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Archive for Jewish Law

Prof. Aaron Kirschenbaum z”l

The scholar of Jewish law Prof. Aaron Kirschenbaum z”l has passed away. It is difficult to summarize Prof. Kirschenbaum’s scholarly achievements, they range from popular booklets on studying Talmud to a massive tome on self-incrimination in the history of Jewish and Roman Law. A web site dedicated to his scholarship has begun to be built and […]

New Book: Halakhic Writing in a Changing World

Tomer Persico has a quick summary (Hebrew) of Maoz Kahana’s new book Halakhic Writing in a Changing World, from the ‘Noda Biyhuda’ to the ‘Hatam Sofer’, 1730-1839 (Hebrew). The book, based upon Kahana’s dissertation, examines the differences between the halakhic approaches of the Noda Biyhudah and the Hatam Sofer. The following is from the English […]

A Left-wing Israeli MK from Joint List and Jewish Law

Dov Khenin, a member of the Israeli Communist Party and an MK from the Joint List, recently proposed a change in Israeli law that was almost identical to Jewish Law. According to Khenin, it wouldn’t be legal to convict a person solely on the basis of a confession. This is essentially in line with the […]

Is Halakhah About Submission or Freedom

The past few weeks have seen a flurry of online discussions about the nature of halakhic authority and development. Beginning with discussions about the ordination of women within Orthodoxy, the past few days have seen a number of worthwhile discussions about the macro discussion of halakhah and authority. The first post that I would like […]

Pass the Guinness

Today’s NY Times had an article about a change in the ingredients of Guinness stout: Guinness, the Irish stout that once famously advertised itself under the slogan “Guinness is good for you,” took a step this week to inject 21st-century food culture into its 256-year-old product. Guinness is going vegan.The company announced on Monday that […]

Micah Goodman on Israeli Judaism 2.0

Micah Goodman has written an interesting series of articles (Hebrew) in Musaf Shabbat on the future of Judaism, Religious Zionism, and Jewish law in the State of Israel. (Parts I, II, III) Hopefully Micah will write at least a summary in English. Tomer Persico has written two posts (Hebrew) about the series. Below is an […]

Desecration of Terrorist Bodies

While there have been many heroic actions by Israeli citizens and security personnel during the past few weeks when responding to vicious terrorist attacks, there have also been a number of incidents in which citizens or even security personnel have beaten and attacked wounded terrorists who posed no threat or even desecrated dead bodies of […]

She Needed Her Husband’s Signature

Dr. Tova Ganzel is Director of the Midrasha Institute for Advanced Torah Studies at Bar-Ilan University. The Midrasha is one of the premier institutions in Israel that offer women the opportunity to study Torah at an advanced level. Dr. Ganzel is an accomplished scholar who is both a yoetzet halakhah and a recipient of a […]

Are You a Mishnah Berurah or Arukh Hashulhan Person

One of my favorite footnotes in Haym Soloveitchik’s seminal article Rupture and Reconstruction is n. 6. First, the text on which the footnote is commenting: This dual tradition of the intellectual and the mimetic, law as taught and law as practiced, which stretched back for centuries, begins to break down in the twilight years of […]

New Book-In God’s Image

Yair Lorberbaum’s important work on the role of the concept of Tzelem Elohim, image of God or Imago Dei, in Jewish law and rabbinic theology has now been translated into English and will soon be published. I have not seen the English version, In God’s Image: Myth, Theology, and Law in Classical Judaism, but the […]

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