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46

The Torah says that we may not eat anything without fins and scales if it is among the "sea-life" or of the "beasts of the sea" (Vaykira 11:10) which the Ramban thinks refers specifically to sea creatures that have two legs like those of land-creatures. Assuming that he's talking about mermaids, he implies that they have two legs, instead of fins, and are ...


37

According to traditional Judaism, you are Jewish if and only if you yourself have validly converted to Judaism OR your birth mother was Jewish at the time of your birth (Shulchan Arukh Even HaEzer 7:17 and 8:5, Yoreh De'ah 268:6). To determine if your mother was Jewish apply the same rules: either she herself converted to Judaism OR her birth mother was ...


37

Yes, there is a history of Jewish communities in Arab countries relying on the Muslim call to prayer for their own praying times. For one such example, here is the Ben Ish Hai, (Hacham Yosef Haim) who lived from 1832-1909 in Baghdad, and who refers to the maghrab (an Islamic prayer-time called after sunset) in various places: Ben Ish Hai, Year 1, Vayakhel #...


35

I graduated from public school. My comments are not a result of the caliber of the education or even the environment - my school won national competitions in academic competitions, and was a very clean and safe environment. But I would never think of sending my child to the best public school. 1) - My school (which ended a bit earlier than the schools ...


32

According to R' Dr. David Shabtai, in a 2013 Times of Israel blog post, there is no such source: The religious exemption exists to protect people whose religion forbids vaccination, to allow religious practice without governmental intervention. The basis for this exemption is to protect people whose religion prohibits vaccinations. This is not true for ...


30

The Shulchan Aruch was written by Rabbi Yosef Karo in the mid-sixteenth century. That is the reference to #1 ("stam" means plain, without any additional qualifications. Since then, others have appropriated the name or made names that have allusions to it, when writing books which have a similar purpose - to structure and organize Jewish Law into a relatively ...


27

You ask, "let's say that Murex is not the chilazon, and we have some strings that have been dyed blue for no reason. What's the problem with that?" (my emphasis) If there really is no reason to dye them blue whatsoever, then doing so would be a violation of the Shulchan Aruch (9:5), who says that careful people use strings of the same color as the garment, ...


25

It doesn't seem that anyone attempted to address this in a comprehensive manner, so I will try. There might be slight overlap with some of the other answers here, and with my answer to this question. If you don't want to read through many paragraphs of sources, skip to the summary all the way at the bottom. It all starts with the Mishnah in Sotah 3:4 which ...


25

No. No matter how they would be classified: Fish: Scales could not be removed without ripping skin. Reptile, insect, animal (Behema/Chaya): Neither a grasshopper, nor split hooves. See picture below. Bird:* No mesora for Ashkenazim. For Sefardim, it would need characteristics (simanim): Extant crop: Subject to observation of specimen. Peelable inner lining ...


25

From Rav Aviner's tshuvot (text) Wearing Wife's Jacket in the Cold Q: Is it permissible for a husband to wear his wife's jacket if he is cold, or is it forbidden on account of "Lo Yilbash" (the prohibition of cross-dressing)? And what about visa-versa? A: It is permissible, since the purpose is not to wear it but simply to warm up (Shut ...


25

For a good review of the significance of the wedding ring in Judaism, I recommend the section entitled "The Marriage Ring" of the book The Jewish Way in Love & Marriage, by R' Maurice Lamm. As R' Lamm explains, the technical purpose of the wedding ring is to serve as part of the binding transaction that establishes the marriage. While there's plenty of ...


23

I write as an Orthodox Jew, a parent and a teacher. The answer is both simple and complex. First, the money. Yes, public school is cheaper. Can't get around that. Next however is the contention that Jewish schools lack "technology and extra curriculars" -- this is not true for a huge chunk of Jewish schools out there. From teams to clubs and from iPads and ...


23

Short answer: NO. Long answer: also NO. Here's why: Rabbi Yosef Karo writes (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 328:2): מִי שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ חֹלִי שֶׁל סַכָּנָה, מִצְוָה לְחַלֵּל עָלָיו אֶת הַשַּׁבָּת; וְהַזָּרִיז, הֲרֵי זֶה מְשֻׁבָּח; וְהַשּׁוֹאֵל, הֲרֵי זֶה שׁוֹפֵךְ דָּמִים Someone who has a life-threatening illness is commanded (מצוה) to violate the ...


23

The gemara in Bechoros 8a, which discusses mermaids, says they can be impregnated by people. As such, they would be non-kosher due to the qualification found there (Bech. 7b) a kosher fish lays eggs and a non-kosher fish births a live creature. This is the simple understanding found in the pirushim on the Tosefta (1:5) there. Tosafos there complicates ...


23

It is very considerate of a Muslim to care about helping Jewish people protect the laws of kashrut. I assume it is because the Muslim is motivated by fear of Heaven and care for a fellow human being. There is no known problem in Kosher law which would restrict Muslims from contact with Kosher bakery goods. (to my knowledge) Thanks for asking.


23

There is no reason not to have a Jewish wedding. On the contrary! There is a strong reason to have one, in order to live according to halacha with a kosher wedding and ketuba. Note that, in many European countries (e.g., Switzerland, France), it is forbidden to have a Jewish wedding without first having a civil wedding. As such, all Jews first have a small ...


23

R. Bachya (1255–1340) in Kad Ha-Kemach (Kitvei R. Bachya, Chavel ed., p. 166) writes: חוש המישוש לא תיקנו עליו ברכה לפי שאין לחוש הזה חלק בשכל כי כולו גופני היפך השכל The sense of touch has no brachot instituted for it, because this sense has no part in the intellect but is entirely physical, the opposite of the intellect. The Sefer Habatim (Sefer Mitzvah, ...


22

This practice seems to be (at least) as old as the Gemara, as the Gemara states in Brachos 27b: 'R. Yirmiah b. Abba is different, because he was a disciple-colleague. [This can be proven by the fact that] R. Jeremiah b. Abba said to Rav: Have you made havdalah? He replied: Yes, I have; and he did not say to him, has the master made havdalah' In ...


21

Different crowds use "I'm shomer negiah" to mean two very different things: A.) I follow the strictest reading of the law and avoid any touching whatsoever. B.) I keep the law and don't hug/kiss my unwed sweetheart, unlike many of my friends for whom that's too hard. Let's address the sources for both. The Torah starts off the list of prohibited ...


21

A general rule is stated in the Talmud (Ketubot 19a): דאמר מר אין לך דבר שעומד בפני פיקוח נפש אלא עבודת כוכבים וגלוי עריות ושפיכות דמים בלבד for a Master said: 'There is nothing that comes before the saving of life except idolatry, incest and bloodshed only. (Soncino translation) (“Incest” is actually an imprecise translation. The term giluy arayot ...


21

This is a can of such powder (cream) that Jews would use on the Lower East Side around 100 years ago. If you look closely you will see that it says Mutar based off the teshuva of the Noda B'Yehuda, YD 81. Yiddish text on top says: א שייוו אהן א רייזאר נור מיט א פוידער איז מותר.


21

Yes, there are multiple levels. In the Laws of Forbidden Foods 14:16-17, the Rambam writes: "When a person is overcome by severe hunger, he may be fed forbidden food immediately until his eyesight clears. We do not seek permitted food. Instead, we hurry to feed him what is available. "We feed him substances bound by more lenient prohibitions first. ...


21

That is correct and many observant Jews eat this bread (I lived in France for five years). The same is true for many sorts of plain bread, not just baguette. However one has to check that the oven is only used for plain bread and not for other specialties with cheese or meat, if the supports used in the oven are not covered with grease and if they use the ...


20

In Lma'an Yishme'u #267 (page 2) Rabbi Chaim Hillel Raskin says that it is a Halachic obligation to quiet or turn off a cell phone before starting to Daven. If he did not, and his cell phone rings, he is allowed to quiet or turn off the phone to ensure that no one will be disturbed further. Although he doesn't specifically address a situation where it hasn'...


20

Perhaps they are referring to the idea mentioned here. That is one shouldn't invite anyone to a bris as declining such an invitation would be bad (Rema Yoreh Deah 265:12). But if you don't receive an invitation at all, one can choose not to show up.


20

Shadal himself admits to this in a letter to Shlomo Yehuda Rapaport published in Igrot Shadal Volume II p.246: ואני גם כי אינני מאוהביו כבר קיבלתי פירושו (נגד ההלכה) בפסוק לא תקיפו פאת ראשכם שאינו אלא על מת וקִבלתיו לעצמי למעשה אע"פ שאין אני מורה כן לאחרים כי אין לי עסק בהוראה As for me, though I am not one of [Ibn Ezra's] friends, I have already ...


19

Thank you and welcome to the site. We hope this is a theoretical question; however, Judaism covers the difficult cases too. First off, this isn't pleasant to bring up, but not all forms of rape would be of halachic consequence to the question at hand; but we'll assume here that this was conventional full penetration, which would present an issue. The Kohen ...


19

On that gemara, artscroll notes Although on the surface this verse discusses the Babylonian exile, which ended long before the time of Rav Yehudah and R Abba, Rav Yehudah understood it as referring to the Jewish people throughout all their various exiles, and as containing a commandment for them to remain in the Diaspora until God gathers them ...


19

The Rambam (Hilchot Rotzeach uShmirat Nefesh 5:11) writes If the [unintentional] killer is slain within the Sabbath limits of the city of refuge, the one who slayed him should be executed. see also end of 5:12 Thus, if a person kills unintentionally and takes refuge at the altar, and the blood redeemer kills him there, he should be executed as if ...


18

You sure you want to open up this can of worms? :-) Here's the situation. There is no explicit mention of any such concept in the Torah, Talmud, or adressed by the Rambam, the Rosh, the Tur, or the Shulchan Aruch. The first time this really became an issue when during WWII when yeshiva students (notably those from Mir and Chachmei Lublin) relocated from ...


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