Halakhic Positions

Brit Milah and Korban Pesach

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler It is not coincidental that the Yom Tov of Pesach always follows parashat Tzav. The practice of reading particular selections from the Torah in connection with a specific holiday dates back to Moshe Rabbeinu. Tzav is read before Pesach, Bamidbar before Shavu’ot, Devarim before Tisha B’av, and Nitzavim before ...

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Shira in the Mikdash

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik taught that there was a unique Mitzvah and religious experience of Shira BaMikdash, the singing of hymns in the Temple, and this Mitzvah included two components. First, there was an obligation for the Levi’im to sing during the offering of the Korban Tzibbur [communal sacrifices] as part ...

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Kibbud Shabbat

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Rambam writes (Hilchot Shabbat 30:16) that even a very important person who is not accustomed to buying things in the marketplace or doing ordinary housework is required to perform, by himself, certain tasks to prepare for Shabbat, for that is its Kavod. We know that among our Sages ...

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Shabbos Clothes

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Gemara Shabbat (113a) teaches us, that if one can afford to, he should have separate garments for Shabbat, and separate clothes for weekdays, and if not, he should “unroll his garments”. What the Gemara means by that is very unclear, for there is a machloket [dispute] regarding its ...

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Three Sanctified Entities

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Although the HaGadah from which we read at the Seder of Pesach asks, “Who knows three?” and he answers that the three refers to the Avot-Avraham Yitzchak and Yaakov, the fact is that there are many more aspects of Judaism that come with the number three. Similarly, the Midrash ...

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The Shalosh Regalim

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Kiddush of Yom Tov ends with a very generic Bracha, “Baruch Ata HaShem…. Mekadesh Yisrael Ve’Hazmanim” Blessed are You, HaShem, who sanctified Israel  [meaning the Bet Din of Israel] and [they sanctified ]the festivals. But without specifying the name of the Yom Tov. Rabbi Baruch Epstein, author of ...

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Was the Suffering Worthwhile?

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik pointed out that in the “Al HaNissim” recited on Chanukah, included in all the events for which we thank HaShem, there is also the phrase of “V’Al HaMilchamot”, for all the battles which You performed for our forefather. For this we express gratitude to God? Why should ...

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