Prescriptions for How to React

by R. Gidon Rothstein The Recovery From Childbirth Parshat Tazria opens up with rules for a woman who has given birth; two of Ramban’s explanations of those rules challenge us as to whether we would agree with his perspective. Vayikra 12;4 speaks of two stages of a woman’s return to ordinary life, in terms of ritual purity and impurity. She is, first, a niddah for ...

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Yissachar/Zevulun Relationships

by R. Gidon Rothstein 28 Nisan: Tzitz Eliezer on Yissachar/Zevulun Relationships [Click for the audio version.] A repeat element of responsa we’ve studied has been that respondents reply to an author who had sent novellae of his own. The polite response was for the other Torah scholar to share some ideas of his own on the topic. Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer ...

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Sin as a Cover, Spontaneous Blessing, and More

by R. Gidon Rothstein The Fat That Covers The Torah and halachah refer to two kinds of fat in an animal, cheilev and shuman. Cheilev fats are offered on the altar as part of animal sacrifices, and therefore prohibited to Jews to eat (at a karet level, the person would be cut off from the Jewish people should s/he eat such fats with knowledge and malice aforethought). Shuman is completely permissible, ...

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Lone Respondent for the Sixth of Pesach

by R. Gidon Rothstein 20 Nisan: Khalfon Moshe HaKohen, Lone Respondent for the Sixth of Pesach [Click for the audio version]. Much as I’ve tried to randomize this series, I cannot pretend to have succeeded totally. Shu”t Sho’el ve-Nish’al by R. Khalfon Moshe HaKohen of Djerba, has responsa for just about every day of the calendar, so I could fill almost an entire ...

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When Prohibitions Are Created

by R. Gidon Rothstein 14 Nisan: R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach on When Prohibitions Are Created You’d think Erev Pesach would be a busy time, and the Bar-Ilan Responsa Project says you’re right. The only teshuva I found dated to the fourteenth of Nisan is Minchat Shlomo Tinyana 66, written in 5751 (1991) by an eighty-year-old R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (RSZA). More surprising, it’s not on a Pesach ...

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Residence in Israel and Signs of Redemption

by R. Gidon Rothstein 7 Nisan: R. Moshe Feinstein Defining Residence in Israel and Signs of Redemption I did not find any responsa lengthy enough to fill our space for 7 Nisan, but R. Moshe Feinstein registered several brief ideas. Shu”t Iggerot Moshe Orach Chayyim 3;72, 7 Nisan 5727 (1967), responds to a man who has moved to Israel but came to the ...

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The Mishkan at Night

by R. Gidon Rothstein The Mishkan at Night, Its Staff, and How the Torah Tells Us About It The Mizbe’ach at Night Parshat Tzav starts with rules for an olah, the offering burnt completely to Hashem. Such an offering, we are told, can be burned on the mizbe’ach, the altar, all night. Ramban quotes Rashi (and will build from there); Rashi noted two teachings of the verse: first, hekter chalavim ...

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When a Father Does Not Have to Support His Daughter

by R. Gidon Rothstein 29 Adar: R. Ovadya Yosef on When a Father Does Not Have to Support His Daughter Like most life situations, we can make divorce better or worse. Shu”t Yabi’a Omer 8; Even HaEzer 22, dated 29 Adar 5743 (1983) deals with a mother who made the situation much worse. She brought the suit, because the ex-husband refused to pay child ...

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Insights Into Sacrifices

by R. Gidon Rothstein Vayikra is called Torat Kohanim (as is its Midrash Halachah), the laws of priests, for a reason. We can exaggerate the extent to which it’s focused on the rules of the Mishkan/Temple and the kohanim who serve there, but the first several sections of the book live up to that reputation. Parshat Vayikra especially. The Cryptic ...

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