Questions tagged [tamei-tahor-ritual-purity]

Questions related to the Torah concepts of *tumah* and *taharah* - ritual impurity and purity.

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21
votes
3answers
981 views

Can you become "more tamei"? If not, why do we worry about it today?

Without the temple and access to the ritual of the red heifer, we're all tamei (ritually impure) today with no way to fix it. Yet we work to avoid situations that would make us tamei (e.g. kohanim ...
21
votes
6answers
11k views

Why are women unclean longer after giving birth to a girl?

I read that women are unclean for two weeks after giving birth to a girl and seven days after giving birth to a boy. What does it tell us?
7
votes
3answers
2k views

Food cooked by woman during Niddah?

If according to my Bible translation - please correct me if it is wrong - anything a woman in niddah or a state of tumah, or 'impurity', touches or sits on becomes 'impure', can food cooked by her be ...
7
votes
2answers
353 views

What happened to Tohorot?

As I understand it, all of Tohorot has been reduced, in modern practice, to Niddah and some hand washing. The entire structure of transmittable 'uncleanliness' is inoperative. Why is it inoperative? ...
4
votes
4answers
5k views

Why don't men go to the mikveh after relations/ejaculation?

Wayikra 15:16-18 טז וְאִישׁ, כִּי-תֵצֵא מִמֶּנּוּ שִׁכְבַת-זָרַע--וְרָחַץ בַּמַּיִם אֶת-כָּל-בְּשָׂרוֹ, וְטָמֵא עַד-הָעָרֶב. 16 יז וְכָל-בֶּגֶד וְכָל-עוֹר, אֲשֶׁר-יִהְיֶה עָלָיו שִׁכְבַת-...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Do permanently unmarried women need to go to the mikvah?

Is the purpose of a woman's going to the mikvah so that she can permit herself to a man (be he her husband or any potential husband), or is it for her own sake? The nafqa mina is that of a woman who ...
8
votes
2answers
228 views

Dictionary of symbology in Kodshim and Taharot

I'm wondering if anyone has ever put together a book that lists all the different elements that can come up in the realms of Kodshim and Taharot (e.g. bulls, the number seven, water, slaughtering, etc....
12
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4answers
6k views

Does the act of masturbation cause a change in one's spiritual/religious status vis-a-vis what he may and may not do?

Obviously masturbation is a very serious sin. However, if someone has already transgressed that sin, does his status change vis-a-vis things like learning Torah or davening? Does he need to go to a ...
9
votes
1answer
524 views

Issues of Tumah vis a vis non-Jewish human remains

I was once told that there's a crypt in the Old City of Jerusalem near one of the gates (I forget which one), which houses the remains of a well-regarded non-Jew (once again, I forget the exact ...
8
votes
1answer
634 views

Cohanim in Auschwitz

A lot of people died in Auschwitz, and since cohanim are not allowed to become tamei (ritually impure) by touching a corpse, may cohanim enter Auschwitz?
7
votes
0answers
266 views

Beam for s'chach with wood glue + embedded screws

Let's assume that there is a lechatchila to not use metal object that are mekabel tumah (susceptible to tumah) for something that supports the s'chach ("maamid"), which can be avoided by using ...
3
votes
1answer
255 views

Does food under bed become tamei?

Someone told me if there's food under my bed and I sleep in the bed I can't use the food because it becomes tamei. Is there a source for this?
1
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2answers
268 views

Can mikvah water become tamei?

Can mikvah water ever become tamei from people's immersion? How does this relate to the essentially "living" quality of the water moving through the mikvah? Related: using a men's mikvah twice ...
14
votes
2answers
302 views

Does an improperly slaughtered animal render the Shochet impure?

In Vayikra 11:39 it says: לט. וְכִי יָמוּת מִן הַבְּהֵמָה אֲשֶׁר הִיא לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה הַנֹּגֵעַ בְּנִבְלָתָהּ יִטְמָא עַד הָעָרֶב:‏ 39) If an animal that you [normally] eat, dies, one who ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Can a woman converting to Judaism go to the Mikvah during her period?

When Gentiles convert to Judaism, they are "like a newborn". If I understand correctly, there is no such thing as Niddah vis a vis non-Jews. So, if I add those two together, I am inclined to assume ...
10
votes
2answers
615 views

Is a Kohen Allowed to Receive an Organ Donation?

A Kohen is forbidden from becoming Tamei Meis (coming in contact with a dead body) (Vayikra-21) Aside from being allowed for Pikuach Nefesh reasons (life threatening situation). What other reasons ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Kohen flying over a cemetery?

Is there a problem with a kohen flying in an airplane that may fly over a Jewish cemetery? If so, how can a kohen be sure that a flight does not go over a Jewish cemetery?
5
votes
1answer
225 views

Unclean due to an organ transplant, in the context of the rebuilt temple

This question pertains to a related question. Leviticus 7:20-21 says: כ וְהַנֶּפֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר-תֹּאכַל בָּשָׂר, מִזֶּבַח הַשְּׁלָמִים אֲשֶׁר לַיהוָה, וְטֻמְאָתוֹ, עָלָיו--וְנִכְרְתָה הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַהִוא,...
11
votes
1answer
231 views

Why did Aharon request that Hashem declare Miriam pure?

Rashi says that one of the meanings of Aharon's prayer regarding Miriam ("Let her not be like the dead, which comes out of his mother's womb with half his flesh consumed!"; Bamidbar 12:12) was that ...
10
votes
1answer
698 views

Notched 2x4 for maamid?

Let's assume that there is a lechatchila to not use metal object that are mekabel tumah (susceptible to tumah) for something that supports the s'chach ("maamid"), which can be avoided by using ...
7
votes
2answers
128 views

Was Naaman tamei from tzaraas?

In Melachim Bet 5:10 we read: וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו אֱלִישָׁע, מַלְאָךְ לֵאמֹר: הָלוֹךְ, וְרָחַצְתָּ שֶׁבַע-פְּעָמִים בַּיַּרְדֵּן, וְיָשֹׁב בְּשָׂרְךָ לְךָ וּטְהָר.‏ And Elisha sent a ...
6
votes
2answers
172 views

Can someone [be] tovel accidentally? (Does tovelling need kavanah?)

Does tovelling, either for vessels or a person, require kavanah (intent) to achieve the purification? Let's say someone went bathing in the river, or for whatever reason just fell in naked; for dishes,...
5
votes
1answer
112 views

Why do we get "so did they do" for the commandment of expelling tamei people in Parashat Naso?

Parashat Naso, in Numbers 5:1-3, presents a commandment to "send from the camp" anyone who is tamei due to either tzara'at or a zav-type discharage. After that, we have Verse 4, affirming that the ...
5
votes
2answers
223 views

Touching the forearm when putting on Tefilin

If one has touched his forearm while placing the arm-Tefilin (I see that it's a very common case), is he obligated to wash his hands immediately, as he has to say a Beracha on the head-Tefilin? If so, ...
4
votes
2answers
280 views

Touching one's hair while putting on Tfillin

I remember to have read (in the Shulchan Aruch I believe) that after doing the Netilat Yadayim one can't touch one's hair, because that would make you impure again. But when I put on and accommodate ...
4
votes
1answer
193 views

Why are we impure when we wake up?

I've heard from morim and shiurim that when we wake up we're impure, or at least our hands are impure. That's why netilat yadayim should be one of the first things he do when we wake up. But I've also ...
3
votes
1answer
240 views

Newlyweds: Only four days before Hefsek Tahara?

I recently saw on Wikipedia something I had never heard before: that for newlyweds, "a bride counts only four days before performing a hefsek tahara, instead of the usual five." No citation was ...
13
votes
2answers
579 views

Plastic gloves in Halacha

If someone touches something while wearing gloves (i.e. waterproof rubber gloves), does that halachically count as touching? Practical examples include: Touching a neveilah, whether or not you become ...
8
votes
6answers
7k views

A wife wants to stop going to the mikva. What does that mean for the husband?

If a wife sees no value in keeping the laws of family purity, and wants to stop going to the mikva, what are the halachic ramifications for the husband? The answer that I'm looking for is what ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

May a Kohen become a doctor?

May a Kohen, who is not allowed to be around dead bodies and the like, become a doctor? Please mention only sourced answers, and I realize that there are some programs that don't require work with ...
6
votes
0answers
158 views

Blessing on Immersing Vessels to Purify Them

A Mikvah can be used to purify humans or certain vessels which have contracted ritual impurity (Rambam Mikvaot 1 (English)). When humans use the Mikvah to purify themselves they recite a blessing (...
3
votes
1answer
209 views

Impure baseball cap?

I am Chozar Teshuva so if this is a ridiculous question then please bear with me. Long story short, my cat soiled a ballcap that I own (soil as in, with urine). I put it through the dishwasher, got ...
21
votes
2answers
461 views

Can an ultrasound be relied upon?

I have read reports of the accuracy of gender prediction from an ultrasound with numbers ranging from 90-98%. There is a halacha (Y.D. 194:11) that if a fetus sticks its hand [or possibly any limb] ...
14
votes
3answers
765 views

Would a genetically engineered red heifer be usable?

Assuming that a non-Jew chose to create a genetically engineered parah adumah (red heifer) and further assuming it met all the halachic requirements --no two black hairs, hadn't been used for work etc....
14
votes
3answers
502 views

Why didn't women complain about not being able to bring the Pesach?

During the first year in the desert, some men were tamei and complained that they couldn't bring the Pesach. This resulted in the mitzvah of Pesach Sheni. Men and women are equally obligated to ...
7
votes
2answers
168 views

Does Tuma get nullified?

If a drop of Tuma liquid (say a "Mashke" of a zav) falls into a huge vat of water, do we say that all the water is now an Av, or do we say it could get nullified. If it gets nullified, at what ratio? ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery?

Besides the permitted reasons for male kohen, is a bat kohen allowed to go to cemetery for other reason?
4
votes
1answer
842 views

If a woman converting to Judaism goes to Mikvah during her period but doesn't see any more blood, is she Tehorah?

As a corollary to this question, if a woman goes to Mikvah for her conversion "during her period" (let's say on the 2nd or 3rd day), but for some reason (for which she should probably consult her OB/...
4
votes
2answers
215 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

Does urine leakage render one ritually impure?

If one leaks a little bit of urine after urinating, does this liquid (in the clothes) render one ritually impure? If not ritually impure, impure in another fashion?
3
votes
0answers
182 views

Kohanim in Eastern Europe

Another question on this website deals with the issue of kohanim in Auschwitz. To be "strict", a kohen today could simply avoid going to death camps altogether. Elsewhere, however, is not so easy. Are ...
2
votes
3answers
790 views

Torah - as a source of ritual impurity

During the Second Temple period, Torah scroll was considered to be a source of ritual impurity? Today this is not the case. When did this halakha change?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

When can I attend service (Shabbat) after seminal emission? [closed]

Unmarried, 22 year old Jewish man here. I've been consciously trying to get myself rid of masturbation for a year now. I started to take precautions and I take this fight very seriously now. I put a ...
-1
votes
2answers
11k views

How, if at all, can "frum" Jewish men justify their consorting with prostitutes?

A friend of mine is a part-time magistrate in Sullivan County, New York. He often hears cases of hasidic men being caught with prostitutes. Moreover, he tells me that the cases of STDs among hasidim ...
15
votes
3answers
664 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Jews were on 49th level of Tumah. Says who?

There is a well known idea that when the Jews left Egypt during the Exodus, they were on the "forty-ninth level of tumah". Many explanations are given for this and it is expounded upon at length by a ...
12
votes
2answers
241 views

Is a wooden knife מקבל טומאה?

I know that פשוטי כלי עץ טהורים (wooden vessels that are flat [without a receptacle] cannot become טמא [ritually impure]). (כלים ב:א) What about a wooden knife? It has a function, but doesn't have a ...
8
votes
2answers
128 views

discrepancy between parashat emor and yechezkel regarding if it is possible for a kohen to be mitame for a spouse

In parashat Emor (Vayikra 21:2) it is written כִּי, אִם-לִשְׁאֵרוֹ, הַקָּרֹב, אֵלָיו: לְאִמּוֹ וּלְאָבִיו, וְלִבְנוֹ וּלְבִתּוֹ וּלְאָחִיו.כא,ג וְלַאֲחֹתוֹ הַבְּתוּלָה הַקְּרוֹבָה אֵלָיו, אֲשֶׁר ...
7
votes
1answer
709 views

How to handle cadavers

My fiancée is going to university, working towards a degree in dentistry. For about a year, she will be required to handle cadavers in the classes. First of all, is this forbidden in Torah? Secondly, ...
7
votes
1answer
306 views

Do cremated remains contaminate with tumas mes?

If a body is cremated, do the ashes transmit tumah as do other human remains, or does cremation render the body no longer tamei?