Legal Literature

Today, MyJewishLearning launched its first new subject area in two years: Halakhic Texts. The section — a collection of about 25 articles — covers the history and sources of Jewish legal literature. While many of these works, like Maimonides’ Mishneh Torah and Joseph Caro’s Shulhan Arukh, may be familiar to you, others like the Sheiltot and the Hayei Adam, may not be.

As usual, this subject area contains some reprinted material, as well as original articles written specifically for MJL. Justice Menachem Elon was very gracious in letting us reprint several selections from his masterpiece: Jewish Law (Mishpat Ivri).

Original articles written for MJL include Professor Mark Washofsky’s article about Reform Halakhic Texts and Rabbi Jill Jacobs’ article about Conservative Halakhic Texts. The latter is particularly noteworthy because this week, the Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Law and Standards will meet to discuss a major change to Conservative Halakhah: the question of ordaining gay and lesbian rabbis. Jill’s article provides important context to this historic meeting.

Discover More

Halakhah and Feminism

Traditional Judaism can--and should--embrace feminism to allow for greater equality in Jewish religious life.

Autopsies and Jewish Law: An Orthodox Perspective

Contrary to popular belief, Jewish law does not have an absolute prohibition on this post-death procedure.

Rachel Adler

How Adler uses feminist ideas to challenge Jewish law.