Chaim Saiman on the Roots and Basis of Jewish Law (Rebroadcast)

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Jewish communities have just concluded the celebration of Shavuot, a pilgrimage festival in times of the Temple and the moment when, fifty days after the Jewish people’s exodus from Egypt, God revealed the Ten Commandments to Moses. Those commandments form the foundation of the many rules and obligations inflected throughout the Jewish tradition. Indeed, after thousands of years of Jewish history, Jewish lives continue to be structured through something called halakhah, Jewish law.

What is halakhah? In 2018, the rabbi Mark Gottlieb sat down to answer that question with Chaim Saiman, one of the world’s foremost scholars of Jewish law and the author of a then newly published book called Halakhah: The Rabbinic Idea of Law. This week, in honor of the Jewish holiday that celebrates lawgiving, is a rebroadcast of their discussion.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

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