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8 votes
1 answer
342 views

Shaking a no-battery flashlight on Shabbos

What is the problem with shaking one of the no battery/shaking flashlights which is on on shabbos?
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  • 3,009
2 votes
1 answer
69 views

Communal commandment sources?

What are some good (preferably authoritative) sources that explain the concept and legal ramifications of mitzvos tziboriyos - obligations that fall upon the public as opposed to the individual? I am ...
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  • 23.3k
10 votes
3 answers
16k views

"How long is a Jewish funeral?"

A non-Jewish co-worker who was invited to a Jewish funeral asked me how long they typically are. I told her that, thank God, I hadn't been to many, but my understanding is that they probably vary a ...
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  • 46.8k
15 votes
2 answers
476 views

Do our sources address "strategic loan defaults"?

In the most recent episode of NPR's Planet Money Podcast, they interviewed a real estate lawyer in Arizona who talked about the large numbers of her clients who have been asking for advice about doing ...
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  • 46.8k
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Attending non-frum event

Is it permissible to attend a non-frum event, such as a wedding or bar/bat mitzvah of a family member or friend?
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28 votes
4 answers
6k views

Shaking hands with the opposite gender?

What's the story: Can a man shake hands with a woman (or vice versa) in a business setting?
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  • 127k
8 votes
3 answers
990 views

How to pray in public places?

If you're stuck in a public place (e.g. airport, mall) and need to daven (pray) -- usually it's Mincha, right before sunset: what's the best way to do it?
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  • 127k
28 votes
4 answers
2k views

Why do people frequently change tunes toward the end of Lecha Dodi?

Frequently, perhaps even most of the time, I've noticed that the chazan (prayer leader) for Kabalat Shabbat switches tunes for the last four verses of Lecha Dodi. Is there any reason for this, or are ...
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  • 46.8k
3 votes
2 answers
195 views

Rashi's unusual phrasing of the four sons

At the end of Parashat Bo (Exodus 13:14), Rashi enumerates the Four Sons of the Passover Seder: דברה תורה כנגד ארבעה בנים, רשע ושאינו יודע לשאול והשואל דרך סתומה והשואל דרך חכמה The Torah ...
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  • 46.8k
4 votes
2 answers
291 views

What if a specific avoda zara looks just like avodas Hashem?

Let us assume there is at least one conventional way to serve any given false deity. Let us also assume that there is a prohibition against serving false deities in the manner that they are ...
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  • 23.3k
11 votes
4 answers
971 views

Best practices for praying in public with talit and tefilin

I just learned that a flight out of New York was diverted because a flight attendant saw a passenger putting on tefilin and freaked out, thinking that he was strapping on bombs. So, do you have any ...
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  • 46.8k
6 votes
1 answer
295 views

Must I warn people about an untrustworthy restaurant?

What is my obligation to warn fellow kosher observant people about a Restraurant that is claiming to be "Glatt" Kosher, when in fact it has no Rabbinic Supervision at all and the owner's religious ...
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  • 3,776
7 votes
1 answer
631 views

Question about a 'Jewish proverb'

A [secular Jewish] Facebook friend posted the following as his status: "Commit a sin twice and it will not seem a crime. - Jewish proverb." I am unsure about what he thinks this means, and more ...
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  • 71
10 votes
7 answers
10k views

Is there a problem with women wearing red clothing?

I've heard that red clothing is forbidden for women to wear because it's immodest. Some recent psych research confirmed that men are more attracted to women in red. So that means it's prohibited, ...
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  • 127k
3 votes
3 answers
603 views

Do you have to close the window if someone's cold?

The LinkedIn FrumNetwork user that I recently corresponded with about the wisdom of the crowd brought up an interesting bit of conventional wisdom that she claims is at least partly apocryphal: For ...
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  • 46.8k
5 votes
1 answer
971 views

Are women exempt from Tachanun and discouraged from saying it?

My brother heard from someone that she heard that women are exempt from saying Tachanun and therefore discouraged from saying it. Is this so? If so, why? Do you know sources for this? UPDATE: I ...
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  • 46.8k
8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why still keep two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel?

Why do we continue to keep two days of Yom Tov outside of Israel? The reason for two days was revelant during the temple era as we needed two witnesses to see the new moon. But today, with no Temple ...
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  • 3,776
7 votes
5 answers
460 views

"Moshe cried out" - really?

In Parashat Va-eira, Pharaoh, plagued with frogs, asks Moshe and Aharon to "entreat" God to remove the plague and says that he'll respond by releasing the Israelites. Moshe agrees, and then ...
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  • 46.8k
3 votes
1 answer
201 views

Searching for Chumatz before Passavor

If someone is going to be away for Passover, how many days before Passover can one search his home for Chumatz?
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  • 3,776
4 votes
4 answers
553 views

Breakfast cereal brachot

Is there a reliable on-line source for finding the brerachot for commercially prepared breakfast cereals?
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  • 3,009
12 votes
1 answer
574 views

Does a cholent bag/aluminum foil take away the need to tovel the pot?

If no food touches it, does it need to be toveled (immersed in mikvah)?
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  • 963
8 votes
3 answers
297 views

Why do we stand when we do toward the end of Tachanun?

In the Tachanun prayer, it's traditional to sit for most of the core of Tachanun, but then to stand three words into the last paragraph, between "Va-anachnu lo neida'" and "ma na'aseh" ("And we won't ...
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  • 46.8k
4 votes
2 answers
751 views

What are the halachik issues involved in drawing from a nude model?

Aside from seeming obviously inappropriate for a good Jewish boy/girl, what are the halachik issues involved in drawing from a nude model? Are there any distinctions with regard to men/women?
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  • 963
3 votes
3 answers
448 views

Which is better, lying or saying lashon hara?

Inspired by Shmeryl's frequenting of McDonalds, I have a similar question about lashon hara. Let's say Shmeryl is coming to visit you from out-of-town on shabbat, and has no problem with doing so ...
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  • 8,658
11 votes
2 answers
277 views

Leaning on things during prayer?

It says in Shulchan Aruch that one may not lean on anything while reciting sh'mona esre. (OC 94:8) The Mishna B'rura defines "leaning" as placing one's weight on another object such that if the object ...
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  • 23.3k
4 votes
2 answers
370 views

How is it possible for a pot of meat to become pareve? [closed]

I was recently posed the following puzzle: You have a pot of meat. You put in milk. It becomes pareve. How can this be? Any ideas on how this is possible?
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  • 46.8k
21 votes
2 answers
1k views

Different traditions in Hebrew pronunciation [closed]

The theme of Hebrew pronunciation is one that facinates me and, as such, I want to get some feedback on some issues I've been thinking about for years. I have already discussed some of these issues ...
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  • 41.1k
4 votes
2 answers
948 views

Is there a minimum amount of dough to separate challah without a bracha?

I saw on this website http://www.secretofchallah.com/50708/When-to-separate-challah#opinions that one should not separate challah if using less than 8.5 cups or about 2 lbs. I know there are various ...
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  • 963
7 votes
1 answer
431 views

Why would a product be "only for cooking and pureeing"?

A recent OU kashrut alert that I found on Kashrut.com says: Kirkland Nature's Three Berries: Rader Farms, Inc.: This product bears a Half-Moon K symbol and should be used only for cooking and ...
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  • 46.8k
4 votes
2 answers
301 views

May I discuss my friend's unabashed un-Halachic behavior?

Suppose Shmeryl regularly and unabashedly eats at McDonald's (not the Kosher one in Israel!), or engages in some other unambiguously un-Halachic behavior. Shmeryl doesn't believe that there's anything ...
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  • 46.8k
7 votes
1 answer
2k views

Lifting a handkerchief before signing the Ketubah?

I know at a Jewish wedding, just before the Ketubah is signed, the groom picks up a handkerchief in front of everyone. I remember this has something to do with "kinyan chalifin"; could someone please ...
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  • 127k
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Eating your own (kosher) food in a non-kosher restaurant?

This was brought to mind by this question: What are the rules about joining your co-workers (or the like) for a meal in a non-kosher restaurant, but bringing your own food? Is it prohibited as mar'is ...
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  • 89.1k
7 votes
2 answers
517 views

A restroom in a formerly-kosher eatery vs. one in a never-kosher eatery: which is preferable?

Say I'm on the road traveling, and I need to use a restroom. Which of the following two restrooms is preferable? One in a restaurant that used to be kosher, but is now non-kosher. One in a restaurant ...
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  • 3,776
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Turning off a stove on Shabbat

Can one turn off a stove on Shabbat? I recently heard that Rav Tendler does in fact hold this and it was followed in the home of Rav Feinstein. The reasoning had something to do with gas being made ...
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  • 3,776
6 votes
1 answer
195 views

Two types of preventative enactment?

I believe this is a strictly academic question. Correct me if I'm wrong. Many of the restrictions enacted by the Rabbis (as opposed to those extrapolated from the Torah) were done so in order to ...
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  • 23.3k
6 votes
1 answer
437 views

Moving muktza garbage cans?

Help! It's Shabbos and the wind is blowing my garbage cans halfway down the block! I know they're muktza, so I can't move them. What can I do?
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  • 127k
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Hebrew letters Hey-Yud-Dalet after a name

I'd seen some stuff written about a man, with the Hebrew הי"ד (Hey-Yud-quotes-Dalet) after his name. What does that mean?
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  • 127k
40 votes
27 answers
2k views

Experience-based advice for focusing and slowing down prayers?

I tend to daven (pray) without sufficient focus and very quickly. In particular, I find that most of the time that I'm praying, my mind is on things other than the words that I'm saying. And, not that ...
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  • 46.8k
6 votes
2 answers
271 views

Image of God: Equality and Discrimination

I have heard from many unreliable sources that the Torah's description of mankind as being "in the Image of God" implies some level of equal standing of all humans and therefore the expectation (...
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  • 23.3k
15 votes
2 answers
795 views

Am I allowed to count people?

Where did the practice of not counting people come from? People count not-one, not-two, not-three etc. What is wrong with counting one, two, three etc? This is often found when counting to see if ...
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  • 2,853
6 votes
3 answers
5k views

Which hechsheirim are reliable?

There are so many hechsheirim (Kosher certifications) out there. How is an individual supposed to find out which hechsheirim to rely on, and which not to?
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  • 2,853
10 votes
2 answers
248 views

Give ma'aser on money that you didn't make yet?

Can I give ma'aser on money that I didn't earn yet but I know I will be earning in the future?
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  • 2,853
47 votes
7 answers
4k views

May I use my neighbor's Wi-Fi without asking permission?

My neighbor has never set up password protection on his wireless router. If I wanted, I could wirelessly connect to his high-speed Internet service. May I use his Internet service without asking him ...
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  • 2,853
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Wearing a gartel

Where did the minhag of wearing a gartel come from?
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  • 2,853
18 votes
5 answers
5k views

Fish eaten with milk?

Is there any halachik problem with eating fish and milk together? (A classic example is a bagel with lox and cream cheese)
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  • 2,853
12 votes
7 answers
3k views

Tzitzis while exercising?

Does one need to wear tzitzis while exercising? Isn't it disrespectful to the tzitzis to make them all sweaty?
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  • 2,853
12 votes
2 answers
14k views

Kashering a microwave

How can I kasher a microwave?
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  • 2,853
5 votes
2 answers
734 views

Is Basar Shenisaleim Min Ha'ayin still a problem?

There is a concept in halacha called Basar Shenisaleim Min Ha'ayin (meat that was hidden from the eye). Basically in the olden days, if a non-jew were to deliver meat and there was no siman (sign) on ...
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  • 2,853
13 votes
4 answers
2k views

Does Ma'aser need to be given on gifts?

If I receive a monetary gift, do I need to give ma'aser on it? What about if I receive a gift that is an object (as opposed to money)?
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  • 2,853
7 votes
4 answers
5k views

Does soda need a hechsher?

I have noticed that many cans of pepsi don't have a hechsher (kosher symbol) on them. Do they need one?
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  • 2,853

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