Tag Archives: Halakhah

Rabbinic Disrespect

The Gemara in Gittin (7a) tells the story of Mar Ukva’s troubles with Geniva. Geniva was a talmid hakham, as we shall see soon, who would insult and curse Mar Ukva, the av beis din in his locale, and this behavior caused Mar Ukva great pain. Mar Ukva was so troubled by this conduct that he asked R’ Elazar whether ...

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New York Water III

To clarify on R. Hershel Schachter’s pesak: In my haste, I left out some very important points. 1. The creatures in the water are dead. However, if, when alive, they were identifiable as creatures by their movement then, even when dead, they are still prohibited. 2. R. Shachter “heard” that the majority of specks in Boro Park and Flatbush water ...

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New York Water II

My source tells me that R. Hershel Schachter has reversed his opinion regarding water in New York. I have a copy of his in-house letter on the subject but have been instructed not to post it verbatim. What R. Schachter says is that if you can see a speck in water and the speck is moving (i.e. from that movement ...

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Coeducation

R. Tzvi Yehuda Kook in R. Shlomo Aviner, Gan Na’ul, pp. 32-33: Mixed swimming is the most severe example of intermingling between the sexes but coeducation also has no connection to normal Judaism. In normal, healthy, kosher Judaism, who knew of such a thing? Boys learned in a heder and girls alone in a school. When we came to Israel, ...

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Waiting for Mashiah

I wrote in a comment, regarding Mashiah: “but still believe that he can come at any time” In my haste I implied that one must belief that Mashiah can come at any time. R. Henkin e-mailed me that this is incorrect, as he explained in his book. Here is a translation of a letter of his that is posted online: ...

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Cheating II

My old friend, R. Uri Cohen, was kind enough to send me his translation of a similar responsum from R. Shlomo Aviner (Iturei Kohanim no. 49, Nissan 1989, pp. 19-20): QUESTION: I heard it’s permitted to cheat, since it isn’t genevat da’at (deception), as the teachers know that cheating goes on, and also it would be “a decree that the ...

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Cheating

Along the lines of bizarre questions, R. Shmuel Wosner (Shevet Ha-Levi, vol. 10 no. 163) was asked the following question by the principal of a seminary in Israel. The principal had instituted punishments for students caught cheating and parents had objected to this, labelling it wickedness (rish’us). Obviously searching for a higher authority to defend his stance, the principal asked ...

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The Year of the Redemption

R. Shmuel Wosner is a leading posek in Bnei Brak who has published 10 volumes of responsa, titled “Shevet ha-Levi.” I do not know why, but he will not only answer bizarre questions but will publish them along with his answers (although he never answered my letter about the status of Habad messianists). R. Wosner (vol. 10 no. 1) was ...

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David and Bassheva

The Gemara in Shabbos 56a relates the following: R. Shmuel bar Nahmeni said in the name of R. Yonasan: Whoever says that David sinned is nothing but mistaken, as it says “And David behaved wisely in all his ways, and the Lord was with him…” (1 Shmuel 18:14). Is it possible that a sin came to his hands and the ...

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Herem of Rabbenu Gershom

On a biblical level, a man is allowed to marry more than one woman. While it has never been a common Jewish practice, at least not in biblical or talmudic times nor in Ashkenazic countries, it was technically permitted. Tradition has it that around the year 1000 CE, Rabbenu Gershom (Me’or ha-Golah) promulgated a ban or a decree prohibiting, among ...

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