Yeshiva University News » 2012 » November » 13

RIETS and Calvary Hospital Form Collaboration to Serve Orthodox Community

Yeshiva University’s affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Calvary Hospital today announced a collaboration to serve the needs of observant Jews in the metropolitan area in need of information and access to the best end-of-life care.

Jewish families seeking halachically appropriate, highest quality end-of-life medical care often lack familiarity with the intricate religious laws that govern such care.

To address this important need, Yeshiva University has formed the YU/RIETS End-of-Life Halachic Advisory Program to provide rabbinic consultation for families and community rabbis. It includes:

  • A rabbinic panel comprised of four roshei yeshiva who have extensive experience with end-of-life halachic issues. Rabbi Herschel Schachter, Rabbi Yaakov Neuberger, Rabbi Mordechai Willig and Rabbi Moshe Tendler will serve on a rotating basis as pre-hospice advisors, answering questions from patients’ families and community rabbis after a physician has recommended that an individual receive hospice care.
  • A panel of physicians associated with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and its affiliates will be available to advise community rabbis on the clinical issues surrounding the terminally ill. The medical panel includes Dr. Edward Burns, Dr. Seymour Huberfeld, Dr. Beth Popp, Dr. Edward Reichman and Dr. Robert Sidlow.

“There is a pressing need in the Orthodox community for accurate and thorough information on the conditions under which end-of-life care should be provided,” said Burns Read the rest of this entry…

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Dov Lerner on Yeshiva University Museum’s Eruv Exhibition

Shabbat is designed to be a day of rest, relaxation and communal prayer. Due to halakhic restrictions on their carrying items from one place to another, however, observant Jews can become prisoners in their own homes. The rabbis, therefore, wherever they could, came up with a way to circumvent this issue: the eruv. The word literally means “mixture”; and views on the eruv are themselves mixed and hotly debated. The Yeshiva University Museum now has an exhibition devoted to the eruv called, “It’s a Thin Line: The Eruv and Jewish Community in New York and Beyond.” The museum launched the exhibition with a day-long symposium reflecting the debates that the eruv has occasioned.

Among the Sabbath laws is an injunction against transferring an object from a private to a public space or moving it within the public space itself. The prohibited activity is often simply called “carrying.” The activity is heavily regulated, and the rules are complex. Halakhic literatures are occupied by questions of how to define a public or private space and what constitutes a transfer.

For purposes of this idea of “carrying,” the rabbinic discussions generally identify four types of space: reshut harabim, or public space; reshut hayahid, or private space; makom patur, an exempt area; and karmelit, related to the word for “garden,” which is legislatively treated as a kind of limbo, a public space that nevertheless has some characteristics of private space.  The karmelit is the only space around which the construction of an eruv is permitted. The eruv’s artificial architecture—often consisting merely of poles and wires—defines the confines of the space as private and, thus, allows carrying within its bounds. Read the rest of this entry…

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