Remarrying Without a Get or Heter Meah Rabbanim

by R. Gidon Rothstein 14 Tishrei: R. Ovadya Yosef on Remarrying Without a Get or Heter Meah Rabbanim The plight of women whose husbands refuse to authorize the writing and delivery of a get after the marriage is obviously over deservedly garners the lion’s share of communal attention to problems of halachic divorce. Still, men can have a similar problem. A longstanding ordinance called cherem Rabbenu Gershom, the ban of ...

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Battling Reform

by R. Gidon Rothstein 6 Tishrei: Tzitz Eliezer and R. Tzvi Pesach Frank Battle Reform The declaration of the State of Israel inspired R. Eliezer Yehuda Waldenburg to write the three-volume Hilchot Medinah (published over a few years in the early 1950s), to demonstrate how halachah could guide an effective modern state. I think the realities of life as the state continued diminished (not extinguished) ...

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Issues of Kodshim

by R. Gidon Rothstein 29 Elul: R. Moshe Feinstein on Issues of Kodshim For the sixteen years before he moved to the United States, R. Moshe Feinstein was rabbi in Luban, a town in Belarus, and some of the responsa he wrote in Luban he included in Shu”t Iggerot Moshe (which he started publishing only fifteen years after he arrived in the United ...

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Where Torah Fits In

by R. Gidon Rothstein Akedat Yitzchak, Second Half of the First Sha’ar: (week of 15 Elul): Where Torah Fits In We closed last time with the idea of both Creation and Torah as the ways for people to learn about Hashem. To speak of Torah as how people find their way to their fullest purpose runs the risk of treating it ...

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Burial in a Mausoleum

by R. Gidon Rothstein 14 Elul: R. Moshe Feinstein on Burial in a Mausoleum Exile periodically lures Jews to adopt non-Jewish values, and then demand the community respect their right to act on those foreign ways of life. Shu”t Iggerot Moshe Yoreh De’ah 3; 143 and 144 (144 is dated 14 Elul 5732 (1972)), advises the rabbis of Cleveland on how to respond ...

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The Right Way to Look at Nature

by R. Gidon Rothstein Akedat Yitzchak, Beginning the First Sha’ar: Nature Points to Hashem Akedat Yitzchak pays noticeably more attention to Sefer Bereshit than the other four books of the Torah; thirty-three of its 105 she’arimdiscuss Bereshit). Within Bereshit, he spends eleven of the thirty-three on just the first parsha (at the end of which he wrote a short conclusion, telling us he was aware of how much time he ...

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Crushed

by R. Gidon Rothstein 7 Elul: Chatam Sofer on What Is a Petzua Daka Devarim 23;2 excludes from marriage a petzu’a daka, a man whose reproductive organs have been injured or destroyed. In Shu”t Chatam Sofer 3; Even HaEzer 19, dated 7 Elul 5585 (1814), Chatam Sofer sought a way to allow a man who apparently sustained an injury to those private areas continue living with his wife. The ...

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Eyes on the Prize

by R. Gidon Rothstein Akedat Yitzchack, Mevo Ha-She’arim: Eyes on the Prize Last time, we saw Akedat Yitzchak’s first introduction. This time, we will see his mevo ha-she’arim, the entryway to the gates. It’s introductory in that he has not yet started Bereshit, but I believe he thought was already part of the work itself. He starts from a claim people today might casually ...

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