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Crime and Punishment in Jewish Law
Essays and Responsa
Edited by Walter Jacob and Moshe Zemer
ISBN 978-1-57181-197-4 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (October 1999)
eISBN 978-1-78920-567-1 eBook
The Bible presents only a small portion of the laws necessary for a state to function. Nevertheless, whole tractates of the Talmud discuss a wide variety of legal issues both civil and criminal. Although the jurisdiction of the beth din was limited in every land where Jews have lived, the scholars felt that it was important to develop a system which dealt with every aspect of life. Quite a few of the issues were discussed at a purely theoretical level. But faced with specific problems in their respective communities, the rabbinic scholars were forced to be practical and go beyond the traditional halakhah in order to protect the community. This mixture of idealism and reality shape the later rabbinic discussions, some elements of which have been incorporated into modern Israeli law, but also shape modern Jewish thinking in the Diaspora. This area of the halakhah has been rather neglected, but this volume will no doubt stimulate further research.
Published in Association with the Solomon B. Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah
Walter Jacob was Senior Scholar of Rodef Shalom Congregation, Pittsburgh, Pennslyvania. He also served as President of the Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah. He is the author and editor of a number of titles including American Reform Responsa (1983), Liberal Judaism and Halakhah (1988) and Not by Birth Alone, Conversion to Judaism (1997).
Moshe Zemer (1932-2011) was Director of the Freehof Insittue of Progressive Halakhah and a founder of the Movement for Progressive Judaism in Israel. He contributed to numerous articles on halakhah in the Israeli press and scientific journals and was author of The Sane Halakhah [Hebrew], (1993) which was translated into both German and English.
Subject: Jewish Studies
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