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Halakhah : the Rabbinic idea of law

Author: Chaim N Saiman
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, [2018]. ©2018
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Though typically translated as "Jewish law," the term halakhah is not an easy match for what is usually thought of as law. This is because the rabbinic legal system has rarely wielded the political power to enforce its many detailed rules, nor has it ever been the law of any state. Even more idiosyncratically, the talmudic rabbis claim that the study of halakhah is a holy endeavor that brings a person closer to  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Chaim N Saiman
ISBN: 069115211X 9780691152110
OCLC Number: 1050704973
Description: xiv, 296 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: Preface --
Acknowledgments --
Introduction --
Part I. The Nature of Halakhah --
1. The Idea of Halakhah --
2. Non-Applied Law --
3. Halakhah and Governance --
4. Halakhah as Torah --
Part II. Talmudic Readings --
5. Halakhah as Theology --
6. Halakhah as Education --
7. Halakhah as Aggadah --
8. Thinking Legally --
Part III. Between Torah and Law --
9. Transitioning to Law --
10. The Idea of Halakhah in the Codes --
11. The Idea of Halakhah in Responsa --
12. Halakhah's Empire --
13. The State of Halakhah and the Halakhah of the State --
Conclusion --
Glossary --
Notes --
Further Readings --
Index
Responsibility: Chaim N. Saiman.

Abstract:

"Though typically translated as "Jewish law," the term halakhah is not an easy match for what is usually thought of as law. This is because the rabbinic legal system has rarely wielded the political power to enforce its many detailed rules, nor has it ever been the law of any state. Even more idiosyncratically, the talmudic rabbis claim that the study of halakhah is a holy endeavor that brings a person closer to God?a claim no country makes of its law. In this panoramic book, Chaim Saiman traces how generations of rabbis have used concepts forged in talmudic disputation to do the work that other societies assign not only to philosophy, political theory, theology, and ethics but also to art, drama, and literature. In the multifaceted world of halakhah where everything is law, law is also everything, and even laws that serve no practical purpose can, when properly studied, provide surprising insights into timeless questions about the very nature of human existence. What does it mean for legal analysis to connect humans to God? Can spiritual teachings remain meaningful and at the same time rigidly codified? Can a modern state be governed by such law? Guiding readers across two millennia of richly illuminating perspectives, this book shows how halakhah is not just "law" but an entire way of thinking, being, and knowing."--Provided by publisher.

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"Saiman's book is a compelling and original exposition of the unique nature of halakhah as a legal system, providing both a larger picture of what halakhah is and brilliant particular readings of its Read more...

 
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