You Be the Judge II: An Exhilarating New Exploration of Jewish Civil Law
Dates September-November 2010
Lessons Included 6,4,1
Course Overview

How does an ancient system of law adapt to the modern world? See how Talmudic scholars respond to new advances in technology and society while remaining faithful to eternal principles. You Be the Judge II presents six new cases that invite you to pit your wits against some of the best minds in Jewish history.

Course Details

Do you enjoy puzzles and problem-solving? Do you love the give-and-take of thoughtful discussion? Can you use logic and creativity to work your way out of challenging situations? Then this course is for you.

The Rohr Jewish Learning Institute’s groundbreaking course, You Be The Judge, presented real cases brought before the beit din, the court system of Jewish Law. We provided the primary texts from the Talmud and asked our students to grapple with the facts in order to arrive at satisfying solutions.

This February, JLI is proud to present You Be The Judge II, a collection of six totally new cases. You need no prior knowledge of the Talmud and no formal legal training. There are no prerequisites other than an open mind.

If you missed You Be The Judge I, we invite you to experience for yourself the exhilarating mental exploration that characterizes traditional Talmud study. And if you took our previous course, be sure not to miss this exciting sequel.



This course is eligible for CLE credits in the following US States: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and New Mexico

This course is approved for CPD (Continuing Professional Development) credits in the province of British Columbia, Canada by the Legal Society of British Columbia, Canada.

This course is approved for CPD (Continuing Professional Development) credits in the United Kingdom by both the Law Society and the Bar Council. Special thanks to the United Kingdom Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists (UKAJLJ).




"Everyone, whether they be a lay person or a judge, often times struggle to do what is just and right. Learning from the great writings of the ages, such as the Talmud, and in courses like the Rohr lectures serve to bring insights to our thinking and help all of us to make sounder judgments."

Alvin Weiss
Retired Judge, New Jersey Superior Court

"As a Professor of Jewish Law and American Legal Theory, I often point to the way in which Jewish civil law incorporates ethics within a distinctly legal framework. JLI's course, You Be The Judge Two, offers a fascinating context for exploring the relationship of law and ethics and shows the unique contribution that the Talmudic system can make to this central issue."

Professor Suzanne Stone
Professor of Law and Director, Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at The Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law / Yeshiva University

"My experience with a previous JLI course greatly impressed me, with how applicable these Torah-based lessons and insights are to encouraging healthy interpersonal relationships. What I learned from previous courses has been of great value professionally and personally. I highly recommend this new course and trust that participants will find its wisdom relevant to their daily lives."

Laura E. Marshak, Ph.D
Licensed Psychologist; Professor, Department of Counseling, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA
Lesson Details
Lesson 1 Inheriting the Fruits of Sin

Can murderers inherit from their victims? This lesson compares the approaches of Jewish and secular law to this audacious claim.

Lesson 2 The Accidental Treasure

Your contractor demolishes a bathroom wall and discovers a rusting lockbox containing cash. Who gets to enjoy this unexpected windfall?

Lesson 3 Burden of Proof

What happens if two people lay claim to the same object but have no witnesses or documents to bolster their claim? Is possession always nine tenths of the law? 

Lesson 4 The Neighbor Advantage

Jewish law dictates that when a property is sold, the neighbors must be given the first option of purchase? Must one sell to a neighbor if there is a higher bidder?

Lesson 5 The Taskmaster

Employees are accorded certain rights and protections that are not granted to independent contractors. But just who is considered an employee?

Lesson 6 The Do-Gooder

If your neighbor’s son mows your lawn without asking you first, is he entitled to compensation?  How about someone who decides on his own to pay your debts? What do you owe a do-gooder?