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Vegetarian Cheese
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Non-kosher milk can’t become cheese or butter. Many reasons are given in the Gemara for the gezeirah against cheese made by a non-Jew. Why didn’t the Sanhedrin explain the reason? Cheese made with non-animal rennet is subject to the prohibition of גבינת עכו”ם because it’s a gezeirah (and we don’t uproot gezeirot). Why was this […]
Gel Caps and Gelatin
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Gelatin, a relatively recent innovation (late 19th century), is made from the skin and bones of animals and is used for a variety of uses including candy, medicine, filtering impurities from apple juice and more. Is gelatin from a non-kosher animal kosher? Is gelatin considered fleishig? Can fish gelatin be used with meat? Since gelatin […]
The Missing 168 Years in Jewish History (part 2)
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Watch part one Part 1: The classic dating system for Bayit sheni in Seder Olam lists 3 kings that span the Persian era of 52 years and Bayit Sheni lasted 420 years. The classical secular dating system lists not 3 kings but at least 11 kings. Based on this, Bayit Sheni lasted over 580 years, making […]
The Missing 168 Years in Jewish History (part 1)
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According to general history books the second Beit HaMikdash was built around 351 BCE whereas Jewish chronology (Seder Olam, others) dates it around 516 BCE. From where did this discrepancy come? How do we reconcile the discrepancy? Do we conclude that our calendar is flawed? Do we conclude that the gentile historians are wrong? Watch […]
Shabbat and Umbrellas
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In preparation for National Umbrella Day (February 10th), Rabbi Manning discusses the laws of umbrellas on Shabbos. There are two issues, opening an umbrella and carrying one (even if there is an Eruv). Opening an umbrella constitutes creating a tent-structure on Shabbos (אוהל עראי). The Gemara permits opening a foldable bed on Shabbos. According to […]
Shabbat, Medication, and Minor Ailments
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If someone has a “מיחוש בעלמא” (a lower level than a חולה שאין בו סכנה) we generally don’t administer medication on Shabbos. Why? Where is the boundary between מיחוש בעלמא and a חולה שאין בו סכנה? במקום חולי לא גזרו רבנן: when it comes to a גזירה, Chazal suspended their decrees in the case of […]
Grafting and Interspecies Trees
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Is it permissible to create a “fruit salad” tree? Would one need to take separate terumah and maaser from each fruit? Can you make shehechiyanu and birkat hailanot on the tree? Grafting is permissible the scion and rootstock are מין במינו; what is considered the same species? Why is grafting prohibited? What are the hashkafic issues […]
Midrash as a Source of Halacha
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What is Aggadah? Can Midrash or Aggadah be used as a source for Halacha? If it can be a source for halacha, when can or can’t we learn from Midrash/Aggadah? According to the Midrash Esther was married to Mordechai. The poskim deal with the halachic question of how she was able to marry Achashverosh. Download […]
Is there a “Psak” in Hashkafa?
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What does psak mean? Do we find a psak on Hashkafa in the Bavli? When there seems to be a mainstream hashkafic approach, is one allowed to follow/re-legitimize the minority opinion? When the Torah says not to deviate from the ruling of Beit Din (לא תסור), does that include matters such as the age of […]
What is Hashkafa?
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What does the term hashkafa mean and why does it have a negative connotation in the Torah? Is there any room for hashkafa in Torah? Are there overarching principles? Can we get everything from the world of halacha? What is the role of Midrash and Aggadah? Can one create their own hashkafa? Download the Mekorot […]