Jewish Law Reading Group

Each semester, the Julis-Rabinowitz Program on Jewish and Israeli Law hosts an accredited seminar on Advanced Topics in Jewish Law and Legal Theory to consider classical texts of Anglo-American and European legal theory in juxtaposition with classical texts in Jewish law and legal theory. The seminar is taught by the Program Director, along with faculty from Harvard’s Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations Department, and visiting scholars affiliated with Harvard’s Center for Jewish Studies.

Registration is open to current law students, as well Harvard graduate students with background in advanced study of Jewish legal material can register for the seminar.


Advanced Topics in Jewish Law and Legal Theory
TOPIC FOR Fall 2020: “The Law of Natural Disasters”

Professor Noah Feldman
Fall 2020 reading group
Th 7:00pm – 9:00pm 
1 classroom credit

Prerequisite: This seminar will be by permission of the instructor, who strongly prefers that students have a background in advanced study of Jewish legal material. To apply please send a short statement of interest including background in Jewish legal studies to nfeldman@law.harvard.edu with a copy to swhalen@law.harvard.edu and mbutler@law.harvard.edu

Exam Type: No Exam

 


Advanced Topics in Jewish Law and Legal Theory
TOPIC FOR Spring 2020: “Mysticism and the Law”

Professor Noah Feldman
Spring 2020 reading group
Th 7:00pm – 9:00pm in WCC Room 3016
1 classroom credit

Prerequisite: This seminar will be by permission of the instructor, who strongly prefers that students have a background in advanced study of Jewish legal material. To apply please send a short statement of interest including background in Jewish legal studies to nfeldman@law.harvard.edu with a copy to swhalen@law.harvard.edu and mbutler@law.harvard.edu

Exam Type: No Exam


Advanced Topics in Jewish Law and Legal Theory
TOPIC FOR FALL 2019: “Forbidden Knowledge”

Professor Noah Feldman
Fall 2019 reading group
Th 7:00pm – 9:00pm in WCC Room 4059
1 classroom credit

Prerequisite: This seminar will be by permission of the instructor, who strongly prefers that students have a background in advanced study of Jewish legal material. To apply please send a short statement of interest including background in Jewish legal studies to nfeldman@law.harvard.edu with a copy to swhalen@law.harvard.edu and mbutler@law.harvard.edu

Exam Type: No Exam


Advanced Topics in Jewish Law and Legal Theory
TOPIC FOR SPRING 2019: “Messianism”

Professor Noah Feldman
Spring 2019 reading group
Th 7:00pm – 9:00pm in WCC Room 4059
1 classroom credit

Prerequisite: This seminar will be by permission of the instructor, who strongly prefers that students have a background in advanced study of Jewish legal material. To apply please send a short statement of interest including background in Jewish legal studies to nfeldman@law.harvard.edu with a copy to swhalen@law.harvard.edu and mbutler@law.harvard.edu

Exam Type: No Exam


Advanced Topics in Jewish Law and Legal Theory
TOPIC FOR FALL 2018: “Who is a Jew”

Professor Noah Feldman
Fall 2018 reading group
Th 7:00pm – 9:00pm in WCC Room 4059
1 classroom credit

Prerequisite: This seminar will be by permission of the instructor, who strongly prefers that students have a background in advanced study of Jewish legal material. To apply please send a short statement of interest including background in Jewish legal studies to nfeldman@law.harvard.edu with a copy to swhalen@law.harvard.edu and mbutler@law.harvard.edu

Exam Type: No Exam

The group will examine theoretical/textual questions related to the question of Who is a Jew?

Previous topics:

  • “Antinomianism”
  • “Circumvention and Legal Fiction”
  • “Doctrinal Approaches to Political Upheaval: Orthodox Responses to Zionism”
  • “Governance and the Community”
  • “Methods of Legal Study and Thought in Yeshivot”
  • “Nation and Peoplehood”
  • “Ordination, The Semikhah Controversy”
  • “Sources of Legal Authority”
  • “State Authority and Coercion”
  • “Temple Mount”
  • “War and Martyrdom”
  • “Women and Sexuality”
  • “”Language, Law, and Land: The Holiness of Hebrew”