21

A Rabbi is an expert in his field and has studied for many years. If one needed medical advice, G-d forbid, they would never rely on "crowd-sourced" opinions of a question and answer website, but would go to a trained doctor with practical experience. If this is so with regards physical healing, how much more so when dealing with the health of one's souls. A ...


19

There are several historical factors to consider, particularly the advent of the internet. We live in the age of information. The gap between rabbinic leadership and the lay is being broached with great rapidity. More people are interested in a more horizontal society wherein they approach sources, analyze them, digest them, etc. and interact on such basis ...


14

The term "rabbi" means that the person received semikha (not to be confused with the modern form of semikha which is different). There was no semikha in Bavel, so none of the amoraim who lived there were "rabbi" unless they came to Eretz Yisrael. An easy way to remember this is by looking at the last letter of the word. "Rav" ends with ב which is also the ...


13

Since no one has listed a summary of concise rulings, I will list R. Bleich's conclusion from his Survey of Recent Halakhic Periodical Literature. I have inserted the sources that he mentioned throughout the survey in brackets. The silk screen method is certainly subject to challenge on the basis of its inherent incompatibility with a number of ...


12

I feel a bit of sadness in writing this, because I think it's something that should be - but isn't at all - obvious. You can certainly seek out rabbis who can give general answers about Halachah without knowing you, perhaps without ever meeting you, but you shouldn't. You should, instead, seek out a rabbi with whom you can be comfortable asking these ...


11

I recently wrote an article for Torah Musings that focuses on a part of the answer that hasn't been focused on yet. "What does Mesorah Mean?" http://www.torahmusings.com/2015/08/what-does-masorah-mean . To quote just enough to capture the thesis, although it omits much of the argument and R JB Soloveitchik's poetry: ... We speak of someone “having a masorah”...


11

These two semicha 'tracks' cover different areas of halakah: Yoreh Yoreh covers areas that deal with the day to day questions that rabbis might receive, such as questions on kashrut or taharat hamishpacha. Most programs of Yoreh Yoreh also include study of the laws of Shabbat and Mourning. It's traditionally associated with the second section of Tur/Shulchan ...


10

These Halachot are well documented. In the Rambam הלכות תלמוד תורה פרק ה Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh Deah סימן רמב - שלא להורות בפני הרב, ודין רב שמחל על כבודו Let's review some of the pertinent Halachot: ד אָסוּר לְאָדָם לְהוֹרוֹת לִפְנֵי רַבּוֹ לְעוֹלָם, וְכָל הַמּוֹרֶה לְפָנָיו חַיָּב מִיתָה.‏ הגה: וַאֲפִלּוּ נְטִילַת רְשׁוּת לֹא מְהָנֵי תּוֹךְ שְׁלֹשָׁה ...


10

A Yo'etzet Halakhah is there to answer questions that are going unasked because some women are understandably embarrassed to raise them with a male rabbi. They can also find answers that wouldn't cross a man's mind simply because the territory is more familiar. The only halachic decisions they give are ones where the questioner's community has a well ...


10

The best option is probably the Beis Din of your own community; see if they are reachable by phone; they may well be. That said, someone I sort of know has experience with the following hotlines in the States. (I am not in a position to judge their halachic permissibility or reliability. It seems that you should tell the rabbi on the hotline whose minhag ...


9

I can't quote him verbatim, but Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky once said something along the lines of 'the only thing keeping people from getting advice in Torah from rabbis is the people themselves'. Sexuality is a part of Torah. Rabbi Kahana went as far as to hide under his teacher's bed to learn proper conduct with one's wife. Rabbis know this. They aren't going ...


8

A Rabbi has a broader veiw of halachah. The one answering may know a certain subject very thoroughly but misses a important point from a different subject which is very relevant. A Rabbi is certified to answer all sorts of questions and will be able to answer a lot more accurately. A Rabbi learns how to apply what he learns so that even if someone quotes all ...


8

The Rambam (Talmud Torah 5:4) citing the gemara Horios writes כל תלמיד שלא הגיע להוראה ומורה הרי זה רשע שוטה וגס הרוח. ועליו נאמר כי רבים חללים הפילה Any student who did not reach the level of deciding halachic answers but nevertheless instructs is evil, a fool and arrogant... The relevant question is whether you are qualified to pasken for yourself. If ...


8

Just knowing a lot of halacha does not make someone capable of being a posek. A posek is someone who is not just familiar with the Psak Halacha in the Shulchan Aruch or the Mishna Brerura, but it is someone who is familiar with the major commentators and the reasoning behind each halacha, and how it applies to new questions. Taking a test will NOT make you ...


7

Tearing plastic, paper, leather, et al. on Shabbos The Shulchan Aruch HaRav (340:17) (and I believe, the Minchas Chinuch) holds that the melacha of tearing only applies to composite items. I.e., fabrics, which are made from multiple threads, or anything else that is two or more items connected together. Therefore, there is no prohibition, Biblical or ...


7

The Gemara (Eruvin 64a): אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל שתה רביעית יין אל יורה R. Judah stated in the name of Samuel: He who has drunk a quarter of a log of wine must not give a [halachic] ruling. The Rambam (Hil. Bias Mikdash 1:3): וכשם שאסור לכהן להכנס למקדש מפני השכרות כך אסור לכל אדם בין כהן בין ישראל להורות כשהוא שתוי And just as it is ...


7

The Gemara (Sanhedrin 82a) states that when Pinchas saw Zimri consorting with Kazbi the Midianite, he said to Moshe: Did you not teach me that if someone does such a thing, zealots may kill him ? Moshe replied with a parable: Let he who reads the letter, fulfill its instructions. So it would seem to me that Pinchas did not Pasken before Moshe Rabbeinu, but ...


7

When I got married I was told by my Rabbi who gave me a Choson Shmeus that it is the husbands responsibility. I have no idea what you are talking about when you say "The man often wants to know why, which they are usually reluctant to tell him". I never asked why on a Psak and if I did my Rav would not hesitate to explain. You say "The man often asks is ...


7

There are a number of Rabbis, mostly Chabad, involved in teaching Bnei Noach and answering their halachic questions. One of the more prominent ones is Rabbi Yaakov Rogalsky, co-author of Path of the Righteous Gentile. Another is Rabbi Chaim Richman.


7

It is not the case that a ruling in the Talmud will always overcome any possible custom developed later. In Talmudic times, there was no customary prohibition of kitniyot. Rav Huna, in the quote, is giving an example of what may be used as the two cooked dishes, even though of course other simple dishes would be fine as well. And he specifies orez (which ...


6

While there is an accepted Halachic framework for answering questions, an integral component of that framework involves local, or personal, custom; one need only look at any chapter of the Shulchan Aruch and Mishna Brurah to observe just some implications that custom has on practice. While you may say that the differences are only between Sephardic or ...


6

Rabbi Menashe Klein (Mishneh Halachos Vol 7 Siman 135) and Rabbi Moshe Stern the Debretziner Rav (Beer Moshe Vol. 8 Siman 104-105) write that that woman should go. Rabbi Mordechai Gross (Om Ani Chomah Vol. 1, pg. 34) writes that the husband should go. The bottom line is do to what your chosson teacher told you is the custom in your community.


6

The Sefer HaChinuch says something which I believe addresses this question in two places. Mitzvah 78 - אחרי רבים להטות משרשי מצוה זו, שנצטוינו בזה לחזק קיום דתנו, שאלו נצטוינו קימו התורה כאשר תוכלו להשיג כונת אמתתה, כל אחד ואחד מישראל יאמר דעתי נותנת שאמתת ענין פלוני כן הוא, ואפילו כל העולם יאמרו בהפכו לא יהיה לו רשות לעשות הענין בהפך האמת לפי דעתו, ויצא ...


6

This is an oversimplification, but the question is also very general. I will preface with another two questions. Why is it that if someone rules according to Beis Shamai, or for that matter any opinion in the gemara that we don't rule with he is chastised, even when being stringent, but when it comes to geonim and rishonim there is an allowance to use other ...


6

Rabbi Eliezer spent the latter years of his life in Cheirem because he refused to accept a "majority" opinion that disagreed with his own. In case you think that is doesn't apply to be "strict on yourself only", there's an incident in Mishnah (Brachot 1:3) about Rabbi Tarfon who endangered himself to "lie down" to say the night-time K'riyat Shema. His ...


6

In my current and previous workplaces I have been the only visibly practicing Jew, and I got (and get) questions fairly often. Now my coworkers, unlike your people on the street, aren't asking me to make a ruling for them (they're not Jews), but I think in both cases we are seen as a representative, possibly a source of authority, so people who want to know ...


6

There are a lot of details about this depending exactly what kind of mistake it was and who was harmed how and how easy it is to get the money back if possible. See Shulchan Arukh, Choshen Mishpat 25. Broadly speaking, if the rabbi is an expert and the petitioner accepted him as their decisor in this matter then the rabbi is exempt since he unintentionally ...


6

There is a well-known expression in the world of the yeshivot: דעת בעלי בתים היא היפך דעת תורה The view of laymen is the opposite of the view of the Torah. This is often sourced to a statement of Mahari Weil quoted in Sma (3:13): ואם תשמע לעצתי לא תשב אצל הקהל בשום דין דידעת שפסקי הבעלי בתים ופסקי הלומדים הם שני הפכים If you will take my ...


5

1) a convincing argument doesn't make the conclusion the correct option 2)your local rabbi is important because of community standards. there are some halachic questions by which one should not deviate from what the community does. an example: some wear tefillin on chol hamoed and some do not.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible