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? "Clarification of the Halachah"? The idea, of course, is to go through the literature (Talmud, rishonim, achronim) to arrive at a modern ruling.

Thanks, Ilan

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    Good question, but probably belongs on Hebrew.SE. But la"d it could be "legal clarification" (literal), "due diligence" (impressionistic).
    – WAF
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 12:44
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    @WAF, there's no Hebrew.SE yet, only a proposal to create one. In any case, this is a question about terminology specifically about an aspect of Judaism, so it's on-topic here.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 14:29
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    @IsaacMoses That's why I didn't vote to migrate! On-topic there does not necessarily imply off-topic here (which probably contributes to that site having so much trouble existing).
    – WAF
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 14:46
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    @WAF I don't think MY's existence is really making it harder for H.SE to get born. If anything, we probably draw Hebrew-speakers to SE and to supporting that proposal who wouldn't otherwise be here. I think it's having trouble getting going because there are relatively few people in the world (and therefore, proportionally, on A51) who want to do Q&A about Hebrew, compared, say, to those who want to do so about Chinese or German. There just aren't that many Hebrew-speakers in the world.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 14:50
  • You probably have some sources on this already, but there have been a few questions on the topic here on MY -- those might help you with your article. Additionally, Rabbi Alfred Cohen has at least one (maybe more, I don't remember) article on this in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society. Good luck on your article!
    – MTL
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 16:36

1 Answer 1


I ran Google translate on ברר which means "find out" and ברור which means "clear".

Your description of the activity falls between these two explanations, as it appears that you're doing both. You're exploring the halacha as well as attempting to clarify how halacha clarifies the decisions made.

Tough call on this - perhaps "Halachic investigation", "exploration" or "discovery"?

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    "discovery" has very professional connotations.
    – WAF
    Commented Dec 23, 2014 at 18:03

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