Responsa

Minchah After Sunset

by R. Gidon Rothstein 12 Iyyar: The Klausenberger Rebbe on Minchah After Sunset [Click here for the audio]. Hasidut, the movement that started with the Ba’al Shem Tov in the mid-1700s, adopted many practices that raised halachic eyebrows. That included a looser regard for zemanei tefillah, the readiness of Hasidim to pray at times that seemed too late, in the name of having proper kavvanah, proper intent and attention, ...

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Karaite Converts

by R. Gidon Rothstein (Rabbi Rothstein will be co-chairing a Yom Iyun on the Teachings of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein at Lincoln Square Synagogue, Sunday April 29, 9:30am-12:30pm. Keynote address by Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman. Speakers include Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein and Rav Mosheh Lichtenstein.) 5 Iyyar: R. Uzziel on Rejecting and Accepting Karaite Converts [Click for the audio version]. It’s not easy ...

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Yissachar/Zevulun Relationships

by R. Gidon Rothstein 28 Nisan: Tzitz Eliezer on Yissachar/Zevulun Relationships [Click for the audio version.] A repeat element of responsa we’ve studied has been that respondents reply to an author who had sent novellae of his own. The polite response was for the other Torah scholar to share some ideas of his own on the topic. Shu”t Tzitz Eliezer ...

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Lone Respondent for the Sixth of Pesach

by R. Gidon Rothstein 20 Nisan: Khalfon Moshe HaKohen, Lone Respondent for the Sixth of Pesach [Click for the audio version]. Much as I’ve tried to randomize this series, I cannot pretend to have succeeded totally. Shu”t Sho’el ve-Nish’al by R. Khalfon Moshe HaKohen of Djerba, has responsa for just about every day of the calendar, so I could fill almost an entire ...

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When Prohibitions Are Created

by R. Gidon Rothstein 14 Nisan: R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach on When Prohibitions Are Created You’d think Erev Pesach would be a busy time, and the Bar-Ilan Responsa Project says you’re right. The only teshuva I found dated to the fourteenth of Nisan is Minchat Shlomo Tinyana 66, written in 5751 (1991) by an eighty-year-old R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (RSZA). More surprising, it’s not on a Pesach ...

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Bringing Garbage to the Basement on Shabbat

by R. Gidon Rothstein 22 Adar: R. Betzalel Stern on Bringing Garbage to the Basement on Shabbat [Click for the audio version]. Halachah pervades the observant life, such that the most mundane of acts ask us to be aware of halachic ramifications. Shu”t Be-Tzel HaChochmah 4;62, dated 22 Adar 5736 (1976) applies itself to taking out the garbage on Shabbat. In an apartment building, dropping the ...

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Should Prague Read Megillah Twice?

by R. Gidon Rothstein 15 Adar: R. Eleazar Fleckeles on Whether Prague Should Read Megillah Twice [Click here for the audio version]. The standard for celebrating Shushan Purim, observing Purim on the fifteenth of Adar rather than the fourteenth, is that the city had a wall during Yehoshu’a’s conquest of Israel. Until I encountered Shu”t Teshuva me-Ahavah 1;210, dated 15 Adar 5565 (1805), I thought ...

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Repenting a Coerced Forbidden Pleasure

by R. Gidon Rothstein [Click for the audio version]. Let’s admit that not all of us are so enveloped in Torah and mitzvot that we find distasteful that which the Torah prohibits. Shu”t Chatam Sofer 1 (Orach Chayyim); 202, dated 8 Adar 5599 (1839), deals with a man like us, who was forced to violate the Torah and liked it.  He had been taken captive ...

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