I'd like a recommendation as to a set of responsa (shailos & teshuvos) that would be manageable for a "beginner," i.e., someone who after several years of hard work can generally make his way through the chumash and tannaitic literature, and (with additional effort and dictionary assistance) the more accessible parts of the Shulchan Aruch, but gets easily lost in the Talmud and is nowhere near the level of Tosfos.
I have no preference as to time period or geographic region. However, what I would prefer is the following:
- It is written in an engaging, perhaps entertaining style, succinct rather than long-winded (I'm thinking something akin to the Ra'avad's commentary to the Mishneh Torah).
- The author is well-known in Orthodox circles. (If I'm going to read one responsa collection, I'd rather it not be obscure.)
- It is printed in clear square font rather than Rashi script, with at least minimal punctuation.
- It has minimal roshei teivos. In other words, not like this: (ומשני דס"ל כירושלמי דפליג ארב הונא והמנהג וס"ל כרנב"י ע"כ יש לנו לפסוק כרנב"י וק"ל, from a Responsa of the Remah on Sefaria).
- Similarly, citations to the Tanakh, Talmud, or other authorities are not so truncated or opaque that only someone with a Yeshiva background (which I lack) would follow the thread.
- If it contains cross-references in the style of Ein Mishpat or Masoret HaShas, that would be an added bonus but not a requirement.
The choice may come down to the right publisher. For example, I recently purchased this set of the Mekhilta from Zichron Aharon, which has all the roshei teivos expanded and is printed in a nice clear font on high-quality paper, with a masoret, making it a joy to learn from for a beginner. Totally different genre, but that's the idea.
I also understand that there are many responsa on line (e.g., on Sefaria), but I only like to learn using books. I'm also not interested in a set containing an English translation -- I like the challenge of trying to decode the meaning on my own.
Thanks! If I can provide additional clarification, I'd be happy to do so in comments.