Halakhic Positions

Shiviti HaShem Lenegdi Tamid

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler “Shiviti HaShem Lenegdi Tamid” [I have set HaShem before me always] Dahvid HaMelech, according to Rav Soloveitchik is giving us in Tehilim [16:8], more than mere good advice; he is giving us a Halachik imperative. An individual must be the same person on the street, at home, in the ...

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Appreciation

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler We are all the recipients, at one time or another, of gifts, favors, and kindness from our neighbors, friends, and relatives and from HaKadosh-Baruch-Hu. Of course, HaKadosh- Baruch- Hu knows our needs and responds with what He thinks we need and what is best for us. Our friends and ...

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Defining Kiddush HaShem

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rambam, in Hilchot Yesodei HaTorah [5:10] writes, that the person who was the most noted for being mekadesh shem Shamayim in this world was- Yosef HaTzaddik. This is quite a strange statement coming from Rambam. After all, sanctifying G-d is most commonly associated with dying for G-d. Why didn’t ...

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The Kaddish

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik believed in following the opinion of the Vilna Gaon [Ma’aseh Rav #54] that the Kaddish should contain no more that seven praises of G-d, corresponding to the seven heavens. Therefore, starting from the word “Yitbarach”, we have Veyishtabach, Veyitpa’ar, Veyitromam, Veyitnaseh, Veyithadar, and Veyitaleh is the seventh, ...

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Af Hein Hayu B’oto Ha-Neis

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Gemara Shabbat (23a) states that women have an obligation to light Chanukah candles because of “af hein hayu b’oto ha-neis” – they were also part of the miracle [meaning, according to Rashi, they were in the same danger as the men were, or according to Rashbam in Tosafot ...

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Spiritual Destruction is Tantamount to Physical Destruction

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Every war, every battle brings bloodshed- on both sides. When one’s physical life is threatened then one is permitted to kill the pursuer, “Haba Le’Harogecha, Hash’kem veHorego”[Berachot 62b]. So Jews in Persia when Haman threatened “Lehash’mid u’leharog et kol ha’Yehudim”, to kill every Jewish male, female and child, without ...

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Who Really Built the Beit HaMikdash?

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler It is a well known fact that Shlomo HaMelech built the Beit HaMikdash. Yet, every morning we begin Pesukei Dezimra with Tehilim 30, “Mizmor Shir Chanukat HaBayit LeDavid [A psalm of David. A song for the dedication of the Temple]. Since Shlomo built the first Bet HaMikdash, and David ...

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When to Thank

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler All Berachot are addressed to HaShem in the second person. We say, “Baruch Ata HaShem, Blessed are You HaShem”, rather than in the third person, “Blessed is He”, in order to affirm that G-d’s very presence stands before us. When we have a piece of food in our hands, ...

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Understanding The Hallel

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler According to Rav Soloveitchik, after analyzing the various psalms that make up the Hallel, we see that the first two [Psalms 113, 114] are purely Shevach [praise] and Hodaya [thanksgiving] to HaShem. They consist exclusively of Shevach; without a trace of any petition or request and no mention is ...

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Teshuva: Two Themes

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler There are two types of Teshuva: Teshuva mi’Yirah and Teshuva mei’Ahava. The one called Teshuva mi’Yirah is motivated by awe and fear, which reduces the level of severity of the person who transgressed a mitzvah of the Torah. The other, called Teshuva mei’Ahava, is motivated by love of Torah ...

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