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22 votes
8 answers
2k views

Answering Atheist about Torah miracles

How do we explain our belief in the story of Yonah living in a Fish, the Splitting of a sea, and all the other fantastic Miracles described in the Torah to a person who was not brought up religious; ...
simchashatorah's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
5k views

How to Tear Kriyah

What is the proper procedure for tearing Kriyah (e.g. for Aveilus* or visiting the Kosel)? * May we never have to do so
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Getting married in age order

Those that refrain from allowing a younger sibling to get married prior to an older sibling mention the verse from Lavan, "Lo Yaiose Kain BimiKomeinu Losais Hatziyira Lifnei HaBechira, In our locale ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
337 views

Can Yizkor obligations be paid from Maaser money?

When a person goes to Shul to say Yizkor they obligate themselves to give Tzedaka in memory of the deceased. Can this obligation be paid from Maaser or does it have to be paid from the persons ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
18 votes
8 answers
3k views

What is the source for the "Upsheirin"?

In some families/communities, little boys do not get their hair cut until they are three, and then there is a gathering for cutting their hair. The haircut is called an "upsheirin" or "chalakeh." ...
JXG's user avatar
  • 3,130
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

Moshe's divorcing Tzipora

Moshe refrained from marital relations with Tzipora for almost forty years, so as to be able to receive prophecy at any moment (Shabas 87:1). 1. Did he divorce her? 2. If not, why not?
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.7k
8 votes
3 answers
764 views

What is the Yetzer Harah?

What is the meaning of the "Yetzer Harah" - יצר הרע? How does it compare to the סטן?
RCW's user avatar
  • 6,738
2 votes
6 answers
94 views

Shelosha Vachamishim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred fifty-three? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting and relevant answers. Accept the what ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48k
12 votes
1 answer
715 views

Peer-to-Peer Lending Websites

There are websites (such as Prosper.com or LendingClub.com) which allow laypeople to lend money to borrowers with interest. For example, a typical listing posted by a potential borrower is one in ...
Tzvi's user avatar
  • 5,695
10 votes
4 answers
370 views

What is the reason for שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום?

The gemara in Berachos 8a-b states: אמר רב הונא בר יהודה אמר רבי אמי לעולם ישלים אדם פרשיותיו עם הצבור שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום [...] שכל המשלים פרשיותיו עם הצבור מאריכין לו ימיו ושנותיו Rav ...
RCW's user avatar
  • 6,738
9 votes
3 answers
722 views

Referring to Non-Jews

What's the most diplomatic and politically correct way to refer to non-Jews. Both in conversation, and in terms of this site?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
7 votes
3 answers
380 views

"Purchasing" Something Free on Shabbos

Suppose someone has a coupon for a free [let's say, iced coffee] from a store. What are the problems with getting such an item from the store, on Shabbos (or Yom Tov)? To boil it down to more general ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
9 votes
2 answers
609 views

Kiddush Levanah - Saying Aleichem Sholom with the other person?

As discussed here, while doing Kiddush Levanah, we say "Shalom Aleichem" to 3 other people, and they respond back with "Aleichem Shalom". I've seen some people saying "Aleichem Shalom" together with ...
Menachem's user avatar
  • 44.2k
9 votes
5 answers
681 views

Why the specific commandments in the Aseret haDibrot

What is HKBH trying to teach us by his choice of commandments that make up the Aseret haDibrot
Yehuda's user avatar
  • 91
17 votes
4 answers
1k views

Yisgadal or Yisgadel?

I've noticed that some people, when reciting kaddish, pronounce the first words as "yisgadal v'yiskadash" with a patach under the dalet of both words, while others say "yisgadel v'yisgadesh" with a ...
jake's user avatar
  • 28.5k
8 votes
2 answers
381 views

Stress of הושיעה and הצליחה in Hallel

Why is הושיעה Mileel (penultimately stressed) whereas הצליחה is Milra (ultimately stressed) in Psalms 118:25?
MJM's user avatar
  • 665
9 votes
2 answers
645 views

Visiting Israel: A Mitzvah?

Is visiting Israel a Mitzvah? (visiting as opposed to living) Just some points I would hope an answer to cover: Was it a mitzvah back then? Is it still a mitzvah nowadays? Does the mitzvah apply ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
13 votes
2 answers
775 views

What did kohanim do the other fifty weeks of the year?

I remember learning (somewhere in talmud but can't remember where) that the kohanim were divided into 24 groups and they rotated service in the temple. And they went to Yerushalayim for the chagim, ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
13 votes
5 answers
20k views

Is a rabbi required to be married?

I have heard (I honestly cannot remember where...) that to be a rabbi a man must be married. Is there any truth to this? I am more interested in knowing if this was true in the first century C.E. ...
Cos Callis's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
466 views

Does the word toad (קרפדה) appear in tanach?

Does the word toad (קרפדה) appear in Tanach? Toad is קרפדה (karpada) in Hebrew. Toad is crapaud in French. The two words have the same 4 consonants in the same order, which does not seem to be by ...
mark's user avatar
  • 153
9 votes
2 answers
1k views

Ten plagues of Egypt: hail and pestilence

According to Moses, the fifth plague of Egypt killed all livestock except that of Israel. If all were killed, then why did Moses warn the Pharaoh to bring his cattle to shelter before the hail? The ...
jabal's user avatar
  • 596
3 votes
4 answers
81 views

Shnayim Vachamishim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred fifty-two? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting and relevant answers. Accept the what I ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48k
12 votes
4 answers
382 views

Waiting Less Time on Shavuos

My family has a minhag to wait less time (3 hours as opposed to 6) between Meat and Milk on Shavuos. I was wondering if this has a written source? [or if not, has anyone else heard of it?]
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
19 votes
6 answers
2k views

Dairy that you have to wait 6 hours after eating it

Which dairy is considered sharp and requires you to wait 6 hours afterwards, prior to eating meat?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
184 views

Is playing with Legos© permissible on Shabbat? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Lego on Shabbos I have wondered this for a while. It would seem that it would be forbidden under creative building. Is there a difference regarding whether one tears apart ...
Naftuli Kay's user avatar
  • 3,904
13 votes
2 answers
327 views

Should women stay up Shavuos night?

Should females remain awake the night of Shavuos? (sources please)
Gershon Gold's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
1k views

Nozir and four cups of wine

How can a nozir fulfill the mitzvah of drinking four cups of wine at the passover seder? p.s. It is not a riddle. My son asked me this question, and I don't know what to answer him.
jutky's user avatar
  • 6,024
11 votes
9 answers
456 views

Beginner on Rav Soloveitchik

I am looking to delve into the teachings of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik (1903-1993). Any recommendations on a good starting point?
intuit's user avatar
  • 400
8 votes
8 answers
1k views

Reliable Tzedakah Websites [closed]

If one is looking to give Tzedakah (charity) without leaving their chair, which reliable Jewish organizations accept donations through their websites?
Tzvi's user avatar
  • 5,695
2 votes
3 answers
54 views

Echad Vachamishim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred fifty-one? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting and relevant answers. Accept the what I ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48k
4 votes
1 answer
226 views

Do they still print g'maras with regular Torah Or?

It used to be the standard for many many years that each in-text quotation of a Biblical verse in the Vilna edition Talmud Bavli had a little circle before the first word, which corresponded to a ...
WAF's user avatar
  • 23.7k
9 votes
3 answers
667 views

Birchas HaTorah - everyone was awake all night

Suppose everyone in the Shul remained awake the whole night of Shavuos. What do you do regarding Birchas HaTorah?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
2k views

When do you become "Ben Eretz Yisrael" as far as the laws regarding doing only 1 day of Hag?

What are the laws that define when should someone do only one day of Yom Tov (Shavuot for example) or 2 days? For example, how long do you have to stay in Israel? Are there other factors?
Nathan H's user avatar
  • 2,619
3 votes
3 answers
214 views

והוא ידרוש לציון עיר ה...‏

In the song "ברוך א׳ עליון" (text) is the line: וְהוּא יִדְרֹשׁ לְצִיּוֹן עִיר הַנִּדָּחָה My grandfather, ע״ה, when singing this line, would replace הַנִּדָּחָה with another word (I think ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.7k
15 votes
1 answer
14k views

Does ב"ה actually stand for Boruch Hashem?

We asked here about writing either ב"ה or בס"ד on the top of a letter. In the question it was assumed that ב"ה stands for Boruch Hashem. Do we have a source that ב"ה actually stands for Boruch Hashem?...
Menachem's user avatar
  • 44.2k
6 votes
1 answer
482 views

Milk and Meat of Non-Kosher Animal Species

Is cooking milk with the meat of non-kosher animal species the same problem as cooking milk with the meat of kosher animal species? In other words: can a Jew cook milk with a non-kosher animal ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
3 votes
6 answers
96 views

Chamishim Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred fifty? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting and relevant answers. Accept the what I ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48k
11 votes
6 answers
1k views

Proper Way of Learning Jewish Mysticism

I have been very much interested in learning the core teachings of mysticism since I was a young boy. I didn't know that it was called Jewish mysticism but nonetheless I was attracted to its beliefs ...
Jhourlad Estrella's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
440 views

Burial on Yom Tov Sheni

If someone passes away on the first day of Yom Tov - should the burial be done on Yom Tov Sheni? How is it done?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
878 views

Davening early Maariv first night of Shavuos

I have always heard that on the first night of Shavuos you should wait till Tzais HaKochavim for Maariv in order to have Temimos - 7 complete weeks of Sefira. Recently I heard that Harav Ovadia Yosef ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
937 views

Twelve Months of Mourning During a Leap Year

For those who are mourning a parent for the requisite twelve-month aveilus, would Adar 1 and Adar 2 count as two separate months towards the twelve? Or does one year mean a full year, i.e., from ...
Tzvi's user avatar
  • 5,695
11 votes
1 answer
259 views

Why does Nusach Ashkenaz skip מה רבו on Shabbos?

In the birchot keriat shema of Shabbat morning, we add a number of pesukim in the beginning, and we switch the piyut of קל ברוך גדול דעה for the piyut of קל אדון. But all the pesukim said on a weekday ...
shmuelp's user avatar
  • 511
12 votes
3 answers
2k views

Edim Zomemim - Why Not Believe Them?

There is a concept of Edim Zomemim (Wikipedia has it translated as "Collusive Witnesses") (עדים זוממים). Basically, if two witnesses testify about someone, and then two other witnesses come and say ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
5 votes
3 answers
261 views

Why do we say God will be one when we also say He already is?

Aleinu ends with the phrase "on that day God will be one and His name will be one". While we could interpret this to mean that "on that day everybody else will agree with us on this", the plain ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
2 votes
3 answers
2k views

Differences between Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism

Is there a good reference that gives major differences between the practices of Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Judaism?
Andrei Freeman's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
347 views

What is the "Kos Shel Ikrin," a potion that renders one infertile?

The Talmud discusses the "Kos Shel Ikrin" (Cup of the Barren, or Cup of Roots), a potion that rendered a woman or man infertile. The recipe for this potion is on record in tractate Shabbos and there ...
Barry's user avatar
  • 6,891
2 votes
3 answers
66 views

Tish'a Ve'arba'im Umatayim - mi yodeya?

Who knows two hundred forty-nine? Please cite/link your sources, if possible. At some point at least twenty-four hours from now, I will: Upvote all interesting and relevant answers. Accept the what ...
Isaac Moses's user avatar
  • 48k
3 votes
1 answer
330 views

How does the word "Talmud" derive from root LMD? Is the word Aramaic?

I know what "Talmud" means and that it derives from the root Lamed Mem Dalet. But I cannot figure out how the word derives. Is it Aramaic (i.e. not Hebrew) and/or are there any other words that follow ...
Andrew J. Brehm's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
156 views

'amel' vs. 'osek'

We speak of being עָמֵל בַּתּוֹרָה (e.g., Rashi to B'chukosay 26:3 and :14) and also of being עוֹסֵק בַּתּוֹרָה (e.g., birchos haTora in the morning). What is each (especially as contrasted with the ...
msh210's user avatar
  • 73.7k
7 votes
3 answers
319 views

Correct Nusach for Ana Bechoach (אנא בכח)

In אנא בכח, I've usually said "בָּרְכֵם, טַהֲרֵם, רַחֲמֵי צִדְקָתְךָ תָּמִיד גָמְלֵם". However, in my Artscroll Siddur I noticed it says רחמם (with a ם instead of י). Which of these are correct?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k

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