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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1answer
110 views

Was Albert Einstein a Heretic? [closed]

Why isn’t Albert Einstein a heretic? He said: “I believe in Spinoza’s G-d who reveals Himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a G-d who concerns Himself with fates and actions of human ...
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Is davening/learning in a prison cell allowed?

In most prison/custody cells in the UK, and likely elsewhere in the world, there is no seperation between the living/sleeping area and the toilet. Is a person allowed to daven or learn Torah in such a ...
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336 views

Is the direction of Tefila (temple) always in the direction of sunrise?

Would it be right if I say that the direction of Tefila (temple) is always in the direction of sunrise?
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Taking advantage of cultural customs: Stealing or not?

In Persian culture, there is a principle named taarof in which if something is being offered to you, you must decline it, even if you want it. The giver will ask again if you would like the object but ...
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If someone damaged/steals your property, is it better to forgive or is it better to litigate? [closed]

What mitzvah is there in either case?
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375 views

Should one rend a garment when hearing an important teaching ‘late’?

I noticed that Yoshiyahu HaMelech tore his clothes when hearing Torah ‘late’ (2 Melachim 22:11). Presumably, because he realized he had been ignorant of what the Torah said and he now realized he had ...
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1answer
139 views

The daughter of a Bas Levi and a Gentile?

If a Bas Levi has a son with a gentile, the son does not need a pidyon haben. In the case of a daughter born between a Bas Levi and a gentile, is the daughter of that union a Bas Levi or an Yisrael? ...
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1answer
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IDF ceremony on the Temple Mount

Last year someone sent me this video. It shows an IDF "misdar", a kind of military formation/inspection/ceremony (not really sure how to translate it) on the Temple Mount after it was freed ...
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2answers
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Mourning for a Noahide Father

This question is different than others I've read regarding mourning a Non-Jewish parent. I'm specifically interested in the case of a Noahide father and a Jewish mother who have divorced. What I ...
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1answer
141 views

If I make a bracha on food and it falls out of my hand, do I need a new bracha on the rest of the food?

Let's say I am planning on eating some nuts. I hold one in my hand and make the bracha. Then, before I can eat it, it falls out of my hand and gets ruined. If I right away take another nut from the ...
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How much should a person eat on Chol Hamoed, Shabbos and Yom Tov?

The Tanya said food eaten on Shabbos is automatically elevated. I hear from a chossid that people should not do hiskafia on shabbos. However, the local Rosh Yeshiva said that eating more is not a ...
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Someone who doesn't sell chametz gamur, yet accidentally put it with things to be sold

The following is purely hypothetical (;-)). Someone has the custom to not sell chametz gamur before Pesach, ie. real chametz items like cakes, cookies, bread, etc. They only sell things that might ...
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1answer
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Sources used by Maimonides in Mishneh Torah-Avodat Kochavim 1:1

In Mishneh Torah-Avodat Kochavim 1:1 Rambam states: "During the times of Enosh, mankind made a great mistake, and the wise men of that generation gave thoughtless counsel. Enosh himself was one ...
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Gentile Writing Devar Torah [closed]

I am a gentile and I wish to write a commentary on Bereshis 1 that digs somewhat deeply into the Torah. May I do this?
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Non Kohen Blessing a Kohen

Is it permissible for a non Kohen such as an Israelite or a Levi to give any type of blessing to a Kohen?
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How does Rav Zevin see evidence of post-Churban editing in Vetechazena?

In HaMoadim BeHalachah, page 371, Rav Shlomo Zevin endorses the idea raised by Rav Yitzchak Isaac HaLevy that the tefillot were established before the destruction of the Second Temple. However, he ...
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The prohibition of "Bekhukoteyem" (in their likeness) and the Jewish architecture

"Rabbi Yehuda says: One who did not see the great synagogue [deyofloston] of Alexandria of Egypt never saw the glory of Israel: They said that its structure was like a large basilica, with a ...
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Is there a scriptural prohibition of establishing more than one Temple?

I'm aware of the fact that traditionally, there was one Mishkan and, derivatively, one Temple. I completely understand the logic of it - one nation, one God, one Temple. On the other hand, there are ...
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Is a gnome avodah zara?

Are orthodox Jews allowed to have a garden gnomes in their yards? On the one hand, gnomes are fully 3d, but they don't represent any cogent idolatrous practices.
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280 views

Does Judaism say if you are fat you should have a diet?

Does Judaism say if you are fat you should have a diet? Moderator's Note: As with all content on Mi Yodeya, if this question is practically relevant to you, please don't rely directly on any ...
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When is leniency allowed in treating sick people on Shabbat or Yom Tov?

Fourteen Israeli Sephardic rabbis have ruled that video-seders are acceptable during a pandemic. They based their ruling on the fact that halacha allows treating sick people on Shabbat even if their ...
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Justifications for why God cares about small Halakhic minutiae [duplicate]

How do we explain why God cares about how we perform small, seemingly insignificant details (e.g. alternating hands when washing, right shoe before left) of life? Do any Rishonim or Acharonim, ...
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Items not labeled Kosher for Passover [duplicate]

What halachic concern(s) are there with items which are 100% non chametz and do not contain chametz (e.g. olive oil - or for that matter avocado, cottonseed and whatever other types of oils, pure ...
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Responding to Christians [closed]

As I am approaching the completion of gerus, HaShem has brought me a new wave of challengers. Old friends who were drawn to Christianity have began contacting me. A conversation was initiated about a ...
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If one does a Bedikah of a school building on the night of the 14th does one say a Bracha? [duplicate]

If one does a Bedikah of a school building on the night of the 14th does one say a Bracha?
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Could Rat-X be conceivably chametz?

Actual rat poison is not suitable as pet food and presumably would have no concern as chametz, even to warrant sale by those who sell products that have a slight risk of chametz content (see here; see ...
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When Pesach falls on Motzei Shabbos, should women make Havdallah?

Although there are numerous customs, some have the custom that all present at the Seder - including women - recite Kiddush together. On a year such as this, where pesach falls on Motzei Shabbos, what ...
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Why do we pray to be saved from Ayin Hara if we don't believe in it?

The Gemara says in Pesachim 110b כְּלָלָא דְמִילְּתָא כׇּל דְּקָפֵיד קָפְדִי בַּהֲדֵיהּ וּדְלָא קָפֵיד לָא קָפְדִי בַּהֲדֵיהּ וּמִיהוּ לְמֵיחַשׁ מִיבְּעֵי. The general rule is that anyone who is ...
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1answer
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Non-medical N95 / KN95 / FFP2 masks, beards, shaving, Chol Ha'moed, and the Omer

Background information There's no longer a shortage of non-medical N95 / FFP2 masks. Anyone who wants enhanced protection against COVID can now get some. Despite some rumors to the contrary, these ...
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Are we required to defend the omniscience of Hashem? [closed]

Commenting on Bereishit 6:6, Rashi provides examples for defending the Omniscience of HaShem by stating: "The following extract from the Midrash Rabbah I am writing in order that you may know how ...
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Is there a Jewish way of war?

Christian scholars have been writing about war for centuries. The "just war theory" is perhaps the greatest contribution that Christians have made to the moral study of war. This got me ...
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Can you eat foods during Passover, if you already opened and ate from the package before Passover?

Let's say that a person opens a jar of pickles that is kosher for Passover, and eats from it during the week before Passover starts. Can the jar still be used during Passover?
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National censuses in the Diaspora

Shalom. It is census time in my country (the U.K.). I have been wondering how Jews have historically dealt with these requests on the part of foreign governments. Obviously the members of one’s ...
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1answer
243 views

Non pesach matzoh on erev pesach

I have heard that matzoh produced specifically with the intention that it will not be used on pesach is not included in the prohibition of eating matzoh on erev pesach. This seems to be based upon the ...
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1answer
62 views

Does food absorb a chametz ta'am if there is no heat (or equivalent) involved?

This is a case where I am fairly certain that I know the practical halacha, but don't understand the issues underlying the practice. Let's say you chop up some apples and nuts before Pesach on a ...
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2answers
126 views

The history of Hilchos Lashon Hora

I am having a hard time finding sources for Hilchos Lashon Hora from the Rishonim and Achronim (or further back). Does anyone know of good sources for Hilchos Lashon Hora from before the Chofetz Chaim?...
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What is halachic rationale for separate Passover dishes?

Why separate dishes for Passover? I understand milk and meat dishes. I understand how hot and sharp can transmit treifness, how "noten ta'am l'fgam" works (I think). It all makes sense. But ...
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135 views

Is the Shulchan Aruch not consistent with the idea taught today that you can have Secular Jews / Halachically Jewish non-believing Jews?

Is the Shulchan Aruch not consistent with the idea taught today that you can have Secular Jews / Halachically Jewish non-believing Jews? For example https://www.sefaria.org/Shulchan_Arukh%2C_Yoreh_De'...
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Is Avodah Zarah still the great danger that it once was? [duplicate]

I have no direct sources, but I seem to recall that various Chassidic rabbis, maybe others too, have taught that idolatry no longer has any real, or effective power. I think this is limited to Jews, ...
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132 views

Continuing a meal once chametz is prohibited

One starts a bread meal on the morning of erev pesach. One finishes eating all of the bread (and removes all crumbs etc.) before the end of the day's fourth hour, but wants to continue the meal by ...
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2answers
93 views

Is it OK to save a life if you may have to kill the survivor?

What would the Torah say about this scenario? A CEO of a hospital has only 1 machine. This machine can save lives if you put someone in it. However, for some patients, this will not make them live, ...
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1answer
205 views

Halachic obligation to honor narcissistic mother and or father

What are the halachic obligations are to honor a mother or father that are a narcissist? An adult child may be trying to separate from emotional abuse and codependent relationship but this can often ...
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140 views

Can I edit my photo on a social media post to look better?

Could I edit my photo on a social media post to look better by applying filters to it, or would this be Gneivat Da'at?
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3answers
147 views

Should Jews have ayin tova toward gentiles

My Rav reminds me that Ayin Tova is a rabbinic commandment but should it be applied toward assessing the character of non-Jews? This Halachic article by Rav Zimmerman seem to say that it depends on ...
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3answers
134 views

How to understand the requirement for Supreme Judge to be tall and handsome?

Just as the members of a court of law must be cleared with respect to uprightness, so must they be clear of any physical defect. Every effort should be exerted in an intensive search for sufficiently ...
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At what age is a judge too old for the Sanhedrin?

A man who is advanced in years ... must not be appointed member of any Sanhedrin, since he is required to be compassionate. Hil. Sanhedrin 2.2 This is based on several Mishnaic (Horayot 1.4) and ...
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How much wisdom is the priesthood worth for the judges of the Sanhedrin?

It is a mitzvah to have priests and Levites included in the Great Sanhedrin... And if none can be found, it is permissible to have a court of exclusively Israelite judges. Rambam's Hil. Sanhedrin 2.2 ...
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204 views

Kashrut Status of Certain Oral Tobacco Products During Pesach

NOTE: I plan to pose this question to a qualified Rav. But first I am trying to think through the relevant issues to get a sense of how one might pasken this. My question is regarding whether snus ...
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1answer
170 views

Does Yom Kippur atone for the transgression of (not) honoring parents?

Following my previous question division-between-interpersonal-and-god-related-mitzvot (please read the background): Does Yom Kippur alone atone for the transgression of (not) honoring one's parents as ...
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Definition and origin of the division between interpersonal and God-related Mitzvot

"...for transgressions between a person and God, Yom Kippur atones; however, for transgressions between a person and another, Yom Kippur does not atone until he appeases the other person." ...

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