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12
votes
3answers
1k views

Edim Zomemim - Why Not Believe Them?

There is a concept of Edim Zomemim (Wikipedia has it translated as "Collusive Witnesses") (עדים זוממים). Basically, if two witnesses testify about someone, and then two other witnesses come and say ...
5
votes
3answers
215 views

Why do we say God will be one when we also say He already is?

Aleinu ends with the phrase "on that day God will be one and His name will be one". While we could interpret this to mean that "on that day everybody else will agree with us on this", the plain ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Differences between Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism

Is there a good reference that gives major differences between the practices of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism?
10
votes
1answer
243 views

What is the “Kos Shel Ikrin,” a potion that renders one infertile?

The Talmud discusses the "Kos Shel Ikrin" (Cup of the Barren, or Cup of Roots), a potion that rendered a woman or man infertile. The recipe for this potion is on record in tractate Shabbos and there ...
1
vote
3answers
57 views

Tish'a Ve'arba'im Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred forty-nine? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting and relevant answers. Accept the what ...
3
votes
1answer
262 views

How does the word “Talmud” derive from root LMD? Is the word Aramaic?

I know what "Talmud" means and that it derives from the root Lamed Mem Dalet. But I cannot figure out how the word derives. Is it Aramaic (i.e. not Hebrew) and/or are there any other words that follow ...
4
votes
2answers
116 views

'amel' vs. 'osek'

We speak of being עָמֵל בַּתּוֹרָה (e.g., Rashi to B'chukosay 26:3 and :14) and also of being עוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה (e.g., birchos haTora in the morning). What is each (especially as contrasted with the ...
7
votes
3answers
285 views

Correct Nusach for Ana Bechoach (אנא בכח)

In אנא בכח, I've usually said "בָּרְכֵם, טַהֲרֵם, רַחֲמֵי צִדְקָתְךָ תָּמִיד גָמְלֵם". However, in my Artscroll Siddur I noticed it says רחמם (with a ם instead of י). Which of these are correct?
16
votes
1answer
3k views

Mixed swimming in a pool?

What are the issues with mixed swimming, from a tzniut point of view? Does it make a difference if the swimmers are or aren't Jewish? For example, are there issues with me swimming with my wife and a ...
4
votes
0answers
180 views

Why do people outside Eretz Yisroel keep 2 days Yom Tov for Shavuos? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Second day of Shavous Shavuos is one Yom Tov that has nothing to do with the day of the month. It is 50 days after the first day of Pesach. Even in the times of making Rosh ...
3
votes
6answers
180 views

Shemona Ve'arba'im Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred forty-eight? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all answers I consider relevant and interesting. ...
6
votes
3answers
658 views

Tachanun at Mincha afternoon before Yom Yerushalem

For those who celebrate Yom Yerushalem,is Tachanun said during Mincha the afternoon before Yom Yerushalem?
2
votes
7answers
215 views

Books on the significance of the months in the Jewish calendar

I am looking for books/sefarim (Hebrew or English) that discuss the different months of the Jewish year, and their overall significance in relation to: Zodiac Signs Tribes Chagim Animals Tanach/...
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Male tzniut: Swimwear

Seeing as summer is coming, I thought I'd clear up a few questions about male tzniut with regards to swimwear. Namely, my real question is: what is required? I live in southern California, so outside ...
5
votes
3answers
126 views

How a couple lines in Alenu fit the pattern

It has been pointed out to me that the two halves of the "Alenu" prayer follow a pretty strict pattern. Each contains eight parallel couplets, followed by a Biblical quote. I broke it all down myself, ...
6
votes
3answers
150 views

Why do we Daven for (יראת שמים) fear of heaven twice?

In the Birchas HaChodesh that we say monthly the Shabbos prior to Rosh Chodesh we say as follows: Chaim Sheyesh Bohem Yiras Shomayim V'Yiras Chet and then in the same paragraph we later say Chaim ...
5
votes
1answer
134 views

Why do we Daven for יראת שמים / fear of Heaven?

The Gemara in Nidah 16: mentions the following in the name of Rabbi Chanina: דאמר רבי חנינא הכל בידי שמים חוץ מיראת שמים שנאמר (דברים י) ועתה ישראל מה ה' אלהיך שואל מעמך כי אם ליראה וגו'. - "...
7
votes
1answer
205 views

Do you attach tzitzit on a borrowed garment? If so, do you later remove them?

I have a poncho that is a four-cornered outer garment with a neck hole. I'm a woman so I've never had to worry about tzitzit. The garment is unisex, not specifically feminine. If a man were to ...
10
votes
3answers
898 views

What were the 300 plagues of the Exodus?

The הגדה says: במצרים לקו חמשים מכות, ועל הים לקו חמשים ומאתים מכות In Egypt, they were struck with 50 plagues, and by the Sea [of Reeds], they were struck with 250 plagues What were ...
25
votes
13answers
1k views

What are the most essential Jewish websites? [closed]

What websites are essential bookmarks on a Jew's internet browser? I am thinking broadly of resources like a place to get online texts or a particularly good blog etc... Please include links as well ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Bracha on frozen grape juice

For a cold dessert, I often like to freeze a cup of grape juice and then eat it with a spoon like an Italian ice. What is the appropriate bracha to say before and after eating this delicacy?
2
votes
4answers
72 views

Shiv'a Ve'arba'im Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred forty-seven? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all answers I consider relevant and interesting. ...
4
votes
2answers
299 views

Is the Tower of Babel discussed in other Jewish texts?

Genesis Chapter 11 includes a few short verses about the Tower of Babel: 1 And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed east, that they found ...
3
votes
2answers
163 views

Interrupting birkas hamazon

For what prayer responses (e.g. amen, baruch Hu uvaruch Sh'mo, y'he Sh'me...) may one interrupt his own recital of birkas hamazon?
4
votes
1answer
182 views

Closing abbreviation ושכמ"ה

Every [anonymous] question asked in the responsum Torah Lishmah ends with an address to the answerer and the abbreviation ושכמ"ה (e.g.). The Otzar Rashei Teivos had only one entry for this ...
6
votes
1answer
170 views

“Hayom yom X b'shabas” or “bashabas”?

A sidur I used this morning had the introductory line of the shir shel yom as "hayom yom sheni b'shabas". When I checked the two sidurim I trust the most for excatitude in these matters, one had "...
15
votes
6answers
3k views

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 ...
2
votes
2answers
168 views

Does participating in Torah discussion websites fit into the spirit of Torah sheB'al Peh?

This question is a follow-up to Why was Torah SheBe'Al Peh not allowed to be written? and Why can people write Torah sheBal Peh nowadays? As discussed in the above questions, there were many ...
12
votes
2answers
313 views

Is it possible to convert a rosh of a Rabeynu Tam Tefillin into a rosh of a Rashi Tefillin?

If I find a Rabeynu Tam Tefillin and I do not have another one, can I take it apart, and change the rosh (I know how to) from Rabeynu Tam to a Rashi Tefillin?
8
votes
1answer
948 views

When praying alone, can one say Ma'ariv/Arvit before shkia (sunset)?

I have heard in the past that one praying alone may not say Ma'ariv/Arvit until shkia/sunset but that one praying with a minyan can start Ma'ariv as early as Plag HaMincha. Could someone provide me a ...
22
votes
4answers
963 views

Are there other extant Chabad groups besides Chabad-Lubavitch?

Wikipedia lists a number of different Chabad groups including: Chabad-Lubavitch Chabad-Bobroisk Chabad-Kapust Chabad-Liadi Chabad-Nezhin Chabad-Strashelye I was told that these different groups were ...
4
votes
1answer
593 views

What purpose does the repetition of the Shemoneh Esrei (Amidah) serve?

Does the repetition serve to ensure that everyone present has fulfilled the mitzvah of tefila? If so, does saying "amen" to all of the blessings work in substitution of the silent Shemoneh Esrei, in a ...
2
votes
1answer
361 views

Davening whilst on a road-trip, what must I do?

If I'm driving long distance on a road-trip, (approx. 400 miles, leaving house at 3am, arriving at approximately 9am) am I required to stop the car, get out, and daven Shacharit at or before sunrise? ...
6
votes
2answers
185 views

Haircuts on Friday when the 47th of the omer falls on Sunday

The Rema, commenting on the mourning of the first 33 days of the omer, allows haircuts on Friday, lichvod shabbos, when the 33rd falls on Sunday. Does the same reasoning apply when the 47th falls on ...
16
votes
6answers
7k views

Is a rare steak kosher?

If you have a steak medium to rare, such that it's still pink in the middle, is it kosher? At what point is meat cooked enough?
8
votes
4answers
279 views

Saying Tanach by Heart

מִזְמוֹרֵי תְהִלִּים וְכֵן שְׁאָר פָּרָשִׁיּוֹת מִתּוֹרָה נְבִיאִים וּכְתוּבִים שֶׁאֵינָם שְׁגוּרִים בְּפִי הַכֹּל, אָסוּר לְאָמְרָם בְּעַל פֶּה. אֲפִלּוּ מִי שֶׁהוּא יוֹדֵעַ לְאָמְרָם בְּעַל פֶּה, יֶשׁ לוֹ לִזָּהֵר ...
4
votes
1answer
796 views

What is the origin of the custom to say Shema to a baby on the day before his Brit Milah?

I have seen a custom among Ashkenazic Jews that on the day before the Brit Milah of a baby boy, a group of children will come and all say the Shema to the baby. What is the origin and reason for the ...
8
votes
1answer
243 views

Tevilas Keilim for a meat thermometer

Does a meat thermometer need to undergo tevillas keilim before use, since it does not really do anything to prepare the food itself?
10
votes
2answers
286 views

Saving Parking Spots

Reuven calls Shimon to ask if Shimon may stand inside a parking spot and reserve it until Reuven gets there in five minutes. While standing there, Levi pulls up and directs Shimon to vacate the spot ...
7
votes
2answers
406 views

Why can people write Torah sheBal Peh nowadays?

This is a follow up to: Why was Torah SheBe'Al Peh not allowed to be written?. The Gemara in Temurah 14b states that one may not write Torah sheBal Peh. It then states an exception that was made ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

When did the Talmudic penalty of death stop being carried out? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: History of Capital Punishment When did the Talmudic penality of death stop being carried out? For example, the opening verses of Tractate Sotah describe death penalty for ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Is hamsa allowed?

Does the Halacha allow the use of a hamsa as a good luck charm, considering that it originated as a Muslim symbol?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What exactly is the story behind the person who wrote the Akdomus (said on Shavous)

On Shavous morning we say the poem Akdomus, and supposedly there's a fascinating story with the Baal Akdomus and the Sambatyon river (something about it being quiet on Shabbos which is why he was only ...
15
votes
5answers
664 views

Why do Ashkenazim eat Milchigs (dairy) on Shavuos?

Why do Ashkenazim have a Minhag to eat Milchigs (dairy) on Shavuos?
10
votes
3answers
420 views

What should be said after “sh'mei d'kudsha, brich hu” in Kaddish?

I have noticed in Chabad synagogues and sefarim, in the Kaddish after "sh'mei d'kudsha brich hu," "amen" is said by the congregation. In every other source I've seen and every other synagogue I've ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

Which parts of the prayer service must be said clearly out loud?

I've heard a few different opinions on this. During longer prayer services, such as Shacharit on Shabbat, at least in Nusach Sefard, Pesukei D'Zimrah is quite long and there is a tendency for the ...
16
votes
4answers
1k views

Why was Torah SheBe'Al Peh not allowed to be written?

The Gemara states that it is forbidden to write down the Oral Torah ("Torah SheBe'Al Peh") [1]: דרש רבי יהודה בר נחמני מתורגמניה דרבי שמעון בן לקיש, כתיב: +שמות ל"ד+ כתוב לך את הדברים האלה, וכתיב: +...
9
votes
1answer
489 views

The origins of davening

So according to the Rambam (I believe that it is only him, but would be more than interested in other people that also hold the same view), it is a mitzvah de'oraita daven every day (I believe its one ...
12
votes
5answers
493 views

The authenticity of rabbinic literature

I am studying the history of various branches of Judaism. I understand the position of rabbinic Judaism that parts of the laws were oral and not written. But this alone would not justify the ...
10
votes
1answer
221 views

Am I still Fleishig? When did we eat?

I'm sure this happens many times in a Jewish home on Shabbos: It's Shalosh Seudos time and there's dairy to eat, except no one remembers exactly what time the Shabbos meal took place. So, my question ...

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