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Archive for Early Rabbinic Law

Toward Critical Halakhic Studies

Recommended reading: Adiel Schremer’s working paper, Toward Critical Halakhic Studies. Here is the abstract: Current scholarly study of Jewish law concentrates either on a description and analysis of halakhic doctrines, or on the jurisprudential theories underlying the thought of halakhic thinkers. Questions such as: “how halakhic decisions are actually produced?”, and “what are the various […]

Conference in Honor of Daniel Sperber

Next Monday there will be a conference in honor of Prof. Daniel Sperber at Bar-Ilan University. The details are below.

A Rabbinic Revolution

Michael Satlow has summarized Monday’s symposium at Harvard, The Rabbinic Revolution and the Invention of Jewish Law. The symposium featured Shaye Cohen, Moshe Halbertal, Aharon Shemesh, and Vered Noam. Also see this review of Aharon Shemesh’s book Halakhah in the Making: The Development of Jewish Law from Qumran to the Rabbis. Update: A video of […]

Ben Zion Wacholder z”l

The important scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ancient Judaism, Ben Zion Wacholder, has passed away. יהי זכרו ברוך.

Dead Sea Scrolls Staying in Israel

Israel Radio is reporting that according to the Israeli newspaper Maariv, a decision has been made to not ship the Dead Sea Scrolls abroad for any exhibitions because of the recent legal steps taken by Jordan and the Palestinians to try and get possession of them. See here for some background.

Lighting Shabbat Candles I

I have been teaching a course in which we are examining two different questions relating to the lighting of shabbat candles, whether a blessing is required and if the lighting of shabbat candles is considered kabbalat shabbat, i.e. if lighting shabbat candles initiates the accepting upon oneself of shabbat prohibitions. I won’t be going over […]

Halakhah in the Making and Book Sales

Aharon Shemesh has a new book coming out soon, Halakhah in the Making: The Development of Jewish Law from Qumran to the Rabbis. Halakhah in the Making offers the first comprehensive study of the legal material found in the Dead Sea Scrolls and its significance in the greater history of Jewish religious law (halakhah). Aharon […]

Rabban Gamliel and Two Romans

There is a story found in a number of places in rabbinic literature which features a rabbi(s), Romans, and what were/are for some people, a number of problematic matters in Jewish law which seem to discriminate between Jews and non-Jews. I will bring one version of the story in full, pointing out the differences between […]

War on Shabbat

Gil at Hirhurim has a post discussing the description from the First Book of Maccabees 2:31-41 of how at first some of the rebels would not fight back on Shabbat, and it was only after they were slaughtered that the decision was made to fight on Shabbat. “So they made this decision that day: “Let […]

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