Organized as a series of authoritative discussions, this book presents the application of Jewish law - or Halakhah - to contemporary social and political issues. Beginning with the principle of divine revelation, it describes the contents and canons of interpretation of Jewish law. Though divinely received, the law must still be interpreted and 'completed' by human minds, often leading to the conundrum of divergent but equally authentic interpretations. Examining topics from divorce to war and from rabbinic confidentiality to cloning, this book carefully delineates the issues presented in each case, showing the various positions taken by rabbinic scholars, clarifying areas of divergence, and analyzing reasons for disagreement. Written by widely recognized scholars of both Jewish and secular law, this book will be an invaluable source for all who seek authoritative guidance in understanding traditional Jewish law and practice.
J. David Bleich is a Professor of Talmud (Rosh Yeshiva) at Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, as well as the Tenzer Professor of Jewish Law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. A prolific writer and an authority on Jewish law and ethics, he is widely known as author of the six-volume Contemporary Halakhic Problems. Arthur J. Jacobson is Max Freund Professor of Litigation and Advocacy at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. He is the author of numerous articles and books on legal theory and contracts law, including Weimar: A Jurisprudence of Crisis (with Bernhard Schlink, 2002). Professor Jacobson received his JD from Harvard Law School.
1. The nature and structure of Jewish law; 2. Divorce; 3. Jewish law and the state's authority to punish crime; 4. The Sotheby sale; 5. Torture and the ticking bomb; 6. War; 7. Dead or alive?; 8. Rabbinic confidentiality; 9. Cloning: homologous reproduction and Jewish law.