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Must God’s Name Be Written
in English as G-d? Responsa in a Moment: Volume 15, No. 2, February, 2021

Miscellaneous
Responsa by David Golinkin

(Yoreh Deah 276:9 and 179:8 in the Shakh subparag. 11; Hoshen Mishpat 27:1)

In memory of my father-in-law 
Daniel Rotnemer z”l 
on his 25th yahrzeit.

Question from four rabbis/laypeople from Israel and the United States: It is common practice among many Jews, especially Orthodox Jews, to write G-d instead of God. Is there any halakhic basis for this practice? Should it be followed?

Responsum: Indeed, this is not only the custom among English-speaking Jews. We will see testimony below that some Jews wrote “Allah” in an abbreviated fashion in Judeo-Arabic in Genizah fragments, “B-g” instead of “Bog” in Russian and Polish in the 17th century, and “G-tt” instead of “Gott” in German and Yiddish in the 19th-20th centuries. In addition, until today, some French-speaking Jews write God’s name as D.ieu, D’, D., or D….

The Jewish people have always taken the name of God very seriously. It says in the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:7) “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain [or: you shall not swear falsely by the name of the Lord your God].” As a result, Jews were always very reluctant to take an oath. The Torah also forbids cursing God, which is punishable by death (Leviticus 24:10-23; cf. Exodus 22:27 and Job 2:9). Indeed, there is a famous responsum by the Rosh, Rabbeinu Asher (Germany and Toledo, ca. 1250-1327) about a Jew in Cordoba who cursed God in Arabic and the Rosh recommended that he be punished by severe physical punishment (Responsa Rosh 17:8). Finally, “Rav said: a person who hears the pronunciation of God’s name from his fellow, must excommunicate him… for every place where the unnecessary mention of the Divine Name is found, there poverty is found.” (Nedarim 7b; codified by the Rambam, Hilkhot Talmud Torah 6:14).

Now let us return to our specific question re writing God’s name in languages other than Hebrew. At the outset, I want to explain that I will not differentiate in this responsum between writing God’s name by hand, in print or on a computer. Since computers came into common use in the 1980s, there has been much disagreement as to whether writing on a computer or a smartphone is actually considered writing.(1) In general, I agree with those who say that it is writing, since, today, this is the main form of writing used by a large percentage of people on earth. On the other hand, I was lenient regarding this issue before Pesah 5780 (2020) in order to find a way for people to participate in a Seder via zoom.(2) However that was bishat hadehak, in an emergency situation, which is obviously not the case under discussion here.

The main issue regarding this question is whether God‘s name in a foreign language is still considered God’s name, or is it only a kinuy, a substitute for the Divine Name, or perhaps it is simply a word devoid of any sanctity. This has been a subject of debate since the medieval period.

 

I. The basic texts which forbid erasing God’s names

It says in Deuteronomy 12:3-4:

Tear down their altars… and cut down the images of their gods, and you shall obliterate their name from that site. You shall not do so to the Lord your God…

This was explained as follows in the Tannaitic midrash, Sifrei Devarim (paragraph 61, ed. Finkelstein, p. 127):

Rabbi Yishmael says: From whence do we derive that a person who erases one letter from God’s name transgresses a negative commandment? As it is written: and you shall obliterate their name from that site. You shall not do so to the Lord your God…

In this midrash, which appears with variations in many other rabbinic sources (3) and which was codified by Maimonides (Hilkhot Yesodei Hatorah 6:1), Rabbi Yishmael learns from the juxtaposition of verses 3 and 4 that it’s forbidden to erase even one letter from the Name of God.

Yet these passages do not define “the Name of God”. That definition is found in a baraita, a teaching of the Tannaim, found in Shevuot 35a:

There are names [of God] which are erased and names which are not erased. What are the names which are not erased? [Names] such as: E-l, E-lohekha… Sha-dai, Tze-vaot…, these are not erased.

Maimonides (loc. cit. 6:2) and the Tur and Shulhan Arukh (Yoreh Deah 276:9) codified this list. Rabbi Yosef Karo writes: “It is forbidden to erase even one letter from the seven names which are not erased… and these are the seven names… and some add …”.

Finally, some of the poskim (halakhic authorities) we shall cite below quote Rosh Hashanah 18b:(4)

[It says in Megillat Ta’anit, a late Second Temple period Aramaic list of days when it’s forbidden to fast:] “On the third of Tishrei, the mention of God’s name was eliminated from legal contracts.” [The Talmud then explains in Hebrew:] For the Greek Kingdom made a decree not to mention God’s name in their mouths. And when the Kingdom of the Hasmoneans defeated them, they made a decree that they should mention God’s name even in legal contracts and this is what they used to write: “in the year so-and-so of the Yohanan the High Priest of E-l E-lyon [=God, the Most High]. And when the Sages heard this, they said: tomorrow this one will repay his debt and the contract will be found thrown in the dunghill, and [therefore] they did away with this practice, and that day they made a festival.

It’s clear from the above sources that, according to Jewish law, it’s forbidden to erase even one letter of the seven names of God and therefore Jews were always very reluctant to write the names of God in Hebrew except in the Bible, the Siddur and other sacred texts. This is why Jews write the letter heh (ה’) and many other abbreviations for the name of God (5) and why when sacred texts become worn out they are buried or placed in a genizah.

The question is whether the sanctity of the seven names of God in Hebrew extends to translations of those names.

 

II. God’s name in other languages is not holy

Most of the poskim who have dealt with our topic ruled that God’s name in other languages is not holy and may be erased:

  1. The Rambam wrote many of his writings in Judeo-Arabic, including his Commentary to the Mishnah, The Guide for the Perplexedand many of his responsa. Prof. Mordechai Akiva Friedman, winner of the Israel Prize in Jewish History, is one of the world’s leading experts in Judeo-Arabic, the Rambam and the Cairo Genizah. I asked him whether the Rambam and other Jews in the world of the Cairo Genizah wrote the name “Allah” in Judeo-Arabic or used abbreviations. He was kind enough to send me one of his books, where he wrote:

In general, they wrote “Allah” in full in Judeo-Arabic, though in a few manuscripts we find various forms of abbreviations due to the sanctity of [God’s] name even in other languages… This is an excessive stringency, which was not accepted as the halakhah for future generations… As is well-known, thanks to the [Cairo] Genizah, we have in our possession today many writings written by Maimonides himself, including secular letters, and in them he wrote ‘Allah’ in full…

In other words, Maimonides himself, who was very strict regarding writing the name of God in Hebrew, wrote ‘Allah’ in full when writing in Judeo-Arabic.(6)

  1. Rabbi Shimon bar Zemah Duran, the Rashbatz (Spain and Algeria, 1361- 1444; Responsa Hatashbatz,Part 1, No. 2, ed. Kattan, Jerusalem, 1998, p. 36) was asked whether a teacher can write verses on a slate for the sake of children who do not own a copy of the Torah and erase the verses at the end of the week to make room for the next week. In his lengthy responsum (14 columns!), he touches briefly upon our topic:

…or they [=the verses] are written in Aramaic and the names of God are translated [into Aramaic], for they can be erased, for there is no prohibition to erase except for the seven names [of God] which are explicitly stated in [Shevuot 35a as above]. And if it was forbidden to erase Aramaic [names of God] there would be more than [seven listed], and an Aramaic translation of God’s names is not preferable [in sanctity] to other kinuyim [such as Gadol, Gibor, Nora, Adir etc.], which may be erased, as it says there [at the end of the baraita]. And the Rambam z”l wrote [Hilkhot Shevuot 2:2] that the names [of God] in other languages are considered kinuyim regarding oaths.

In other words, the names of God in Aramaic and other languages may be erased and, at most, are considered like kinuyim or substitutes for the Divine Name.

  1. Rabbi Shabbetai ben Meir Hakohen, the Shakh (Poland, Vilna, 1621-1662) related to our topic in the Shakh to Yoreh Deah179:8, subparagraph 11. Rabbi Yosef Karo rules there that one who whispers over a wound and spits and then recites a verse from the Torah, has no place in the World to Come. Rabbi Moshe Isserles adds that if one recites the verse in another language, it’s permissible. After commenting on that topic, the Shakh adds:

but the Name [of God] in Hebrew is ]the[ Name, but in a secular language, it’s not a Name at all, … for it’s permissible to erase a Name which is written in a secular language, such as “Gott” in German or “Bog” in Polish and Russian and the like…

  1. Rabbi Yair Hayyim Bacharach (Germany, 1638-1702) dealt with our topic in his responsa (Havot Yair, 109 [first edition, No. 106]). He was asked about how to treat printed books which contain God’s name. He says regarding our topic: “for if [he wrote] in ketav galahut[i.e., Latin letters](7) or in Teitsch [=Judeo-German, Yiddish] ‘Gott’, I would not imagine that anyone in the world would think that it contains holiness”. 
  1. Rabbi Akiva Eiger (Germany, 1761-1837) related to our topic in two places. In his novellae to Yoreh Deah 276:9, he writes: “And if they [=the names of God] are written in other languages, they are considered like kinuyim – Tashbatz (part I, No. 2)…”. In other words, he rules like the Tashbatz above that the name of God written in other languages is considered like a kinuy and may be erased. He says the same thing at length in his Responsa, No. 25.
  1. Rabbi Shlomo Eiger his son (Poland, 1786-1852) rules like the Shakh in his Gilyon Maharshato Yoreh Deah 276: “And if it [=God’s name] was written in a secular language, such as ‘Gott’ in German, he is allowed to erase it, and cf. paragraph 179 in the Shakh, subparagraph 11”.
  1. Rabbi Yisrael Meir Hacohen (Radin, Lithuania, 1838-1933) dealt with our topic briefly in his classic commentary to the Shulhan Arukh – Mishnah Berurah, Orah Hayyim85, subparagraph 10. He rules there that one may not say the name of God in a bathroom or unclean place “even in another language such as Gott in German/Yiddish or Boga in Polish and Russian and the like, for even though this name has no sanctity in the letters of its writing and it’s permissible to erase it, even so, it’s a disgrace to mention it in an unclean place…”.
  1. Rabbi Hayyim Ozer Grodzinsky (Vilna, 1863-1940), the most important respondent in Lithuania before the Shoah, dealt with our topic at length in his Responsa Ahiezer(Part 3, Vilna, 1939, no. 32). He was asked in 1930 about the German Jewish newspaper Der Israelit, published by Orthodox Jews from 1860-1938, where they wrote “Gott” in German without any abbreviation. After going back and forth between many of the lenient sources quoted above as well as the stricter sources we shall quote below, he writes that it might have been better from the outset for Der Israelit to call God “Der ewiger Schopfer” [=The Eternal Creator] or to do as is the custom by us to write “G-t” or to do whatever necessary to deal with those who are objecting. And the reason that the righteous Rabbi Marcus Lehmann did not worry about this fifty years ago when he founded the newspaper was because newspapers then were important and not widespread and people treated them with respect [and did not throw them in the garbage]. And if it’s difficult for the newspaper to change its custom, it would be good to announce in the newspaper that people should not treat it with disrespect because of the verses and Divrei Torah, and if they do so, the custom will remain as it has been until now regarding writing the Name in German.

This lengthy apologetic is not convincing. Rabbi Marcus Lehmann, who founded and published Der Israelit from 1860-1890, was a well-known Orthodox Jew. He wrote “Gott,” in the newspaper because, as the Shakh and Rabbi Bachrach stated above, it never occurred to him or to most other Jews that one must treat God’s name in other languages as holy. It is clear from the question at the beginning of this responsum that by 1930, there was pressure to force Jews to write “G-tt”. Therefore, after showing that there is really no problem, Rabbi Grodzinsky wrote the apologetic paragraph at the end of his responsum.

  1. Rabbi Solomon Freehof (Pittsburgh, 1892-1990) was the leading posekof the Reform movement from ca. 1940 until his death. He ruled leniently regarding our topic (Recent Reform Responsa, 1963, No. 9) on the basis of five of the sources quoted above.
  1. Rabbi Walter Jacob (born 1930) served as Rabbi Freehof’s successor, both at Rodef Shalom in Pittsburgh and as head of the CCAR Responsa Committee. In his Questions and Reform Jewish Answers(New York, 1992, Nos. 143-144) he dealt primarily with the question as to whether a computer or computer disk which contain God’s name must be treated with the same reverence as the Hebrew Bible. Nonetheless, he states tangentially in both responsa that “the misuse of the name of God” does “not extend to transliterations or translations”.
  1. Rabbi Louis Jacobs (London, 1920-2006), one of the leading rabbis in England and the founder of the English Masorti Movement, wrote anonymous responsa for many years in The London Jewish Chronicle entitled “Ask the Rabbi”. He published some of them under his name as Ask the Rabbi (London, Portland, 1999). He rules there (p. 56) according to the Shakh “so there is no need for the current absurdity of writing G-d or Al-ty [=Almighty]. To do so is to be guilty of super-piety, discouraged by the rabbis”.
  1. Rabbi Kassel Abelson (born before 1930), Chair of the CJLS of the Conservative Movement for many years, wrote a brief responsum on our topic in 1995, which was approved unanimously by the CJLS. He ruled that it’s permissible to write “God” and similar names in English in full, basing himself primarily on the Shakh. (CJLS, Responsa 1991-2000, NY, 2002, pp. 151-152; also on the CJLS website: YD 276.1995).
  1. Finally, Rabbi Aviad Stollman (born 1974) is a communal rabbi in Efrat, Israel who also holds a Ph.D. in Talmud. In his responsum regarding erasing God’s name from a computer screen, he agrees with the Shakh that it’s permissible to erase God’s name in non-Hebraic languages (Responsa Peleh Yoeitz, Jerusalem, 2011, No. 58).

Thus we see that most poskim ruled that the names of God in other languages have no sanctity and are, at most, kinuyim for God.

 

III. God‘s name in other languages is holy 

  1. As we have seen above, a small number of Genizah fragments contain abbreviated versions of the word “Allah” in Judeo-Arabic. Thus, the authors or copyists of those manuscripts considered the word “Allah” in Arabic to be holy and they abbreviated it in the same way that they abbreviated God’s names in Hebrew (see Prof. Friedman cited above, note 6).
  1. Rabbi Isaiah ben Eliyahu Di Trani “the Younger”, also known as Rabbeinu Yishayahu Aharon z”l, the Riaz (Italy, died ca. 1280) wrote halakhic rulings to many tractates of the Talmud, which were published for the first time from manuscripts together with Piskei Haridby his grandfather in the years 1964-2011. In Piskei Hariaz to tractate Shabbat (Chapter 16, halakhah 1, paragraph 8,  Jerusalem, 1964, col. 215) he writes:

And it should be asked about the books of the Gentiles which they write today in their languages, and they are our Holy Writings [=the Tanakh], if they require genizah… and if one should worry about God’s name in them not to swear falsely by them and not to erase them, for one who erases the Name [of God] transgresses – and it appears to me to be strict about this, as explained in Kuntress Hari’ayot [=A Booklet of Proofs].

The Riaz asked whether God’s name in translation has the same sanctity as God’s name in Hebrew and he ruled that we should be strict about this. Unfortunately, his Kuntress Hari’ayot has only survived on four tractates, not including Shabbat, so we do not know why he decided to rule strictly. Even though Piskei Hariaz containing this passage was only published in 1964, it was nonetheless known from a quotation by Rabbi Yehoshua Boaz (Italy, 16th century) in his Shiltei Hagiborim to the Rif (on Shabbat, Chapter 16, ed. Vilna, fol. 43a), which was then quoted in an abbreviated fashion by the Magen Avraham (Rabbi Avraham Gumbiner, Poland 1637-1683; to Orah Hayyim 334, subparagraph 17).

  1. The Rambam ruled (Hilkhot Shevuot2:2) on the basis of Yerushalmi Shevout 3:8 that if a Jew takes an oath using one of God’s kinuyim such as hanun or rahum or in any other language, it’s considered a valid oath. Similarly, he ruled (Hilkhot Sanhedrin 26:3) that a Jew who curses receives lashes whether he uses one of God’s names in Hebrew (see above), a kinuy such as hanun, or God’s name in any other language (see above), since God’s name in any other language is like all the kinuyim. The latter ruling was paraphrased by Rabbi Yosef Karo in Shulhan Arukh Hoshen Mishpat 27:1.

Rabbi Yehonatan Eibeschutz (Prague, Metz, Altona, 1690/95-1764) commented on the latter source in his Urim V’tumim ad loc. (in the Urim section to Hoshen Mishpat 27, subparagraph 2, ed. Dubnow, 1806, fols. 52b and 53b):

And due to our many sins, most of the masses are not careful and they say in German (or Yiddish): “God should punish him! God should strike him!” and they transgress a negative commandment in the Torah. And in any case, due to our many sins, they are not careful [about cursing] with a kinuy, and they think that what is written or said in a Gentile language is only an adjective and they are mistaken.

And they write in all their correspondence (8) “adieu” and in French this is a kinuy which means “with God” (9) and “it is thrown in the dunghill” (Rosh Hashanah 18b quoted above) and the Sages already made a festival that the Name of God should not be mentioned in contracts “because tomorrow this one will repay his debt and the contract will be found thrown in the dunghill” (ibid.). And now, due to our many sins, they learned from the actions of Gentiles and the matter has returned to its disgrace in the extreme… and this requires cleverness and the diligence of the rebuke of the sages of the generation to abolish this from the masses.

Rabbi Eibeschutz was a famous posek, but with all due respect, this ruling is problematic for two reasons. First of all, there is a clear difference in the sources quoted above between writing God’s name in another language, which is not considered holy, and saying God’s name in another language in an oath or a curse, which is considered holy. Yet Rabbi Eibeschutz wanted to transfer the sanctity of the oral name of God in a foreign language to the written name of God. Second, his only proof-text is the passage from Rosh Hashanah 18b – which proves the opposite of his contention. The Sages there decreed that one could not write “E-l Elyon” in a contract in Hebrew lest the contract end up in the dunghill. Thus, their decree had nothing to do with writing God’s name in another language.

  1. Rabbi Ya’akov of Lissa (Poland, ca. 1760-1832) related to our topic in his well-known commentary Netivot Hamishpatto the same passage in the Shulhan Arukh — Hoshen Mishpat 27:1. Rabbi J. David Bleich in his article on our topic (see the bibliography below, pp. 204-205) relates to this passage as a second strict opinion over and above Rabbi Eibeschutz. This, however, is not accurate because Rabbi Ya’akov of Lissa in this passage simply copies from the Urim by Rabbi Eibeschutz word-for-word! Indeed, according to Hayyim Tchernowitz (Toledot Haposkim, 3, New York, 1947, p. 253), Rabbi Ya’akov usually followed Rabbi Eibeschutz in his rulings, though it’s a bit strange that he quotes the Urim word-for-word without saying that he is doing so. Rabbi Ya’akov, however, does add one sentence at the end, which is not in the Urim: “And also one should not write in a letter the word ‘Got’ [in Yiddish] which is a kinuy for God, blessed be His name”. In any case, for the most part, Rabbi Jacob simply copied the words of Rabbi Eibeschutz.
  1. Rabbi Yehiel Michal Epstein (Novaradok, Belorussia, 1829-1908) related to our topic in two places in his major code of Jewish law, the Arukh Hashulhan. In Hoshen Mishpat 27:3, written ca. 1877,(10) he quotes the passage from Rosh Hashanah 18b already quoted by Rabbi Eibeschutz and Rabbi Jacob of Lissa about the danger of the letter written in another language ending up in the dunghill. Therefore, if secular letters written in other languages – by which he primarily means Yiddish – contain the name of God, he should cut out the names of God and bury them in a genizah with respect.

In the second passage, in Yoreh Deah 276:24, written in the early 1890s,(11) he begins by quoting the lenient rulings of the Tashbatz and the Shakh which we have quoted about (section II, Nos. 2-3). He then returns, however, to what he wrote in Hoshen Mishpat, that women and Amei Ha’aretz [=ignorant men] who write God’s name in Yiddish in letters – even though they do not contain holiness, this involves a prohibition, for the letters come to disgrace in the dunghills, and there is no disgrace greater than this, and they should be prevented from doing this.

Thus, just like Rabbi Eibeschutz and Rabbi Ya’akov of Lissa, Rabbi Epstein’s only proof-text is the passage in Rosh Hashanah 18b, which does not discuss God’s name written in other languages.(12)

IV. Summary and Practical Halakhah

The Talmud and the major medieval codes such as Rambam, Tur and Shulhan Arukh rule that one must be very careful about writing and erasing one of God’s seven names in Hebrew. As a result, Rambam, Rashbatz, the Shakh, Rabbi Yair Hayyim Bachrach, Rabbi Akiva Eger, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Hacohen, Rabbi Hayyim Ozer Grodzinsky, as well as five more recent Orthodox, Conservative and Reform rabbis, all ruled that God’s names written in other languages are not sacred. They do not need to be abbreviated, they can be erased and they do not require genizah. This is clearly normative halakhah regarding this issue.

On the other hand, of the four major poskim who ruled strictly on this issue, the first, the Riaz, gives no reason for his strict ruling and refers to his other work Kuntress Hariayot which is no longer extant. The other three – Rabbi Eibeschutz, Rabbi Ya’akov of Lissa, and Rabbi Epstein – all rely on Rosh Hashanah 18b about not throwing God’s name in the dunghill. But since that passage explicitly refers to one of God’s names in Hebrew, it does not prove their point.

In conclusion, we must be very careful about writing and erasing the seven names of God in Hebrew, but these restrictions do not apply to writing God’s names in other languages.

David Golinkin
Jerusalem
5 Adar 5781

 

Notes

    1. See, for example, Rabbi Walter Jacob, Questions and Reform Jewish Answers,New York, 1992, Nos. 143-144; Rabbi Aryeh Bruckheimer, Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society 45 (Spring 2003), pp. 50-64; Dr. Rafael Hulkower, , 65 (Spring 2013), pp. 38-42; Rabbi Aviad Stollman, Responsa Peleh Yoeitz, Jerusalem, 2011, No. 58; Rabbi Danny Nevins, “The Use of Electrical and Electronic Devices on Shabbat”, 2012, CJLS website, pp. 32-36.
    2. See my “Ten Brief Responsa/Halakhic Reactions to the Corona Crisis”, Responsa in a Moment 14/5 (April 2020), section 4, at schechter.edu
    3. Tosefta Makot 5:9, ed. Zuckermandel, p. 444; Makot 22a; Shabbat 120b and parallels; Massekhet Soferim 5:9, ed. Higger, pp. 156-157.
    4. This passage is also found with variations in the Scholion or commentary to Megillat Ta’anit. See Vered Noam, ed. Megillat Ta’anit, Jerusalem, 2003, p. 45 for the sentence from Megillat Ta’anit; 94-95 for three different versions of the Scholion; p. 150 for variant readings of Rosh Hashanah 18b; and pp. 235-238 for historical analysis of this tradition.
    5. Medieval manuscripts and Genizah fragments contain at least 100 different ways to abbreviate God’s name, which usually consist of various combinations of the letter Yud. See J.Z. Lauterbach, “Substitutes for the Tetragrammaton”, Proceedings of the American Academy for Jewish Research 2 (1930-1931), pp. 39-67, who lists 83 methods; the additional literature listed in my book Ginzei Rosh Hashanah, New York and Jerusalem, 2000, p. 7, note 34; and the additional methods which I list , pp. 8-55.
    6. Shlomo Dov Goitein z”l and Mordechai Akiva Friedman, Sefer Hodu Bet,Jerusalem, 2011, pp. 198-199 in note 2.
    7. Literally, “the writing of priesthood”, which I assume to mean Latin letters. Cf. Responsa Havot Yair, 1 paragraph 14: bilshon galahut, “in the language of priesthood”.
    8. The Hebrew says הח”כwhich is an abbreviation ofהחילופי כתבים, החליפת כתבים which means correspondence.
    9. The original meaning of “adieu” seems to be that he will see his friend again “with God” in the World to Come, as opposed to in this world. See linternaute.frunder langue-francaise. I thank my wife Dr. Dory Rotnemer Golinkin for sending me this reference.
    10. Rabbi Eitam Shimon Henkin hy”d, Ta’arokh Lefanai Shulhan, Jerusalem, 2018, p. 229.
    11. ibid., p. 230.
    12. One more posek who appears to belong in this camp is Rabbi Avraham Danzig (Vilna, 1748-1820) in Hokhmat Adam 89:9, who briefly disagrees with the Shakh by referring to Hoshen Mishpat

General Literature

Rabbi J. David Bleich, Contemporary Halakhic Problems, Vol. 1, 1977, pp. 202-206

Entziklopedia Talmudit, Volume 31, cols.347-349, s.v. kinuyei hashem


All four volumes of Rabbi Prof. David Golinkin’s Responsa In A Moment – Halakhic Responses to Contemporary Issues as well as other books by the author are available for purchase from the Schocken-JTS Press Bookstore.

David Golinkin is President of The Schechter Institutes, Inc. and President Emeritus of the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. For twenty years he served as Chair of the Va’ad Halakhah (Law Committee) of the Rabbinical Assembly which gives halakhic guidance to the Masorti Movement in Israel. He is the founder and director of the Institute of Applied Halakhah at Schechter and also directs the Center for Women in Jewish Law. Rabbi Professor Golinkin made aliyah in 1972, earning a BA in Jewish History and two teaching certificates from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He received an MA in Rabbinics and a PhD in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America where he was also ordained as Rabbi. For a complete bio click here.

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