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 […]

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

My Fundamental Principle of Parshanus: Any exegetical idea not explicitly contradicted by the Biblical text (and even many that are!) will be proposed by at least one commentator. Here’s a classic example; Rav Shlomo Alkabez cites the suggestions of one R. Yitzhak Cohen that there was actually no royal fiat demanding the girls’ participation in […]