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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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What to do with discarded shemittah produce of co-workers

I currently work in an environment where colleagues (irreligious and/or not Jewish) are consuming produce that has shemittah sanctity. They often throw their left over food directly in the bin with ...
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Can an unknown Reform Jew be counted for a minyan?

Orthodox Judaism treats someone as a Jew if their mother is Jewish, or they underwent an Orthodox conversion. Reform Judaism will count someone as Jewish even if their only connection is through their ...
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Holy Objects of a Messianic

Messianic Judaism is a heretical offshoot of Judaism which maintains that Jesus was the Mashiach which may violate the prohibition of avodah zarah (see above link). Would the tefillin or tallit* used ...
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Holidays south of the equator

When Jews first started establishing communities south of the equator, they must have noticed that the holidays fell completely at the wrong times of the year. (For example, Pesach, referred to as hag ...
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Is there any halachic problem with providing a service (e.g., matchmaking) to someone for free, when others pay for it?

I recently got an interesting email from a shadchan (matchmaker), which I've paraphrased here: I have a potential match in mind for you. However, it is a halachic problem if I set you up with this ...
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Can a Jewish owned business sponsor (or own) a non-Jewish football team?

In recent years, big businesses (including the airlines Emirates, Etihad and Qatar) and wealthy people (including Sheik Mansour) from UAE and Qatar have been sponsoring or purchasing some of the ...
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Havdalah: mistake in the bracha

If a person saying havdalah began the last bracha (benediction) without mentioning sheim umalchus (God's name and dominion) i.e. he said ברוך אתה השם המבדיל בין קודש לחול וכו׳, skipping אלוקינו מלך ...
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A rebellious spouse in Beis Din today

The Rambam describes how to handle a case where a couple is divorcing and one spouse claims the other is rebellious (refusing marital relations) and the other is insisting that this is not the case (...
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1answer
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Violating a cancelable oath?

If someone made an oath "I'm not going to eat bread for thirty days" and wants to "cancel" it, he goes to three people and tells them "I didn't know that it would be so hard". They say "OK, it's ...
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Blessing on Immersing Vessels to Purify Them

A Mikvah can be used to purify humans or certain vessels which have contracted ritual impurity (Rambam Mikvaot 1 (English)). When humans use the Mikvah to purify themselves they recite a blessing (...
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Is Mi Yodeya allowed to tweet on Shabbos?

I recently signed up for @StackJudaism tweets, just to see what's going on here when not logged in. These tweets are automatically sent out by the Stack Exchange, which is done for every SE site. ...
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Are there communities that follow the Rambam?

At one point, many Sefardic communities followed the Mishneh Torah. As time went on, it seems that the sefardim accepted the Beit Yosef. Besides for Yemenites, were there any communities that, until ...
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Heter to decorate the shul in a humorous way in Adar?

I am bias here, I was raised to treat a beit k'neset (shul) with utmost respect; not to use the sanctuary as a shortcut, avoid mundane discussions there etc. I now live in a community which festively ...
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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 ...
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Are gold (or silver) jewelry charms considered avodah zarah?

Many years ago, I started to buy small gold charms specifically with Jewish symbols for my mother who added them to a necklace, much like gold charm bracelets circa 50 years ago. Among them were tiny ...
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What does “p'ruath rosh” actually mean?

It says in the halakha that a married woman may not go out into the public market place with "p'ruath rosh." I have heard that this means "with uncovered head," but this does not seem to match up ...
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256 views

Why announce Mashiv Haruach and not Vtein Tal?

When we start saying mashiv haruach there is an important requirement of announcing the liturgical change. If one does not hear the announcement, one does not say mashiv until the community would have ...
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responsibility for passing on a virus (medical)

Would one be obligated to pay any of the five types of damages paid upon wounding someone, if they were to infect that someone with a viral/bacterial disease, whether through: Peshia (negligence)? ...
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Should you refrain from putting ash on your forehead if your wedding coincides with Ash Wednesday?

Some brides/grooms have a custom to put ash on the forehead at their wedding as a remembrance for the destruction of the temple. Is there any halachic discussion about avoiding this practice if the ...
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Bracha change on Tevilas Keilim

Yoreh Deah 120:3 one who Toivels a vessel should make the Bracha "Al Tevilas Keli". However if one Toivels two or more vessels they should make the Bracha "Al Tevilas Keilim". Aruch HaShulchan Yoreh ...
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Listening to Recorded Music *Privately* During the 3 Weeks

Do any of the poskim who rule that recorded music is assur during Sefirah/3 weeks distinguish between listening to recorded music in a public setting and listening to recorded music by oneself in ...
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483 views

Heter for shaving during the week of Tisha B'Av for work reasons

Is there any posek who allows shaving during shavua shechal bo (the week in which Tisha B'Av falls, up to Tisha B'Av itself) if, by not shaving, one may lose his job? R' Moshe Feinstein allows shaving ...
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Is a renter allowed to withhold rent if the landlord does not fulfill his duties?

If a landlord drags his feet on fixing things in his property, is the renter allowed to withhold rent until he does so? Alternatively, may the renter bring someone to fix it himself and pay from the ...
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When is it permissible to collect charity during prayer?

In my shul someone usually brings around the pushka (charity box) during the chazzan's repetition of shmoneh esrei. I have also heard that it is appropriate to give tzedaka during v'yivarech Dovid. ...
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Would adding buttons and button holes to a tallis gadol disqualify it?

I've seen fitted tallisim katanim with buttons connected the front and back for smooth wear. Could you also add buttons and button holes to a tallis gadol to hellp it stay on? Or would that ...
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240 views

Opened “please-take!” food items in a non-Jewish workplace

Is it alright to consume unsupervised food items at work that are open and available to anyone, assuming the items were initially known to be Kosher1 and there's no evidence of tampering? Items that ...
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Do other Chasidic communities follow Shulchan Aruch HaRav?

The Maggid of Mezeritch told the Baal HaTanya to put together a Shulchan Aruch for Chasidim. The result is the Shulchan Aruch HaRav, which is used as a final authority for halacha in Chabad ...
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1answer
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Permissible to light one Yom Tov candle from another?

In a two-day Yom Tov in the diaspora, is it permissible to light two Yom Tov candles on Yom Tov Rishon, one of which is a 24-hour candle, and then, on Yom Tov Sheini, to light two Yom Tov candles for ...
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May someone cordon of an area of a public place for his own use and not let others come within that area

May someone cordon of an area of a public place for his own use and not let others come within that area. 1- May one make a show performance etc. in a public place and only allow people who pay to ...
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Substitutes for “Today” in the omer count

Shulchan Aruch, OC 489:4 (in my own translation): Someone whose friend asks him during twilight "How many days of the [omer] count tonight?" should tell him "Yesterday was such-and-such". For if he ...
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1answer
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Can one declare an area to be “not a shul” if it is in the same room as a shul?

Recently, my congregation moved into a temporary space while a new building is under construction. This space is essentially a single large room into which all the various elements of the old building ...
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minimum halachic definition of bread

This is sort of the counter question to Mezonos bread. At what point does a grain based admixture transition between bread and non bread? To clarify: The general position of Sephardic Jewry is that ...
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1answer
334 views

Do you have to listen to the mikveh lady?

From what I understand when a woman goes to the mikvah there is another woman who watches her immerse (dubbed 'mikveh lady'). Apparently this is for practical reasons to make sure everything is done ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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678 views

If one gives a food gift on Shabbos, does the one who receives it need to use it on Shabbos?

The Halacha is that one may give a food gift to another on Shabbos. (See Dose of Halacha for more details). If I give a bottle of wine, do they need to open it on Shabbos, or can they choose to keep ...
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166 views

Is “You Shall Choose Life” ever interpreted literally?

Inspired by Did people ever place actual physical stumbling blocks before the blind? In Devarim 30:19, we are told by G-d to "choose life": This day, I call upon the heaven and the earth as ...
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Yehareg v'al ya'avor – what about retroactively?

Based on this question and this question. If someone has possibly committed one of the Big Three sins, and the only way to get out of it retroactively is to commit suicide, is suicide allowed? Is it ...
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Does Kabbalas Shabbos require a minyan?

Inspired by an answer here: Does the recitation of Kabbalas Shabbos require a minyan? I was always under the impression that we do it together by convention rather than necessity, but one could ...
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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 ...
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Loshon Hora: The allowance of B'apei t'lasa (in front of 3)

Although they are governed by very strict limitations, there are numerous 'hetterim' for the prohibition of lashon hora, such as apei t'lasa, l'toieles, etc. The Chofetz Chaim (Klal 2, §3 - see there ...
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Is there anything wrong with using someone's “preferred pronouns”?

There are many people who identify as transgender or non-binary and request that they are treated as such by other people, which includes referencing them by the pronoun that they preferred to be ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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Who's responsible if B puts a “hefker” sign on A's item?

Suppose Aaron leaves something in a public place, where people often leave such things without intending to forfeit them.[1] Baruch then puts a sign on the item indicating that it's forfeit and ...
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Is grinder biohacking permissible?

Grinder biohacking involves implanting DIY cybernetics or chemicals into one’s own body which ostensibly give one superhuman abilities. For example, some companies sell implantable NFC/RFID chips to ...
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What is the minimum of learning to say Kaddish d’Rabanan?

What is the minimum amount of study one has to learn or hear in order to say Kaddish d’rabanan? Is there a certain Halacha which states how much or what is the minimum one needs to learn? Also, a ...
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Standing in the presence of an idol / entering a room which has an idol

The question is remarkably simple (even though the answer may not be so). Is it allowed by halacha to stand in the presence of an idol or enter a room where an idol is present ? Specifically, I'm ...
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Are the musical instruments in the Beis HaMikdash exhaustive?

Rambam (Hil. Klei HaMikdash 3:4) lists the instruments accompanying the Leviim: וּבַמֶּה הֵם מְנַגְּנִין. בִּנְבָלִים וַחֲלִילִים וְכִנּוֹרוֹת וַחֲצוֹצְרוֹת וְהַצִּלְצָל. וְאֵין פּוֹחֲתִין ...
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Ramifications of eating (or forcing to eat) food one doesn’t like

Avos D’Rebbi Nassan 26:5 says (translation is from Artscroll, and brackets are from their footnotes): הוא היה אומר האוכל אוכלין שאינם עולים על גופו עובר משום ג' לאוין שביזה את עצמו וביזה את האוכלין ...
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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 ...
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Is one allowed to short sell stock?

Short selling stock involves borrowing the shares for a fee. Would doing so contravene Devarim 23:20 which prohibits borrowing with interest (assume the Jewishness of all parties involved is such to ...