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Halacha, Development

Walled Cities “from the Time of Joshua” Celebrate Shushan Purim – Why?

Hidden behind the strange rabbinic definition of walled cities is a polemical response to the notorious claim of Emperor Hadrian, who rebuilt Jerusalem as the pagan city Aelia Capitolina.

Prof.

Eyal Ben-Eliyahu

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39 Melachot of Shabbat: What Is the Function of This List?

In halakha, the 39 melachot of Mishnah Shabbat 7:2 functions as a comprehensive list of primary categories of forbidden labor. A closer look at the list in context, however, reveals that it was composed and added as a supplement, to clarify a detail in the previous mishnah.

Prof. Rabbi

Judith Hauptman

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Which Relatives Are You Prohibited from Marrying?

Leviticus’ list of conjugally-forbidden relations was extensive for its time. While the Karaites expanded the list greatly, the rabbis did so only slightly, leaving modern-day rabbinic Judaism with more relatives permitted for marriage than most western societies.

Prof. Rabbi

Marty Lockshin

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Menstruant as Zavah: How the Laws of Niddah Developed

Leviticus 15 describes two types of impure bleeding for women: menstruation (niddah), and bleeding that is “not during her menstrual period (zavah).” The Rabbis attempt to define the difference in an abstract manner, and in so doing, elide the two.

Prof.

Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert

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Sex During Menstruation: From Impurity to Prohibition

According to Leviticus 15:24, sex with a menstruating woman results in temporary impurity but seems to be allowed. According to Leviticus 18:19 and 20:18, on the other hand, it is strictly prohibited. What accounts for these two different approaches?

Dr.

Eve Levavi Feinstein

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What Melacha did the Wood Gatherer Violate?

Project TABS Editors

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40 Minus 1 Melachot of Shabbat

Cracking the Rabbinic Code

Rabbi

Evan Hoffman

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Revelation and Authority: Author’s Response

Prof.

Benjamin D. Sommer

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Korban Chagigah from the Torah to the Seder Plate

Dr. Rabbi

Robert Harris

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Niddah (Menstruation): From Torah to Rabbinic Law

In Leviticus 15, the laws of niddah are about purity; Lev 18 and 20, however, prohibit sex during menstruation. The rabbis, who inherited both of these texts, create a new, hybrid concept: the prohibition of sex while a woman has the status of menstrual impurity.

Prof.

Charlotte Elisheva Fonrobert

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Why Chicken and Cheese Became Prohibited

But Chicken and Egg Remained Permitted

Dr.

Jordan D. Rosenblum

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What Is Wrong with Charging Interest?

The Torah prohibits lending to poor people with interest. Why did Jewish law include business loans and how did this effect the law’s original purpose?

Prof.

Michael L. Satlow

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The Parturient's “Days of Purity”: From Torah to Halacha

In reference to the parturient, the Torah speaks of a 33 or 66 day period of דמי טהרה “blood of her purity” as distinguished from a 7 or 14 day period “like menstruation.” What is the difference between these two periods according to Leviticus and how did later groups such as rabbinic Jews, Karaites, Samaritans, and Beta Israel understand it?

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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When Is a Man Allowed to Divorce his Wife?

Deuteronomy’s description of the circumstances of divorce is ambiguous. Thus, the Mishnah (m. Gittin 9:10) records three different opinions on when a man is allowed to divorce his wife. What can we infer from the biblical text?

Dr.

Eve Levavi Feinstein

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The Purification of a Niddah: The Torah Requirement

Dr. Rabbi

Zev Farber

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The Purification of a Niddah: When Silence Matters

Immersing in the Priestly Text – A Reply to Dr. Yitzhaq Feder

Dr. Hacham

Isaac S. D. Sassoon

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