Responsa

A Premature Remarriage

by R. Gidon Rothstein 14 Av: A Premature Remarriage R. Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor was one of if not the foremost rabbinic authority of the late 19th century. Ein Yitzchak 1; Even HaEzer 43 records the response he wrote, on the fourteenth of Av, 5626 (1866), about a woman who remarried based on the testimony of a thirteen year old, who ...

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Putting Up a Mezuzah for a Non-Jew

by R. Gidon Rothstein 7 Av: Putting Up a Mezuzah for a Non-Jew Some people treat mezuzah superstitiously, as if the box itself protects, independent of our belief in or subservience to Hashem. That explains why some non-Jews want mezuzot on their doors, even though they might not believe anything else about Judaism. On the 7th of Av, 5709 (1949), ...

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Two Teshuvot on Gittin

by R. Gidon Rothstein 29 Tammuz: Two Teshuvot on Gittin The laws of divorce are technically challenging, so I don’t generally find opportunities to present them in a venue like this. I usually avoid overly detailed or legalistic responsa, because of my limitations in how to present such material in a way that will interest readers. At the same time, ...

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Community Voting Rights

by R. Gidon Rothstein 22 Tammuz: Tsits Eliezer On Community Voting Rights On the 22nd of Tammuz, 5707 (1947), Tsits Eliezer (3;29) responded to a request to lay out rules for who can or should be selected to positions of leadership, who votes, and related issues. Much of this, he points out, he had laid out in an earlier responsum, ...

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Do Pesukei DeZimra Have To Be Said In Order?

by R. Gidon Rothstein 15 Tammuz: Do Pesukei DeZimra Have To Be Said In Order? On the fifteenth of Tammuz, 1960, R. Moshe Feinstein, Iggerot Moshe Orach Chayyim 2;16 was asked about whether the order of Pesukei de-Zimra, the selections from Tanach that we say between Baruch SheAmar and Yishtabach, was mandatory. Suppose someone accidentally skipped part of that section—could ...

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Apportioning Tzedakah Funds Post-Tragedy

by R. Gidon Rothstein 2nd Day RH (First Day of) Tammuz: Apportioning Tzedakah Funds Post-Tragedy On the eighteenth of Adar Sheni, 5562 (1802), a fire broke out in a certain town, destroying many Jews’ businesses and houses. Funds were raised from near and far, and the community turned to Chatam Sofer for advice on how to apportion the money (like ...

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Conversions for the Sake of Marriage

by R. Gidon Rothstein 24 Sivan: R. Kook’s Opposition to Conversions for the Sake of Marriage The question of whether to convert the non-Jewish half of a couple for the sake of marriage has been dealt with many times, and the consensus among reputable decisors of halachah seems to have become that there is almost always room to allow for ...

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Two Halachic Workarounds, Rejected

17 Sivan: Two Halachic Workarounds, Rejected More than a century apart, R. Ezriel Hildesheimer and R. Eliezer Waldenberg wrote responsa with a 17 Sivan date, each one about suggested ways of circumventing Shabbat prohibitions. R. Hildesheimer’s responsum, Shu”t R. Ezriel Hildesheimer 1;Orach Chayyim 42, responds to a question about heating liquid on Shabbat. The questioner, R. Shlomo Dov Filstein, a ...

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Spending Our Money To Save Others

10  Sivan: Spending Our Money To Save Others by R. Gidon Rothstein What are our financial obligations when it comes to saving others’ lives? Who Pays? That’s the question Avraham S. Avraham (a noted doctor and Torah scholar, who was close with R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and author of Nishmat Avraham, an authoritative collection of volumes on medical halachah) pursued ...

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