Questions about halachic deciders and their rulings.

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1answer
54 views

How could (or why did) Raba follow Rav's stringencies but not his leniencies?

Eruvin 6 amud 2 says someone who follows the stringencies of Bes Shamay and of Bes Hilel is a fool walking in darkness: rather, it says, one should follow the one or the other, both when it is lenient ...
4
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1answer
75 views

Contemporary leniencies regarding the prohibition(s) of new grain

Since Talmudic times, Rabbinic scholars have grappled with the apparent contradiction between the Biblical and/or Rabbinic prohibition(s) of chodosh (new grain grown since Passover) and the common ...
3
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1answer
56 views

Berur halachah - what is this called in English?

I'm translating an article concerning the need for a "berur halachah" in order to determine the legal status of individuals with mental retardation. How would say "berur halachah" in English? ...
3
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1answer
199 views

Why is semicha specifically to ordain a Rabbi to give psak?

Was the original process of semicha merely intended to provide reliable decisors of halacha only? Nowadays can a Rav get semicha in Tanach or Talmud (for example)? Since, perhaps, these days the ...
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78 views

Is becoming a “Talmid HaRambam” limited to the Rambam?

This answer explains (very nicely) the justification and practice of those who consider themselves followers of the Rambam, as opposed to any other opinion. In the cited responsa of the Beis Yosef, ...
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132 views

Do Sepharadim celebrate Thanksgiving?

A good deal of ink has been spilled in the past century regarding the permissibility and appropriateness of American Jews celebrating Thanksgiving. For the most part, Ashkenazim are split, with some ...
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50 views

What is the history of the terms Posek and Psak Halacha?

From my searches, the Tanach does not have the term Psak or Posek in it. Many questions here related to questions on psak quote the Rambam, but those sections refer to Horyaot, or Divrei Halacha, or ...
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44 views

Can a Yachid follow his own opinion in a Tzibbur?

The Gemara in Yevamos (13b) says that there is a prohibition to make "Agudos Agudos", different groups of people following different rulings. However, the Gemara says that this is forbidden only if ...
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92 views

What to do when the Rabbi is on vacation

If a person has one Rabbi to whom they ask all of their questions, and that person is unreachable, for whatever reason, and an urgent, time-sensitive question arises, what should their course of ...
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84 views

At what point can you assume senility?

In my experience it is rare to see a Rosh Yeshiva or other prominent Rabbi declared to be senile and no longer working at full mental capacity. Recently such a proclamation was made about one Rosh ...
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134 views

makhloket poskim and hatarat nedarim

Recently, the OU decided to certify quinoa for Pesach. Formerly, the OU held by the view of Rav Yisroel Belsky that quinoa is kitniyot, or at least that Rav Belsky's view created sufficient doubt to ...
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161 views

How did the modern day Beis Hora'ah phenomenon develop?

Here in Eretz Yisrael, we find Batei Hora'ah in many cities - places where a moreh hora'ah sits either during special times or perhaps the whole day or different rabbonim throughout the day answering ...
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59 views

Picking and choosing Hashkafa

Can one decide to follow for example the Rambam's more rational Hashkafic approach and then the Ramban for other Hashkafic ideas even though they clearly disagree? I've heard that by practical ...
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76 views

Ruling of the Chazon Ish on expelling an at-risk-of-nonobservance bad influence

In HaRav Aharon Feldman shlita book, "The Eye of the Storm", in the chapter entitled, "The Chazon Ish", Rav Feldman lists some questions that were asked to the Chazon Ish. One of them is, May a Rosh ...
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27 views

Codifying in a variant-text based machlokes

The בית חדש in O.C. 168 writes the following: אלא דלהלכה ודאי במידי דתליא בגירסאות אזלינן לחומרא הכי והכי In something which is dependent on variant texts we are stringent in both directions. ...
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41 views

Retroactively have to bring a chatas

Suppose one does an act on shabbas about which there is a machlokes whether it is forbidden d'oraysia or not (perhaps even a posek holds it is permitted). This person does the act regardless, but then ...
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105 views

How does one 'learn' how to paskin?

When a person goes through smicha (in order to become a Rabbi) they learn (at least) the laws of kashrus. Depending on the program this can include more or less amounts of information (more or less ...
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82 views

Are Yoetzet Halacha permitted according to halacha?

Recently, in certain segments of the modern orthodoxy there have been appointments of Yoetzet Halacha, a woman specially trained to assist woman with questions in Hilchos Neda. Is this permissible ...
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77 views

Lomdus and Halacha

To what degree are the works of R. Chaim Soloveichik and other 19th and 20th century "lamdanim" reckoned with by poskim? I.e. are they generally accepted as providing correct interpretations of Gemara ...
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43 views

Psak halacha from a havah amina in the Gemara

The Gemara will often begin a sugya with an initial understanding (havah aminah) of a mishnah or halacha and as the Gemara continues will change until it reaches the maskanah. Often, the maskana will ...
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63 views

D’oraita Sources for Halacha

We often see that the author of a p'sak maintains that a ruling is d’oraita even in cases when there is no link to any of the 613 mitzvot listed by Rambam, etc. Must every halacha ruled as a d’oraita ...
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85 views

teshuvot from poskim via email or text?

The Israeli dati-leumi/chardali posek Rav Shomo Aviner answers hundreds of text messages and emails a day, providing "mini-teshuvot" to any kind of question anyone wants to ask. Some of them are ...
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25 views

Prohibition of causing mitzta'er on Yom Tov

I have heard about a Biblical prohibition on causing oneself to suffer during Yom Tov. The example that always comes up for this mitzvah is the permission not to sleep in the sukkah if it causes one ...
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46 views

Same Rabbi (Posek) for husband and wife

Does a husband a wife need to have the same Rabbi (Posek) or can they have their own Rabbi's?
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49 views

CYLOR and Mesorah

Assume that someone has a she'elah, however their local rabbi does not follow their mesorah. How would one approach the issue of a psak? For example, let's say my LOR is a Chabad shaliach and I need ...