JNF
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Why were the Israelites not circumcised in the desert?
Accepted answer
15 votes

According to Talmud (Yevamot 71–72) the reason circumcision was not practiced in the desert is: Because of the hardships of the way - a 40 year journey is no joke. Since is would have been dangerous ...

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How high was migdal Bavel?
10 votes

According to Sefer Hayovelim the height was 13 parsa, 5433 amos and 2 zratot. (Source) This would come out to about 52.5 km. There are sources (such as) that take only the amos, because 50 km is ...

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What are we "celebrating" on Shmini Etzeres?
10 votes

Interestingly, the Torah itself doesn't mention anything special we are celebrating, nor does it give any specific Mitzvah to relate to (besides the special קרבן מוסף). The Yalkut Pinchas 782(ילקוט ...

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Which alphabet were the original Torah scrolls in?
10 votes

As others have mentioned, there are three opinions in the talmud regarding the issue. To summarize (as brought by DoubleAA): Rav zutra / R' Yossi - Torah was given ivri and turned to ashuri in the ...

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Kashrut: Meat and dairy
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10 votes

Although the Torah says not to cook "in the milk of the mother", this is a common example, since the mother's milk is at hand. In actuality any meat is forbidden with any milk. (Tur Yore De'a 87, ...

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What is the torah view on the dinosaurs?
7 votes

Prof. Nathan Aviezer wrote a book "בראשית ברא" answering questions about the creation in torah view. There he claims the 6 days of creation to be 6 periods of time that didn't necessarily last 24 ...

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Arba'a Asar Ushlosh Meyot - mi yodeya?
Accepted answer
7 votes

According to Yalkut: ר' ינאי אומר לא העבידו המצריים את ישראל אלא שעה אחת מיומו של הקב"ה - שמונים ושש שנה` So 314, out of the promised 400, Am Yisrael was under the impression of the Galus but not ...

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Killing Civilians in a defensive war
7 votes

Rambam addresses this (Melachim 6:4): "And do not kill women or children". This is talking about a case where the women and children are not part of the war - as opposed to cases where children and ...

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Davening from an electronic device?
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7 votes

I found a discussion of possible problems, the writer seems not to like the idea, though doesn't rule it out completely. Issues that are addressed there (my comments in parentheses): Holding ...

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Why didn't Rochel just destroy the idols?
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6 votes

As pointed out (in name of Ramban), they were not necessarily idols, so didn't have to be destroyed. This still leaves the question of why would she need them in her possession. Some sources(eg. 1) ...

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Can non Jews be buried in a Jewish Cemetery?
6 votes

Gittin 61 Says we bury the dead of non-Jews with dead of Jews. (קוברים מתי עכו"ם עם מתי ישראל). This is mipnei darkei shalom Rashi there comments that the gemarra shouldn't be understood as "with" ...

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What if I've sabotaged my Chanukah candles?
4 votes

The Shulchan Aruch does say "בשוגג" (inadvertently) as you pointed out. Not eve discussing doing it on purpose. Here (though unsourced) it says you would need to relight, without a bracha (near the ...

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Wearing pieces from two different sets of tefillin
Accepted answer
4 votes

It is permitted. A problem of כסדרן may appear - Rm"a addresses this (OC 32:1) and says it should be taken care of לכתחילה, but if not it's not פסול. Regarding Rashi & Rabenu Tam - it would be ...

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Does Genesis 2:4 say there was only one day of creation?
3 votes

Rashi comments on the spot that the "one day" refers to the first day. This might refer to something very basic, such as all matter. Later on commentaries say that the potential was created during 6 ...

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Where is a mediator between God and man forbidden
3 votes

There are levels in our connection with Hashem. The prophets during all ages acted as such. Though - all of Israel are encouraged to reach that level (of prophecy) themselves. Still, when Hashem ...

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Pomegranate = 613 seeds?
3 votes

I heard that "filled with mitzvot as a pomegranate" is not a reference to a certain number, or even an abundance, but the "fullness". The phrase אפילו ריקים שבכם מלאים מצוות כרימון is explained as ...

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Can one stand a child in an aron kodesh in order for the child to kiss the sifrei torah?
3 votes

Shulchan Aruch YD 282 prohibits sitting next to a sefer because that would be bizayon to the sefer. It seems to me standing shares the same din. According to rules of chinuch I would say that one ...

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Can you do benching for 3 people when one person does not know what to say in response?
Accepted answer
3 votes

Ba'al HaTania (Shulchan Aruch Harav OC 193:10) states that חרש ואלם if they are not shote can be added to a zimun of 10, if they are not rov but not to zimun of 3 because there you need every one to ...

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Why does it say (negatively) in אום נצורה “She sits and waits for Shabbos to go out"?
3 votes

Because the Shamor part of Shabbos is passive. I always assumed it's a reference to מחשיכין על התחום (Mishna Shabat 23:3)

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If a person stops doing the bad action or begins to do the right action, why does he still need to do Teshuvah for a חטא (sin)?
3 votes

Based on the Rambam, Hil. T'shuva, T'shuva is commonly broken into four parts. חרטה - The acceptance and decision that whatever has been happening until now - it was wrong. עזיבת החטא - Stop doing ...

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Did the Avos light the menorah?
2 votes

The Talmud in Avoda Zara 8a tells this interesting story ת"ר: לפי שראה אדם הראשון יום שמתמעט והולך, אמר: אוי לי, שמא בשביל שסרחתי עולם חשוך בעדי וחוזר לתוהו ובוהו, וזו היא מיתה שנקנסה עלי מן ...

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What does testing Hashem mean?
2 votes

The context of the phrase you use is usually to have Hashem prove himself to us. Either his existence or that something he previously said is true. As mentioned in comments above, Ma'aser is an ...

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Source For Ahavat Chinam; Unwaranted Love
Accepted answer
2 votes

As far as I know only the term שנאת חנם appears in this context until Rav Kook wrote: אם נחרבנו, ונחרב העולם עמנו על ידי שנאת חנם, נשוב להבנות והעולם עמנו יבנה, על ידי אהבת חנם" (אורות הקודש ג שכד)....

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The משלח is dead, long live the משלח!
2 votes

Long debated question, קצות החושן brings this question down as a מחלוקת among the ראשונים. The following is based on part of this shiur: So how exactly is שלוחו של אדם כמותו? One side sees the ...

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Gentiles and Berachoth
2 votes

We are instructed to answer Amen after a Bracha, if it's said by a Jew. If we hear the whole Bracha from a goy we also answer, otherwise we don't (we're afraid he said things we don't agree with) [SA &...

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Is a Gentile that keeps Yom Tov Chayav Misa like on Shabbos?
Accepted answer
2 votes

Keeping Shabbat is not necessarily Shabbat - the Gemara (Sanherin 58:2) states it can be on any other day as well. Resting for a non-Jew is our human intuitive definition for rest (as I understand ...

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Women and arba minim on first day
Accepted answer
2 votes

Birkey Yakov says a husband should be מקנה his 4 minim to his wife. http://www.yeshiva.org.il/ask/?id=68485

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Can a gentile break shabbos only on a Rabbinic level?
2 votes

Resting for a Goy is our human intuitive definition for rest (as I understand from this source), not keeping Halachic Shabbat. I guess it would depend on that, not exactly on דרבנן vs. דאורייתא.

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Why do Teshuvah for an accidental חטא (sin)?
2 votes

The soul is incapable of doing wrong, even by mistake. Such שגגות are possible because of previous sins committed knowingly and by choice. Based on Rav Ovadya Yosef at http://www.halachayomit.co.il/...

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No Cohen - use a Levi or Yisra'el Gadol?
1 votes

Shulcan Aruch in Halacha 6: אם אין כהן... קורא ישראל... ולא יעלה אחריו לוי and the RMA: אבל ראשון יוכל לעלות. MB says they should choose the gadol, irrelevant if it's the Levi or Yisrael, but if it's ...

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