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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Stacking Seforim

Are we allowed to place less holy seforim on top of more holy seforim? I believe that the consensus is that you are only allowed to stack seforim in chronological order from top to bottom (e.g., ...
Tzvi's user avatar
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Is there tashlumin for n'ila?

Being that n'ila is a unique prayer, in that it only occurs once a year, can one make up (do tashlumin for) n'ila at the next prayer or the previous one at n'ila?
WAF's user avatar
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7 answers
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Why do people feel that there is a NEED to wear tzitzit?

There is a law in the torah (and the meforshiim afterwards) to attach tzitzit to all four cornered garments that you will wear. Ok. I understand that. But where did it come to pass that some people ...
Naftali's user avatar
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Inviting a non-observant Jew on Shabbat or Yom Tov

Can I invite a Jew for a meal on Shabbat or Yom Tov if I know they will drive to my house?
zaq's user avatar
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Is it problematic to own and use a SwissGear bag, due to the "plus" logo?

SwissGear brand bags and back packs have the image of the Swiss flag (usually in color, red and white, and made out of a hard material) sewn into the material. Often the Swiss flag's image is put on ...
Gavriel's user avatar
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What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse?

What Blessing Does One Make on a Solar Eclipse? I will be in Nevada next week and would like to make a blessing over the May 21 Solar Eclipse. Thanks!
Pesach David's user avatar
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7 answers
2k views

When do you become "Ben Eretz Yisrael" as far as the laws regarding doing only 1 day of Hag?

What are the laws that define when should someone do only one day of Yom Tov (Shavuot for example) or 2 days? For example, how long do you have to stay in Israel? Are there other factors?
Nathan H's user avatar
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May a man become a gynecologist?

Is there any discussion among the halachic authorities as to whether or not a man can choose to pursue a medical career in gynaecology? The issue that I would presume exists is that unlike other parts ...
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18 votes
2 answers
994 views

Can one join an army?

Is one allowed to join an army (let's say not the Israeli one) as doing so is putting oneself in a place of sakana? If one is not allowed to join an army in general, is one allowed to join an army for ...
Am Haaretz Gamur Mideoraysa's user avatar
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Why is milk with meat not kosher?

I've recently read (again) the verse "לא תבשל גדי בחלב אמו", meaning, "Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk". How did anyone get from that, to "Don't eat meat with milk at all"?
Madara's Ghost's user avatar
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Why is Rosh Chodesh sometimes TWO days?

Why for certain months of the year do we celebrate the festival of Rosh Chodesh for two days while on other Roshei Chadashim we have one day of Rosh Chodesh?
simchastorah's user avatar
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What Bracha should you say on a Hurricane?

What Bracha should you say on a hurricane? Oseh Ma'aseh Vereishis? You say Birchas Gomel if you travel over the sea; do you also say it if the sea travels over you?
follick's user avatar
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What potential issues may arise with serving jury duty on Tisha b'Av?

I was recently summoned for jury duty and initially selected to be on the jury for a criminal trial that was expected to go through Tisha b'Av. If I were selected, what issues would I face in serving ...
Tal Fishman's user avatar
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2 answers
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Can a Jew who dies on Mars be buried there?

Recently, the news has been talking about sending people on a 1-way trip to Mars. AFAIK, no Jews have applied or are scheduled to make the trip. B"H, because I see all sorts of interesting halachic ...
DanF's user avatar
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Starbucks VIA on shabbat

Someone recently mentioned in a conversation about making/ not making tea on shabbat with a tea bag, that the Starbucks VIA coffee is micro-ground vs how ever regular instant coffee is made and that ...
MEG's user avatar
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Can you take food into the bathroom?

Is one allowed to take food into the bathroom? I heard that the prohibition is only on the type of bathroom used years ago.
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581 views

According to Halacha, may we endanger many Jewish lives in order to definitely save one Jew?

For example, what does Halacha say about the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange? "Save" means "free from captivity," although in many cases it's the same thing as saving his\her life (e.g. if we didn't ...
Shmuel's user avatar
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Polyphasic Sleep and Halacha

I recently read an article on polyphasic sleep and I'm quite interested in experimenting with it. The article advises the Uberman approach which advocates 20-30 minute naps every four hours, meaning ...
Naftuli Kay's user avatar
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Can a live video feed remove the prohibition of Yichud?

I was wondering if and how a public videostream could affect a potential yichud situation. For example, may a single guy and girl be secluded if they set up a continuously broadcasting camera and ...
Moishe's user avatar
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Is Metzitzah B'peh a must?

There is a lot of talk in the news, etc., about Metzitzah B'peh that employs direct oral contact being dangerous. First: If it is dangerous, shouldn't pikuach nefesh push it off? Second: How ...
Mendy's user avatar
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Whispering prayers?

Can one whisper t'fila (prayer)? I'm thinking of obligatory t'filos like sh'mone esre and "Sh'ma". I know one can speak t'fila quietly, even very quietly; in fact, sh'mone esre is said quietly. I'm ...
msh210's user avatar
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For how long must a Jew keep Shabbat before he can be considered Shomer Shabbat?

Certain Kashrut issues require (or may require according to some opinions) that a Shomer Shabbat Jew (not just any Jew) supervise cooking. For example, see here, and here. How is the status of Shomer ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
701 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
Rodney Feinerman's user avatar
18 votes
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452 views

Is Smuggling Candy and Snacks Into a Movie Theater Forbidden?

Ever since I was a kid, we have routinely brought our own pre-packaged snacks into movies in order to avoid the exorbitant prices of those sold in the theaters. Is it permitted to bring such snacks ...
user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah?

Can a Cohen marry a bat niddah? Are Cohens generally restricted from marrying baalot teshuva because of the possibility that they may be b'not niddah?
SAH's user avatar
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Why does the Tefilin Shel Yad have a protective cover?

When you purchase Tefilin, the Tefilin Shel Yad has a protective cover. Why? Is it Halachically necessary?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings?

Why don't brides (always) cover their hair for their weddings? I understand that in some ultra-religious groups they do, but there seem to be many groups within Orthodoxy where they do not cover their ...
SAH's user avatar
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7 answers
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Do surgically removed body parts require Kevurah?

If one has surgery (may it never be necessary) that requires the removal of an organ of the body (e.g. a gallbladder or appendix), is burial required? Or can the body part simply be discarded?
yydl's user avatar
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Should a non-Orthodox Jew wear tzitzit or not?

It seems obvious to me that in general it’s better to keep more mitzvot rather than fewer, but wearing tzitzit seems like a special case. I’ve asked rabbis in my community about this, but I want to ...
Jon Mitchell's user avatar
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How do we erase the memory of Amalek?

What does "erase the memory of Amalek" (Deut. 25:19) mean? Does it not contradict the obligation (Deut. 25:17) to remember them every year?
Am Haaretz Gamur Mideoraysa's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
2k views

Shomer Negiah without direct contact?

An interesting thought crossed my mind: does shomer negiah specifically only relate to direct, physical contact, or does it additionally extend to cover cases where there is no direct touch? Though I'...
Naftuli Kay's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
857 views

Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?

Pretty much across the board, beged gadol and katan have fabric squares sewn on the corners. Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?
zaq's user avatar
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17 votes
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Is AquAdvantage salmon kosher?

After two decades of deliberation, the USA's Food and Drug Administration has approved the first ever genetically engineered food animal, a fast-growing Atlantic Salmon called AquAdvantage salmon. ...
Adám's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
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Is there a source for not requiring Tevilah for the first use?

I have heard (as I'm sure many others have) that one can use a utensil one time before Tevilah. At the same time, I've heard that this is a common misconception. Is there anyone who holds that this ...
yydl's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
325 views

First time lighting Chanuka candles is on second night

If one didn't light Chanuka candles until the second night, how many candles should he light? According to the reason that we add a candle a night is "Maalin Bakodesh" (we always add in holiness), ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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17 votes
6 answers
6k views

May a Jew be a Freemason?

According to what I've been told by several people who have inquired of "practicing" (is that the right word?) Freemasons, and supported by Wikipedia, "Freemasonry explicitly and openly states that it ...
Seth J's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
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Would a baalat teshuva need a get from each previous sexual relationship?

Would a baalat teshuva need a get from each previous sexual relationship? In light of the idea that marriage can be contracted solely through bi'ah/public knowledge of the couple's relationship (as ...
SAH's user avatar
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17 votes
3 answers
3k views

Blowing bubbles on Shabbos

Is there any halachik problem with blowing bubbles on Shabbos? If so what melacha categories does it fall under? Does the age of the blower matter?
Bas613's user avatar
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17 votes
6 answers
2k views

Train ticket not collected: destroy?

Assuming a train line where single-ride tickets are normally collected or cancelled manually by train crew circulating among seated passengers, and it is physically possible to use them later if they ...
yitznewton's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
3k views

Can a husband 'un-warn' his wife to prevent her from becoming a sotah?

The Torah describes (starting in Bamidbar 5:11) the process of a husband warning his wife not to be secluded with a certain man. Then if she is secluded with that man for a certain amount of time and ...
rikitikitembo's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
931 views

Voting for a person that will not uphold Torah values

It is well known that Rabbi Avigdor Miller Zatzal strongly condemned those that voted for candidates that would not uphold Torah values. Yet there were many Gedolim that had no problem voting for such ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do Shaving Restrictions Apply to Bearded Women?

For example, if a woman were to have a beard, would she be permitted to shave it off with a razor or otherwise destroy it, or do these restrictions apply to both men and women?
Peter Olson's user avatar
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Teaching Written Torah to Christians

There is an idea mentioned by the Rambam, but not in the Mishneh Torah as I recall, that it is permissible to teach Wrtitten Torah to Christians because they accept it as Divine and don't study it in ...
Yirmeyahu's user avatar
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17 votes
2 answers
547 views

Who is worthy of reciting the blessing "שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם" on?

On whom does one recite the blessing "שנתן מחכמתו לבשר ודם" (the blessing recited on non-Jewish scientists)? Does he have to be a Ph.D? Does he have to have inventions to his name? Did he have to ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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17 votes
1 answer
734 views

Can I use a cutlass for a shechita knife?

Ahoy thar! I'm trapped on a pirate ship, and I'm so hungry I could eat a cow! Hey wait, we actually have one on board!! My problem is that the only sharp implement that I have is a pirate's cutlass. ...
MTL's user avatar
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17 votes
4 answers
934 views

Can someone who lives in Israel visit Eilat?

Can someone who lives in "Halachic" Eretz Israel visit a part of Israel that is not part of its Halachic borders? For example, IIRC, people in Eilat keep two days of Yom Tov. Does that mean that a ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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17 votes
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622 views

How can someone, halachically, do teshuva when s/he has offended an anonymous person on the internet?

Ramba"m among others, state that Yom Kippur does not atone for sins committed between a person and his neighbor until a person personally asks the other for forgiveness. Mi Yodeya is an example of ...
DanF's user avatar
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17 votes
1 answer
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Kibud Av v'Ach?

As I understand it there is an obligation (See Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 240:22) to honor an older brother similar to that of honoring one's father. Since the obligation to honor one's father can have ...
Yirmeyahu's user avatar
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1 answer
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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 ...
Roman Kagan's user avatar
17 votes
5 answers
503 views

Should Jews be self-employed?

Under what method of employment should a Jew sustain himself? Is there a preference for self-employment over working for an employer? I've heard that an employee is like a slave to the employer and ...
hazoriz's user avatar
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