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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 ...

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Halachot that are dependent on population statistics

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 ...
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544 views

How obligated is one to say Kaddish for a deceased relative?

People often talk about an obligation -- Chiyuv -- to recite Kaddish at every opportunity for some time after the death of a relative. (Which relatives are obligated and for how long does not seem ...
9
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422 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' (...
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84 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 ...
8
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215 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 ...
7
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0answers
79 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 ...
7
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54 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'...
7
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106 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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213 views

The status of Christian bibles nowadays

In SA 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 מצילים אותם ...
7
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80 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 ...
7
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100 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 ...
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121 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 ...
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195 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-...
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171 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
175 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 ...
6
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0answers
63 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 ...
6
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0answers
42 views

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? ...
6
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102 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
26 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 ...
6
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0answers
75 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 ...
6
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0answers
93 views

On Shabbos, may someone turn off a switch of an electric-eye controlled light while the light is off?

If a room or an area has an electric eye which causes a light to turn on when someone passes by, and the light is off, may someone turn off the light-switch on Shabbos so that people can walk by ...
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73 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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0answers
74 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
104 views

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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54 views

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 ...
6
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116 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,...
6
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0answers
46 views

What is involved in “shnayim mikro v'echod targum” for someone travelling from outside the land to Israel when the sedrahs are different?

What are the principles involved in “shnayim mikro v'echod targum” for someone travelling from outside the land to Israel when the sedrahs read in those places are different. (I have already asked my ...
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115 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
103 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
129 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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59 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 ...
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76 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
139 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
169 views

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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0answers
416 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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50 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
96 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
157 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?
6
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0answers
107 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 ...
6
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0answers
355 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 ...
6
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0answers
97 views

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 ...
6
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0answers
528 views

Children of Converts and Specific halachos

The Pri Megadim in OC Siman 156 Ashel Avraham Sif-Katan 2 writes that a child that was conceived in kedusha (sanctity) and born in kedusha to a mother and father that had both converted (i.e. these 2 ...
6
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0answers
200 views

Late sunset times and Jewish observance

This question is distinct from other questions which ask how and when to begin Shabbat, etc. when there is no sunset. I am asking about places in which sunset occurs very late during certain times of ...
6
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0answers
299 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 ...
5
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0answers
70 views

Looking for a book on the historic development of halakhah

Would anyone be able to recommend a good intermediate level book-length treatment of the development of halakhah from the second temple period down to the present day, ideally in English? I am ...
5
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0answers
52 views

Use of “חלק” measure of time in Halachah

"חלק", being a 1/1080 part of an hour, is used in calculating the New Moon. Rambam in הלכות קידוש החודש mentions that the original tradition of calculating the New Moon was forgotten and the system ...
5
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0answers
61 views

Can a ventriloquist chant the Torah?

A ventriloquist essentially recreates sounds using a different part of the speech system. For example, mouthing the sound ‘B’ would give away the act, so it must be recreated in a different part of ...
5
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0answers
104 views

Putting breadcrumbs in the toilet

Mishnah Berurah writes in 180:10 that while throwing crumbs onto the ground where they will be stepped on is kasha l'aninus, God forbid, this does not apply when the crumbs are thrown into water. ...
5
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0answers
79 views

Practicing melikah on a bird

Is there any prohibition to perform the method of melikah on a bird to practice or to learn how it was done in the mikdash? Is it bal tashchis, or is it considered doing something productive such as ...
5
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0answers
138 views

How does a non jew inherit his father?

The gemarra in Kiddushin 17b says that a non Jew inherits his father. My question is according to the Achronim1 who say the concept of "rov" doesn't apply to non Jews, how can a non Jew know who their ...