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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2answers
380 views

Insurance against משיח

According to this rather amusing blog post, there is apparently a common clause in rental contracts in Jerusalem, called the Messiah clause, in which, when a landlord outside of Israel rents out a ...
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Is a contract over Chat/IM/SMS “written” or “oral”?

Halakhically, is a business transaction conducted over Chat/IM/SMS a "written" or "oral" contract? Chat is oral-style communication in a textual medium. Does the fact that it's actually written over-...
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Netilas Yadayim with automatic sinks

It seems there is precedent to allow for netilas yadayim when you don't have a cup, by turning the sink on and off for each rivi'is per hand. By employing this method you satisfy the requirement of ...
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Overhead projector on Shabbos?

A discussion came up with some guests over shabbos. One asked if one could use an overhead projector on Shabbos if it was turned on from before, i.e. could one put a new plastic sheet on it or not? In ...
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Would the President of the United States have to put mezuzot on the doors of the White House?

If a Jew were elected president of the United States, would he/she be required to put a mezuzah on all of the doors of the White House? I can think of many arguments for each side. The house does not ...
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What is the status of a Kli Shemelachto LeIssur that's only used for Pikuach Nefesh?

What is the status of a kli (object) whose primary use would be forbidden on Shabbos, but it is only used in a case of Pikuach Nefesh (danger to life, where all Shabbos restrictions become allowed) -- ...
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1answer
265 views

How much must one do to to sign a contract?

Nowadays most software comes with a EULA. In order to install the software one must click the "agree" button. However, there are some software that says are distributed through different licenses. For ...
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Is oral intercourse permitted according to halacha? [closed]

What has the halacha have to say about a husband and wife sharing oral intercourse (in either direction)?
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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?
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Permissibility of images of celestial bodies

There is precedent in halachah that one may not create images of celestial bodies such as the moon and stars; see here for background. This is derived in the Gemara from the pasuk "Do not make [images ...
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Why is Soy milk considered Parve and not Milchig/Halavi?

Considering that milk is forbidden with chicken (as stated in this answer), because chicken could be confused with meat, why isn't soy milk considered milchig as well? In Israel, chicken is ...
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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?
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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. ...
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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 ...
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Brewing fresh coffee for Shabbos with a time clock

May one prepare coffee ingredients in a brewer such as this one on Friday and set the timer to brew the coffee for 8:00 Shabbos morning?
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Eating on someone else's untoveled dishes

One must tovel (immerse in a mikve) various kinds of dishes before first use, and may not eat from his own dishes until they are toveled. Is it likewise forbidden to eat from someone else's untoveled ...
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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?
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Is the material permitted to learn on Tisha B'av available online?

From Aish.com: Other prohibitions include...Learning Torah, since this is a joyful activity. It is permitted to learn texts relevant to Tisha B'Av and mourning -- e.g. the Book of Lamentations, ...
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Halachic Source for Women-Only Mikvaoth?

Some (actually many) Mikvaoth are designated for women's use only, generally for reasons of cleanliness. Is there Halachic literature supporting (or urging) this? (This question is not asking for ...
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Is it Halachically forbidden to go to Israel?

I was recently studying Berakhot 24b when I read the following statement: 'כל העולה מבבל לא"י עובר בעשה שנאמר (ירמיהו כז, כב) בבלה יובאו ושמה יהיו עד יום פקדי אותם נאם ה' Whoever goes up from ...
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5answers
605 views

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?
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What makes a wine kosher?

Why are some wines kosher and some not?
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Is a Muslim allowed to touch a food item for purchase in a kosher bakery?

Suppose I enter a kosher bakery and want to purchase some food item from the shelves. Can I pick that thing up by my hands for purchase? My reason is that the laws of Kashrut are very very strict, ...
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What is the source for the mitzvah of kiruv?

Is kiruv a mitzvah? Is it biblical or rabbinic? Is there any reason it should supersede other mitzvot? what are the sources in chazal and halacha relating to kiruv? related: Kiruv and halachik ...
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Are Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin really Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin?

I once heard from a Sofer the shocking revelation that Rabbeinu Tam's Tefillin do not actually follow Rabbeinu Tam's opinion. Is that correct? Did I misunderstand? Are there any Soferim in our ...
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Limits to Dina Dmalchusa Dina

What are the specifications of Dina Dimalchusah? A more targeted question to answer would be: If I ripped off the label of my mattress — the label that says its removal is punishable by federal ...
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Is there anything wrong with inviting friends to a bris?

I have a friend - let's call him 'A' - who's married; His wife gave birth to a boy. I asked another friend of mine, if 'A' invited him to the bris. He told me that one is not supposed to invite ...
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3answers
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Menstruating on Wedding Day

What happens in the case of a bride menstruating on her wedding day or her menstruation ending a few days before her wedding day and cannot go to the mikvah? Does the rabbi refuse to perform the ...
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What Bracha do you make on Sushi?

What Bracha do you make on Sushi? Is the rice the main part and therefore a mezonos, or is it just a toful (less-important ingredient) in which case I guess a shehakol?
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Woman and Zimun: What is the requirement?

What is a woman's requirement to say Bircat Hamazon with a Zimun of women? What is a woman's requirement to say Bircat Hamazon with a Zimun of men?
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Leniencies for someone keeping Kosher in a non-Kosher home

My family is not frum, but they do not eat non-kosher meat at home, although they do eat other not-certified-kosher products, including cheese. They don't mix meat and milk, but they do wash meat and ...
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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?
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Commencing Shabbos: Shkiya behind a mountain

It is common practice nowadays for Shuls to publish the zmanim (times) to begin Shabbos (the Sabbath) and other activities. These times, it would seem, are based upon standard calculations of sunrise ...
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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 ...
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575 views

Why do plastic bags and not fuselages protect against impurity?

In a picture on this article, we see a kohen who has enclosed himself in a plastic bag so as to avoid becoming impure as a result of flying over a cemetery. Why is it that a pressurized fuselage does ...
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Is one allowed to drink alcohol on regular weekdays?

Is it permissible to drink alcohol in any circumstance other than Holidays and Shabbat? Please cite sources. CYLOR.
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Can conversion be revoked?

In a recent case the Israeli Rabbinical Court has revoked someone's conversion to Judaism on the grounds that they were deceptive. This decision was "...Based on the fact that she completely ...
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What should I do about a fake convert?

I know someone who converted to Judaism, yet throughout the whole process was telling me personally (so I can't tell the Rabbi) that she wasn't interested in keeping Torah AT ALL but was telling the ...
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Is getting a “fake” tattoo a violation of halacha?

Inspired by Curiouser here: Is getting a "fake" (temporary) tattoo a violation of halacha? I'll define this broadly as any tattoo that doesn't permanently show on your body. This includes transfer ...
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1answer
624 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. ...
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1answer
807 views

What halachot does an American traveling to Israel have to be made aware of?

I'm planning to go to Israel for the first time, b"h, in just over a month. I'll be going on an organized trip and then I hope to stay until after tisha b'av. What halachot do I need to know about? (I ...
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727 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, ...
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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?
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578 views

Loshon Hara against an Online Identity

Does the prohibition of Loshon Hara apply when the target is an online name or identity, where the person behind it is anonymous, such as an anonymous user on this forum ?
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1answer
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Can an unintentional murderer leave Ir Miklat for Shalosh Regalim?

We learn in Parshas Masei about a person who unintentionally murders another. The halacha is that the unintentional murderer is to flee to one of the Arei Miklat (Cities of Refuge), and stay there ...
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Are you allowed to benefit from an electrical appliance turned on during shabbos?

If a jewish person were to accidentally turn on the light in their bedroom, or if the television were accidentally turned on (for these purposes, let's assume that the person in question woke up, ...
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The laws behind the separation of men and women

In Israel there is a hot debate because of instances on some communities where extra steps are taken to separate men and women in every day life. For example in some bus lines women seat in the back ...
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Why does earthly punishment start at 13 and divine punishment at 20?

Inspired by this question. The age when one is obligated to keep Mitzvos is 13 (for a male and 12 for a female). (See Avot 5:21 and Bartenura) After that age, Beit Din may punish them if they ...
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1answer
309 views

Calling a father Abba, when his name is Abba

May a child call his father Abba - if his name is Abba?
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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 ...