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Jewish Law

Seminar in Spring 2011

Jewish Law analyzes the Jewish legal system, focusing on topics that are relevant to contemporary American legal scholarship and jurisprudence. In addition to a general discussion of the history and development of Jewish law, the course addresses the substantive and procedural aspects of the law. Substantive areas include capital punishment, abortion, euthanasia, marriage and divorce, contracts, torts and property law. The course also examines the application of Jewish law in modern society, both in the United States, through the Free Exercise Clause and the Establishment Clause, and in the legal system of the State of Israel.

Jewish Law: Sources, Principles and Jurisprudence, analyzes from both a doctrinal and jurisprudential perspective five legal sources of Jewish law, namely, interpretation, codification, custom, precedent and reason. Attention is also paid to the historical development of the institutions of Jewish law in a comparative context. Throughout the course, reference is made to the role played by Jewish law in the legal system of the State of Israel, and upon other legal systems.