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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Should I go to synagogue when I can't focus?

If I am too ill/stressed to be able to concentrate on worshipping G-d, should I still go to synagogue? Is there an official ruling on this? I'm worried that I might be disrespecting G-d by going.
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What's meruach hak'ri and why do it?

In general, one is required to take t'rumos and maasros from grain only once the pile of grain is been smoothed (מירוח הכרי, meruach hak'ri). (I think other halachos also kick in then.) What exactly ...
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Voting on “Who's good for the Jews?”

In a civil election, does Judaism teach that one should vote for candidates who will be "good for the Jews" (i.e. they support laws that are more favorable to Jews as a whole than the laws that the ...
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Davar Ha'avad on Chol HaMoed — Loss coming later

It says in SA OC Siman 537 that one is allowed to do a malacha on chol hamoed if it's a "davar ha'aved". That is to say if the person doesn't do the malacha now it will come to a loss ("hefsed".) ...
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Should I rend k'riyah if I witness the death of a non-relative? If so, what's the procedure?

In another question, Chalutznahal cites Yoreh De'ah 340:5, which says that when I witness a fellow Jew die, I must rend my shirt out of sadness. And British Rabbi Dr. Moshe Freedman brings this down ...
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Are you yotzei by lighting candles through a grama?

Does one fulfill the mitzvah of lighting candles (sabbath or chanukah) if done by a grama (indirect action)? Example
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How were the “seven good men of the city” appointed?

How were the “seven good men of the city” שבעה טובי העיר appointed? Was there an election and if so who could be candidates?
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“Yichud L'Olam” in Hilchos Muktzeh

In Hilchos Muktzeh we find there is an idea that even a rock ("evan") one can be m'yached (set aside) for a certain purpose allowing one to move it around on Shabbos (See SA OC Siman 308 Sif 22.) ...
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What if the Gabbai Tzedakah runs away?

Suppose a Gabbai Tzedakah passes our good friend Reuven while making his collection rounds. Reuven reaches into his pocket for his wallet and removes the money he wants to donate. By the time Reuven ...
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an adult's responding to a child's sneeze with a blessing, or vice versa

The halacha states (Mishnah Brurah 230: 7) that one should respond to a sneeze with a blessing and the person who sneezed and was blessed should return with a blessing in kind. this is not done if you ...
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Is heckling considered shaming the performer?

Is booing, expressing disapproval or dislike of the performance, and similar gestures, considered shaming someone in public, or does it “come with the territory”?
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Shoveling snow on to the neighbor's lawn or the street

Reuven and Shim'on are neighbors. They haven't discussed this matter, and Shim'on isn't available to consult. When Reuven is shoveling snow off of his walk, may he throw it onto Shim'on's lawn? Assume ...
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Can an electric steamer with a timer be used to cook raw food on Shabbat?

Can one use an electric steamer with a timer to cook a meal for Shabbat lunch? If one puts raw food on the device and sets a timer before Shabbat for it to be activated on Saturday and start the ...
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Repaying a loan if the lender was mochel

If one lends someone else money and realized that this person isn't going to pay, so the lender feels bad and doesn't want the person to have a sin and forgives the debt. Let's say the borrower ...
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Why isn't walking through a metal detector allowed on Shabbat because of pikuach nefesh?

I saw a few weeks ago that there are no security checks at the Kotel for religiously dressed Jews on Shabbat. This is to avoid having to walk through a metal detector, apparently. My question is, why ...
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If I left my kitchen under the control of someone who is a Gentile or not Shomer Shabbos, is it still kosher?

If I left my kitchen (or set of kosher dishes, etc.) with someone who is a) not Jewish or b) Jewish but not shomer Shabbos--in such a way that they could access it and hypothetically do anything they ...
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Eating in restaurants during Aveilus

Recently a friend told me that it is not proper to eat out in restaurants when one is an Aveil. I have been searching for a source that prohibits this. Does anyone know of a source prohibiting eating ...
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Do you make a new bracha on lightning & thunder when catching up to the same storm?

This M.Y. question cites Shulchan Aruch O.C. 227 that states that as long as it is overcast, one recites the blessing on lightning / thunder once (unless the storm continues into the next day.) If it ...
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Electronic dance music (EDM)

I have two questions. 1. Is it permitted for a Jew to produce electronic dance music (no lyrics), which is usually played at clubs etc. where women and men will dance together (no gender separation ...
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Are gingerbread houses prohibited?

There are people who make gingerbread houses decorated with icing and candy, especially in the winter. I think it is sometimes associated with non-Jewish holidays, but I don't know why. As far as I ...
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Sharpening Shechita Knife on Chol HaMoaed

May one that is learning Hilchos Shechita sharpen the knife that he uses for shechitah on chol hamoed for the purpose of practicing how to sharpen it and make sure it's kosher for shechitah (and not ...
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173 views

Making mistakes in shemone esri

I would assume at some point, too many uncorrected mistakes during the shemone esri (not talking about the things that would make it avodah zara here) would make it invalid/useless as it simply loses ...
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Is it permitted for Jewish lawyers to defend those they believe to be guilty?

I am in (secular) law school and am exploring my professional options. One of those options is to become a criminal defence attorney. In my country of residence, attorneys qualified in a specific ...
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Eating frozen dinner warmed by non-Jew on Shabbos

Cruise offers kosher airline meal type meals for daily lunch and dinner. Is it halachically permissible to eat if warmed up by non-Jew on Shabbos (presumably with microwave)? I assume that warming ...
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Is Panentheism considered heretical?

(Closely related to this post, but I think it is still a bit different) Panentheism: A doctrine that the universe subsists within Gcd, but that Gcd nevertheless transcends or has some existence ...
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Is one allowed to carry a gun for self-defense if local secular law prohibits it?

There is a rule of Dina D'Malchuta Dina - the law of the land is valid, providing that it does not conflict directly with Torah laws. There is a Torah law of Venishmartem lenafshotechem (Devarim 4:15)...
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Is it obligatory / recommended / permitted / discouraged / forbidden to tie a red thread to a child's crib?

The comments to this question discuss tying to a red thread to a child's crib. Garvey80 claims that it is a minhag yisrael to do so, and is thus obligatory. User6591 claims that it may be forbidden, ...
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Shehecheyanu at a Graduation

I recently attended a college graduation, and one of the parents decided to recite shehecheyanu to celebrate the occasion. I have never heard of someone doing this -- is there any basis for saying it?
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Photographing an Eclipse

There is a general prohibition on depicting and/or owning depictions of celestial bodies, such as the sun and moon (see, e.g., the Rambam Hilkhoth Avoda Zara 3:18). Nonetheless, there are opinions ...
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Swallowing, carrying, and regurgitating objects in the stomach without an Eruv

In a sickening scenario, but out of pure Halachic speculation, can one swallow toy cars (or anything not Muktzeh), walk to a neighbor's house without an Eruv on Shabbos, and then regurgitate the toy ...
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Can You Benefit from Something To Which You are Indifferent Or Are Happy Not To Have

Scenario: Reuven is on a flight and the TV screens built into the seats are not working. Reuven is happy because he doesn’t have to deal with the yetzer hara in front of him and he can learn Gemara ...
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On the halachic level, does the sexual intercourse between a Jewish man and a Gentile woman married to a Gentile man constitute adultery or not?

I am an Italian noahide. As is known, the Torah prohibits marriage between Jews and Gentiles, and in general sexual intercourses between them. There is, except for my mistake, the exception ...
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Switching residences at night during Chanukah

The answers to this question explain that if one is not eating at home during Chanukah, he nevertheless needs to light at his house, where he will be sleeping that night. What happen if someone ...
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Does the Noahide Law allow prostitution to the Gentiles?

I am an Italian noahide. Unless I am mistaken, in terms of sexual conduct the prohibitions established by the Noahide Law are the following (see Rambam’s Mishneh Torah-Melachim uMilchamot 9:5): ...
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Is water included in the mitzvah of fasting?

Generally speaking, when the Torah is discussing the concept of fasting, whether on individual fasts or public fasts, it mentions the prohibition of neither eating, nor drinking. But water has a ...
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Halachic definition of a house for rent

House renting services like Airbnb are very popular these days and I've used their services while traveling abroad. Usually, the advertisement requires pictures of the place, but many times those are ...
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Fast or give charity if a Tefillin strap gets twisted?

The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch Siman 10:14 states regarding tefillin that, "Care should be taken that the black side of the straps face outward. If it happens that the straps become inverted around your ...
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Would a razor that doesn’t touch the skin be permissible?

I have seen Gillette has come out with a new razor that has as they call it a skin guard Skin Guard Razor in essence there is a piece of plastic between your face and the blade thus the shave is not ...
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Are there different types of fasts from a Torah/halacha perspective?

Generally speaking, when people think about fasting in terms of Torah, they are thinking about the type of fasting associated to the 9th of Av or Yom Kippur, meaning neither eating nor drinking. This ...
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Teaching Torah to circumcised non-Jews

In his supercommentary to Rashi Genesis 7:2, R. Yissechar Ber Eilenberg cites the following from his teacher R. Mordecha Yaffe: וטעם שאסור ללמוד תורה לגוי הוא מפני הערלה שבו ויש בו סוד שלא להכניס ...
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How does one put on a Gartel according to the Ashkenazi tradition?

I go to a Chabad synagogue where everyone wears black belts called gartels. When I went on a Chasidic tour to Williamsbourg I bought a black Gartel. Now that Yom Kippur is on its way I have bought a ...
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Using baby powder on Yom Kippur

Is one permitted to use baby powder-or talcum powder, Gold Bond, etc- on Yom Kippur? (either for themselves or for a child) OR Would it be forbidden since it could be akin to "annointing oneself" (...
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Giving Gift to Mourning Spouse?

Although the Rema (YD 385:3) writes ואסור לשלוח מנות לאבל על אביו ואמו כל י"ב חדש - It is forbidden to send [or bring] gifts to one who is in mourning for his father or mother, throughout the ...
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Sucking a citrus fruit: Kaf Hachayim

The Kaf Hachayim, OC 202:63: ומיהו המוצץ משקה מן הפרי חשוב אוכל ומברך ברכתו הראויה לו ושיעורו בכזית לברך ברכה אחרונה. פר״ח בספרו מים חיים סימן ז׳ חס״ל אות י״ד. והיינו דוקא במוצצם ע״י לעיסה שנותנם ...
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Are you obligated to ask forgiveness from someone if they don't know you sinned against them?

According to the laws of repentance, is one obligated to ask forgiveness for interpersonal sins the victim is unaware of? For instance, suppose someone cursed their fellow "behind their back", and in ...
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Pictures of deceased

I read about not putting pictures of people on tombstones. Is there any problem in posting pictures of the deceased(The dead corpse) after his death on social media?
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Don't rely on rov for general blessings, but do for tevila

The Mishnah Berurah (215:20) brings from the Chayei Adam (Kelal 5) and Pri Megadim (Pesicha LeHilchos Berachos) that even if there's sfek sfeka (a double doubt) telling you to make a blessing, we don'...
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If one entices someone to sin (i.e mesit) are they liable to induce them to not commit the sin and/or follow the commands as part of repentance?

If someone was a mesit (i.e an enticer) and tried to influence someone to commit a sin, as part of that person's repentance, are they liable to track that person down and try and convince them not to ...
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The Secret of Nature Valley

What, if any, might be legitimate halachik concerns with uncertified Nature Valley granola bars? Their "Crunchy" line of products seems to be certified as OU pareve(?) However, many of their other ...
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Said the wrong brocho, now what?

If someone was putting on his tallit and instead of saying the brocho on the talit he said the brocho on teffilin. Then 10 seconds pass What should he do (theoretically)? Possible answers: Take ...

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