Author Archives: Gidon Rothstein

Does Money Create A Sale?

by R. Gidon Rothstein 26 Adar: Chatam Sofer on Whether Money Does or Doesn’t Create a Sale Halachah is meant to be a complete system, applicable to all areas of life. That includes monetary transactions, and I perhaps don’t often enough include responsa where a meshiv is asked to rule on such financial questions. These can seem less “religious,” and ...

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Owning Public Mitzvot

by R. Gidon Rothstein 19 Adar:  R. Ovadya Yosef on Owning Public Mitzvot For whatever positive motives people donate to the public good, ego can get involved as well. In Shu”t Yabi’a Omer 7;23, dated 19 Adar 5738 (1978), some of that had clearly happened. R. Ovadya Yosef was asked for advice by brothers who had donated a parochet, a covering ...

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Women Hearing Parashat Zachor

by R. Gidon Rothstein 12 Adar Aleph: Tzitz Eliezer on Women Hearing Parashat Zachor In many shuls, Parashat Zachor offers an example of the alacrity with which Jews can fulfill mitzvot. Men and women make sure to hear the verses read, and shuls offer multiple readings, to help ensure all hear the words. As the questioner in Tzitz Eliezer 22;38 ...

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Purim Will Never Cease

by R. Gidon Rothstein Purim Will Never Cease: Rambam, Aggadah, and the Eternal Purim Last time, we concluded a series on Rambam’s inclusions of aggadah in his Mishneh Torah. As I finished, I realized that my plan was to start Aruch HaShulchan’s drashot for Shabbat HaGadol, which seemed odd to do before Purim (next Monday will, at least, be Shushan ...

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A Kohen At His Father’s Burial

by R. Gidon Rothstein 5 Adar: R. Hayyim David Halevy on a Kohen’s Involvement in a Father’s Burial A communal rabbi has to keep in mind that his congregants may come from different strands of Jewish custom. Shu”t Mekor Hayyim 2;65 offers a case where R. Hayyim David Halevy (whom we’ve seen until now through his Shu”t Aseh Lecha Rav) ...

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Context and the Insufficiency of Law

by R. Gidon Rothstein Summarizing Rambam’s Aggadic Insertions: Context and the Insufficiency of Law Almost ten years ago, a business consultant named Steven Spear introduced me to the concept of a personal ideas map. The concept is that every time a person speaks or writes, s/he should jot down the basic ideas expressed. By periodically reviewing those abstracts, each of ...

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Allowing A New Mother To Marry

by R. Gidon Rothstein 28 Shevat: Allowing A New Mother To Marry The responsibilities of motherhood can create complications for that mother, as happened in Shu”t Yabia Omer 9 Even HaEzer 15, from 28 Shevat 5760 (2000). The Talmud prohibited mothers from remarrying within two years of giving birth, for fear the new marriage would interfere with nursing the baby, ...

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