The Judaism of the Poskim

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Meshivim, authors of halachic responsa, have lived everywhere and everywhen, producing a literature that might seem too diverse to teach overall lessons. The Judaism of the Poskim presents responsa from 1600 to the present-day, finding unifying factors — themes that repeatedly engaged these many Torah scholars — and the common sources on which they based their ideas.

In these pages, readers will find a good introduction to the responsa literature, insight into how meshivim come to their halachic conclusions, reminders of central issues we may neglect in our Torah lives, and ideas about what animated our greatest halachic authors.


The Judaism of the Poskim…highlights halakhic responsa as a potential foundation for defining Orthodox identity and commitment…[P]articularly demonstrates that the library and…basic methodology of all meshivim was remarkably uniform…[E]stablishes…ubiquitous, definitive meta-halakhic and halakhic value motifs…in the thinking of these seminal hakhmei mesorah.”

–R. Michael Rosensweig

“A terrific book…really unique…[T]eaches that the important and enduring issues in Orthodoxy may not always be measured by…the current issue of the day, and, conversely, many issues might be a lot more important in living as a Torah Jew than people might assume…[A]n excellent introduction to…the voluminous responsa literature and the halachic process generally. Even seasoned talmidei chachomim…can benefit.”

–R. Yitzchak Breitowitz

1 review for The Judaism of the Poskim

  1. Dr. Rivkah Blau

    Thanks to Rabbi Gidon Rothstein we can now understand how answers are reached to questions in Jewish practice—שאלות בהלכה. We can learn what the sources of our tradition are, and have a sophisticated appreciation of the knowledge required to become a learned Jew, a תלמיד חכם who is qualified to decide issues in Jewish law.

    Dr. Rivkah Blau
    Stern College

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