Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

The Brain Death Debate: A Methodological Analysis (Part 3b—Rabbi Moshe Feinstein) by Daniel Reifman

June 26, 2011 by  
Filed under New Posts

[Click on these links for Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3a] Determining death in trauma victims In our last post, we saw that Rabbi Feinstein considers the interaction between different bodily functions central to the way we determine the moment of death.  This is a more nuanced and complicated approach than that proposed by [...]

The Brain Death Debate: A Methodological Analysis (Part 3a—Rabbi Moshe Feinstein) by Daniel Reifman

June 9, 2011 by  
Filed under Halakha, New Posts

[Click on these links for Part 1 and Part 2] Rabbi Moshe Feinstein was one of the very few contemporary poskim with sufficient stature to potentially resolve the contemporary halakhic dispute over brainstem death.  That Rabbi Feinstein’s position on this issue has become the subject of intense debate is particularly unfortunate.  It is also highly uncharacteristic: [...]

The Brain Death Debate: A Methodological Analysis – Part 2 (Hatam Sofer)

March 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Halakha, New Posts

The Enlightenment severely altered our conception of how the body functions, so it’s not surprising that the sources that figure prominently in the debate over brain death begin to accumulate only in the early modern period.  The teshuvah of Hakham Zevi that we cited in the previous post was largely a reaction to the way [...]

The Brain Death Debate: A Methodological Analysis – Part 1 (Yoma Passage) by Daniel Reifman

January 16, 2011 by  
Filed under Halakha, New Posts

At the end of last year, the Halakha Committee (Vaad Halakha) of the Rabbinical Council of America released an educational paper which opposed the halakhic recognition of brain death, bringing the long-simmering debate over this issue to a boil once again.  The paper is most directly a belated response to the RCA Executive Committee’s acceptance [...]

Land and Sea, Natural and Supernatural in the Book of Jonah

September 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Holidays, Tanach

Land and Sea, Natural and Supernatural in the Book of Jonah by Daniel Reifman  Like many texts that have been incorporated into the liturgy, the book of Jonah seems inseparable from the time it is read in the synagogue: the afternoon of Yom Kippur. As the day draws to a close, our thoughts turn to [...]

On (Not) Understanding the Reasons Behind Rabbinic Prohibitions: The Case of Teaching Shehiyah

August 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Education, Halakha, Talmud

 On (Not) Understanding The Reasons Behind Rabbinic Prohibitions:  The Case of Teaching Shehiyah by Daniel Reifman Teachers of Halakhah are often torn between conflicting agendas: on the one hand, to ensure that students have mastered all the laws relevant to contemporary observance, on the other hand, to familiarize them with a sense of the background—both the [...]