Elu V'Elu: The Development of a Multifaceted Halachic System

The Midrasha

October - December 2013

Session 1: Elu V'Elu in Halachic Sources (Intro 1)

Session 2: Elu V'Elu in Agaddah and History (Intro 2)
Session 3: 'Forgotten' Halachot
Session 4: The Rambam's Approach to the Development of Machloket
Session 5: Elu V'Elu in Theory and Process (1) - Ran et. al.
Session 6: Elu V'Elu in Theory and Process (2) - Maharshal and Avodat HaKodesh
Session 7: The Merging of Opposites in the Divine
Session 8: Process, Truth and the Genius of the Oral Torah

21st-Century Halachah

How does Jewish Law Stay Relevant and Meaningful for Today and Beyond?

LSJS Nov – Dec 2012

From the LSJS website:

Halachah is the architecture of Jewish life. It guides our daily routine from what we eat and how we dress to what we say and how we treat others.

Yet surely the greatest modern challenge of Halachah has been its response to the dramatic and irreversible changes in society while staying true to our tradition.

This course takes on three cutting-edge modern concerns and shows how ancient sources and modern responsa address them in sensitive, coherent and innovative ways.

Session 1: Tekhelet and the Discovery of the Murex Snail

Session 2: Spontaneous Generation

I am indebted to Rabbi Natan Slifkin for his excellent material on this topic

Sessions 3 & 4: Using Electricity on Shabbat

Session 5: The Shabbat iPad

Session 6: Teaching Torah to Women

Stealing from the Internet

Discover how Jewish Law is meeting the Challenges of Cyberspace

LSJS Jan – Mar 2012

From the LSJS Website:

The Internet and the inexorable growth of modern technology have produced some fraught and fascinating dilemmas for Jewish law.

Just what exactly do modern halachists have to say about issues of copyright law in cyberspace?

What are their sometimes controversial rulings on software pirating, downloading music and surfing the Net using a neighbour’s connection?

Find out what the law is about automated commerce on Shabbat and shared ownership in shady businesses.

Explore the possibilities when it comes to balancing religious obligations with the modern realities of Internet commerce.

On this course you will:

Consider whether halachah recognises intellectual property and other intangibles

Examine an acrimonious copyright dispute that made Jewish legal history

Discuss how halachah views the ‘pirating’ of music, videos and software

Wrestle with the ‘eBay dilemma’ – the auction that ends on Shabbat

Compare a man convicted of ‘piggy-backing’ on a Wi-Fi connection with his 3rd-century counterpart

Course Outline

Session 1: Introduction to Copyright and Intellectual Property

Session 2: More Copyright, Software Piracy and Intellectual Property

Session 3: Erasing God's Name from a Disk, Screen or Website

Sessions 4 & 5: Internet Commerce & Shabbat

Session 6: 'Piggybacking' on a WIFI Connection

Session 7: Electricity on Shabbat: Rabbi S.Z. Auerbach v. Chazon Ish

Kashrut on a Plate

The Odd end of Kashrut

LSJS June – July 2011

From the LSJS website:

When is a fish no longer fit for a banquet? When it comes to kosher turkey, is it all gobbledygook? Why is whisky risky? And, why is cheese a veritable kosher mouse-trap?

It was once on the London Beth Din’s official kashrut list until the then Chief Rabbi turned away his turbot at a banquet. Explore why this superb and expensive fish is not considered edible for Jews and get to grips with its fascinating anatomy.

You might have thought that the tasty turkey was not subject to allegations of kosher foul play but you’d be wrong. Examine in-depth why this bird has a difficult time proving its kosher credentials and see how it has managed to live another day in the kosher kitchen.

It’s hard to imagine how there could be anything controversial when it comes to cheese. But take a look at the mix of milk and meat that goes into your cheddar and you’ll wonder if you’re crackers to eat it at all.

It’s not to everyone’s taste but whisky remains a firm favourite when it comes to a ‘L’Chaim!’ Find out why the casks that contain whisky are potentially problematic and see how mixing your sherry and Glenfiddich is never a good thing.

Session 1: Why is Cheese Kosher?

Session 2: The Turbot Conundrum Session 3: Why is Turkey kosher?

Session 4: Why is Whisky kosher?