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 […]

Can Demons Use the Telephone?

Ray Parker Jr. advises anyone worried about possibly paranormal phenomena to seek professional help (lyrics, audio): If there’s something strange in your neighborhood Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! If there’s something weird and it don’t look good Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! I ain’t afraid of no ghost I ain’t afraid of no ghost If […]