Halachah Category

Is Annexation a Mitzvah?

by R. Gil Student I. Jewish Sovereignty Israel is currently considering whether to annex land in Judea and Samaria to become part of the sovereign State of Israel. There are many aspects to this issue, including political, military and moral. I am not going to address those but will instead discuss the halakhic issue of whether there is any relevance, ...

Read More »

Needs and Rights in Selling a Shul

by R. Gidon Rothstein Finishing Siman 153: Needs and Rights in Selling a Shul As matters have begun to open in New York, state and city, I have had the renewed privilege of attending minyan again, and it has been more moving than I had thought it would be (especially hearing birkhat kohanim for the first time, albeit not from actual kohanim.) A downside has been ...

Read More »

First Rules of Shul: Communities and Coercion

by R. Gidon Rothstein I am pivoting away from direct discussion of our current time of trouble—as I pray the signs of relief show Hashem is giving us respite to learn the lessons of the trouble, react properly enough for Hashem to spare us any revisiting of it—and taking up issues the Shulhan Arukh presents regarding shuls, in the hope our discussions ...

Read More »

Demographics, Terumah and Ingathering of the Exiles

by R. Gil Student The status today of the terumah portion of produce allotted to kohanim, as well as other agricultural mitzvos, is a story of population growth as well as a perplexing Maimonidean statement. Most agricultural mitzvos today are of rabbinic nature. One wonders about the contemporary impact of the Talmudic statement (Sotah 14a) that Moshe was desperate to ...

Read More »

Coronavirus Responsa

(UPDATE: See additional responsa here: link) Responsa by Rav Hershel Schachter on timely questions (click on the images to enlarge) Tevilas Keilim, Firstborn Siyum, Selling Chametz     Dishwashers, Minhagim and Burning Chametz       Zoom Seder      

Read More »

Chametz In Your Office

by R. Asher Bush They shut down all access to my workplace and I had Chametz in my desk? I have always been strict not to sell my Chametz Focusing on: The need to do an early bedika, Cases where this is not an option, Selling chametz that is inaccessible Selling chametz for those who have been strict not to ...

Read More »

Yes, the Talmud Does Suggest Drinking on Purim

by R. Yaakov Hoffman Last year, Rabbi Asher Bush lamented the fact that many in the Jewish community ignore admonitions not to get drunk on Purim. He noted, accurately, that people view such directives as merely being “[p]olitically [c]orrect” and “apologetics” rather than genuine halachic guidance. Unfortunately, Jewish leaders have not done much to counter this perception. In their admirable ...

Read More »

Precautions in Shul in the Wake of Coronavirus

by R. Asher Bush With the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), which as of this date has no specific treatments, numerous halachic issues are being discussed; a few that have practical implications will be addressed here. It is worth noting that while much attention is correctly being placed on this new and yet untreatable virus, these issue apply to any ...

Read More »

Vigilantism in Jewish Law

by R. Gil Student I. The Subway Vigilante I’ve been thinking lately about Bernhard Goetz, who 35 years ago famously shot four teenagers trying to mug him (link). Goetz, called the “Subway Vigilante” by the media at the time, raised a national debate regarding taking the law into your own hands, and probably helped create a climate that successfully demanded ...

Read More »