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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 ...
YDK's user avatar
  • 28.3k
24 votes
8 answers
12k 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 ...
Lev's user avatar
  • 1,575
7 votes
1 answer
500 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 ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
4k 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, ...
Menachem's user avatar
  • 44.7k
-1 votes
2 answers
365 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 ...
avi's user avatar
  • 19k
8 votes
1 answer
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?
מרדכי בן דניאל's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
488 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 ...
yoel's user avatar
  • 7,311
6 votes
4 answers
369 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?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
4 votes
2 answers
510 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) ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

When to say Tefillas Haderech on an airplane?

When is the proper time to recite Tefillas Haderech when travelling in an airplane?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
11 votes
4 answers
734 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 ...
Shmuel's user avatar
  • 697
2 votes
2 answers
1k 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.
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
9 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
2k 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 ...
Chanoch's user avatar
  • 11k
8 votes
1 answer
672 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?
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
5 votes
2 answers
702 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 ...
yoel's user avatar
  • 7,311
16 votes
1 answer
661 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 ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
18 votes
3 answers
425 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 ...
Tal Fishman's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
217 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?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
14 votes
5 answers
1k 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 ...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
14 votes
7 answers
1k 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?
Naftuli Kay's user avatar
  • 3,944
8 votes
1 answer
146 views

Are bushes acceptable for elevations that require a maakeh, a fence?

If evergreen bushes span the entire length of a side of a porch, at about waist-height for someone on the porch, do the bushes remove the need for a railing? The difference being that a railing can be ...
Shmuel's user avatar
  • 697
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can an ecommerce website remain open on Shabbat?

This question is more general and doesn't apply specifically to ecommerce sites even though the discussion mentions them a little. Specifically, we know we can't do business on Shabbat. So what is ...
Shmuel's user avatar
  • 697
13 votes
2 answers
717 views

If you realize you're carrying on Shabbat, what's the best thing to do?

I've heard that you should put it down on a makom patur while still walking. However, a true makom patur is tall and skinny, like a post, and therefore possibly difficult to find. I've also heard ...
Shmuel's user avatar
  • 697
7 votes
1 answer
632 views

What height porch requires a railing?

What are the different opinions of heights (in American or metric units) that requires a railing for the side of a porch?
Shmuel's user avatar
  • 697
14 votes
2 answers
4k views

What's the halachic advantage of double (or triple) wrapping food?

I've heard of both double and triple wrapping when it comes to shielding a food item in an oven with regards to Kashrus. What exactly does double or triple wrapping accomplish that one wrapping can't?...
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
7 votes
3 answers
652 views

Keychain with muktzeh items (e.g. usb)

This has been asked in the past with regard to a muktzeh key, and i was uncertain if it would be the same with something like a usb. If i have a keychain with a usb on it that i wear week round, come ...
Yehuda's user avatar
  • 73
7 votes
1 answer
218 views

How to prevent holes when double wrapping food?

When cooking milk in a meat oven (or kosher food in a treif one) I often find that when one wraps using aluminum foil, small holes appear (probably from the heat). I was wondering if anyone knows a ...
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
21 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why don't we bow "correctly" during tefillah anymore?

According to the Gemara (Megillah 22b), and according to the RaMBa"M (Hil. Tefillah 5:13) (and apparently R' Avraham ben HaRaMBa"M was adamant), when we pray we are supposed to bow down ON our knees (...
Seth J's user avatar
  • 41.7k
12 votes
2 answers
267 views

Did Shuls in Europe display their countries' flags prior to the holocaust?

Prior to the holocaust, did Shuls in Europe display their countries' respective flags? Do Shuls currently display their countries' flags? When did it start and why?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
709 views

Tachanun for Shacharis in the afternoon, on a day where there is no Tachanun at Mincha

If you start Shacharis Shmonei Esrei just before Chatzos, on a day where there is no Tachanun said at Mincha, and finished after Chatzos, do you say Tachanun?
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
10 votes
3 answers
658 views

Pre-1948, what flags were found in American synagogues?

Certainly throughout the 1970s and 1980s, it was not at all uncommon to see an American synagogue where the Aron Kodesh was flanked by American and Israeli flags. Pre-1948, was there just an American ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
3 votes
3 answers
228 views

Are Checks (Cheques) Muktzah?

Are Cheques Muktzah on Shabbos? If so, what type of Muktzah?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

How many T'fachim make up an Ama?

Is it possible to convert between Torah measurements? Specifically, T'fachim & Amot, (cubits) so I can figure out the size of the luchot (tablets) within the Aron Hakodesh (ark). (The Luchot are ...
zaq's user avatar
  • 9,038
3 votes
1 answer
328 views

Which rabbis forbade cars 100 years ago?

"Venishmartem Meod Lenafshoseichem" I heard that there were Rabbonim about 100 years ago who forbade cars, saying that they were dangerous. Does anyone know who they were?
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
6 votes
1 answer
186 views

Buying New Electronics During the 9 Days

Is one allowed to buy new electronic devices during the nine days (e.g. cellphone, laptop)?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Who divided the Tehillim into days?

Who divided the Sefer Tehillim into daily sections (both day of week and day of month)?
ertert3terte's user avatar
  • 40.6k
21 votes
4 answers
3k views

When does somebody living in space (e.g. ISS) observe Shabbat?

I understand that Jewish astronauts have been advised to observe Shabbat by Cape Canaveral time, by analogy with traveling to a place that doesn't have daily sunrise/sunset where some rule you use the ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
21 votes
2 answers
17k views

Do religious Jews generally believe the serpent of Garden of Eden was Satan?

Upon reading the recent CNN article, That Actually Isn't In The Bible, one not-really-in-the-Bible misconception they cite is the idea that serpent in the Garden of Eden was the Satan. The article ...
Judah Gabriel Himango's user avatar
6 votes
5 answers
488 views

What is the English translation of the Yiddish word באווארן? [closed]

I'm trying to figure out a good way to say the Yiddish word באווארן in English. We used this a lot in Yeshiva, usually in the context of "to באווארן a question". To explain: A statement would be ...
Menachem's user avatar
  • 44.7k
8 votes
1 answer
391 views

"Boich sevarah"

There is a common Yiddish phrase used to describe an arbitrary reasoning that is not based on the sources: "Boich sevarah" -- literally, "stomach reasoning." What is the exact meaning of this phrase, ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 21.1k
9 votes
1 answer
150 views

Honouring an older person

What sources are there for showing respect and honour to an old person who is not necessarily a talmid chochom or a parent?
Avrohom Yitzchok's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
414 views

Halachos Related to Visiting the Kosel

When one is visiting the western wall, what are some specific halachos that he/she should be cognizant of? By "specific halachos" I mean halachos that only apply to the Kosel -- and not anywhere else....
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
10 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the Minimum Width of Tefillin Straps?

What is the minimum width of tefillin straps? For example: if one's tefillin straps partially tore, how much is required to remain for the tefillin to remain Kosher?
yydl's user avatar
  • 38.6k
4 votes
2 answers
754 views

Why is the right strap longer than the left strap by the Tefilin Shel Rosh?

What is the reason that the right strap is longer than the left strap by the Tefilin Shel Rosh?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the proper length of the Tefilin Shel Rosh straps?

How long are the Tefilin Shel Rosh straps supposed to be? What is the minimum Shiur and what is the maximum?
Gershon Gold's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
126 views

Can someone swear off something that is already prohibited to them by halacha?

Can someone swear off something that is already prohibited to them? For instance: "I swear I won't eat non-kosher."
zaq's user avatar
  • 9,038
10 votes
1 answer
423 views

How do married women whose professions are physically demanding cover their hair?

I'm assuming that somewhere in the world there are observant married women who work as police officers, builders, and other physically demanding jobs where an ordinary scarf, hat, or wig may not stay ...
Shalom's user avatar
  • 134k
13 votes
2 answers
560 views

ribis and foreign currency conversion

I am afraid that I have only recently started to study this kind of thing and I completely unlearned compared to most of the contributors here, so I apologize if my question is somewhat ...
circular-ruin's user avatar
12 votes
5 answers
853 views

How do you motivate a teen who has no interest in Davening?

Recently I met a 13-year-old who simply has no interest in Davening (praying). What would be a way of motivating such a kid to Daven?
Gershon Gold's user avatar

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