Pulling Permits For A Sukkah

Here is my weekly halachah column for Sukkos: The Torah reading for Shemini Atzeres (Devarim 16:13) contains the commandment: “chag ha’Sukkos ta’aseh lecha shivas yamim” (You shall make the festival of Sukkos for a seven day period). The Talmud understands the word lecha to mean that a sukkah must be one’s own: R. Eliezer rules […]

Schuhe and Handschuhe

My weekly halachah column: In Megilas Rus (4:7), it is recorded that: “Formerly, this was done in cases of redemption and exchange transactions to validate any matter: One would draw off his shoe (na’alo), and give it to the other. This was the process of ratification in Israel.”1 While many have understood this verse as […]

Visiting Virtually Via Video

I recently encountered what is likely one of the earliest halachic discussions of personal videotelephony – by Rav Yitzchok Yaakov Weiss (the מנחת יצחק), in a responsum to the prolific rabbinic correspondent R. Shalom Yechezkel Shraga Rubin Halberstam (the “Ciechanówer Rebbe”), regarding ביקור חולים – in 5716 (1956)! חכם עדיף מנביא: אולם בנוגע לנידון דידן […]