Halakhic Positions

Difference Between Oneg and Simcha

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler In the days of Bet HaMikdash the mitzvah of ”Simchat Yom Tov” obligated a person to offer and partake in Shelamim sacrifices. Rambam, [Hilchot Yom Tov 6:17] maintains that the mitzvah of Simcha on Yom Tov remains a mitzvah D’orayta even today, and in the absence of a korban ...

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Kabbalat Shabbat But No Kabbalat Yom Tov

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler On both Shabbat and Yom Tov there is a meeting between Hakadosh Baruch-Hu and Bnei Yisrael. There is however, according to Rav Soloveitchik , a basic difference in the way the meetings take place. On YomTov, the Shechina does not leave her place, rather, it is we who must ...

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Arichat Yamim: Living the Long Life

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler In spite of the many challenges in life, man still yearns of a long life here in this world. Every Shabbat Mevorchim one of the first things we ask for in the “Yehi Ratzon” is for granting us “Chayim Aruchim”, a long life. Rav Soloveitchik said that of course, ...

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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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A Father Requesting Permission from His Son

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler When three or more male participants, aged thirteen or older eat a meal together they are required to have a zimun. The word “le’zamein” means to invite. So when a group of three or more participate together one of them is honored and designated to formally invite the others ...

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Tearing K’ri’a Over A Sefer Torah That Was Burned

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Gemara Mo’ed Katan (26a) cites a Berayta stating that one must cut his garment over a Torah Scroll that was burned, if, having seen the actual burning. For the source of this halachic requirement the Gemara relates the incident from Yirmiyahu HaNavi (36:23) who dictated to his disciple ...

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Wearing Tefillin All Day

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler We tend to look askance at someone wearing Tefillin in the afternoon. To most of us it’s a strange sight and we wonder why that person had not donned his Tefillin in the morning like the rest of us. It does not occur to us that the person might ...

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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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