Ralph and Roslyn Halbert Fund in Jewish Studies: Yuval Sinai, "Jewish Law in Israel: Law, Religion and State"

This lecture deals with the ways Judaism, as a religion and culture, and its legal traditionthe halakhahis incorporated into the secular legal system of the state of Israel. The origins of Jewish law are thousands of years in the past, but whereas most other ancient legal systems are no longer relevant today, Jewish law continues to have great vitality and ability to adapt to the given time and place, and as such it is highly relevant even in the solution of contemporary legal problems. I would like to present the challenges facing the application of Jewish law in the modern State of Israel, which is considered "a Jewish and Democratic state." A difficult problem that many Israeli jurists faced is how to express the Jewish values in the State of Israel. Is it possible to combine content originating in religious Jewish law in a democratic and multicultural Israeli society consisting of a secular majority, and if so, how? And the most difficult question of all: What are these "Jewish values" that the Jewish state is expected to advance? I shall try to point out the deserving legal models in light of Jewish legal tradition and in light of the reality in the modern State of Israel.

Yuval Sinai is the Schusterman Visiting Professor of Law at Yale University.

Date & Time
Thursday, March 20, 2014 - 4:00pm

Jackman Humanities Building, Room 318, 170 St. George Street