The Western political world is torn over a host of issues relating to ethics, political rights, the scope of government, and the role of religion in the public square. Should a woman have a right to an abortion? Do the terminally ill have a right to die? Does a person have the right to own a gun? Jews engaged in debates on these issues want to be informed by Jewish perspectives on these topics. This course will explore Torah perspectives on these critical issues and place them in dialogue with contemporary philosophical positions. We’ll further discuss if and how Judaism can contribute to public discussions on these contentious topics.
Takes place Mondays, 1:30-2:45 PM
Zoom: Nov 7, Nov 21, Dec 5, Jan 2, Jan 16, Jan 30, Feb 13 (Make Up Class)
In Person: Nov 4, Dec 30, Feb 10
Rabbi Shlomo Brody
Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Brody is the executive director of the Halachic Organ Donor Society and was the founding director of the Tikvah Overseas Student Institute. A columnist for The Jerusalem Post since 2007, Brody previously served for a decade as a senior instructor at Yeshivat Hakotel and as a junior research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute. Brody’s writings focus on making Jewish texts accessible to broader audiences while applying them to contemporary social and ethical dilemmas. His work has appeared in Mosaic, First Things, The Federalist, Tablet, Tzohar, The Forward, Hakirah, and other popular publications, and has been cited in Israeli Supreme Court decisions. His first book, A Guide to the Complex: Contemporary Halakhic Debates (Maggid), received a 2014 National Jewish Book Award. His next book, Judaism Confront War: Jewish Military Ethics for the 21st Century, will be published in 2023. A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, he received rabbinic ordination from the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, an MA in Jewish philosophy at the Hebrew University, and his PhD from Bar Ilan University Law School, where he continues to serve as a post-doctoral fellow. Originally from Houston, Texas, Rabbi Brody now lives in Modi’in with his family.