21 votes
Accepted

"Qof, Qof" What does this mean?

Likely, it is an acronym for קְהִילָה קְדוֹשָה k'hila k'dosha (lit: holy congregation), a title for Jewish communities whose use dates back to the Talmud (Tamid 27b).
  • 95.7k
17 votes

Is it problematic to own and use a SwissGear bag, due to the "plus" logo?

Per Rabbi David Sperling it is not problematic to own or use a Swiss gear bag. The use of the cross - which is of course a Christian symbol - is widely discussed in halacha. When the cross is one ...
14 votes
Accepted

What is the black pin called that mourners wear?

There is a Jewish practice to tear one's clothes when in mourning. In recent times, it has become common for non-Orthodox Jews to tear a black ribbon pinned to their clothes rather than the clothes ...
  • 24.4k
13 votes
Accepted

KORC - Kosher Symbol

The Atlanta Kashrus Agency does not recommend the KORC. The AKC does not recommend the KORC certification. Lettuce products with this certification have been found to have have insects and ...
  • 2,148
11 votes
Accepted

Wearing cruciform orders

Most of the poskim deem the cross as something that Christians remember Jesus by, but not as an actual tool of worshipping. Therefore most agree that you are allowed to use it for pleasure, etc. Thus ...
  • 3,784
11 votes
Accepted

Who or what is OV? (kosher symbol)

That's the symbol of the Vaad Hoeir of St. Louis.
  • 46.9k
11 votes

KORC - Kosher Symbol

Considering the opacity around the acceptability of different kashruth certification organizations in America, I don't think many people will be able to accurately answer this question. That being ...
10 votes

Picture by R' Aryeh Kaplan on the front cover of the Aryeh Kaplan Reader

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was among many things a painter. He mentioned this in his book Jewish Meditation (p. 29): I also remember a period during which I was painting. I had just learned how to use ...
9 votes

Dictionary of symbology in Kodshim and Taharot

While this isn't exactly what you're looking for, it's close: the Rama's Toras Ha'Olah, which does go through just about every mitzvah/halakha in Seder Kodshim and explains the reasoning for their ...
7 votes

May a Jew be a Freemason?

Freemasonry is considered by some to be Luciferian (1). When witchcraft was legalized in the U.K., see here, Wicca copied the rituals of Freemasonry as their own magick rituals. It's based on ...
7 votes

Source for the lion as a symbol for divine judgement?

Deuteronomy 33:22: וּלְדָ֣ן אָמַ֔ר דָּ֖ן גּ֣וּר אַרְיֵ֑ה יְזַנֵּ֖ק מִן־הַבָּשָֽׁן׃ And of Dan he said: Dan is a lion’s whelp That leaps forth from Bashan. Rabbeinu Bachya writes in his ...
  • 11.8k
6 votes

Symbolism of the Number Three

Many numbers are used symbolically in Judaism - check out the our series of 338 (and growing) number-meaning questions. The only number we use in reference to Gcd is ONE! The most important Jewish ...
6 votes

May a Jew be a Freemason?

R. Hayyim Joseph David Azulai tangentially discusses this in his diary. In the entry for April 18, 1774 he writes: ומה אספר ורבו כמו רבו הענינים ופרטים בפרט וכלל רק את זה אומר שלילה א' אחר חצות ...
  • 48.2k
6 votes

KORC - Kosher Symbol

This info is on Kashrut.com : Orthodox Rabbinical Council of San Francisco 1851 Noriega Street, P.O. Box 22491, San Francisco, CA 94122 415-564-5665, Fax: 415-665-0394 Rabbi Jacob Traub, Chairman ...
  • 69k
5 votes
Accepted

Tefillin as an Ot

I think it's the bayis, rather than the retzuah. Here are some reasons why: Rashi writes (Devarim 6:8): וקשרתם לאות על ידך: אלו תפילין שבזרוע And you shall tie them for a sign on your hand: ...
  • 18.7k
5 votes

Is it problematic to own and use a SwissGear bag, due to the "plus" logo?

Rav Avigdor Nevenzahl Shlit"a told me that he forbids buying Swiss products which feature the cross symbol lechatchila, however once it was bought he requires that the cross to be either covered, ...
5 votes

Why the Dohany Street Sinagogue (Budapest) is decorated with eight-pointed stars?

The synagogue was designed by Ludwig Förster in the Moorish Revival style. So was, around the same time, the Leopoldstädter Tempel, which also has eight-cornered stars. The Yenidze factory, designed ...
  • 73.3k
5 votes

Why does the word milah mean both circumcision and word?

They are two different (although similar-sounding) words. 1. מִלָּה meaning 'word' is attested to in Tehillim 139:4: כִּ֤י אֵ֣ין מִ֭לָּה בִּלְשׁוֹנִ֑י הֵ֥ן יְ֝הוָ֗ה יָדַ֥עְתָּ כֻלָּֽהּ׃‏ ...
  • 38.6k
5 votes

History of Chabad Moshiach flag

The History: According to Chabapedia (in Hebrew), the flag was first printed in the Hebrew year 5755 (1994-1995) by Yaakov Ben Ari of Tzfat, Israel. The general design of the flag seems to have ...
  • 21.3k
4 votes

Burning the Israeli flag

It might be a chilul Hashem for all the reasons expressed in the comments above. But it might be more than that. Rav Soloveichik believed the Israeli flag has the Halachik status and Holiness of a ...
  • 43.9k
4 votes

Rabban Gamliel says we must mention moror at the seder. Is it just a word association?

In old manuscripts of the Mishna (and in the Rambam's Haggada), the questions are actually phrased "על שם מה" not "על שום מה". Thus the "reasons" we are giving are based on the names. (See, for ...
  • 95.7k
4 votes

What is the symbolism of the pomegranate in Judaism?

In a discussion on the meaning of seeing the fruit in a dream, the gemara in Berachot4 explains that “seeing small ones portends business being as fruitful as a pomegranate, while seeing large ...
  • 17.3k
4 votes
Accepted

Why would Pharaoh's heart be made כבד by G-D?

Rav Ovadiah Seforno (on Shemos 9:35) suggests that Hashem "made his heart heavy" (heavy objects are hard to move) and "made his heart strong" (more literal translations of "הכבדתי" and "חזקתי" then "...
  • 8,985
4 votes
Accepted

Hospitalized - visit by my Rabbi

Of course, the situation depends entirely on how the two of you feel like handling it. However, this may help: One source for covering the cross is based upon the ruling of the Kaf HaChaim 113:27 ...
  • 10.5k
4 votes

Why does 14 connect positive and negative commandments?

I do not know of any source on this. But I was inspired by the OP to give this answer B"H. 14 in Hebrew is the value of the word "Yad". (hand) יד. 14 in Hebrew is the value of the word Yad backwards ...
  • 10.5k
4 votes
Accepted

Seeing a Torah scroll fall in a dream

See Magen Avraham OHC 288/6 quotes the Sefer Magid Mesharim (Vayakhel) which states that the Beis Yosef was told by the "Maggid" that he was correct in ruling that only 3 dreams allowed fasting on ...
4 votes

Which Books in English Go into Kabbalistic Depth of the Beit Hamikdash?

There is an excellent book in English with beautiful illustrations by Rabbi Chaim Clorfene who draws heavily from Sefer Mishkanei Elyon by Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato. It sounds like it may be exactly ...
  • 12.5k
3 votes
Accepted

If a food product has a heretical/idol worship image on it, and a hechsher as well, may one partake of it?

I will try to briefly around the issue Make it clear that I am not allowed to decide 1- You need to clarify if today a christian symbol as a cross is an idol, There is a notion of association ...
  • 22.4k
3 votes

Rabban Gamliel says we must mention moror at the seder. Is it just a word association?

I am not sure I would agree with the premise of the question, that the reason to mention these (two of) three things because (for Pesach) the Torah says the Lord will see the blood and not smite and ...
  • 20.1k
3 votes

What was the shape of the Luchot?

Although many sources say that the Luchos was squared, Rabbi Ben Zion Mutzafi quoting a Zohar in Parshas Yisro and the Ramak רבי משה קורדובירו says that it was squared at the bottom and rounded on the ...

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