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Mechon Hadar is an educational institution that seeks to empower a generation of Jews to create and sustain vibrant, practicing, egalitarian communities of Torah learning, prayer, and service.

THE CENTER FOR JEWISH LAW AND VALUES SELECTED MATERIALS                 2013-4
CENTER FOR JEWISH LAW AND VALUES Selected Materials 2013-2014                  The Year in Review ...........................
CJLV 2013-4  The Year in Review This pilot year for the Center featured a number of areas of accomplishment. Books We have...
I have also nearly completed two other major pieces. The first is on the origins of the rabbinic Shabbat and explores in d...
Gender and Tefillin  Possibilities and Consequences Rabbi Ethan Tucker, Center for Jewish Law and Values In many contempor...
The language of    upon your arm    and    between your eyes    is understood to refer to tefillin, and the Mekhilta expou...
this prooftext, recognizing it to be a post facto scriptural anchoring of a self-evident law.  Early figures in Mishnah So...
II.  Thinking about gender and tefillin in the contemporary world  Four Approaches  There are at least four ways to think ...
demanded   such communities are likely to be negative, not just neutral, about most cases of women and tefillin. B. Severi...
C. Nothing Has Changed, Take 2 A third approach would hark back to the Mekhilta and its assumption that women and slaves w...
woman to wear tefillin without feeling completely cut off from her supporting religious community. 1. TEFILLIN AND THE EXP...
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This is another line of argument for making sense of a woman who feels ontologically obligated in tefillin, but for whom i...
into agents of God. As a teacher and educator, I will never speak about options or exemptions for women so as not to torpe...
Appendix  Historic Opposition to Women Wearing Tefillin Voluntary wearing of tefillin For much of Jewish history, most Jew...
maintain their bodily integrity during such a limited amount of time in such a lofty context.  This helps explain our curr...
women. The advent of indoor plumbing and hygienic products has enabled all people to be cleaner than in earlier centuries,...
Responses to Follow-Up Questions Is the exemption from tefillin for women really grounded in the exemption from Torah stud...
This passage says exactly what the Mekhilta says, and adds a step  1  Torah study is gendered  this is assumed and unsourc...
On its own, this is nothing more than a collection of mitzvot that do and don   t divide by class. While gender is one sub...
However, there is an inkling of something different here. Five times the gemara treats the Mishnah   s rulings as obvious ...
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commandment caused by time  see Rashi there  and this assumes  the process laid out in  Kiddushin 34a. If you don   t say ...
understanding its concern. To the extent that guf naki is actually nothing more than the preservation of an age-old resist...
The Rabbinic Shabbat  Shamor and Zakhor in Stereo R. Ethan Tucker, Center for Jewish Law and Values Every Friday night, Je...
from the sages of the early first millennium of the common era, the same sages who feature prominently in the Mishnah. Her...
crime spelled out under its own rubric in Leviticus 18 20 and 20 10. And yet, Deuteronomy 25 5 commands a man whose brothe...
               Shamor Let us begin with the                model as presented in Deuteronomy                       -      ...
And how would we define the opaque term                  melakhah, which constitutes the core of what we must avoid on Sha...
Genesis 2 1-3 The heaven and the earth and all their hosts were completed. On the seventh day, God completed the melakhah ...
easily be in conflict. Sometimes, maximizing enjoyment and a sense of freedom is dramatically advanced by dominating and m...
Damascus Document XI, translation from G. Vermes, The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English, New York 1997 But should any m...
And every man who does any work thereon, or goes a journey, or tills  his  farm, whether in his house or any other place, ...
                 Preserving human freedom and social justice By contrast, other Jews read the Torah very differently, priv...
Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. Gospel of John 5 5-11...
classified as forbidden in the first place. And Jesus seems to be conscious of another way of reading the Bible, one that ...
the rest of rabbinic tradition insist on an unshakeable commitment to the coexistence of                and     ,         ...
telling tales about kings and princes and their wars   as many people love to do   it seems it is certainly permissible. F...
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context of a day that celebrates and enshrines our release from slavery. Nonetheless, the prohibition on healing   which w...
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significant it may be. In other words, even those actions that don   t evoke slavery   such as picking an individual fruit...
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Toledot Adam Vehava 12 20, 102d, R. Yeroham, Spain, 14th c. I already wrote above that one may not perform any melakhah un...
on the seventh day. It would have been an act of     ,             not in the sense of    work    as defined in our contem...
Sources for    The Rabbinic Shabbat  Shamor and Zakhor in Stereo    Rabbi Ethan Tucker, Mechon Hadar    Shamor and Zakhor ...
Exodus 23 12 Six days you shall do what you do, but on the seventh day you shall stop, so that your ox and your donkey may...
Jubilees 50, translation from R.H. Charles, The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, Oxford 1913 And behold ...
answered him,  Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps d...
Mekhilta of R. Yishmael Ki Tisa, Massekhta Deshabbata Parashah 1    You shall keep the Shabbat.    This refers to what R. ...
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Thoughts on Standing at a Halakhic Frontier Rabbi Ethan Tucker, Center for Jewish Law and Values In the middle of the narr...
 irrespective of how he matches up to the virtues of earlier leaders . And Scripture says     Don   t say,    How has it h...
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This last rule requires us to understand the proper role of halakhah in mapping the frontier. We often think of halakhah a...
2  If nothing proposed in the current flurry of creativity emerges as obviously misguided 200 years from now, we should al...
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R. Ovadiah Yosef   A Halakhic Tribute Rabbi Ethan Tucker, Center for Jewish Law and Values The final halakhah of Tosefta M...
dross as possible  Or do they deeply identify with their community and use their expertise to bridge the gap between rabbi...
    .                           A ruling that does not plumb the depths of halakhic literature and that does not document ...
due to questions about various aspects of his lineage that he cannot resolve. Nonetheless, because there is a good chance ...
R. Ovadiah uses the principle of                         hundreds of times in his responsa to this sort of effect. This is...
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Who should fast the day before the Seder  R. Ethan Tucker, Center for Jewish Law and Values Yerushalmi Pesahim 10 1 record...
at the time of the plague in Egypt, they had no special status vis-  -vis regular first born sons and therefore must fast ...
How Loud Can You Pray  R. Ethan Tucker, Center for Jewish Law and Values There are a few indications of engagement with vo...
Rashba, Meiri and others. Most prominently, Zohar Vayakhel 202a seems to suggest that a prayer heard by any human ear  pos...
Regarding the practice of praying loudly on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Mordechai Yoma  725 justifies it not only for ed...
shouted out loudly, just as attendees at a political rally makes their full passion an conviction known with a rallying cr...