Questions tagged [halacha]

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). // 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.

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How do we determine "population statistics" for population-dependent 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 ...
Alex's user avatar
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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 ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
322 views

Forbidden to immerse, as opposed to doesn't work?

I was learning Pesachim, and on 17b I saw Tosafos say the following: דבתוך הכלי ודאי אסור לטבול מדאורייתא It is definitely biblically forbidden to immerse something within a vessel (as opposed ...
robev's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
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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. ...
Rafael's user avatar
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10 votes
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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 to ...
Adám's user avatar
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10 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
9 votes
0 answers
123 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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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9 votes
0 answers
202 views

Liability for bed bugs

If one tenant in an apartment brings in bed-bugs (and that can be proven), and they spread throughout the building, and the other tenants have to vacate their apartments to be fumigated, or whatever ...
Y     e     z's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
872 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) ...
Baal Shemot Tovot's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
240 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 ...
Oliver's user avatar
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9 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
301 views

Tumat met on the London Underground

Apparently part of London's subway network causes problems for kohanim because it is underneath a museum that includes human remains: Due to the Science Museum and the Underground entrance sharing ...
Zarka's user avatar
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8 votes
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Those who observe "Ben Zachar" at night and "Shalom Zachar" by day

There's a pretty common custom to observe what's commonly called a "Shalom Zachar" on the Friday night after a baby boy is born. People go to where the baby's father is, eat snacks, sing and share ...
robev's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
Double AA's user avatar
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Is general anesthesia or coma considered sleep?

Is general anesthesia or coma considered Halachicly as sleep and in what aspects (like should one say Hamapil before or Birkas Hatorah after or wash hands etc)?
Al Berko's user avatar
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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? ...
Shoel U'Meishiv's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
RibbisRabbiAndMore's user avatar
8 votes
0 answers
210 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 ...
Dave S's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
386 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 ...
DanF's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
384 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 ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
296 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 ...
BSteinhurst's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
704 views

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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
108 views

Vasectomy reversal

A Jew had a vasectomy before he was aware of the severity of the sin. Is he obligated to undergo a reversal?
sinfulyid's user avatar
7 votes
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225 views

The Alter Rebbe's view of reviewing Torah - is it followed in practice?

Related: comment thread in What should a Jew learn regularly? In the end of the Shulchan Aruch Harav Yoreh Deah, chelek ה, the Alter Rebbe has a wonderful exposition on the laws of Talmud Torah. In ...
MichoelR's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
134 views

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 ...
Premundane's user avatar
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7 votes
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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 ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
128 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 ...
Heshy's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
260 views

Sources that allow "important women" to be taught/learn Torah?

The Shulchan Aruch (YD 246) codifies the law that women should not be taught the Oral Law. It seems it is also not the best thing to teach even the Written Law, but that if you do, it's not the same ...
WhoKnows's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
130 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 ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
306 views

How to determine a trespasser's intent from a Halachic Perspective?

How do we determine a trespasser's intent from a Halachic Perspective? The Rambam writes: If it is clear to the house-owner that the thief who breaks in will not kill him and instead is only ...
ninamag's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
248 views

Charlie Gard's parents from a Halachic Perspective

As this question is somewhat extensive, I have divided the post into headers in order to make it easier to read and follow. Background Charlie Gard is a British baby who has a rare genetic disorder ...
DonielF's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
347 views

May I daven wearing headphones?

There are many paths to concentration. I have known students who doodle because it helps them focus on a lecture more effectively. Others like to listen to music while they study either to help them ...
rosends's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
182 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,...
user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
143 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 ...
msh210's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
150 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 ...
mike's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
243 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-...
Noach MiFrankfurt's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
350 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 ...
MTL's user avatar
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7 votes
0 answers
239 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 ...
Noach MiFrankfurt's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
454 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 ...
Premundane's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
268 views

Obligation to leave through a different gate

The prophet Ezekiel (46:9) tells us of an obligation when visiting the Temple. וּבְב֨וֹא עַם־הָאָ֜רֶץ לִפְנֵ֣י יְהוָה֮ בַּמּֽוֹעֲדִים֒ הַבָּ֡א דֶּרֶךְ־שַׁ֨עַר צָפ֜וֹן לְהִֽשְׁתַּחֲוֺ֗ת יֵצֵא֙ דֶּרֶךְ־...
robev's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
306 views

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 ...
Orion's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
818 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 ...
NJM's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
299 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 ...
Andrew's user avatar
  • 303
7 votes
1 answer
423 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 ...
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
239 views

Pronunciation of YHVH in the Pesel Micha story

The Minchas Shai on Shoftim 17:3 quotes the Gemara (Shevuos 35a) and Maseches Sofrim (4:6) regarding if the names יהוה and אלהים in the story of Micha's idol are holy or not. The Tanna Kama says that ...
Heshy's user avatar
  • 9,176
7 votes
1 answer
386 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 ...
MTL's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
487 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?
Scimonster's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
482 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 ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
294 views

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 ...
Adam Mosheh's user avatar
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