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Rabbinic Law As Culture: How the Talmudic Rabbis Transformed Everything Into a Legal Question and Jewish Law into a Way of Talking About Everything

Wednesday, January 30
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
12th-Floor Lounge, Corrigan Conference Center, Lowenstein Center
Lincoln Center Campus, 113 W. 60th St.
New York, NY 10023
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Professor Chaim Saiman’s book, “Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law,” is a fascinating and original exposition of the unique nature of halakhah as a legal system. “Jewish Law,” as it is usually translated, is not only a guide to life, but also an ongoing encounter with the divine; it is not just a body of regulations, but a way of thinking, being, and knowing.

Professor Saiman will show how, when pored over and studied, even laws that can seem to provide no practical purpose can provide surprising insights into timeless questions about the very nature of human existence: What does it mean for legal analysis to connect humans to God? Can spiritual teachings remain meaningful even when rigorously codified? Can a modern state be governed by such law?

Speaker: Chaim N. Saiman, professor of law, Villanova University, Pennsylvania
Responses by: Saul Berman, associate professor, Yeshiva University, and adjunct professor, Columbia University Law School
Sarit Kattan Gribet, assistant professor, theology department, Fordham University

This event is open to alumni, faculty/staff, parents, students, and the public.