָּל עָלָיו לְקָבְרוֹ, פָּטוּר מִקְּרִיאַת שְׁמַע וּמִתְּפִלָּה. ...
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Israel News internet postings originated on Shabbos

On Friday afternoon in the U.S., am I permitted to click on a news site from Israel which I presume is maintained by Jews in Israel and continually updated by them, even on Shabbat (e.g., Jerusalem ...
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Can one engrave on a utensil bought from a non jew to avoid the need for tevilla?

Yahu made the following comment in the discussion on "Electric Appliances and Mikva" "Breaking does not mean that it can not work. As long as what you are doing affects the vessel in a 3 dimensional ...
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Can one have a surgery during the Nine Days?

I'll put the disclaimer right at the top for such a sensitive issue: See both your local orthodox Rav and local orthodox doctor if this Chas v'shalom becomes relevant to you. The Background There ...
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The Nehalel Siddur and the Rema in OC 90:23

The Nehalel Siddur is a Siddur which pictures accompanying prayer text. (Some examples of the pages in the Siddur can be seen here and here). The Rema in Orach Chayim 90:23 says the following: (...
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464 views

Is there any opinion that permits davening Maariv before plag

I davened at a shul this morning that announced mincha at 5:30pm with maariv following immediately after. Plag mincha is around 6:45pm today. I pointed this out to the gabbai and he said that there is ...
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Can the Shaliach Tzibbur walk around while praying?

For any of the prayers other than the Amidah, are there sources that allow the prayer leader to walk around (for no special purpose) while praying? The question is specific to the Shaliach Tzibbur, ...
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492 views

Davening in Open Orthodox Shul

Although there may be a wide range of Open Orthodox shuls, may one daven in an Open Orthodox shul if a woman leads as the chazan for shacharis or ba'al koreh? Would such an Open Orthodox shul have the ...
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A bought or found stolen mitzva item

It's pretty well known that you can't fulfill a mitzvah with something that has been stolen. However, what if you buy or find something to fulfill a mitzvah that (unbeknownst to you) had been stolen ...
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May a nutrition scientist perform research on chametz as part of his job on Hol Hamo'ed Pesach?

For this question, I am interested only in the aspect of handling the chametz and "benefitting" from it on Hol Hamo'ed, not any problems, possibly of going to work. (Let's assume that if the worker ...
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132 views

Explicit shaimos printed in prayer books

The gemara in Shabbos 115b cites a Tosefta seemingly condemning those who publish prayer-books (and amulets) with G-d's name: "...מכאן אמרו כותבי ברכות כשורפי תורה". Nonetheless, it is common practice ...
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Would halacha trust a password?

Almost all security systems in the modern world rely on a shared secret (password) system of some kind. The premise is that no-one other than the account holder knows the secret, so anyone who knows ...
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Should one make a bracha on seeing geological arches, hoodoos or balanced rocks?

I am considering visiting Arches National Park in Utah. This park has several "arch" rock formations and a few hoodoos and a balanced rock. Shulchan Aruch O.C. 228:1 states that one should make a ...
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142 views

Is the mourning for a late relative dependent on the state of their relationship before death?

Are the halochos (laws) about observing mourning rituals for a relative (e.g., shiva, shloshim, etc.), affected in any way by the state of the relationship between the mourner and deceased before his ...
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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 ...
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107 views

maaser to your own employer

I know there are many Jews who work for schools, synagogues, soup kitchens, and other such non-profit organizations that do a community service. Many people also give maaser money to these ...
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Giving to a “mission” collection

In some religions, people accept upon themselves some kind of "mission" to do whatever act to help others. In many cases, it involves collections to send to the poor, or to 3rd world countries. The ...
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Do the laws of Ribis apply to loans of virtual currency?

If a Jew lends a player in a multiplayer online game money, and he knows without a doubt that that player is Jewish, does the prohibition of ribis apply? (After all, the only thing that changed was a ...
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501 views

What's considered shaving?

During periods of mourning, such as Sefirat Haomer and the three weeks prior to Tisha B'av, shaving is prohibited. What is considered shaving and what is allowed? May you pluck out a few hairs here ...
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Badikas Chamatz in courtyards of cities today

Shulchan Aruch HaRav says: קרקעית החצר אין צריך בדיקה לפי שעורבין ושאר עופות מצויין שם והם אוכלים כל חמץ שנופל ואפילו אם ידוע לו שיש שם בחצר ודאי חמץ אין צריך ליטלו משם בשעת בדיקת ליל י"ד ואפילו ...
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Writing the woman's name in a kasubah or get: Plonis *ben* Ploni

Instead of writing the name of the kallah (bride) Rivka bat Chaim (for example) it was written Rivka ben Chaim. In such a case what's the halacha? By a kasubah is it valid? Does it have to be written ...
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163 views

Referring to Gentile Priest as “Father”

Is it permissible to either refer to or address a gentile priest as "Father XXXXXXXXX"? What alternatives might there be?
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108 views

G-d's name on screen readers

People who are blind or hard-of-seeing often interact with computers using devices called "screen readers". These screen readers will read aloud the words that are written on the screen (or in the ...
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Is it Tzaar Baalei Chayyim to feed a live animal to another animal?

There are many pets available today that experts recommended feeding (infrequently or at times solely) on live animals. Many reptiles (snakes, chameleons, geckos, monitors, etc.) and many fish are ...
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Can one use potential wind power to transport on Shabbos?

Would it be permitted to set a cart with a sail in a reshus hayachid with the intent that if the wind picks up, it will carry the contents 1) into a reshus harabbim, or 2) through a reshus harabbim ...
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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 ...
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198 views

what is the status when there are two anointed kings at the same time?

The Rabbi's teach that one kingship does not overlap with another even a hairbreadth (Yoma 38b). I understand this to mean that there may be only 1 Jewish king ruling at a time, or in the case where ...
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212 views

Seemingly Hefker Esrog - used for the Mitzva

This past Erev Succos I arrived at a local synagogue that had a fellow selling Lulavim and Esrogim in their Simcha hall. The fellow left three Esrogim (not in the greatest condition - yet Kosher) on ...
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389 views

Preparing food for Yom Tov Sheni

Orach Chaim 503 says that one may not prepare from the first day of Yom Tov for the second day of Yom Tov. However, if one is going to eat even one piece of meat on the first day, they may fill up a ...
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168 views

Halachically, do Israeli citizens own their land?

According to Israeli law, the government owns nearly all of the land, except for some privately owned land from Mandatory periods. Citizens get to rent it from the government. This is commonly known ...
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1answer
267 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 ...
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Do reward tokens qualify halachically as money?

I give my children special slips of paper as a reward for good behavior (a "token economy"). They can collect these slips of paper and use them to "buy" rewards such as toys, treats, or fun activities....
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Shomronim and Halakha

Do the Baraitot brought down by Masechet Kutim and other random halachot in the Talmud that were said about "kutim" apply to the 750 remaining Samaritans in the world today (who currently live in ...
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1answer
141 views

Death penalty for non-Jews

Murder in the Torah is punished by the death penalty, but with many conditions. Were the rules of death penalty the same for Jews and non-Jews living in the holy land? What were the differences? ...
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2answers
132 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 ...
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1answer
196 views

Any Halachic problems with app publishing?

I'm currently in the process of developing a mobile app, that, be'h will have various Israel related feeds. I was wondering if there could be any Halachic issues with respect to including news feeds ...
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3answers
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May a Jew sell marijuana?

It is held by Rav Moshe zt''l that a Jew may not smoke marijuana, but following the legalization of marijuana in Washington, I am curious if a Jew may run a store that sells marijuana in a ...
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Can a Beit Midrash demand payment for carrying a smartphone?

I went to a certain Beis Midrash and saw a sign saying that anyone who enters with a smartphone has to donate money to the Beis Midrash as a penalty. Is someone entering with such a phone really ...
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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.) ...
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Shabbat: Electric Apartment Door in Doorman Building

Let us say a person lives in an apartment building where the apartment doors (door to the apartment itself) are fitted with electronic locks. The building has a 24-hour "concierge" doorman (non-...
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Is there a halachic preference for milah over hatafas dam bris?

While hatafas dam bris is clearly valid for a convert who is already circumcised, is this considered bedieved? Suppose a man who is not already circumcised intends to convert. Suppose he is also ...
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If a Gentile realizes or uses a tridimensional human image for non-cult purposes, does he violate the Noahide Laws?

I'm an Italian Noahide The prohibition against worship of false gods is an integral part of the Noahide Laws . Rambam says in Melachim uMilchamot 9: 2 (English translation by Rabbi E. Touger): "...
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On which precise halachic source did Rambam claim that the pilegesh is forbidden to all Jewish men except the kings of Israel?

I’m an Italian noahide. This question covers my exclusively intellectual curiosity, being an halachic case that does not concern the Gentiles but only the Jews. We read in Mishneh Torah -Melachim ...
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A widow using her deceased husbands semen to conceive?

If a husband has some of his semen frozen/saved and then dies, what halachic and hashkafic issues have to be addressed when deciding if his widow is allowed to/can/should use that semen to become ...
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Is general anesthesia or coma considered sleep?

Based on this article "Sleep vs Coma vs Anesthesia", Is general anesthesia or coma considered Halachicly as sleep and in what aspects (like should one say Hamapil before or Birkas Hatorah after or ...
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Is there a problem with buying a Christian a Christmas gift?

To make the question easier, suppose that the recipient of the Christmas gift is a devout Christian who actually celebrates for religious reasons. Potentially there are several issues with buying a ...