Responsa

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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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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