Posts

Shushan Purim of 1949

by R. Gidon Rothstein 16 Adar: When to Observe Shushan Purim of 1949 [This responsum is an example of an error I made in gathering responsa for this project: although we tend to treat the second Adar as the “real” one for purposes other than observing a yahrzeit (as my friend R. Shmuel Hain recently pointed out), I grouped Adar responsa from years with ...

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When In Doubt, Learn Torah

by R. Gil Student I. Don’t Disagree The mourning practices of Tisha B’Av include a prohibition on learning Torah, an activity that naturally leads to joy. Some authorities forbid learning Torah on the afternoon before Tisha B’Av, so you don’t enter the day full of the joy of Torah. Others permit it because the mourning has not yet started. Rav ...

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Audio Roundup 2019:8

by Joel Rich Overheard in Jerusalem: Potential Oleh: So I have to get my birth certificate validated?? Resident: What you do is when you get home . . . Potential Oleh (interrupting): I am home, I think you mean when I get back to the US. Resident: (smiling) Touché. If you learned the Beit Yosef/Shulchan Aruch without reading the hakdamah ...

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Seances

by R. Gidon Rothstein 9 Adar: R. Kook on Seances Starting in the mid-1800s, spiritism became a hot topic, particularly seances. On 9 Adar, 5672 (1912, showing how long the “fad” lasted), R. Kook was asked about the halachic issues involved, and he answered in Shu”t Da’at Kohen 69. Distinctions and Their Value Spoiler alert: Jews may not perform seances. The conclusion may be clear ...

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