Halakhic Positions

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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Connecting to Hashem

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik pointed out that Tefillah (Prayer) and Nevu’ah (Prophecy) are two sides of the same coin. While both involve dialogue between human being and G-d, there is one major difference: in Nevu’ah G-d initiates the dialogue and speaks to us, while in prayer the human being is the ...

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