Responsa

Extending Life

by R. Gidon Rothstein 16 Iyyar: R. Moshe Feinstein on When We Have to Extend Life I couldn’t resist this responsum because I knew the doctor who asked it. Dr. Neal Zev Ringel took a year, mid-training, to study at Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush). It was 1982-83, my post-high school year. Just before that year, he apparently asked a question ...

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Counting Jews

by R. Gidon Rothstein 24 Nisan: Chatam Sofer on Counting Jews In tough times, it’s easy to get caught up in the big picture and ignore details of halachah. Chatam Sofer’s Kovetz Teshuvot 8, dated 24 Nisan 5598 (1838), he answered a question about a detail of how to keep records of who was given what charitable donation. He starts by acknowledging the tough times these ...

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Fraudulent Communal Elections

by R. Gidon Rothstein 18 Nisan: R. Hayyim David Halevy on Fraudulent Communal Elections What happens when there’s fraud in a voting process? It’s a question that arose for R. Hayyim David Halevy, Shu”t Aseh Lecha Rav 2;63, in a letter written to him on the eighteenth of Nisan. Power That Wants to Stay in Power The questioner was spokesperson for a ...

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Proper Care For Others’ Items

by R. Gidon Rothstein 4 Nisan: R. Moshe Feinstein on What Constitutes Proper Care For Others’ Items Watching other people’s property brings various levels of responsibilities, and the standard of care is sometimes whatever the person could be expected to anticipate. In Iggerot Moshe, Choshen Mishpat 1;69, dated the fourth of Nisan 5722 (1962), R. Moshe Feinstein explained how that ...

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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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