Writings from the Rabbis

Committee on Jewish Law and Standards
Nov 29th 2017

Rabbi Frydman-Kohl and Norman Kahn are members of the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards (CJLS) of the Rabbinical Assembly. Norman Kahn, as a lay leader, is a non-voting member, contributing ideas and comments about the various teshuvot (responsa) presented. 

The CJLS met November 14 and 15 at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York. During the meeting, the Committee approved three papers:

  1. "Early Yom Tov/Seder" by Rabbi Joshua Heller, asks when is the earliest time that Yom Tov, and particularly seder, can begin. He acknowledges the difficulties that can arise from needing to wait for the preferred times, and offers a range of options of how to time seder and the start of Yom Tov, from most to least preferable.

  2.  "Lab Grown Meat" by Rabbi Daniel Nevins, examines the kashrut status of lab grown meat, a product which is still in development but is likely to become widespread in the near future. He concludes that lab grown meat can be kosher under certain circumstances with supervision. He determines that such food will have "meat" status with regards to kashrut.

  3.  "Joint Ownership" by Rabbi Avram Reisner, asks whether halakhah acknowledges the existence of Joint Ownership within marriage. He concludes that for monetary matters halakhah recognizes the findings of secular law with regards to this issue, and that one may perform mitzvot which require an outlay of one's own money, such as mishloaẖ manot, matanot laevyonim and tzedakah, with joint funds. A married couple may own a single lulav purchased with joint funds, and if a couple has a joint account prior to marriage, a wedding ring can be purchased using this account.