|Born||November 12, 1984|
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Dayan (rabbinic judge), toen (rabbinic advocate)|
|Semicha||Zalman Nechemia Goldberg, David Lau, Yitzhak Yosef|
Shuchat has answered queries in varied areas of halakha (Jewish law) such as eruv (ritual enclosures), electricity on Shabbat and gittin (divorce law). He has edited the works of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the Chabad Lubavitch Rebbe.
Early life and education
Sholom Shuchat was born in 1984 to Leibel Shuchat, rosh yeshiva (dean) of Yeshiva Gedola (Talmudical academy) of Caracas, Venezuela. He attended school at Talmud Torah Sinai in Caracas. At age 14 he began his studies in the Chabad yeshiva system. At age 16 he entered the Yeshiva Gedola Rabbinical College of Greater Miami where he received his BA and MA in Hebrew Letters.
In June 2004, at the age of 19, Shuchat received his semikhah (rabbinic ordination) from Dovid Schochet (Chief Rabbi of Toronto) and Dovid Schmukler (dean of Kollel Tiferes Menachem in Los Angeles, California). Immediately thereafter he began his advanced rabbinic studies, which concluded with his receiving his dayanut (rabbinic judicial ordination) in 2012 from Avot Batei HaDin (religious judges) Zalman Nechemia Goldberg of Jerusalem, Aryeh Ralbag of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, Yosef Feigelstock of Buenos Aires, and Yoram Ulman of Sydney, Australia.
In 2012 he received semikhah in the laws of gittin (Jewish divorces) from Aryeh Ralbag Chief Rabbi of Amsterdam, and in the laws of family purity from Yosef Yisroel Eisenberger, Chief Rabbi of New Square, New York. In 2015 he received semikhah in the laws of kidushin (Jewish weddings) from Yitzhak Yosef and David Lau (Chief Rabbis of Israel) among others.
In May 2012, Shuchat was appointed as a dayan in the beth din (rabbinical court) of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis. Additionally, he serves as a dayan in various batei din in the New York metropolitan area such as the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, the Rabbinical Board of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, the beth din Kolel Harabonim in Rockland County, New York and the Rabbinical Alliance of America.
Mikvah & eruv consultancy
Since 2016, Shuchat has traveled the United States supervising the construction of mikvaot (Jewish ritual baths), and certifying them after their completion, ensuring they are built in accordance with the highest standards of halakha (Jewish law). He was involved in the construction of mikvaot across North and South America.
Due to his expertise in the intricate laws of eruv (ritual enclosures), Shuchat is regularly called upon to design and review their placement of in big cities across the United States.
Lectures on Jewish law
Shuchat lectures in contemporary halakhic issues, specializing in modern technology and innovation as it applies to Jewish law, and is part of the faculty of the "Online Smicha" rabbinical ordination program.
Since 2016, Shuchat is a regular panelist at the yearly Kinus HaShluchim (International conference of Chabad emissaries) where he lectures on halakha and his knowledge of directives of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the The Chabad-Lubavitcher Rebbe. He is also a featured speaker at the Kinus Torah in the Chabad Lubavitch World Headquarters, which takes place on the day after the conclusion of the holiday of Passover and other rabbinic conferences and events.
Arbitration and mediation
Shuchat trained with the New York Center for Interpersonal Development (NYCID), and is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR). He serves as an arbitrator and mediator in disputes between and within Jewish organizations.
Shuchat's first responsa, written in 2012, received the approbation of Rishon LeZion Ovadia Yosef. As posek (Jewish law authority), Shuchat has authored hundreds of She'elot u-Teshuvot (responsa) to queries he received from rabbis the world over.
- In October 2013, Shuchat was implicated in the Edison divorce torture plot, a sting operation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the goal of which was to bring about the arrests of a number of rabbis who plotted to abduct and torture a non-existent Jewish man in order to coerce him into issuing a get (divorce document) to his 'wife'. Shuchat pleaded guilty in New Jersey Federal Court to traveling in interstate commerce to commit an act of violence. He was sentenced to time served and no additional jail time, along with two years of supervised release with the first six months being house arrest.
- After a second measles outbreak in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn in 2014 (following an earlier outbreak in 2013), Shuchat wrote an article berating the anti-vaxxers, stating "When someone does an action which can cause death, or even refuses to do an action which can prevent death, he is compared to a murderer".
- On May 29, 2014 the Chabad Lubavitch-affiliated publishing house Kol Menachem released Chaim Miller's book Turning Judaism Outwards: A Biography of the Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson, which was promoted and branded as "A Human Portrait of the Rebbe". Shuchat was asked by Chabad leaders to review the book and respond to the alleged disrespect showed by the author to the Rebbe. In mid-June 2014, Shuchat published a review of the book, titled "Taking the Wrong Turn Outwards: A Critical Review", describing some of the inaccuracies present in the book.
- In 2015, when some members of the Crown Heights community advocated for the Jewish prenuptial agreement, Shuchat was one of the rabbis opposing it, explaining its fallacies while proposing a possible alternative.
- In 2015, when the KosherSwitch was introduced (an innovative light switch for circumventing the prohibition against using electricity on Shabbat), Shuchat expounded upon why it cannot be used on Shabbat, his position later being affirmed by other rabbis.
- In 2016, when an eruv was built around the Crown Heights Jewish community, the local community rabbis strongly voiced their opposition, with some even comparing the eruv users with members of Reform Judaism. The only Chabad rabbi to check the eruv and ultimately render it permissible was Shuchat, who ruled that although it is kosher, it should not be used until it is modified to satisfy the most stringent opinions.
- In 2017, the "TahorApp" was created with the purpose of enabling women who are niddah to discreetly send questions to the rabbis, without the need to go in person. A few hours after its launch, Shuchat released a statement to the effect that this app "may not be used... and any psak (religious ruling) obtained from said app is invalid" until a rabbi is consulted in person. Later, four additional rabbis added their names to the prohibition, and the certifying rabbi Fishel Jacobs pulled his endorsement from the app.
- In 2017, Shuchat joined a group of Chabad rabbis who signed a proclamation addressing child sexual abuse cases in Brooklyn's Haredi community and in the Chabad community in particular. The rabbis affirmed that "there is no need to seek rabbinic approval prior to reporting" all forms of abuse to the authorities. The letter was organized by Dovid Nyer, a licensed clinical social worker in New City, New York with Shuchat's help.
- Immediately after Passover in 2018, the hechsher (kosher supervision) department of the Central Rabbinical Congress released a letter prohibiting the consumption of any beer sold by Manhattan Beer Distributors due to a perceived problem with the sale of chametz (leaven) performed for the company by the OK Kosher Certification. The problem, which was widely reported in Haredi publications and termed "The Great Beer Episode of 2018" was immediately investigated by Shuchat, who determined that the sale of chametz was valid. His detailed responsa was later published in various rabbinical journals. He was later joined by Gavriel Zinner, Av Beth Din of Nitei Gavriel of Brooklyn, Asher Eckstein, Chief Rabbi of the Belz community in Brooklyn and Menachem Meir Weissmandel of Monsey, New York, who all acknowledged that the sale of chametz was performed properly.
- In the Fall of 2018, Shuchat spearheaded the campaign to discredit the International Beit Din headed by Simcha Krauss after it allowed a married woman to remarry without first obtaining a get, rendering any future children born as mamzerim (illegitimate). He was later joined by the Brooklyn beth din (religious court) of the Central Rabbinical Congress, the beth din of the Edah HaChareidis in Jerusalem, Moishe Sternbuch of Jerusalem, the Bnei Brak, Israel beth din of Nissim Karelitz, the Sydney, Australia beth din, the Monsey Eizer Mishpot beth din of Pinchas Rabinowitz, the Brooklyn Avnei Shaish Faltishan beth din of Yitzchok Stein and the Brooklyn beth din of Gavriel Zinner. In January 2019, Shuchat was invited to deliver an address to a conference of veteran Haredi rabbis and dayanim (rabbinic judges) in Boro Park regarding this matter.
Shuchat married Chaya in 2009, and together they have three daughters.
Shuchat serves as an associate editor of the Rebbe's works, and was involved in producing the following:
- Hadran - Siyum Maseches Chagiga (Editor) - A discourse by the Rebbe on the occasion of completing the Tractate Chagigah of the Babylonian Talmud. Published by Jewish Educational Media, New York 2015.
- Igrot Kodesh Volume 31 (Assistant Editor) - The Rebbe's letters from the year 5736 (Summer 1975-Summer 1976). Published by Kehot Publication Society, New York 2015.
- Yein Malchus (Co-Editor) - A collection of the Rebbe's commentaries on Maimonides, delivered between 1984 and 1992. Published by Lahak Hanochos, New York 2016.
- Igrot Kodesh Volume 32 (Assistant Editor) - The Rebbe's letters from the year 5737 (Summer 1976-Summer 1977). Published by Kehot Publication Society, New York 2016.
- Shlichus K'hilchasa (Editor in Chief) - A collection of the Rebbe's directives relevant to Chabad Shluchim (emissaries) and institutions worldwide. Published by Lubavitch of Long Island, New York 2016.
- "Historic Smicha test takes place in Los Angeles, CA". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "3 New Lubavitch Dayanim". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Press Release". Retrieved April 30, 2017.
- "The Jewish Voice NY: RAA Observes 1st Yahrzeit of Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "רשימת בתי דין מוכרים לגיטין בעולם (Page 11)" (PDF). Retrieved October 2, 2019.
- "Rabbonei Chabad Train Shluchim". Retrieved December 1, 2018.
- "רשימת בתי דין המוכרים לגיור בעולם (Page 9)" (PDF). Retrieved October 2, 2019.
- "Mayan Yisroel (Brooklyn, NY): Halacha Series with Rabbi Shuchat (Audio)". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Where the Chumros come From". Retrieved November 12, 2017.; "Shabbat UK 2019 - The Village Shul (London, UK)". Retrieved May 22, 2019.
- "Online Smicha - Faculty". Retrieved May 22, 2019.
- "Tri-Annual 770 Kinus Torah". Retrieved May 22, 2019.
- "Rabbis Celebrate The 9th Chag HaSmicha of Kollel Ayshel Avraham". Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- "Kollel Ayshel Avraham Celebrates 10th Chag HaSemicha". Retrieved May 23, 2019.
- Molloy, Allie (October 22, 2013) "Judge Sets Bail for Jewish Scribe, 3 Others in Kidnapping-Divorce Case", CNN. Retrieved July 9, 2019.
- "Crown Heights Rabbi Pleads Guilty in Forced 'Get' Case". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- Samaha, Albert (June 24, 2014) "Enforcer in Orthodox Jewish Divorce Extortion Operation Pleads Guilty", The Village Voice. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
- "Rabbi Receives No-Jail Sentence in Forced 'Get' Case". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Measles Outbreak Among Members of a Religious Community". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Anti-Vaccine Calls and Halacha". Retrieved May 13, 2017., quoted in "Anti-Vaxxers Are Furious At This Jewish Children's Book". Retrieved November 26, 2017.
- "Amazon.com". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "The Algemeiner: A Human Portrait of the Rebbe (REVIEW)". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Taking The Wrong Turn Outwards: A Critical Review" (PDF). Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Will the Halachic Prenup Catch On". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "A Kosher Prenup: Does it Exist?". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "2 Rabbis Prohibit Kosher Switch". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Crown Heights Eruv Is Up!". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Rabbi Osdoba: I Staunchly Oppose Crown Heights Eruv". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Rabbi Heller: Crown Heights Eruv Is Reform Judaism". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "First Chabad Rov Says Crown Heights Eruv Is Kosher". Retrieved September 5, 2017.
- "TahorApp: Anonymously Send Pictures of your Niddah Questions to a Rav". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Menstruation App Comes Under Fire For 'Jeopardizing Purity Of Jewish Nation'". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Many Chabad Rabbis Prohibit TahorApp". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Chabad Rabbi Pulls Endorsement from 'Tahor' App". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "8 Rabbis Obligate Reporting Abuse". Retrieved October 15, 2017.
- "UPDATE: Beer Kashrus Alert! (BoroPark24)". Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- "The Great Beer Episode of 2018 (Ami Magazine)". Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- Oholei Torah Yeshiva, Rabbinical Journal Haoros U'Biurim, Year 39, Vol. 16 (1146), published Spring 2018, p. 58-69; Rabbi Chaim Oberlander, Rabbi Gedalia Oberlander, Rabbinical Journal Ohr Yisroel, Year 24, Vol. 1 (77), published Fall 2018, p. 52-66.
- Rabbi Chaim Oberlander, Rabbi Gedalia Oberlander, Rabbinical Journal Ohr Yisroel, Year 24, Vol. 1 (77), published Fall 2018, p. 34-51.
- "New Mamzerus Case". Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- "Hisachdus Harabbonim". Retrieved December 19, 2018.
- "Bedatz Aguna". Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- "Aguna". Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- "שטורעמישע אסיפה אין בארא פארק מיט רבני הקהלות וועגן די פירצה פון ביטול קידושין אין פריימאן בית המדרש". Retrieved January 30, 2019.
- "הדרן עלך: חווית לימוד וצפיה, פרויקט חדש ומלהיב". Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- "בשורה משמחת: חלק ל"א של אגרות קודש". Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- "אחרי שלושים שנה: תורתו של הרבי על הרמב"ם במהדורה חדשה". Retrieved January 25, 2017.
- "בתוך חודש: כרך חדש נוסף בסדרת אגרות קודש". Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- "Shlichus K'Hilchasa". Retrieved May 13, 2017.
- "Shlichus K'Hilchasa - Miluim - Teshura Shuchat-Chazan 5777" (PDF). Retrieved December 24, 2018.
- on YouTube (lecture)
- on YouTube (lecture)