The Grape Leaves Of Wrath

Our previous post discussed various applications of the idea that מקום הניחו לי אבותי להתגדר בו. One particularly far-reaching and controversial application of the principle is by Rav Avraham Laniado, brother of the Syrian rabbi Rav Refael Shlomo Laniado, in the context of the great eighteenth century controversy among Sephardic authorities over whether there was […]

Automatic Agency

My weekly halachah column for parashas Shelah: Parashas Shelach (15:21) contains the commandment to separate challah: “Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto Hashem an heave offering in your generations.” The challah that is separated is given to a Cohen; in contemporary times, it is burned. Normally, separating challah is the prerogative […]

Terminally Ill Animals and Dead Horses

Rashba and Rivash A celebrated assertion of a conclusive presumption in Halachah is the position of Rashba and Rivash that Hazal’s declaration that a טריפה cannot live more than twelve months is absolutely and indubitably true, and that if witnesses testify to a counterexample, we flatly deny their assertion, maintaining that Hazal are certainly correct […]