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About Us
Online Since September 8, 2001

Recently, about half of the incoming emails have all been asking the same thing – who I am? So I guess it’s about time to put up an “About Us” page.

I was always hesitant because I am not a rabbi (yet, but I hope to be one day) and I don’t want the site to seem any less credible because I lack the proper certification. Despite, my under qualified status – I try very hard to make sure the halachot are accurate.

In order to attribute credit, many of the brachos on this site, are from Rabbi Binyomin Forst's wonderful sefer, The Laws of B'rachos. In terms of halachos and exceptional cases, I primarily use the fantastic sefer, "V’Zot Haberacha" and additionally Rav Bodner’s Sefer "Halachos of Brochos" for the halacha section. For the most part the halachos are all universally accepted and rather straightforward. Occasionally, I run into some controversial areas and then I try to ask my rebbeim for the mainstream psak. In such scenarios, I usually write the ikur Ha’din halacha and then include the chumra separately.

Ok – so about us. My older brother first started the website 12 years ago. Back then there was barely anything on the web at the time, especially Jewish halacha websites. I don't know if anyone here used to be big computer buffs, but I'm talking about way before Google dominated the internet, before yahoo, I'm talking about the age of lycos. In terms of Jewish websites, there was practically nothing - even ou.org contained nothing more than their phone number.

So, my older brother started the website with the goal of spreading vital halacha to anyone and everyone, available all the time, and for free. At the time he was in Yeshiva University (in New York). Over the years I have become more and more involved with the site, trying to add more content and features.

(My other brother is currently working on a really great site- halachipedia.com, which if it becomes popular enough could be as powerful as wikipedia just for halachic topics. Imagine, It could potentially be the next big halachic work breakthrough, the Shulchan Aruch of our age. It could contain every little detail, the capacity to constantly grow, everyone able to contribute, tons of sources and accuracy from 100,000's of peer reviews. And as a virtual encyclopedia - it would never run out of space, could be constantly updated and modified so that it never gets "outdated," and perhaps the biggest advantage, it would be easily searchable. )

A few years ago, I received a generous donation from one of our supporters to really improve the site. If you take a look at our old site, (http://brochot.tripod.com) you can really see the difference. First off, we finally have a real domain name, and no annoying pop up ads. I used to get a lot of email complaints about the ads and how inappropriate they were. Once there was an ad promoting interfaith marriages. Anyway, we also redesigned the halacha section and added questions and answers. Finally, I added a search feature which should make site navigation easier. I have also received several emails with requests for an app and even a few volunteers from people with computer skills to make it, but so far nothing has worked out. Hopefully soon, we’ll be able to provide those features.

Thanks for using the site, and please keep the questions and comments coming!


 

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