Unanswered Questions

7,266 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
29 votes
2 answers
662 views

How do we determine "population statistics" for population-dependent Halachot?

There appear to be several halachot that are based on "a majority of Israel". For example: Mishnah Berachot 54a: הרואה מקום שנעשו בו נסים לישראל אומר ברוך שעשה נסים לאבותינו במקום הזה IF ...
16 votes
3 answers
2k views

What happened to the Erev Rav (Mixed Multitude)?

When the people of Israel left Egypt they did not leave alone. They left with a mixed multitude of many people (Exodus 12:38). What happened to the mixed multitude in the desert and, specifically, ...
16 votes
1 answer
263 views

Where did the incense-altar sweeper get his broom from?

Mishna, Tamid chapter 3, in a loose translation: Those who merited removing the ashes from the inner altar and the candelabrum would precede. They had four tools in their hands: the basket, the ...
15 votes
2 answers
288 views

Leshabeichacha and loseis/latet shevach

Towards the beginning of the נוסח אשכנז version of davening, in the section beginning לעולם יהא אדם ירא שמים, we say as follows: לפיכך אנחנו חייבים להודות לך ולשבחך ולפארך ולברך ולקדש ולתת שבח ...
15 votes
4 answers
639 views

Coerced testimony in halacha

My chavrusa and I were going through Sanhedrin (40b) this evening, and the topic of how to get accurate statements from witnesses. Rashi mentioned the concept of moving the witnesses around in order ...
14 votes
1 answer
663 views

Half Jew half Gentile

I always thought it was a misconception to be "half-Jewish". Usually the speaker means one of their parents are Jewish, making them either fully Jewish or fully Gentile. However, I saw today that the ...
14 votes
1 answer
332 views

Is the obligation for Gentiles to establish a system of courts communal or individual?

One of the seven laws of Noah for gentiles is to set up a system of courts. Is the obligation to set up a system of courts a communal obligation on Gentile communities, or does every single Gentile ...
12 votes
0 answers
250 views

Source for Geonic division of mitzvos

The Rambam and those who follow suit divide the 613 mitzvos into two groups, 248 positive mitzvos and 365 negative mitzvos. This is sourced from Makkos 23b. However, many of the Geonim (for example: ...
12 votes
1 answer
343 views

Minhag to eat Dessert First?

A while ago (at least 25 years ago) I recall a friend's mother saying there was a minhag in Tzfat to eat dessert first, because if you had to suddenly stop your meal in the middle because the Moshiach ...
12 votes
2 answers
507 views

The stolen maple syrup and kashrus

Does anyone know if there is going to be a kashrus problem with maple syrup next year? A rather large amount of maple syrup was stolen last year. The thieves did not keep it in the original casks, ...
11 votes
2 answers
322 views

Forbidden to immerse, as opposed to doesn't work?

I was learning Pesachim, and on 17b I saw Tosafos say the following: דבתוך הכלי ודאי אסור לטבול מדאורייתא It is definitely biblically forbidden to immerse something within a vessel (as opposed ...
11 votes
0 answers
105 views

Is there a timetable of the Yom Kippur Avodah available?

I'm trying to get a sense of how long each part of the Kohen Gadol's day was. I have the impression that the (outer) Musaf offering took much longer than the Torah reading, but I have no idea how much ...
11 votes
1 answer
189 views

Tribes' names with את and without?

"וַתַּהַר לֵאָה וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ רְאוּבֵן" "וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן ... וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ שִׁמְעוֹן" "וַתַּהַר עוֹד וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן ... עַל־כֵּן קָרָא־שְׁמוֹ לֵוִי" "וַתַּהַר עוֹד ...
11 votes
1 answer
265 views

Hackintosh in Halacha

A Hackintosh is a bootlegged version of Apple's macOS loaded onto a computer that has not been manufactured by Apple and doesn't have a license to run macOS. According to Apple's macOS license, I. ...
10 votes
0 answers
118 views

Eliezer's daughter and descendants

Medrash Rabah Parshas Chayai Sara 59:9 says that Eliezer had a daughter and was hoping that she would marry Yitzchak. Avraham told him you are cursed (come from a cursed family) and my son is blessed. ...

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