Halakhic Positions

The Covenant Between Man and God

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler In the Torah we find that God established a Brit (Covenant) with Avraham, with Yitzchak, with Yaakov and with the entire Klal Yisrael. These covenants serve as contractual obligations between Himself and the Avot (forefathers), as well as between Himself and the Congregation of Israel. The halakha states that ...

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Seeing God

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Midrash (Lekach Tov, Haazinu, 55a) comments: “Has the earth ever changed its pattern? Has anyone ever planted wheat and reaped barley?”  The consistency and regularity of nature, all attests to GD’s rule over the universe. We, human beings cannot interfere with nor alter the physical laws of the  ...

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Kapparah and Taharah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler What is the difference between Kapparah and Taharah?  Rav Soloveitchik suggested that Kapparah, atonement, can be achieved by the Avodah (the Yom Kippur rituals) without any effort on the part of the sinner to repent.  His sin is removed and he is protected from divine punishment. However, his personality ...

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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 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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