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votes
1answer
178 views

Did Reform add anything new vis-a-vis responsa?

Teshuvot, or responsa, are the way much halacha has been settled since the Talmudic era. When the Reform movement started, did it continue this tradition of leading rabbis writing teshuvot, or did it ...
6
votes
0answers
67 views

How did Noah react to being childless?

Rashi to Genesis 5:32 reads: אמר רבי יודן מה טעם כל הדורות הולידו למאה שנה וזה לחמש מאות אמר הקב״ה אם רשעים הם יאבדו במים ורע לצדיק זה ואם צדיקים הם אטריח עליו לעשות תיבות הרבה כבש את מעיינו ולא ...
7
votes
0answers
56 views

Why did people under 100 die in the mabul?

On Bereishis 5:32, Rashi brings an explanation that Noach had children when he was 500 so that Japheth, his eldest son, should not be liable for punishment before the Flood, as it is written (Isa. ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Oil in Shabbos Candles Caught Fire - What to Do?

My wife recently switched from using wax candles to oil in glass cups when lighting for Shabbat. The cups were about half water, half oil. She put some floating wicks in and lit them the way she ...
10
votes
3answers
4k views

Can a fiance sleep at his in-law's?

Seems to be a minhag that a fiance shall not sleep at his future in-law's house. Even just as a guest for one night. And obviously, even if there is no problem of yichud. Is there a reference in ...
20
votes
12answers
11k views

How can I redeem a wasted youth?

I wasted my youth. I am 35 years old. I had a toxic relationship with my parents, especially my mother. My career never started, and I am still looking for a fresh start and finding it humiliating at ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Agnostic and practicing halacha

If someone is very unsure about Torah, enough to be agnostic, yet accepts the possibility that Torah may be true and chooses to follow Orthodox halacha... then what would you say are some major ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

Talmud Yerushalmi: comparing paginations

As far as I'm aware, there are three different popular paginations of the Talmud Yerushalmi: the Venice edition (four volumes, two columns per amud), the Vilna edition (one column per amud), and the ...
7
votes
0answers
50 views

At what age is a Ben Noach responsible to perform his “mitzvot”? [duplicate]

Jews are responsible for mitzvah performance at age 12 - girls and 13 for boys. (There is, as I understand, Rabbinical discussion regarding some specific mitzvot that they may be responsible when they ...
8
votes
1answer
70 views

Analysis of an answer to “Why does the Torah begin with the letter bet?”

Why does the Torah begin with the second letter, bet, rather than the first letter, aleph? There are many answers, but let's focus on this one: Bet is the beginning of the word barukh (blessed), ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

What does it mean that G-d calls names to things?

In the process of Creation G-d eventually calls names of different things: וַיִּקְרָא אֱלֹהִים לָאוֹר יוֹם וְלַחֹשֶׁךְ קָרָא לָיְלָה ...׃ God called the light Day, and the darkness He called ...
-3
votes
1answer
47 views

What does it mean “a man leaves his father and mother”?

Please help me understand the meaning of this phrase (Gen 2.24: עַל־כֵּן יַעֲזָב־אִישׁ אֶת־אָבִיו וְאֶת־אִמּוֹ וְדָבַק בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ וְהָיוּ לְבָשָׂר אֶחָד׃ Hence a man leaves his father and ...
0
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0answers
47 views

Why should G-d correct His Creation as He goes?

THe Torah and the commentaries clearly suggest in several places that G-d corrected His Creation while still in the process: וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים בֵּין הָאוֹר ...
1
vote
0answers
21 views

Why should G-d look at the parts of His creation?

THis part of the story of the Creation seriously puzzles me: G-d looking at His creation and checking/judging/evaluating it. Examples: וַיַּרְא אֱלֹהִים אֶת־הָאוֹר כִּי־טוֹב וַיַּבְדֵּל אֱלֹהִים ...
-2
votes
0answers
32 views

How could Adam seek for a spouse in animals?

The other question "did-adam-have-intercourse-with-animals" asks about the fact of the physical intercourse, but I don't care what kind of connection there was. The Torah clearly states that all ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Was Adam aware of his other part before separation?

וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹקים אֶת־הָאָדָם ... זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה בָּרָא אֹתָם׃ And God created man in His image, ... male and female He created them. (Gen 1.27) Rashi brings Midrashim: But according to a ...
-4
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0answers
12 views

What non-trivial empirical phenomena are covered in the story of Bereishit?

For millennia, the Bible was not only a religious and historical book but also a scientific reference, covering the bases of understanding the empirical phenomena of the physical world. For example: ...
0
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0answers
15 views

Everything that G-d made man should enjoy [duplicate]

I have heard many times the concept that man must enjoy what G-d created, and in the world to come He will ask if you enjoyed the world or not. What is the source for this concept? And what are the ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Why are we afraid of death and don't rush to the World to Come?

I agree the question seems stupid, but hear out my logic: We all are promised to get a share in the world to come (WTC), and acc. to Rabbinical interpretation, even Kareth can't take that away. In ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Why no Torah or wisdom or knowledge is mentioned presented by G-d to Adam?

IIRC, the passing of the Tora/wisdom/divine knowledge in our tradition didn't start with Moses or even Abraham. Allegedly, the 19 generations of Tzadikim from Adam to Abraham studied/dealt with it ...
-1
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0answers
27 views

How did Adam know what dying is?

וּמֵעֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וָרָע לֹא תֹאכַל מִמֶּנּוּ כִּי בְּיוֹם אֲכָלְךָ מִמֶּנּוּ מוֹת תָּמוּת׃ but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of ...
-1
votes
0answers
31 views

Topology of “Let the water be gathered into one area”

THe other question, "it-should-happen-naturally" asks about the physics of the water gathering, my question focuses on its topology. According to the plain text, and Rashi (B"R) in place: "שטוחין ...
3
votes
1answer
35 views

Why was the purpose of the creation of Man was so dull?

On the 6th day of the Creation, G-d consults angels (see my other question) and presents them with what looks like His vision of Man's goal on Earth: וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹקים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Why was G-d's only direct interaction with the Jewish nation be limited to two commandments?

Following "what-went-wrong-at-matan-torah: We claim that Matan Torah was/is the ultimate proof of the veracity of the Torah, because unlike what we observe in other religions, where G-d never makes ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Is there a maximum seam breakage in a Torah before it becomes pasul?

I gather that when writing the Torah, there is a maximum allowable space between columns. Hence, my question, which may be based on the above assumption... If the stitched seam between two parchment ...
3
votes
0answers
66 views

Did Sadducees contribute to halacha? [duplicate]

We know that Sadducees served on the Sanhedrin and even became high priests. [Yoma 19b] They did not believe in the afterlife or the resurrection of the dead, but this does not mean their ...
8
votes
2answers
106 views

What Mitzvah is it to fold one's Tallis?

Many sources bring down an idea from the Maharil that one should fold their Tallis on Motzai Shabbos in order to immediately start the week with 'being involved in a Mitzvah'. (One such source is the ...
2
votes
1answer
38 views

What sons of Noach are the nations disposed of by Edom, Ammon, and Moav descended from?

Edom disposed of the Horites, Moav and Ammon the Rephaim/Emim/Zamzumim etc. (Devarim 2:10-12) What sons of Noach are these peoples descended from? If they’re giants (Emim/Zamzumim), are they ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Did Rambam explain why and how he got so influenced by Aristotle?

It is widely known that Rambam was greatly influenced by Aristotle, and his Guide and Hilchot Yesodey Hatorah practically repeat Aristotle's view and adopt them into Judaism (see also WIKI): Moses ...
7
votes
2answers
81 views

Why so much genealogical detail in Bereshit?

I'm looking for reasons (Pshat, but not only) in giving so much detail in Bereshit regarding the sons of Adam, Kain, and so on. Some of the characters born and die, and have no clear role, at least in ...
4
votes
0answers
54 views

How did the older Torah books look formatting wise?

I'm wondering what the sort of evolution of the Torah's syntactic / punctuation structure looks like. Were the books always divided into "books" with titles like Genesis (in Hebrew of course)? Were ...
6
votes
1answer
50 views

Why did Da'as Zekeinim leave out the mitzvah to procreate?

Da'as Zekeinim (compilations of teachings from the Ba'alei Tosafos) to Genesis 1:1 ask a question on one of the first comments of Rashi: ועוד פרש"י א"ר יצחק לא היה צריך להתחיל התורה וכו', וקשה שהרי ...
-3
votes
2answers
93 views

Why does a contradiction need to be resolved?

Human psychological nature allows for intrinsic contradictions between one's beliefs. For example, "I love Daddy the most" vs "I love Mammy the most", or "Shabbos is G-d's greatest gift to the Jews", "...
2
votes
1answer
53 views

What's so bad about Kayin's flax?

Rashi (Bereishis 4:3) says מפרי האדמה. מִן הַגָּרוּעַ, וְיֵשׁ אַגָּדָה שֶׁאוֹמֶרֶת זֶרַע פִּשְׁתָּן הָיָה: OF THE FRUIT OF THE GROUND —of the worst fruits (Genesis Rabbah 22:5); there is ...
-2
votes
0answers
46 views

Does God waste?

Is there anything in the Sources to the effect that "God does not waste", more or less in so many words? I know there are quotes to the effect that everything God does is for a purpose, but that may ...
3
votes
0answers
35 views

What went wrong at Matan Torah - adjusting G-d's presentation to the Jewish people?

וְכָל־הָעָם רֹאִים אֶת־הַקּוֹלֹת וְאֶת־הַלַּפִּידִם וְאֵת קוֹל הַשֹּׁפָר וְאֶת־הָהָר עָשֵׁן וַיַּרְא הָעָם וַיָּנֻעוּ וַיַּעַמְדוּ מֵרָחֹק׃ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֶל־מֹשֶׁה דַּבֵּר־אַתָּה עִמָּנוּ וְנִשְׁמָעָה ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

When must a mezuzah be affixed? [duplicate]

(1) In Tractate Mezuzah, we learn that you must put a mezuzah on a new house as soon as construction is finished, whether or not the house is occupied. [Mezuzah 2:11] (2) However, this quotes the ...
0
votes
1answer
77 views

What defines a human in Judaism?

As a follow up to "creation-of-super-humans", The Gene-modification technologies promise interesting developments in human evolution/changes, both physical and intellectual. On the physical side - ...
2
votes
0answers
28 views

Beracha and Kedusha referring to the generation of the desert

Rashi in his commentary on Bereishis 2:3 explains that the beracha of shabbos is in the future when the mannah fell during the week and an extra portion fell on Friday and kedusha is also in the ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Reference to future Kings of Edomites in Breishit 36:31

I have been looking for an authentic Jewish approach to the question of the unique instance of the highly specific future reference in Breishit 36:31: ואלה המלכים אשר מלכו בארץ אדום לפני מלך־מלך ...
3
votes
0answers
32 views

Holocaust Remembrance Fast Day

Rabbi Yom Tov Schwarz (See: “EYES TO SEE: Recovering Ethical Torah Principles Lost in the Holocaust”) argues that the Jewish people (led by the Torah observant community) should designate a fast day ...
2
votes
1answer
72 views

How does creation of a new species of super humans align with Judaism?

One of the most promising scientific fields of the nearest future is bio-technologies especially genetic modifications, starting with gene-therapy, genetic enhancements, and, as the process is ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Songs like Hava Nagila [closed]

Are there any more songs similar in folk dance and style like Hava Nagila? I'm looking for a song to listen to while studying Torah commentary. All suggestions are open and appreciated.
3
votes
0answers
44 views

Tying and untying knots on Shabbos & Yom Tov [duplicate]

Someone tied a garbage bag with a double knot (due to distraction by talking) on Yom Tov. He then quickly opened the top knot as if to "undo" the melacha. A) Did he transgress "tying"? B) Did he ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

Is writing on your body acceptable? [duplicate]

Is writing on your body acceptable? Leviticus 19:28 ESV / 471 You shall not make any cuts on your body for the dead or tattoo yourselves: I am the Lord.
1
vote
1answer
73 views

Paying taxes to a corrupted government [duplicate]

There are many countries with corrupted governments who steal taxpayers' money. Is one still obliged to pay taxes if the government is corrupted and steals a big fraction of the taxes one pays? What's ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Does schach have to lie completely flat on top of the succah?

During Succot, we were discussing what materials may be used to secure the schach. Most people that I know, including I, use a bamboo mat and lay some planks of wood on top to secure it down. Someone ...
-1
votes
1answer
55 views

Frequency of Heavenly judgment

@Maurice has asked a series of interesting questions on how our reward and punishment system works. We generally hold that Yom Kippur is the time of the final verdict for a year, but I'd like to know ...
3
votes
2answers
66 views

Why fast 3 days and not more or less?

Starting with the Mishna in Ta'anis 1.4 we learn that there are occasions (lack of rain in this case) when we fast BeHaB, i.e. Monday, Thursday, and Monday. הִגִּיעַ שִׁבְעָה עָשָׂר בְּמַרְחֶשְׁוָן ...
5
votes
0answers
60 views

Why only ask about תרומה and שחיטה? (in גטין ב׃ תוד״ה עד)

The Bavli, Gitin 2 amud 2, says that one person is believed when he testifies about isurin (prohibitions), and it immediately limits that to the case that the person is not testifying against an ...

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