How do rabbis arrive at the answers to questions?
Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen provides both the answers to questions on Shabbat observance and a look at the process by which the answers are derived. He also analyzes contemporary, controversial Shabbat issues such as the possibility for a Shabbat bus, women’s cosmetics, and the building of an Eruv. According to Rabbi Cohen, “Halachah, the distinctly unique Jewish legal system, crystallizes the guidelines of Judaism. It makes us into Jews and marks us as Jewish. As such, an understanding of the halachic process provides insight into the inner soul of Jewish life itself.” There are many books that address questions of Shabbat observance. Shabbat: The Right Way differs in that it provides definitive direction as well as openly sharing the analysis. For the person seeking to understand Jewish law, this book offers the opportunity to learn why Jews do certain things. For those already familiar with halachah, this book will serve as a springboard for deeper study, and all readers will come away with a sense of what is at the heart of Judaism.
Not everyone will agree with every decision that Rabbi Cohen makes, but no one will come away from this book without a deeper understanding of the process of Jewish Law, and seeing that in so many cases modern orthodox rabbis are more lenient than others thought.
The scion of eighteen generations of rabbis, Rabbi J. Simcha Cohen is the author of six highly regarded books of Halacha. He was ordained by HaRav R. Yitzchok Hutner z”l, of Yeshivat Rav Chaim Berlin, and has served as community rabbi in New Jersey, California, and Australia. Rabbi Cohen is the founder of a national rabbinic think tank and served at the helm of several national and local rabbinic and communal organizations. He is the recipient of the Rabbinic Leadership Award from the West Coast Region of the Orthodox Union and was honored with the “Jerusalem Prize” in 2002 for Rabbinic Leadership and Scholarship. His column, Halachic Questions, appears in The Jewish Press. His writings have been acclaimed as “remarkable achievements” that “succeed in creating genuine Torah excitement” and include How Does Jewish Law Work (vol. 1 and 2), Timely Jewish Questions: Timeless Rabbinic Answers, Intermarriage and Conversion, The Jewish Heart, and The 613th Commandment. Rabbi Cohen lives with his wife Shoshana in West Palm Beach, Florida, where he is the spiritual leader of Congregation Aitz Chaim.
From Jewish Media Review