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Questions tagged [safek]

for questions about cases of doubt or uncertainty

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Does Kavod Habriot ever apply to Safek d’oraita

Does the principle within Halacha of Kavod Habriot ever apply to leniencies for a Safek Doraita? So if there is human dignity at stake, could you rule lekula instead of lechumrah on a Safek d’oraita? ...
Kirk's user avatar
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1 vote
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Bar mitzva if born bein hashmashos?

If a baby is born in the evening during bein hashmashos (typically considered the time from sunset until 3 stars, but see https://outorah.org/p/47194/) the bris is on the latter day, or if Saturday, ...
Yehuda W's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
176 views

Putting oneself in doubt, when it comes to a Mitzvah Derabanan

The Mishnah Berurah (46 S”K 31) brings an opinion - which is how the SA Harav rules - that in a case where one is afraid that he might miss the time of Shema by the time the Tzibur reaches the place ...
User123's user avatar
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1 vote
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Polishing windows on Shabbat

According to this summary, there are some poskim who hold it prohibited in all cases to polish glass dishes on Shabbat, whereas some allow if one intends to use the dish on Shabbos. My question is, ...
Kirk's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
61 views

Safek echad baguf safek echad beta'arovet

What is safek beguf safek beta'arovet? Specifically, what is the the safek beguf? Also, How does it relate to safek sefeka?
Frumfrim's user avatar
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36 views

When do we say safek d'rabanan lekula? [duplicate]

There is a concept that in matters of doubt that pertain to derabanans we pasken lekula. I have seen this applied to doubts in realia as well as halachik doubts (eg machlokes). Nevertheless, it is ...
Jo.P's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
531 views

According to the Rishonim who hold a Bracha Levatala is forbidden Min Hatorah, why do we need a category of Safek Brachot Lehakel?

If a Bracha Levatala (blessing in vain) is forbidden from Torah Law, why do we need a special category of Safek Brachot Lehakel? Almost all Brachot are Derabanan, and how could we do a safek mitzvah ...
talmidforlife's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
251 views

Does one Make a Bracha on Tzitzis during Bein Hashmashos?

There is a fundamental Machlokes Rishonim whether when the Gemara says that there is no Chiyuv of Tzitzis at night, is that referring to the Gavra or to the Cheftza. The question now is: a person puts ...
talmidforlife's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
197 views

Sfek Sfeka for a Bar Mitzvah

Suppose a boy was born Bein Hashemashos. Since this is a period of "maybe it's still day, maybe it's already night," seemingly the doubt would translate into "maybe he was born on day 1,...
DonielF's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
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Why do we have an explicit rule of Safek Brachos Lehakel if we already have a greater encompassing rule of Safek D'Rabanan L'kulah?

I understand that Safek brachos lehakel might simply be a corollary of Safek D'rabana L'kulah, however I assume there is some nafka minah between the two. The only reason we would have safek brachos ...
Aaron Heideman's user avatar
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190 views

Repeating doubtful phrases: What order?

Current practice in many Ashkenazi synagogues includes the following: On shabbat zachor, repetition of (at least part of) Devarim 25:19, due to a doubt over whether the zayin of זכר is vowelized with ...
Joel K's user avatar
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6 votes
0 answers
94 views

Does the 16th of Shevat have any halachic effects?

For most Torah holidays, we keep two days outside Israel out of doubt. Tu bishvat is a day with Biblical effects (though I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a Biblical "holiday", or a Rabbinic one ...
Heshy's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
486 views

Does adding a different liquid to a pre-existing drink require a new Shehakol?

Suppose one makes a "shehakol" on the water, and doesn't have in mind any other drinks. When there's a third of the glass left, the person refills the glass with seltzer/soda (the glass is now 1/3 ...
alicht's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
41 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 ...
DanF's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
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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. ...
Joel K's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
173 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, ...
b a's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
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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, כֵּיצַד ...
Heshy's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
59 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 R' Nechemia'...
Heshy's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
97 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 ...
DeeTee's user avatar
  • 61
1 vote
0 answers
425 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 ...
Loewian's user avatar
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4 votes
0 answers
30 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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
49 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, ...
Al Berko's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
178 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"?
yosef lavi's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
129 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 ...
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
59 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 ...
Danny Schoemann's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
142 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 ...
Yehoshua's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
81 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?
Hershy S.'s user avatar
  • 1,169
4 votes
1 answer
442 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: ...
anonymous's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
71 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 ...
rosends's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
108 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 ...
Heshy's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
199 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 (zakef-gadol,...
Heshy's user avatar
  • 9,234
3 votes
2 answers
383 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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
36 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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
244 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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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4 votes
2 answers
243 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 ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
104 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 ...
DonielF's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
104 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? ...
yO_'s user avatar
  • 1,505
2 votes
2 answers
179 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 ...
Fei23's user avatar
  • 1,757
1 vote
0 answers
71 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 ...
TrustMeI'mARabbi's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
234 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....
Menachem's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
510 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 ...
Scimonster's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
501 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 ...
Rebecca Burns's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
218 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 ...
rosends's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
464 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 ...
Jakub's user avatar
  • 1,341
2 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
Ani Yodea's user avatar
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-1 votes
2 answers
212 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 ...
SE is Evil - Support Monica's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
88 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 ...
DanF's user avatar
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9 votes
5 answers
362 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 ...
huddie96's user avatar
  • 741
-2 votes
1 answer
154 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?
Diddy's user avatar
  • 11
3 votes
1 answer
143 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 ?
sye81397's user avatar
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