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votes
1answer
55 views

Shemona Ushloshim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred thirty-eight? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go ...
7
votes
1answer
316 views

How to increase the demand for kosher food?

I live in the Hartford Connecticut area and while the population of people who practice the Jewish faith is increasing, the ability to find Kosher food is on the decline. Even the local Kosher grocery ...
13
votes
4answers
3k views

Which passages comprise the classic Tikkun Leil Shavuot?

As we count down to Shavuot, I find myself wondering: [First, some background for those who don't know what a Tikkun Leil Shavuot is] According to tradition, we overslept the morning of Matan Torah (...
7
votes
1answer
374 views

Why does shacharit repeat kaddish yatom?

Ashkenazi nussach ends the weekday shacharit service with two kaddish yatoms: one after "Aleinu" and another after the psalm for the day (and seasonal insertions if applicable). Ismar Elbogen's ...
8
votes
4answers
367 views

What is the source for the idea that only two mitzvot have a specific reward associated with them?

I have heard it said that only the mitzvot of kibbud av v'eim (honoring parents) and shiluach haken (sending away the mother bird before taking eggs) are given with an explicit reward (that your days ...
7
votes
8answers
5k views

Do Jewish people keep a Bible or other scripture in their homes?

Are there religious laws against it, or can Jewish people also keep a copy of the Bible (scriptures) in their home? What word is the most common term used to refer to the Hebrew Bible?
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Do Jewish people have a collection of books which are the equivalent of the Christian Old Testament?

One claim that is made in our Christian Church is that the Jewish people use the Old Testament and that Christians use both the Old Testament and the New Testament. How correct is this statement? Do ...
39
votes
8answers
3k views

Is it permissible to erase the name of G-d from an E-reader?

Most people seem to be lenient about shemos on digital screens in general (though Bar-Ilan does avoid displaying the Tetragrammaton.) The letters on the screen are just light, there is nothing really ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Your funniest Baal Teshuva stories [closed]

For those of us who weren't born into religious households, it's a very emotional and often gut-wrenching process making the transition to a religious lifestyle and world-view. At the same time a lot ...
6
votes
1answer
799 views

Forms of Kashering a knife

I remember hearing that a knife can be kashered (from being treif) by sticking it in the ground. But I also know you can use the traditional kashering methods - Hag'ala (completely submerging the ...
11
votes
2answers
405 views

Publicly Teaching Halacha

I was looking at the Daily Halachah Yahoo group and was a little bit surprised at this statement: It is therefore forbidden for Jews to teach non-Jews Halachah Is this true? (See a related ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Chabad custom of not allowing water to touch matzah on Pesach

What is the origin of this custom? This must be fairly recent and "Lubavitch-specific", because my grandparents, who were very observant, always had matzah ball soup and fried matzah with eggs for ...
5
votes
3answers
233 views

Bending at “s'lach lanu”

I have seen many people bow slightly when striking their chests in recitation of the sixth b'racha of sh'moneh esrei. Is this a custom? Is there a source for it? Anyone whom I've witnessed doing ...
22
votes
5answers
2k views

Halachic Restrictions not in the Torah, and “shall not add”

How can halachic restrictions that are not in the Torah be reconciled with the Deuteronomy 4:2 passage, which says, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish from ...
19
votes
9answers
18k views

Are there any Jewish people alive today who can identify themselves as coming from a particular tribe?

The Christian "New Testament" claims Paul (Saul) was of the tribe of Benjamin. Since Roman times have there been any people who can validly claim they were from a particular tribe? At least at that ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

How did Rambam eliminate “ben gilo” from the halacha?

The gemara in Elu Metzios (Bava Metzia 30b) says: אמר מר (אשר) ילכו - זה ביקור חולים. היינו גמילות חסדים! לא נצרכה אלא לבן גילו ,דאמר מר בן גילו נוטל אחד מששים בחליו ,ואפי' הכי מבעי ליה ...
14
votes
3answers
466 views

What is the explanation for the destruction of the First Temple?

What is the explanation (according to the Jewish Bible, Talmud, etc.) for the destruction of the First Temple?
32
votes
5answers
6k views

Is it possible for a Gentile to convert to Judaism? [closed]

Is it possible for someone who is Gentile to convert to Judaism? What is the prevailing belief of Jewish people on this subject? What scripture backs up this belief? What do prominent Jewish ...
7
votes
5answers
951 views

What purpose does a siyum have?

From time to time I find myself listening to someone making a siyum, I am thinking of structuring my learning to pursue finishing enough to make a siyum. But before I commit myself I want to know if ...
7
votes
1answer
338 views

New blessing on spices (besamim)

After reciting a blessing on spices (besamim), how much time must elapse before a new blessing is required? Or is this not time-dependent, but rather something that depends on one's attention (i.e. ...
12
votes
1answer
570 views

When does a day start/end in the far North/South?

As I understand it, a day in the Jewish calendar is from sunset to sunset. How is this handled if you are living so far north or south that you have long periods of daylight or darkness?
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Kiddush Levanah answering aliechem Sholom

When can you start answering back Aliechem Shalom meaning can you answer if you are in middle of the first Bracha?
13
votes
3answers
916 views

Why do we say Pesach seder brachot both nights?

During the Pesach seder, but not during the rest of Pesach, we say b'rachot for the mitzvot of matzah and maror. (I mean the "asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav" b'rachot.) So it seems that we are only ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

Citation format for G'mara

If one is citing a g'mara in a scholarly article, what is the proper publication information to use, including title, etc.? I can't seem to find reliable examples in either English or Hebrew. This ...
1
vote
2answers
71 views

Shiv'a Ushloshim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred thirty-seven? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Internal Passive With Characteristic “u” Vowel [closed]

In Biblical Hebrew, what is the "internal passive with characteristic u vowel"?
10
votes
2answers
628 views

Why no Talmud Bavli on Zeraim or Taharot?

The common reason given as to why there is no Talmud Bavli on most of Seder Zeraim or Seder Taharot (only the tractates of Berachot and Niddah are represented) is that the Amoraim were based in Bavel (...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Why are angelic icons not prominent in Judaism?

I learned that the song Shalom Aleichem is all about welcoming the Shabbat angels, and clearly angels are celebrated in Judaism. However I've noticed that images of angels are not very widespread in ...
10
votes
2answers
764 views

Is mixed gender volleyball permissible?

Are men and women permitted to play volleyball against each other, with each team only one gender? Does it make a difference if they are separated by an opaque wall or a regular net?
15
votes
4answers
5k views

B'siyata D'shmaya or Baruch Hashem

Often, at the top of written work, Jews write either ב"ה, which stands for Baruch Hashem =blessed is the Name i.e., God, or בס"ד, which stands for b'siyata d'shmaya =with Heavenly help. What is the ...
10
votes
3answers
235 views

BBQ for Yom Hatzmaut

What is the source for making barbecues on Yom Haatzmaut?
10
votes
4answers
399 views

Shehecheyanu on new website

If one launches a new website, can he recite Shehecheyanu? Or perhaps Hatov Ve-Hametiv, if others derive benefit from it?
8
votes
3answers
362 views

Should I follow the congregation if their view on prayers for Yom Ha'Atzma'ut is different than mine?

How should one go about davening in a minyan on yom haatzmaut when his custom is not to change davening? My minyan does no tachanun and hallel without a bracha after shmona esreh. Should I- do ...
6
votes
1answer
272 views

Late Yom Hatzmaut

What is the rule: when is Yom Hatzmaut moved from the fifth of Iyar to an earlier or later date?
6
votes
4answers
410 views

Keeping Tefillin Black

What are some suggestions for keeping the Tefiliin Retzuos (straps) black? How can I prevent the Retzuos from needing to be painted and/or replaced?
4
votes
1answer
909 views

Where can I find the Maharal's Netivot Olam Online?

Where can I find a searchable copy of the Maharal's Netivot Olam (Netiv haTorah specifically) online?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Women Making Kiddush

Let's say a husband and wife are alone on Friday night or on Shabbos day. Can the wife make kiddush for herself and her husband?
12
votes
5answers
5k views

Meaning and pronunciation of יישר כחך

What is the exact meaning of the phrase "יישר כחך", and what is the gramatically-correct way to pronounce it?
6
votes
2answers
430 views

Formal Hebrew honorific for one's mother

Many men, when going up for an aliya, tell the gabbai their name as, e.g. "Reuven ben Rav Yaakov", even if "Yaakov," the father, isn't actually a Rabbi." I believe the reason for this practice is to ...
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Are Animal Crackers depicting non-kosher animals non-kosher?

Are animal crackers that depict animals such as swine, lions, and camels treif?
6
votes
3answers
379 views

Saving a Life During Tefillah

If one is in middle of Shemoneh Esrei (which is the only part of Tefillah, I could think of where there might be a problem), and there is a life to be saved, is he/she allowed to interrupt the ...
1
vote
2answers
81 views

Shisha Ushloshim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred thirty-six? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go on ...
4
votes
1answer
179 views

g'mara about David's conception

Where's the g'mara about Yishay's divorce (or was it separation?) and David's conception, please?
9
votes
1answer
727 views

Who asked Rav Moshe about capital punishment?

There is an interesting t'shuva in Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat vol.2 #68 (pt. 1 pt. 2) in which he explains the extreme rarity of capital punishment in Jewish law, especially in modern times. It is ...
7
votes
2answers
221 views

Kohain First questions

1)Is there a Din that a Kohain must be allowed to cut you online in a supermarket because of "Vkidashto"? 2)Do they go first when it comes to Davening when there are two Chiyuvim? 3)When you learn ...
3
votes
3answers
86 views

Chamisha Ushloshim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred thirty-five? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting answers. Accept the best answer. Go ...
13
votes
2answers
292 views

Why Are These Double Parshiyos?

During a regular (non-leap) Jewish year, there are four instances where two of the weekly Torah portions are read together in the same week. This is because there are not enough weeks to read all of ...
18
votes
2answers
1k views

Nun in Ashrei- Psalm 145

The prayer Ashrei, which we recite three times a day, is an acrostic consisting of all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet except for nun (נ). Why is the nun omitted?
7
votes
3answers
190 views

Robot as a competent proxy?

Would those who hold that a minor can serve as an agent in Jewish law (for a d'var r'shus - discretionary act, not a mitzva) hold similarly for a sufficiently intelligent and self-aware robot? The ...
14
votes
1answer
418 views

20 Sivan and the inappropriateness of new days of commemoration

The kina (elegy) "Mi yiten roshi mayim" recited on 9 Av was composed in commemoration of the events of the First Crusade as it passed through the Rhineland. It includes the following lines (freely ...

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