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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437 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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If I left my kitchen under the control of someone who is a Gentile or not Shomer Shabbos, is it still kosher?

If I left my kitchen (or set of kosher dishes, etc.) with someone who is a) not Jewish or b) Jewish but not shomer Shabbos--in such a way that they could access it and hypothetically do anything they ...
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Eating in restaurants during Aveilus

Recently a friend told me that it is not proper to eat out in restaurants when one is an Aveil. I have been searching for a source that prohibits this. Does anyone know of a source prohibiting eating ...
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Is Panentheism considered heretical?

(Closely related to this post, but I think it is still a bit different) Panentheism: A doctrine that the universe subsists within Gcd, but that Gcd nevertheless transcends or has some existence ...
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Do you make a new bracha on lightning & thunder when catching up to the same storm?

This M.Y. question cites Shulchan Aruch O.C. 227 that states that as long as it is overcast, one recites the blessing on lightning / thunder once (unless the storm continues into the next day.) If it ...
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Electronic dance music (EDM)

I have two questions. 1. Is it permitted for a Jew to produce electronic dance music (no lyrics), which is usually played at clubs etc. where women and men will dance together (no gender separation ...
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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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536 views

Are gingerbread houses prohibited?

There are people who make gingerbread houses decorated with icing and candy, especially in the winter. I think it is sometimes associated with non-Jewish holidays, but I don't know why. As far as I ...
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Sharpening Shechita Knife on Chol HaMoaed

May one that is learning Hilchos Shechita sharpen the knife that he uses for shechitah on chol hamoed for the purpose of practicing how to sharpen it and make sure it's kosher for shechitah (and not ...
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Making mistakes in shemone esri

I would assume at some point, too many uncorrected mistakes during the shemone esri (not talking about the things that would make it avodah zara here) would make it invalid/useless as it simply loses ...
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290 views

Is one allowed to carry a gun for self-defense if local secular law prohibits it?

There is a rule of Dina D'Malchuta Dina - the law of the land is valid, providing that it does not conflict directly with Torah laws. There is a Torah law of Venishmartem lenafshotechem (Devarim 4:15)...
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Is Warhammer (and similar games) an issue of avoda zara?

Are tabletop wargames, such was Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, and Kings of War an issue of avoda zara? To play the game you first have to purchase miniature figures of different races. Some are human, ...
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Is it obligatory / recommended / permitted / discouraged / forbidden to tie a red thread to a child's crib?

The comments to this question discuss tying to a red thread to a child's crib. Garvey80 claims that it is a minhag yisrael to do so, and is thus obligatory. User6591 claims that it may be forbidden, ...
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Shehecheyanu at a Graduation

I recently attended a college graduation, and one of the parents decided to recite shehecheyanu to celebrate the occasion. I have never heard of someone doing this -- is there any basis for saying it?
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Photographing an Eclipse

There is a general prohibition on depicting and/or owning depictions of celestial bodies, such as the sun and moon (see, e.g., the Rambam Hilkhoth Avoda Zara 3:18). Nonetheless, there are opinions ...
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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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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 ...
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An “Aveil” at Shabbat Mincha

An aveil (mourner) does not practice public aveilut (mourning) on Shabbat (Ketubot 4a), though he is still in aveilut and there is some impact on what he can and can't do. Would the presence of an ...
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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 ...
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1answer
109 views

Benefiting from a Jew's meizid melacha on Shabbos

The introduction to the first volume of the English edition of Shmiras Shabbos k'Hilchaso states that a person who does melacha b'meizid on Shabbos is forever banned from benefiting from that melacha. ...
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Who decides whether it's normal to eat something in a certain fashion?

The Shulchan Aruch in several places writes that if something is eaten in an abnormal fashion, it gets a Shehakol rather than its usual bracha.1 What defines whether something is a "normal" way of ...
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B’racha achrona on sunflower seeds?

If one eats a k’zayit of sunflower seeds including the flavored shell, which he spits out, but less than a k’zayit of the seeds themselves, which he swallows, does he need to say an after b’racha?
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What's the degree of obligation of the first Biur Halacha (in MB 1:1)?

It says that we're supposed to recite different lines before each of the three prayers. My question is: is it halacha? why does the Chafetz Chaim bring it if it is not? What does the lashon "...
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How does one put on tefillin with a prosthetic?

Assuming that prosthetic limbs are not considered part of one's body: How would someone put on Tefillin if r"l his non-dominant arm was replaced by a prosthetic from the shoulder? Would the ...
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1answer
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Mishloach Manot - why the word Manot is used specifically

What is so special about this word "Manot / Manah" that it is used for the Mitzvah of sending food to one's fellow? What are the Halachic applications that "Manot" is used and not, say, food (besides ...
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Stainless steel valid knife that wasn't used for 3 days

The Simlah Chadasha (Siman 18) writes that if a knife with a Chazaka was held unused for three days - and one then slaughtered with it (without checking if it is smooth) and then lost it, that knife ...
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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 adding the “Immahot” (matriarchs) to the Amidah permitted?

Many non-traditional congregations have modified the Avot prayer opening the Amidah, to add the Immahot. For example: (Form Shabbat Siddur of the First Reform Minyan in UC Berkeley 2003) What is the ...
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What is the Halacha on collateral damage in a time of war?

Hypothetically, if the IDF was a “halachically run” military force; what would be the Halacha against killing innocents? For example, there is a famous case of the ל"ה troops during the Israeli war ...
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Has anyone learned the Sheiltot of R. Achai Gaon with the Netziv's commentary?

Would you recommend it? I really enjoy learning anything with the Netziv and I like the idea of halachic midrashim on the parsha with some ethical messages. It seems like it's a great way to learn ...
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How much is one obligated to hold a will?

This is a completely uncharted area for me. For example, a father requests his sons to continue a business, or to stay in the same town, or not to leave the country, or to wear white socks, or to ...
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57 views

Standing during Torah reading in front of your Rabbi

Are you allowed to stand during Torah reading in front of your Rabbi who is sitting? (I think I heard that this might be a problem because it implies you are better than your Rabbi, or don't fully ...
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57 views

What is the maximum age for Metzitza?

Part of the bris ceremony is metzitza. I was told that after a certain age (of the boy) it is not done (meaning an adult who gets a bris does not get metzitza). Is this true? What is the age? Source ...
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Supporting schach on a sukkah

I understand that it is preferable to support schach with materials that would themselves constitute schach. I cannot find any information on whether it is permissible to use metal screws/nails to, ...
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mixing Milki on the sabbath

Sh'miras Shabas K'hilchasah (5739 edition), 8:1: There's no prohibition of kneading [on the sabbath]… unless these three conditions are fulfilled: that he combine two distinct things ...
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“A time to act for Hashem” and doing whatever you want

Who under what circumstances has the right to declare that a violation of halacha is in order because "it is a time to act for Hashem"? I have by now a few times seen this posuk from Tehillim used as ...
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Animal in excruciating pain on Shabbos: What lenient opinions exist?

Are there any respected poskim who would permit killing (with a shinui) a bug or other small creature who is clearly suffering terribly on Shabbos? If not Shabbos, what about Yom Tov? If not killing,...
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Wild rice and Pesach

Wild rice (AKA as crazy oats) contrary to its names is not in fact rice or oats. It is in fact a member of the same tribe as rice but is a different genus. According to Wikipedia they're nut directly ...
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Musical Performances and Shows on Shabbat

There is a musical performance with free admission on Shabbat with, presumably, no Jewish performers. Can one enjoy it without violating Shabbat prohibitions? Or will this be benefiting from someone ...
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Halachot of Naming (kids)

Has naming children ever formed systematized Halachot? Or is it left as a sort of a prophecy to the parents?
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Shemiras einayim & non-essential trips

What heterim are there for people to go on non-essential trips that will inevitably result in breaches of shemiras einayim and machshava. I heard on a recent Headlines podcast that Reb Moshe Feinstein ...
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Are there any applications of dofen akumah outside of sukkah?

The Gemara (in several places, here's one) lists a group of three halachos related to walls that were taught to Moshe at Sinai: gud [asik/achis] - extending a partial wall up or down under certain ...
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Why does the Chazon Ish not allow supporting the schach with nailed planks?

The Chazon Ish in Hilchos Sukkah 143:2 writes: ולכן לדידן שאנו נוהגין להחמיר בדין המעמיד הסכך בדבר המקבל טומאה כדעת רמב"ן ור"ן, אין לקבוע הכלונסות במסמרים. Therefore according to us, who are ...
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Light switch on Shabbat - no bulb, unplugging an extension cord

Muktza aside - Is it permissible on Shabbat to turn off a light switch if the light bulb burned out; Is there any issue in removing the current from the circuit 10, 15, 20 ft back? The same I would ...
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Prostrating with tefillin

I have heard many times that one cannot let tefillin touch the floor. However, it's known that the original Jewish practice was to bow and prostrate on the floor. How was one able to do this without ...
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Is the pipe which drains water out of the air-conditioner unit a Bossis L'davar Assur, because the water in it is Nolad B'shabbos?

Is the plastic pipe which drains the condensation water out of the air-conditioner unit a "Bossis L'davar Assur, because the water inside it is Nolad B'shabbos? If the whole pipe is either vertically ...
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Talis gift from child

If a child buys and gives a Talis as a present with money he earned, is the adult that wears it doing a Mitzvah D'oraisa each time ? A Talis requires Tzitsis only if it is yours, but not if it ...
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If one buys clothing or jewelry for his wife for simchas Yom-Tov, and she wears them on Shabbos before YT, and again on YT, is he מקיים the mitzvah?

If someone buys new clothing or jewelry for his wife for Yom-Tov, in order to observe his חיוב (obligation) of Simchas Yom-Tov, and Shabbos was the day before Yom-Tov, (as the upcoming Shavuos), and ...
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A dying man designates a disciple to care for his mother — does that carry any legal weight in Judaism?

(I originally asked this question on Christianity.SE, and was redirected here for a better understanding of the Jewish laws and culture.) I’m hoping someone can help me concerning ancient Jewish laws ...
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Kitnyot and hatarat nedarim

Can a Ashkenazi do hatarat nedarim on kitnyot? According to Halachipedia the Rosh holds that one can do hatarat nedarim (annuling of a Neder) on a meritorious personal minhag. The pri chadash says ...