Responsa

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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One Witness

by R. Gidon Rothstein 3 Sivan: One Witness On the third of Sivan, 1933, R. Benzion Meir Chai Uzziel (later to be Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel), wrote about whether one witness can support a claim. Shu”t Mishpetei Uzziel 4; Chosen Mishpat, 24 is somewhat technical, but it is such technical discussions that let us articulate halachic principles that then ...

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Forced Kiddushin

by R. Gidon Rothstein 25 Iyyar: Forced Kiddushin R. Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor (1817-1896) was recognized as the posek of his generation and, as  head of an important kollel, trained many leaders of the next generation. On the 25th of Iyyar, 1866 (Shu”t Ein Yitzhak, 1; Even haEzer 57), he answered the following question, dealing with a case interesting on its ...

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Taking Possession of Chametz on Pesach

18 Iyyar (Lag BaOmer): Taking Possession of Chametz on Pesach by R. Gidon Rothstein Welcome to a new series Torah Musings does me the honor of hosting. Over the past several years, I have become attached to the idea of learning a shu”t, a responsum, written on that Jewish date. There is a certain charm to it, it seems to ...

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