Today is July 17, 2018 / /

The Torah Learning Library of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah

Category: Halakha & Modernity

The Surrogacy Episode, Joy of Text 3:10

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on July 11, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

On the Season 3 Finale we interview a Jewish woman who made the decision to be a surrogate and carry a child for someone else, with the support of her husband and their three young children. Carrie and Jamie Bornstein share personally and poignantly about what it means to help another couple become parents, and how their kids and their community dealt with this new reality.…

May the Humra Di’R. Zeira be Relaxed in Cases of Halakhic Infertility?

Rabbi Aryeh Klapper (Posted on June 18, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Introduction “Halakhic infertility” occurs when observance of hilkhot niddah results in a woman ovulating only during the days that wife and husband are forbidden to be physically intimate. These situations result from post-biblical stringencies that lengthen the time of prohibition. This article discusses whether a couple may cease observing one such stringency, the humra di’R.…

Rema’s Understanding of Reheating Liquid Foods on Shabbat

Rabbanit Devorah Zlochower (Posted on May 23, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

Introduction The mishnah in Shabbat 145b states: “Anything that has been prepared in hot water prior to Shabbat, may be immersed in hot water on Shabbat.” From here we learn the principle of ein bishul ahar bishul (one does not violate the Biblical prohibition of cooking when reheating food that has already been cooked).…

Is There Anything I May Do on Shabbat to Prepare for Yom Tov?

Rabbi Dov Linzer (Posted on May 16, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

  This weekend, we will celebrate another marathon holiday – Shabbat followed by Shavuot. Shavuot, occurring later in spring, presents its own challenges of time: each day of the holiday, as with all yamim tovim, does not begin until dark, but as preparing for one day of the holiday on the previous one (or on Shabbat for Yom Tov) is forbidden, any preparations not done before the holiday may not begin until very late in the evening.…

Is My Electric Shaver Kosher?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on May 3, 2018

QUESTION:  Can I shave with an electric shaver and are all models permissible? ANSWER:  In two separate verses, the Torah prohibits men to shave their beards.  In parashat Kedoshim, the Torah states: “You shall not destroy (tashchit) the corners of your beards,” (Vayikra 19:27). …

Rachel’s Cry: Single Women and Pru U’rvu

Amy Pollak (Posted on May 2, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

To read this teshuva in hebrew click here: Should community resources be allocated to help an older single woman become pregnant using artificial insemination?[1] Rav Shlomo Aviner addresses this question as follows: Question: A single woman, about forty years old, who realistically doesn’t expect to marry and wishes, with all her soul, to have a child to love and devote herself  to – is she permitted halakhically to use artificial insemination to bear a child?…

May a Husband Give His Wife Supportive Touch During Childbirth? – Part 2

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 26, 2018

May a husband hold his wife’s hand or give her a massage during childbirth, according to halakhah?  We began to answer this question last week and came to the following interim conclusions: A pregnant woman is not considered to be in niddah until either she experiences uterine bleeding (distinct from mere stains), or until a limb of the baby emerges from the womb. …

May a Husband Give His Wife Supportive Touch During Childbirth?  – Part 1

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 19, 2018

QUESTION:  I am nine months pregnant, and my husband and I have been doing Lamaze classes to prepare for the birth of our baby.  Part of the Lamaze method includes pressure massage and massage of the abdomen.  I have been told, though, that it is forbidden by halakhah for my husband to do this because I will be in niddah at that time. …

Rachel’s Cry: Single Women and Pru U’rvu (Hebrew)

Amy Pollak (Posted on April 19, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

To read this teshuva in english click here:…

May My Toddler Drink Milk When She is Eating Meat or Is Treif Food Bad For Your Soul?

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on April 12, 2018

QUESTION:  My daughter recently turned one year old.  For children of her age, it is recommended that they consume 16 ounces of whole milk a day.  It is hard to get my daughter to drink milk when she is not eating. …

Midnight Approaches and I haven’t Eaten the Afikomen

Kyra Young (Posted on March 28, 2018)
From the Lindenbaum Center for Halakhic Studies

This teshuvah is the fifth in a new series of teshuvot related to the yamim tovim. Each teshuvah is introduced with a small biography of the author, and teshuvot are chosen to reflect a diverse range of halakhic approaches featuring pre-modern and modern poskim from different geographical areas.…

May Kohanim Become Doctors – Part 2

by Rabbi Dov LinzerPosted on March 22, 2018

Two weeks ago we began to explore the question of whether kohanim may become doctors according to halakhah.   We noted that three halakhic arguments could be advanced to question the applicability of this prohibition to the case at hand: (1) Kohanim nowadays are only presumed (hazakha) to be kohanim and might only have the status of doubtful (safek) kohanim; (2) If we are all presumed to be tamei nowadays, then, according to Ra’avad, kohanim do not violate a Biblical prohibition by becoming tamei again by a corpse; (3) According to Yereim, it is not a violation for kohanim to become tamei by the corpse of a non-Jew. …