Beit Midrash Responsa

Beit Hillel has 2 Batei Midrash, one which concentrates on Halacha, the Beit Midrash Hilchati, and one which focuses on more abstract, educational/spiritual issues, the Beit Midrash Ra’ayoni. In light of the democratic, transparent and collaborative manner Beit Hillel conducts all its business, it is only natural that these Batei Midrash should be open to all members, and all opinions are respected and considered.

Each forum usually includes 15-20 of the Beit Hillel Rabbanim and Rabaniyot, who work towards publicizing a responsum. Like all group discussions, each person brings different strengths to the table. While some participants stand out in their halachic knowledge and experience, others bring their communal experience; all members offer valuable insights.

After a draft is written by committee members with broad Halachic knowledge, and experience in Halachic decision making, it is reviewed and criticized by all. Some suggest that certain critical sources have been omitted, and some question the value of including other sources; some members suggest improvements in style and presentation. The participation of Rabbaniyot, female Torah educators, is indispensable. Their knowledge and insights contribute significantly to the groups’ discussions and conclusions.

The draft is then reviewed by all Beit Hillel members, and then shared with a (closed) email list of hundreds of prominent Religious Zionist rabbis, including poskim, dayyanim, rabanei arim, ramim and rashei yeshivot, representing the entire spectrum of Religious Zionism in order to receive further insights and criticisms.

As the output of the Batei Midrash is brought before the entire Beit Hillel membership, it represents the consensus of the entire forum. These responsa do not intend to compete with venerable poskim. They are what they are: the opinions of approximately 170 Rabbanim and Rabaniyot, leading Torah educators and community rabbis, on vital and pressing issues of major public concern.