The Heart’s Pen

Our previous post discussed the question of whether a telephone conversation fulfills the mitzvah of ביקור חולים. Yesterday, while looking for something else entirely, I serendipitously encountered yet another important discussion of the question, by Rav Yosef Eliyahu Henkin, in which he follows the basic consensus of most poskim (with the exception of R. Asher …

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 …

Any Sufficiently Advanced Technology Is Indistinguishable From Magic (II)

For L.O. The Talmud relates: אמר רבא אי בעו צדיקי ברו עלמא שנאמר כי עונותיכם היו מבדילים וגו’ Rava says: If the righteous wish to do so, they can create a world, as it is stated: “But your iniquities have separated between you and your G-d.” In other words, there is no distinction between G-d …