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  • The main thrust of the responsum is a negation of many of the arguments put forward over the ages to substantiate a lenient attitude.

    Killer Wife in Jewish Law and Lore.

  • Even the Reform movement's decision to accept patrilineal descent was based on a responsum.

    Paul Golin: God's Covenant, Judaism and Interfaith Marriage

  • The roots of this are in the early 13th century, when the Judaeo-Catalan sage Nahmanides opined, in a widely circulated responsum, that just as it was mandatory to get rid of chametz in preparation for Passover, it was also forbidden to get rid of anything that was not chametz, as this would be improperly adding to the commandments Deut.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Passover and the charination ritual

  • This responsum was written in Judeo-Arabic but addresses only women.

    Female Purity (Niddah) Annotated Bibliography.

  • At the end of this responsum he discusses the legal precedents for this decision in the Talmud (B. Gittin 88b).

    Wifebeating in Jewish Tradition.

  • Although Cohen understands that this text means that the seven clean days are not kept at all and that the women revert to the biblical practice of niddah as seven days in total, the part of the responsum which he quotes — “have been careless in the matter of immersion of the niddah in the waters of a mikveh, and in the counting of seven clean days” — does not specify that.

    Female Purity (Niddah) Annotated Bibliography.

  • In his responsum, Radbaz wrote that Simhah “exaggerated on the measures to be taken when writing that [the wifebeater] should be forced by non-Jews (akum) to divorce his wife ... because [if she remarries] this could result in the offspring [of the illegal marriage, according to Radbaz] being declared illegitimate (mamzer)” (part 4, 157).

    Wifebeating in Jewish Tradition.

  • Actual transmission of impurity was no longer relevant and she supports this with a responsum of Rashi, who claims that impurity such as that caused by the vessels handled by a niddah, a corpse or a dead reptile can only be purified in messianic times.

    Female Purity (Niddah) Annotated Bibliography.

  • The following responsum found in the Genizah also shows how a woman might tactically use what little power she had at her disposal.

    Poverty: Jewish Women in Medieval Egypt.

  • In the responsum mentioned above, Rashi demanded that the husband whose wife had become ill with sores on her face treat her “with compassion and honor.”



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