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Published by outdash2

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Published by: outdash2 on May 13, 2010
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Source Material for R\u2019 Aharon Rakeffet\u2019s Shiurim on
Responsa Literature (Introduction)
\u05df\u05e8\u05d4\u05d0 \u05ea\u05d5\u05e4\u05e7\u05e8 \u05d9\u05e8\u05d5\u05e7\u05de
\u201cThere is no responsa literature without life, and no life without responsa literature.\u201d
- R\u2019 Aharon Rakeffet

With praise to the Creator, may His Name be blessed, the source of all life, who has
provided for me such that I could learn His holy Torah from the days of my youth until this time,
I present this compilation of sources for shiurim on responsa literature given by the great teacher
and gaon, whose fame has spread throughout the world, R\u2019 Aharon Rakeffet may he live long
and prosper.

In the short time that I spent at the feet of my rabbeim, may they be blessed, I never
systematically studied the vast, wide ocean of responsa literature. Only now, with the advent of
the internet, have I been able to hear the erudite lectures of R\u2019 Rakeffet on this wide branch of
the Tree of Life. And indeed, as R\u2019 Rakeffet has stressed many a time, to learn responsa
literature is to live through the great history of our people. Both triumphs and defeats are
reflected in its pages, exiles and redemptions, hopes and fears. As the Chosen People have been
spread to the four corners of the Earth, the need to adapt to new situations and to clarify old
questions is constantly required. Thus, to study responsa literature is not only to study halacha
but to study the lives of our people.

In this work I have attempted to compile all of the sources mentioned by R\u2019 Rakeffet in his shiurim on responsa literature so that the student of these classes will have at his fingertips the ability to follow along in the text or to study some topics at greater depth. The sources are copied either from the Bar Ilan cd or downloaded from www.hebrewbooks.org. In doing so, I have at times quoted entire sources and at times taken only relevant pieces; whichever I thought would be most clarifying to the reader in terms of length and relevance. At times I have added

additional sources based on R\u2019 Rakeffet\u2019s suggestions of looking into articles or responsa of
various sorts. It goes without saying that any mistakes or misinterpretations, shortening where a
whole sources should be quoted, or quoting at length when brevity was required, are my own and
not that of R\u2019 Rakeffet.

The names of the large topic units I have made up myself while the names of the smaller chapters are from the Yeshiva Univeristy website. In addition, I have included the date on which each particular shiur was given. When a topic is started in the middle of a shiur I have taken the liberty of making slight changes in placement of the topic.

I have never met R\u2019 Rakeffet and certainly cannot declare upon myself the lofty title of being his student. But, having listened to more than a decade worth of his classes via Yeshiva University website, I owe to him a debt I can never repay ($99,000 a shiur is a lot of money).

This work is but a feeble attempt but only k\u2019kelev ham\u2019laket min hayam.

If anyone should find a mistake in this work they should please let me know. And
HaShem in His ultimate kindness should always allow us to be among those who sit in His house
and to learn His Torah all the days of our lives. Amen.

Yaakov Shmuel HaLevi Weinstein, East Brunswick, NJ
Cover picture\u2013 different color cyclamens (rakaffot)\u2013 from www.beekenkamp.nl
\u00a9 Yaakov S. Weinstein

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