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Showing Questions in 'Halacha (General Jewish Law)'

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Question No. 1440
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 19 Dec 2007
The Question Many times at amusement parks there are characters in costumes and one cannot tell if it is a man or woman inside. When taking pictures with these charachters is it ok if they put their arm around the person? Women characters are generally women so I would assume they cannot put an arm around a man but some charahters like Mickey Mouse can be played by either a man or a woman so who, if anyone, can put an arm around such a charahter? —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1436
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 17 Dec 2007
The Question I have heard the Rav mention the issur of moshav letzim when dealing with questions about going to the theatre etc. Could the Rav explain this issur further? What is included? Is bowling allowed? What about a music concert? My wife and I are both musicians and enjoy instrumental music. Would going to a performance of a non Jewish artist come under moshav letzim? —Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1431
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 14 Dec 2007
The Question Lichvod HaRav Shlit"a, I recieved the following e-mail from an uncle of mine who is unfortunately quite far from Torah and mitzvos. How should I answer him? "I have been discussing a very important issue with a young man who teaches my son Seth in his Hebrew studies. The discussion centers around the inhumane treatment of animals PRIOR to their being butchered as KOSHER meat. I know that treating animals in a humane way is contemplated in the torah which forbids animals to suffer unnecessarily. However, why is there not an outcry by the orthodox community against the inhumane treatment in feedlots and slaughterhouses. In feedlots, for example, animals are kept standing in tight proximity to one another and not allowed to move about. The reason for this to allow the animal to put on fat which raises their weight and marbleizes the meat prior to slaughter. They are dosed with hormones and antibiotics because they basically are standing, lying down and eating in their own feces. What is the halachic definition of "inhumane" as it relates to the treatment of animals and especially these animals which are going to be killed by shechitah? As you know there are no "Jewish" sections in either the slaughterhouse or the feedlots. Please do not misunderstand that this is not a discussion on the benefits of keeping kosher but a clarification which I can only hope is being debated amongst the rabbis who interpret our modern world with the benefit of knowledge of the Torah. Uncle Steve, Bet Shemesh
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1429
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 9 Dec 2007
The Question Lchvod HaRav Shlita, If one were to wear techeles and it turns out that it is the real thing then would he get credit for doing the mitzvah? Or since we've lost the mesora for what techelis is would it not count? If it would count, then I have a technical question. I've heard that if one wears techeles he should only wear a half string because he is then yotzei like the Rambam and if its nothing he didn't lose anything. As opposed to if one wore two full strings then even though he may be yotzei techeles according to Rashi according to the Rambam he might not even be yotzei tzitzis and would be mevatel the essai of putting tzitzis on a four cornered garment. Is it permissble to wear two full strings of techeles on shabbos when I believe the Mishna Brura says that there is no issue of being mevatel the essai of tzitzis because anyways one can't tie them on shabbos and thereby at least once a week maybe be yotzai according to Rashi? Thank you. —Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1423
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 11 Oct 2007
The Question I'm sorry to ask a shaila on somewhat of an intimate matter, but I feel that this is a halacha that is often overlooked only because proper instruction is hard to find. I am referring to properly cleaning oneself after using the restroom. I know this is a serious halacha in the Shulchan Aruch and have been told that if one doesn't clean properly his tefilla and Torah learning are a waste. Could you please elaborate as to how clean that area is supposed to be, whether it is just the surface that matters, or any reachable area, whether water is necessary, and if one can use tissue paper dampened with water on Shabbos or if it is a problem of squeezing. I am embarrassed to ask these questions to a Rabbi myself and am happy I can do so anonymously on your website. I apologize if my language is vulgar or non-Torahdic. Thank you for providing a much-needed and appreciated service to Klal Yisrael, may you continue to do so until 120. —Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1420
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 10 Oct 2007
The Question I was wondering about the minhag some people have of getting rid of all their chometz before pesach. Is the reason behind the minhag that people think the whole idea of selling chometz is a sham? Or is it because of the machlokes over what constitutes a valid sale when it comes to goy? IF it is the first answer then how do they do the requirement of chazal to sell chometz (in case they find some later if it is a sham)? Also, why would chazal make a requirement that is uncertain of how it is actually done - i.e. kinyan to a goy. Also, if the requirement is only d'rabonon then why all the fuss? (not to say that it is unimportant, but I thought sofek d'rabonon l'kula) Thanks for this wonderful site. —Anonymous, United States
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1419
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 9 Oct 2007
The Question Is it permissible to use yeshiva credits towards a professional degree or would it fall under the prohibition of 'Al Ta'eseim Kardom Lachpor Bohem'? —Ari, Brooklyn
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1413
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 6 Oct 2007
The Question What is the nature and extent of the isoor (forbidding) of Zera Le Va Tala (ie for a man to spill seed)? ie is it forbidden intentionally as well as by accident? What is the source for this isoor? ie Where do we find that it is forbidden? In particular, is it at a Torah prohibition or a Rabinic prohibition? —Anonymous, Toronto
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1404
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 26 Sep 2007
The Question There is someone in Toronto who sends out emails that criticize and even make leitzonus of gedolim. I have been subscribed to his mailing list for a while, but I have never believed a word of what he writes because I know that they are lies and that this person has a mixed up way of judging anything or anybody which he considers too chareidi. I continue receiving his emails because he occasionally sends out essays by rabonim and people who do have proper outlooks, and also because it keeps me up to date and gives me an insight on how his community perceives chareidim. My question is: is it loshon hora to get these emails if I know that they are lies and that he is coming from a position of trying to criticize whatever he can? Also, is it loshon hora for me to tell other people the evil of his ways and name him in doing so? Is there anything I should be doing to try to stop him from doing what he is, or is it a battle not worth fighting? —Anonymous, Toronto
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1401
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 24 Aug 2007
The Question Dear Rabbi Leff, Thank you again for this excellent site, that has become an integral part of my weekly learning seder. I have three related questions: 1. If a Beit Din accept a convert and it later turns out she had no intention to accept mitzvos, under what circumstances can they revoke the conversion? 2. In such a situation, would these rabbis be obliged to take responsibility for the consequence of their decision, or could they claim we acted in good faith and so we are "potur". I understand if the Sanhedrin err they bring a sacrifice to atone, and the fact that they acted in good faith is not relevant. 3. What are the obligations of an individual who knows of such a convert? If they have spoke to one of the rabbis on the Beit Din in question and been ignored, and spoke to a clerk in the Israeli Rabbinate and been ignored, can they consider they have discharged their responsibilities to try and prevent false converts entering the Jewish People? I seem to remember Gemorra Makos speaks about a certain amount of posul people being able to enter the Jewish People and getting absorbed, perhaps like the laws of 1 in 60? Brief background: A woman was converted by an impromput Haredi Beit Din in Jerusalem some years ago and recognized by the Rabbinate. This same woman tried to dissuade my wife from becoming observant and boasted how she had fooled the rabbis, went to the mikva while unclean and done other acts revealing her lack of regard for Torah. She is now married to a relative and has two daughters. We told her history to Rav Bulman zt'll and he had no doubt she remains a gentile. We don't want her children to be recognized as Jews but have tried all the steps detailed above. We don't know what more we can, or are expected to do. —Anonymous, Beit Shemesh
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1400
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 22 Aug 2007
The Question Is it muttar to go into a Church of Scientology? (since its a fake religion) —Yosef Chaim, New York, NY
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1394
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 15 Aug 2007
The Question What is the Mekor in halacha to be able to listen to music today. As so many people do there must be a heter, but in the teshuvos I cant find anything except ossur. Thank you —Anonymous, Jerusalem
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1393
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 15 Aug 2007
The Question Is there any halacha or minhag concerning giving shoes away? Of someone living and of someone who has died? —Anonymous, St. Louis, Missouri
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1392
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 13 Aug 2007
The Question The Torah holds all the keys to every mystery in this world we live in, and within it is all the answers and cures to diseases and disorders. What is the Torah halacha on eating disorders? What does Hashem suggest for a cure?
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1388
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 9 Aug 2007
The Question We get disposable aluminum pans for baking. We use the pan a few times before throwing it out and begin using another one. I heard there can be a question whether or not it needs tevila before using. To get around this I line the pan each time with regular aluminum foil so the food never touches the pan. Is this an okay solution? Thanks. —Anonymous, US
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1384
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 8 Aug 2007
The Question Does the halacha of mayim megulim and not keeping water in a metal vessel overnight apply now days? Also in general things that are mentioned in halacha that have a reason that does'nt apply nowadays do we still keep the halacha? —Anonymous, Miami FL
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1381
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 22 Jul 2007
The Question I'm a frum girl who has worked very hard to stop listening to non-Jewish music over the years. I have been involved in kiruv many years and have started giving a dance class to teens-at-risk. Is there any problem, halachically or hashkafically, with using music that is non-Jewish if the lyrics are clean (do not speak of immorality, or vulgarities, etc.)? These at-risk teens listen to much worse and the music used might be able to entertain and occupy them more successfully than Jewish music which they, unfortunately, do not fully appreciate. Also, is it a problem if these songs are part of a soundtrack that originates from a movie containing immoral material, or can the song be viewed as an independent piece? I want to do all of this L'shem Sha'mayim -- as some of these teens are involved in promiscuous and other inappropriate behavior when not otherwise occupied. Thank you for your time. —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1376
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 17 Jul 2007
The Question As an orthodox convert (female) I have, for the past four years followed the nusach, minghagim of those who inspired me to Torah: a Persian family. Now that I have made aliyah the realities of asking shaylos, etc. has made this impractical, since I do not speak Farsi and the Persian sefardi ravs that I know of all speak Ivrit. So much of what I learned came from this family that I feel very loyal. If I take the dominant nusach of my community that would either be chassidic or again, sefardi. Ideally, I'd find an English-speaking, chareidi-ish, not mizrachi, rav. What do you suggest? Any suggestions? Grateful. —Ruth, Israel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1372
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 11 Jul 2007
The Question 1) How exactly does a person relate to one's non-Jewish family after conversion to Judaism? Of course one must continue to show respect for them, but since they are not halachikily your family anymore would that mean one no longer can touch or be alone with members of the family who are of the opposite sex? If this is the case, that might be considered offensive and as a sign of lack of love and respect. 2) Also, if shomer negia doesn't apply to doctor-patient relationships, could a woman shake his hand as well when coming into the office? —Rochel
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1370
Category Halacha (General Jewish Law)
Date Posted 11 Jul 2007
The Question Should I hang a mezuzah on my dorm room that I share with a non-Jew? Is it up to the non-Jew to decide? —Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


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