Responsa

A Sinful Mitzvah

by R. Gidon Rothstein 10 Kislev: R. Uzziel on Mitzvah HaBa’ah Be-‘Averah Shu”t Mishpetei Uzziel 4; Inyanim Kelaliyim 6, dated 10 Kislev 5700 (he writes it as taf-resh-nun-nun, 400-200-50-50, I think so it will have four letters in Hebrew, instead of just the two letters taf-shin), responds to a teacher at Porat Yosef (the famed Sephardic yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem where, among others, R. Ovadya Yosef ...

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Conditional Get and a Kohen

by R. Gidon Rothstein Netziv on When Conditions In a Get Make Problems for a Kohen and His Wife Click here for the audio version. On other occasions, we have discussed a man giving a get to his wife with a condition, how to avoid leaving her in marital limbo should he go missing in action. Shu”t Meshiv Davar 4;50, dated second day Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 5642 ...

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Detecting an Affair

by R. Gidon Rothstein Two Teshuvot from 25 Cheshvan: Tzitz Eliezer on Detecting an Affair The desire to “win” a divorce leads some people to make every effort to twist and use the legal system however they can, and courts are not always as adept as we’d like them to be at catching on. Two responsa of Tzitz Eliezer with a 25 Cheshvan connection show him ...

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Beit Din At A Conversion Immersion

by R. Gidon Rothstein 18 Cheshvan: R. Ovadya Yosef on the Beit Din Being Present for a Conversion Immersion The final step of conversion to Judaism has the convert immerse in a mikveh (ritual bath), an immersion which must be witnessed by the overseeing rabbinical court. This simple halachic fact presents obvious complications when the convert is a woman. Shu”t Yabi’a Omer 1; Yoreh De’ah 19, dated ...

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Wedding Pictures at the Kotel

by R. Gidon Rothstein 11 Cheshvan: R. Hayyim David HaLevi on Taking Wedding Pictures at the Kotel People can mistake sanctity of a place, kedushat makom, for some kind of magical power rather than a venue for closer relationship with Hashem.Shu”t Aseh Lecha Rav 6;43, dated 11 Cheshvan 5745 (1984; it’s unusual for R. Hayyim David Halevy to date his responsa. Usually, he ...

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RSZA on Time of Death, Brain Death, and Organ Transplants

by R. Gidon Rothstein 4 Cheshvan: RSZA on Time of Death, Brain Death, and Organ Transplants In Shu”t Minchat Shelomo Tinyana (2-3) 86, R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (RSZA) gathered several short responsa into one chapter, with different pieces carrying different dates. One is dated 4 Marcheshvan 5753 (1992), giving us the opportunity to learn some more from this great Torah ...

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Cotton and Shemittah

by R. Gidon Rothstein 27 Tishrei: RSZA on Cotton and Shemittah [Click for the audio version]. We don’t get to see R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach’s responsa as often as I’d like, so I took advantage of the opportunity provided by Shu”t Minchat Shlomo Tinyana 119, dated 27 Tishrei 5727 (1966). R. Auerbach is writing to R. Yehoshu’a Moshe Aaronson, an expert in the halachot of agriculture from ...

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Writing Torah Insights on Chol HaMoed

by R. Gidon Rothstein 19 Tishrei: Mishneh Halachot on Writing Chiddushei Torah on Chol HaMoed Chol HaMo’ed of both Pesach and Sukkot has been the hardest time for me to find responsa, and Shu”t Mishneh Halachot 3;76 (undated, but it’s the best I could do) gives us one reason. R. Menashe Klein had dated responsum 53 in that volume of his responsa to the first day of Chol HaMo’ed Pesach, ...

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Remarrying Without a Get or Heter Meah Rabbanim

by R. Gidon Rothstein 14 Tishrei: R. Ovadya Yosef on Remarrying Without a Get or Heter Meah Rabbanim The plight of women whose husbands refuse to authorize the writing and delivery of a get after the marriage is obviously over deservedly garners the lion’s share of communal attention to problems of halachic divorce. Still, men can have a similar problem. A longstanding ordinance called cherem Rabbenu Gershom, the ban of ...

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Issues of Kodshim

by R. Gidon Rothstein 29 Elul: R. Moshe Feinstein on Issues of Kodshim For the sixteen years before he moved to the United States, R. Moshe Feinstein was rabbi in Luban, a town in Belarus, and some of the responsa he wrote in Luban he included in Shu”t Iggerot Moshe (which he started publishing only fifteen years after he arrived in the United ...

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