Instructor(s): Chaim Saiman

For graduate students, the course number is LAW7116H.

Course Location: Please see the "Intensive Course Schedule" under Schedules and Timetables

Note: Students may enroll in an intensive course that conflicts with a regular course as an exception to the general rule that students may not take courses which conflict on the timetable. Attendance at intensive courses is mandatory for the duration of the course and takes precedence over regular courses.

Law in Judaism is ever present. One of the central features of the tradition is the degree to which questions other cultures treat as philosophy, ethics, politics, and theology take on a distinctly legal form. Jewish law or halakhah therefore presents a far broader concept than things that happen in court or rules imposed by the state. Thus, while Jewish law no doubt legislates the rules and practices incumbent upon Jews, it is simultaneously the primary vehicle through which rabbinic thinkers have expressed their thoughts on lifes greatest questions.

Given the irreducibly legal nature of the rabbinic tradition, however, several questions emerge: What happens to law when it is also a foundation for social and theological thought? What does it mean for speculative thinking to be carried out in legal categories? What does it mean for the study of law to connect Man to God? And how does this law-centric discourse fill its broader religious and social roles? And finally, what place does this form of law have in the context of a modern state? This course is devoted to thinking through these questions.

Students will be required to write a paper of 2,500 to 3,000 words. Papers must be received by the Records Office by Friday, March 28, 2019.

At a Glance

Second Term



20 JD


Tuesday, February 26, 2019: 4:10 - 6:00
Wednesday, February 27, 2019: 10:30 - 12:20
Thursday, February 28, 2019: 12:30 - 2:00
Friday, March 1, 2019: 10:30 - 12:20
Monday, March 4, 2019: 10:30 - 12:20
Tuesday, March 5, 2019: 8:50 - 10:20
Wednesday, March 6, 2019: 2:10 - 4:00
Thursday, March 7, 2019: 2:10 - 4:00