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Halakha and Public Policy in America

Western societies are divided over many hot-button debates about public morality and the sanctity of human life. Specific moral and political issues—such as abortion and euthanasia, stem cells and human cloning—are shaped by broader disputes over the role of government in the contested moral sphere of human life. In this class, we will explore these ethical debates in careful conversation with the relevant biblical and halakhic texts, toward a goal of formulating how Jews might contribute moral wisdom to these contemporary discussions.