Skip to main content

Responsa

Responsa (Heb., sheʾelot u-teshuvot, ‘questions and answers’). Exchanges of letters primarily on Jewish halakhic matters. From the geonic period, the oral law was largely disseminated throughout the diaspora by means of responsa. The geonic responsa were copied and sometimes collected into kovazim (‘collections’). Unlike the geonim, the rishonim sometimes indicated doubt and used such expressions as ‘in my humble opinion’ or ‘requires further thought’. Orthodox rabbinic authorities have continued to give responsa to this day (aharonim), and the responsa literature provides an important source for the social history of the various Jewish communities through the ages.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Responsa." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Responsa." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/responsa

"Responsa." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 17, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/responsa

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.