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12 votes

BS"D in the bathroom

R. Moshe Feinstein has a responsum about writing ב"ה in a letter. While he notes that it could potentially lead to issues because the ה is a letter of God's name and it is also meant to refer to God, ...
Alex's user avatar
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10 votes

The Yiddish Language and its Sanctity

In a letter to the Tog–Morgn Zhurnal, February 24, 1961 (also printed in דרשות און כּתובֿים), Rav Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveitchik wrote that Yiddish can be considered as a tashmish kedusha. He says that ...
magicker72's user avatar
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10 votes
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What is the source of 'Ma'alin bekodesh'?

Menachot 99a derives this principle from two biblical sources. We don’t descend in holiness: This is learned from the fact that after Moshe began to erect the Mishkan, no one else (of lesser holiness)...
Joel K's user avatar
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8 votes
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Why is prior to creation called holy?

The same text appears in Chagigah 18a. Rashi there commments: ששת ימי בראשית - ימי כל שבוע ושבוע בין שתי שבתות הן יושבין הרי קדושה לפניהן ולאחריהן:‏ The six days of creation - Every set ...
Joel K's user avatar
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7 votes
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Status of stones that fell out of the Kotel

This article quotes Rav Yitzchak Herzog (Heichal Yitzchak OC 18). I do not have access to this source to confirm the accuracy of the following discussion, so take this with a grain of salt until it ...
DonielF's user avatar
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7 votes

Could a Torah Scroll Be Writtin in Ktav Ivri (Paleo Hebrew)?

In Massechet Mezuzah 1:3, we read: שנה אותיותיה או שנכתבה עברית הרי זו פסולה. If you changed [a mezuzah]'s letters or it was written in k'tav ivri, it is pasul. [my transl.] The same can be found in ...
magicker72's user avatar
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6 votes
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Christian Bible Holiness?

A related question asks what to do with a sefer torah written by a heretic. An answer there quotes the Rambam (Laws of Tefilin, Mezuzah, and Sefer Torah 1:13) thus: יג ספר תורה תפילין ומזוזות שכתבן ...
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Where does the Chasam Sofer z”l state that the Megillah is holier than the Torah?

The statement you are looking for is in his Derashos I p. 164 column 2 s.v. אמר חז׳ל פ׳ק כיון דקבלת תורה בימי מרע׳ה היה באונס והדר קבלוהו בימי אחשורש, על כן אור קדוש הכלול במגילה הוא ממש יותר גדול ...
user6591's user avatar
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6 votes

Looking for sources that support needing a mechitzah in shul for activities other than davening

Rav Moshe Feinstein writes that for gatherings that are non-obligatory, such as weddings, he is in doubt as to the need for a mechitzah. He proceeds to bring a number of proofs that there is no ...
Harry's user avatar
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5 votes

Who are the Elders in the beginning of Avot

See mefarshim, e.g. Yachin: הן השופטים שאחר יהושע:‏ The elders: The judges after Yehoshua. שעלי השופט האחרון מסר לשמואל ראש הנביאים.‏ Eli (Hakohen), the last judge, transmitted to Shmuel, the first ...
kouty's user avatar
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5 votes

Can Angels "fall"?

Yehuda Shirpin points out multiple sources where angels did indeed make a mistake - Chagigah 15a where Metatron was whipped Rashi (Bereishis 19:22) where the Angels destroying Sedom are handicapped ...
NJM's user avatar
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5 votes
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Can Holiness Be Retroactively Withdrawn?

See on this Rav Menachem Kasher's long article in Torah Shleyma vol. 29, and specifically section 1 chapter 6, which is on exactly this question. I'll try to summarise: Rav Chaim Kanievsky (Peirush ...
magicker72's user avatar
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5 votes

Torah approach to getting out of inappropriate feelings/thoughts

Berachot 5a: אָמַר רַבִּי לֵוִי בַּר חָמָא, אָמַר רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן לָקִישׁ: לְעוֹלָם יַרְגִּיז אָדָם יֵצֶר טוֹב עַל יֵצֶר הָרַע, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר: ״רִגְזוּ וְאַל תֶּחֱטָאוּ״ אִם נִצְּחוֹ — מוּטָב, ...
Joel K's user avatar
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4 votes

What is the halachic status of today's modern bathrooms?

R. Yitzchak Abadi has a responsum about this in Ohr Yitzchak 2:34. בתי כסאות שלנו ודאי שאין להם דין בית הכסא לשום דבר [ועי' בדברינו ח"א חאו"ח סוף סי' מ'] ואני תמה מכל האחרונים שהאריכו בזה ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes

Dr. Bronner's soap

Earlier on the label it mentions Jesus being a student of Hillel. That makes this label a work of a min. Even torah scrolls written by minim lack holiness and dont go into shemos. Source later.
Clint Eastwood's user avatar
4 votes
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Geniza for a carton packing?

The answer is,it depends what type of carton box you are referring to. Rabbi Yecheskel Feinhandler in his Ginzei Kodesh pg. 107:13 writes that a box that is used to transport seforim certainly does ...
sam's user avatar
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4 votes

Torah approach to getting out of inappropriate feelings/thoughts

The Talmud in Kiddushin 30b states: תנא דבי ר' ישמעאל בני אם פגע בך מנוול זה משכהו לבית המדרש אם אבן הוא נימוח ואם ברזל הוא מתפוצץ שנאמר הלא כה דברי כאש נאם ה' וכפטיש יפוצץ סלע אם אבן הוא נימוח שנאמר ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes

Torah approach to getting out of inappropriate feelings/thoughts

The Baal Hatanya in Chapters 28-29 of Tanya instructs that if foreign thoughts are distracting someone during lay activities (not prayer or learning etc.) he should remove his mind entirely from ...
Nochie Wolf's user avatar
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Kohen marriage after cohabitation?

(The prohibited marriage for a Cohen that results from a previous prohibited intercourse of the woman making her a so called Zona. There are two other Isur, Chalala, not relevant for the question, ...
kouty's user avatar
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3 votes

Changing customs from a Holy place to a non-Holy place

Perhaps you are looking for this Gemara in Chulin 18b. Here is the key quote from Sefaria.org (with their elaboration) (but the surrounding Gemara is relevant as well): The Gemara asks: And does ...
Benyomin Walters's user avatar
3 votes
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Tetragrammaton in Non-Jewish Books

See Gemara Gittin 45b: R`Nahman said: We have it on tradition that a scroll of the Law which has been written by a Min should be burnt meaning with all the shemot. This is stated in SA YD 281, 1: ...
kouty's user avatar
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3 votes

Can a previously used Aron Kodesh be used a Sefarim closet?

According to Kitzur Yalkut Yosef 1:166:4-5 (A Sefardi Posek): There are those that say you can put Gemarot and Halachic works in an old Aron Kodesh, since this was implicitly agreed upon from the ...
Menachem's user avatar
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3 votes
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In what way is a Nazir holy?

Rashi (a preeminent biblical commentator) explains that this verse refers to the hair, not the Nazir. ["it" not "he"]: his hair shall be holy inasmuch as he must let grow freely ...
mbloch's user avatar
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3 votes

The Ramban's explanation of "You shall be holy"

The Ramban at the end of the verse explains the additional phrase: FOR I THE ETERNAL YOUR G-D AM HOLY. This means to say, that we will merit to cleave unto Him, by being holy.
IsraelReader's user avatar
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2 votes

What does Rabenu Tam think is really the source for a minyan comprising ten?

The third possibility is the right. אין להביא ראיה מעשרה מרגלים לדבר שבקדושה It is not a right inference to provide a proof from a group of wrongdoers for groups of Holy work. (The attributes of a ...
kouty's user avatar
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2 votes

BS"D in the bathroom

Why should there be a problem? בס''ד stands for בסייעתא דשמיא and doesn't contain any Holy Name. The translation of the phrase is "with Heaven's help". Even in the case of ב''ה or בעז''ה, which have ...
ezra's user avatar
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2 votes
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Who are the Elders in the beginning of Avot

A good starting point is Rabbeinu Yonah who writes: ויהושע לזקנים - כמו שנאמר (יהושע כ"ד ל"א) וכל ימי הזקנים אשר האריכו ימים אחרי יהושע and Yehoshua to the Elders: As it is stated (Joshua ...
Dov's user avatar
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2 votes

Torah approach to getting out of inappropriate feelings/thoughts

The Yetzer Hara unfortunately is a powerful thing and the challenge is how to combat it effectively. By way of introduction, it is worth noting what Shlomo Hamelech says in Koheles 10:4: אִם־ר֤וּחַ ...
Dov's user avatar
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2 votes

Kedusha status of modern seforim

R' Shmuel Wosner in Shevet Halevi 2:143 and 5:158 says that printing nowadays is indeed less of a reason to machmir. R" Chaim Kanievsky is machmir on printed seforim nowadays to have 2 coverings ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
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1 vote

The status of an unused mikvah

See Rambam in the comment of the Mishna Mikvaot 1.4: מעלה שלישית שיהיו המים מכונסין נתקבצו בלי שאיבה ויש בו מ' סאה הנה הוא כשר לטהר בו הטמאים ולטהר בו הכלים הטמאים והוא אמרו טובלין ומטבילין וכן ...
kouty's user avatar
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