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Synopsis: Judaism's emphasis on the value of human life has always spurred Jews to study medicine, and in this edition we feature a special section on Medicine and Halakhah. In "Gestational Surrogacy," prominent experts in halakhah and medicine describe what they feel are the steps that should be taken to avoid any halakhic questions with this modern medical miracle. In "Criminalization of HIV Transmission," a leading AIDS researcher and a rabbi discuss the serious risks that HIV poses to society and analyze, from the perspective of halakhah, what steps can and should be taken to stem its spread. The third article in this section is a departure from the others. "Obstetrics and the Curse of Eve," rather than celebrating the power of modern medicine, questions whether halakhic considerations such as modesty and hillul Shabbat should not argue for a return to natural childbirth. Several articles deal specifically with Hanukkah. In "The Movement of the Chanukah Menorah Indoors: a Historical and Halakhic Analysis," we see that some Rishonim considered the discomfort felt in lighting the menorah publicly among gentiles as included in what Hazal consider shaat hashmad. The menorah should therefore be lit outdoors only in Eretz Yisrael. A Hebrew article argues that ner Hanukkah is unique in requiring greater financial sacrifice than any other mitzvah and explores the reason for this and the meaning of pirsumei nissa. "What Motivated Antiochus to Issue His Decrees Against the Jews?" explores from a historical perspective why the Greeks were apparently willing to accommodate the religious practices of all nations in their Empire except that of the Jews. Other articles, while not dealing specifically with Hanukkah, touch upon its themes. In an article on "The Soul of the Jew and the Soul of the Non-Jew," we see that since the medieval period, most religious authorities have explained the enmity that Israel constantly experiences from the gentiles as a function of an essential difference in their makeup. Rambam is almost alone in not agreeing with this perspective. In "Rabbi Ishmael, Meet Jaimini" we see how other cultures use methodologies similar to those of the Rabbis to analyze their ancient texts, but a comparison also highlights the differences - among them how Judaism integrated study with prayer. This concept of the search for knowledge and truth is also the subject of a Hebrew essay on Tanur shel Ahinai. A review of R. Benny Lau's "Yirmiyahu: The Fate of a Prophet" shows how understanding the historical context of Sefer Yirmiyahu can help us learn valuable lessons that can be applied to overcome the internal and external challenges to rebuilding the land and people of Israel. In "Where Jerusalem Jews Worship" we learn that only in relatively recent history did Jews retreat to the Western Wall, and that the site that the Hashmonaim rededicated has always remained the holiest site in Judaism. Two scholarly studies round out this volume. "Kedushah, Shema, and the Difference Between Israel and the Angels" focuses on the differences between the Ashkenaz and Sefard versions of Kedushah and detects a conceptual underpinning to the divergent nushaot. A study of the early printings and manuscripts of the Talmud reveals the drawings that Rashi actually drew and traces how printers changed them to meet their needs. Finally a review of a recent book on the Vilna Gaon raises the question as to whether sufficient scholarship is being utilized in the study of Jewish History.

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Title: Hakirah: The Flatbush Journal of Jewish Law ...
Publisher: Hakirah
Publication Date: 2013
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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