Title: Living the Halachic Process
Editor: Rabbi Daniel Mann
Publisher: Devora Publishing
Filled with “vebbe rebbe” responsa that 21st century Jews eagerly absorb in the rush of their hectic lives, Living the Halachic Process also contains insights to Jewish law provided by the Eretz Hemdah Institute to the public.
A 410-page hardcover text that requires attentive reading, Living the Halachic Process comes with an optional CD that augments lessons in the book. Due to Rabbi Daniel Mann’s expertise as collator of the material in this volume and Eretz Hemdah’s practical approach to halachic issues, readers can learn how to finesse many specific matters with clarity and certainty by studying this book.
The well-researched and well-reasoned explanations throughout the text address issues of daily and not so daily Jewish life. One of those issues concerns the differing obligations and exemptions of time-bound mitzvot pertinent to Jewish males and females. Examples on pages 78 and 248 illustrate these realities and the scope of many halachic concerns.
In the first Question/Answer selection, we learn in only seven paragraphs about multiple halachic opinions regarding male and female obligations for remembering our exodus from Egypt. The concluding paragraph on this topic explains the definitive position that Jews observe worldwide. In the second instance, a vacationer needs to know if it is halachically permissible to eat pancakes prepared start to finish by a non-Jewish cook who also lit the hotel kitchen’s heat source for cooking them. Rabbi Mann presents the issues and resolutions to the culinary question cogently and quickly.
Pages 304-305 address public versus private interests and how they can intrude upon each other. “We know of no overarching phrase that mandates favoring the more basic needs of the individual at the expense of the preferences of the many . . . The basic rabbinic approach is pragmatic and balanced (and in many cases, similar to modern legal systems),” readers learn in the first paragraph of the masterful answer.
The use of highlighters and/or colorful stick-on flags might help readers to quickly relocate topics and refresh their memories when they need to quickly remember important points after closing the book’s covers.
Living the Halachic Process is not intended to be a substitute for one’s own halachically compliant rabbinic advisor. That important figure in your life, however, might be pleased to know that you’re adding to your knowledge base with this publication. Living the Halachic Process should be a welcome addition to homes, schools, camps and libraries.