Page 175 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 42

Basic HTML Version

centuate the positive and creative. In like manner, co-authors
Balfour Brickner and Albert Vorspan in
Searching the Prophetsfo r
(New York, Union o f American Hebrew Congregations,
1981) relate prophetic ideals and aspirations to issues encoun­
tered in daily living.
Abraham Hirsch Rabinowitz explores in
The Jewish Mind in its
Halachic Talmudic Expression
(Jerusalem, Hillel Press, 1978) the
spiritual, ethical and logical premises which constitute the sub­
stance o f halakhic attitudes. He also discusses the dynamics o f
rabbinic legal decisions, including the problem o f limits to rab­
binic authority.
Not in Heaven: The Nature and Function o f Halakha
(New York,
Ktav, 1983) by Eliezer Berkovits is especially concerned with the
application o f the religious, ethical and judicial principles o f Jew­
ish law to the changing human situation. His work devotes much
attention to the status o f women in a democratic society from the
perspective o f Jewish law. It stresses the priority o f ethical ideals
within the system.
A number o f instructional guides regarding the daily regimen
o f the observant Jew were published in the past decade:
The Con­
cise Code ofJewish Law Compiledfrom Kitzur Shulhan Aruch and Tra­
ditional Sources (New York, Ktav, 1977),
edited by Gersion Appel,
contains a modified version o f the oft-reprinted “Kitzur” by Solo­
mon Ganzfried (1804-1886). The work is intended for the reader
who feels “at home” in a milieu committed to Orthodox Judaism,
one who never questions the authority or relevance o f traditional
norms. In contradistinction,
A Guide to Religious Practice
York, Jewish Theological Seminary, 1979), by Isaac Klein,
though generally affirming the validity o f the entire corpus o f
Jewish law, introduces the reader to the historic-analytical meth­
odology o f the Committee on Jewish Law and Standards o f the
Rabbinical Assembly — the Conservative Rabbinate. The student
or reader who views this methodology without partisan bias may
disagree with many o f the Committee’s conclusions, but is bound
to recognize here an approach which placesJewish law within the
context o f historical circumstances.
Both Appel and Klein quote sources, thus enabling the student
to engage in further research. Unlike these two authors, Leo