Halakhic Positions

The Rav and the Rebbe

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler In most places of the Torah when Moshe and Aharon are mentioned together it is Moshe’s name that the Torah records first and then that of Aharon. However, In Sefer Shemot,[ 6:26] Aharon’s name appears first, “Hu Aharon U’Moshe” “That is Aharon and Moshe”. Rashi suggests that these variations ...

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Perpetuating the Mesorah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik suggested that Yaakov Avinu was the first patriarch to establish direct communication with his grandchildren. He was laying the foundation for the dialogue of all generations. He literally conquered time and space when he said to Yosef, “Your two sons, who were born to you in Mitzrayim, ...

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Comprehending the Miracle of Chanukah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rambam writes in Hilchot Chanukah (3:3)- “The Chachamim of that generation enacted that these days…should be days Simcha and Hallel, of rejoicing and praising, during which candles are lit in the evening …Le’harot U’le’galot, to demonstrate and to reveal the miracle.” The Rambam is always very careful with the ...

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The Teiku Within Us

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Although HaShem occasionally reveals Himself in a dramatic fashion, at other times, He is mute and passive. Gemara Gittin (56b) interprets the word “ba’aillim” in the Pasuk “MI Chamocha Ba’ayllim HaShem” (Shemot 15:11) “Who is like You among the heavenly powers”? as “ba’alim”, reading the pasuk as saying Who ...

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Two Dreams Required

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Dreams are important Chazal tell us, “KOL HALAN SHIVA YAMIM BELEE CHALOM, NIKRA RA” “One who passes seven days without a dream is considered-evil” (Berachot 14a). Rav Soloveitchik added that a Jew must constantly have two dreams, one is not sufficient. This concept comes Bereishit (37:10). Yosef had two ...

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Mikveh Yisrael

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The final Mishnah of Yoma (8:9) states “Mikveh Yisrael HaShem”- meaning, “The hope of Israel is HaShem”. Yet the Mishnah instead concludes with the famous teaching of Rabbi Akiva, that Israel is praiseworthy, in that GD Himself purifies us. This is based on the pasuk in Yirmiyahu (17:3), that ...

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The Teiku Within Us

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Although HaShem occasionally reveals Himself in a dramatic fashion, at other times, He is mute and passive.  Gemara Gittin (56b) interprets the word “ba’aillim” in the Pasuk “MI Chamocha Ba’ayllim HaShem” (Shemot 15:11) “Who is like You among the heavenly powers”? as “ba’alim”, reading the pasuk as saying Who ...

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Epitome of Chesed

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik taught that if one wants to understand what the epitome of chesed is all about, one merely opens a chumash and read about the life of Avraham Avinu. In the book of Bereishit (12:1) we read about three travelers coming to visit the ailing Avraham: one to announce ...

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