Halakhic Positions

Dual Aspects of a Human Being

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler In our daily morning Berachot we recite the beracha of “Asher Yatzar,” [Who formed man in wisdom and created in him many orifices and cavities] immediately followed by the beracha of “Elokai Neshama” [My G-d, the Neshama you placed within me is pure]. According to the Rosh [Teshuvot HaRosh ...

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Aveilut for Parents

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Many people have wondered why the aveilut requirement for a parent is for 12 months while the aveilut for a child is only 30 days. After all, the loss of a dear and loving parent is a natural phenomenon of life, and it is something anticipated, yet here the ...

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Why The Avot Were Buried In Same Plot As Adam And Chava

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Torah tells us that the city of Chevron was also called Kiryat Arba [City of the Four] (Bereishit 23:2). Rashi explains: It was so called because of the four couples who were buried there, man and wife: Adam and Chava, Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivkah, Ya’akov and ...

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Aveilut for Parents

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Many people have wondered why aveilut for a parent is twelve months while for a child is only thirty days. After all, the loss of a dear and loving parent is a natural phenomenon of life, and it is anticipated, yet here the Halacha requires twelve months of mourning. ...

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Kaparot

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The custom of Kaparot on Erev Yom Kippur is the subject of a long-standing controversy. The waving of chickens over people’s heads as a Teshuva ritual before Yom Kippur, leading to the chicken’s slaughter, has engendered much opposition over centuries. Great authorities like the Rambam and Rashba attempted to ...

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Two Dreams Required

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Dreams are important. Chazal tell us, “Kol ha’lan shiva yamim bli chalom nikra ra,” “One who passes seven days without a dream is considered evil” (Berachot 14a). Rav Soloveitchik added that a Jew must constantly have two dreams, one is not sufficient. This concept comes from no other than ...

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The Right Way To Rebuke

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik taught that the way to give <i>mussar</i> or rebuke is not to belittle or embarrass a person, rather, to show him that he has erred and that he should correct his ways. By verbally attacking the wrongdoer, most likely that person will react negatively and aggressively, which ...

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Elevating Evil

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler In the Al HaNissim prayer recited on Chanukah there is one phrase that is meant to charges us with a responsibility for all year, even beyond Chanukah – namely, “u’temei’im b’yad t’horim” (“and the impure into the hands of the pure”). Who exactly were the “impure” that were handed ...

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Two Types of Crying

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler All languages have synonyms, different words that mean alike. Not so in the Hebrew language; in Lashon HaKodesh. Every word is different and unique. Just as there are no two people that are absolutely and totally identical so too are there no two words that have the same connotations ...

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IDF Uniforms

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Rav Soloveitchik was very meticulous and stringent in every phase of Hilchot Tefillah, the laws of prayer. He often cited the Rambam (Tefillah 5:1) that eight specific aspects of prayer must be adhered to while standing for Shemoneh Esrei. The first four are: Amidah, standing; Nochach HaMikdash, facing Eretz ...

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