Responsa

Building Unity Through Conformity

25 Tishrei: Building Unity Through Conformity by R. Gidon Rothstein Soon after Sukkot 5699 (1938), R. Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel responded, in Shu”t Mishpetei Uziel 4;1, to a question from one of the local rabbis in Tel Aviv (where R. Uziel was chief rabbi at the time, soon to be made Sephardic Chief Rabbi of all of Mandatory Palestine). This ...

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Hakhel

18 Tishrei: R. Ovadya Yosef on Hakhel by R. Gidon Rothstein Truth is, I cheated with this one. I was looking for a responsum written on the eighteenth of Tishrei, and forgot that respondents would date it to the second or third day of Chol HaMoed (depending on whether they were inside or outside Israel). I had another responsum, and ...

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Heter Meah Rabbanim for an Insane Wife

11 Tishrei: Heter Meah Rabbanim for an Insane Wife by R. Gidon Rothstein On the eleventh of Tishrei 5610 (1849), R. Yosef Shaul Nathanson in Shut Shoel ve-Nishal Mahadura Kama 1;113 (R. Nathanson was a rabbi in Galicia and Ukraine in the mid-late 1800s) saw the ruling of R. Zvi Hirsch Chajes freeing a man to remarry without a heter ...

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How Much Blood Makes a Shiur?

by R. Gidon Rothstein 4 Tishrei: How Much Blood Makes a Shiur? R. Yaacov Ettlinger (1798-1871) was an important German rabbi, teacher both of R. Samson Raphael Hirsch and R. Azriel Hildesheimer, perhaps best-known for his Aruch LaNer novellae on the Gemara. His responsa, Binyan Tzion, often take up more technical issues than I have felt will work in this ...

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Finishing Brachot, Relating to Torah Scholars, Making Aliyah, and Finding Peace

19 Elul, 5697 (1937): Tzitz Eliezer Finishing Brachot, Relating to Torah Scholars, Making Aliyah, and Finding Peace I am a sucker for hadranim, for talks given upon the occasion of finishing a tractate of Talmud. Perhaps it’s because it’s so rare for me to finish a piece of learning, perhaps because it’s an opportunity to watch a great thinker reflect on ...

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Extraordinary Health Situations

by R. Gidon Rothstein 12 Elul: Tzitz Eliezer on Extraordinary Health Situations On the twelfth of Elul, 5751 (1991), Tzitz Eliezer 19;53 wrote to Rabbi Dr. Avraham S. Avraham with comments on the latter’s recent fourth—and final, so far– volume of Nishmat Avraham, his work on medical halachah. Tzitz Eliezer calls it a מכתב הערכה, a letter of admiration, and ...

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R. Moshe Feinstein on Insurance

by R. Gidon Rothstein 28 Av: R. Moshe Feinstein on Insurance Iggrot Moshe Orach Chayyim 4;48, from 28 Av, 5725 (1965), records R. Moshe Feinstein’s response to a query about whether it was better to buy insurance that can be used during one’s lifetime, thus helping finance old age, or use that same money to buy a policy that only ...

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Shipping Wooden Barrels

by R. Gidon Rothstein 21 Av: Shipping Wooden Barrels How do leaders respond to their community’s not meeting the highest standards of observance? There is no one answer, as communities differ, rabbis differ, and the particulars of each type of observance differ. Each example we see, however, helps us build a better picture of the kinds of guidelines such decisors ...

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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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