Author Archives: David Roth

David Roth is a semicha student at RIETS and a summer intern at Torah Musings.

Making Tea and Coffee on Shabbos

by R. David Roth One of the thirty-nine prohibited categories of forbidden activities on Shabbos is baking or cooking. [1]Mishna, Shabbos 73a, and Gemara 74b However, much to the relief of many coffee and tea drinkers, there may be a number of reasons that making coffee or tea is not included in the prohibition of cooking. Cooking Something That Has ...

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Making Tea and Coffee on Shabbos

by David Roth One of the thirty-nine prohibited categories of forbidden activities on Shabbos is baking or cooking. [1]Mishna, Shabbos 73a, and Gemara 74b However, much to the relief of many coffee and tea drinkers, there may be a number of reasons that making coffee or tea is not included in the prohibition of cooking. Cooking Something That Has Already ...

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Tefillin on Tisha B’Av

by David Roth Contemporary practice seems near universal that tefillin are worn on Tisha B’Av in the afternoon but not in the morning.  However, the exceptions–particularly among Sephardim–point to divergent opinions on the subject.  In fact, there is a major debate among the Rishonim regarding whether one wears tefillin at all on Tisha B’Av. Different Views Most Rishonim, including Tosafos, ...

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Alternative Burial Arrangements

by David Roth The Torah [1]Deuteronomy 21:23 command to bury the dead leads to an inevitable practical problem. Each body requires a space of approximately 3 square meters. [2]R. Dr. Yisrael Meir Levinger, HaMaayan, Nissan 5774, page 19 After many years and many deaths, land space becomes an issue. In Israel, the use of individual graves could potentially use up ...

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Yahrtzeit Practices

by David Roth Jews engage in numerous practices to commemorate a yahrtzeit for the anniversary of a relative’s passing, generally a first degree relative [1]A first degree relative is defined as a father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister and spouse (Shulchan Aruch YD 374:4). for whom one would observe mourning. What are these practices and on what date are they ...

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Gelatin in Halacha: Recent Developments

by David Roth For many years, gelatin–which is typically derived from non-kosher sources–has posed a potential problem for kosher consumers and has been a major subject of debate among halachic authorities. However, recent developments in gelatin production might cause a problem even for those who have been historically lenient. Gelatin is defined as 1. a nearly transparent, faintly yellow, odorless, ...

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