New issue of The Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society (LXIII, Spring 2012):
- Addressing Child Molestation in School Setting: A Halachic and Religious Perspective by R. Yona Reiss – A very sober discussion of the issue, addressing the fairly simple case of certain crime and the much more complex case of uncertain crime. Explains the position that requires asking a she’eilah before reporting an uncertain crime. Defends the use of child witnesses (not tough to defend). Recommends policies for counseling of educators and victims. Discusses rehabilitation of offenders.
- Aging Ovaries and Age-Old Tradition: Elective Egg Freezing in Jewish Law by Dr. Eli A. Rybak – Can older single women freeze their eggs so they can have children when they eventually marry? First half builds on literature regarding cosmetic surgery — optional surgery for procreation purposes. Second half discusses issues unique to this question and, in the process, reviews reasons to forbid artificial insemination of single women. Surprisingly does not quote R. Yuval Cherlow, who permits it.
- Sabbath Mode Ovens by R. Alfred Cohen – Can you adjust the Star K-certified ovens on Yom Tov? Discusses R. Moshe Heineman’s reasons for leniency and some critiques, defending R. Heineman on some issues. Bottom line: minority opinion. Surprisingly does not cite R. Soloveitchik as quoted by R. Hershel Schachter, who would also oppose R. Heineman’s definition of gerama (as discussed in this post: link).
- A Tale of Two Cities? Shushan Purim in Modern-day Jerusalem by R. Etan Schnall – Do outlying Jerusalem neighborhoods celebrate Purim or Shushan Purim? Surveys the views with an eye to the changing history — pre-1948, 1948-1967, 1967-1980s, recent expansions. Most of the debate in the 80s that I remember is now moot because neighborhoods have expanded and are now contiguous.
- Contemporary Modalities of Bikur Cholim by R. David Etengoff – Can you visit the sick via Skype? E-mail? Building on the literature regarding phone calls, concludes there is a partial fulfillment.
- What About — Joulies? by R. Dovid Cohen – A new technology – reusable small metal ball filled with a material that is placed in a liquid. As the liquid cools, the material releases heat to keep the drink warm. The material is “kosher sensitive” but, due to a number of reasons, does not present a kashrus problem. Must be immersed in a mikvah (with a blessing) prior to use and may not be used on Shabbos or Pesach.
- Letter – R. Dr. Eddie Reichman and R. Eli Turkel distinguish between passively withholding treatment and actively deactivating an implanted defibrillator. Dr. Jonathan Rosman contends that deactivating a defibrillator is still permissible and adds an addendum to his article. Sidney Gottesman asks a question on R. Alfred Cohen’s 1987 (!) article on artificial insemination, whether even an “outstanding rabbi” may permit it. R. Cohen responds that R. Moshe Feinstein stated that only highly qualified rabbis should rule on the subject.