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Abortion

Question: BS"D L'Kavod HaRav Shlita, I recently listened to your shiur about rodeph in parshas Pinchas. It occured to me that your comparison between the gemorra about the donkey being thrown off the boat to save the merchandise and an unborn fetus would imply a surprising leniency. That is to say, if a pregnant women felt her financial or social situation was being threatened by the uber, she might be able ...

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Tshuva for Hotzoas Zera Levatolo

Question: Kvod HoRav, What is the teshuvo for the serious sin of hotzoas zera levatolo in our days as we are too weak to fast and not everyone has the opportunity to be immersed in learning. Kol tuv. Answer: The main components of teshuva are admitting and regretting the sin, and resolving not to repeat the sin. This includes employing whatever safegaurds necessary so as not to be put in a situation where h ...

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Learning other religions

Question: Hello Is there any issur involved in the study of other religions including Christianity from an academic perspective or if only the person is interested to learn about them. Thank you. Answer: Yes, this may be included in the prohibition of לא תתורו אחרי לבבכם, which Chazal tell us refers to learning heretical ideas. See Rambam Avodah Zara CHapter 2 and Sefer Hachinuch mitzva 387, who explain the ...

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Adding to Shemona Ezrai

Question: I grew up in a Jewish home in N.Y. following tradition. Later on I began to study Judaism. I have five married children all following Halacha. My mind has opened and I see Zionism in another light. Zionism can be considered Idolatry in the way it is strictly observed without connecting Zionism with World Unity and Faith. I always have thought of myself as a Jew but it is also important to me that ...

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Jewish Heritage

Question: Shalom aleychem, I have a question to my "jewish heritage". I am from Germany. My parents came in the 70's from north-eastern Turkey, from a town called Trabzon (Trapezunt/Trebizond). This area is known as the "pontic" area, as there lived a lot of greek pontic people.They still speak next to turkish, the old greek language called "romeyka". I made a DNAethnicity test last year and was told, that ...

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Ruach HaKodesh

Ruach HaKodesh Question: Shalom Aleichem Rabbi, In Divrei Chaim 2 Y.D. 105 the Sanzer Rebbe zy'a is asked about a school teacher who had denied the sefer Ohr HaChaim was written with Ruach HaKodesh. The Divrei Chaim took great exception to this and said he was an apikores and a kofer. He brought important sources but they focused on the Ruach HaKodesh of Chazal, meanwhile the Ohr HaChaim 6:3 seems to say ex ...

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Atzei Asheirah

Atzei Asheirah Question: Is there an amount needed in order to fulfill the mitzvah of burning Asheirah trees? Is a blessing recited upon the burning of an Asheirah tree? Answer: See Sefer Hachinuch mitzvah 436, who implies that the fulfillment of this mitzvah [destroying avodah zara] is fulfilled when the avodah zara is completely destroyed, burnt or broken, to the p0int that it is no longer recognizable as ...

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Ahavat HaShem

Ahavat HaShem Question: I heard a drusha from Rabbi Asher where he said that the way to fulfill Ahavat HaShem completety including with all Nefesh is the way of Rabbi Akiva to die in Kiddush HaShem. If so how would it be possible to reach the higher level of fear of Hashem which comes after Ahava? Answer: There are many levels of both Ahavas Hashem and Yiras Hashem discussed throughout Chazal, while dying a ...

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Kiddush Hashem

Kiddush Hashem Question: I've heard it said many times that a Jew that's killed because he's a Jew is considered as if he died Al Kiddush Hashem. Where is the source for this? Answer: While the source for this is unclear, it is an idea which has become widely accepted among believing Jews. One who is threatened with conversion or giving up his life, and gives up his life has died "al kiddush Hashem". Many w ...

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Hisbodedus, Transplants

Question: I learn in a kollel and with the community at night. I am 30 years old and recently have been learning chasidus and find I have an inclination towards this. I thought about taking time each day for hisbodedus or at least when I walk to an back from the kollel. Until now I have been reciting Mishnayos I had memorized. Would this be the correct thing to do - to take off learning for hisbodedus. (I l ...

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