Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I was recently reading a Halachically Speaking article and noticed that in many places in the footnotes, a reference to an OU Document is made. For example:

Refer to OU Document A-94

Is this some sort of internal document, or is there a well-known place one can access these documents?

share|improve this question

I'm guessing that it's a semi-internal system that you can probably find out more about by contacting the OU. If it's referenced in a book, the OU must have some sort of research library. I couldn't find anything on the OU's website, but a quick google search of "OU Document A-94" led to this PDF, which refers to the document which you mention in footnote 31. The footnote reads:

Horav Yisroel Belsky Shlita. Refer to OU Document A-94, see Pischei Halacha (Kashrus) page 118:3 quoting the opinion of the author of the Be’er Moshe (Stern), Bishul Yisroel pages 177-178, Teshuvos from Horav Falk in sefer ibid: pages 29-31.

I don't know for sure the document is available, but that footnote ought to give you some other places to continue your research.

EDIT:

I've emailed the OU and they sent me the document. I've left it in my public Dropbox folder, here. This doesn't answer the question of how their catalog is set up, but this should help you.

share|improve this answer
1  
That PDF appears to be a carbon copy of my original PDF... – yydl Oct 7 '11 at 2:53
1  
Oh, well, I'm emailing the OU at the moment, so, we shall see if they can shed light. Also, a mutual friend of ours (who binds books) might be able to pull weight at the OU and find out more, if I can't. – Moshe Oct 7 '11 at 2:54
    
Did they by any chance tell you where they're kept? Irony: this new document references yet another document in their footnotes... – yydl Oct 11 '11 at 17:07
    
No they did not. I emailed a certain Rabbi Grossman. His contact information is on the OU website. – Moshe Oct 17 '11 at 17:28

I believe it is an internal system innovated years ago by Moreinu HaRav Dovid Mintz, shlit"a, as an attempt to organize the responsa, etc. of the poskim of the OU on halachic issues to indicate what are the official halachic positions of the O-U. (Note that it can only work where the O-U's policies are actually consistent and based on halachic rulings of their poskim, as opposed to policies based on other concerns such as chodosh.)

share|improve this answer
    
Why can't it work for policies based on fiscal concerns? Is it not just a catalog of positions? – Double AA Feb 1 at 23:24
    
Halachic positions/rulings, not extralegal motivations. – Loewian Feb 2 at 1:46
    
So it could work for any position, just they choose to limit it to Halachic motivations? Or are you just making up what they do and do not include in those documents? – Double AA Feb 2 at 4:02
    
I've never worked at the OU nor do I have regular access to the documents. My understanding, however, is that they were created as a way to try and keep a relatively consistent psak halacha. I believe people used to ask the OU about their halachik policy with regard to specific rulings and the OU unfortunately didn't have clear answers and/or a consistent approach. The documentation system innovated by Rabbi Mintz was meant to address this issue. This was to my knowledge a halachic system, not a general policy system. – Loewian Feb 2 at 14:41
    
I.e. each document effectively serves as a formal ruling. This isn't to say that it says "we pasken x on issue y". Rather, it might contain the final teshuvot of the OU's 3 poskim on an issue. (I've seen for example one document where Rav Schechter sent a shayla regarding contemporary dairy to Rav Nachum Rabinovitch. No answer was included in the document presumably because Rav Schechter was not convinced by his response and "paskened" the original safek. Likely this was outvoted by Rav Belsky, z"l, and y"l, Rabbi Genack. – Loewian Feb 2 at 14:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.