A Review of Rabbinic Authority: The Vision and the Reality

December 10, 2013

RabbinicAuthorityWeb1Rabbinic Authority: The Vision and the Reality (Jerusalem: Urim) introduces the English-speaking public to the scope of rabbinic authority in general and the workings of the institution of the beit din (Jewish arbitration) in particular.

In this work, R’ A. Yehuda (Ronnie) Warburg presents ten rulings in cases of Jewish family law and civil law that he handed down as a member of a beit din panel. In each decision, as a dayan (rabbinical court judge), he offers a rendition of the facts of the case, followed by claims of the tovea (plaintiff), the reply of the nitva (defendant), and any counterclaims. Subsequently, there is a discussion of the halachic issues emerging from the parties’ respective claims and counterclaims, followed by the decision rendered by the beit din panel. To preserve the confidentiality of the parties involved in these cases, all names have been changed, and some facts have been changed or deleted.

These piskei din (decisions) touch on issues of employment termination, tenure rights and severance pay, rabbinic contracts, self-dealing in the not-for-profit boardroom, real-estate brokerage commission, drafting a halachic will, a revocable living-trust agreement, the division of marital assets upon divorce, spousal abuse, and a father’s duty to support his estranged children. In short, these cases reflect some of the issues that affect our community.

Among the scenarios that are addressed in the beit din cases are the following: In one case, a wife demands a get (Jewish divorce) because her husband coerces her to have relations with him so frequently that she is left sleepless and exhausted. Consequently, she left the home with their children and seeks spousal and child support from her husband until she receives her get. The husband, citing the Talmud, claims that he is within his rights and that she is not entitled to receive her get. Read the rest of this entry »


Beit Din Decisions in English – A Major Breakthrough!

October 14, 2013

By Rabbi Chaim JachterRabbinicAuthorityWeb1

The publication of Teaneck resident Rabbi Dr. Aryeh Yehuda (Ronnie) Warburg’s work Rabbinic Authority: The Vision and the Reality is a major event. The Halachic world has seen major advances in many areas such as medical Halacha where Halacha has very capably addressed virtually almost all challenging circumstances and situations. In the area of technology Halacha has been applied to the fullest extent and has thereby brought a sense of pride to every Torah loving Jew.

Creating a fully viable Beit Din in the contemporary context has proven to be challenging. Great strides, however, have been achieved in this area in the past decade. One of the leading figures in making Beit Din an integral part of Jewish life, especially in Modern Orthodox circles, is Rabbi Dr. Warburg. Rav Warburg’s encyclopedic knowledge of the contemporary Beit Din literature, significant familiarity with civil law and broad experience in the business world have facilitated his emergence is one of the major Dayanim, rabbinic judges in the United States.

The publication of ten of Rav Warburg’s decisions in his recently released work are the product of Rav Warburg’s extensive experience as a rabbinic judge in the Hassidic, Modern Orthodox, Sephardic and Yeshiva communities of the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area. These rulings are complemented by three important essays, including one which provides Read the rest of this entry »


Jewish Press Review of Rabbinic Authority

October 9, 2013

 From the Jewish Press:RabbinicAuthorityWeb1

Rabbinic Authority: The Vision and the Reality introduces the English-speaking public to the scope of rabbinic authority in general and the workings of the institution of the beit din in particular. In this work, published by Urim Publications, Rabbi A. Yehuda Warburg presents ten rulings in cases of Jewish family law and civil law which he handed down as a member of a beit din panel. In each decision, the author offers a rendition of the facts of the case, followed by claims of the tovea (plaintiff), the reply of the nitva (defendant) and any counterclaims. Subsequently, there is a discussion of the halachic issues emerging from the parties’ respective claims and counterclaims, followed by a decision rendered by the beit din panel. To preserve the confidentiality of the parties involved in these cases, all names have been changed, and some facts have been changed and/or deleted.

These decisions touch on issues of employment termination, tenure rights and severance pay, rabbinic contracts, self-dealing in the not-for-profit boardroom, real estate brokerage commission, drafting a will, a revocable living trust agreement, the division of marital assets upon divorce, spousal abuse and a father’s duty to support his estranged children.

Accompanying these presentations is Read the rest of this entry »