Should a remarried woman observe Yahrzeitl Is euthanasia ever permis-
sible? May a shofar be sounded on Shabbat? What is the status of children of
a mixed marriage?
These and scores of other questions are answered in American Reform
Responsa, which assembles more than ninety years of responsa issued by the
Central Conference of American Rabbis since its inception in 1889. Responsa
are authoritative rabbinic answers to actual questions of Jewish law and practice,
and have proved a major guiding force in shaping Jewish observance through
the centuries. The Responsa Committee of the CCAR has provided similar guid-
ance to the American Reform community in such areas as bio-medical ethics,
sexual ethics, questions of Jewish status, and observance of holy days and life-
Under the editorship of its current chairman, Rabbi Walter Jacob, the
committee has re-examined every responsum, appending notes to many of the
early Reform responsa to bring them into line with contemporary understandings
and sensitivities. The responsa were then grouped according to the divisions of
the Shulchan Aruch, the great code of Orthodox Jewish law, and thoroughly
cross-referenced to each other as well as to the body of responsa published sep-
arately by Rabbi Solomon B. Freehof, honorary chairman of the committee and
the leading writer of Reform responsa during the last forty years.
An annotated index makes this book immediately accessible to rabbis
and scholars, or to any person who is curious to investigate the background
sources and thinking behind so many of the practices of contemporary American
The Central Conference of American Rabbis is the professional association
of Reform rabbis in the United States, Canada and abroad, founded in 1889 by
Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise. It is the largest publisher of Jewish liturgy in the
world. Other related publications include: GATES OF MITZVAH: A GUIDE
TO THE JEWISH LIFE CYCLE (1979); GATES OF THE SEASONS, A GUIDE
TO THE JEWISH YEAR (1983), RABBINIC AUTHORITY (1982), SHABBAT
MANUAL (1972) and REFORM JUDAISM, A HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
(1973). Write for complete catalogue.
Edited by Walter Jacob • Cover: Graphics by Nostradamus • Designed by
SPECIAL EDITION, Columbus, Ohio. • A publication of the CCAR Press.