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15

Provided you stay within our scope (see our FAQ post) anyone can ask questions here. If you are not familiar with Judaism, you may want to consider the points raised here in framing your question. We welcome questions from both beginners and experts. Try to write your questions to be motivated, clear and specific just like on any other Stack Exchange site.


14

It sounds like "too localized" is the right reason to use on a close vote. However, I don't think such questions should necessarily be closed. Our tradition records arguments and midrashim that have no halachic purpose, yet they are recorded for posterity because someone was curious enough to ask and engage in the discussion. I value that and I don't ...


13

It does not! An early version of this site had the following important disclaimer at the top, in red: Like Wikipedia, mi.yodeya makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat mi.yodeya information like it came from a crowd of your friends. And we mean it! On a website like this you can get some ...


13

I accept that "people who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition" might be interpreted to include followers of the Reform and Conservative movements. My personal preference is for a site where the sources quoted are "mainstream traditional (MT)". Most questions and answers to date have been MT. The site would lose its attraction for me if it became a ...


13

No, we should not break our Q&A model in these cases. At least as likely as it is that someone may offer advice that makes the difference in a good way, someone may offer advice that (God forbid) makes the difference in the opposite direction. In fact, unlike the relevant local professional, the community doesn't know the asker, doesn't know the asker's ...


12

IsaacMoses wrote an answer to a question about non-orthodox positions which has more-or-less become Mi Yodeya canon. I would like to extrapolate his answer to what I believe to be its correct application to this question. The reason we generally limit questions and (in particular) answers of halakha to an Orthodox point of view is not because we consider ...


11

From the Area51 FAQ: Should my idea be part of an existing site, or its own site? In general, if a site makes sense as part of a bigger site, it's better to have one big site than a bunch of little niche sites. Site X should be subsumed by site Y if: Almost all X questions are on-topic for site Y If Y already exists, it already has a ...


10

The community has generally accepted this as the canonical list of in- and out-of-scope topics on Mi Yodeya. If you have a question about... Jewish law or practice (what to do or why) How many slices are required to make you responsible to wash on Pizza? Why is it OK to have a sermon right before Kaddish of Musaf? Can you recommend an alternative outer ...


10

TLDR If questions pass the test described here, namely that A) they're motivated by a desire to understand and/or practice Judaism, and B) it's reasonable to expect specifically those who base their lives on Judaism to be especially capable of answering them, they're on-topic. Otherwise, no. Some "How many X in Y" questions meet these criteria, but ...


9

We have had examples of people suggesting their own answers to questions, particularly those related to Biblical exegesis. The answers stand on their own merit and people can take them for what they're worth. (Regarding the authority to suggest new answers, see this; as examples of answers suggested on one's own merit, see this this this and others.) So, if ...


9

This answer post is here solely so people can up- or downvote the statement below. It's not clear to me that that statement is already site policy (though it may be); if not, votes on it may cause it to become site policy. If a question is about Judaism in general and does not mention or imply any interest specifically in non-Rabbinic Judaism, then it shall ...


9

status-completed This has now been implemented: 12/6/17 Yes, we should. Without a designated close reason users don't know how to express their opinion on the matter in an effective way. The text I propose is: In the Jewish tradition certain questions, especially certain questions relating to sexuality, are discussed only in private. Such questions will ...


9

I would advocate for applying the guidelines I suggested in my answer here, which you appear to have done already in mulling over this question: Is this question expressly or implicitly motivated by a desire to understand or practice Judaism? and Is it reasonable to expect that a group of people who base their lives on Judaism would be especially able to ...


9

I think this is on topic. The Help Center allows asking about "general knowledge (science, etc.) as it relates directly to Judaism". The pursuit of information needed to understand a Gemara properly is certainly in that realm. This is just like asking a history question ("Did Rabba live before or after R' Zeira? It makes a difference in understanding Gemara ...


8

The FAQ is precise about what kinds of history are on-topic and what kinds are off-topic: The history of Jewish law or Jewish life, or in short, the history of Judaism, is on-topic. The history of individual Jews, Jewish populations, or the Jewish State, unless also about Judaism, is off-topic. If you think the way this is expressed in the FAQ is ...


8

Speaking generally, based on my past experience as a moderator: When a user persists in behaviors that are contrary to community expectations, including promoting other religions, insulting Judaism, or fighting with other users, the moderators can exercise a special mod-only ability to communicate privately with the user (for the eyes of the user, the mods, ...


8

I agree with Isaac's answer to the previous question on this topic, but it is general rather than a specific answer to the question posed here. So, to specifics. This is, in addition to an answer to the above question, a response to Monica Cellio's well-written and obviously well-thought-out answer, so as to highlight where I disagree with it. The question ...


7

Questions about not Judaism but things generally considered "Jewish culture" — like bagels and lox, borscht-belt comedians, Yiddish theater, kibbutz life, Fiddler on the Roof, and the Ladino language — are off-topic. (This could, perhaps, be clearer in the list you link to, but is IMO covered by its terms.) Of course, questions about such topics ...


7

Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky when I asked him about this specifically, said that discussing matters of a sexual nature in a public forum is improper. I proposed a source I had seen in the Talmud, and he dismissed it, telling me that if citing the Talmud, I should use Shabbos 33a. He never said that this was his definitive source: Said R. Hanan b. Rabbah: All ...


7

From the help center: Mi Yodeya is for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. If you have a question about... Jewish law or practice (what to do or why) Jewish philosophy a Jewish text (explaining a passage) history of Judaism language used in Judaism general knowledge (science,...


7

As an impartial observer, to whatever degree impartiality is possible, I would say that anti-Semites and extremists will find information that they can distort and manipulate, no matter where it might be. We are living in the Information Age, and the material is available in any number of places. Removing such information from this site doesn't materially ...


7

There is currently an Area51 proposal in Commitment Phase specifically for that express reason: Because it's in the Commitment Phase now, you can't ask questions at this moment. However, if you commit to the proposal, you will be counting towards the total number of 200 committers that are required to bring the proposal into the Beta Phase. (If you ...


7

I think that we should not accept answers that draw religious authority from sources not known to be Jewish (which includes those known not to be Jewish). Who is (or isn't) Jewish can be a thorny problem and I am not talking about Jewish pluralism here, but if a group does not even claim to be Jewish, that would seem to qualify as a "no". (Claiming to be ...


7

This is just a miscommunication. Questions that don't agree with traditional Judaism aren't the problem. The problem is objectivity and clarity. The hypothetical question I love Rabbeinu Tam. Why does everyone wear Rashi tefilin? is invalid, despite accepting "traditional Judaism," because the question is based on the questioner's personal opinion. It ...


7

You seem to be assuming we should tailor the accuracy of our responses to the asker (and are therefore asking how we can possibly do so for an asker for whom such tailoring would result in false answers). We should tailor the amount of background info to the type of question and perhaps to the asker, and how much jargon we include, too. But I reject the ...


7

In my opinion, the content of Tanach and Talmud and the interpretation thereof is part of Judaism, regardless of the specific subject matter of that content. Most questions about personalities found in these canonical sources are likely to fall into this category. One could come up with questions that pertains to Tanach people without dealing with Tanach ...


7

Questions must be judged for fitness to Mi Yodeya on their own merits, not on those of answers that have been posted to them. My standing proposal for how to evaluate the topicality of questions of this nature is given in my answer to The Parameters of "Jewish Life" Scope, which you linked here: I believe that the guiding principles (though not a ...


6

Well, the FAQ says: Please respect that in the Jewish tradition certain questions, especially certain questions relating to sexuality, are discussed only in private. Such questions will be closed or deleted at the discretion of the moderators or community. based on discussion over at this meta post. However, the lines are rather vague. I'd say if you ...


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