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

By Elliot N. Dorff

This e-book examines biblical and rabbinic legislations as a coherent, carrying on with criminal culture. It explains the connection among faith and legislation and the interplay among legislations and morality. plentiful decisions from fundamental Jewish assets, many newly translated, allow the reader to handle the culture without delay as a dwelling physique of legislation with emphasis at the issues which are basic for legal professionals, legislators, and judges. via an in-depth exam of private damage legislations and marriage and divorce legislations, the publication explores jurisprudential matters very important for any criminal process and screens the first features of Jewish law.

A residing Tree can be of detailed curiosity to scholars of legislation and to Jews fascinated with the criminal dimensions in their culture. The authors offer enough factors of the assets and their value to make it pointless for the reader to have a historical past in both Jewish reviews or legislations.

"This publication is marvelous. It presents the correct criminal resources for comprehending Jewish legislations and extra details (historical, sociological, etc.) for figuring out the evolution of Jewish legislations. The authors' reviews are constantly transparent and priceless and often insightful. The manuscript is not just attention-grabbing however it is intriguing. the subject is necessary to Judaic stories and to historic experiences mostly. it's the most sensible number of fabric on Jewish legislations on hand within the United States." -- Martin Edelman, kingdom college of latest York at Albany

"What i admire so much approximately this booklet is the breadth of remedy with no sacrifice of intensity or sophistication. this can be a high-quality English language creation to Jewish law." -- David Goodblatt , college of Maryland at school Park

"A residing Tree is, in our opinion, from either a pedagogical and a scholarly point of view, the best publication of its style to be had this day. the original good points of this ebook make it a useful contribution to the scholarship of the sphere. certainly, in lots of methods, we might count on that this publication turns into the traditional English paintings on Jewish law." -- Rabbi David Saperstein and Sherman L. Cohn, Georgetown college legislation heart

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Sample text

D. THE BIBLICAL LAW CODES Three major law codes are found in the Torah: Exodus 19-24, Leviticus 1-26, and Deuteronomy 4-26. As an example of early biblical law, this topic will examine the Exodus law code in some detail. The Exodus code is often called liThe Book of the Covenant, II and it is believed to be the oldest of the three biblical codes. You will find it helpful to read this text over at least once to gain a sense of its sweep and content. It is presented here in a modern, American English translation from Hebrew.

125] If you take your neighbor's garment in pledge, you must return it to him before the sun sets; [26] it is his only clothing, the sole covering for his skin. In what else shall he sleep? Therefore, if he cries out to Me, I will pay heed, for I am compassionate. 127] You shall not offend God, nor put a curse upon a chieftain among your people. 1281 You shall not put off the skimming of the first yield of your vats Imeaning of Hebrew is uncertain]. You shall give Me the first-born among your sons.

181 When men quarrel and one strikes the other with stone or fist, and he does not die but has to take to his bed-[I91 if he then gets up and walks outdoors upon his staff, the assailant shall go unpunished, except that he must pay for his idleness and his cure. [201 When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod, and he dies there and then lliterally, "under his hand"l, he must be avenged. [211 But if he survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, since he is the other's property.

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