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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
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Do photocopies of torah need to be put in shaimos?

Do photocopied sheets (such as chumash or gemara) need to be put in sheimos or can they be thrown straight into the garbage?
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  • 2,853
10 votes
4 answers
4k views

Is it permissible to open soda cans on shabbos?

What is the halacha regarding opening soda cans on shabbos? I have heard that according to the ones who hold that you can open it, if I would ask that person to open it for me, I would need him to ...
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  • 2,853
7 votes
2 answers
184 views

Chanuka - what was the real miracle?

Was the miracle the fact that they found the oil? Was it that the oil lasted all 8 days? Was it that they won the war over the mighty greeks? From the fact that we light menorah, it seems that the ...
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  • 2,853
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it better to wear wool tzitzis?

Is it better halachikally (according to jewish law) to have the beged (garment) of your tzitzis to be made from wool as opposed to cotton? Is it a chumrah?
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  • 2,853
3 votes
4 answers
3k views

Are you allowed to get a haircut on Motzei Shabbos?

Is there anything wrong with getting a haircut on Motzei Shabbos (Saturday night)?
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  • 2,853
13 votes
4 answers
410 views

Were the people of Chelm really unintelligent? [closed]

There are many stories that are told over about the people who lived in Chelm. They all have the theme of: the people in Chelm were fairly unintelligent. Where did this come from? Is it true? It ...
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  • 2,853
10 votes
3 answers
736 views

Wear your tzitzis out or in? [duplicate]

There seems to be some misunderstanding/machlokes (disagreement) on how you should wear your tzitzis - with the strings sticking out or tucked in. What's the proper way?
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  • 2,853
19 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why doesn't the OU put DE on food packages anymore?

The OU used to put DE next to the OU symbol when a product was Dairy Equipment. Such a product can not be eaten with meat but can be eaten right afterwards (you don't need to wait the amount of time ...
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  • 2,853
10 votes
4 answers
158 views

Torah studies at Synagogue [closed]

How do we make studying Torah by adults a central part of our synagogue?
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5 votes
2 answers
931 views

Origin of a Jewish quote about fools

There is a quote about fools that I have heard, which is attributed to the Talmud. It goes as follows, "Never tell a fool he is a fool. All you'll have is an angry fool." I know that there are a ...
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13 votes
2 answers
888 views

What do I do when asked to "open the Aron" or "take out the Torah"?

If I'm in synagogue and someone asks me if I can "open the Aron" or "take out the Sefer Torah," what will I be expected to do, and when?
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28 votes
9 answers
4k views

Archeological proof of Exodus?

Is there empirical proof that the exodus from Egypt and related happenings (like Har Sinai etc) did in fact occur (i.e: Archeological proof)? I believe in the Torah, but how would you prove to someone ...
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  • 381
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Mezzuzahs- putting them up, and saying brachot

Is there an "issur" regarding not putting up a mezuzzah? Is there such thing as having 30 days until the issue kicks in? Also, can you say the bracha each time you put one up? Or, if two different ...
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  • 973
3 votes
8 answers
572 views

Can you recommend an alternative outer talit bag?

I need to replace my outer talit bag - the one that most people have as a brittle, transparent, zippered bag with gold piping (e.g.). I am tired of having these bags break on me, and I don't have a ...
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  • 46.9k
4 votes
3 answers
566 views

How to deal with the parts of the Torah reading that are pre-empted by the congregation

Sometimes, our traditional approach to the reading includes having the congregation recite a short section of the reading aloud before the Torah reader does it, and then he follows. The most ...
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  • 46.9k
7 votes
2 answers
178 views

Obtaining the 7 Species in the U.S

Often on T"u BiSh'vat people like to eat members of the shiv'as haminim - the Seven Species by which the Land of Israel is praised. Some of them, such as grapes and dates, are easy enough to come ...
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  • 23.3k
5 votes
3 answers
354 views

Understanding Rashi's resolution of an ambiguity in Parashat Vayigash

The following is based on a question I wrote in the margin of my chumash about ten years ago. In Yehuda's speech to the Egyptian viceroy (Yosef in disguise) at the beginning of Parashat Vayigash, he ...
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  • 46.9k
8 votes
3 answers
274 views

Why is the Shofar sounded on Rosh Hashanah?

Why is the Shofar sounded on Rosh Hashanah?
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  • 81
8 votes
1 answer
366 views

What went down in 1666 before Shabtai Tz'vi's apostasy?

It seems agreed upon that one or more representatives from Lvov traveled to either investigate, visit or out Shabtai Tzvi in 1666 when he was still claiming to be the mashi'ach. Immediately following ...
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  • 23.3k
8 votes
2 answers
5k views

Naming your child using a dead relative's initial

Is there a Jewish tradition of naming your child using the first letter of the name of a recently deceased relative?
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2 votes
1 answer
117 views

Picking out the alephs [closed]

How can you quickly pick out all the alephs on a page of Hebrew printed text?
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  • 46.9k
22 votes
4 answers
4k views

Orthodox Visits to Other Denomination Sanctuaries

Why is it that some people won't set foot in another's sanctuary, even if it was for a non-prayer function? Can an orthodox person be in a reform style temple sanctuary for a lecture or concert? I ...
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16 votes
4 answers
4k views

How to advise your barber

Men: What is a succinct, clear, Halachically complete line to tell a barber what not to do when cutting your hair?
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  • 46.9k
15 votes
4 answers
385 views

Why did Yosef's brothers speak freely in the presence of the interpreter?

In Parashat Miketz, Yosef's brothers encounter him disguised as the viceroy of Egypt, and he accuses them of espionage, jails them for three days, and makes a demand that they know their father would ...
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  • 46.9k
18 votes
11 answers
7k views

Method for practicing Torah reading

What is your method for practicing reading a Torah portion and thus memorizing the associated vowelizations and intonations? I'm looking for ideas for maximizing your effectiveness at performing a ...
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  • 46.9k
56 votes
21 answers
18k views

Is Christianity Avodah Zara?

It is commonly accepted that Islam is not Avodah Zarah (idolatry) since Islam has a clear monotheistic theology with a belief in Allah that parallels our view of "kail" or Hashem. It is even ...
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13 votes
4 answers
1k views

December greeting responses [closed]

How do you respond when greeted, during the Winter "holiday season" by a non-Jewish acquaintance with each of the following? Happy Chanuka (in proximity to Chanuka) Happy Chanuka (not in proximity to ...
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  • 46.9k
30 votes
5 answers
2k views

When blogging/emailing/etc., do I use "God" or "G-d"?

Is there a religious problem with typing out the name: "G-o-d"?
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  • 127k
28 votes
5 answers
2k views

Am I allowed to give my kid a non-Hebrew (non-Jewish?) name?

I'd seen some poster that said it's horribly wrong to ever give your kid a non-Jewish/non-Hebrew name. Is that the norm?
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  • 127k
17 votes
5 answers
798 views

Naming after bad people

Why have there been famous(ly righteous) Jewish people named after Yishma'el, who, Chaza"l tell us, was evil and an enemy of Jews? Has anything similar happened with Esav? Korach? Others?
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  • 23.3k
6 votes
2 answers
276 views

Why must Chata'os Ha-meisos be treated so harshly?

There are certain cases in which an animal designated for a sin offering (Chat'as) could not be brought in the Temple, but was required to be killed ("חטאות המתות"), according to some opinions, by ...
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  • 2,823
6 votes
1 answer
138 views

Third blessing on the second night of Channukah

If someone didn't light Channukah lights on the first night, does he/she then say the third blessing (Sh'hecheyunu) on the next night?
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  • 3,776
7 votes
1 answer
898 views

Moving question: prayer when posting a mezuzah

What prayer do you recite when posting a mezuzah?
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14 votes
1 answer
5k views

Puzzles on Shabbat

Is it permitted to put together puzzles on Shabbat with children? Does it matter what kind of puzzle it is (jigsaw vs. fit the piece in the wooden hole)? Does it matter if there are words on the ...
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  • 3,009
15 votes
4 answers
371 views

How do we know what the Chazzan should say aloud?

In many siddurim, the text indicates a position, toward the end of each normal paragraph of prayer, where the Chazzan is supposed to start reading aloud, so that everyone knows when it's time to go on ...
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  • 46.9k
17 votes
6 answers
463 views

Online tool for minyan management?

If I'm running a small minyan that sometimes has a quorum and sometimes doesn't, and I'd like to only hold the minyan when I know we'll have ten, is there an online tool to help me manage this?
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  • 46.9k
8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Mixed Minyan in a Shiva House

What to do when helping make a minyan for mourners in a shiva house when at prayer time they insist on davening conservative style, men and women sitting together?
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  • 3,776
8 votes
4 answers
583 views

Priority of Davening with a Minyan

Is it better to Daven [pray] with a earlier large minyan or better to wait to daven later with a much smaller minyan where I will be needed as the tenth?
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  • 3,776
7 votes
4 answers
121 views

Chanuka Candle Location [closed]

My whole family will be staying at a hotel over shabbos and the hotel management says that we are not allowed to light fires in our rooms. Nobody will be in our home. How can we fulfill the mitzvah ...
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14 votes
6 answers
3k views

What do I need to know in order to properly have an aliya?

What things should I know in advance in case I get called up for an aliya during a Torah-reading service?
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  • 46.9k
5 votes
1 answer
88 views

Chanukiah location

What it the ideal place to put a chanukiah for lighting? Is it better to put it in the window, outside or inside? Does it depend on where you live?
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  • 3,009
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Proper use of a blech/plata

What is the proper use of a blech/plata on Shabbat?
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20 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why isn't the book of the Maccabees part of the Jewish canon?

I believe they are in the Christian canon... why not Jewish?
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  • 916
40 votes
13 answers
3k views

Bereishit vs. science

How does Judaism deal with the differences between scientific evidence of the beginning of the world and the account(s) in Bereishit?
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  • 3,009
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

What can I use for schach?

What materials can be used for the top of a Sukkah?
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  • 3,009
11 votes
3 answers
4k views

What is the appropriate use of the shamash on an oil menora?

It seems that with wax candle menoras, the shamash is generally lit first and used to light the other candles, but with an oil menora this is not possible. So should you light the shamash before the ...
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  • 3,810
15 votes
5 answers
1k views

What makes a wine kosher?

Why are some wines kosher and some not?
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  • 8,658

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