Author Archives: Michael Broyde

Meat and Dairy In One Oven

R Michael Broyde / One of the most frequently asked kashrut questions deals with the procedure for cooking meat and milk in a single oven. This short article will address the halachic issues involved, explain the different opinions found in halacha, and recommend a practice to follow. I. Aroma and Steam The Talmud (Pesachim 76b) recounts a dispute between Rav and Levi as to whether aroma (in Hebrew, rei’ach) emitted from food is halachically significant or not — whether kosher food cooked in the same oven at the same time as non-kosher food becomes non-kosher because of the aroma. Rav states that such aroma is significant and thus the food is not kosher, and Levi rules aroma not to be problematic and the food kosher. While there are a smattering of rishonim who follow the ruling of Rav (see Tosafot s.v. orsa), most accept that the halacha is like the approach of Levi and that aroma is not significant and that such food is kosher; see Rambam, Maachalot Asurot 15:33; Rif, Chulin 32a and Rashi, Pesachim 76b s.v. amar lecha. However, they accept that aroma is only not significant post facto (bedi’eved), and that even Levi accepts that one may not deliberately cook kosher and non-kosher food in the same oven at the same time. The Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh Deah 108:1) accepts this approach, and permits aroma post facto, but prohibits this conduct initially (lechatchila).

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9th of Av on Shabbat

A Conceptual Understanding of the Nature of the 9th of Av, When It Falls Out on Shabbat Guest post by R. Michael J. Broyde Michael Broyde is a law professor at Emory University, was the founding rabbi of the Young Israel in Atlanta and is a dayan in the Beth Din of America. There have been many guidebooks published on ...

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Convert on a Bet Din for Conversion

A Brief Comment on a Recent Teshuva by the Law Committee of the Rabbinical Assembly on Whether a Convert Can Serve on a Rabbinical Court for Conversion. Guest post by R. Michael J. Broyde Rabbi Michael Broyde is a law professor at Emory University, was the Founding Rabbi of the Young Israel of Toco Hills and is a dayan in ...

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Mandating Prenuptial Agreements

R Michael Broyde / Recently, the Orthodox community has been rattled by yet another Agunah situation – this time in Philadelphia-Washington – and in all honesty, this is not the first and it will not be the last such case. Furthermore, we all know that genuine halachically viable solutions to the Agunah problem are hard to come by and might not even be within our grasp. But, we also know that Agunah problem can be functionally solved in practice, even if not in theory and the solution is clear and obvious: The Beth Din of America prenuptial agreement which can be found at really does work in almost all of the cases actually presented within the United States. Its structure – payment of money until a get is given – has a proven track record of actually delivering a get time after time and case after case. Everyone knows this. It is the vaccine against the agunah problem. But, like all vaccines, it has to be used before one has the illness – taking your vaccine after the fact never works.

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Reporting Abuse

R Michael Broyde & R. Moshe Soloveichik / Many years ago, I wrote an article on halachic issues related to mesirah, and I continue to get mesirah questions posed with some regularity. Some of them are complex and some are less so, but one category of them is heartbreaking – child abuse. Although I wrote clearly in that article that halacha permits one to report child abuse, sadly enough I still find that people are hesitant to actually do so. Such hesitation is mistaken, and people who engage in child abuse ought to be reported to the police. I write this brief post to bring to the attention of our community the fine video presentation of Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik of Chicago which can be found below. Members of our community should listen to his presentation. Although Rabbi Moshe Soloveichik’s views hardly needs my endorsement, I write publicly to endorse all three of his conclusions.

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The Sound of Silence

R Michael Broyde / More than a decade ago, I was giving a large public shiur in a shul on a topic I had just written an article about (I think it was about celebrating Thanksgiving) and, when it was over, a person approached me, smiled sweetly, and told me that “I was much less impressive in person than in writing.” In truth, I was taken aback by the remark, but over time, I have grown to understand the truth of the observation. My primary method of sharing my understanding of many different aspects of halacha is in writing, and I do that better than I do almost anything else. The written word, I have discovered is more precise, elegant and fine tuned than any other method of communication available to me.

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Protesting Without Coercing

R Michael Broyde / This short article deals with one of the more complex areas of halakhah – the area of get meusah, a coerced Jewish divorce. It will focus its time and energy on the prototypical modern case of a husband and a wife who both agree that they want to get divorced but cannot agree upon the terms of that Jewish divorce and the husband is thus withholding the Jewish divorce until he receives what he wishes even after the civil divorce is over and the case is settled as a matter of secular law. [As an editorial matter, it is worth noting that this situation is readily avoidable in advance through the use of a pre-nuptial agreement like the one widely distributed by the Beth Din of America at – but we assume here that, sadly, no such agreement was used. Everyone should use such agreements!] The question that is being addressed is simple. Is there an issue of a coerced get [get meusah] in the use of social pressure – picketing, boycotting, withholding aliyot, and the like – in such a situation? The answer is fairly clear as a matter of halakhah that there is no problem of a coerced get in such a case, although the reason is not obvious to many.

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Entry into a Church

R Michael Broyde / You asked me a very good question, and I take pen in hand to write you a reply. You asked whether my article from a few years ago, in which I noted that I thought that a communal leader may enter a church for the sake of hatzalat yisrael (the long term saving of Jewish lives, even when no specific life in in danger now)[1] , is consistent with the views recently expressed by our mutual teacher Rabbi Bleich שליט”אin his excellent and thoughtful analysis in Tradition regarding the entering of churches more generally (“Entering a Non-Jewish House of Worship” Tradition 44:2 73-103, 2011).[2] Indeed, a number of people have asked me if my analysis is consistent with what Rabbi Bleich put forward, and that is a tribute to his greatness as a teacher and as a scholar. Inconsistencies between my views and Rabbi Bleich’s should always be resolved in his favor, as the poskim clearly state, that disputes between a student and a teacher are always resolved in favor of the teacher; see Sanhedrin 110a. Su

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Who Is Poor On Purim?

Dear Rabbi Broyde, Here is my situation. I live in a well to do area and I am, by communal standards, very poor. We have nearly a baseball team of children all under 20, one of who has always been ill, and I work at a fine job that pays much less than most people in our community earn. Our home is somewhat run down as we cannot afford to maintain it, and many of the things that other children have in the community, my children do not have (but want), most of which are toys and luxuries but some of which we would like to have, also. So, we all share two cell phones, we almost never eat red meat, have no cable television and borrow our neighbors’ Wi-Fi for internet use on our only computer.

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Valentine’s Day and Jewish Law

R Michael Broyde & R Mark Goldfeder / Matters of halacha are never simple and Rabbi Yair Hoffman’s response and reply to this short article on celebrating New Year’s Day represents everything that is excellent about Torah study on the internet – and it is not surprising coming from such a thoughtful writer on current events. We welcome this opportunity to reply to his views and hope that this column clarifies our view of the relevant halacha. Rabbi Hoffman disagrees with us about three matters. First, he thinks we have misread Rav Moshe Feintein’s view on when gentile customs can become secular; second, he thinks that Valentine’s Day is still limited in celebration to Christian lands; and finally, he thinks that Rav Moshe did not permit New Year’s Day celebrations, only bar mitzvah or wedding celebrations that happen to fall out on New Year’s Day. We stand by the original article.

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