Jewish Religious Law: A Progressive Perspective

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Berghahn Books, 1998 - Religion - 206 pages
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The relationship between Liberal Judaism and Rabbinic Law (Halachah) is unclear. Some Progressive Jews have chosen to reject it completely, others have simply gone along with it when it suited them and ignored it when it didn't. This new book represents a plea for a positive yet forthrightly critical approach to Rabbinic Law. By addressing a variety of specific topics - the language of prayer, the status of women, medical confidentiality, euthanasia, Jewish identity, contraception, divorce and Jewish territorial rights in Palestine/Israel - Rayner makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion of the role that the law should play in Liberal Judaism today.
 

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Contents

Progressive Judaism
1
Progressive Judaism Fifty Years after the Holocaust
15
Law and Lore in Judaism
23
The Need for a New Approach to Halachah
33
Rethinking our Relationship with Halachah
44
Towards a Progressive Halachah
54
Between Antinomianism and Conservatism
61
A Genuinely Progressive Halachah
68
Returning a Scroll to its Donor
110
Recycling Old Prayerbooks
114
Medical Confidentiality
116
Organ Transplantation
124
A Matter of Life and Death
130
Euthanasia
138
Burial of Progressive Proselyte in Orthodox Cemetery
144
Jewish Identity
148

SOME HALACHIC PROBLEMS
74
Praying with Kavvanah
75
The Language of Prayer
83
The Posture of Prayer
92
Women and Worship
99
On Seeing Halleys Comet
107
Conception and Contraception
158
A Short History
163
The Land the Law and the Liberal Conscience
184
Notes and Acknowledgments
201
Bibliography
203
Copyright

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About the author (1998)

John D. Rayner is Emeritus Rabbi of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London, Hon. Life-President of the Union of Liberal and Progressive Synagogues, and Lecturer in Liturgy at Leo Baeck College, London.

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