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7
votes
1answer
179 views

Shalom Aleichem in Kiddush Levana to an Aveil

We do not say Shalom Aleichem to a Aveil. What about saying Shalom Aleichem to an Aveil (after the Shiva, during the year of Aveilus) during Kiddush Levana - do you or do you not? (sources please)
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Is downloading pirated music stealing?

Either way, it should be frowned upon as not a nice thing to do, but would it actually be assur?
13
votes
4answers
599 views

“Is the market-based distribution of income fair or unfair?”

This post, by a leading economist, lists the main differences on economic policy between the right and left-leaning economists. On many economic issues, Judaism does not necessarily take a clear ...
5
votes
2answers
357 views

What do broken thumbs mean on a grave stone?

Often on the grave stones of kohanim there is an engraving of two hands with fingers spread as kohanim do during birchas kohanim. (For an example drawn randomly from Google Images see here.) What does ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

When did people stop wearing Tefilin all day?

At what point in history did most religous people stop wearing Tefilin all day?
9
votes
2answers
606 views

What bracha do you make on Martini

The Italian company Martini and Rossi make a bottled drink called "Martini" - it has a good hechsher from Rav Gerlich from Milano and the Israeli Rabbinate. Martini is made from red wine and alcohol - ...
5
votes
2answers
288 views

How often is it neccessary to check the strings of an Eruv?

If you have an Eruv Chatzeros for carrying, how often is it necessary to check it to make sure that it is properly strung and you can still carry on Shabbos?
4
votes
4answers
312 views

Why does each chasidut have its own distinct clothing?

Why does each chasidut have its own distinct clothing? Google and Wikipedia only list different kinds of clothes, but they don't explain why.
5
votes
1answer
56 views

Where is Is. 40:12 used in prayer?

The phrase וְכָל בַּשָּׁלִשׁ עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ from ישעיהו מ יב (used in the haftara of Vaeschanan) is very familiar to me from prayers, and I can't think where it's from. Moreover, Google is not ...
93
votes
4answers
3k views

Does “reputation scoring” make “the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with”?

Is "reputation scoring" against the spirit of Pirkei Ovos 4 (5) "Rabbi Tzaddok would say: Do not make the Torah a crown to magnify yourself with, ...."
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Does "Brich Rachamana Malka D'Alma Ma'rei D'Hai Pita' really fullfil the obligation of Birkas Hamazon?

I heard from a friend that, as per the Gemara, saying the following phrase in Aramaic discharges the obligation to recite Bircas Hamazon in its entirety: Brich rachamana malka d'alma ma'rei d'hai ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

Searching for a website that will calculate gematria and indicate parts of torah that match that numerical value

Many years ago I went to a website that had a Gematria calculator. You could type in any hebrew word and it would tell you the numerical value of the word. Then, it would show you any words or ...
15
votes
2answers
657 views

Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?

Pretty much across the board, beged gadol and katan have fabric squares sewn on the corners. Why do tzitzit have fabric-squares on the corners of the garment?
4
votes
4answers
465 views

What are the main source texts for the chavruta and teacher-student models in Jewish learning?

I'm working on an outline for a short presentation on how new online tools, especially this site, interact with the traditional Jewish learning models of chavruta and teacher-student. What are the ...
10
votes
8answers
2k views

Where is there a good online source to check how often a word appears in Tanach?

Where is there a good online source where you can check how often a word appears in Tanach?
1
vote
4answers
52 views

Chamisha Veshishim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred sixty-five? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point between twenty-four hours and a few days from now, I will: Vote up all interesting, relevant answers. ...
11
votes
3answers
963 views

Why do accidental killers sent to arei miklat go free after the Kohen Gadol dies?

When someone kills accidentaly he is sent to live in an ir miklat ("city of refuge") until the Kohen Gadol ("High Priest") dies. This seems like an arbitrary time. What does the Kohen Gadol's death ...
9
votes
1answer
392 views

Chamisha Asar B'Av - when did the Minhag stop?

The Gemara Taanis 31. says אמר רבן שמעון בן גמליאל לא היו ימים טובים לישראל כחמשה עשר באב וכיוה"כ שבהן בנות ירושלים יוצאות ... וחולות בכרמים ומה היו אומרות בחור שא נא עיניך וראה מה אתה בורר לך אל תתן ...
5
votes
2answers
295 views

why does Ruth 1:8 use עמדי instead of עמי?

Ruth 1:8 says: ח וַתֹּאמֶר נָעֳמִי, לִשְׁתֵּי כַלֹּתֶיהָ, לֵכְנָה שֹּׁבְנָה, אִשָּׁה לְבֵית אִמָּהּ; יעשה (יַעַשׂ) יְהוָה עִמָּכֶם חֶסֶד, כַּאֲשֶׁר עֲשִׂיתֶם עִם-הַמֵּתִים וְעִמָּדִי. 8 And Naomi ...
10
votes
1answer
418 views

Group coordination for a siyum

My understanding is that a siyum should be made on the last bit of the text being studied. Thus, if the entire Mishna (all six "orders") is studied for someone's yahrzeit, the last mishna (individual ...
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Why aren't Tefillin called Totafot?

They're called Totafot in the Torah, so why do we call them Tefilin?
5
votes
1answer
141 views

What does it mean to pray for the speedy reconstruction (תובב״א) of a city other than Jerusalem?

I'm used to seeing the acronym תובב״א ("may it be rebuilt & reestablished speedily in our days, Amen") after Jerusalem, which I presume is a prayer for the building of the Third Temple. But ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Can you wash your hands completely after Chatzos on Tisha B'Av?

One of the restrictions of Tisha B'Av is to only wash your hands until the knuckles. Is this restriction relaxed after Chatzos on Tisha B'Av? (sources please)
5
votes
1answer
60 views

Choosing Rabbonim in shtetlach

How were Rabbonim chosen in Shetlach? Was there an Election (like in Crown Heights), and if so, who were eligible to vote? Was it all men were allowed, or just learned members of the community?
4
votes
1answer
119 views

seeking text of a notice published by the Malbim

Someone told the following story today (or something like the following story. I may be remembering it incorrectly to some extent). He said he had gotten it from a book called Em Habanim S'mecha, ...
10
votes
3answers
299 views

Why are the kinos about Jeremiah's appeal to the avos out of order?

The kina (elegy, said on the ninth of Av) about Jeremiah's going to ask the avos to pray (kina 21 in at least some versions, 26 in the Artscroll edition) is said before the one about his being told to ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Why don't we say Avinu Malcanu on Tisha B' Av?

Why don't we say Avinu Malcanu on Tisha B' Av? The Artscroll Siddur says "on fast days that tachanun is omitted...", is there any other reason?
11
votes
2answers
485 views

Eicha - why are the Pesukim with the פ before the Pesukim with the ע?

The first 4 Perakim of Eicha are written in the order of the Aleph Bais. However in Perek 2, 3, & 4 the Pesukim for פ are written before the Pesukim with the ע. Why? And then why in Perek 1 is it ...
3
votes
1answer
584 views

Eating for strength to bury on Tisha B' Av

Can one (halachically) eat to have the strength to dig a grave for a recently passed away Jew? Assume you can't pay a gentile to do it for you.
2
votes
2answers
101 views

What is the purpose of the laws of mourning?

There are generally accepted laws and customs regarding a mourner, whether mourning for a relative or for the tragedy of the destruction of the bais hamikdash. Examples include restriction from ...
23
votes
8answers
7k views

Do gentiles have neshamot?

As I have seen here, some say that only Jews have a neshama, others say that all humans have one. There was a reference there only of the former opinion (Jews only), and I know from elsewhere that ...
7
votes
1answer
387 views

Zecher L'Churban - Why a plate at Tenayim and a glass at the Chupah?

When a person gets engaged and married there are various things that we do as a Zecher L'Churban. At the Tenayim (whether done immediately or at the wedding) we break an earthernware plate, at the ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Is the material permitted to learn on Tisha B'av available online?

From Aish.com: Other prohibitions include...Learning Torah, since this is a joyful activity. It is permitted to learn texts relevant to Tisha B'Av and mourning -- e.g. the Book of Lamentations, ...
-1
votes
2answers
326 views

How do those who adovcate chumrah understand this Gemorah (Gitin 55-56)

Because of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza, Jerusalem was destroyed. It happened this way: A certain man had a friend named Kamtza and an enemy called Bar Kamtza. He once made a party and said to his ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What should be done with mezuzot when selling the house?

What should be done about the mezuzot (internal and external) when selling one's house... to a non-Jew? to a non-observant Jew? to an observant Jew?
5
votes
3answers
284 views

The Tur's word counts for Shemoneh Esreh

I have often seen the Tur cited as giving exact word counts for each blessing of the Shemoneh Esreh. The arguments I have seen for being careful to adhere to the word counts include that this would ...
6
votes
4answers
164 views

When can Melavah Malkah be eaten until?

When is the last time one can eat a meal on Motzei Shabbos and still have it considered Melavah Malkah? When is the deadline?
4
votes
2answers
443 views

What to do when visiting Kivrei Tzaddikim?

When visiting Kevarim of Tzaddikim, when are proper procedures to follow? I would hope an answer would cover: What and how to daven If there's any specific Tehillim to say If one should (or must) ...
15
votes
2answers
1k views

When to say Tefillas Haderech on an airplane?

When is the proper time to recite Tefillas Haderech when travelling in an airplane?
11
votes
4answers
641 views

In regards to writing, can soda bottles be opened on Shabbos?

Specifically, when the writing - such as an expiration date - is printed in dot matrix style across the line between the bottle cap and the bottle cap's ring, what are the issues involved in opening ...
2
votes
2answers
750 views

Should one avoid doing laundry on Motzei Shabbos?

Assuming it's not the nine days, is there a reason why one should not do laundry on Motzei Shabbos? Recently I've been told by someone that he doesn't.
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Saying VaYhi Erev VaYehi Voker before Kiddush Friday night

The Minhag that many people have is to start Kiddush Friday night with VaYehi Erev VaYehi Voker before saying Yom HaShishi. I heard that HaRav Moshe Feinstein Zatzal did not say VaYehi Erev VaYehi ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Rambam on Olam Haba, Mashiach, and Techiyat haMeitim

Could somebody explain to me briefly what the Rambam's opinion is about the sequence of events with Olam HaBa, the Mashiach and Techiyat haMeitim? It seems that he's saying that when a person dies ...
7
votes
1answer
559 views

How is it that one is allowed to have an alarm on shabbos?

Can one leave an alarm to go off on Shabbos morning? If one can, then can it play anything, music, radio, etc?
4
votes
2answers
526 views

Bathing before Shabbos Chazon

To what extent, if any, does the practice of bathing in hot water before Shabbos override the prohibition of bathing during the Nine Days? I ask specifically regarding Ashkenazi practice (I guess for ...
15
votes
1answer
575 views

What Halachot apply to serving on jury duty?

Halachically, what are the responsibilities of one who is called to jury duty? What if one of the litigants is Jewish, and the halacha would find differently than civil law does in the case, are you ...
17
votes
3answers
360 views

What potential issues may arise with serving jury duty on Tisha b'Av?

I was recently summoned for jury duty and initially selected to be on the jury for a criminal trial that was expected to go through Tisha b'Av. If I were selected, what issues would I face in serving ...
10
votes
1answer
180 views

Why are the ends of Tefilin Retzuos cut on a slant?

I noticed than the end of my Tefillin Retzuos are cut on a slant. In the comments to this answer various reasons are postulated. What is the true reason?
14
votes
5answers
708 views

Do Tefilin need to be painted with “special” ink?

When painting tefillin, are there any requirements regarding the ink (other than the need to be black)? Or is any ink okay to use? Like in the comments to this answer, shoe polish is recommended. Is ...
14
votes
7answers
804 views

Is it required to stand during Kaddish?

I've noticed that there are varying minhagim among people whether to stand during Kaddish or not. Is there any actual halacha regarding this and whether it's required?

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