Windows Onto Jewish Legal Culture

Author: Hanina Ben-Menahem
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415500494
Format: PDF, ePub
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This book opens windows onto various aspects of Jewish legal culture. Rather than taking a structural approach, and attempting to circumscribe and define ‘every’ element of Jewish law, Windows onto Jewish Legal Culture takes a dynamic and holistic approach, describing diverse manifestations of Jewish legal culture, and its general mind-set, without seeking to fit them into a single structure. Jewish legal culture spans two millennia, and evolved in geographic centers that were often very distant from one another both geographically and socio-culturally. It encompasses the Talmud and talmudic literature, the law codes, the rulings of rabbinical courts, the responsa literature, decisions taken by communal leaders, study of the law in talmudic academies, the local study hall, and the home. But Jewish legal culture reaches well beyond legal and quasi-legal institutions; it addresses, and is reflected in, every aspect of daily life, from meals and attire to interpersonal and communal relations. Windows onto Jewish Legal Culture gives the reader a taste of the tremendous weight of Jewish legal culture within Jewish life. Among the facets of Jewish legal culture explored are two of its most salient distinguishing features, namely, toleration and even encouragement of controversy, and a preference for formalistic formulations. These features are widely misunderstood, and Jewish legal culture is often parodied as hair-splitting argument for the sake of argument. In explaining the epistemic imperatives that motivate Jewish legal culture, however, this book paints a very different picture. Situational constraints and empirical considerations are shown to provide vital input into legal determinations at every level, and the legal process is revealed to be attentive to context and sensitive to cultural concerns.

The Interpretation of Cultures

Author: Clifford Geertz
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465093566
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In The Interpretation of Cultures, the most original anthropologist of his generation moved far beyond the traditional confines of his discipline to develop an important new concept of culture. This groundbreaking book, winner of the 1974 Sorokin Award of the American Sociological Association, helped define for an entire generation of anthropologists what their field is ultimately about.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is the premier public resource on scientific and technological developments that impact global security. Founded by Manhattan Project Scientists, the Bulletin's iconic "Doomsday Clock" stimulates solutions for a safer world.

Islamic and Jewish Legal Reasoning

Author: Anver Emon
Publisher: Oneworld Publications
ISBN: 1780748817
Format: PDF, Docs
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By pairing a scholar of Islamic law with a scholar of Jewish law, a unique dynamic is created. This new perspective not only provides a deeper understanding of the other’s legal tradition, but it also reveals new insights into the one’s own legal tradition, shedding light on what we had previously been too close to observe. Whether for the pursuit of advanced scholarship, pedagogic innovation in the classroom, or simply a greater appreciation of how to live in a multi-faith community, these encounters are richly-stimulating, demonstrating how legal tradition can be used as a common site for developing discussions and opening up diverse approaches to questions about law. Surrounded as we are by political, economic and social dilemmas, it offers a truly incisive model for considering the good, the right and the legal in our societies today. For a thoughtful but circumspect readership, Islamic and Jewish Legal Reasoning is essential.

The Book of Genesis

Author: Craig A. Evans
Publisher: BRILL
ISBN: 9004226532
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Drawing on the latest in Genesis scholarship, this volume offers twenty-nine essays on a wide range of topics related to Genesis, written by leading experts in the field. Topics include its formation, reception, textual history and translation, themes, theologies, and place within Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Balancing on the Mechitza

Author: Noach Dzmura
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
ISBN: 1556438133
Format: PDF, ePub
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"While the Jewish mainstream still argues about homosexuality, many transgender and gender-variant people sit in the congregation, marry under the chuppah, and create Jewish families. Balancing on the Mechitza gives voice to this movement in Jewish cultur

Stories of the Law

Author: Moshe Simon-Shoshan
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199773815
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Winner of Honorable Mention in the Jordan Schnitzer Book Awards of the Association for Jewish Studies Moshe Simon-Shoshan offers a groundbreaking study of Jewish law (halakhah) and rabbinic story-telling. Focusing on the Mishnah, the foundational text of halakhah, he argues that narrative was essential in early rabbinic formulations and concepts of law, legal process, and political and religious authority. The book begins by presenting a theoretical framework for considering the role of narrative in the Mishnah. Drawing on a wide range of disciplines, including narrative theory, Semitic linguistics, and comparative legal studies, Simon-Shoshan shows that law and narrative are inextricably intertwined in the Mishnah. Narrative is central to the way in which the Mishnah transmits law and ideas about jurisprudence. Furthermore, the Mishnah's stories are the locus around which the Mishnah both constructs and critiques its concept of the rabbis as the ultimate arbiters of Jewish law and practice. In the second half of the book, Simon-Shoshan applies these ideas to close readings of individual Mishnaic stories. Among these stories are some of the most famous narratives in rabbinic literature, including those of Honi the Circle-drawer and R. Gamliel's Yom Kippur confrontation with R. Joshua. In each instance, Simon-Shoshan elucidates the legal, political, theological, and human elements of the story and places them in the wider context of the book's arguments about law, narrative, and rabbinic authority. Stories of the Law presents an original and forceful argument for applying literary theory to legal texts, challenging the traditional distinctions between law and literature that underlie much contemporary scholarship.

Essays on Ethics

Author: Jonathan Sacks
Publisher: Maggid
ISBN: 9781592644490
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Why was Abraham ordered to sacrifice his son? Was Jacob right in stealing the blessings? Why were we commanded to destroy Amalek? What was Moses' sin in hitting the rock? And how did the Ten Commandments change the Jewish people, and humankind, for good? Essays on Ethics is the second companion volume to Rabbi Jonathan Sacks's celebrated series Covenant & Conversation. Believing the Hebrew Bible to be the ultimate blueprint for Western morality, Rabbi Sacks embarks upon an ethical exploration of the weekly Torah portion, uncovering its message of truth and justice, dignity and compassion, forgiveness and love.

You Feel So Mortal

Author: Peggy Shinner
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022612780X
Format: PDF, Docs
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Feet, bras, autopsies, hair—Peggy Shinner takes an honest, unflinching look at all of them in You Feel So Mortal, a collection of searing and witty essays about the body: her own body, female and Jewish; those of her parents, the bodies she came from; and the collective body, with all its historical, social, and political implications. What, she asks, does this whole mess of bones, muscles, organs, and soul mean? Searching for answers, she turns her keen narrative sense to body image, gender, ethnic history, and familial legacy, exploring what it means to live in our bodies and to leave them behind. Over the course of twelve essays, Shinner holds a mirror up to the complex desires, fears, confusions, and mysteries that shape our bodily perceptions. Driven by the collision between herself and the larger world, she examines her feet through the often-skewed lens of history to understand what makes them, in the eyes of some, decidedly Jewish; considers bras, breasts, and the storied skills of the bra fitter; asks, from the perspective of a confused and grieving daughter, what it means to cut the body open; and takes a reeling time-trip through myth, culture, and history to look at women’s hair in ancient Rome, Laos, France, Syria, Cuba, India, and her own past. Some pieces investigate the body under emotional or physical duress, while others use the body to consider personal heritage and legacy. Throughout, Shinner writes with elegance and assurance, weaving her wide-ranging thoughts into a firm and fascinating fabric. Turning the category of body books on, well, its ear, You Feel So Mortal offers a probing view of our preoccupation with the body that is both idiosyncratic and universal, leaving us with the deep satisfaction of our shared humanity.