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The Tzitz Eliezer has a famous responsum (שו"ת ציץ אליעזר ח"י סי’ כ"ה פרק כ"ו קטע ו) where he states that we go by the external organs in determining gender, and sex changes are effective in changing one's halachic gender. However, there are other opinions that sex changes do not change halachic gender; I assume that according to these opinions, gender is ...


13

Someone asked this question online to Rabbi Yitzhak ben Yosef (posek and rabbi of Ramat Gan) here, and he responded as follows: בהחלט שאלה נדירה ביותר. לכאורה כל תינוק הוא פטר רחם וצריכים שני הילדים פדיון צריך לבדוק האם הם פטר רחם דהיינו שלכול רחם יש פתח נפרד. This is an extremely rare case. Seemingly, each infant is the"opener of the womb" and ...


13

Chelev (the word translated as "fat" in the quoted verse) in Halacha refers to certain fats which in a sacrifice are offered on the altar and in regular meat are forbidden to be eaten, while Shuman refers to other fats which are completely permitted. A list of which fats on which body parts are in which category is something which pretty much can only be ...


12

See Yoreh Deah 362 Pischei Teshuva #1 were it seems amputated organs need not be buried, but consult your LOR (local orthodox Rabbi). Also see Kesuvos 20b where the custom is to bury amputated organs.


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The original question as well as @SAH challenge seem to imply that the Torah forbids piercings. This belief is possibly coming from the prohibition of tatoos as the prohibition to injure oneself. But as we will say the halacha doesn't necessarily consider all body piercings forbidden. As context, plastic surgery (a more extreme form of bodily injury for ...


12

The Mishnah there is describing how certain jobs in the Basis Hamikdash would be appointed if there were multiple Kohanim vying for the same job. The Kohanim would form a circle around the supervisor, who would pick a large random number and a random position in the circle, and start counting the people around the line until he reached his number, and the ...


11

after the circumcision, the foreskin is buried (some prepare a dish with dirt in it to "bury" the foreskin immediately). Some bury it in earth that has a new tree planted in it as a symbolic connection but the operative point is respect and burial for the body part. cf Do surgically removed body parts require Kevurah? the comments on the question which ...


11

Read Igros Moshe Choshen Mishpat 2:65 and 66 who discusses elective surgery and difference between destructive wounds and unharmful wounds.The tshuvah is very lengthy and goes through the gemara,Tosfos and Rambam. At the end of the tshuvah he brings a gemara in Bechoros 45a which brings a case of a person who has an extra finger and then removes it, it is ...


10

There are many explanations to the significance of creating Eve from Adam's rib. By the way, it's not a universal opinion that "tzela" should be translated as "rib" (Hazal have also transalted it as "side," which works with the midrash of them being originally joined together). Going with the "rib" translation, here are a few explanations. Bereshit Rabbah ...


10

There are midrashim that speak of Adam and Chava being a single unit before Chava was separated from Adam. The cryptic nature of the pasuk could lead us to think of Adam and Chava as being one (Bereishit 1:27): וַיִּבְרָא אֱלֹהִים אֶת-הָאָדָם בְּצַלְמוֹ, בְּצֶלֶם אֱלֹהִים בָּרָא אֹתוֹ: זָכָר וּנְקֵבָה, בָּרָא אֹתָם. The next statement about separating ...


10

The Talmud (Berakhot 13b) is the original source for this custom. Here there is a mention of Rabbi Judah the Prince covering his eyes while he said the Shema to block out the distractions of the students around him. This behavior was codified in the Shulhan Arukh (OH 61:4-5). from http://www.myjewishlearning.com/ask_the_expert/at/Ask_the_Expert--...


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Tzitz Eliezer (Vol. 6, Siman 40, Perek 22, Ois 8, and Vol. 7 Siman 46 and Vol. 12 Siman 67) says that it is allowed. However, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Iggros Moshe Even HaEzer Vol. 4 Siman 65 Ois 10) says only rabbinic Yichud is allowed, but cases which are forbidden Biblically are not.


9

To answer your question: It's been said in the name of Reb Chaim Kanievsky that one should not hide one's Peyot behind one's ears, but he never says to cut them. There are plenty well respected Rabbis who hide their Peyot behind their ears, and others who have trimmed Peyot . Just to put this in context, let's go back to basics - using classic sources. ...


8

Not sure about sources for most of these (although see Madeleine's comment to the related question). But about the back of the neck, it may be related to the idea that this is the location of the luz bone (specifically, the protrusion where the knot of the head tefillin is placed - Arizal, Likkutei Torah to Judg. 4:5*); it is from this that the body will be ...


8

The majority opinion follows Rabbi Yechezkel ben Yehuda Landau (1713 – 1793) opinion at Noda B’Yehuda I, Yoreh Deah (YD) 90, who holds that the mitzvah to bury separated body parts is required only of people who are dead, because it would be a disgrace not to. Rav Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986), however, held that even the body parts of living people must be ...


8

Nechpa B'Kesef Vol 2 Even Hoezer 19 says that the prohibition from the Torah is specifically to avoid actual relations, and one who is unable to have relations there is no prohibition. However, he says, it is definitely prohibited M'Drabanan, and it is disgusting and the way of fools.


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The ארחות שבת (by Rav Yosef Gelber and Rav Mordechai Rubin) in Vol. 2 on page 294 in Siman 20:154 discusses this. They write that one may wear a retainer - פלטה ליישור שינים - on Shabbat. In the footnotes they explain that since the "medical" action [of moving the teeth] is not apparent, but takes a long time, therefore it's permissible. Same logic should ...


8

The Gemara (Shabbos 50B) says one should wash his face, hands and legs every day in honor of his Creator. The Mishna Berura (OC 4:2) writes in the name of the Pri Megadim (A"A 4:1) that nowadays since we don't walk barefoot there is no need to wash one's feet (This reasoning is also given by the Noda Biyhudah (OC 2:140)), although the Baal HaTanya (OC 4:21) ...


7

Tefilin, etc., can be made from animals that die on their own (see e.g. The source in the Talmud is Shabbos 108a). Thus even under a situation where killing animals wasn't possible, leather would still be available.


7

The Kehot Annotated Siddur says (p. 47): On days when Tachnun is said, gently strike the left side of your chest (over the heart) with a closed fist at the words חטאנו and פעשנו.


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The reason why we close the eyes of someone who passed away is to show the idea of techiyas hameisim just like when someone sleeps he closes his eyes and when he awakes he opens them so to the dead will reopen their eyes with techiyas hamaisim (nishmas chaim maimer beis perek chof hey) Another reason is brought in lechem haponim siman shin lamed tes We ...


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The Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer: The Ashkenazic and Sephardic Rites (Macy Nulman) has the following on the beating of the heart during Viduy When saying Ashamnu we stand somewhat bent over, without leaning on any kind of support, just as in reciting Modim (MB, 607:10 ; Magen Avraham 607:4), a position of abject humility and contrition. One should ...


7

No, one cannot. Mythbusters determined experimentally that earwax candles are not effective: The skin cells, hair, fatty acids and cholesterol contained in earwax combust quickly and at different rates, which means the icky substance won't stick around long enough to keep the flame on the wick. Given that an earwax candle won't burn, it would not be ...


6

This sect is referred to by many today with a mixture of amusement, frustration, and annoyance. Most will tell you that they are bringing the rules of modesty to an unprecedented extreme for which there is no source nor Jewish tradition. However, a while ago on the Seforim Blog, Marc Shapiro addressed this sect (which he calls the "Jewish Taliban Women"), ...


6

I only know of covering ones feet being important while praying during the amidah (whether in private in public), "One should not pray wearing [only] his undershirt, bareheaded, or barefoot - if it is the custom of the people of that place to stand before their most respected people with shoes." M"T Hilkhoth Tephilah 5:5 But this is in the context that if ...


6

The phrase, "חפש כל חדרי בטן" comes from Proverbs 20:27: נר ה' נשמת אדם חפש כל חדרי בטן "The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD, searching all the inward parts." (JPS 1917) The word, בטן, is often used simply to mean "belly" (and is therefore associated with pregnancy), but in this context it means the innermost aspects of ...


6

Nefesh HaChaim Shaar Gimmel Perek Beis(1): אבל אדון כל ית"ש הוא מלא את כל העולמות והנבראי' ואינם חוצצים חלילה נגדו יתב' כלל באמת. ואין עוד מלבדו ית' ממש שום דבר כלל בכל העולמות. מהעליון שבעליונים עד התהום התחתון שבתהומות הארץ. עד שתוכל לומר שאין כאן שום נברא ועולם כלל רק הכל מלא עצמות אחדותו הפשוט ית"ש. Perek Gimmel(2): שאם ח"ו יקחנו לבנו ...


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Slide 28 of this presentation quotes Rabbi Avraham Fischer of the OU: Chelev refers to the outer layer of fat called suet. The prohibited chelev is the abdominal fat on the stomach, kidney, and flank. It can be peeled away like a skin. The rest of the fat which is permissible is called shuman. Chelev or Suet is used in occasional cooking (non kosher, ...


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