MoHoLo (Moishe House London)
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See an Oral Law; Don't Read It
The Return to Expansive Halakha: Oral Law as Images
This lecture will reclaim non professionalised Halakha. It will illustrate how Jewish legal sources traditionally were and can be studied empathetically as a multiplicity of grounded narratives, of insights on the human condition, which enable one to make better moral decisions.
Rabbi Elisha Ancselovits teaches Halakhah as Practical Philosophy in the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and in additional Orthodox and secular Israeli institutions. He has also published articles on Halakhah as Practical Philosophy. Elisha holds an MA in Modern Jewish Studies, and has taught critical Talmud and Bible. He has also completed writing his PhD dissertation on “Towards a New Theory of Halakhic Development”.
Oral law (Heb., torah she-beʿal-peh). The (in origin) orally transmitted interpretation of the Jewish written law. According to the rabbis, there are two parts of Torah ‘one written and one oral’ (ARN 15. 61). Traditionally both Torahs were given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Oral Torah was studied in the academies and eventually collected together and written down by Judah ha-Nasi in the 2nd cent. CE (see MISHNAH). Subsequently, commentary and interpretation of the Mishnah were recorded in the Talmud (6th cent.). In the modern era, the Progressive movements have largely rejected the belief in the divine origin of Jewish law and are therefore ready to disregard any halakhic provisions which conflict with modern secular values.