As described more fully in a very informative post on meta.stackexchange.com, which I recommend you check out, we're going to lose these two closure reasons:

off topic
Questions on Mi Yodeya are expected to relate to Judaism within the scope defined in the FAQ. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about closed questions here.

too localized
This question is unlikely to help any future visitors; it is only relevant to a small geographic area, a specific moment in time, or an extraordinarily narrow situation that is not generally applicable to the worldwide audience of the internet. For help making this question more broadly applicable, see the FAQ.

In their place, we'll have an "off-topic" closure reason with customization. That is, if a user votes to close a question as "off topic", he will need to choose among some standard explanations of why the question is off-topic, or write one himself.

As described in a different meta.stackexchange.com post, the three site moderators are supposed to determine the most common closure reasons used on Mi Yodeya and present them to you all so you can choose three. Those three will be the default, standard explanations of a vote to close; again, anyone voting to close can supply a handwritten one instead.

Note that we may actually have four standard closure reasons rather than three. Stay tuned.

So the moderators have convened and, because we are three Jews, we have come up with four closure explanations. These are listed below as answers. (Update: After a discussion in comments and the chat room, there are now only three answers below.) Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is:

  1. Please improve those closure explanations' wording by editing the answers below.
  2. Please upvote or downvote them depending on whether you think they should be standard, default explanations: if we have only three standard explanations, but four answers below, one will not make the cut. Please vote based on the general reason, not the exact wording, which is subject to change. Please upvote any you think we should have, even more than three; community support for four explanations may help us have four.
  3. Feel free to propose your own answers. (Note, though, that the moderators have fasted for three nights and days, and consulted site data, before choosing these closure reasons.) Note that the site will still have closure reasons for questions that are too broad, unclear, or seeking opinions, so don't propose those.

This feature went live with the following default reasons (supplied by SE):

  • Purim Torah questions are on-topic only once a year, and will be closed after Purim. For details, see: Purim Torah policy

  • Questions on the Hebrew language are off-topic here except as they relate to Jewish law and tradition. See: English site for Hebrew language questions

  • Comparative religion questions are off-topic here unless they specifically request the Jewish perspective on a given topic. See: comparative religion questions

  • Questions asking for a practical ruling (p'sak halacha) are off-topic. For practical advice consult your rabbi. Try to broaden the question so it applies to a wider audience, such as by asking what sources are applicable to the question. (More information.)

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  • 2
    Which reason will it display if each of the close-voters use a different custom reason? – Shmuel Brin Jun 24 '13 at 4:58
  • 3
    It will display the default, @ShmuelBrin. This will be something like, "This question does not appear to be about Judaism, within the scope defined in the help center." ...but it can be customized further if need-be. – Shog9 Jun 24 '13 at 5:21

Questions asking for a practical ruling (p'sak halacha) are off-topic. For practical advice consult your rabbi. Try to broaden the question so it applies to a wider audience, such as by asking what sources are applicable to the question. (More information.)

Status: chosen.

  • 2
    We need a much better landing page for "More information." Same goes for the FAQ. – Isaac Moses Jun 24 '13 at 6:20
  • Re @IsaacMoses's comment: meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/q/1734 – msh210 Jun 25 '13 at 18:41
  • This answer was adopted as one of the initial reasons from SE (thanks!). If no edits post-date this comment then there's no work to be done on this one other than updating the landing page (unless the community votes it down, but I suspect that won't happen). – Monica Cellio Jun 26 '13 at 0:15

Comparative religion questions, and questions about what others have written about Judaism, are off-topic on Mi Yodeya. This includes any question that requires of its answerers any knowledge of a religion besides Judaism.

Status: chosen.


Questions about the Hebrew language or about history or news of the Jewish people, Jewish individuals, or the State of Israel, except as related to Judaism, are off-topic. If this question does relate to Judaism, please edit it to indicate how.

Status: chosen.

  • Why aren't this and the one about Jewish individuals combined? Too long? – Isaac Moses Jun 24 '13 at 6:18
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    @IsaacMoses This is already a combination of languages, history and law. (Not an answer to your question, but a comment.) – Double AA Jun 24 '13 at 12:21
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    I would recommend either a) putting all of these adjacent topics in one close reason, b) grouping history and current events with people instead of with languages and law, or c) only retaining the most commonly-found of these - Jewish/Israeli history/news and Hebrew language. – Isaac Moses Jun 24 '13 at 14:14
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    Possible implementation of a+c: Questions about the Hebrew language or about history or news relating to the Jewish people, Jewish individuals, or the State of Israel, *except as related to Jewish life and learning*, are off-topic. – Isaac Moses Jun 24 '13 at 14:15
  • 1
    Also, how about replacing all instances in these of "Jewish life and learning" with "Judaism"? After years of seeing the former phrase around, I have trouble seeing what it adds that the one word lacks. – Isaac Moses Jun 24 '13 at 14:18
  • The last time I suggested switching to "Judaism": meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/1498/… – Isaac Moses Jun 24 '13 at 14:39
  • How is Jewish history off-topic? We have lots of history questions that are not about modern day life. – Charles Koppelman Jun 24 '13 at 17:57
  • @CharlesKoppelman, see meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/a/1499. – msh210 Jun 24 '13 at 18:25
  • (continued in chat here ff.) – Charles Koppelman Jun 24 '13 at 19:52
  • 2
    I've edited this post in accordance with my comments, above. With this one as it is now, I don't see much use for having this fourth option in addition. – Isaac Moses Jun 25 '13 at 4:35
  • How about Questions about Jewish languages, history or people except as related to Jewish life and learning are off topic.? – Double AA Jun 26 '13 at 19:01
  • @DoubleAA Questions about Jewish languages, history, countries, or people, except as related to Judaism, are off-topic.? ("Countries" to include Israel and because the plural is necessary to avoid repeating "Jewish".) – msh210 Jun 26 '13 at 19:35
  • Perhaps Polities? – Double AA Jun 26 '13 at 20:21
  • 1
    @DoubleAA and msh210, I like generalizing to "Jewish languages," since that will include Yiddish and Ladino, both of which ought to be included. I think that the State of Israel should be included explicitly, since really, it is the only significant member of its class. Otherwise, I think we're sacrificing clarity too much in favor of brevity. How about: Unless they are about *Judaism*, questions about Jewish languages, history, or people, or about the State of Israel, are off-topic. – Isaac Moses Jun 26 '13 at 21:12
  • 1
    @DoubleAA, I think the point here is to choose the adjacent topics that are the subjects of off-topic questions most frequently. Also, all of the examples you listed are easily associated with "Jewish history." – Isaac Moses Jun 26 '13 at 22:26

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