21 votes

How can I redeem a wasted youth?

Talmud Sukkah 53A: חסידים ואנשי מעשה כו': ת"ר יש מהן אומרים אשרי ילדותנו שלא ביישה את זקנותנו אלו חסידים ואנשי מעשה ויש מהן אומרים אשרי זקנותנו שכפרה את ילדותנו אלו בעלי תשובה אלו ואלו אומרים אשרי ...
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  • 5,181
16 votes
Accepted

How to explain to friends/family that one will not attend an intermarriage

Like many things in life, this will obviously depend on the specific situation. For example, if the relevant people understand your lifestyle and why you would be sensitive to this issue before it ...
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15 votes

Did Avraham Avinu really have a daughter named Bakol?

Bava Batra (16b) records a dispute (found earlier in Tosefta Kiddushin (5:17 in R. Lieberman's edition) regarding the interpretation of Genesis (24:1) which states that God blessed Abraham "bakol" (...
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  • 34.8k
15 votes

How can I redeem a wasted youth?

What happened happened and the Torah approach is not to dwell on it, but rather focus on improving going forward. Regarding sins from the past, the Rambam writes (Hilchot Teshuva 1:3) Teshuvah [...
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  • 43.3k
14 votes

Who was the mother of Avraham's daughter?

Tosfos in Bava Basra 141a writes: בת היה לו ובכל שמה. וא"ת ולמה לא השיאה ליצחק למ"ד בפרק ארבע מיתות (סנהדרין דף נח:) דבן נח מותר באחותו וי"ל דשמא קטנה היתה ולא רצה עדיין להשיאה ליצחק אי נמי ...
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  • 39.5k
14 votes
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Are two biological brothers allowed to marry two biological sisters?

In the Tzavaos of Rabbi Yehuda HaChasid #25 seen here he says two brothers should not marry two sisters. See note #37 (#32 in the linked edition) from Rabbi Reuven Margolis quoting the Noda Biyehuda ...
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  • 32.2k
13 votes
Accepted

Does a Jewish grandmother (mother's side) really get one accepted as a Jew?

Among those Rabbis that I know, if/when they are approached by someone who wasn't raised as a Jew but has a Jewish maternal grandparent, they welcome them with open arms as Jews, albeit Jews who have ...
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13 votes

Why was Rachel shepherding instead of Leah?

Ramban there offers a couple of reasons: Leah's eyes were weak (29:17), so the sun would be harmful to her. Precisely because she was older, so there was more of a concern that the shepherds would ...
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  • 7,337
12 votes

Why were מִישָׁאֵל and אֶלְצָפָן chosen to remove Nadav and Avihu?

1) Netziv (Vayikra 10:4) says: אל מישאל ואל אלצפן בני עזיאל דד אהרן – כבר נדרש בת״כ למאי כתיב דד אהרן. ולפי הפשט משמעות דד כמו ידידות מלשון כי טובים דדיך. ובא לפרש למה קרא לבני עוזיאל יותר מבני ...
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12 votes

Halachically, must a Jewish convert sever ties with his non-Jewish family?

Unless there were extenuating circumstances at play, I think someone has gone too far here. Maimonides Laws of the Rebel, 5:11: הגר אסור לקלל אביו הגוי, ולהכותו ולבזהו--כדי שלא יאמרו, באו מקדושה ...
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  • 126k
11 votes
Accepted

How to keep kosher in a non-observant household

After the Return by Rabbis Mordechai Becher and Moshe Newman, a guidebook for baalei t'shuva, covers this. To summarize the discussion in Chapter 6: You should offer to do (and fund) the shopping to ...
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11 votes
Accepted

Rachel Imeinu Deceiving Lavan while pregnant

The Midrash (Megillah 17a) says Yaakov spent 2 years tarrying on his way back from Lavan (18 months in Sukkot and 6 months in Beit-El). So there's no way Rachel was already pregnant when she saw her ...
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  • 95.1k
10 votes

Does a Jewish grandmother (mother's side) really get one accepted as a Jew?

No, the rabbi wouldn't find it strange. & Yes, he would accepted you at the spot as 100% jewish. And I can tell you from my own personal experience they would be even very happy!
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  • 1,137
9 votes
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Saying loshon hara to a spouse or close relative

The basic rule is there is no allowance to speak lashon hara to relatives. See for instance Hilchos Lashon Hara (Klal 8, Sif 10). In fact, the Chafetz Chaim there advises against telling your wife all ...
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  • 32.2k
9 votes

Are two biological brothers allowed to marry two biological sisters?

Yes they are allowed to marry. The problems are discussed here. I personally know of such couples (and also brother-sister, sister-brother cross-over) among the most ultra-orthodox chasidim.
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  • 6,414
9 votes

Can you marry your Wife's Sister as a non "Rival Wife"?

The Torah clearly states that one may not marry one's wife's sister, as long as one's wife is alive. This is true whether you are still married to your first wife or not. I.e. whether she is a rival ...
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8 votes

Mordecai: Esther's uncle?

See the commentary of the Ibn Ezra on Esther 8:1 (page 30 in the linked document) where he says that Mordechai was Esther's uncle.
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8 votes

How was Dovid a descendant of Miriam?

Ruth 4: 18 - 22 Peretz, Chetzron, Ram, Aminadav, Nachshon, Salmon, Boaz, Oved, Yishai, Dovid. Nachshon was the nasi of Yehudah at the time of the Exodus. Sotah 11b says that Dovid descended from ...
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  • 41.8k
8 votes

How to keep kosher in a non-observant household

The reality is that for many Baalei Teshuva they simply won't have the knowledge to really dynamically adapt to such a situation. Things like this can raise situations that can absorb the greatest ...
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  • 31.3k
8 votes

Avuncular marriage in the Torah

Avunculate marriage is marriage between an uncle and a niece or between an aunt and a nephew. The latter is Biblically forbidden (Leviticus 18:12-3). The former, however, is not, and the Talmud ...
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  • 34.8k
8 votes

What is the definition of a "shituki"?

Kiddushin 69a (Art Scroll Kiddushin 69a4), The end of the first mishna chapter 4 Asarah Yochasin. There are ten classes of geneology, this is one of them. These are shetukim: Anyone who knows the ...
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  • 41.8k
8 votes

What tribe were Eldad and Medad from?

According to Bamidbar Rabba 15 19, Eldad was Alidad ben Kislon and Meidad was Kemuel ben Shaftan. That would put Eldad as the Nasi of Binyamin and Meidad as the Nasi of Ephraim as found in Parshas ...
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  • 32.2k
8 votes

Are there any specific minhagim to celebrate Purim as a family?

Nit'ei Gavri'el does indeed record the attestation of feasting together with one's family in a number of sources (in Purim 71:4). They are not necessarily attesting the purpose of perpetuation Rashi ...
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  • 23.3k
8 votes

How can I redeem a wasted youth?

There is nothing that does not come from G-d - even evil has a kernel of good. This is why evil is referred to as a klipah, a shell - it separates holiness from G-d but the holiness is still there, ...
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7 votes

What was Rav's relationship to R' Hiyyah?

והא רב בר אחוה דרבי חייא דהוא בר אחתיה דר' חייא Rav, the son of the brother of R' Chiyya, was the son of the sister of R' Chiyya Rashi: דרבי אחא מכפרי נשא לאה והוליד ממנה אייבו מתה ונשא רחל ...
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7 votes
Accepted

Is it appropriate to sing Aishet Chayel for a childless woman?

Just a copy/paste from a nice article on the subject found HERE Avigdor Shinan introduces “Eishet Chayil” in the Siddur that he edited and annotated, as follows: This biblical passage has been ...
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  • 3,757
7 votes

Can a non-Kashrus observant Jew cook for a Kashrus-observant Jew?

R' Moshe Feinstein addresses your question (Igros Moshe YD I §54). He says that they are not believed under the category of eid echad ne'eman b'issurin (עד אחד נאמן באיסורין - "a single witness is ...
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  • 16.2k
7 votes
Accepted

What damages does a hurting husband pay to his wife?

Rambam Hilchos Chovel U'Mazik 4:16 בַּמֶּה דְּבָרִים אֲמוּרִים שֶׁחָבְלוּ בָּהּ אֲחֵרִים. אֲבָל הַבַּעַל שֶׁחָבַל בְּאִשְׁתּוֹ חַיָּב לְשַׁלֵּם לָהּ מִיָּד כָּל הַנֵּזֶק וְכָל הַבּשֶׁת וְהַצַּעַר ...
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  • 11.7k
7 votes

How can I redeem a wasted youth?

I think there is maybe something by Rambam about not seeing yourself as either good or bad, but just thinking of acting rightly in the very next moment. So, the present is everything. A similar idea ...
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  • 97
6 votes

Why am I told specifically not to uncover my father's nakedness?

To quote Rashi: the nakedness of your father: This [refers to] your father’s wife. [But how do we know this?] Perhaps it is only to be interpreted literally [as an admonition against relations with ...
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  • 31.3k

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