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A comprehensive halachic guide to the laws and practices of the Festivals. By Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen (315 Pages)Publisher: Artscroll/Mesorah, 1997
Rabbi Simcha Bunim Cohen has earned a niche in countless family libraries through his clear, thorough, and practical works on Halachah. His many books on the laws of Shabbos and child-rearing have become standard texts -- enlightening, authoritative, and accessible -- for scholar and layman alike.
Now he turns his spotlight on an area that is in need of his unique clarity. The Yom Tov laws are a gray area, so to speak, because many of the Shabbos labors are permitted -- but under limited circumstances. What are the circumstances? What are the limitations? What labors are sometimes permitted? Which are never permitted? May one always carry? What degree of Yom Tov need is sufficient to permit the labors that are sometimes permitted? Is one ever permitted to prepare food for the next day? The list of questions is long and perplexing.
As always, Rabbi Cohen deals with the forest before turning to the trees. He explains the principles and parameters so that the reader has a clear understanding of the rules. Only then does he turn to specific cases. And, as is his forte, he deals with current situations, the sort of utensils and cases that one will not find spelled out clearly in the classic works of Halachah.
A sefer such as this provides refreshing proof that the Torah is timeless, because the principles of every situation can be found in the Talmud and the codes -- provided one has the background and understanding to find and apply them. Rabbi Cohen does, in full measure.
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