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- DescriptionWritten at different times and for different audiences - some for scholars of rabbinic literature, some for laymen or for scholars t necessarily Jewish - the essays gathered together in this volume nevertheless have an inner coherence. They reflect the author's lifetime interest in the history of halakhah - t as intellectual history per se, but rather a concern to identify measurable deflection in the unfolding of halakhic ideas that could point to an undetected force at work. What was it that stimulated change, and why? What happened when strong forces impinged upon halakhic observance, and both the scholarly elite and the community as a whole had to grapple with upholding observance while adapting to a new set of circumstances? Haym Soloveitchik's elegant presentation shows skilfully that the line between adaptation and deviance is a fine one, and that where a society draws that line is revelatory of both its values and its self-perception. Many of the articles presented here are well kwn in the field but have been updated for this publication (the major essay on pawnbroking has been expanded to half again its original size); some have been previously published only in Hebrew, and two are completely new. An Introduction highlights the key themes of the collection and explains the underlying methodology. Having these essays in a single volume will enable scholars and students to consult all the material on each theme together, while also tracing the development of ideas. The opening section of the volume is a brief description and characterization of the dramatis personae who figure in all these essays: Rashi and the Tosafists. It covers the halakhic commentaries and their authors; the creativity of Ashkenaz; and the halakhic isolation of the Ashkenazic community. The second section focuses on usury and money-lending, including the practice of pawn-broking, while the third section deals with the ban on Gentile wine and how that connected to the development of money-lending. The final section presents general conclusions in the form of four studies of the communal self-image of Ashkenaz and its attitude to deviation and change.
- Author BiographyHaym Soloveitchik is the Merkin Family Research Professor at Yeshiva University in New York. He is the former Director of the School of Jewish Studies at the Institute of Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and has taught at the Hebrew University, the Sorbonne, and the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris. He has published books in Hebrew on pawn broking and usury, Jewish involvement in the medieval wine trade and the use of responsa as a historical source.
- Author(s)Haym Soloveitchik
- PublisherThe Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
- Date of Publication31/07/2013
- SubjectSocial Studies: General
- Place of PublicationOxford
- Country of PublicationUnited Kingdom
- ImprintThe Littman Library of Jewish Civilization
- Weight703 g
- Width155 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine41 mm
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