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5
votes
2answers
336 views

Was there space in the Aron for two sets of Luchot?

The Holy Ark was 2 1/2 Cubits, by 1 1/2 Cubits, by 1 1/2 Cubits (Shemot 25:10). The Talmud discusses (Baba Basra 14A-B) how much space the Luchot occupied in the Ark. The Talmud says that each tablet ...
3
votes
2answers
142 views

Should the Chazzan say the pesukim of Kedusho loud?

In the repetition of the Amida, it seems (see Teshuvos Igros Moshe 3 (9), OC 104 (7), OC 125 Biur Halocho d.h. "elo shoskin ..") that the Chazzan should say the pesukim of Kedusho loud enough so that ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

What does Psalm 82 mean? [closed]

6 I -- I have said, 'Gods ye are, And sons of the Most High -- all of you, http://yltbible.com/psalms/82.htm So how many gods are there? Who are "you" here? Are we all gods? Here is the context. ...
6
votes
3answers
331 views

honey's dissolving/preserving flesh

Seemingly, there's an idea that honey dissolves flesh (which thereby turns into honey. I don't have a primary source for this, but there is an ibn Ezra story about it). How does this fit in with the ...
8
votes
1answer
201 views

Why does Yalkut Yosef recommend women not do “tashlich”?

I read in Yalkut Yossef that women don't need to go to Tashlikh and the Rav Y. Yossef shlit"a concludes with "Shev Veal Tasse Adif" (trans. it's better to do nothing). Does anyone know the reason ? I ...
1
vote
5answers
69 views

Shiv'a Veshishim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred sixty-seven? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point between twenty-four hours and a few days from now, I will: Vote up all interesting, relevant answers. ...
7
votes
2answers
284 views

Is using a book with letters stamped on the sides melacha (erasing) if the book wasn't closed in the first place?

A comment on this question points to the following from OU: Likewise, when words are stamped on the edge of a book (as is the case with most library books), these letters are separated when the ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

why 3 of punishment, 7 of consolation, 2 of repentance

As is well known (e.g. from Tosafos to M'gila 31:2 or from Shulchan Aruch Orach Chayim 428:8), we have three haftaros of punishment, followed by seven of consolation and then two of return (repentance)...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

When & whether to say El Maleh or Kaddish

I wish to honor the memory of family members (names & relationships unknown) who died when all the Jews were killed in the town from which my parents came. The date this year comes out on 8/26. ...
0
votes
2answers
103 views

many traditions are deep rooted, and thusly fought over (why?) …but don't we have bigger fish to fry? [closed]

why are so many of these traditions, if not really based in halacha, or real traditions (eg halacha/kabbalah) considered so important? like who really cares how we cut our fingernails and in what ...
12
votes
2answers
699 views

What is the origin of giving “Pesicho” to the expectant husband?

What is the origin of the practice of giving “pesicho” (the honor of opening the Ark) to the husband whose wife is expecting a baby?
9
votes
1answer
240 views

Piyyutim on Yomim Noraim. Why do we split phrases against their meaning?

Why is it that in the davenning for Yomim Noraim, we split up the phrases in many of the piyyutim against their real meaning? For example, in “Vechol maaminim shehu…” (p 538 Artscroll Machzor For Yom ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Cutting tzitzis strings

I'm pretty sure I once saw the Mishna Brura talk about how it's best not to cut tzitzis with metal and that there's a custom to cut tzitzis strings with your teeth. But now, although I keep searching ...
5
votes
1answer
371 views

What conditions must be met in order for voluntarily forgone income to count as tzedakah?

Suppose one has done work of some value for a charitable organization in exchange for money. This organization would normally qualify as a destination for tzedakah, and perhaps you have also given ...
7
votes
2answers
633 views

Can an immersion heater be used to kasher a sink? Does anyone have experience with this?

Normally, to "kasher" or "kosherize" a metal sink (from non-kosher to kosher, or before Passover), you clean it out well, make sure it's used for nothing hot for 24 hours, then pour boiling water all ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

How did the Ten Martyrs actually die?

On Yom Kippur and Tisha B'av we read about the Ten Martyrs who were gathered and killed by Emperor Hadrian to atone for the Sale of Yosef HaTzadik. In addition to the idea that the Ten Martyrs didn't ...
4
votes
2answers
84 views

Shalom Zachar and "the rain of your land in its season”

Rashi on Devorim 11 (14), “I will give the rain of your land in its season” says this will be on Shabbos nights when everyone will be found in their houses. How does this fit with the institution of ...
7
votes
1answer
237 views

Are kickbacks prohibited?

Would a person be allowed to give/take bribes to a person responsible for purchasing in a company? Would it be forbidden directly as "shochad" (bribery) or under a general prohibition of Gnevas Daas, ...
11
votes
2answers
390 views

What does one do when one needs to bentch gomel?

One who has recovered from a serious illness or accident is supposed to bentch gomel during the torah service. What do you need to know to do this? Specifically: When is the right time -- the first ...
6
votes
1answer
146 views

Community/Synagogue Honorifics

I visited the Rare Books section of the JTS in New York in Dec. 2009, to view an old manuscript from Kezmarok, Slovakia. I selected certain pages that I was interested in translating, on behalf of ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Looking for a good version of Maimonides Introduction to his Commentary on the Mishna available online

I while ago, I read through most of an English translation Rambam's Introduction to his Commentary on the Mishnah. I think it was an earlier edition of this one, but I'm not sure. I'm looking for a ...
8
votes
5answers
442 views

How does salt “add heat” (mishna in Shabbos 4(1))

The mishna in Shabbos 4(1) tells us which materials may not be used to insulate foods for Shabbos because they "add heat". One of these materials is salt. Can anyone explain how salt can add heat ...
11
votes
6answers
1k views

Different Size Letters in the Torah

I've often wondered if someone has compiled anything about the "special letters" in the Torah: All the letters that are either big or small. Together, do they read as something special? One or more ...
8
votes
1answer
333 views

Halachic significance of the plurality of Jews living in Israel

I once heard that if Israel has the largest Jewish population, it has a significant effect on certain Halachot. What are the criteria for this, and what halachot are affected? (Shmita is the one most ...
8
votes
3answers
214 views

Drinking on the street

Recently it has become common to see ladies walking around the Haredi neighborhoods, specifically the shopping streets of Geula, sipping from an iced coffee in a paper cup. It certainly looks ...
6
votes
3answers
448 views

Source of appellation “Shimshon HaGibor”

I've heard it claimed that the expression "Shimshon HaGibor" (Samson the Mighty) [as a descriptive of Shimshon in Tanach] was invented by the Zionists, to promote their "strong Jew" narrative. Is this ...
3
votes
2answers
303 views

What happens at bedeken?

Wikipedia says both that the groom puts on the veil, and in a separate paragraph says he uncovers it. Which is it? Does he put it on, lift it, and then drop it again? Can he just lift it and ...
8
votes
2answers
296 views

Is there any restriction on what constitutes a veil for bedeken?

What can be considered a veil to be used in a bedeken at a wedding? (See also my other related question)
2
votes
4answers
51 views

Shisha Veshishim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred sixty-six? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point between twenty-four hours and a few days from now, I will: Vote up all interesting, relevant answers. ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is a mechitza required for dancing at Jewish weddings? Why?

If the men and women aren't dancing together, is it strictly required that there also be a mechitza between them? If so, why? What guidelines would this mechitza have to meet? Or is it simply a smart ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

Can a person who is under a Nazarite Vow, keep Pesach? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Nozir and four cups of wine Is it possible to continue a Nazarite vow and still participate in Passover?
7
votes
1answer
413 views

What are the standards for bathroom design?

Starting from scratch in building a multiple occupancy bathroom, what standards should be maintained in its design and construction? There are plenty of relevant halachos regarding modesty and proper ...
7
votes
1answer
166 views

Shalom Aleichem in Kiddush Levana to an Aveil

We do not say Shalom Aleichem to a Aveil. What about saying Shalom Aleichem to an Aveil (after the Shiva, during the year of Aveilus) during Kiddush Levana - do you or do you not? (sources please)
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is downloading pirated music stealing?

Either way, it should be frowned upon as not a nice thing to do, but would it actually be assur?
13
votes
4answers
583 views

“Is the market-based distribution of income fair or unfair?”

This post, by a leading economist, lists the main differences on economic policy between the right and left-leaning economists. On many economic issues, Judaism does not necessarily take a clear ...
5
votes
2answers
344 views

What do broken thumbs mean on a grave stone?

Often on the grave stones of kohanim there is an engraving of two hands with fingers spread as kohanim do during birchas kohanim. (For an example drawn randomly from Google Images see here.) What does ...
13
votes
2answers
884 views

When did people stop wearing Tefilin all day?

At what point in history did most religous people stop wearing Tefilin all day?
9
votes
2answers
505 views

What bracha do you make on Martini

The Italian company Martini and Rossi make a bottled drink called "Martini" - it has a good hechsher from Rav Gerlich from Milano and the Israeli Rabbinate. Martini is made from red wine and alcohol - ...
5
votes
2answers
263 views

How often is it neccessary to check the strings of an Eruv?

If you have an Eruv Chatzeros for carrying, how often is it necessary to check it to make sure that it is properly strung and you can still carry on Shabbos?
4
votes
4answers
272 views

Why does each chasidut have its own distinct clothing?

Why does each chasidut have its own distinct clothing? Google and Wikipedia only list different kinds of clothes, but they don't explain why.
5
votes
1answer
52 views

Where is Is. 40:12 used in prayer?

The phrase וְכָל בַּשָּׁלִשׁ עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ from ישעיהו מ יב (used in the haftara of Vaeschanan) is very familiar to me from prayers, and I can't think where it's from. Moreover, Google is not ...
89
votes
3answers
2k views

Does “reputation scoring” make “the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with”?

Is "reputation scoring" against the spirit of Pirkei Ovos 4 (5) "Rabbi Tzaddok would say: Do not make the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with, ...."
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Does "Brich Rachamana Malka D'Alma Ma'rei D'Hai Pita' really fullfil the obligation of Birkas Hamazon?

I heard from a friend that, as per the Gemara, saying the following phrase in Aramaic discharges the obligation to recite Bircas Hamazon in its entirety: Brich rachamana malka d'alma ma'rei d'hai ...
3
votes
5answers
880 views

Searching for a website that will calculate gematria and indicate parts of torah that match that numerical value

Many years ago I went to a website that had a Gematria calculator. You could type in any hebrew word and it would tell you the numerical value of the word. Then, it would show you any words or ...
15
votes
2answers
582 views

Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?

Pretty much across the board, beged gadol and katan have fabric squares sewn on the corners. Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?
4
votes
4answers
409 views

What are the main source texts for the chavruta and teacher-student models in Jewish learning?

I'm working on an outline for a short presentation on how new online tools, especially this site, interact with the traditional Jewish learning models of chavruta and teacher-student. What are the ...
10
votes
8answers
1k views

Where is there a good online source to check how often a word appears in Tanach?

Where is there a good online source where you can check how often a word appears in Tanach?
1
vote
4answers
50 views

Chamisha Veshishim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred sixty-five? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point between twenty-four hours and a few days from now, I will: Vote up all interesting, relevant answers. ...
12
votes
3answers
867 views

Why do accidental killers sent to arei miklat go free after the Kohen Gadol dies?

When someone kills accidentaly he is sent to live in an ir miklat ("city of refuge") until the Kohen Gadol ("High Priest") dies. This seems like an arbitrary time. What does the Kohen Gadol's death ...
9
votes
1answer
370 views

Chamisha Asar B'Av - when did the Minhag stop?

The Gemara Taanis 31. says אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיוה"כ שבהן בנות ירושלים יוצאות ... וחולות בכרמים ומה היו אומרות בחור שא נא עיניך וראה מה אתה בורר לך אל תתן ...

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