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190. Removing Body Hair
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Avodas Kochavim 12:8 It is permitted for a man to shave his mustache as well as the hair under his lower lip. Even though it is permitted to remove this hair, the practice is not to destroy it completely. Rather, it may be trimmed so as not to interfere with one’s eating and drinking. Avodas […]
189. Shaving the Beard
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Avodas Kochavim 12:6 The Sages did not specify how much hair must be left on the corners of the temples. Some previous authorities reported that one must leave at least forty hairs. One may remove hairs from the corners of his head by using a pair of scissors. The prohibition against rounding only applies to […]
188. People of Indeterminate Gender
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Avodas Kochavim 12:4 The gender of a tumtum (whose genitals are unidentifiable) and an androgynous (who has both) is in doubt, therefore they follow stringencies of both a man and a woman and are obligated in all the different categories of mitzvos. If they should violate any of the mitzvos in which they are only […]
187. Men’s and Women’s Mitzvos
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Avodas Kochavim 12:2 If a woman shaves a man’s head or has her own head shaved, she is exempt. This is because Leviticus 19:27 says, “Do not round the corners of your heads and do not destroy the corners of your beards” – only one who would be liable for shaving his beard would be […]
Charity/Tzedaka: What To Give
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Buying Seforim To Pay Charity/Tzedaka You may use tzedaka (ma’aser) money to buy seforim. Because the books then become public property, you must write in the books that they are ma’aser and anyone may use them. You may only do this if other people who are not in your family will also use them. Note: You may only use tzedaka (ma’aser) money to […]
186. Shaving the Corners of the Head
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Avodas Kochavim 11:16 All the forms of sorcery discussed in this chapter are lies that the idolators used to deceive the nations in order to get them to follow their idols. It is not appropriate for Jews to follow such nonsense, nor to attribute any value to them. Numbers 23:23 says, “There is no divination […]
185. Ov and Yidoni
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Avodas Kochavim 11:14 We are not permitted to inquire of a medium or a necromancer (an ov or a yidoni – see Avodas Kochavim 6:1 and 6:2), as per Deuteronomy 18:10-11, “There shall not be found among you… one who inquires of a medium or a necromancer.” One who practices these forms of sorcery is […]
184. Inquiring of the Dead
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Avodas Kochavim 11:12 If a person whispers a spell over a wound followed by a verse from the Torah, or if he recites a Torah verse over a child to keep him from being scared, or if he puts a Torah or tefillin over a baby to make it sleep, he violates the prohibition against […]
183. Spells and Incantations
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Avodas Kochavim 11:10 An enchanter is one who utters incantations that have no meaning and he imagines that his nonsense has an effect. They will say that you can cast a spell on a snake or a scorpion to prevent it from causing harm, or on a person to make him impervious to harm. Some […]
182. Fortune Telling
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Avodas Kochavim 11:8 A fortune-teller is one who uses astrology to predict what times would be good or bad for given activities, saying that a certain day, month or year would be auspicious or inauspicious for different things. Avodas Kochavim 11:9 One is not permitted to tell fortunes; this is so even though he performs […]