Responsa

Hebrew Accents

by R. Gidon Rothstein 14 Shevat: R. Kook on Hebrew Accents The 1930s saw a rise in Jews coming to Israel (from 1931 to 1948, Wikipedia tells me, the Jewish population grew from 175,000 to 630,000). That brought with it certain tensions, one of which R. Kook addressed in a letter to R. Uzziel from 14 Shevat 5695 (1935), published ...

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Non-Orthodox Marriages

by R. Gidon Rothstein 7 Shevat: Non-Orthodox Marriages People who don’t spend much of their time studying Torah don’t always stop to remember that halachah is also a legal system, where technicalities count. For an example that arises too often, if a woman is halachically married but then civilly divorced, she is still halachically married, which means that any children ...

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Women and Time-Related Commandments

by R. Gidon Rothstein 29 Tevet: R. Uzziel and Tzitz Eliezer on Women and Time-Related Commandments Two easy ways to describe how halachah differentiates men from women is to speak about women’s exemption from mitzvot ‘aseh she-hazman grama, obligations with a time component, and from the obligation of Talmud Torah, of studying Torah. There’s much more to it than that, ...

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Three Kinds of Coercion

by R. Gidon Rothstein Three Kinds of Coercion Discussed on 15 Tevet: A Spouse to Move to Israel, a Get, and a Mother Bird This week, we have the opportunity to study the ideas of two respondents we haven’t seen much before, R. Shlomo Kluger (1785-1869), and R. Zvi Pesach Frank (1874-1960). Since they both discuss forms of coercion, I ...

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Continuing Realities

by R. Gidon Rothstein RH Tevet: R. Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor on Continuing Realities The first way to read Ein Yitzchak 1;Orach Chayyim 1, from Rosh Chodesh Tevet of 5639 (1878) is as a responsum by R. Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor about how to make sure a Torah scroll is valid. A closer look shows it’s much more about thehalachic presumption known ...

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Revealing Private Medical Information

by R. Gidon Rothstein 23 Kislev: Tzitz Eliezer on Revealing Private Medical Information That Affects Another Person Difficult and tragic medical situations ripple beyond the original problem and person suffering that problem. Navigating competing needs of those affected can be almost as thorny as the issue itself. On 23 Kislev 5743 (1982), Tzitz Eliezer 16;4 dealt with a sad case ...

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