The Philosophy of Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l Part 1: Not in Heaven — The Nature and Function of Halakha

Posted by Rahel Berkovits on March 7, 2016
Topics: Pardes Live, The Thoughts of Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l

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Torat Hayim A Living Torah: The Thoughts of Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l.

In this 6-part lecture series, Rabbi Rahel Berkovits looks at the thoughts of her grandfather, Rabbi Professor Eliezer Berkovits z”l. What is the interplay between Torah and real life situations? How do ancient texts apply to modern times? The philosophy of R. Berkovits will be examined through the lens of his writings on women and Jewish law, conversion and the unity of the Jewish people, the problem of Agunot, a sexual ethic in modern time, and the challenges of Prayer.

In this episode: Not in Heaven: The Nature and Function of Halakha. This lecture will explore Berkovits’ general understanding of how the halakhic system works and the Divine partnership between God and Human beings in revealing Torah. How should historical time and place affect change within Jewish law? What is the role of the posek and what is the negative outcome in writing down the oral law?

“Orthodoxy is, in a sense, halakhah in a straitjacket. Having had to transform the Oral Torah into a new written one, we have become Karaites of this new Torah Shebikhetav…” (Crisis and Faith p.95)

Click here for more episodes in this series.

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About Rahel Berkovits

Rahel Berkovits is a senior faculty member at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem, where she has been teaching Mishnah, Talmud and halakha for over twenty years. Rahel lectures widely in both Israel and abroad especially on topics concerning women and Jewish law and a Jewish sexual ethic. She is the Halakhic Editor and a writer for Hilkhot Nashim the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance’s Halakhic Source-guide Series, recently published by Koren Publishing. Rahel is a founding member of Congregation Shirah Hadasha, a halakhic partnership Synagogue, and serves on their halakha committee. In June 2015, Rahel received Rabbinic Ordination from Rabbis Herzl Hefter and Daniel Sperber. Click here to read more.

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