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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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6
votes
1answer
114 views

Do I need to own the enclosure of my 'Eiruv?

If I have fencing around my yard, but it was all erected by my neighbors around me, can I use that fencing as the enclosure for an 'Eiruv? Of course, CYLOR for practical cases. I'm asking for the ...
5
votes
3answers
238 views

The Tur's word counts for Shemoneh Esreh

I have often seen the Tur cited as giving exact word counts for each blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh. The arguments I have seen for being careful to adhere to the word counts include that this would ...
5
votes
1answer
980 views

Talit Gadol vs Talit katan

What is the halachik difference between a talit gadol and a talit katan? If the talit gadol is somehow better, why don't we only wear that? If they are equal, why do we need a talit gadol at all?
4
votes
3answers
241 views

Lishem Yichud on Mitzvos

Should Leshem Yichud be said before Mitzvos or not?
5
votes
2answers
319 views

Playing Draidel with your wife when she is a Nidah

May one play Draidel with his wife when she is a Nidah? (sources please)
6
votes
2answers
645 views

Ceremony to take a woman as a concubine (pilegesh)?

This question sparked a lively discussion and debate on this rather sensitive issue. One piece of the original question was: What ceremony / ritual must be performed (if any) to formally ...
9
votes
1answer
162 views

Can you rely on the cashier?

If a cashier or other low level employee makes a financial decision in your favor ("keep the change" or "I'll let you use that coupon even if it expired" etc.), without checking with a manager/owner, ...
3
votes
1answer
268 views

Learning near a dead body

May a person learn torah near a dead body? Does it matter if the corpse is Jewish or not? Please cite sources.
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Midlife Name Crisis

If someone lives their entire life under the assumption that their name is X, and suddenly finds out that their name is Y, are there serious halachic ramifications that can result? More specifically, ...
11
votes
2answers
636 views

Are Jews permitted to martyr themselves?

Are Jews permitted to martyr themselves? For example, if it is a question of converting or being killed, is the Jew permitted to sacrifice himself rather than convert? Separately: which would be ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Sh'hecheyanu vs. M'chayeh haMeisim

This is a follow up to the question here The Shulchan Aruch 225:1 brings the halachah what when one sees a "friend" whom one hasn't seen in the last 30 days then the blessing "shehecheyanu" is made, ...
5
votes
1answer
326 views

When is a mechitza required at a meal?

According to the opinions which require Mechitzos by weddings. Why isn't there a requirement to have Mechitzos by any other Seudas Mitzvah? For example, why isn't there a requirement that one have a ...
5
votes
1answer
205 views

What are the parameters of kavod ha'brios?

When I was younger I was told that in extenuating circumstances one can rip toilet paper on shabbos (preferably not on the perforations) due to kavod ha'brios. This concept is applied in other places ...
14
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2answers
1k views

Morning After Pill in Halacha

Is the morning-after pill considered an abortion in Halachic terms or does it have another status, and, if the latter, may it be used?
11
votes
2answers
6k views

What to do with old ציצית

What do you do with old ציצית that do not fit anymore? Can you cut off the corners and throw the rest out respectfully?
9
votes
1answer
203 views

How are we allowed to take out two sifrei Torah?

The Mishna in Yoma says that when the Kohen Gadol used to read from the Sefer Torah on Yom Kippur, he had to read two portions: one from Acharei Mos and the other from Emor. It says that he used to ...
10
votes
3answers
335 views

Beracha upon seeing a friend on a webcam

The Shulchan Aruch (OC 225:1) rules: שולחן ערוך אורח חיים הלכות ברכת הפירות סימן רכה הרואה את חבירו לאחר שלשים יום, אומר: שהחיינו, ואחר י"ב חדש מברך: מחיה מתים, והוא שחביב עליו הרבה ושמח ...
10
votes
1answer
205 views

7 Seas or The Great Ocean?

Seeing the ocean warrants the recital of a blessing. (Assume for this question like the opinions that the proper bracha is שעשה את הים הגדול as opposed to עושה מעשה בראשית.) It is only recited if one ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Hair dyeing for women

What are the halachic issues involved in hair dyeing for women? Most importantly, does hair dye constitute a chatzitza for mikvah? Also: are there any communities that forbid hair dyeing altogether? ...
5
votes
1answer
490 views

Circumcision when danger to life, born Jews and potential gerim

In this post, Skylar refers to teshuvos from the Seride Esh and R. AY Kook which rule that a male non-Jew may not convert if he is unable to undergo milah. Does pikuach nefesh completely push off the ...
15
votes
2answers
730 views

Does everyone have to drink the Kiddush wine?

When making Kiddush, does everyone who is yotzei have to drink the wine or grape juice, or is merely hearing it enough? In my experience, it appears that Friday nights everyone is careful to drink, ...
24
votes
1answer
367 views

What do you do if you made a Tzedaka pledge and now the organization folded?

Recently a friend of mine asked me the following question. He pledged $500- to a Yeshiva, yet before he paid the pledge the Yeshiva closed. Does he still have to pay his pledge to another Tzedaka or ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Is there any problem with using yomtov candles to cook food (on yomtov)?

Suppose you had a lot of candles, and a small pan of chocolate you wanted to melt, any problem using the yomtov candles for this? Cooking is permitted, but is the use of yomtov candles restricted in ...
7
votes
1answer
308 views

How should an employer respond to a government policy requiring abortion coverage?

There is a recent controversy in the United States regarding whether the Federal government can compel employers, including religious employers, to pay for contraception. Although this may not be ...
5
votes
2answers
537 views

Mezuzah on a shared door

Should one put a mezuzah on a doorway that is shared with a non-Jewish (or a Jewish-but-non-mezuzah-putting) neighbor? If yes, should/must one ask their permission first? Should/must one tell them ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Maaser on Selling Previously Purchased Items

Many times people buy things and then later resell them. Assuming no profit was made in this sale, is there an obligation to give Maaser on the newly acquired money? Practical examples: eBay, college ...
11
votes
2answers
825 views

Halachot of Lashon Naki (clean speech)

What is the halachik source, if any, for lashon naki (clean speech)? Is there a portion of Talmud that deals with the specifics? On the surface, it seems to be employed inconsistently, by which I mean ...
10
votes
1answer
305 views

Are there any restrictions about a chazzan if there are questions about his orthodoxy?

If someone comes up to daven as a chazzan, and you have questions about how kosher they are or whether they're truly shomer shabbos, are you allowed to still use him as a chazzan, or are there ...
5
votes
2answers
191 views

Mitzvos on Mount Sinai?

Was Moshe Rabbeinu obligated in mitzvos during the two periods of 40 days that he spent on Mount Sinai? Did he keep mitzvos (whether obligated to or not) during that time? I ask because the Torah ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen?

Can the child of two converts marry a Cohen? How does the situation differ if only the mother, or only the father, is a convert? (I have read that "ideally" the child of two converts should not ...
0
votes
1answer
387 views

Entering a place where Gentiles and Jews Daven together from a Siddur

Would it be permitted to pray in a place where there are services that are mixed with Jews and gentiles? Meaning, a synagogue that also invites gentiles to pray with the Jews (but they all pray from a ...
5
votes
4answers
375 views

Unsupervised meat and closed restaurants/butchers

How does Basar SheNith'alem Min Ha'Ayin (meat that has disappeared from view) apply vis a vis restaurants/delis/supermarkets/butchers that have closed for the night/weekend/holiday? I was just ...
6
votes
3answers
342 views

Orla: are the leaves of the plant included in the prohibition?

I have recently planted a grape vine. The nursery insists that it is at least 1 year old (and the size of the plant suggests no less than 2 years old). It was planted with it's roots entirely ...
11
votes
2answers
239 views

Pool and Tzitzis

Do I need to make another Bracha on putting on tzitzis after I get out of the pool?
4
votes
10answers
302 views

Snow in Halacha [closed]

Name the many references in different contexts in Halacha to snow?
6
votes
2answers
402 views

Tallit Katan and Tallit brachot

Why is that when you wake up you put on a Tallit Katan and then you go to shul and put on a Tallit Gadol? How is it that you can say two different brachot? If it is in fact, that each peice of ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

Are the ignorant/uneducated exempt from halacha?

Are the ignorant/uneducated (Jews) exempt from following halacha? Do they have a share in the world to come even if they break Jewish law or are apikores? I am led to believe that the answer is, more ...
11
votes
2answers
297 views

Non-belief in Torah's divinity - Wickedness or Ignorance?

If a Jew breaks halacha because he honestly does not believe that the Torah is G-d's law or that he is obligated it follow it, is his nonconformance with the law considered wickedness or ignorance? ...
14
votes
1answer
2k views

If a Jewish couple is married through a civil ceremony alone, do Jewish marriage laws apply to them thereafter?

If a Jewish couple is married through a civil ceremony alone, do Jewish marriage laws apply to them thereafter? Assume no ketubah; perhaps a ring, but not necessarily 2 witnesses. Could one say that ...
2
votes
2answers
300 views

Pushkah and then Auction?

Let's say there is an organization that has a Pushkah (charity box) that I regularly insert money into for Tzedakah purposes, then this same organization has a Chinese auction and I want to get a ...
2
votes
1answer
164 views

Pasul l'edus: what about ed echad?

People who participate in certain activities that are bad for society are disqualified from testifying. Also, those who've commit certain sins whose punishment is corporal, and haven't yet repented, ...
6
votes
1answer
795 views

Mamzer from non-Jew

If a Jewess married to a Jew has a child from a non-Jew is that child a mamzer? Is there agreement amongst the poskim about this?
3
votes
2answers
325 views

Is maaser required on gambling money?

Do you have to give maaser on money that was won through gambling?
16
votes
1answer
825 views

Is kneeling and bowing down in Kung Fu an idolatry (Avoda Zarah)?

I am exercising at Kung Fu's dojo and wonder whether kneeling and bowing down is an idolatry (Avodah Zarah)? The floor has soft mats. The reason explained to me is that it's done as a form of greeting ...
5
votes
3answers
319 views

Shirt with Cleaners Tag on Shabbos

Is one allowed to remove (by tearing) a cleaners' tag from his/her shirt on Shabbos?
10
votes
1answer
266 views

Interrupting in the middle of Shmona esrei

Am I allowed to interrupt in the middle of Shmona esrei in order to pick up a Siddur (or any other holy book) that has fallen to the floor? Same question, if I have to make some steps in order to pick ...
3
votes
1answer
281 views

Are there any Halachic issues with regard to wearing earmuffs outside on Shabbos?

Does wearing earmuffs outside on Shabbos (without an eruv) constitute "carrying"? Are there any other issues with it, like wearing gloves where there is a concern that one might take them off? Do ...
16
votes
3answers
1k views

Hypnosis in Halacha

Is there a proplem in the Halachic literature with hypnosis? What, if anything, is the issue involved in either hypnotising people or being the subject of such an hypnosis?
8
votes
2answers
325 views

How seriously do we take the finger-inspection in Havdala?

After saying the blessing over fire during Havdala, we do something (customs vary) involving looking at our fingers by the light of the Havdala candle. I'm wondering how seriously we take this part of ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

Muktzeh found in drawer

If I am looking for something in a drawer on Shabbat and then find something muktzeh in that drawer, can I close the drawer?