Rosh Yeshiva Responds
Rabbi Linzer answers halakhic questions from rabbis and community members

28 01, 2024

Jewish Single Woman Considering Embryo Adoption: Halakhic Clarification on Child’s Jewish Status

January 28th, 2024|Birth, Even HaEzer, Family, Geirut and Geirim, Lifecycles, Non-Jews and Other Religions, Shulchan Arukh, Status, Women|

QUESTION


Washington, DC

A Jewish single woman considering embryo adoption wants to know if she needs to look for Jewish embryos, or if it will be sufficient for her to be the gestational mother to have the child be considered Jewish. My understanding is that there are differing opinions, and because so much is at stake I would like to be crystal clear on the halakha. Thank you so much.

ANSWER

This is such a major debate

31 05, 2023

Conversion Certificate for a Child Born Through Surrogacy

May 31st, 2023|Clothing and Appearance, Even HaEzer, Family, Fertility, Geirut and Geirim, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

Providence, RI

A couple who could not have children naturally had kids by means of a surrogate (not sure whose sperm or egg or if that’s relevant). They’re having a giyur (conversion) for the kid and have requested to use their names, and not Avraham/Sara on the teudat giyur (conversion certificate). Do you have thoughts/an opinion about this? Thank you in advance!

ANSWER

If it were both the husband’s sperm and the wife’s egg then you definitely can, because many authorities say that maternity is defined by whose egg it was (for example, Rabbi Shlomo Goren (Torat HaRefuah, pg. 176-177), Rabbi Ovadia Yosef

29 05, 2023

Guidance for Sleeping Arrangements for a Chuppat Niddah

May 29th, 2023|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Marriage and Family, Niddah, Yichud, Yoreh De'ah|

QUESTION

What do you advise regarding reasonable sleeping arrangements in the case of chuppat niddah (where halakha requires that one observe the laws of yichud)? This will be relevant for our upcoming wedding.

ANSWER

Mazal Tov on the upcoming wedding. Regarding sleeping arrangements—I take the position that even if the two of you are sharing an apartment, it is not yichud if you are in separate rooms with a closed door between you (some require that the woman’s door be locked. I do not require this). (See Chazon Ish Even HaEzer 34:1)

Therefore, what I advise is that until bedtime, when both of

3 04, 2023

Reciting Sheva Brachot at a Meal More than a Week after the Wedding

April 3rd, 2023|Birkat HaMazon/Zimun, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Sheva Berachot|

QUESTION

Brooklyn NY

A beloved couple in my Shul is eloping and having a bare minimum halakhic wedding on a hill in Colorado. They’ll be returning to New York after a week but within thirty days of the wedding. They would very much like to do an official, sheva berakhot style meal with the community. This will effectively be their wedding celebration for most of their friends and even family. They know about the berakhot of sheva berakhot and actively want to do them. I know that saying “shehasimha bimono” (and

15 02, 2023

Chatan with Non-Jewish Father and Other Descriptors in the Ketubah

February 15th, 2023|Even HaEzer, Geirut and Geirim, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Marriage and Family|

QUESTION

New York

I have a few questions regarding how to fill in the ketubah in an unusual situation.

1. The couple in question is already married with children. The bride is converting, so her name will be written in the ketubah as “Hadassah (her chosen name) bat Avraham V’Sara“. The groom is the son of a Jewish woman and non-Jewish man, in which case the RCA madrich

18 06, 2021

Birkat Eirusin When the Bride or Groom Cannot Drink Wine

June 18th, 2021|Berakhot, Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Orach Chayim|

QUESTION

South Central, USA

I’m officiating at a wedding, and the kallah said she can’t drink wine or grape juice. The only liquids she can drink are water or tea. What would you recommend they say the berakhot over at the wedding? Thank you.

ANSWER

A couple of possibilities:

1. The chatan can drink without the kallah doing so.

2. You don’t need wine really – Shulchan Arukh EH 62:1 ואם אין יין מצוי מברך על השכר.

3. Bedieved you don’t need a kos at all. See Beit Shmuel there who writes ואם אין שכר מצוי יברך בלא כוס.

I think if you don’t want to do #1, she should do tea, which

2 05, 2021

A Non-Literal Translation on the Ketubah

May 2nd, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

New York, NY

What does the Rosh Yeshiva think about having a non literal translation, or something similar to a Brit Ahuvim, on a traditional Aramaic ketubah. Meaning that the artwork would have the regular ketubah and an English translation on the same document.

ANWER

If it is on the bottom after חתימת העדים or on the side, such that you can cut it off and the ketubah remains whole, then it is fine. It is another document written on the same piece of paper. Just don’t say that it is a translation of the ketubah, and don’t have it say anything that

2 05, 2021

Does a Chuppah Needs Poles?

May 2nd, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah, Marriage and Family|

QUESTION

Chicago, IL

Can a chuppah hang from the ceiling? Is it sufficient for it to be a canopy over the couple or must it have poles to create four invisible walls through Tzurot HaPetach or some such mechanism?

ANSWER

Sephardim do not use poles, and just hold a tallit over the chatan and kallah. Ashkenazim do have poles. This seems to be rooted in the debate whether a chuppah is a פריסת סעיף על הכלה or if it is a בית חתן. Even though בית will be satisfied later by the yichud room, there is a need to do the chuppah/nisuin now to make the Sheva Berakhot. Some argue that even

6 03, 2021

Ketubah in Hebrew

March 6th, 2021|Even HaEzer, Kiddushin and Ketubah|

QUESTION

Midwest, USA

Rabbi, a close friend is getting married soon and is interested in using a ketubah with modern Hebrew text (apparently this is starting to catch on in Israel). Is this permissible, and is there a Hebrew version out there you have seen that you feel is the most “authentic” or recommended? Thanks so much.

ANSWER

It is totally permissible. At the end of the day, this is a legal document, so any language, certainly Hebrew, is fine. It was originally in Aramaic because that was the vernacular.  As to a good text to use, I found two good examples

10 01, 2021

Does Zoom Solve Yichud Problems?

January 10th, 2021|Even HaEzer, Sex|

QUESTION

New York, NY

Does the Rosh HaYeshivah hold that a person occasionally glancing at an unmarried couple through a zoom video call could be considered a shomer/et for purposes of yichud? If so, does internet quality matter?

ANSWER

Assuming that the couple is in view, definitely. See Iggrot Moshe EH 4:65.2 – who speaks about being aware that something is going on, even if not directly seeing,

בחלון הפתוח לרה”ר או לחצר שנמצאים שם הרבה אינשי, אם הוא למעלה ממקום שיכולין לאינשי שמחוץ