For over a thousand years, our mostimportant cultural activity has been the study of Talmud. It has sustained us through persecution and exile, shaping the discourse of our people and serving as the crowning achievement of our intellectual tradition. Perhaps you have been curious about the Talmud, but thought it was complex and inaccessible to anyone lacking extensive training. Not anymore. This fall, the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute is proud to launch "You Be the Judge," an innovative introduction to this magnificent work. You need no prior knowledge of the Talmud and no formal legal training. There are no prerequisites other than an open mind. "You Be the Judge" presents you with real cases brought before Beit Din, the court system of Jewish law. We provide the primary source texts from Talmud and put you in the driver's seat. You will have the opportunity to question, discuss, and argue, based on principle and precedent. You will experience firsthand the exhilarating mental exploration that characterizes traditional Talmud study. Join us this fall in the ancient study halls of Jerusalem and Babylonia. Add your voice to other voices that span the millennia. You take the lead. You Be the Judge.
States approved to offer CLE Credits: AL, CA, CO, FL, GA, IL, IN, MN, MO, NC, NM, NV, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, WA
Israeli Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein Former Attorney General of Israel
What one learns from these cases is that legal adaptation is not just a matter of facing new conditions but thinking harder about what is already implied in old principles. The study of Talmudic law is sobering, challenging, inspiring - and also fun for anyone who enjoys puzzles and discoveries.
Professor Jeremy Rabkin Department of Government, Cornell University
"Talmud is concerned with the role of the human reasoning in the interpretation and application of a "revealed law". Hence the relevance attributed by Talmudic Law to the quality and subtlety of the reasoning in the interclash of opinions. The Law is not an abstraction, but a concretion . . .
Dr. Celso Lafer Chair of Law Faculty, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil Former Minister of Foreign Relations of the Federative Republic of Brazil
"It looks like a remarkably interesting and important work for layman and scholars alike. This will prove to be a very thoughtful as well as provocative course. I am looking forward to its presentation.
Herbert H. Franks Past President, Illinois State Bar Association
"Talmudic law offers students of the law the perspective of an ancient tradition of jurisprudence. In this course, a brilliant scholar and teacher introduces the subject in a clear and analytical way, using recent decisions of rabbinical courts to illustrate the application of basic principles. There could be no better way of wrestling with the deeper issues that underlie every legal system.
Professor Barry Strauss Department of History and Classics, Cornell University
"In reasoned discourse and telling wonderful stories along the way, Rabbi Eli Silberstein gives us in this book real insight into the way the Talmud applies the law to the actions of individuals and their property.
Professor Roald Hoffman Nobel Prize Laureate Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cornell University
"The more things change, the more things stay the same. Would a case decided 1800 years ago in a rabbinical court be decided differently by a modern-day jurist? Is legal reasoning different today in America than in third-century Asia? I endorse and look forward to this fascinating course.
Dennis G. Kainen Past President, Dade County Bar Association Member, Florida Bar Board of Governors
"Art imitates life. The best stories in the world are true. "You Be The Judge" is a great opportunity to learn about Jewish law through the drama and excitement of real people and real cases. I highly recommend it.
Michael Helfant, President and CEO, Marvel Studios
On the other hand, the aim of the course is not utilitarian, as neither is the Talmud. The interpretations and conclusions are primordial, the factual details of particular situations are of secondary importance. Without doubt, knowledge of the Talmudic legal system will enhance the intellectual repertoire of Brazilian jurists.
Evane Beiguelman Kramer, Assistant Secretary of Justice and Citizen Defense, State of S. Paulo
"The opportunity presented to us by this course, "You Be The Judge", to compare Talmudic law with the common law and civil law systems is unique, and may bring us to a new appreciation of the Jewish way of deciding day-to-day problems of ordinary people. The opportunity to understand how legal cases are decided in this way is one that may open the minds of many who are skeptical about human justice.
That ordinary people, and not only lawyers, examine real cases and how they were decided in the Talmudic legal system will certainly enhance our ability to understand how we can fairly solve the real problems of peoples' lives.
Arthur Rotenberg, President, Advisory Board, Brazilian Hebrew Association of São Paulo