Responsa

A Hazzan/Shohet with Seizures

by R. Gidon Rothstein 11 Elul: Hatam Sofer on a Hazzan/Shohet with Seizures and on Choosing Poor to Support Medical challenges affect patients and families in ways beyond the directly physical. Shu”t Hatam Sofer 2; Yoreh De’ah 7, dated 11 Elul 5528 (1827), addresses a hazzan/shohet in a certain locale [I think this was a common pairing, neither job paying ...

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We Can’t Lie Under Oath

by R. Gidon Rothstein 13 Av: Noda BiYehuda Opposing Lying Under Oath Jewish law includes loopholes, some of which might seem to allow Jews to interact with non-Jews in ways we ordinarily think of as unethical, especially if the Jews convince themselves the non-Jews in question count as idolaters. As important and sometimes forgotten counterbalance, Jewish law and thought also ...

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Waiting for People Who Pray at Length

by R. Gidon Rothstein 21 Tammuz: R. Menashe Klein on Waiting for People Who Pray at Length The questioner of Shu”t Mishneh Halachot 4;9, dated 21 Tammuz 5724 (1964) patronizes a shul with a bare minyan, the minimum quorum of ten, and the chazzan frequently starts the repetition of the Amidah with fewer than nine responding. He asks R. Menashe Klein to assess. The Minimum Number to Answer Two ...

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Joke Kiddushin

by R. Gidon Rothstein 14 Tammuz: Chatam Sofer on Joke Kiddushin The pomp with which Jews marry today mean we can be confident the couple involved truly intended to be married. Halachically, however, a kiddushin can occur any time a man gives a woman an item of value and says the required formula in front of two witnesses. Shu”t Chatam Sofer 3; Even Ha-‘Ezer 1;80, dated ...

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Shabbat Clocks, Electric Lights for Chanukkah, and Hearing Mitzvot Over the Telephone

by R. Gidon Rothstein 7 Tammuz: Tzitz Eliezer on Shabbat Clocks, Electric Lights for Chanukkah, and Hearing Mitzvot Over the Telephone Technology benefits and challenges halachic observance. Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer 20;19, dated 7 Tammuz 5702 (1942) hearkens back to technologies now old hat, but still offer insight into how we can or cannot let such advances impact our practice. The responsum originated in three issues a ...

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