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Law/Halachah

Challenging Assumptions

Challenging Assumptions

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Does Judaism promote patriotism?

Should congregations reduce the length of their prayers?

Does the Torah believe in absolute gender norms?

Based on traditional sources, this book addresses contemporary issues facing Jewish society. Distilling both the halachic and philosophical considerations, the author challenges readers’ assumptions and provides the critical observer with a Torah prism for approaching today’s burning questions.

Gray Matter V. by Rabbi Chaim Jachter

Gray Matter V. by Rabbi Chaim Jachter

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The Gray Matter Halacha series has emerged as a premier source for in-depth Halachic discussion. Rabbi Chaim Jachter selects topics of relevance and interest to contemporary Jews and, in his characteristically clear and readable style, comprehensively surveys the issues and the varying views of contemporary scholars. Instead of simply presenting the rules, Rabbi Jachter fully explains the sources of the Halacha from the Gemara, to the Rishonim and Acharonim and then to current rabbinic authorities. Rabbi Jachter has created a new style of Halachic literature which not only tells you what to do but allows readers to understand how and why great rabbis arrive at their conclusions, including a wide range of Halachic authorities.
A stunningly wide-range of topics are addressed in this volume, including: the 
bracha on granola, the Halachic Date Line, Beit Din basics, programming a self-driving car to kill one to save many, and performing a get procedure via Zoom.

Halachic Worldviews

Halachic Worldviews

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“From the sources of Halachah, a new worldview awaits formulation.”

With this one line, Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik captured a powerful telos for talmud Torah: to shape our perspective on the world and its challenges, and to point us in the right direction to navigate them successfully. Properly understood, pesukim, sugyos, and psakim convey not just what to do to satisfy the demands of the halachic system, but how to think about everything we do in life. According to this view, Torah imparts the ideals and values that Hashem wants us to bring to bear on society; halachah affords us the opportunity to think about and reinforce those ideals and values through practice.

But while Rav Soloveitchik — and Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch before him — championed this perspective, there is still much work that needs to be done to apply it. This sefer attempts to reveal, in an accessible style, the power and beauty of this approach, tackling topics such as bris milah, berachos, beis k’nesses/beis midrash, hashavas aveidah, and the holidays of Sukkos and Pesach, to draw out “worldviews” from these “sources of Halachah.”

Tzvi Goldstein attended Yeshivat Hakotel as a talmid before studying at Yeshiva University. Learning mainly from Rav Mayer Twersky, Rav Mordechai Willig, and Rav Michael Rosensweig, he graduated with a degree in psychology and went to Israel to continue learning for semichah, ultimately deciding to make aliyah. He has been teaching since then at Yeshivat Hakotel.

Tzvi is passionate about uncovering the relevance of Torah to life, and dedicates his time to assisting talmidim in finding and committing to their unique role as part of the Jewish People. He is blessed to be married to Jeanette and father to Avraham, Yosef, and Ephraim.

Halachos of Hired Help in the Home

Halachos of Hired Help in the Home

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Housekeepers, Live-ins, Aides, Babysitters, Repairmen, and More A Comprehensive Halachic Guide to the Laws of Hired Help in the Home How can yichud be avoided when a babysitter comes to a home to watch boys? Under what conditions may one benefit from work done for him on Shabbos by a non-Jewish live-in? May a non-Jewish electrician be left alone in one's home? Is it permitted to "steal" another person's cleaning lady by offering her more money? How soon after completing a job must a worker be paid? Rabbi Menachem M. Abramson's latest sefer addresses these questions and much more. The wide-ranging halachic issues that relate to hired workers in the Jewish home are discussed one by one in Rabbi Abramson’s thorough, deliberate, and clear style. Each of the sefer's chapters introduces another of these issues and then proceeds to examine its practical halachic ramifications in the many common situations involving employees in the Jewish home.

Halachos of S'firas Ho'Omer

Halachos of S'firas Ho'Omer

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The period between Pesach and Shavuos comes with the customs and sadness of mourning and the joyful halachos of counting S’firas Ho’Omer. In this book, Rabbi Meyer Bodner adapts the style and clarity of his distinguished father’s widely circulated sefarim (Halachos of Muktza, Halachos of Brochos, etc.) to elucidate the practical need-to know customs and halachos of S’firas Ho’Omer.

For example:

  • May one attend and dance at a friend’s wedding and Sheva Brochos on days when it is his custom to show aveilus?
  • Is it permitted to listen to relaxing music when it is his custom to show aveilus?
  • May a women cut her nails, tweeze her eyebrows or have electrolysis done while keeping the customary aveilus?
  • Is it permitted to take a haircut or shave on the first day of Shloshes Yemei Hagbola?
  • May a bar mitzvah celebration be scheduled on a day other than the boy’s birthday (not bo b’yom)?
  • If one mistakenly counted the days but omitted the weeks, or cannot remember if yesterday he counted correctly, may he continue counting with a brocha?
  • May a woman count with a brocha and may she be motzi her friend?

Reviewed for halachic accuracy by Rabbi Shmuel Felder shlit”a and edited and reviewed by Rabbi Yisroel Pinchos Bodner shlit”a, this sefer accurately provides the answer to these and a myriad of other questions and quandaries concerning the customs and halachos of S’firas Ho’Omer.

Halachos of Shatnez

Halachos of Shatnez

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A comprehensive guide to the halachos of shatnez in English, with a detailed Table of Contents to enable easy navigation through the laws. Included is a 31-page Hebrew section of teshuvos on the inyan of shatnez.

Healing in Halacha, Volume 2

Healing in Halacha, Volume 2

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The discussions begin with “What are the parameters of the obligation to guard health?” but don’t end there. This incredible work — the fruit of years of specialization in medical halachah by Rabbi Micha Cohn — covers a wide range of topics, such as preserving health and safety, mental health, technology, genetics, end-of-life issues, and much more.

In his encyclopedic and engaging style, Rabbi Cohn finds sources, parallels, and examples from the length and breadth of Jewish life and scholarship to illustrate contemporary questions and issues. Though extremely practical, Healing in Halachah is not a common guide to medical halachah; it is a unique, thought-provoking overview and appreciation of these complex issues. Of great interest to patients, caregivers, and medical professionals, this valuable work is an indispensable resource to all those fascinated with Torah guidance in the realms of medicine and mental health.

“The purpose of this work is to open the eyes of the reader…and give direction as to when and how to present questions to a halachic authority.”

Rabbi Reuven Feinstein, Rosh Yeshiva, Yeshiva of Staten Island

“Truly an amazing work!”

Rabbi Dovid Cohen, Rav, Bais Medrash Gevul Yaavetz

“This is an important work, written with great depth, especially [regarding] end of life according to halachah.”

Rabbi Noach Issac Oelbaum, Rav, Kahal Nachlas Yitzchok

Rabbi Micha Cohn is the rav of Bais Medrash Kol Yaakov of Oakley Hills in Jackson, New Jersey, a maggid shiur at the Mesivta of Long Beach, and a posek for Kof-K Kashrus Supervision. Rabbi Cohn has a longstanding interest in halachah relating to medicine and mental health. As a close talmid of Rav Dovid Feinstein, zt”l, he had the opportunity to discuss many intricate questions in medical halachah with the rosh yeshiva. In 2012, Rabbi Cohn started a medical halachah email for medical and mental health providers. In 2016, the emails were adapted into Healing in Halachah, volume 1, and was published by Mosaica Press. This is the second volume in this series.

Hilchos Mezuzah

Hilchos Mezuzah

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The Laws and Customs of Mezuzah
for Ashkenazim and Sefardim
Clearly Presented with Detailed Illustrations

The emblem of a Jewish home, a mezuzah is a constant reminder of our connection to Hashem. Chazal teach that it offers continual protection, both in the home and outside, and that it is associated with long life.  The mitzvah of mezuzah is in force at all times, and it is important for it to be done right. This sefer was written to increase awareness of the many facets of this mitzvah and to serve as a comprehensive guide to its performance.

In a beautiful format and with clear and simple language, Rabbi Churba covers a wide range of topics - from the spirit of the mitzvah to its concrete details.  Cutting-edge architectural illustrations bring the halacha to life and make the learning easier and more enjoyable. Extensively researched and well organized, this book provides the essential information you need to fulfill the mitzvah properly.

100+ images illustrating 
scenarios

Letter and Spirit: Evasion, Avoidance, and Workarounds in the Halakhic System

Letter and Spirit: Evasion, Avoidance, and Workarounds in the Halakhic System

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Halakhah contains apparent “workarounds” – such as the sale of chametz to non-Jews before Pesach, the use of the prozbol to avoid the cancellation of loans, or the hetter iska which enables collection of interest. Letter and Spirit draws upon the history and halakhic treatment of these mechanisms to consider when and why some of them are accepted, some are resisted, and some find mixed responses. Rabbi Daniel Feldman claims that rabbis throughout history did not view these as loopholes to be manipulated, but as responsible ways of remaining loyal to both the letter and spirit of the law.

Making of a Halachic Decision

Making of a Halachic Decision

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  • What constitutes a halachic discussion?
  • How do we arrive at each conclusion?
  • Why is the process so complex?
  • Who may serve as a halachic authority?
  • When can one ask a second halachic opinion?

In The Making of a Halachic Discussion, Rabbi Moshe Walter explores the history of halachic decision making, beginning with the Rif and Rambam continuing through the Mishnah Berurah and contemporary halachic works. Comprehensive definitions of halachic terminology are elucidated along with the laws of ruling on halachic queries and their application. Explore the fascinating world of p’sak halachah with this newly revised and designed edition. Your questions on the halachic process will be acknowledged and examined, ultimately resulting in an infinitely deeper appreciation of the ins and outs of this area of Torah.

“I am positive that anyone who brings this book into his house will be helped in many issues.”

Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt

“Many will learn from here how to successfully reach ture p’sak halachah.”

Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky

“This work will be of great benefit to both teachers and students.”

Rabbi Dovid Cohen

“This sefer clarifies in a profound and fundamental manner the method of p’sak and the basics of halachic decision making. It seems to me that it is very important for both poskim and laymen. … It excels in clarity, integrity, and great breadth.”

Rabbi Asher Zelig Weiss

Rabbi Moshe Walter serves as the Rav of Woodside Synagogue Ahavas Torah and is the executive director of the Rabbinical Council of Greater Washington.

RAREST BLUE, THE

RAREST BLUE, THE H/C

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The Rarest Blue tells the incredible story of tekhelet, the elusive sky-blue color mentioned throughout the Bible. Minoans discovered it; Phoenicians stole it; Roman emperors revered it; and Jews--obeying a commandment to affix a thread of it to their garments--risked their lives for it. But as the Roman Empire dissolved, the color vanished. Then, in the nineteenth century, a marine biologist marveled as yellow snail guts smeared on a fisherman's shirt turned blue. But what had caused this incredible transformation? Meanwhile, a Hasidic master obsessed with the ancient technique posited that the source of the dye was no snail but a squid. Bitter controversy divided European Jews until a brilliant rabbi proved one side wrong. But had an unscrupulous chemist deceived them? In this richly illustrated book, Baruch Sterman brilliantly recounts the amazing story of this sacred dye that changed the color of history.

Software & Artificial Intelligence in Halacha

Software & Artificial Intelligence in Halacha

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The industry of software development is one that is extremely complex. Its intricate aspects are understood only by those in the industry and, as such, have led to significant issues which are overlooked by the consumer. Situations very often arise where unbeknownst to the consumer, he is given a product which is ill-suited to his needs. Oftentimes, the vendors themselves are unaware of these issues. These situations lead to some very serious Choshen Mishpat concerns which have not yet been adequately addressed. Additionally, there are a host of other standard industry procedures- some bordering on fraudulent- which raise considerable Halachic concerns.

In this ground-breaking sefer, the author, in consultation with prominent Rabbanim and Dayanim, explores the issues above as well as many other related topics in depth. The author is an experienced software engineer who has successfully designed and marketed cutting edge programs to major corporations. He is also a technology consultant and has advised and helped prominent businesses find solutions to their technological needs. With his years of experience in these fields, he has a vast knowledge and nuanced understanding of everything related to software design, marketing, purchasing and program implementation. As such, he is uniquely qualified to address these points from a variety of angles.

This edition delves into the halachic issues associated with AI, as it continues to become more prevalent in fields such as medicine, transportation, finance, and retail. The moral and halachic issues that arise in the field of AI are not simply theoretical but are relevant to all areas where AI is applied.

Software Ethics In Halacha: Contemporary Halachic Issues Involving Computer Software

Software Ethics In Halacha: Contemporary Halachic Issues Involving Computer Software

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The industry of software development is one that is extremely complex. Its intricate aspects are understood only by those in the industry and, as such, have led to significant issues which are overlooked by the consumer. Situations very often arise where unbeknownst to the consumer, he is given a product which is ill-suited to his needs. Oftentimes, the vendors themselves are unaware of these issues. These situations lead to some very serious Choshen Mishpat concerns which have not yet been adequately addressed. Additionally, there are a host of other standard industry procedures- some bordering on fraudulent- which raise considerable Halachic concerns.

In this ground-breaking sefer, the author, in consultation with prominent Rabbanim and Dayanim, explores the issues above as well as many other related topics in depth. The author is an experienced software engineer who has successfully designed and marketed cutting edge programs to major corporations. He is also a technology consultant and has advised and helped prominent businesses find solutions to their technological needs. With his years of experience in these fields, he has a vast knowledge and nuanced understanding of everything related to software design, marketing, purchasing and program implementation. As such, he is uniquely qualified to address these points from a variety of angles.

This eye-opening sefer contains a wealth of practical information which will be of great benefit to all those involved in programming, selling or purchasing software, as well as anyone looking to gain an understanding and awareness of the modern-day application of Choshen Mishpat.

Torah in a Connected World: A Halakhic Perspective on Communication Technology and Social Media

Torah in a Connected World: A Halakhic Perspective on Communication Technology and Social Media

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Communication technology and social media saturate our lives. Torah in a Connected World offers a Torah perspective on these new technologies and analyzes halakhic issues that arise in five different areas. The book focuses on relationships on social media, both personal and communal, through the lens of the laws of berakhot and tzedaka. It explores the impact of social media on the laws of gossip and shaming – not only for the worse, but sometimes even for the better, as when media can help correct sinful and immoral behaviors. The book discusses situations where we judge someone with whom we have had minimal contact, and how we expect to be judged by others. It assesses what responsibility platforms and users have for online content. Finally, it surveys issues of ritual mitzvot and how they can be fulfilled when mediated through technology. This volume begins a critical conversation about how we should relate to today’s technologies and those of the future.

Touro University: Medical Halachah Annual Volume 1
Touro University: Medical Halachah Annual Volume 1

Touro University: Medical Halachah Annual Volume 1

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Written by experts in the field, this journal is an exploration of the intersection of halachah, medical ethics, and contemporary medical issues, and offers insights into the application of halachic principles to complex medical situations.

Foreword

Alan Kadish, MD

Editor’s Preface

Edward Lebovics, MD

Risk Assessment in Halachah

Rabbi Mayer Twersky

Management of Profound Multi-Organ Failure

Rabbi Prof. Avraham Steinberg, MD

Allocation of Scarce Resources

Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz

Adult ECMO and Mechanical Circulatory Support

Jonah (Yonah) Rubin, MD; Rabbi Dr. Jason Wiener, BCC

Halachah’s View of the Requirement to Follow the Established Standard of Care

Rabbi Moshe Rotberg

Medical Uncertainty in Halachah

Rabbi Boruch Fogel

COVID-19 Vaccines: Clinical Trials

Rabbi Dr. Zvi Loewy

Bikkur Cholim and the Contagious Patient

Rabbi Ephraim Glatt, Esq.; Rabbi Aaron E. Glatt, MD

The Role of Medical Expertise and Rabbanim in the Pandemic

Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky

Confronting the Pandemic in the Community

Rabbi Mordechai Willig

Dishonest Acquisition of Potentially Life-Saving Care

Rabbi Yossi Sprung; Judah Eisenman

Vaccinating Adults and Children against COVID-19 in Israel and the US

Zvi Ryzman

Vaccine Hesitancy in the Orthodox Jewish Community

Sarah H.D. Becker, MD


Othering the Jews during the Calamitous Black Death of the 14th Century and the COVID-19 Pandemic of the 21st Century

Margot Lurie; Edward C. Halperin, MD, MA

Values in Halakhah

Values in Halakhah

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Halakha is the all-encompassing source of normative Jewish conduct, and values and ethics are among Judaism's most important and fundamental aims. In this volume, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein masterfully plots the interplay of law and ethics. Drawing on his vast knowledge of classic Jewish sources, the analytic depth of the Brisker tradition, and his wide grasp of Western scholarship and thought, Rabbi Lichtenstein charts how values are intertwined with the details of Halakha and inform its general worldview. Exploring such topics as the relationship between individual and community, the extent to which Halakha encourages or demands altruism, and the role of humanistic concerns in practical halakhic determination, Rabbi Lichtenstein analyzes rulings of halakhic giants in context of the relevant source material. The result is a first-of-its kind study that offers a lucid yet extensive presentation of detailed halakhic points that combine to form a broad tapestry of the most basic questions of values in Halakha.

Responsa from the Holocaust -- Shailos Uteshuvos from the Kovno Ghetto

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