Monday, September 10, 2007

Torat HaRav Aviner

A new e-mail list has just been started that distributes selections in English of Torah by R. Shlomo Aviner. R. Aviner has publishd over 70 books and numerous articles (all in Hebrew). I've found that this books are unusual for a scholar of his stature in that they are written for a popular audience. On the one hand, this is unfortunate because it lacks the rigor of the beis midrash. However, it has the effect of making his thoughts and rulings widely available to a broader audience. I applaud this latest development of the translation of his writings into English.

To place R. Aviner into contemporary society, he is on the left wing of right wing Religious Zionists. He was a student of R. Tzvi Yehudah Kook and is the rabbi of Beit El and rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Ateret Kohanim in the Old City of Jerusalem. He opposed the Disengagement from Gaza but also opposed resistance to it.

Here is a small section from the e-mail:

Text Message Responsa

Rav Aviner answers hundreds of text message questions a week. Here is a sample:

Q: Is it forbidden to cross the street against a red light when there is no danger, based on the principle that "the law of the land is the law"?
A: Yes, it is forbidden.

Q: Is it permissible to make change from the shul tzedakah box?
A: Yes, but with great caution.

Q: Is smoking completely prohibited or a good recommendation?
A: It is a serious prohibition. Tens of thousands are killed every year. Hundreds of thousands are sick.
To sign up for the mailing, send an e-mail to

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