Tag Archives: Halakhah

Hallel on Yom Ha-Atzma’ut

I know this is belated, but I thought readers would find this interesting. There are many views on this subject, but R. Ahron Soloveichik’s is one that tends to get overlooked. The following is from his book Logic of the Heart, Logic of the Mind: Before turning to the halachic questions raised by Yom Haatzma’ut, we must ask whether 5 ...

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Avodah Zarah Wigs II

I found a responsum on the subject of wigs made in India from, surprisingly, a number of years ago. R. Moshe Shternbuch has a long discussion of the various issue in his Teshuvos ve-Hanhagos vol. 2 no. 414 (consider that volume 4 was recently published, so this is an old teshuvah). He concludes that such wigs are assur and that ...

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The Democratization of Halakhah

House of Hock very graciously mentioned this blog in a post, and I return the favor. I appreciate both the praise and the publicity, but must comment on something I found troubling in their post. In a democracy, every citizen has a vote. Judaism is not a democracy. Not everyone has a vote over what is the halakhah and what ...

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Morality and Halakhah

A common theme in R. Aharon Lichtenstein’s lectures and essays is that of morality and halakhah. There are many different paths to investigate in the commonalities and divergences between the two, including whether there can be divergences. R. Lichtenstein takes an approach with which I am comfortable, but that I acknowledge is only one of many possible Torah views. In ...

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Avodah Zarah Wigs

I first heard about this a month or two ago. It seems that there are idolatrous religions in the Far East in which one ritual is the cutting off and donation of hair to their false gods. This hair is then sold for use in wigs that are marketed throughout the world. If it turns out, as many are claiming, ...

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Kol Ishah III

(continued from here) V. Misexplaining Ervah R. Berman, in elaborating on the Franco-German position that he claimed to have found, explained that one may not recite keri’as Shema while listening to a woman sing because a woman’s voice is distracting. “[T]he central concern with hearing a woman’s voice is not its intrinsic sensuousness, but the purely functional concern that it ...

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Kol Ishah II

I came across a good online essay by R. Howard Jachter about the practical aspects of kol ishah in contemporary society. Most of the essay is a discussion of contemporary halakhah, but he concludes with the following important statement: Observance of the Kol Isha prohibition is quite challenging for us as this prohibition runs counter to the prevailing Western culture. ...

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Kol Ishah

It is generally understood that a man is not allowed to hear a woman’s singing voice. Exactly when this applies – only while she is in view or even otherwise, only live or even recorded, etc. – is a complicated matter of dispute that everyone should resolve with their own rabbis. I will not address these important practical topics. Instead, ...

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Smoking in Halakhah

[Thanks to Protocols, who in turn thanks The Town Crier, for bringing this to my attention.] A new book has been published, titled Hayim le-Lo Ishun Al Pi ha-Torah by R. Yehezkel Ishayek of Bnei Brak, in which the author argues that smoking is absolutely prohibited. The Jerusalem Post summarizes some of his arguments: Preserving one’s health is an important ...

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Humrah Society II

Is it permissible to be stricter than one’s parents or grandparents on halakhic matters? The Gemara in Gittin (5b) records a suggested change in the procedure of writing a get that was rejected so as not to cast aspersions on the gittin of earlier generations. Perhaps here, too, we may not be strict so as not to cast aspersions on ...

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