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Proposal: Jewish life and learning

: i dont know if i would feel comfortable with a site that posts a halachic questions that are being answered by random people. what if the answers are actually followed? halachich questions should go to poskim, not random people.

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This is indeed a very important issue for a site of this nature, and we've thought about it a great deal in the formation and administration of mi.yodeya, the SE 1.0 site that this proposal was based on. I wrote up mi.yodeya's approach to this issue in an answer to the relevant meta-question and in a related blog post.

To summarize:

  • People shouldn't ask for or accept Halachic decisions from a website.

  • The website should (and does, in mi.yodeya's case) warn against this.

  • Answerers should exercise humility. (In most instances where it seems that someone is soliciting a Halachic decision on mi.yodeya, responses tend to include a strong recommendation that the asker consult his/her rabbi.)

  • It's readers' responsibility to not use website information improperly, just as it's their responsibility with respect to classes or information from friends.

  • Halachic discussion not for the purpose of final decision is valuable for promoting awareness, providing data for discussions with one's Rabbi, exposing sources, and, of course, learning for its own sake.

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