Halakhic Positions

Showering on Yom Tov

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler To understand Rav Soloveitchik’s position on this question, one must understand some background information concerning this matter. The Torah permits certain work on Yom Tov, such as cooking and carrying in a public domain for the sake of Ochel Nefesh [food preparation] (Shemot 12:16). Regarding this, there is a ...

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Mi Shebeirach

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler One cannot observe Mitzvot conditionally. One cannot say for example, “I will put on Tefillin tomorrow if You [HaShem] do this or this for me”. However, by Tzeddaka it is permissible. “Ha’omer selah Zu li’Tzedaka bishvil she’yich’yeh b’ni” , If someone say I am donating a sela [coin] for ...

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Writing a Sefer Torah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The very last Mitzvah of the Torah, Mitzvah number 613, is found in parshat Vayeilech (Devarim 31:19. There, the Torah states, “So now, write this song for yourselves and teach it to the Children of Israel. Place it in their mouth so that this song shall be a witness ...

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Recognizing G-d’s Love For Am Yisrael

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Moshe Rabbeinu, in Parshat Va’etchanan, declares, “Mi Keil BaShamayim U’vaAretz Asher Ya’aseh k’Ma’asecha veChigvuro’teicha” [“What power is there in the heaven or on the earth that can perform according to Your powerful deeds and according to Your ‘mighty acts’?] According to Rav Soloveitchik, the terms ‘mighty acts’ or powerful ...

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Prayer and Prophecy

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Tefillah (prayer), according to Rav Soloveitchik, means talking to G-d. When we are interested in addressing a human being who is an important official or dignitary we are confined to meet at a certain location, at a specific time and a certain protocol is required. It goes without saying that upon ...

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The Mitzvah of Appeasing One Another

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The main focus on Yom Kippur is the Mitzvah of Teshuva; it is the culmination of “The Ten Days of Teshuva”. Whereas the beginning of this period, Rosh HaShana stresses the Teshuva Bein Adam LaMakom, between man and G-d, [in terms of Malchuyot, establishing the Kingdom of G-d], the ...

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Expanding the Mitzvah of Bikur Cholim

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The very first reference to the Mitzvah of Bikur Cholim is found in Bereishit, 18: 1, “VA’YEIRA HASHEM EL AVRAHAM. Three men, who were actually mal’achim [angels] in the “guise” of men, appear to Avraham Avinu, whom the Midrash [Bereishit Rabba Ch.20] identifies as Micha’el, Gavri’el and Refa’el. HaShem ...

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No Tashlumim (Replacement Prayer) For Mussaf

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The general rule is that if one inadvertently neglected to daven, he may remedy his error by adding a second Shemoneh Esrei in the following tefillah. For example, one who missed Shacharit would daven twice at Mincha, if he missed a Mincha he would daven twice at Ma’ariv. Mussaf ...

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Intensive Prayer

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler All three of our Avot initially suffered from fertility problems. Yitz’chak and Rivkah begin their life as a childless couple [Bereishit 25:21]. Avraham and Sarah had this problem [ibid 15:2], similarly, Ya’akov and Rachel faced the same issues in parshat Va’yeitzei [30:1]. They all prayed for children, but Yitzchak’s ...

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Married Women Lighting Their Own Chanuka Candles

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The basic Mitzvah of Neirot Chanukah is to have one candle per night per household. A higher level [mehadrin] is to light a candle for each person, and an even higher level [mehadrin min hamehadrin] is to have the number of lights increase corresponding to the day of Chanukah ...

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