Halakhic Positions

Changing Tables for Birkat HaMazon

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Mechaber in Shulchan Orach Chaim (184:1) states, “MI SHE’ACHAL BE’MAKOM ECHAD TZARICH LE’VA’REIC KODEM SHE’YA’AKOR MIM’KOMO”, one who ate at a given place (table) must recite Bir’kat HaMazon (at that same place or table), before rising to leave the table. The Mishnah Berurah, based on the Magen Avraham, ...

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Psychological Pain In Reference To Mitzvot

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Judaism is very concerned and sensitive to the dignity and self-respect of the individual. The Gemara Berachot (19b) states that “kavod  ha’beri’ot  doche  afilu  leMitzvah  de’Orayta, be’shev  ve’al  ta’aseh”, that personal dignity and embarrassment  is so significant that it can, at times, even override a biblical Mitzvah in a ...

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Changing Tables For Birkat HaMazon

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Mechaber in Shulchan Orach Chaim (184:1) states, “Mi she’achal bemakom echad tzarich levareich kodem sheya’akor mimkomo,” one who ate at a given place (table) must recite Birkat HaMazon (at that same place or table), before rising to leave the table. The Mishnah Berurah, based on the Magen Avraham, ...

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Chukim and Mishpatim – No Difference

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Many people make a distinction between chukim and Mishpatim, believing that chukim are non-rational laws, while Mishpatim are rational, easy to understand. According to Rav Soloveitchik, even Mishpatim are as much pure abstract and not necessarily explainable laws, rooted in ratzon HaBoreh (HaShem’s will) as are the chukim. Using ...

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Servants of G-d

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik suggested that there are several concepts which help identify one’s relationship with G-d. One level is simple hit’chaivut, making a pledge or commitment. Example, if I declare before two reliable witnesses that I owe you $1000. Dollars, whether it’s true or not, I have created a debt ...

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Avdei HaShem – Servants of God

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik suggested that there are several concepts which help identify one’s relationship with G-d. One level is simple hit’chai’vut, making a pledge or commitment. Example, if I declare before two reliable witnesses that I owe you $1000. Dollars, whether it’s true or not, I have created a debt ...

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Is Prayer a Biblical Requirement?

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler There is a well- known machloket (disagreement) between the Rambam and the Ramban as to whether davening is Biblically or rabbinically mandated. According to Rambam (Hilchot Tefillah 1:1), some form of daily prayer is required by the Torah, while the Ramban argues (comments on Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvot #5), that ...

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Mitzvah of Zechirat Amalek

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Mitzvah of Zechirat Amalek if found in Parshat Ki Teitzei (Devarim 25:17-20). It contains a positive aspect of Zachor, and a negative aspect of lo–tishkach According to Rambam (Hilchot Melachim 5:5), and Tosafot (Berachot 13a) this Mitzvah is a Chiyyuv D’Oreita (Biblical requirement). We fulfill the Mitzvah by ...

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The Unique Characteristics of Kedushat Yerushalayim

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik expressed the idea that Yerushalayim is endowed with a unique Kedusha (holiness) that is called kedushat shechina-the holiness of G-d. Whereas the holiness of most places emerges from human energy, the holiness of Yerushalayim does not emerge from us, it comes from an external force- from G-d ...

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