Halakhah: Explicit and Implied Theoretical and Ideological Aspects, is a collection of articles by leading scholars in the field of halakhah and the philosophy of halakhah.
The articles describe both the overt and the implicit worldviews of a number of halakhic decisors and examine how they coped with extra-halakhic cultures and ideas. Some of them internalized “outside” concepts, while others dealt with the outside world by making new use of the internal notions of the world of halakhah. The articles also consider the link between ideology and halakhic rulings. Readers will encounter examples of the influence of ideology on halakhah, alongside arguments that categorically deny that ideology plays any part in halakhic thinking. The volume proposes answers to questions such as whether halakhah derives its power from its anti-ideological stance and what underlies the assertion that halakhah is an ideological text.
The editor, Dr. Avinoam Rosenak, is the head of the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a fellow of the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute. Rosenak specializes in the philosophy of halakhah and modern Jewish thought. He is the author of Prophetic Halakhah: Rabbi A. I. H. Kook’s Philosophy of Halakhah (Magnes, 2007) and of Halakhah as an Agent of Change: Critical Studies in the Philosophy of Halakhah (Magnes, 2009). He is also the editor of New Streams in Philosophy of Halakhah (with Prof. Aviezer Ravitzky; Magnes, 2008); Rabbi in the New World: The Influence of Rabbi J. B. Soloveitchik on Culture, Education and Jewish Thought (with Rabbi Prof. Naftali Rothenberg; Magnes, 2010); and Halakhah, Meta-halakhah and Philosophy (Magnes, 2011).
Dafna Schreiber, the co-editor, is the head of the Jewish Culture and Identity section at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute.