Questions tagged [safek]

for questions about cases of doubt or uncertainty

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14
votes
1answer
343 views

What determines the sorts of cases in which one can deliberately not know the facts?

Halacha depends on the facts of a situation. Generally, when one cannot know the exact facts, he is expected to assume that they are as usual (rov), or as they were when last checked (chazaka). When ...
14
votes
1answer
539 views

Why don't Rabbinic fasts end by Ben Hashmashot?

There's a doubt in the Gemara when the new day starts, at sunset or at three stars (Ok, and there's Rabbi Yossi's opinion). When it comes to Shabbos (or any other biblical time), we have to be strict ...
7
votes
3answers
449 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
183 views

Should I improvise a b'racha in a case of doubt?

I didn't grow up on "b'racha bees" and I know there's a lot I don't know, so I sometimes find myself in a situation where either I know there's a b'racha for something but I don't know it, or I don't ...
6
votes
1answer
261 views

Safek De'Oraysa Le'Chumra

The classic example of safek de'oraysa le'chumra is when there is an agreement that a de'oraysa exists but there is a debate as to which cases constitute the de'oraysa. In such a debate we paskin le'...
7
votes
2answers
304 views

Schrödinger's cat and yibbum

Over Shabbos, the Shalosh Seudos discussion turned to the Monty Hall problem, which confused a lot of people [and which (#Humblebrag) I was able to clear up for them in under 30 seconds ;)]. Then, ...
7
votes
1answer
149 views

Safek yehareg v'al yaavor

If there is a situation in which you aren't sure whether you are required to give up your life, do you give up your life or not? The most simple example would be if someone doesn't know whether ...
5
votes
0answers
109 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 (...
4
votes
1answer
181 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: ...
1
vote
3answers
494 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 ...
1
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0answers
63 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
250 views

Counting the omer with doubt before the fixed calendar

Currently, according to a previous question on this site, we count the omer without doubt: "Today is the Xth day of the omer" because we have a fixed calendar, and because counting with doubt is ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How does a giyur lchumra differ from a regular conversion? [duplicate]

I may be Jewish by matrilineal descent - my great, great, great grandmother was Jewish and was buried in a Jewish cemetery. Subsequent generations of my family were Catholic. I understand that if the ...
6
votes
2answers
263 views

When can you turn a dispute into a safek?

In this answer, I proposed that since there is a machlokes rishonim on a certain issue, it counts as a safek (doubt), although the Shulchan Aruch rules strictly. DoubleAA commented, saying that he ...
9
votes
2answers
256 views

Lifnei 'Iver and your maybe-Jewish co-worker

I work in an office in which someone working down the hall is disabled. She has a Jewish sounding last name and talks to me about her family's practices in regard to being members of a Reform temple ...
6
votes
1answer
521 views

What is considered a Safek?

I've been learning all these laws about Sekefot-doubts, but I'm coming up shy on a basic point. What is considered a Safek? Example:if there are 100 pieces of lettuce and I check all of them and only ...
5
votes
1answer
387 views

100% Polyester or Silk suits requiring checking

According to the Shaatnez testers of America Suits and Sport jackets, (Men's/Boy's): Require testing even 100% polyester and 100% silk suits. Why so? Isn't there a simple Sefek Sefeka? Safek if ...
4
votes
1answer
129 views

Halachic categorization of safek dioraisa…

Is the dictum of safek dioraisa l'chumrah (and its inverse safek d'rabanan l'kulah) a principle from the Torah, or a din d'rabanan? How does this change how we react in these sefeikah situations?
4
votes
2answers
179 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 ...
11
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3answers
421 views

9 Days of Chanukah?

All Yomim Tovim we celebrate in Chutz Laretz an extra day because of A safek, why do we not do the same for Chanukah?
9
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1answer
135 views

What was the ריב"א thinking?

In ריקאנטי number 166 (brought down here, #4), he brings a story about the ריב"א: ושמעתי כי ריב"א חלה חוליו שמת בו וחל יוה"כ באותם הימים וא"ל הרופאים אם לא תאכלו ודאי תמות ואם תאכל שמא לא תחיה ...
7
votes
1answer
502 views

What to do when which side of the door to put the Mezuza on is unclear?

If someone has a house which has a room, and this room has two doors without a "heker tzir" (1) (like salon doors, or sliding doors, or no doors at all) and people walk into this room through one door ...
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
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 ...
0
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0answers
56 views

Is one allowed to sin a small sin to save himself from bringing a Chatas?

The Gemara in Shabbos says that Bibi bar Abaye asks if one can violate a Rabbinic commandment (unsticking a loaf from an oven) to save oneself from being "chayav a chattas". The Gemara says that ...