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Misasseik

Question: Sholom A question which has halocho lemaysse implications: The acharoinim argue about the concept of misasseik. R Akiva Eiger`s opinion on the one side who holds its merely a p`tur in korbon whilst many others argue and hold the action is not misyaches to the person at all "vehu ke`maasse koif" If a person walks out of a reshus hayochid and realises that he has an item in his pocket, the halocho i ...

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B’nei Noach

Question: What is the status of encouraging non-Jews to observe the Sheva Mitzvos and the relevant beliefs which they are obligated in? Is there any type of prohibition involved (many argue as if missionaries are wrong simply for trying to get others to change their beliefs rather than because they promote false beliefs)? Is there a mitzvah to do so provided one does so with proper derech eretz (i.e. not ba ...

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Zman Yetzias Mitzrayim

Question: On Seder night we say that matzah is a symbol of fast redemption. But in fact redemption was at chatzos but yetziah actually was in the morning. If so they should have had enough time for bread baking? What was happening from Chatzos until the morning? Answer: A number of answers have been offered to answer this question: 1) The Ibn Ezra פרק יב פסוק לא explains that at Chatzos, Moshe Rabeinu was t ...

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Searching the Recesses of the Heart

ויקרא משה לכל זקני ישראל ויאמר אלהם משכו וקחו לכם צאן למשפחתיכם ושחטו הפסח. And Moshe summoned the Elders of Israel, and said to them: “Draw and take for yourselves a sheep for each family,  and slaughter it as a (korban) Pesach” (Shemos 12:21)   “Draw – your hands away from idolatry” (Shemos Rabbah 16:2)   Before beginning the search for chametz on the night of the 14th of Nissan, it is customary to take t ...

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Encouraging Non Religous to Perform Mitzvos

Question: A secular man who is involved professional soccer wants to put mezuzas up as well as putting on teffilin, when he is not prepared to start living a religious lifestyle at all [his hope is he will win more games] . Should he still be encouraged to do these mitzvos ? Answer: One should certainly encourage shmiras hamitzvos of any Jew, regardless of his questionable reasoning and current lifestyle. A ...

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Eilu V’Eilu

Question: Does the principle of אלו ואלו דברי אלקים חיים apply in a historical מחלוקת about what happened? For example, whether the תורה was originally given in כתב אשורית or כתב עברי? Or when two אמוראים argue about what the תנא said? Answer: It would seem that the rule of אלו ואלו דבדרי אלקים חיים would apply to debates pertaining to clarifying a question of halacha. The fact that the practical halacha si ...

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“Do Not Hate an Egyptian” – Hakaras Hatov

Question: The Torah says, לא תתעב מצרי כי-גר היית בארצו (Do not hate an Egyptian because you were a stranger in his land, Dt. 23:8). Does this halachah apply today even though Sanacherib mixed up the nations since Jews have nevertheless lived there subsequently? The Divrie Chaim (Y.D. 178a) cites this verse to show we must respect the nations who have given us refuge, does the Torah mitzvah itself extend to ...

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Slavery in the Torah

Question: Shalom Aleichem, From a comparative standpoint the laws of the Torah regarding slavery (both those explicitly in the Torah sh'bichtav and those in the Torah shebaal peh) are superior to those of the other nations of the day and even those practiced in the United States less than two hundred years ago. Indeed the value placed on freedom in the Torah helped influence the modern world to prohibit the ...

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Reading books of Idolatry

Question: Shalom I am currently involved in kiruv on a college campus in Amreica and I often am asked to explain how Judaism is different than other religions. I have researched a bit about other religions and this is why they are coming to me for answers not just in Judaism, but how it differs from Christianity ect. I was wondering if my researching other religions is halachically okay if I am doing it sol ...

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