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25
votes
2answers
433 views

What kind of seder did a non-oleh l'regel have during the time of the Bais Hamikdash (and for that matter, the entire 40 years in the desert)?

Our haggadah did not always exist - it appears to be primarily from the time of the Mishna. Before then, there was a Korban Pesach and specific procedures for organizing family and/or friends to eat ...
18
votes
0answers
382 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." ...
17
votes
1answer
303 views

How to determine “population statistics” for population dependant Halachot?

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 ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

Was a sefer torah ever actually written in Greek?

This answer to a different question states that the only other language a sefer torah can be written in and be kosher is Greek. (Rambam, Hilchot Sefer Torah 1:19 says that this Greek no longer exists ...
17
votes
3answers
605 views

Eating out Friday night of Chanukkah

If one is lighting Chanukah candles inside (for whatever reason) relying on the publicizing to himself and his family, then what should he do on Friday night if he is eating out? Must he make the ...
16
votes
0answers
167 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 ...
15
votes
0answers
218 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
519 views

Chatzi LaHashem

I've been having this discussion with my friends and family about the Halacha of dividing Yom Tov into Chatzi LaHashem (half of the day devoted to prayer and learning) and Chatzi Lachem (half of the ...
14
votes
2answers
237 views

Dreamed vs. Dreaming a Dream

Posting for another friend. When does Lashon Hakodesh (throughout Tanach) use "ויחלם" (and he dreamed") by itself and when is "ויחלם חלום" ("and he dreamed a dream") used? It seems that most of the ...
14
votes
1answer
438 views

Mi Yodeya and Teaching Non-Jews

There is an established halachic principle that we do not explicitly teach Torah to non-Jews. Though the exact parameters of this law is debated, the principle issur itself isn't. According to some ...
14
votes
3answers
328 views

Is there such a thing as “Veset Halom”

One friend of mine told me that his wife always sees a special dream before her veset. Always the same one. Could such think be counted as veset kavua? I understand that technically a dream doesn't ...
14
votes
3answers
491 views

Mesorah exchange between communities

Based on this thread What exactly prevents Ashkenazim from accepting Mesorah from other communities on things that we have not done in our own community? For example, what is it about the Mesorah of ...
13
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
373 views

Coerced testimony in halacha

My chavrusa and I were going through Sanhedrin (40b) this evening, and the topic of how to get accurate statements from witnesses. Rashi mentioned the concept of moving the witnesses around in order ...
12
votes
2answers
878 views

What are the mitzvot that a gentile is forbidden to do?

I know that some mitzvot like keeping shabbat, putting tefillin are forbidden for a gentile to do because they are a sign of the covenant between Israel and HaShem. What are the full list of the ...
12
votes
1answer
733 views

Definition of mini-skirt in Yabia Omer YD 6:14

In Yabia Omer YD 6:14, Rav Ovadia Yosef ruled that it is preferable for a woman to wear women's pants than to wear a "mini-skirt" (חצאית-מיני). He writes that a full skirt is preferable to both. In ...
12
votes
1answer
749 views

May a woman with artifical metal legs wear a short skirt or pants?

May a woman (or a man) wear immodest clothing over an artificial part of her body? (Lets assume that beged ish is not a consideration) i.e. if she has artifical legs, may she wear short shorts? ...
11
votes
0answers
115 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
954 views

What should a woman who can only do Chalitza do if her Yevam can't do it?

In some cases of Zikas Yibum, there is a Rabbinic prohibition against their doing Yibum (eg. the deceased husband's brother is a Mamzer, cf. Shulchan Aruch Even Haezer 174) and as such they must ...
11
votes
0answers
507 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' (...
11
votes
1answer
305 views

The stolen maple syrup and kashrus

Does anyone know if there is going to be a kashrus problem with maple syrup next year? A rather large amount of maple syrup was stolen last year. The thieves did not keep it in the original casks, ...
10
votes
2answers
287 views

Can one bake silkworms in a kosher oven?

Raising silkworms can be a fun project. If you're trying to get silk thread, the last step of the process, after they finish spinning their cocoon, is to bake them in the oven to kill them (if they ...
10
votes
1answer
436 views

Tweeting on Shabbat: d'oraita or d'rabbanan violation?

There was a dangerous situation in my community on Shabbat and I knew (from the amount my house phone was ringing and my cell phone was buzzing) that people I knew across the world would be concerned ...
10
votes
0answers
120 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
322 views

Is there such a thing as פת מדינה?

In Bereishit, Hashem said to Adam בזעת אפך תאכל לחם This would seem to imply that bread is universal to all people. We also know that bread has a particular definition: it has to be made from one ...
10
votes
2answers
137 views

Leshabeichacha and loseis/latet shevach

Towards the beginning of the נוסח אשכנז version of davening, in the section beginning לעולם יהא אדם ירא שמים, we say as follows: לפיכך אנחנו חייבים להודות לך ולשבחך ולפארך ולברך ולקדש ולתת שבח ...
10
votes
1answer
508 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
683 views

Does one need a sukkah to eat bread/mezonot at work

If one goes to work on the days of Chol HaMoed Sukkot, is he deemed to be travelling and exempt from the sukkah? If there is no sukkah that he can reach from work on his lunch break, may he eat bread ...
10
votes
1answer
227 views

Naming after someone with added names

If someone R'L is sick at some point in their life and a name such as Refael is added should that name be included as well if one is naming their child after that person? Additional Question: ...
10
votes
0answers
328 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
128 views

Counting Sefirah in a made up language

Can one fulfill the mitzvah of counting the Omer by counting in a language that only he/she understands? What if a few people understand? An entire goup?
10
votes
1answer
203 views

How were coins that were destined for the Dead Sea managed?

A mishna on Meila 11a talks about money that a nazarite set aside for his offerings; if he died before completing the term and had set money aside specifically for the sin-offering, those coins are ...
10
votes
1answer
289 views

Chapter Endings while Leining Megillot

Inspired by this question. It seems to be a common minhag to have a special trope for the end of a chapter when leining the megillot. I have seen this done in my shul, have done it myself, and also ...
10
votes
1answer
128 views

Fast some other day if can't fast on Yom Kippur?

If someone is sufficiently ill on Yom Kippur to be halachically allowed to eat, would there be any value in him fasting for a whole day after he gets well? I'm sure it would be voluntary, but is it ...
9
votes
0answers
36 views

What about Yetziat Mitzrayim should I remember?

One of the שש זכירות requires that I remember the Exodus from Egypt (זכירת יציאת מצרים). According to the linked Wiki document, in an effort to fulfill (לְמַעַן תִּזְכֹּר אֶת יוֹם צֵאתְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ ...
9
votes
0answers
124 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
410 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 (...
9
votes
0answers
167 views

I'm not sure what to do when I reach this phrase in the Gemara?

When learning Gemara I sometimes run into a phrase that says: "On this answer they asked all the questions that were asked earlier on the page and they were answered the same way they were answered ...
9
votes
0answers
245 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 ...
9
votes
0answers
614 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
270 views

מחני נא — Moshe's real name isn't mentioned

In Shemot 32:32, Moshe tells Hashem: וְעַתָּה אִם תִּשָּׂא חַטָּאתָם וְאִם אַיִן מְחֵנִי נָא מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ: And now, if You forgive their sin But if not, erase me now from Your ...
9
votes
1answer
123 views

Does Beis Din have the authority to quarantine?

In light of the recent discussions about the legality of quarantining potential Ebola patients, I was wondering if Halacha has the mechanism for such a thing. In an autonomous Jewish society, in ...
9
votes
1answer
563 views

Are the seventy distinct languages and nations listed?

It's a well known concept that there were 70 nations and 70 original languages. Is there any agreement about which ones they were/are? I found this which lists the nations, but I'm interested in ...
9
votes
1answer
879 views

What is meant by the 974 “worlds” that were “created and destroyed”?

Midrash Tehillim 90:13 says that God created and destroyed 974 worlds before this one. What exactly does that mean? I've heard it used in defense of a modern understanding of evolution and cosmology ...
9
votes
1answer
158 views

A father Changing a minhag - any impact on a grown child?

I was reading some questions about changing minhagim and I began to wonder -- if I took on my father's minhagim when I grew, and then, later, he changed a minhag because he learned something new, or ...
8
votes
0answers
39 views

Is there any connection between the Sotah, the Mizbeiach, and the Beis HaMikdash keychain?

In exactly three contexts, the Mishnah notes that there was an amah square marble slab with a ring, using exactly the same language each time. The first is in Sotah 2:2, regarding the Sotah procedure:...
8
votes
0answers
31 views

Source for Geonic division of mitzvos

The Rambam and those who follow suit divide the 613 mitzvos into two groups, 248 positive mitzvos and 365 negative mitzvos. This is sourced from Makkos 23b. However, most of the Geonim (for example: ...
8
votes
0answers
77 views

(How) did the South African rabbinate deal with non-white conversion candidates during apartheid?

As I understand it, during apartheid, the South African government treated the Jews as "white." Did it ever happen that someone in a different racial group expressed interest in converting to Judaism ...
8
votes
0answers
58 views

Saying Amein in a Tefilla

In certain prayers, the congregation interjects the word Amein after certain words/phrases. In The Ya'aleh V'yavo, I hear it in the last section, amidst these three statements זָכְרֵנוּ ה' ...
8
votes
0answers
115 views

Half Jew half Gentile

I always thought it was a misconception to be "half-Jewish". Usually the speaker means one of their parents are Jewish, making them either fully Jewish or fully Gentile. However, I saw today that the ...

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