17 votes
Accepted

If the lulav and etrog are biblically mandated, how were people in cold climates able to obtain them before modern times?

It seems, according to this article, that people found a way. It would seem that as long as Jews stayed in the moderate climate on the shores of the Mediterranean, there was no difficulty obtaining ...
user avatar
  • 36.5k
15 votes

Joining a synagogue after two generations non-practising

Yashar koach on becoming more involved in Jewish life. We can't say what they will do (only they can answer that), but I'll address how you can approach it. You are Jewish because your mother is (...
user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

Can Jews be rulers of countries other than Israel?

Brachos 58a says that upon seeing a "melech Yisrael", one recites the blessing: Baruch ... SheChalak MiKvodo Lirei'av. Bless You God, who apportioned from Your honor to those who fear you! ...
user avatar
  • 126k
10 votes
Accepted

Rav Hirsch and Black Slavery

http://www.shemayisrael.com/publicat/hazon/tzedaka/beliefinone.htm The belief of our people in the Redeeming One inspired other oppressed people to have faith in eventual salvation. For example, ...
user avatar
10 votes

Did any Achronim comment on the American Revolutionary or Civil Wars?

R. Hayyim Joseph David Azulai twice refers to the American Revolution in his diary. Both times he is talking about the negative effect the war was having on the finances of Jews in Amsterdam who had ...
user avatar
  • 47.8k
9 votes

Niagara Falls does it require a Bracha if so which one?

Some believe that an "Oseh Ma'aseh V'reishis" should be made on the Niagara Falls because undoubtedly it is one of the most impressive natural wonders. However, after doing some research I have found ...
user avatar
  • 91
9 votes
Accepted

Secret Ops, The President, and The Blessing On a King

The Radbaz's language (responsum #296) is that he can kill "keMishpat", lawfully. A mob boss, for instance, has the ability to kill, but not lawfully. So I presume if the use of power was totally ...
user avatar
  • 126k
9 votes
Accepted

Is there a U.S. or Canadian yeshiva that offers a Smicha program where the Rosh Kollel can accommodate the deaf?

The one high school Yeshiva in North America for the deaf is Yeshivas Nefesh Dovid (http://www.nefeshdovid.com/) located in Toronto. The Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Chaim Tzvi Kakon, himself is deaf and got ...
user avatar
  • 106
8 votes

Kilayim in Chutz la'eretz

The Rambam (Kilayim 1:3) and the Shulchan Aruch (YD 297:2) explicitly rule that the issue of Kilaei Zeraim (planting mixtures of edible seeds (except grapes)) only applies in the Land of Israel and a ...
user avatar
  • 95.1k
7 votes

Israeli making pizza on last day of Pesach in the Diaspora

Aruch Hashulchan 496:5 says that it is forbidden for a Ben Eretz Yisrael to eat Chometz in Chutz L'Aretz on Acharon Shel Pesach. ויש מי שאומר דבן ארץ ישראל הבא לחוץ לארץ – אסור לו לאכול חמץ באחרון ...
user avatar
7 votes

When did walking from Ner Israel yeshiva to Baltimore no longer require Eruv Techumin?

This is actually still a matter of dispute. Rabbi Yosef Berger, posek of the Yeshiva and Rov of Kehillas Kol Torah in Baltimore, holds that you do not need to make an eruv techumin. R' Tzvi ...
user avatar
7 votes

Any books dealing with minhaggim of Lita?

Minhagei Lita (Customs of Lithuanian Jewry) by Rabbi Menachem Mendel Poliakoff. It should be noted that this work has been critiqued as reflecting the author's personal experiences, not historic ...
user avatar
  • 34.8k
6 votes

"Secular" studies in the Rhineland academies of the 11th-13th centuries

It seems Ashkenazi Jews of the time - including the Tosafists - lacked formal secular knowledge. Rabbi Prof. Ephraim Kanarfogel wrote in his essay "The Tosafist Oeuvre and Torah u-Madda": &...
user avatar
  • 20.2k
5 votes

Rav Hirsch and Black Slavery

Excerpts from "Orthodox Approaches to Biblical Slavery" by Gamliel Shmalo - which appeared in The Torah u-Maddah Journal Volume 16 2012-2013 http://daattorah.blogspot.co.il/2014/06/biblical-slavery-...
user avatar
5 votes

Can Jews be rulers of countries other than Israel?

Consider the medrash that Moshe Rabbeinu was the king of Ethiopia. If you want to say that since it was before Sinai, it would not apply, consider the Khazars where the king and nobility appear to ...
user avatar
  • 41.8k
4 votes

Counting the omer with doubt before the fixed calendar

Ba'al Hameor and Ravad (both at the end of Pesachim) assume that the communities counted only one day, starting from the first day of Yom Tov. Whether or not they did this with a beracha would ...
user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Heter mechira abroad

See Rabbi Mordechai Willig's "Shmittah for the Consumer": Thus, for the American consumer, the main issue is not the effectiveness of the sale (once one assumes its validity), but rather the ...
user avatar
  • 126k
4 votes

What should one do with Shemittah produce?

They must be treated with Kedushas Shevi'is. That means you cannot sell them, you cannot destroy them, you cannot eat them in unusual ways, there is a Mitzva to eat them if they are kosher, and you ...
user avatar
  • 6,069
4 votes
Accepted

Which other lands (besides Eretz Israel) have Kedushas Ha'aretz?

The author is probably referring to certain areas adjacent to Eretz Yisrael, and possibly to Suria (some part of modern day Syria) that share some of the "laws of the land", however they have a lesser ...
user avatar
4 votes

On the 2nd day of Succot in Diaspora, why don't we read both the 1st & 2nd day Musaph readings?

The law is in shulchan aruch orach Chaim 490 I guess that it is the same reason that we are strict to say shehechyanu (and do everything) on the second day as on the first day (since we live by the ...
user avatar
  • 7,114
4 votes
Accepted

Are Jews who live and died in diaspora non-believers?

The gemara doesn't end there ... it clarifies the baraita you cite and continues Whoever lives outside of the Land of Israel, it is as if he is an idolater. artscroll elucidates this ...
user avatar
  • 43.3k
4 votes

Cohanim in Paris

The question is not for a problem of touching a dead but for a problem of Maahil (to be over the dead). Tum'a Bokaat Veola (uncleanness erupt upward). In some conditions, to walk over a buried dead ...
user avatar
  • 22.1k
4 votes
Accepted

When would a convert affix the Mezuzah in the diaspora?

The Concise Code of Jewish Law for Converts by Rabbi Michael Broyde addresses this question. It cites Agur BeOhalecha (page 366:36), by Rabbi Eliyahu Avigdor Feldman, as saying that a convert outside ...
user avatar
  • 8,621
4 votes
Accepted

Birkat Kohanim in Chutz Laaretz

See RM Issarles on SA OC 128, 44: נהגו בכל מדינות אלו שאין נושאים כפים אלא ביום טוב משום שאז שרויים בשמחת יום טוב וטוב לב הוא יברך מה שאין כן בשאר ימים אפילו בשבתות השנה שטרודים בהרהורים על מחייתם ...
user avatar
  • 22.1k
4 votes

Melacha for people observing Yom Tov Sheni in Israel

Rav Moshe Feinstein (OC 3:73) writes that there is a machlokes in the Shaarei Teshuva (496:3) about thi, but writes that the halacha follows the authorities who prohibit asking others to perform ...
user avatar
  • 6,069
3 votes

Secret Ops, The President, and The Blessing On a King

Since not everyone agrees with this other answer here's a different view, from R Shlomo Aviner's book On the air p. 45 The king must have the ability to administer capital punishment (Shut ...
user avatar
  • 43.3k
3 votes

Can I omit ברוך השם לעולם אמן ואמן to catch up in Maariv?

Yes, it's befeirush (explicit) in Mishna Berura siman 236 s"k 11. that one should skip it to daven Shmoneh Esrei with the tzibur: ואם הם עוסקים עדיין בברכות ק"ש והוא משער שעד שיגיעו הצבור ...
user avatar
  • 81
3 votes

Sefira Counting in Diaspora

Taame Haminhagim 577 answers (in my own loose translation): … because we shouldn't be so strict about it, since it's nothing but a remembrance to what was done when we had the bes hamikdash. Another [...
user avatar
  • 73.4k
3 votes

Are there any minhag and customs specific to Czech Jews and have they been documented?

According to the סדר עבודת ישראל, whilst מנהג פולין say אב הרחמים on שבת מברכים החודש only during ספירת העומר, it says that ק''ק פראג (Prague) also say it on שבת מברכים החודש מנחם אב. http://www....
user avatar
  • 3,202
3 votes

Was the Reish Galuta considered the presumptive candidate for the Melech haMoshiach?

However Vayikra Rabba 19:6 states that the curse was revoked and Zerubavel was part of the line of King David. I go into detail on this answer at which kings must Moshiach descend from?. Among other ...
user avatar
  • 41.8k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible