Halakhic Positions

Adar Rishon/Adar Sheni, Which Adar Will It Be?

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler If a person dies during the month of Adar in a shana peshuta (a non-leap year which has only one Adar), when do the children observe the yahrtzeit during a shana me’uberet (a Jewish leap year which consists of thirteen months, two of them called Adar)?  Should the yahrtzeit ...

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Kofin Al Midat Sedom

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Would Halacha permit one to move to an unoccupied, better and far more expensive seat at a concert that is more than half over, when it is clear that no one will be sitting in those seats for the duration of the concert? The nature of a Jew is ...

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Torah Study by Children on Tisha B’Av

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Mechaber in Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim [554:1] rules that one may not engage in Torah Study, including “tinokot shel beit rabban”, [young school children]. The reason given by the Mechaber is that Torah study “ Mesam’chei Lev” [Tehilim 19:9], it gladdens the heart. The Taz is quick to ...

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Ha Lachma Anya

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler The Netzi”v, (Rabbi Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin (1817-1893), raises a number of glaring questions about the form and contents of this paragraph in the Haggadah. After performing Yachatz, by breaking the middle Matzah in half and setting aside the larger portion for the Afikoman, we are left with two ...

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Ko’ach and Gevurah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler On Shabbat morning, in one of the liturgical songs praising HaShem for all of His creations, in the paragraph beginning with Kel Adon Al Kol HaMa’asim we find the phrase Ko’ach U’gevurah Natan Ba’hem Li’hi’yot Moshlim BeKerev Teiveil (Strength and power has He granted them, to be dominant within  ...

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Birkhat Ha’Torah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler It is forbidden to study or recite Torah passages before reciting the three Bir’khot haTorah which are; “La’asok BeDivrei Torah”,” Ve’ha’arev Na”, and “Asher Bachar Banu”. Each one of them expresses a different idea. La’asok BeDivrei Torah applies to the Mitzvot, Ve’ha’arev Na is a prayer asking HaShem to ...

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Sitting Shiva Is Doing Teshuva

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Judaism has a long history of dealing with the internal Neshama of a person. Our Chazal have wisely devised graduated periods of mourning, during which the mourner can contemplate his feelings of guilt, express his grief and release the built-up tensions caused by bereavement. With the rise of modern ...

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Yom HaSho’ah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler It has become an established tradition for Jews throughout the world, that on the 28th day of Nissan, to memorialize the six million of our brethren who died during the Holocaust period. That day is marked on our calendars as Yom HaSho’ah/ Holocaust Memorial Day. In Eretz Yisrael there ...

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Entertainment During Sefirah

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik by R. Aharon Ziegler Sefirah, we know, is a semi-mourning period between Pesach and Shavuot.  These sad days, which vary according to custom, entail various mourning observances such as refraining from haircutting, marrying and listening to live music. The Magen Avraham (493:1) rules that we may not sing and dance during the mourning ...

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Power of Peshara (Compromise)

Halakhic Positions of Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik Speaking Lashon HaRa Against a Jew Living In Eretz Yisrael Is Like Speaking Against Eretz Yisrael by R. Aharon Ziegler The Gemara Sanhedrin (6b) presents a machloket (dispute) on the subject of Peshara. According to Rabbi Eliezer ben Rabbi Yossi HaGelili it is forbidden for a Beit Din to make a Peshara between ...

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