15

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

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

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. The ...


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--...


8

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

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.


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 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 ...


7

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 ...


7

They are listed in the Mishna Seder Taharoth, Ohaloth 1:8 A link to an english translation online has been provided by WAF here 30 feet 30 each foot (6 each toe) 10 ankle 10 each ankle 2 lower leg 2 in each lower leg 5 knee 5 each knee 1 thigh one. Each thigh 3 hip 3. I guess they're counting only one ...


7

A possible answer: Rambam on the mishnah states that this was done as part of worship of Baalim. The city of Baalbek, which was originally a Baal center of worship, eventually became a center of Bacchus (Dionysus to the Greeks) worship. On this Richard C. Steiner wrote in the essay "On the Rise and Fall of Canaanite Religion at Baalbek: A Tale of Five ...


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 ...


6

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, ...


6

As Rabbi Yaacov Dovid Lach explains in his book Chullin Illuminated they are a fibrous adhesion that connect parts of the lungs to each other or to the surrounding walls of the chest cavity. In healthy lungs they are not present and thus indicate a problem. The exact nature of this problem is a matter of dispute (it either is caused by a previously present ...


6

According to Rambam (Hilkhot Milah 3:7), not only is it permissible for a gentile to circumcise himself, it is a mitsvah! As he writes in a responsum (ed. Blau # 148), this is in the category of eino metsuveh v'oseh; one who performs a mitsvah in which he is not obligated: מותר לישראל למול הגוי אם רוצה הגוי לכרות הערלה ולהסירה, לפי שכל מצוה, שהגוי עושה, ...


6

The Bartenura on that verse says that the כָּתְנוֹת עוֹר covered their entire body - I guess like a long robe. He explains that this is the reason the fig leaves needed to be replaced, because they only covered the area that an underwear would cover, as you so politely worded it. Now they were properly attired with their כָּתְנוֹת עוֹר. כתנות עור חלקים ...


5

It's hinted to in the Zohar in VaYechi - search for the words יָשִׁית יָדוֹ The second instance on that page says: יָשִׁית יָדוֹ עַל עֵינֶיךָ. מַאי קָא מַיְירֵי. אָמַר רִבִּי יֵיסָא, בְּגִין יְקָרָא דְיַעֲקֹב, וּלְאִתְבַּשְּׂרָא דְּהָא יוֹסֵף קַיָּים, וְיִשְׁתַּכַּח עֲלֵיהּ בְּמִיתָתֵיהּ. Meaning that Yosef will be present when you die. The third ...


5

Mourning in Halacha, p 50 says Then the eyes of the deceased are gently closed and he is covered with a white cloth. He gives the sources as: Gesher HaChaim 3 (this may be the link) Ma'avor Yabok (Sifsei Rannenus 9) “They cover the face of the deceased so that the accusers should not increase his suffering by gazing upon his face and forehead where a ...


5

In the Artscroll Schottenstein edition of Niddah, I found one diagram of the halachic anatomy as understood by Rashi, in footnote 5 on page 17b1 (mouseover to view): See the rest of the notes there for context and explanation. As it happens, this chapter was elucidated by one of my high school rabbeim, R' Moshe Zev Einhorn.


5

My rav gave a drasha during Yom Kippur related to the expression בוחן כליות which means, literally "checks the kidneys". The adrenal glands are located on top of each kidney. Adrenaline is one of several hormones that increase or decrease excitement. The metaphor of בוחן כליות is that G-d is checking how excited you are in performing mitzvot. Other than ...


5

Concur with mbloch's answer -- if one is viewing them licentiously that's a different discussion -- just wanted to bring a stronger proof. Basically, it used to be everyone of the same gender went to the neighborhood bathhouse and knew if anyone's body had serious issues. It was normal to ask your sister or mother -- hey I'm dating this girl, next time you'...


5

While I might normally put these as comments, I think this can warrant an answer. Firstly, it is possible that even with piercing just their sexual organs, they may have died from blood loss from the wounds that may have occurred. Secondly, the Gemara (Sanhedrin 82b) which you quoted says the following: א"ר יוחנן ששה נסים נעשו לו לפנחס אחד שהיה לו לזמרי ...


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