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6
votes
3answers
371 views

Of Rats and Hemorrhoids

The Plishtim or Philistines captured the Ahron Kodesh from the Jews (Shmuel I Chapter 5), then they returned it with a gift of golden rats and hemorrhoids as that was what they were punished with for ...
5
votes
0answers
79 views

Sukkah decoration parameters [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can too many decorations render a sukkah invalid? What are all the rules concerning decorations that are hung overhead in a sukkah? In other words, within what measurements (...
10
votes
1answer
867 views

Eating in sukkah before or after sukkot

Is there anything problematic about eating in a sukkah after building it but before Sukkot starts? Or I guess likewise after Sukkot is over?
4
votes
3answers
228 views

Yotz'ros — but no ahavos

Why are there yom tov additions to the first b'racha before sh'mone esre in the morning and to the third, but never to the second? (In maariv, by contrast, every birchas k'rias sh'ma has yom tov ...
6
votes
1answer
253 views

Who wrote the piyutim of Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur?

I don't know if they are technically called "piyutim", but there is a nusach we say on Rosh Hashana/Yom Kippur between "Ata Kadosh" to "Hamelech Hakadosh". Was that decreed by the Anshei Knesses ...
6
votes
2answers
473 views

What is the difference between Genaiva and Gezaila

The Torah or Talmud uses two terms for a thief -- the "Gonif", (which is the more familiar term) and the "Gazlin", and two corresponding terms for robbery "Genaiva" and "Gezaila". What is the ...
11
votes
3answers
414 views

Animals vs. plants: kashrus

Why did God make all plants, but only some animals, kosher? Sources, please.
7
votes
3answers
3k views

חַס וְשָׁלוֹם: why and for what

What is saying חַס וְשָׁלוֹם (chas v'shalom) supposed to accomplish? Does it do so, or is it just a waste of breath? Based on the answers given to my previous question about this phrase, it seems ...
37
votes
7answers
9k views

Is one allowed to smoke Marijuana?

Not taking into account Dina D'malchusa, what are the Halachic problems with smoking marijuana? Is it allowed?
8
votes
2answers
559 views

Baldness as a disqualification for Kohanim

Is it true that most authorities say that baldness and left handedness disqualify a man for Kehunah? Does the same apply for Birchas Kohanim? And why?
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Nose Job in Halacha

Is a nose job allowed Hallachicly? Not all cosmetic surgeries, but rhinoplasty in particular, as I heard that rhinoplasty is allowed because we see by a Kohen that having an abnormally long nose is a ...
23
votes
1answer
886 views

Who is Moshiach?

How do I know that someone is Moshiach? Will I just know? Are there requirements? If someone tells me that he is the Moshiach, is he to be believed. It would seem seem strange to say so.
13
votes
3answers
9k views

Simple Sukkah plans using dimensional lumber from Home Depot?

I'm planning to build a sukkah using dimensional lumber from Home Depot for the frame and some tarp for the sides. It should be big enough to fit 2 adults and 2 small kids, but generally as small as ...
3
votes
1answer
393 views

“B'shem Hashem” for 11 Tishre

Some call the eleventh of Tishre "b'shem Hashem" ("בשם ה׳"). (I assume this is a hasidic term, since, according to what I've heard, the name comes from the Baal Shem Tov.) Why is it called that?
8
votes
2answers
538 views

Does a tallis have to be of a certain color?

Are there any halachos which require a tallis to be of a certain color? I've seen talleisim of many different colors, but are there any actual rules with regard to the color as opposed to the material?...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Taking down Sukkah decorations before the end of holiday

I know that if I am going to be traveling during Chol Ha'Moed, I know that I can not halachically take down my Sukkah or the Schach early. Does the same prohibition apply to the decorations?
10
votes
2answers
4k views

What is the difference between dati, chasidish, and charedi?

How would one explain the distinctions between datim, chasidim, and charedim, especially to an American Jew who didn't know much about the Israeli religious spectrum? In particular, are all chasidim ...
5
votes
1answer
264 views

Customs of the parents when the parents don't have past customs

I am of mixed Sephardic and Ashkenazic parentage. I view this as allowing me to behave Sephardically when it suits me (for instance, eating kitniyot for Pessach) or Ashkenacikally when it suits me (...
12
votes
1answer
155 views

Can I keep the smuggled diamonds as an award?

Inspired by Diamonds in the coffee (and highly related): I've always got a kick out of the supposed story (I have not been able to confirm it's true, but it's definitely plausible): Reuven gives ...
7
votes
2answers
311 views

Avinu Malkienu on Shabbos

Why do we not say Avinu Malkienu on Shabbos and why is the Teffilah of Neilah the exception to this very rule?
8
votes
1answer
147 views

Why is Ein Kelokeinu not said on Yom Kippur?

Ein Kelokeinu isn't in my Yom Kippur Machzor, and as far as I can recall, it is not said in Shul after Musaf [or any time, for that matter]. Why is this so?
7
votes
1answer
127 views

Diamonds in the coffee

A friend requests that you take a jar of Coffee to Israel and you happily oblige. On the way to your destination the jar cracks, so you just buy a replacement. Later you find out that the can ...
24
votes
3answers
392 views

The two stamp question

One man owns two of the only very expensive stamps in the world. Let us say each stamp was worth a million dollars. A second man comes along and destroys stamp one. The catch is that now according to ...
4
votes
1answer
106 views

Why dictate Birchas Kohanim, but not the Bracha before?

In Birchas Kohanim, the Chazzan says each word of the actual Birchas Kohanim and the Kohanim repeat after him. On the other hand, when it comes to the bracha that's said before Birchas Kohanim, the ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Bread in the freezer

The title of the question is tongue in cheek. There was a very kind family that was away for the summer and allowed their home to be used by a second family. The second family got there and found the ...
13
votes
1answer
397 views

Why do non-orphans leave during Yizkor?

In all the Shuls (Synagogues) I've Davened in over the years, I noticed that all those whose parents are alive leave the shul during Yizkor. Why is this so?
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Sukka in a covered balcony

I live in an apartment with a balcony that is fully covered by the balcony two floors above (the balconies are zig-zagged). This means that I cannot build a kosher sukka in my balcony. I don't have ...
12
votes
3answers
2k views

Gentile owned and operated Kosher establishment

Are there any restrictions or limitations for a gentile owning and operating a kosher establishment? Are there any limitations or restrictions for Jews patronizing such an establishment?
13
votes
2answers
3k views

Does a pot that cooked food with a bug in it need to be kashered afterward?

If one were cooking a pot of pasta or a soup and later found a bug or many bugs in the pasta or soup, would the pot need to be re-kashered after it was thoroughly cleaned?
7
votes
1answer
135 views

Do we make a bracha on a talis, the night of Yom Kippur?

The mitzvah of tziztit does not apply at night, so when we wear a talis all of davening on Yom Kippur, starting this year on Friday night for Maariv, do we make a bracha when we put the talis on? Is ...
6
votes
1answer
282 views

Is it prohibited to ride public transport that also operates on Shabbat

In Israel, most public transport shuts down on Shabbat. If it did operate on Sabbath, perhaps by non Jews, would it be permissable for Jews to use it on weekdays?
5
votes
1answer
234 views

Why say tachanun in selichos but not in davenning when say a sandek is in Shul?

If someone (eg sandek, mohel) is in Shul (the synagogue) whose presence stops the kehillo (congregation) saying tachanun, why is it that we do say tachanun in Selichos but not in davenning (the prayer ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? Why or why not?

Is it inappropriate to say Baruch Dayan Haemes on a Ben Noach? What about someone who may have been an oved avoda zarah? Someone who is definitely such? I'm asking because I've seen such discussion ...
8
votes
2answers
184 views

Where are these mysterious OU documents?

I was recently reading a Halachically Speaking article and noticed that in many places in the footnotes, a reference to an OU Document is made. For example: Refer to OU Document A-94 Is this some ...
7
votes
1answer
566 views

How high before a tree branch does not cause a problem for a Succah?

I have a lovely tree in the back yard, it must be 70-100 years old, maybe 15-20 feet around at the base. First branch is 32 feet up. I know since I used a 35 foot ladder to hang a swing from it, and ...
27
votes
12answers
3k views

Why are women exempt from (many) time-bound mitzvot?

Women are generally exempt from time-bound mitzvot (Kiddushin 29a). I have heard two reasons for women being exempt from time-bound mitzvot and both seem problematic, so either there are additional ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

Why the difference in minhagim about wearing a kittel on Yom Kippur only, or also on Rosh Hashanah

My families minhag is to wear a kittel just on Yom Kippur (so I do). But in shul I see a number of folk with the minhag to wear it also on Rosh Hashanah. I know it is related to Yom Hadin, and ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Should women eat in the Sukkah?

Is there any inyan for a woman to eat in the sukkah. I know they're not required (after all, it's a mitzvas asei shehazeman grama [מצות עשה שהזמן גרמא]), but I still know many women who do. Is this ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is it ok to use tap water/toilets on Shabbos? Considering the source of the water pressure

Why is it ok to use tap water/toilets on Shabbos? Considering the source of the water pressure. The water pressure that enables the water to flow out of the tap has to come from somewhere. It is ...
2
votes
2answers
56 views

Shelosha Veshiv'im Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred seventy-three? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some undetermined point in the future, at least a day from now, I will: Vote up all interesting, relevant answers. ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

How do I avoid thirst when fasting?

I started fasting on Yom Kippur as an adult, about 10 years ago. A couple times I had to drink a glass of water either after Kol Nidre or before Shacharit, because I felt completely dehydrated (I did ...
14
votes
1answer
351 views

Does Torah inerrancy extend to the prophets and the writings?

Most Orthodox Jewish scholars hold that the Torah is 100% factually accurate (see previous question). I believe this is generally understood to refer specifically to the five books of Moses. What do ...
4
votes
2answers
337 views

In which cases are you exempt from eating in the sukkah?

Are we required to eat every meal and every food/drink under the sukkah? What if it is raining? Cold? What if there are too many people to all fit under the sukkah (we have lots of guests)? Those ...
28
votes
8answers
1k views

Is one allowed to smoke?

Nowadays, since there are studies that show that smoking is dangerous to health, is one allowed to smoke or is it violating "Venishmartem Meod Lenafshosechem"?
8
votes
2answers
128 views

Why are we strict during the 10 days of repentance?

The lone halacha in Shulchan Aruch O.C. 603: Even someone who is not careful about eating [pas akum], during the 10 days of repentance he must be careful. Since the S.A. didn't mention stringencies ...
11
votes
3answers
195 views

Techniques for preparing for teshuva?

I'm attempting to prepare for Yom Kippur, and among the preparations is the issue of determining what, exactly, I should be focusing on during viduy this year. I'm curious whether there are any ...
11
votes
1answer
230 views

layout of the Gemara

When was the current pagination of the Gemara finalized? It seems that it was before the Vilna print, though it seems from different Acharonim (the Rama, etc.) quoting the Mordechai that the Mordechai ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Dreams in Judaism?

What does Judaism have to say about dreams and do have any legitimacy? Are they in any way binding, or are they assumed to be just products of an overactive imagination?
4
votes
2answers
563 views

If a woman converts, marries, and divorces — how is she identified in her next ketubah?

If a woman converts, marries, and divorces -- how is she identified in her next ketubah? Matrachta (divorcee) or Giyorta (convert-ess)? Does it matter? Is there a convention which term is used for her?...
5
votes
1answer
5k views

What Bracha do you make on (Kasha) buckwheat?

What Bracha Rishona and Bracha Achrona do you make on (Kasha) buckwheat?

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