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Q&A

General Q&A about Judaism, Jewish texts, and Jewish life. This site does not give personal advice.

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Blessing on Salt

The Bracha on salt, as listed in Mishneh Torah, Blessings 8:8 is Shehakol. I have found confirmation in modern generally accepted Halachic sources. According to Mishneh Torah, Blessings 8:7 spices...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by manassehkatz‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by PinnyM‭

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Ya'akov as a trickster

I'm trying to understand (the classical Jewish view of) the character of Yaakov. He gets the birthright by exploiting a situation -- he did nothing inherently wrong and WE see him as justified in ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by rosends‭

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What's the main Jewish Holy Book?

What is the Jewish holy book? As far as I know that is Torah. Even, I had heard that Torah is in Arabic. While searching it again, I found that there's difference between Torah in Islam and Torah i...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by deleted user

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Did Rabbi Avigdor Miller ever mention Azariah de Rossi or his sefer "Me'or Eynayim"?

Did Rabbi Avigdor Miller ever mention Azariah de Rossi or his sefer "Me'or Eynayim"? If so, what did he say about him or his sefer?

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by mosheemes‭

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I am not Jewish but would like to visit a MO synagogue to pray occasionally on Shabbat. What is the best course?

I have studied Judaism for five years privately but also with the assistance of friends. There isn't a shul in the city where I live so most Shabbats I pray at home. Occasionally I have driven in...

2 answers  ·  posted 9y ago by Hashamyim‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Meor eynayim by de rossi

Do any contemporary rabbis address the permissibility or prohibition of reading the heretical “Me’or Eynayim” by de Rossi?

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user

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How much contact did Avraham and Yitzchak have after the akeidah?

The akeidah was a significant event for both Avraham and Yitzchak.[1] Immediately after they appear to go their separate ways -- Avraham leaves without his son, and we're not told where Yitzchak w...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Midrash called ‘K’bod Huppah”

What is the Midrash called “K’bod Huppah” in Torah Shleimah English version? Has anyone heard of it?

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by runters32‭

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Questions on sidra [closed]

On sidra vayero Why didnt avrohom himself give the water. What is the difference if hashem himself gives it or his servan in the desert Why should we save a bad city because they have 50 righteo...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by interested‭  ·  closed 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Zacuto's Sefer Yuchsin translation

The English translation of Sefer Yuchsin by Israel Shamir, the Holocaust denier and anti-Semite, is that a complete unabridged translation of the entire Hebrew sefer by Zacuto?

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by runters32‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by runters32‭

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What is “Hakobes”?

When the English translation of Torah Shleimah references “Hakobes,” to what author or work is it referring to?

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by runters32‭  ·  edited 1y ago by runters32‭

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Is Moses Mendelssohn in Shem HaGedolim?

Does Chida mention Moses Mendelssohn or any of his works in Shem HaGedolim?

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by runters32‭

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Would the Aruch Hashulchan rule that one is yotzei if he doesn't drink melo lugmav by havdalah?

The Aruch HaShulchan rules on 271:30 that b'dieved, even one who doesn't drink melo lugmav of wine at kiddush is yotzei. Would he also say the same by havdalah?

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by runters32‭

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Is Ulichaporas Pasha a new request or a continuation?

When we say Ulichaporas Pasha in musaf on a rosh chodesh that is a leap year, is that supposed to be read/understood as a continuation of the previous request or as a new request? אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ וֵ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Dani‭  ·  edited 1y ago by snowbunting‭

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Alternative to Trope Trainer for printing large-print torah portions with trope and vowels?

I sometimes help other people in my synagogue learn to read torah. While I have a tikkun, I have some vision problems and find it much easier to print a portion from Trope Trainer, which offers a ...

4 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by richardf8‭

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Why do we dwell in booths every day during Sukkot, but we don't have to eat matzah every day during Pesach?

In the instructions for festivals, Vayikra 23:6 says, of Pesach: You shall eat unleavened bread for seven days. Devarim 16:3 is similar, and Devarim 16:8 starts: "After eating unleavened brea...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by manassehkatz‭

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What are Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach's Three Threes?

I believe it was Rav SZA who wrote/said that there are three "threes" (3 things that people do having to do with "3") that are made up. Does anyone know where this is written and/or what they are?

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Dani‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Dani‭

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Sh'mita and the home garden: what if anything is permitted?

I live in the diaspora and this doesn't affect me personally, but in thinking about the sh'mita cycle while tending my small garden, I found myself wondering about some details. Does the law to not...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by msh210‭

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Dancing in the vineyards on Yom Kippur

The mishna (4:8) in Taanit reads אָמַר רַבָּן שִׁמְעוֹן בֶּן גַּמְלִיאֵל, לֹא הָיוּ יָמִים טוֹבִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל כַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָׂר בְּאָב וּכְיוֹם הַכִּפּוּרִים, שֶׁבָּהֶן בְּנוֹת יְרוּשָׁלַיִם...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by rosends‭

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Does God of Judaism permit to pray in any language?

After reading some chapters of Tanakh I had found a relation between Abrahamic Religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity). I don't know how many Abrahamic Religions are right there. I have found 4 n...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  last activity 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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How much of an interruption is permitted between a mitzvah blessing and the mitzvah?

I was taught that we shouldn't make an interruption between saying a mitzvah b'racha and taking the action. I don't have a source for this other than that it makes sense; you don't want to risk ma...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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What is the difference between Islam and Judaism, given that the Torah is also one of Islam's holy books?

I have little bit knowledge of Abrahamic Religion (Christianity, Islam). When I had seen the community first some questions came to my mind. I know that Hazrat Musa (a:) (prophet of Muslim) is God...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 1y ago by deleted user

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How many times does this phrase appear in the Chumash, and why?

The past few weeks, the phrase "halachta b'drachav" or "Lalechet B'drachav" or "Lalechet b'chol drachav" meaning "walk in His ways" (or "walk in ways that are proper before Him" according to Onkelo...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by yisrael‭

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Is according to any major Judaic sect, naming god Allah is idolatry?

A fundamental Muslim practice is naming the god of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Ishmael in Arabic Allah (ٱللَّٰه) while not necessarily denying that the name of god in Hebrew is Yahwah (יהוה)....

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user  ·  edited 1y ago by deleted user

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Did the urim v'tummim require binary questions?

The g'mara on Yoma 73a gives the following examples of questions asked of the urim v'tummim (Exodus 28:30) and their answers: "Shall I pursue after this troop?" (I Samuel 30:8). Answer: "Thus...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by sabbahillel‭

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smichus amolek to bikkurim

At the end of Ki Setze we talk about Amolek. The next sidra, Ki Savo, starts off about Bikkurim. In chumash everything has to have a connection. So what is the connection between them?

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by interested‭  ·  edited 1y ago by msh210‭

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Why must yefas toar be allowed

We have in Ki Setze the laws of 'yefas toar' meaning a non-Jewish woman captured in war whom a Jewish man now wants as his wife. The meforshim (commentators) say that the only reason this was allow...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by interested‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by interested‭

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Why will Mashiach do what the Yalkut Shimoni says he will?

In the Yalkut Shimoni on Nach 499.2, he writes: שנו רבותינו בשעה שמלך המשיח בא עומד על גג בית המקדש והוא משמיע להם לישראל ואומר ענוים הגיע זמן גאולתכם Our Rabbi's taught, at the time that the k...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Dani‭

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dikduk question.

What is the difference in translation according to dikduk (grammar) between שנואה AND שניאה? Both are used in Devarim 21:15 to refer to the same person.

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by interested‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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If someone has fulfilled an obligation (like kiddush), can he then do it for others?

I had been under the impression that somebody who is not personally obligated in a mitzvah (or maybe specifically a b'racha?) cannot do it on behalf of someone else. This is one of the usual expla...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Is a loft a room for purposes of mezuzah?

Consider a cabin that has one large room with a loft extending over part of that room. A half-height wall at the front of the loft separates it from the rest of the cabin, so there is a single com...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Which haftarah when Rosh Chodesh Av is on Shabbat?

This Shabbat is Rosh Chodesh Av. During the three weeks (which we're in the midst of) we read three special haftarot. On Rosh Chodesh normally we read a special haftarah. When they coincide, do ...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by msh210‭

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Why is parshat Balak written without breaks in the torah scroll?

This past Shabbat I was reminded (while watching the torah reader rolling the scroll) that all (or nearly all?) of parshat Balak is written as one long paragraph in the scroll -- three solid column...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Metered water tap on Shabbat

According to Shemirat Shabbat Kehilchatah (12:19) it is allowed to use a water tap on Shabbat, even though the water will be precisely measured by a meter. This seems to be a psik reisha (an inevi...

2 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by tzvi‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by simyou‭

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Why do some books in Tanach have a different trop, and how are they sung?

Some books in Tanach have a different kind of trop for the words. (see Psalms, e.g. under בַּעֲצַ֢ת and above רְשָׁ֫עִ֥ים) Why does this book and others have a different kind of trup? How is th...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Dani‭

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Were Abraham's and Lot's guests the same?

Genesis 18 describes "אנשים [=men]" who came to visit Abraham. Chapter 19 starts "And the two מלאכים [=messengers, or angels] arrived at Sodom…" and proceeds to call them, too, "אנשים". Rashi and ...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by msh210‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by simyou‭

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Is there a medrash that says that foxes and fish lived together?

In Brachot 61b:7 there is the famous parable of the fox trying to get the fish do go on the land. As part of the trick, the fox says: וְנָדוּר אֲנִי וְאַתֶּם, כְּשֵׁם שֶׁדָּרוּ אֲבוֹתַי עִם אֲב...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Dani‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by sabbahillel‭

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What is the connection between the "tarshish" in Ezekiel's vision and the city Jonah fled toward?

I noticed that Ezekiel 1:16, in describing his vision of something like a heavenly chariot (merkavah), says the words gleaned like tarshish, translated "beryl" by Sefaria and some others: מַרְאֵ...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Yehuda‭

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What happens if the goring ox was provoked?

Exodus 21:28-29 (and onward) gives us laws concerning the ox that gores. If it happens once, they kill the ox but do not punish the owner. But if the ox has a pattern of goring and the owner has ...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Yehuda‭

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What is the difference when Rashi says בגמרא מפרש and מפרש בגמרא?

When Rashi comments on a Mishna telling us that the gemara will explain, sometimes he uses the phrase בגמרא מפרש and sometimes he uses the phrase מפרש בגמרא. (see here) Why would Rashi use one ove...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Dani‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Dani‭

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Why does Naomi talk in masculine form to her daughters-in-law?

In Rus 1:8, Naomi is telling her two daughters-in-law that they should return to their homes. וַתֹּ֤אמֶר נָעֳמִי֙ לִשְׁתֵּ֣י כַלֹּתֶ֔יהָ לֵ֣כְנָה שֹּׁ֔בְנָה אִשָּׁ֖ה לְבֵ֣ית אִמָּ֑הּ יעשה [יַ֣עַ...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Dani‭

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Is there consensus with in any major Judaic religious sect if Muslims are Noahides?

Is there consensus with in any major Judaic religious sect (Karaite/Rabbanite) if Muslims are Noahides (שומרי מצוות בני נח) or not?

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by deleted user

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Why do we remove wine from our cups at "דם ואש ותימרות עשן"?

During Maggid during the Pesach Seder, there is one point where we say דם ואש ותימרות עשן Blood, fire, and columns of smoke (ArtScroll Machzor translation) This is a quote from Yoel 3:3. A...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Mithical‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by tzvi‭

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Why didn't the dough rise during the night of the Exodus?

When it comes to the bread, my plain understanding of the Exodus is that the Israelites left Egypt with dough (Exodus 12:34) and later baked it into unleavened bread because it had not risen (Exodu...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Peter Taylor‭

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Handedness for t'fillin: nature or nurture?

I know that t'fillin are placed on the weaker arm, which for most people is the left, so that the stronger hand is the one doing the binding. I have heard, but don't remember where, that someone w...

0 answers  ·  posted 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭  ·  edited 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Why do we stop saying Mashiv Haruach?

From Pesach until Succos, we stop saying mashiv haruach umorid hageshem in shemoneh esrei. However, we would normally say it in the second blessing of the amidah, which is where we are only praisi...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Dani‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Monica Cellio‭

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Why aren't worried about carrying matza on Shabas?

The Bavli in various places (e.g. Suka 42–43) explains that the rabbis did away with blowing shofar and taking lulav on Shabas lest one "take it to an expert to learn, and carry it four cubits in p...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by msh210‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by msh210‭

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Groundbreaking disagreement in the Gemara?

Last Shabbat, one of the community, who came from Ethiopia, gave a lesson about the different customs an traditions that they had back there at Ethiopia. He was pointing out several major differen...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Alaychem‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by DonielF‭

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Which ethical teachings are unique to Judaism?

Are there any ethical teachings found in the corpus of the written Torah which are unique to Judaism and are not found in other world religions current or past? If so, what are they?

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by withoutatrace‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by Alaychem‭

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Rosh Hashanah vs Rosh Chodesh

The beginning of the Jewish year is referred to as Rosh Hashanah. The beginning of the Jewish month is called Rosh Chodesh. How come Rosh Hashanah has a "hey" (ה) in it, while Rosh Chodesh does n...

1 answer  ·  posted 1y ago by Dani‭  ·  last activity 1y ago by simyou‭

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