Questions tagged [posek-psak-decisor-ruling]

Questions about halachic deciders and their rulings.

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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 ...
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Discarding halachic rules on Ketubot 60b

In Masechet Ketubot, 60b there is a discussion of how long a nursing woman has to wait before being remarried. There are 2 opinions: R. Meir says 24 months (or 21 months as the problem with the milk ...
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Poskening Leniently

For situations where a Rav is searching for a lenient ruling, such as in cases of major financial loss or aguna, etc., what are the guidelines that he must follow? Is he allowed to rule like a single ...
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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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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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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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Questioner's liability for receiving a wrong psak

If someone asked a competent Rav a shaila, and the Rav was wrong, is the "questioner" liable? For example, if someone asked a Rav if one is permitted to water his plants on Shabbat and the Rav ...
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4 votes
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172 views

Is using the Internet OK?

What Poskim rule that the Internet is totally ok to use (without a filter)? What Poskim rule that's it's never ok to use? What Poskim say that you can use it, but with a filter?
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Why do we follow the "basra'a" - later one?

We know in Shas that in various situations, when there is a machlokes as to how to pasken, we follow the opinion of he that was chronologically later. (Ex. see Tosafos to B'rachos 13b s.v. Amar Rava.) ...
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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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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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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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When the Mishna Berurah quotes the Vilna Gaon, is he paskening like him?

The Shulchan Aruch in 47/1 says One who thinks about words of Torah does not need to say the blessings [of the Torah]. Similarly, one may pasken without giving the reason The Mishna Berurah ...
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Case Study: Kashrut of Tapioca Starch

I have heard different answers from representatives of the cRc and the Star-K regarding the kashrut of un-certified tapioca starch. While both agree that it requires a hechsher for Pessach, the Star-K ...
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3 votes
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Poskining like someone on their Yahrtzeit

I have heard in the name of Rav Yisroel Salanter that there is an inyan to poskin like a given posek on their Yahrtzeit, even if we would not poskin like them the rest of the year. Two questions: 1) ...
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Why Poskim don't work and write in groups?

At any given moment there are several leading (and hundreds of secondary) Rabbis and Poskim. Each one running his own Yeshivah, writing his books and issuing his own Psakim. I understood that the ...
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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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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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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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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? "...
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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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2 votes
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How do you decide who lives and who dies?

The Talmud [Bava Metzia 62a] teaches as follows. Two people are in a desert and only one of them has water. If both drink, both will die, but if only one drinks, he will survive and reach ...
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123 views

Epidemics and public torah study

In the current pandemic, there seem to be diverse opinions, both of medical/government officials and of religious leaders regarding communal gatherings for religious services. For example, some shuls ...
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2 votes
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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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2 votes
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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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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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2 votes
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56 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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2 votes
1 answer
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What gives a rav authority to grant his own semichah?

I have heard many stories about people receiving private semichah from rabbanim, even into the 20th century, under such figures as the Chofetz Chaim, R' Moshe Feinstein, and R' Isser Zalman Meltzer; a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
215 views

Picking and choosing Hashkafa

Can one decide to follow for example the Rambam's more rational Hashkafic approach and than the Ramban for other Hashkafic ideas even though they clearly disagree? I've heard that by practical Halacha ...
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What are the parameters of Meta Halachic principles?

In his book, The Narrow Halakhic Bridge Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth identifies a halachic category called meta-halacha (p. 249 and on) which he explains (I paraphrase) as principles a posek (decided of ...
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1 vote
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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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1 vote
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114 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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Are there any notable rabbis that ruled regarding Russian war in Ukraine?

Besides the political aspects of the Russian war in Ukraine, there is also a Halachic aspect. In particular, if the assault is unjustified, then a Jewish soldier serving in the Russian army in Ukraine ...
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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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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 ...
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