Teaching the Daughter of a Conservative Rabbi

by R. Gidon Rothstein 5 Av: R. Moshe Feinstein on Educating the Daughter of a Conservative Rabbi Conservative or Reform Jews are fellow Jews and working together will often help all of us (such as in building the State of Israel). At the same time, they promote a vision of the religion, nation, and culture that tradition teaches is in ...

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Non-Jews Violating Shabbat on Jews’ Behalf

by R. Gidon Rothstein 27 Tammuz: R. Uzziel on Non-Jews Violating Shabbat on Jews’ Behalf The personal interplay between the person asking the question and the respondent is also an aspect of the responsa literature from which we can learn. In Shu”t Mishpetei Uzziel 3;Orach Chayyim 31, dated 27 Tammuz 5798 (1938), R. Uzziel responds to an article by R. Yosef Shaul Elyashar, ...

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Where to Place a Mezuzah

by R. Gidon Rothstein 20 Tammuz: R. Ya’akov Ettlinger on Where to Place a Mezuzah Mezuzah seems like a fairly simple mitzvah: you buy a piece of parchment with the proper writing on it, put it in a case and attach it to the right doorpost of a doorway. In fact, several of those words need better definition before we can ...

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Choosing Communal Leaders

by R. Gidon Rothstein 13 Tammuz: R. Uzziel on Choosing Communal Leaders People struggle with ceding power to leaders, however they are chosen, because they may or will take actions the citizenry will dislike. Shu”t Mishpetei Uzziel 4; Choshen Mishpati 3, dated 13 Tammuz 5695 (1935), responded to HaPoel HaMizrachi’s questions about the powers of leaders, and the best way to select them. He starts ...

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Moshe’s Sin at the Rock

by R. Gidon Rothstein 6 Tammuz: Tzitz Eliezer on Moshe’s Sin at the Rock I think we sometimes hear the word “responsum” as limited to practical halachic discussions. For some meshivim (and this might depend also on whether the scholar himself collected these letter for publication, or his heirs did), any correspondence on Torah matters qualifies. That means, for example, that some or many responsa deal ...

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Returning From The Hospital on Shabbat

by R. Gidon Rothstein 29 Sivan: Tzitz Eliezer on How a Doctor Returns From the Hospital on Shabbat Simple cases often hide interesting complications. It’s clear that Jews may violate Shabbat to save lives, and doctors are called on to do that more often than others. Because of that, Chazal allowed them to return home as well, although the extent ...

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Following Orders

by R. Gidon Rothstein 22 Sivan: R. Hayyim David Halevy on Following Orders Observant Jews periodically are challenged when authorities other than Hashem ask or demand that they act in ways that run counter to what Hashem has told them. In Shu”t Aseh Lecha Rav 7;68, R. Hayyim David Halevy deals with that question in the context of the Israeli ...

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Mikveh on Shabbat Night

by R. Gidon Rothstein 15 Sivan: Bach on Going to Mikveh Early on Friday Night/Shabbat It is an occasional pleasure to find a responsum from relatively early in our history (with a date on it, so it can be included in this collection). This time, we get to learn from R. Yoel Sirkis, known as Bach, the acronym of Bayit ...

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Why Torah Scholars May or May Not Visit the Ill

by R. Gidon Rothstein 8 Sivan: R. Moshe Feinstein on Why Torah Scholars May or May Not Visit the Ill In my experience, many people take umbrage at the idea that a Torah scholar would stand on his honor. However, halachah explicitly exempts (and, perhaps, discourages or forbids) Torah scholars from certain otherwise obligatory actions for exactly that reason. Iggerot ...

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Levirate Marriage Today

by R. Gidon Rothstein RH Sivan: R. Ovadya Yosef Permitting a Yibum Looking to unify a nation of Jews with diverse practices brings challenges, and some will lean more towards imposing unity, others towards tolerating diversity. Yabia Omer 8; Even HaEzer 26 shows an example of R. Ovadya Yosef opting for diversity in a remarkable way. Dated Rosh Chodesh Sivan ...

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