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Text-Message Halakhah Text-Message Halakhah
Friday, July 13, 2012 by Yoel Finkelman | Jewish Ideas Daily » Daily Features

From the ancient moment when the Sages began committing the Oral Torah to writing, through the invention of the printing press, all the way to searchable electronic databases of Jewish texts, each change in communications technology has had an impact on the Torah. 
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Editors' Picks
On Judaism and Homosexuality Aharon Lichtenstein, Pages of Faith. Should Jewish communities treat homosexuals as beyond the pale even in circumstances in which they embrace people who violate the Sabbath or don’t give to charity?  (Transcribed by Dov Karoll)
Prenup: The New Ketubah Shlomo Brody, Jerusalem Post. The ketubah was the first prenuptial agreement, meant to ensure appropriate divorce settlements. The new "halakhic prenup" aims to supplement the ketubah—and solve the agunah problem.
Choosing Life Tamara Mann, Huffington Post. Tamara Mann was carrying a non-viable fetus.  Her Orthodox rabbi said that it was not alive, so she should terminate the pregnancy.  The State of Ohio disagreed.
A New Paradigm Zev Farber, Jewish Journal. Instead of forbidding women to perform Jewish rituals unless halakhah expressly allows it, they should be permitted to participate unless halakhah expressly forbids it.
A Newer New Paradigm Joshua Maroof, Vesom Sechel. A focus on expanding women’s role in rituals takes us in precisely the wrong direction: We should be looking beyond rituals to the fulfillment of more fundamental mitzvot.
Conserving Halakhah Jonathan Mark, Jewish Week. As Conservative Jews increasingly lose interest in Jewish law, a new book from the movement’s Rabbinical Assembly argues that halakhic observance is inseparable from the pursuit of an ethical lifestyle.
Equal Rights for . . . Heterosexuals? Mayrav Saar, New York Post. Spouses aren’t property, divorces are easier—Jewish same-sex marriages are leaving some heterosexual couples jealous.
Secular Meets Religious in the IDF Shani Boianjiu, New York Times. “The moment I touched the weapon, one of the soldiers got up from his chair and left.”
A Real Agunah Solution Judith Hauptman, Phyllis H. Waldmann, Jewish Week. “She came across an envelope postmarked October 20, 1936.  Upon carefully opening it, she found a document written in German with the word Halitzah at the top. Although not knowing what the document was, she detected certain similarities to her parents’ ketubah . . .”
Two Faces of the Law Marc Angel, Institute for Jewish Ideas . How two halakhic authorities, Rabbis Avraham Yitzhak Kook and Bentzion Meir Hai Uziel, examine the same texts—and reach opposite conclusions.