Questions tagged [safek]

for questions about cases of doubt or uncertainty

3
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0answers
35 views

When did two days of Rosh Hodesh begin and the concept of “doubt”?

I'm trying to understand the historical workings of Rosh Hodesh prior to Sanhedrin. I assume that the entire concept of having possibly 2 days Rosh Hodesh was related to the timing of when witnesses ...
3
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2answers
100 views

Why are doubtful nega'im (generally) pure? (Nega'im 5:1)

Nega'im 5:1 teaches that all cases of doubtful nega'im are to be ruled pure, with two exceptions: A case where it is unclear whether white hairs in a nega' appeared before or after the nega' itself. ...
7
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1answer
125 views

How can we be lenient in a case of mixed up teruma?

The Mishna (Terumot 7:5) says: שְׁתֵּי קֻפּוֹת, אַחַת שֶׁל תְּרוּמָה וְאַחַת שֶׁל חֻלִּין, שֶׁנָּפְלָה סְאָה תְרוּמָה לְתוֹךְ אַחַת מֵהֶן וְאֵין יָדוּעַ לְאֵיזוֹ מֵהֶן נָפְלָה, הֲרֵי אֲנִי אוֹמֵר, ...
4
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1answer
68 views

Why does the servant register on a Pesach by himself?

Pesachim 8:2: הָאוֹמֵר לְעַבְדּוֹ, צֵא וּשְׁחֹט עָלַי אֶת הַפֶּסַח, שָׁחַט גְּדִי, יֹאכַל. שָׁחַט טָלֶה, יֹאכַל. שָׁחַט גְּדִי וְטָלֶה, יֹאכַל מִן הָרִאשׁוֹן. ‏ שָׁכַח מָה אָמַר לוֹ רַבּוֹ,...
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0answers
43 views

Has anyone tried out the Har Hakarmel bein hashemashos climb according to various Rishonim?

The Gemara on Shabbos 35a says: אמר רבי חנינא: הרוצה לידע שיעורו של רבי נחמיה יניח חמה בראש הכרמל, וירד ויטבול בים ויעלה, וזהו שיעורו של רבי נחמיה. ‏ Anyone who wants to know the shiur of ...
6
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1answer
65 views

Why is the principle of faith about Moshiach constructed as a rhetorical argument?

Why is the 12th principle of faith in the Ani Maamin poem about Moshiach constructed rhetorically - on a circumstantial situation "even if / in spite of that!"? In other words, the author says "I ...
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0answers
69 views

Are crayons allowed?

If a non-toxic (but also non-food) wax crayon is known/suspected to contain both meat (e.g. stearic acid; see e.g. here) and milk (e.g. dairy-derived palmitic acid), may one use it or does it qualify ...
4
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0answers
27 views

What happens if one isn’t sure if ten Jews are watching? [duplicate]

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 74a-b) rules that if ten Jews are present when a non-Jew threatens a Jew to perform any sin - even to dress like a non-Jew - on pain of death, the Jew is obligated to give up his ...
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0answers
27 views

Safek in Pidyon haBen [closed]

When a fatherless child with a living mother that knows he was a firstborn but does not know whether his father did the Pidyon on him. When an orphan whose both parents died when he was a toddler, ...
1
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1answer
73 views

why do kohanim make a bracha on birkat kohanim if they are safek kohanim?

If Kohanim nowadays are safek kohanim how can they make a bracha on Birkat kohanim isn't the rule "safek brachot le'hakel"?
3
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0answers
89 views

How do we know the maternal line is pure?

This question may seem abstract and strange, but it is genuine. We obviously don't have ketubot of every marriage and certificates of every conversion, but yet, our assumption is that the Jewish ...
2
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0answers
35 views

What is a Safek Muchlat? (i.e. unsure if he's a full-fledged Metzora)

The Mishna in Nazir 8:2 (Daf 59b and various other times in tractate Nazir) discusses a person who may or may not be a Metzora that is supposed to be sent out of the city walls. To quote with the ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views

Sages that questioned the existence of Hashem

While I'm sure there are individuals that perhaps struggled with their belief in Hashem and His "existence" were there ever any great chachamim (sages) from the throughout the generations that perhaps ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

why no sfeika deyoma for sfiras haomer? [duplicate]

Most or all Jewish holidays have an extra day in the Diaspora, to accomodate for sfeike deyoma, so why do we not count two numbers each day of sfira?
4
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1answer
165 views

What is the status of those who need to undergo geyur lechumra?

What is the status of one who needs to undergo a giyur lechumra, but have yet to undergo the actual process? Can they be counted in a minyan? Are they considered Jewish? Can they serve as eydim? FoR: ...
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0answers
54 views

Shabbat after losing track of time

I have been reviewing the laws of what to do if one loses track of the days and doesn't know what day is shabbat. The laws are summarized here. Is there any repercussion in terms of his life after he ...
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0answers
61 views

Practical suggestions for choosing between different nuschaot in the Torah

Unfortunately, it's not hard to find places in the Torah, and even more so in Nach, where we have a doubt about either the trop or the nekudot. (Or, more rarely, letters, but those are generally the ...
5
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0answers
108 views

How to deal with uncertainties in the Torah that lead to a change in meaning?

In Vayikra 14:19, there are different versions of the trop, and unlike most of them, this difference causes a change in the meaning of the words: וְכִפֶּ֕ר עַל־הַמִּטַּהֵ֖ר מִטֻּמְאָת֑וֹ (...
2
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2answers
126 views

Why is a safek d'oraisa lechumra and a safek d'rabbanan lekula?

It is an established principle that when in doubt regarding a Torah law we rule stringently, whereas when in doubt regarding a Rabbinic law we rule leniently. Why is this the case? Why aren't we ...
0
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0answers
24 views

Doubt about Zemanim

There are several things that cannot be performed before Shekiah, and several things that cannot be done after. (For instance, one cannot daven Mincha after Shekiah.) What if one is unsure if Shekiah ...
5
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2answers
202 views

Why do you need a chazakah and a sefeik sefeikah in Demai 1:1?

Maseches Demai opens up by addressing the "leniencies of Demai." As the Bartenura there explains, these lenient items are those which are essentially garbage - foods that people typically wouldn't eat ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

Why is one who touched doubtful Tumah in a public domain considered Tahor?

The source that doubtful Tumah in a private domain is Tamei is the Gemara in Sotah (28b - see there for translation): מה ת"ל והיא נטמאה והיא לא נטמאה אם נטמאה למה שותה אם לא נטמאה למה משקה מגיד לך ...
7
votes
1answer
67 views

Safek Leket Leket vs. Hamotzi Mechaveiro

On the one hand, the Mishnah (Pe'ah 4:11) records that doubtful leket goes to the poor. (Yes, I am aware that R' Meir says that. The Tosfos Yom Tov holds that everyone holds of that in principle and ...
3
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0answers
81 views

Probabilities vs תמים ? Weather forecast etc

There is an issur to ask astrologers (Pess. 113; Shul.Ar. YD 179,1). And Rashi says (Dev. 13, 18) התהלך עמו בתמימות ותצפה לו ולא תחקור אחר העתידות So, is then a problem to ...compute probabilities? ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Holding like the majority opinion for a d'oraita?

In cases where there is a discussion among the Rishonim/Acharonim as to whether something is forbidden from the Torah (d'oraita), is it acceptable to go in accordance with those that deem it ...
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0answers
53 views

Sefeikos and Mathematical Modelling

I heard from a colleague that there exists a Sefer where the conclusions of Chazal on the status of certain Sefeikos can be represented in the form of probability models1. Could anyone verify if ...
1
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2answers
188 views

Are there restrictions to whom a foundling may marry?

Are there any restrictions to whom a foundling may marry? For example, is a male foundling not allowed to marry a divorcee, because he may be a Cohen? Or is he allowed to marry anyone he wants (i.e....
8
votes
1answer
297 views

Baby boy born bein hashmashot when you don't know what day it is

Extreme hypothetical here... We know (MT Hilchot Mila 1:9) that mila on the (definite) 8th day is doche Shabbat. If the baby is born bein hashmashot, when we're not sure what day it is, it cannot be ...
4
votes
1answer
239 views

Is it wrong to hang a Mezuzah diagonally?

I heard we're supposed to hang a mezuzah the same way as the door bolts. The door bolt is either horizontal or vertical. I know that the strong debate over whether it should be vertically or ...
8
votes
1answer
137 views

Do we assume a Bris or Pidyon has been done?

If I adopt a 3 year old whose paperwork indicates that both parents were Jewish (but I cannot contact them or get further information about their religiosity) and he was an only child, do I assume ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

Should the bracha for toiveling be repeated for subsequent immersions in a toiveling “session”?

If one is immersing multiple kelim in a toiveling "session" does the bracha need to be repeated for each immersion or can the bracha be said once at the start? Also, if one is toiveling a kli that is ...
1
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3answers
482 views

How can a man give a woman a gift without getting himself into a safek kiddushin?

According to jewish law a women is betrothed to a man when the man gives the woman a gift worth more than a prutah and recites the words "you are betrothed to me through this object". How can a man ...
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2answers
121 views

“Halachikly Complicated” Foods (Safek Bracha)

Over the Shabbos meal we discussed the idea of sending "Halachikly Complicated" Mishloach Manos. "Halachikly Complicated" meaning foods that cannot be eaten because we have a safek what their bracha ...
3
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0answers
78 views

Can possibly “meaty” rice be used in sushi rolls?

I know that there is a prohibition to eat meat and fish together. But, I'm not sure if this prohibition applies to these two actual items or to other items that may have touched one of these two. For ...
7
votes
4answers
240 views

חזקה מעיקרא vs ספק

I am in the middle of מחלוקת with someone as to, if I originally had a חזקה and now there's a ספק to whether that status is still true, whether I maintain that original status or my status changes to ...
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votes
1answer
81 views

if we have safek dioraisa l'chumrah, why do we need safek d'rabanan l'kulah? [closed]

If we already know safek dioraisa l'chumrah, why do we need safek d'rabanan l'kulah?
3
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1answer
127 views

Not knowing a Halacha

If a person has a halachic שאלה and is in a situation where he cannot ask or find out the halacha (for example, he must decide what to do immediately, traveling with a dead phone), what should he do ?
5
votes
2answers
164 views

What should I do if I don't know whether I'm in a pikuach nefesh situation?

Suppose I find myself in a situation where I am not sure whether my life is sufficiently in danger to warrant halachot of pikuach nefesh to come into play. What should I do in this case? Am I supposed ...
2
votes
1answer
200 views

Zephaniah 2:3 — the use of אוּלַי meaning “perhaps”

In Zephaniah 2:3 the word אוּלַי (oo-layee) means "perhaps". I have not otherwise really seen The G-D of the Bible so indifferent (though maybe that's the wrong word). Can someone help me understand ...
3
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0answers
55 views

Is the concept of Safek D'oraisa l'chumra relevant when dealing with a machlokes d'oraisa / d'rabbanan? [duplicate]

There are cases where Rishonim disagree as to whether a particular law is from the Torah or a Rabbinical decree. In such cases, must one be strict due to the possible violation of a Torah prohibition?
7
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3answers
420 views

logic behind kol kavua k'mechtza al mechtze

there is a principle in halacha regarding doubts that if something is separated from a kavua (fixed place) it is treated as 50/50% chance even if the permitted is the majority. but if it is found in ...
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2answers
137 views

Is allowed for a non tohor (unclean) person to read the Tanach?

If a person wakes up but is not sure if what came out of his body is a tiny amount of semen or not. Is he permitted to read the Tanach or study Torah before becoming pure again on the evening?
0
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1answer
67 views

Rambam on color certainty of tekheleth

According to a questioner on this page, the Rambam in the Pirush HaMishna contradicts the Rambam in Hilchoth Tzitzith regarding whether we can dye tekheleth due to uncertainty about the color. Where ...
1
vote
1answer
275 views

in process learning enough to actually get to teshuva.. but conversion vs. giyur lechumra? [duplicate]

Back story in short-- i was born and raised Jewish, had a baby naming, bat mitzvah, learned basic common Jewish knowledge that 95 percent of all the secular jews out there know. My father is ...
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0answers
128 views

Can one rely on a gentile's uncertain food description regarding brachot?

Let's say you have a dish in front of you but you're not certain what its ingredients are. You ask a Gentile who is familiar, and he says, "I've seen something like this before and it's usually made ...
4
votes
1answer
739 views

Controversy Concerning Community Consumption of Chametz Coming from Costco

There is a Rabbinic prohibition on benefiting from chametz that was owned by a Jew over Passover. In recent years, an issue was raised in the New York area that a major distributor of grocery items ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Source for “אין שמחה כשמחת התרת הספקות”

Some people in my synagogue this morning were discussing the aphorism אין שמחה כשמחת התרת הספקות there's no joy like the joy of the resolution of doubts or words to that effect. Specifically, ...
4
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0answers
43 views

How far must a publisher go to mitigate possible lashon hara?

This question is about sites that host community-contributed content, like Wikipedia, Reddit, or blogging platforms like LiveJournal communities. Suppose somebody posts something negative about an ...
1
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0answers
434 views

Is a Reform convert considered not-Jewish or safek Jewish?

I am basing this question on something I read somewhere: that a non-Jew is able to accept the Torah and obligate himself in mitzvot independent of the bet din (court) conversion procedure. A non-Jew ...
2
votes
0answers
91 views

Asking A Gentile To Perform Safeq Melakhah

Citing HaRav HID"A and Hakham 'Ovadiah A"H, HaRav Eliyahu Mansour states in his Daily Halacha that: The Hid"a [...] writes that it is permissible to ask a non-Jew to place a pot of cold liquid on a ...