A Living Tree: The Roots and Growth of Jewish Law by Elliot N. Dorff

By Elliot N. Dorff

This ebook examines biblical and rabbinic legislations as a coherent, carrying on with felony culture. It explains the connection among faith and legislations and the interplay among legislations and morality. ample choices from basic Jewish resources, many newly translated, let the reader to deal with the culture without delay as a residing physique of legislation with emphasis at the matters which are fundamental for legal professionals, legislators, and judges. via an in-depth exam of non-public harm legislations and marriage and divorce legislations, the publication explores jurisprudential matters very important for any felony approach and screens the first features of Jewish law.

A residing Tree may be of specific curiosity to scholars of legislation and to Jews excited about the criminal dimensions in their culture. The authors supply enough factors of the resources and their value to make it pointless for the reader to have a historical past in both Jewish stories or legislations.

"This ebook is very good. It presents the suitable criminal assets for comprehending Jewish legislation and extra info (historical, sociological, etc.) for figuring out the evolution of Jewish legislation. The authors' reviews are perpetually transparent and beneficial and regularly insightful. The manuscript is not just attention-grabbing however it is fascinating. the subject is necessary to Judaic reports and to historic reviews regularly. it's the top choice of fabric on Jewish legislation on hand within the United States." -- Martin Edelman, nation college of latest York at Albany

"What i love such a lot approximately this booklet is the breadth of therapy with no sacrifice of intensity or sophistication. this can be a high-quality English language creation to Jewish law." -- David Goodblatt , collage of Maryland in school Park

"A dwelling Tree is, in our opinion, from either a pedagogical and a scholarly standpoint, the best booklet of its variety to be had at the present time. the original gains of this ebook make it a worthwhile contribution to the scholarship of the sector. certainly, in lots of methods, we might count on that this booklet turns into the traditional English paintings on Jewish law." -- Rabbi David Saperstein and Sherman L. Cohn, Georgetown college legislations heart

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121 Having journeyed from Rephidim, they entered the wilderness of The Biblical Law Codes Sinai and encamped in the wilderness. Israel eneamped there in front of the mountain, 131 and Moses went up to God. The LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, "Thus shall you say to the house of Jaeob and declare to the children of Israel: 141 'You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on eagles' wings and brought you to Me. 151 Now then, if you will obey Me faithfully and keep My convenant, you shall be My treasured possession among all the peoples.

The similarities between the civilization of the Israelites and that of their neighbors, then, also argue for understanding the Bible as the product of an historical context. This book uses the historical method based on textual criticism to understand the Jewish tradition because of the advantages described above and because we believe that that is the appropriate way for historians and social scientists to study any culture. Like any such scholars, we seek to describe and understand the culture we are studying and to reconcile the conflicting evidence regarding the operation of that legal system as plausibly as possible.

1. Torah The term, "Torah," carries a number of connotations, including law or instruction in general. Its primary meaning, however, is to describe the Pentateuch, consisting of the five books of Moses, traditionally believed to have been delivered by God to Moses at Mount Sinai. ), trace the story of the Jews from the period of the patriarchs, through their enslavement and deliverance from Egypt, to the point when they were about to reenter the Promised Land. These books also contain several extensive law codes consisting of civil, criminal, and cultic rules, as well as ethical imperatives.

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