Igud Halacha Challenge, Adar 1 5779

Approbations: Who Goes First?

Should a kohen’s approbation to a sefer go first?

Enclosed are this month’s she’eilah about honoring an entering rabbi during another rabbi’s speech and answers to she’eilos of the last two months regarding the precedence of kohanim and weddings in and out of Jerusalem. Please send answers to this month’s question to Igud.Halacha@gmail.com. [...Click headline above for more...] 

Psak Halacha on Cremation

Authored by Rabbi Yaakov Spivak
Presidium Member RAA/IGUD & Rosh Kollel Ayshel Avraham Rabbinical Seminary

As the Nazis shoved the Jews of Mir toward the freshly dug pit to be used as a grave, the Rabbi of Mir, Rav Avraham Tzvi Kamai — may the Lord avenge his death — walked fearlessly toward his death. According to an eyewitness account, he had but one request of his German butchers: he asked that they not shoot him at the edge of the pit, but rather let him climb down to the bottom where they could shoot him. Why? Despite the obvious fear of impending death, this eighty-two-year-old Rav and Rosh Yeshiva had but one thing on his mind: not to transgress the religious prohibition of leaving unburied any body part or fluid, in this case the blood and tissue, outside the pit. A Jew must be buried whole. The elderly rabbi’s presence of mind in the face of the massacre, his care to ensure that none of his blood go unburied, emphasizes to us the revered stature of the human body. Even in death, the body is the kli hamachzik, the container of the Soul, which must be treated with respect. [...Click headline above for more...]