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

By Elliot N. Dorff

This e-book examines biblical and rabbinic legislation as a coherent, carrying on with criminal culture. It explains the connection among faith and legislation and the interplay among legislation and morality. plentiful choices from basic Jewish resources, many newly translated, allow the reader to deal with the culture at once as a dwelling physique of legislation with emphasis at the matters which are fundamental for attorneys, legislators, and judges. via an in-depth exam of private harm legislation and marriage and divorce legislation, the ebook explores jurisprudential concerns very important for any felony method and screens the first features of Jewish law.

A residing Tree could be of particular curiosity to scholars of legislation and to Jews involved in the criminal dimensions in their culture. The authors supply adequate reasons of the assets and their value to make it pointless for the reader to have a heritage in both Jewish experiences or legislations.

"This publication is amazing. It offers the suitable criminal resources for comprehending Jewish legislation and extra details (historical, sociological, etc.) for figuring out the evolution of Jewish legislation. The authors' reviews are continuously transparent and worthwhile and often insightful. The manuscript isn't just fascinating however it is fascinating. the subject is critical to Judaic reports and to ancient stories in most cases. it's the most sensible choice of fabric on Jewish legislations to be had within the United States." -- Martin Edelman, nation collage of recent York at Albany

"What i admire so much approximately this publication is the breadth of remedy with no sacrifice of intensity or sophistication. it is a advantageous English language advent to Jewish law." -- David Goodblatt , collage of Maryland at school Park

"A dwelling Tree is, in our opinion, from either a pedagogical and a scholarly point of view, the best ebook of its sort to be had this day. the original positive factors of this ebook make it a important contribution to the scholarship of the sphere. certainly, in lots of methods, we'd count on that this publication becomes the normal English paintings on Jewish law." -- Rabbi David Saperstein and Sherman L. Cohn, Georgetown college legislation heart

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Here are a few assertions about that society you should test as you read the text: (a) it was a stratified society with distinct social classes; (b) the status of women and slaves was inferior, but both groups were seen as possessing human dignity; (c) the economy was primarily agricultural, although the pastoral keeping of herds existed alongside the raising of crops; (d) pcople lived in houses rather than tcnts; and (e) there was a strong sense of group responsibility and interdependence, but at the same time the group did not livc in isolation and expected to have outsiders living with them.

Part of the Exodus code, particularly the Ten Commandments in chapter 20, is in apodictic form, while much of the rest of the code is in casuistic form. These differences in form may tell us something about the sources of these laws. Apodictic law suggests a general command given by an authority, while the casuistic form, particularly when the circumstances become very specific, suggests that the law is the report of an actual case and indicates that the rule has grown from the accumulation of practice rather than a single legislative act.

Ill But if Ithe animalJ was stolen from him, he shall 33 34 BIBLICAL LAW make restitution to its owner. 112] If it was torn by beasts, he shall bring it as evidence; he need not replace what has been torn by beasts. 113] When a man borrows Ian animal] from another and it dies of in· juries lor "is injured or dies"; see note on v. 91, its owner not being with it, he must make restitution. 1141 If its owner was with it, no restitution need be made; but if it was hired, he is still entitled to the hiring fee.

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