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.
Rabbi Shlomo Brody
The Tikvah Fund
Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Brody is the co-dean of the Tikvah Online Academy and founding director of the Tikvah Overseas Students 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. 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 Ph.D. 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 wife Rocky and five children.
Meet the Instructor
Tikvah aims to make all of our courses available to as many qualified students as possible. In the event that Tikvah needs to add additional sections, this course may be taught by a different faculty member with a similarly high level of expertise.