Responsa

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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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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Extending Life

by R. Gidon Rothstein 16 Iyyar: R. Moshe Feinstein on When We Have to Extend Life I couldn’t resist this responsum because I knew the doctor who asked it. Dr. Neal Zev Ringel took a year, mid-training, to study at Yeshivat Har Etzion (Gush). It was 1982-83, my post-high school year. Just before that year, he apparently asked a question ...

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Counting Jews

by R. Gidon Rothstein 24 Nisan: Chatam Sofer on Counting Jews In tough times, it’s easy to get caught up in the big picture and ignore details of halachah. Chatam Sofer’s Kovetz Teshuvot 8, dated 24 Nisan 5598 (1838), he answered a question about a detail of how to keep records of who was given what charitable donation. He starts by acknowledging the tough times these ...

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Fraudulent Communal Elections

by R. Gidon Rothstein 18 Nisan: R. Hayyim David Halevy on Fraudulent Communal Elections What happens when there’s fraud in a voting process? It’s a question that arose for R. Hayyim David Halevy, Shu”t Aseh Lecha Rav 2;63, in a letter written to him on the eighteenth of Nisan. Power That Wants to Stay in Power The questioner was spokesperson for a ...

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