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16

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.


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 ...


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

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 ...


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

In my opinion, no, it doesn't still hold true in such a case. A closed question is one that should have no answers. (In an ideal world, it would be closed before it got answered.) It should indeed be edited to be brought on-topic (or, if it's not editable to be brought on-topic, should be deleted or have an historical lock put on it), and any no-longer-on-...


6

I think that it's fine to post the same question (or very similar questions) to Mi Yodeya and another SE site, as long as: The two posts are on-topic on the two target sites. They are phrased appropriately for the two target sites. The question posts on the two sites each contain a link to the other. There are questions that would benefit by being ...


6

The problem that you raise is that Mi Yodeya has become or is becoming a dry academic exercise, not a community that invites participation by people who want to be part of a community, not just who enjoy dry academic exercises. I don't see any evidence of that in your post, and I do see plenty of evidence against it on Mi Yodeya. I think that we handle ...


6

As @IsaacMoses pointed out MY.se has institutionalized "mandatory fun" activities centered around Purim. There are the publications which allow MY users to work collaboratively to produce something beyond a massive list of questions and answers. There are institutionalized practices to deliberately greet new users. One feature of this community is an ...


6

Yes, they should be. These aren't too different from other product-recommendations, which are allowed. Also, someone else may be searching for this information on the internet, which is clearly unavailable at the moment. Putting it here would help those people find what they're looking for.


6

I think such questions are likely to be Too Broad unless they include very well-defined criteria for filtering or sorting answers. Without those, there are literally infinite distinct, equally-valid answers to each question. Given the way you've laid out the goals of the project, I don't think well-defined criteria will be consistent with them. More ...


6

This is a Jewish shrine, and you want to know about the meaning and history of the Judaism-oriented hangings there. This is 100% about Judaism, and 100% on-topic.


6

All of the questions you list, and many other in the how-to tag, are not asking for Judaism's take on something but asking for best practices in the implementation of Judaism. In each case, it is reasonable to expect that a group of people who base their lives on Judaism would be especially able to give informed answers. This is especially true if there ...


6

Hebrew has the same status here as any other language. Questions related to Judaism are on topic, while questions not related to Judaism are not. If your Hebrew/English/Spanish/Russian/Latin/Arabic/etc. question is about something to with Judaism, then it's on topic. "What does this word in my Jewish text mean?" = On topic. "What does this word from a ...


6

Absolutely! In fact, we have a tag for each parsha. Remember that questions stick around forever, so instead of asking about "this week's parsha" be sure to say what text you're asking about. You can browse the existing questions, for example on this week's portion of B'midbar, to get a feel for what (and how) others have asked. You might have noticed ...


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