15 votes
Accepted

Is an on-call doctor allowed to read non-emergency text messages on Shabbat?

It is a Mitzva to desecrate Shabbat to save lives (OC 328:2), even if it is only doubtful if a life is in danger (329:3), and one should even do this Mitzva with alacrity (329:1). The Shulchan Arukh ...
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  • 95.1k
8 votes

Can someone [be] tovel accidentally? (Does tovelling need kavanah?)

This is a machloket in Chulin 31a. נדה שנאנסה וטבלה אמר רב יהודה אמר רב טהורה לביתה ואסורה לאכול בתרומה ור' יוחנן אמר אף לביתה לא טהרה A nidah who did not intend to tovel (will be explained later): ...
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  • 22.8k
7 votes
Accepted

What do we mean by "kavanah" in "mitzvot tzrichot kavanah"?

The Mishna Berura discusses this in OC 60:7. His conclusion is that the Kavanah required for "Mitzvos Tzerichos Kavanah" is to have in mind that you are fulfilling the Mitzvah as God commanded, as I ...
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6 votes

What is the best way to correct someone who has unwittingly violated halacha in public?

I have been corrected on several occasions, so I can describe what worked better or worse for me. I've tried to apply this when I'm doing the correcting (doesn't happen often), and so far it has ...
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5 votes

Regretting intentionally breaking a fast

O.C 568:1 נדר להתענות יום זה ושכח ואכל משלים תעניתו והוא הדין אם היה תענית חלום או שהיה תענית צבור או שהיה יום ידוע לו להתענות כיום שמת בו אביו או רבו One who vowed to fast for a day, but forgot and ...
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  • 3,789
5 votes

Neder not specified

The Shulchan Arukh in the laws of Nedarim (YD 210:1) rules that if one intended to prohibit wheat bread to himself as a Neder but only said "bread" unmodified, only wheat bread is prohibited to him. (...
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  • 95.1k
5 votes

A sin done while drunk

The Gemara Eiruvin 65a says that אמר רב ששת משום רבי אלעזר בן עזריה יכול יכול אני לפטור את כל העולם כולו מן הדין מיום שחרב בית המקדש ועד עכשיו שנאמר לכן שמעי נא זאת ענייה ושכורת ולא מיין מיתיבי שיכור ...
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  • 39.9k
5 votes
Accepted

What does the saying "like a blind man in a sky light" (כסומא בארובה) indicate?

The simplest explanation for this concept is "Like a blind man (finding) in a trap door (in an attic)" To expand on that: much like a blind man cannot find his way out of a room without help*, and ...
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  • 18.6k
5 votes

Can the accidental killer of a relative kill himself?

TLDR: No. Rambam, Hil. Retzichah 1:2-3 writes: מִצְוָה בְּיַד גּוֹאֵל הַדָּם [לַהֲרֹג אֶת הָרוֹצֵחַ] שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (במדבר לה יט) "גֹּאֵל הַדָּם הוּא יָמִית אֶת הָרֹצֵחַ". וְכָל הָרָאוּי לִירֻשָּׁה ...
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  • 33.4k
4 votes

Nazir and Korban Chatas

The Ramban (Numbers 6:14) writes that the Nazir is sinning by leaving his elevated state, i.e. the sacrifice is for ending the state of being a Nazir. על דרך הפשט, כי האיש הזה חוטא נפשו במלאת הנזירות,...
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3 votes
Accepted

Sotah waters for a raped woman

I subsequently discovered that the answer to my question is basically addressed in the Gemarra in Sotah 26a (and 32b, see below): במתנוונה דרך אברים מהו דתימא הא זנויי זנאי והא דלא בדקוה מיא כי ...
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  • 18.2k
3 votes
Accepted

Doing something bad with a good intention

this was posed to Rabbi Zev Leff, a well known halachic authority in Israel: The suicide bombing Moslems, who do their dastardly deed "in the name of G-d", truly believe that what they are doing ...
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  • 20.5k
3 votes
Accepted

What Atones for Which Sins?

This is documented in the Rambam - Hilchot Teshuva, 1st chapter. In summary: The שעיר המשתלח - goat that was sent to Azazel atones on all sins if Teshuva was done. Else it only atones on "light" ...
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2 votes

Is a machine written sefer torah distinguishable from Machine Matzos

There are other distinctions, but the biggest one is that a Torah must be written "lishmah" -- with intent. Matza actually doesn't have to be "made" lishma, but must be "guarded" lishmah. If I stand ...
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  • 126k
2 votes

Is an on-call doctor allowed to read non-emergency text messages on Shabbat?

Shulkhan Arukh 329:3 says that for a safek pikuach nefesh we violate Shabbat even in a situation where there are many safekot combined. In fact, if this were not the case, the doctor wouldn't be able ...
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  • 24.3k
2 votes

Can someone [be] tovel accidentally? (Does tovelling need kavanah?)

Regarding tevilas keilim, the Shulchan Aruch paskens (YD 120:15) that a non-Jew can dip the keilim. The Shach (120:28) points out that this means tevilas keilim does not require kavanah, even if ...
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  • 13.7k
2 votes

How to translate העלם in the context of שבת

Try Fugue? Fugue: a state or period of loss of awareness of one's identity, often coupled with flight from one's usual environment, associated with certain forms of hysteria and epilepsy. ...
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  • 2,427
2 votes

Why "בשלמא לרבי יוחנן" on שבת דף סט ע״א?

Zadon Shabbos, knowing that it's Shabbos, does not mean that he knows every aspect of Shabbos. It means he knows that it's Shabbos. As Rashi heichi mashkachas lah says, that he knows it's Shabbos. The ...
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  • 2,355
2 votes

Doing something bad with a good intention

I heard this from Rabbi Eli Mansour: Pnina was a tzadeket a wife of a tzadik! she was doing this so Hanah would pray with more kavanah and tears, which two conditions known to be accepted by hashem in ...
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  • 21
2 votes

Sotah waters for a raped woman

In light of my lack of knowledge on this subject i have tried my best to provide a source for the Maharal and Pnei Yehoshua's opinion: Kesubos 51b: אמר רב יהודה הני נשי דגנבו גנבי שריין לגוברייהו ...
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  • 11.2k
2 votes

What do we mean by "kavanah" in "mitzvot tzrichot kavanah"?

Regarding whether one can perform mitzvos without believing in the Metzaveh, a number of acharonim have argued that one cannot, due to a lack of kavanah. Their argument is that even according to the ...
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  • 13.7k
2 votes

Why does the mishna prescribe an indirect measure of whether somebody knew about a court ruling?

I think that the rule you assumed is written in Mishna 1.1. זה הכלל: התולה בעצמו, חייב. והתולה בבית דין, פטור. ‏ This is the rule, one who follows his own opinion needs to bring a personal Chatat, ...
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  • 22.1k
2 votes
Accepted

What is the law regarding the aveidah of a katan (lost object of a minor)?

Nesivos Hamishpat (Choshen Mishpat) 260,6 11 (as the questioner correctly assumed) based on the Shulchan Aruch says that a minor can never give up hope and if it is known that a lost even without a ...
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  • 11.2k
1 vote

Unintentionally break the commandment of prohibiting idolatry

The Gemara in Horayos 5b interprets the passage as a special Par He'elam Davar - i.e. The courts ruled that a part of idolatry is permitted when it's not, and a majority of the people sinned based on ...
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  • 33.4k
1 vote

Why כאשר אבדתי?

See here (footnotes on the commentary on the verse): Two halachik works, the Mahari"K (167) and the Beit Shmuel (178:4) learn from here that even though a woman may commit adultery in order save the ...
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  • 42.7k
1 vote
Accepted

How to translate העלם in the context of שבת

I suggest oblivion. Wiktionary's first definition is: The state of forgetfulness or distraction; fig. confused It seems to me that the distracted kind of forgetfulness is the phenomenon discussed ...
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  • 46.7k
1 vote

How to translate העלם in the context of שבת

The Hebrew word itself only means "disappearance" (as in, from his conscious mind/memory) which means it needs to be interpreted contextually even in the original. If you are looking for a translation ...
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  • 17.2k
1 vote
Accepted

Is it acceptable to make someone feel uncomfortable because they have inadvertently done something that you consider undesirable?

Just by way of background: Kol Isha, or literally the voice of a woman, is a law that falls under the category of Sneas, or modesty. It was designed by the Rabbis to keep men from lusting after women ...
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  • 323
1 vote

Bracha on Tzitzit

I heard from Rav Gershon Meltzer a posek in yeshivas Mir that if you had intention to put it back on its not called a hefsek. Same issue with repeating birchas hatorah since you intend to wake soon ...
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1 vote

Biblical Prohibition of Breaking Shabbos/Shabbat because one didn't learn the laws

Ralbag writes as follows in his commentary to Parshat Nitzavim: התועלת השני הוא להודיע שמי שירצה להסיר מעליו עול התורה בשלא יכוון לדעת עניניה כדי שיהיה שוגג בכל מה שיעבור עליו מדברי התורה ולא ...
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  • 47.8k

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