Page 96 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 21

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and an understanding of the system of taxation and dispens-
ing of charity for the maintenance of Yeshivot and benevolent
institutions in the Jewish community. We become cognizant
of the status of the Jewish apostates and the dilemmas they
created for their deserted wives, of the synagogue ritual, and of
a host of allied problems endemic to a period of transition and
momentous change.
A few such problems requiring legislation by the Jewish court
will be cited: occasional premarital birth of children faced
with expulsion from the Jewish fold by a governmental edict
compelling them to be seized and trained for permanent army
service; Jewish apostates prohibited by governmental law to
return to Judaism unless they leave the country; the validity
of the betrothal document in view of the solemn oath and the
severe penalty imposed upon the party repudiating its obliga-
tion; tithing of individual incomes for the support of philan-
thropic organizations, and a wide variety of other questions.
Rabbi Landau’s method of dealing with a
shealali
is illus-
trated in his responsum to a query on the permissibility of
hunting game as a sport. In a scholarly essay adducing all
Biblical and rabbinical points of view he concludes that, ex-
cept in the case of a livelihood where one slaughters the animal
instantly without the slow agony of torture, hunting for sport
is proscribed. Two reasons are advanced: first, it is fraught
with danger to human life, and secondly, it involves cruelty to
animals. One who pursues the hunt for amusement cannot
expect the protection of Divine Providence.
II.
Doresh LeZion
(“Sermon for Zion”). This is a series of
Talmudic discourses delivered in Yampol on Shabbat HaGadol
(the Sabbath preceding Passover) and on Shabbat Shuvah (the
Sabbath preceding the Day of Atonement). These discourses
cover a variety of topics appropriate for the occasion, and pre-
sent a clarifying analysis of Talmudic content. Rabbi Landau
was averse to mere pilpulistic method bordering on scholas-
ticism; he addressed himself to Talmudic themes with practical
decisions always in mind. The last dissertation is a scholarly
lecture delivered over a number of years on the topic of “Yaal
Kegam”—in reality a series of treatises on six subjects in which
Abaye and Raba differ and where the law accords with Abaye.
This book, too, is properly indexed with cross references to the
Talmud and the Codes.
III.
Zelah
—a page by page commentary on the tractates
Pesahim, Bezah, and Berahot. This book analyzes and elucidates
the Halachah and delves into the moral and ethical concepts
in the Aggadic portions.