Torah

When the Rambam Argues with himself: His Two Hagadot and a Taste of the World to Come

When the Rambam Argues with himself: His Two Hagadot and a Taste of the World to Come

Throughout Jewish history, a number of halachik[1] terms have existed to describe the non-Jewish population with which the Jewish community interacted; these terms, in turn, helped define the nature of the relationship between the two populations.  Being a member of the “Seven Indigenous Nations of the Land of Canaan (ז’ עמים),” for example, would propel the relationship in a negative…

Imprisonment for Debt in Jewish and Israeli Law

Imprisonment for Debt in Jewish and Israeli Law

Imprisonment for Debt in Israeli Law Debtor’s prison has a long – but not proud – history in many of the world’s legal systems, including Israel’s.  During the 1970’s and 1980’s, for example, some 500,000 letters were sent threatening prison to those who could not pay their debts, and some 20,000-40,000 people actually served time in prison for their inability,…

Defamation in Jewish and Israeli Law

Defamation in Jewish and Israeli Law

One interesting distinction between Israeli and American law connected to Jewish Law arises in the field of defamation.  US law, of course, tends to favor the defendant, the entity whose statements allegedly cause damage to the plaintiff.  With the guiding principle here the First Amendment and its concerns for freedom of speech and freedom of the press, the Supreme Court…

Confessions in Jewish and Israeli Law

Confessions in Jewish and Israeli Law

Admissibility of Confessions In June of this year the Supreme Court threw out a confession given by a teenage accomplice accused of involvement in the deadly 2015 firebombing of a Palestinian home in the town of Duma; the reason behind the ruling was due to the fact that the confession had been determined to have been offered under duress.  In…

Give a Little Bit …

Give a Little Bit …

One doesn’t usually think of the rock group Supertramp when studying Mishna … but maybe we should.  Towards that end, maybe you’d like to play this song in the background as you read the below post. The Mishna in question is the very first to appear in the Tractate of Shabbat, while the topic in question is the halacha relating to carrying…

Joy in Judaism

Joy in Judaism

Essential to Judaism – and to Shir Hadash – is the concept of joy.  For that reason, I thought it might be of some value to share a few ‘sources’ about this value, and thereby elevate it from a vague concept to which one might be prepared to gives lip service to a more concrete, and more urgent characteristic to…