Can Jewish Law Get Its Creativity Back?

A reply to my respondents.

The great sanhedrin of the French Israelites, February 4th, 1807. Edouard Moyse, 1807. Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
The great sanhedrin of the French Israelites, February 4th, 1807. Edouard Moyse, 1807. Bibliothèque des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
Response
Dec. 25 2013
About the author

Joshua Berman is professor of Bible at Bar-Ilan University and a research fellow at the Herzl Institute. His book Inconsistency in the Torah: Ancient Literary Convention and the Limits of Source Criticism is out from Oxford University Press.


I thank Gil Student, Chaim Saiman, and David Golinkin for their contributions to this discussion about the history and process of Jewish law. Their deep knowledge of Jewish sources adds important context and penetrating conceptual models with which to apprehend not only the state of halakhic discourse but also the crucial issues of identity confronting today’s observant Jews. In addressing those two themes, I’d like to respond first to Chaim Saiman, next to David Golinkin, and finally to Gil Student.

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More about: Bible, Common law, Halakhah, Jewish identity, Mishnah, Talmud