Halakhah: Sources and Development

From biblical law, through classic rabbinic debate and medieval law codes, and continuing in the modern period, Jewish law has undergone constant development.

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The traditional halakhists cannot allow historical considerations to obtrude when rendering their halakhic discussions, the law having an internal life of its own. The problem of reconciling the static notion of the tradition with the dynamic notion revealed by modern scholarship has become particularly acute for contemporary Jews. This conflict is partly responsible for the differing attitudes to the halakhah among religious Jews, especially when there are increasing numbers of religious Jews who enjoy expertise in both the profundities of traditional Jewish learning and the subtleties of modern scholarship.

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Rabbi Louis Jacobs

Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs (1920-2006) was a Masorti rabbi, the first leader of Masorti Judaism (also known as Conservative Judaism) in the United Kingdom, and a leading writer and thinker on Judaism.