Jewish Law: Contemporary Issues in Jewish Law

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth Brander

Rabbi Dr. Kenneth (Kenny) Brander is Vice President for University and Community Life at Yeshiva University.  He concurrently serves as the inaugural David Mitzner Dean of Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future. The CJF shapes, enriches and inspires the contemporary Jewish community by convening the resources of Yeshiva. It does so by infusing the student body with the spirit of leadership and a sense of klal Yisrael. CJF serves to build, cultivate and support communities, rabbinic and lay leaders, and individuals. Furthermore, CJF is creating a global movement that promotes the values of Yeshiva. Rabbi Brander is rabbi emeritus of the Boca Raton Synagogue, founding dean of the Boca Raton Community Kollel and founder of the Weinbaum Yeshiva High School of Broward and Palm Beach counties. During his 14 years of service to that community, he oversaw its explosive growth from 60 families to some 600 families. Rabbi Brander is a 1984 alumnus of Yeshiva College and received his ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1986. At RIETS, he had the distinction of serving as personal aide to the esteemed Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. He also received special ordination from Machon Puah, a center of medical ethics in Israel, and from former Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu in the field of medical ethics. He received his PhD in general philosophy from Florida Atlantic University. Sample Titles Playing God: Can I Choose my Child? PGD and Genetic Screening – A Torah Perspective My Egg, My Husband, Her Womb, Whose Child? The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine Through the Prism of Jewish Law The Ethics of Reproductive Medicine in Jewish Law: A Torah Perspective End of Life Issues Through the Prism of Halakhah Fertility Procedures The Gift of Life: Donating Organs; A Jewish Perspective Our Health and Well-being: Compassionate and Halakhic Treatment of the Terminally Ill Patient Stem Cell Research – The Definition of Life as seen in Parshat Mishpatim Ethics of War “Is Zionism Diametrically Opposed to Judaism?” Contemporary...

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Rabbi Daniel Feldman

Rabbi Daniel Z. Feldman is a Rosh Yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University, as well as an instructor in the Sy Syms School of Business, and serves as the Executive Editor of the RIETS initiative of YU Press. He is an alumnus of Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh and received his ordination (Yoreh Yoreh and Yadin Yadin) from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, where he was a fellow of the Bella and Harry Wexner Kollel Elyon. Rabbi Feldman is the author of “The Right and The Good: Halakhah and Human Relations” (Jason Aronson, 1999; expanded edition, Yashar Books, 2005), and “Divine Footsteps: Chesed and the Jewish Soul” (Yeshiva University Press, 2008) as well as three volumes of Talmudic essays entitled Binah BaSefarim, which have been published with the approbations of R. Avraham Schapira, R. Ovadiah Yosef, R. Natan Gestetner, R. Zalman Nechemiah Goldberg, R. Asher Weiss. and others. Rabbi Feldman is the co-editor of nine volumes of Talmudic essays and Jewish Thought and serves on the editorial board of Tradition, and has also written for publications such as Jewish Action and the Oxford Handbook of Judaism and Economics He is a frequent lecturer in locations across America and abroad. Rabbi Feldman is the spiritual leader of Ohr Saadya of Teaneck, NJ, where he resides with his wife, Leah, and their children. Sample Titles Jewish Perspectives on the Death Penalty Debate Is it a mitzvah for the U.S. to fight Al Qaeda? Priorities in Tzedakah Human Dignity Lying for the Sake of Peace The Prohibitions of Embarrassing People in Public Revenge and Grudge Bearing Loshon HaRa Lifnei Iver Lo Sitein Michshol Asking for Forgiveness Judging Others Favorably Aspects of Chesed Bikkur Cholim Pirsumei Nisa on Purim Shalach Manos The Severity of Tisha B’Av Binyan Beis HaMikdash The Honor of a Sefer Torah – Fasting when it Falls The Fast of a Bride and Groom before their Wedding Humor and the Torah Prohibitions of Magic and Sorcery...

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Rabbi David Horwitz

Rabbi David Horwitz is a rosh yeshiva and the Rabbi Dovid Lifshitz Professor of Talmud at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He also is an instructor of Jewish history and Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva College and teaches an advanced shiur (lecture) for the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies. In 1997, Rabbi Horwitz received Yeshiva’s 13th Annual Moshe and Madelaine Baumel Judaic Faculty Incentive Award, which honors outstanding Jewish studies educators at the University and RIETS. Rabbi Horwitz is an alumnus of Yeshiva University High School for Boys (where he won the National Bible Contest, Chidon Hatanach), Yeshiva College, Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies, and received his semikha (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS, where he was a fellow of the Gruss Kollel Elyon. Sample Titles Issues in Sefiras HaOmer Inyanei Pesach Halachic Issues in Japan Sefirat HaOmer – Is Verbalization Necessary? Halakha and the Scientific Revolution Rav Horowitz Sefer Hamadda Human Effort and Determinism in Ralbag Memories of the Rav Torah Umadda Rambam vs The Chachmei Ashkenaz on the Haggadah – some surprising differences An Argument of Rav and Shmuel – Matchil B’Gnut U’Lsayem B’Shevach – Spiritual Redemption and Talmud Torah The Corporate Completeness of Kelal...

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Rabbi Eliakim Koenigsberg

Rabbi Eliakim Koenigsberg is a rosh yeshiva in the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva College of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Koenigsberg was a chaver (fellow) of the Gruss Kollel Elyon and previously served for five years as rebbe (instructor) in the Stone Beit Midrash Program. Rabbi Koenigsberg is a 1988 alumnus of Yeshiva College, from which he graduated summa cum laude. He received ordination from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in 1992. A sought-after lecturer, he has served RIETS and Yeshiva in other capacities as well: as director of an honors seminar in Sefer Shev Shmaitsa; as sgan mashgiach/shoeI u’meishiv (mentor and guidance advisor to students); director of RIETS’ Presidential B’kiut Program; rosh kollel of Yeshiva’s summer kollel in Silver Spring, Md.; shoel u’meishiv for 10th-grade students at the Yeshiva University High School for Boys; and as a teaching assistant there for 11th-grade students. He is the author of two annotated volumes of selected shiurim (lectures) by the Rav, the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, and he recently published a collection of his notes on Tractate Yevamos called “Kuntres He ‘aros al Maseches Yevamos.” Sample Titles When is Price Fraud Considered Ona’ah? Parshas Pekudei: Setting Goals and Evaluating Accomplishments Teshuva and Talmud...

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Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger

Rabbi Yaakov Neuburger is a rosh yeshiva at the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies of Yeshiva University. Rabbi Neuberger is also the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth Abraham in Bergenfield, N.J. Rabbi Neuburger is an authority on issues related to marital relationships and the purity of the Jewish home. He offers his services to help young men train for married life and prepare to build a proper Jewish home built on Jewish law and spirit. From 1986 to 1990, Rabbi Neuburger was spiritual leader of the Jewish community at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Jack D. Weiler Hospital. Rabbi Neuburger received semikha from the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University in 1979. He is a graduate of Yeshiva College, and earned an MA in psychology from Columbia University. Sample Titles Copyright in Jewish Law The Role of Parents and Teachers in a Student’s Life Decisions Scholarship and Scholarships: The Hidden Cost of Jewish Education Perspectives on Ramban and Minchat Chinuch Life Threatening Situations on...

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Rabbi Daniel Rapp

Rabbi Daniel Rapp teaches at the Irving I. Stone Beit Midrash Program and Mazer Yeshiva Program at Yeshiva University, and is currently the Rabbi of the East Denver Orthodox Synagogue. Rabbi Rapp received his BA, cum laude, from Yeshiva College and his juris doctor from Columbia University School of Law, where he was twice named a Harlen Fisk Stone scholar for academic excellence and was articles editor of the Columbia Business Law Review. In addition, he spent two and a half years studying at Yeshivat Kerem B’yavneh in Israel and was ordained at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, receiving Yadin Yadin semikha. Rabbi Rapp is a dayan (judge) at the Beth Din of America. He has lectured on a wide range of topics, with a focus on the interface between halakha and the modern world. Sample Titles The 9-11 Agunah Cases The Counterfeiters: Can you help the Nazis to Save your Life? Magic and the Supernatural The Messiah in Judaism The Third Temple in Jerusalem Introduction to the Messianic Age: The Battle Between Gog u-Magog The 13 Principles of Faith in Judaism Physician Assisted Suicide in Jewish Law Is Thanksgiving Kosher: The Halakhic Debate Parameters of Competition in Jewish Law Is there a Biblical Commandment of...

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Rabbi Dr. Michael Rosensweig

Rabbi Dr. Michael Rosensweig occupies the Nathan and Perel Schupf Chair in Talmud at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary and is a rosh yeshiva in the Yeshiva Program/Mazer School of Talmudic Studies of Yeshiva University. He has written extensively, contributing to numerous journals of Torah learning. Rabbi Rosensweig received his semikha (rabbinic ordination) from RIETS and was a distinguished fellow of its post-semikha institute, the Gruss Kollel Elyon. He received his BA from Yeshiva College and earned his PhD in medieval Jewish history from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies while studying under Professor Haym Soloveitchik. Rabbi Rosensweig was also a student of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveichik for seven years, and a student of Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, renowned Talmudic scholar, rosh yeshiva at Yeshivat Har Etzion and director of the Joseph and Caroline Gruss Institute in Jerusalem. In 1997, Rabbi Rosensweig was appointed rosh kollel (dean) of the prestigious Israel Henry Beren Institute for Higher Talmudic Studies (Ha-Machon ha-Gavohah le’Talmud) at RIETS. Rabbi Rosensweig is known for his intricate conceptual approach to Talmud study, as well as his heavy use of Brisker methodology in Talmudic analysis. Sample Titles Judging and Being Judged: Ending Personal and Communal Divisiveness Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding: The Guidance of Daas Torah Family: The Cornerstone of Community How to Pick a School for your Child…Values & Priorities in Jewish Education The Role of Personal Initiative in Avodat Hashem: Opportunities and Limits Sefirat ha-Omer: The Bridge Between Pesach and Shavuos The Hashkafic Framework of Social Change The Teshuvas of Aseres Yemei Teshuva and Yom Kippur Repentance As a Response to 9/11 Eretz Yisrael: The Corporate Headquarters of Klal Yisroel Teshuva With Respect To Transgressions and Our Relationship with Hashem The Dual Nature of Rosh Hashanah Teshuvah on Yom Kippur according to the Rambam’s Hilchos Teshuva Reflections on the Conceptual Approach to Talmud Torah Personal Initiative and Creativity in Avodat Hashem The Interface between Yom Kippur & Sukkot: Joy and Awe as Complementary Expressions...

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Rabbi Hershel Schachter

Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a noted Talmudic scholar, has had a distinguished career with the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, of Yeshiva University, for more than 40 years. He joined the faculty in 1967 at the age of 26, the youngest rosh yeshiva at RIETS. Since 1971, Rabbi Schachter has been rosh kollel in the Marcos and Adina Katz Kollel (Institute for Advanced Research in Rabbinics) and also holds the Nathan and Vivian Fink Distinguished Professorial Chair in Talmud. In addition to his teaching duties, Rabbi Schachter lectures, writes and serves as a world renowned decisor of Jewish law. A prolific author, he has written more than 100 articles, in Hebrew and English for such scholarly publications as HaPardes, Hadarom, Beth Yitzchak and Or Hamizrach. His books include Eretz HaTzvi, B’ikvei HaTzon, Nefesh HaRav, MiPninei HaRav and Ginat Egoz. At age 22, Rabbi Schachter was appointed assistant to the renowned Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik. Rabbi Schachter earned his BA from Yeshiva College, an MA in Hebrew literature from the Bernard Revel Graduate School of Jewish Studies in 1967, and was ordained at RIETS that same year. Sample Titles A Torah Perspective on Earning (and Not Earning) a Living – Supporting Ourselves and Others Halachic Issues of the Tuition Crisis Gender Separation in Halacha: Al Cheit…B’siach Sifsoseinu Marriage in Halacha and Hashkafa How Open Is Too Open? Halachic Guidelines For Internet use I AM Worthy…Of Forgiveness – Why This Year Will Be Different The Legacy of the Rav Is there A Chiyuv to Make Aliyah? Should I Call the Police? Clarifying the Issurim of Mesira and Chilul Hashem Pride & Prejudice: Growing Through the Shidduch Process Crossing the Line: Halachic Standards for Inclusion or Exclusion from Communal Life and the Tzibbur Double Standards in Our Lives Talmud Torah at the Center of Family Life Priorities in Tzedaka Issues of Shabbos, Yom Tov, and Kashrus in Dentistry Kol Yisroel Areivim Zeh Bozeh: Our Responsibilities to Others and to Ourselves Pursuit of Happiness...

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Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky

Rabbi Zvi Sobolofsky is a rosh yeshiva at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary at Yeshiva University. In addition, he also serves as spiritual leader of Congregation Ohr HaTorah in Bergenfield, N.J. His synagogue has attracted many Orthodox Jews to the community. Rabbi Sobolofsky also lectures at the Bergen County Beis Medrash Program, housed at Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck, N.J. Prior to his appointment as a rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Sobolofsky was a fellow of the Gruss Kollel Elyon and then went on to teach in the Irving I. Stone Beis Medrash Program. Rabbi Sobolofsky studied at Yeshivat Kerem BeYavneh and Yeshiva. Graduating in 1987, he was named valedictorian of the Mazer Yeshiva Program. He then attended RIETS, where he studied under Rabbi Hershel Schacter and Rabbi Mordechai Willig, finishing in 1990 and proceeded to the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration in 1996. Rabbi Sobolofsky is the author of Reishis Koach, on Maseches Bechoros, and has produced a series of shiurim on tape on Hilchos Nidda, Hilchos Aveilus, on the construction of a mikvah and on halachic aspects of the Seder, which are available on CDs and MP3s.His most recent sefer is titled The Laws and Concepts of Niddah. Sample Titles Chinuch and Mesorah: A Formula for Success Shofar and Mussaf on Rosh Hoshanah The Halakhic Perspective on Abortion End of Life Issues Emergencies on Shabbat and Yom Tov Pregnancy and Birth in Jewish Law and Thought The Future of Korbanot and the Rebuilding of the Beit ha-Mikdash Shabbat and Yom Tov in Jewish Thought Birth, Marriage, and Death in Jewish Law Conversion to Judaism The Jewish Traveler: The International Date Line The History of Torah she-Ba’al...

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Professor Suzanne Last Stone

Suzanne Last Stone is professor of law at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law of Yeshiva University and director of Cardozo’s Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization. She has held the Gruss Visiting Chair in Talmudic Civil Law at the law schools of Harvard University and the University of Pennsylvania, and was a visiting scholar at Princeton and Columbia Law School. Professor Stone is also an affiliated visiting professor of Jewish law at Hebrew University Law and Tel Aviv University Law School. Professor Stone writes and lectures on the intersection of Jewish legal thought and contemporary legal theory. Her publications include “In Pursuit of the Countertext: The Turn to the Jewish Legal Model in Contemporary American Legal Theory” (Harvard Law Review), “The Jewish Conception of Civil Society” (in Alternative Conceptions of Civil Society, Princeton University Press) and “Feminism and the Rabbinic Conception of Justice” (in Women and Gender in Jewish Philosophy, Indiana University). Professor Stone is a graduate of Princeton University and Columbia University Law School and was a Danforth Fellow in 1974 in Jewish history and classical religions at Yale University. Before joining Cardozo, she clerked for Judge John Minor Wisdom of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and then practiced litigation at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. In addition to teaching courses such as Jewish Law and Political Thought and Jewish Law and American Legal Theory, she currently teaches Federal Courts, Civil Procedure, and Law, Religion and the State. Sample Titles Synagogue and State: American Perspectives Torah and the State: Divergent Halakhic Conceptions of the State of Israel The Emergence of Jewish Law in Postmodernist Legal Theory Jewish Law and the Death Penalty Is There Justice in History? A Talmudic Approach Individual and Collective Justice Between Revenge and Reconciliation: Rabbinic Views on Historical Justice Judaism and Tolerance Dina de-Malkhuta Dina (The Law of the State is Law) Is the Halakha a Self-Sufficient Legal System? Views from Within Collective Punishment, War, and Morality How Do...

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