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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On which precise halachic source did Rambam claim that the pilegesh is forbidden to all Jewish men except the kings of Israel?

I’m an Italian noahide. This question covers my exclusively intellectual curiosity, being an halachic case that does not concern the Gentiles but only the Jews. We read in Mishneh Torah -Melachim ...
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A widow using her deceased husbands semen to conceive?

If a husband has some of his semen frozen/saved and then dies, what halachic and hashkafic issues have to be addressed when deciding if his widow is allowed to/can/should use that semen to become ...
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Is general anesthesia or coma considered sleep?

Based on this article "Sleep vs Coma vs Anesthesia", Is general anesthesia or coma considered Halachicly as sleep and in what aspects (like should one say Hamapil before or Birkas Hatorah after or ...
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Is there a problem with buying a Christian a Christmas gift?

To make the question easier, suppose that the recipient of the Christmas gift is a devout Christian who actually celebrates for religious reasons. Potentially there are several issues with buying a ...
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Are there any limitations on changing a personal name in Halachah?

Following "naming-a-child-an-embarrassing-name", I stated, based on my personal understanding, that there are no Halachic limitations on how a person calls himself and how he can change his names ...
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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 ...
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Reading Eicha without understanding, Vs. reading Megilas Esther without understanding it

See THIS ARTICLE Rav Moshe Shternbuch: Do Women Need To Hear Eicha? Reading Eicha is a major part of the aveilus of Tisha B'Av. Rav Moshe Shternbuch says (2:250) that since women are Chayav ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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Why is an infant firstborn child not simply exempt from the firstborns' fast?

The Fast of the First Born was instituted for the day before the first Passover Seder. I have an older brother, so I'm not obligated to fast then. But my first child was a son, and he is obligated to ...
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Saying Havineinu during the rainy season

The Mishnah Berakhot 4:3 introduces the abridged Amida, known as Havineinu (due to its' opening word). The Gemara Berakhot 29a provides the text of this abridged Amida, in the name of Shmuel. Within ...
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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 ...
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is there any redemption for a gentile who breaks any of the 7 Noahide laws

If a gentile breaks any of the 7 laws of Noah, are they doomed? Is there any way for them to redeem themselves, or is their fate sealed? Does it depend on which laws they break and how often they ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Does one say this prayer for medical procedures on a procedure that gives guidance rather than help?

Shulchan Aruch (OC 230:4, as explained by Magen Avraham ibid. :6) paskens that when one undergoes a medical procedure he should say the following prayer: יהי רצון מלפניך ה׳ אלקי שיהא עסק זה לי ...
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Said al hamichya instead of birkas hamazon. What do I do?

If one had 'pas habah bekisnin' thinking that he needs to make a mezonos followed by al hamichya, and after doing so discovers that he should have washed, said hamotzi and then birkas hamazon, what ...
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When during IVF are the parents' thoughts determining the level of the soul of their baby

I have read that the thoughts of a couple during marital relations does determine and effect the level of the soul they draw down for their baby. What about a couple using IVF to conceive? When ...
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Does Halakhah permit one to daven a different Nussach in a bind?

Suppose one's minhag is to daven Nussach A; but, one finds oneself in a synagogue, which only has siddurim of Nussach B, and one has not committed all of Nussach A to memory. He could daven Nussach A ...
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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 ...
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A priori decision to ask multiple rabbis

There is a known law that if one has a ruling from a rabbi, you should not go to a second rabbi for a ruling except under specific circumstances such as where you have real doubts as to the ...
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Blessing on Star Anise

Star anise is technically the fruit of the evergreen tree Illicium verum. However, this fruit is not used as an edible fruit, only as a spice. What blessing do the authorities determine is the right ...
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Excluding water from blessing after food

One common scenario is for someone to make a berakha on water at some point in the morning and to drink the water throughout the day. Suppose during the day, the person decides to have a snack whose ...
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Teaching Machshava and Hashkafa to Non-Jews

I know there is a prohibition against teaching Oral Torah to Non-Jews, but what about Machshava and Hashkafa? Sometime Non-Jews ask questions and the answer relates to either Hashkafa/Machshava. Is it ...
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If a local store holds a “Christmas Sale” in the days leading up to Dec. 25th, may I shop there?

My question In mid-December, I received the weekly advertising flyer of a local store chain. At the top, the flyer said "Christmas Sale". If a sale is advertised like this, with the name of a non-...
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Should we ask a non-Jew to wear a kippa for a burial?

Should we ask a non-Jew to wear a kippa for a burial? He likely doesn't have an obligation to do so. We often ask them in a synagogue (and this answer discusses the reasons) but what about a cemetery?
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Can a woman uncover her hair for the sake of employment?

I am aware of many poseqim who hold that in order to get and hold a job, it is permissible for men to remove their kippoth during the interview and their workday. Can a woman who badly needs ...
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Arvei Nahal - Acceptable Species

Vayikra 23:40 provides the commandment to take up the 4 species on Sukkot: וּלְקַחְתֶּם לָכֶם בַּיּוֹם הָרִאשׁוֹן פְּרִי עֵץ הָדָר כַּפֹּת תְּמָרִים וַעֲנַף עֵץ עָבֹת וְעַרְבֵי נָחַל וּשְׂמַחְתֶּם ...
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Renting digital services to Jews who are known to work on Shabbes

Given the following scenario: A Jew is the sole owner of a digital business which rents its services (a digital platform that does not require human intervention from part of the owner) for a monthly ...
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Maror- common lettuce

Rav Dovid Feinstein in Kol Dodi perek 15:18 writes that the common custom is to use romaine lettuce for maror.However, he mentions that he heard that a renowned Gaon of recent times who permitted ...
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Why are we so concerned about mistaking meat on Pesach?

The Shulchan Aruch in siman 469 and 476 lays out the concerns we have that someone might mistake you main course for a real Korban Pesach. This includes not saying 'this meat is for Peasach' and not ...
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How are Birchos Krias Shema blessings on Krias Shema?

The Ramban (Brachos 11b) writes that Birkas Kriyas Shema are blessings over the Mitzva of saying Shema. What's in the text of Birkas Kriyas Shema that has to do with Shema? It talks about angels, ...
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How to answer the simple son?

In the debate over how to respond to a question about leaning during a seder that took up a noticeable amount of time in chat a question was danced around. The debate was mostly centered around how to ...
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Can you carry an object from the step outside your house inside your house?

According to the laws of carrying on shabbos one may not carry from one domain to another aside from a makom petur ("exempt area"). A makom petur is less that 4X4 handbreadths and more than three ...
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Different Washing for Eating Bread and Going to the Bathroom

Why is there a different style of hand washing for after going to the bathroom (alternating between hands) and before eating bread (consecutively on each hand)?
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Lifnei Iver for a chinuch-age child

Is there a prohibition of lifnei iver (causing or being an accessory to someone else's sinning) for a child who has reached the age of chinuch (education to mitzvos, the point at which he/she should ...
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Does Torah reading need to be repeated if you said it with an “assumed” minyan?

I'm not good with the title for this scenario: Suppose that there where 10 men in the shul - 9 everyone knew, and the 10th no one knew. He wore a yarmulka, so everyone assumed that he was Jewish. ...
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Does a seller acquire each coin one at a time, or all at once?

Let's say i owe someone 5 coins. I hand them to him one at a time. Does he acquire each one as i hand it to him, or does he get all of them after all 5 are in his hand? When exactly does ownership get ...
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Is there an obligation to reattach a severed body part?

If a part of a person's body is severed for whatever reason, is there an obligation on the person who lost it to reattach it?
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Two brachos one mikvah

If I made a bracha and immersed two vessels, and then someone came over and asked me to immerse their vessel as well, since I did not have their vessel in mind, do I say a new bracha?
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Issues of lifnei iver with an inaccurate clock

Is there any problem with lifnei iver (giving bad information) in having an inaccurate clock that someone else will look at? I'll examine a few cases here. The clock is a few minutes off. I don't ...
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Containers and wine

Is there any outer container (a frame or box, perhaps) into which an open bottle of non-mevushal wine can be placed that will shield the bottle in such a way that, if a non-Jew (or heretic) casually ...
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Do i have a responsibility to report users breaking the rules?

If I know that a certain user of a website is breaking the rules, can I just turn a blind eye, or must I report it? Also, Does it matter what kind of rule it is? (E.g. No swearing vs. age requirement)...
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Beracha achrona on yogurt?

Do you make a boreh nefashot on yogurt according to sepharadim? Is it treated like a liquid, like ice cream, or as a solid? This is in relations to the time needed to eat it. If it's liquid, you ...
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Resolving a dispute where the customer denies that the product is theirs

If someone left something at the dry-cleaners', for example, and later returned to pick it up, but it seems to not be the same item that they left, what does halacha say about resolving it? Both the ...
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What to do with discarded shemittah produce of co-workers

I currently work in an environment where colleagues (irreligious and/or not Jewish) are consuming produce that has shemittah sanctity. They often throw their left over food directly in the bin with ...
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Can an unknown Reform Jew be counted for a minyan?

Orthodox Judaism treats someone as a Jew if their mother is Jewish, or they underwent an Orthodox conversion. Reform Judaism will count someone as Jewish even if their only connection is through their ...
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Holy Objects of a Messianic

Messianic Judaism is a heretical offshoot of Judaism which maintains that Jesus was the Mashiach which may violate the prohibition of avodah zarah (see above link). Would the tefillin or tallit* used ...
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Holidays south of the equator

When Jews first started establishing communities south of the equator, they must have noticed that the holidays fell completely at the wrong times of the year. (For example, Pesach, referred to as hag ...