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 ...


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

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

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 ...


7

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

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.


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

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

If you can read Hebrew, then there is an extensive explanation of "why Mishne Torah" by a group of Talmidei HaRambam associated with Ohel Moshe who rule exclusively according to MT. A very short and incomplete summary ( from memory ) of the above: It's the only complete compendium that covers all of Jewish Observance. It's written with the intention of ...


5

I doubt you would find any Halachic authorities who recommend giving a conditional Get. The reason being that after giving such a Get, he may not seclude himself with his wife. If he did seclude himself - and there are witnesses, then even if she subsequently fulfills the condition on the Get, she is only possibly divorced - הֲרֵי זוֹ סְפֵק מְגֹרֶשֶׁת. ...


5

According to the Alter Rebbe of Lubavitch, this the Machlokes between the Rambam and others (primarily the Rosh). He explains this in Kuntres Achron to Hichlchos Talmud Torah. According to the Rambam, learning a Halacha from sefer for yourself, even if the sefer doesn't bring the reasoning for the din, is OK. This is why the Rambam wrote the Mishna Torah ...


5

Besides for the difference in applying identical methodologies detailed by @y.lub there are also differing methodologies used. For example, Rambam relied heavily on the Talmud Yerushalmi while most other Rishonim ruled almost exclusively from the Talmud Bavli. Furthermore, some poskim rely more on their own conclusion based on Gemara, others (admittedly rare)...


5

The Maharik as well as the Shevus Yaakov bring the Gemara in Niddah to prove that, on the contrary, Chazal would rely on the doctor's prognosis even in cases of potential Kares. Indeed, as the Rambam and many others point out, the Rabbi's knowledge of the sciences was certainly not all-incorporative, and drew upon modern (at the time) science for it's data. ...


5

@Micha Berger suggested to differentiate between (1) the need to get our halachic rulings from "the Gedolim" and (2) how much are we expected to listen to them beyond the domain of actual halachic rulings? On the first question, Dr Eli Turkel wrote a very interesting article on the topic in Tradition (The nature and limitations of rabbinic authority). He ...


5

Since many times a psak, a Jewish legal decision, is dependent upon your local circumstances, it is best to initially seek out a local, qualified Orthodox Rabbi. Without knowing your specific location, you will need to search yourself. If you do an internet search for your locale together with the search words "Orthodox', "Beis Din", "Beit Din", and "...


5

Revised psak can be three different things. 1) A Rabbi or Beis din, realizes they made a big mistake. (certain pigs are kosher ... ooops! wrong) So after the psak (legal decision) is issued (example: that pigs are kosher), the Rabbis issue a public recall and say "We made a grave error in judgment. It was a mistake. All should know that pigs were never ...


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