All Questions

16
votes
0answers
276 views

Deleted attacks on the Shulchan Aruch in Pri Chadash

The bibliography in the English Me'am Lo'ez haggadah says of Pri Chadash that it "often strongly attacks the opinions of the Shulchan Aruch. Its strongest language was deleted from later editions." ...
14
votes
0answers
118 views

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch and Chassidism

Does anyone know if there is any historical record of Rabbi Hirsh's perspectives on Chassidism? The movement was obviously not very present where he was in Germany, but given that he was in contact ...
14
votes
0answers
211 views

Halachot that are dependent on population statistics

There appear to be several halachot that are based on "a majority of Israel". For example: Mishnah Berachot 54a: הרואה מקום שנעשו בו נסים לישראל אומר ברוך שעשה נסים לאבותינו במקום הזה IF ONE ...
13
votes
0answers
168 views

Finding a source for a statement attributed to Ibn Ezra

There is a phrase that is popularly attributed to Rabbi Avraham ibn Ezra. Apparently, it relates to a sugya in Hullin that concerns the permissibility of eating honey in which the legs of bees might ...
11
votes
0answers
99 views

Would the President of the United States have to put mezuzot on the doors of the White House?

If a Jew were elected president of the United States, would he/she be required to put a mezuzah on all of the doors of the White House? I can think of many arguments for each side. The house does not ...
11
votes
0answers
107 views

Ritual locations during the times of the Mishkan

There are certain, rituals such as the sending away of the scapegoat on Yom Kippur or the drawing of water on Sukkot which are described in Mishna as relating geographically to the location of the ...
10
votes
0answers
55 views

Can a “brain controlled” prosthetic be used on Shabbat?

New prosthetics are controlled by brain waves which seem to make the prosthetic an extension of the body in an "organic" way, in that we control all of our own limbs through the same brain waves and ...
10
votes
0answers
167 views

Non-literal interpretation of the barrel of wine virginity test?

In Ketubos 10:, Rabban Gamliel seats a lady on a barrel of wine to test her virginity. If wine can be smelled on her breath she is not a virgin, and if not then she is; there is no odour from the lady'...
10
votes
0answers
481 views

Tattling on fellow Mi Yodeyans

We are currently in the beginning of the 2012 Mi Yodeya Moderator Election. To what extent can one avail oneself of the exception of "to'elet"="for a purpose" to the standard rules of Lashon HaRa' (...
9
votes
0answers
560 views

How obligated is one to say Kaddish for a deceased relative?

People often talk about an obligation -- Chiyuv -- to recite Kaddish at every opportunity for some time after the death of a relative. (Which relatives are obligated and for how long does not seem ...
9
votes
0answers
310 views

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av?

Do some communities still allow more mingling between the sexes on Tu B'Av? I understand that this used to be a custom, in addition to allowance of a more relaxed approach to women's tznius on that ...
8
votes
0answers
107 views

Minhag to eat Dessert First?

A while ago (at least 25 years ago) I recall a friend's mother saying there was a minhag in Tzfat to eat dessert first, because if you had to suddenly stop your meal in the middle because the Moshiach ...
8
votes
0answers
90 views

Who is pulled to safety first?

If a group of people are in mortal danger, all of the same gender (cf. Horayot 13a; some suggest that the Mishnah on Horayot is not discussing a case of rescuing from physical danger, cf. Tziz Eliezer ...
8
votes
0answers
84 views

Line break before למען ירבו ימיכם

In most of my prayer books there is a line break before למען ירבו ימיכם in the second chapter of the Shema (see also this one from Vilna or Zhytomyr): וְהָיָ֗ה אִם־שָׁמֹ֤עַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ֙ אֶל־...
8
votes
0answers
167 views

Changeable page number sign for shul

In the shul (synagogue) I went to growing up, and in other shuls I've been to, they had a device for displaying the current page number. It was a wall-mounted box with three windows, behind each of ...
8
votes
0answers
220 views

May one ride in a utilitarian car?

A new study has confirmed the obvious: people want to survive: even though participants approve of autonomous vehicles that might sacrifice passengers to save others, respondents would prefer not ...
8
votes
0answers
145 views

What is the reason for the ark opening & closing procedure during Aleinu in High Holiday Musaph?

The Art Scroll & Birnbaum siddurim Nusach Ashkenaz for both Rosh Hashannah & Yom Kippur state this ark / opening procedure during the cantor's recital of the Aleinu prayer during Musaph on ...
8
votes
0answers
551 views

To what extent is homosexuality forbidden among non-Jews?

All homosexual behavior is forbidden among Jews, but some actions are clearly Torah prohibitions (e.g. mishkav zachar), while some might be Rabbinic in nature (e.g. lesbian relations). Are all of ...
8
votes
0answers
121 views

Why don't we say the first verse of Psalm 6 in Tachanun?

When Ashkenazim say Tachanun, they say the text of Psalm 6 without the first verse introduction “To the conductor with melodies on the sheminith, a song of David.” In the text, we say, “I am weary ...
7
votes
0answers
61 views

Is there an algorithmic way to determine whether a munakh is a munakh legarmei?

In general, a munakh before psik munakh revii is a munakh legarmei. That’s the easy part. But this question makes it clear that there are others. Specifically, they occasionally occur Before mapakh ...
7
votes
0answers
69 views

How to understand the first Rashi in the Torah?

How can we understand the first Rashi in the Torah? בראשית. אָמַר רַבִּי יִצְחָק לֹֹֹֹֹא הָיָה צָרִיךְ לְהַתְחִיל אֶת הַתּוֹרָה אֶלָּא מֵהַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם, שֶׁהִיא מִצְוָה רִאשׁוֹנָה ...
7
votes
0answers
70 views

How to comfort someone who has lost his non-Jewish parent

I came across a (Facebook) post the other day in which an acquaintance announced he had lost his non-Jewish father. The individual is not a convert; his mother had intermarried. The funeral will not ...
7
votes
0answers
53 views

Why is “marriage effective contingent upon the approval of the Sages”?

In Gittin 33a, Kesuvos 3a we learn that Rabbanan have the power to uproot a kiddushin because: כל דמקדש אדעתא דרבנן מקדש ואפקעינהו רבנן לקידושין מיניה When a man betroths a woman, he does so ...
7
votes
0answers
60 views

Sheimos-free versions of Tanach Online

There are many websites that provide the user with the text of Tanach (as well as various other Jewish sources). When printing sources, I like to avoid printing "Shemot", or actual names of Hashem, ...
7
votes
0answers
34 views

Tribes' names with את and without?

"וַתַּהַר לֵאָה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ רְאוּבֵן" "וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן ... וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ שִׁמְעוֹן" "וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן ... עַל־כֵּן קָרָא־שְׁמוֹ לֵוִי" "וַתַּהַר עוֹד ...
7
votes
0answers
45 views

Difference between Halperin and Tzomet switches?

I am reading about the various so-called Grama and other Shabbat switches developed in Israel for use in hospitals and security situations. It seems that there was one solution created by Rabbi ...
7
votes
0answers
29 views

Distribution of כבוד אב between kids

Imagine a family of parents and 5 kids sitting at the Shabbos table and the father says - "I'm thirsty - bring me some water". All the kids are immediately obligated in כיבוד אב D'Oraysoh and the ...
7
votes
0answers
83 views

Telling yourself lashon hara

There are several websites that let you send an email to yourself in the future (example). It's also possible to accomplish something similar in a lower-tech way, like making a time capsule. Are you ...
7
votes
0answers
241 views

What are the rules for sh'va na?

What is the full list of rules for when to pronounce a sh'va (i.e. na) during tefillah and keriat hatorah? When I was in school, I remember being taught that a sh'va was na in the following 5 cases (...
7
votes
0answers
100 views

Establishing the relative order of Rashi's commentaries

In learning Masekhet Ketubot, I encountered Rashi's definition of בי שמשי on daf 103a. There, since the passage is clearly referring to twilight on erev shabbat in particular, Rashi explains why so ...
7
votes
0answers
84 views

Is the obligation for Gentiles to establish a system of courts communal or individual?

One of the seven laws of Noah for gentiles is to set up a system of courts. Is the obligation to set up a system of courts a communal obligation on Gentile communities, or does every single Gentile ...
7
votes
0answers
57 views

The process of the evaluation of the Sages' wisdom when electing for the Sanhedrin?

Mishnah Sanhedrin 4,4: "ושלש שורות של תלמידי חכמים יושבין לפניהם כל אחד ואחד מכיר את מקומו" Three rows of the Sages sit before [the Sanhedrin of 71], every one of them knows his place Rambam'...
7
votes
0answers
145 views

What is the approximate date of the demarcation between Ashkenazim and Sephardim?

Based on this article it would seem that the transition from a unified people into two groups, Ashkenazim and Sephardim, began in the 9th century and proceeded over time. I would like to know if there ...
7
votes
0answers
109 views

Parameters of לא תעשון כן לה' אלקיכם

There is a prohibition to destroy a synagogue based on the verse (Deut. 12:4) לא תעשון כן לה' אלקיכם, "you shall not do so unto the Lord your God." Rambam, in the minyan hamitzvot at the beginning of ...
7
votes
0answers
219 views

The status of Christian bibles nowadays

In SA OC 334:21 it is established that holy scripture written by a pagan should be burnt, האפיקורסים דהיינו האדוקים בעבודת כוכבים וכן מומרים לעבודת כוכבים שכתבו להם כתבי הקודש אין מצילים אותם ...
7
votes
0answers
80 views

Spam texts to run up a person's bill

Many cell phone plans allot a person a certain number of texts each month and charge for every text over that limit. This is for both texts sent and received. Now, phone calls can be denied, but ...
7
votes
0answers
122 views

Ani Maamin # 10

Ani Maamin # 10 has a unique Nusach. After the belief is stated there is a verse to corroborate the belief. אֲנִי מַאֲמִין בֶּאֱמוּנָה שְׁלֵמָה. שֶׁהַבּוֹרֵא יִתְבָּרַךְ שְׁמוֹ יוֹדֵעַ כָּל ...
7
votes
0answers
92 views

Accidentally saying “El Melekh Neeman” when in a tzibbur

There is a very widespread custom of commencing one's recitation of the Shema with the three-word phrase, אל מלך נאמן, when davening alone, and of having the shaliach tzibbur repeat the last two words ...
7
votes
0answers
101 views

Ushpizin in the Rain

Does one say Ushpizin if one is eating inside a house and not in the Sukkah due to heavy rain? Is Ushpizin about inviting the guest to the sukkah, or is it about inviting to the se'udah, where ever it ...
7
votes
0answers
78 views

Where did the incense-altar sweeper get his broom from?

Mishna, Tamid chapter 3, in a loose translation: Those who merited removing the ashes from the inner altar and the candelabrum would precede. They had four tools in their hands: the basket, the ...
7
votes
0answers
62 views

Why isn't maakeh in the Tur?

The chapters in Shulchan Aruch generally follows those in Tur, with a couple of exceptions here and there. One of those exceptions is that SA adds a final chapter, 427, to Choshen Mishpat discuss the ...
7
votes
0answers
276 views

Eliyahu HaNavi's role in Moshiach's arrival according to the Rambam

The Rambam says in Hilchos Malachim 12:2: There are some Sages who say that Elijah's coming will precede the coming of the Mashiach. All these and similar matters cannot be definitely known by man ...
7
votes
0answers
188 views

Can one trust gentile sources for trope systems?

Learning the trope systems for specific Sephardic or Mizrahi communities isn't the most easy since many of the melodies have mixed in together (creating something like the Yerushalmi), or just a lack ...
7
votes
0answers
115 views

Where can I find a complete Shulchan Aruch without too many abbreviations?

I am looking to buy a Shulchan Aruch, but unlike Buying a Shulchan Aruch, I am concerned with different requirements I don't want a lot of abbreviations. I have spent some time learning Yoreh Deah ...
7
votes
0answers
114 views

Were new arrivals stuck at Ellis Island for Shabbos?

If I understand correctly, if your airplane or boat arrived on Shabbos, you're stuck within a ~half-mile radius of the boat or plane until after Shabbos because of techum. (I'd heard some discussion ...
7
votes
0answers
141 views

Why are “Chiddushei” seforim rarely cited in the Nosi Keilim?

I noticed that when quoting Rishonim, Beis Yosef/Nosei Keilim tend to focus on Poskim (Rif (and main commentary)/Rosh/Rambam, Mordechai, Teruma, Rabbeinu Yerucham, etc.) and responsa. Very rarely do ...
7
votes
0answers
166 views

Customs regarding reciting the Shema after the allowed time

The latest time for reciting the קְרִיאַת-שְׁמַע is שׇׁלוֺש שׇׁעוֺת זְמׇנִיּוֺת (three variable hours) after sunrise (Orach Chayim 58:1). On Shabbat, many communities recite the morning Shema after ...
7
votes
0answers
102 views

Why not read missing words (in Esther) from a printed copy?

Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 141:19: צבור שאין להם מגילה כשרה כדינה מכל מקום אם היא כתובה כהלכתה רק שחסרים איזה תיבות באמצעה כיון שלא חסר בה ענין אחד שלם יכולין לקרות מתוכה עם הברכות והטעות יקרא הקורא בעל ...
7
votes
0answers
67 views

Why do all our fast days revolve around the Beis Hamikdash?

We have a few "official" fast days: Tzom Gedalia – The last Jewish administrator killed and the final Jewish community sent into exile 10th of Teves – Siege in the time of the 1st Beis Hamikdash  ...
7
votes
0answers
122 views

Is one allowed to bid on a house if he knows another Jew has already made an offer?

This question is related to the halachic concept of ani hamehapech b'charara, or tortious interference, which I happened to just come across in studying Mishnah Peah. If one has been looking at a ...

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