Take the 2-minute tour ×
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.

Rabbeinu Gershom issued a Cherem (ban) on unauthorized reading of private letters.

I would like to know how books which contain private correspondence or sh'elos us'shuvos between Rabbis and other people are published?

share|improve this question
    
The sefer Igros Moshe is just the responses; the original questions are omitted for assumedly precisely this reason. –  Tatpurusha Apr 24 at 18:48
    
@Tatpurusha and the assumption is that Rav Moshe gave expressed permission to publish all these letters even those which were subsequently published after he passed away? –  user5092 Apr 24 at 19:39
1  
I sure hope so... –  Tatpurusha Apr 24 at 21:14

1 Answer 1

With regards to private letters, generally with permission from both sides. That is how the Lubavitcher Rebbe's letters are published. You even see parts redacted at the request of the recipient.

Regarding sh'elos us'shuvos: Embarrassing someone in public was already ossur before Rabbeinu Gershom. But if the information does not have that concern, the cherim is only on curiosity looking, and only if it doesn't have a spiritual purpose. Publishing Torah is certainly a purpose for which the Cherim does not apply (as described in your link):

This is if doing so will help the person who's privacy is being invaded, or others, in a physical or spiritual manner. In such situations, the Cherem of Rabbeinu Gershom was never instituted, and it is absolutely permitted to do so.

share|improve this answer
    
and letters published after either party has passed away would be inadmissible then or perhaps the cherem wouldn't apply because there is no privacy concern for someone once that person is deceased? –  user5092 Apr 24 at 18:20
    
Really? Every letter in a sh'elos us'shuvos book is published with the recipient's permission? –  msh210 Apr 24 at 18:45
    
@msh210 I too was skeptical of this answer, but if a source was provided I think that would make it much better. –  user5092 Apr 24 at 19:39
    
@msh210, sh'elos us'shuvos מאן דכר שמיה? –  Yishai Apr 25 at 13:45
    
Yishai, the original question. –  msh210 Apr 25 at 13:52

Your Answer

 
discard

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