n. Written decisions and legal rulings by rabbis appointed to be legal deciders.
"Responsa literature has its roots in the Geonic period (8 th century), and it continues to be written to this very day. By the year 2000, over 5,600 volumes - comprising over half a million rabbinic responsa - had been published." (source)
Languages of Origin
- Textual Hebrew
Responsum is Latin for answer, parallel to Hebrew teshuva.
- Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education
- North America
- The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
- Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).
Who Uses This
singular responsum. Hebrew she'elot u-teshuvot (questions and answers), abbreviated as shu"t / shutim.
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