The Authority of the Divine Law: A Study in Tannaitic Midrash

Product Details
Academic Studies Press
Publish Date
6.14 X 9.21 X 0.56 inches | 1.14 pounds

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About the Author
Yosef Bronstein received rabbinic ordination and a PhD in Talmudic Studies from Yeshiva University. He is the Rosh Bet Midrash of Machon Zimrat Ha'aretz, a community learning center and rabbinical training program in Efrat, Israel, and also teaches Jewish philosophy at Yeshiva University's Isaac Breuer College. He is the coauthor of Reshimot Shiurim al Masekhet Kiddushin (Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik's Talmud lectures on tractate Kiddushin) and the author of Engaging the Essence: The Philosophy of the Lubavitcher Rebbe (forthcoming from Maggid Books).
Yosef Bronstein presents us with a masterful analysis of the very foundations of Jewish law. He mines through the layers of Tannaitic midrash and Talmud to discover distinct narratives that set the stage for the concept of Israel's responsibility to the Torah's commandments. This study is a model of academic excellence in its methodological care to compare manuscript variants, review a wide swath of Second Temple history as a backdrop to the Rabbis' commentaries, contextualize each source in time and place, and connect textual details with philosophical assumptions. At the same time, this book remains as relevant as ever for a modern Jew seeking rationales for the Jewish people's commitment to Halakha and contemplating whether their chosenness is coerced or voluntary, contingent or essential. The classical rabbinic responses uncovered in this work offer fresh and revealing insights applicable to the study of Jewish thought today.- Rabbi Dr. Richard Hidary, Professor of Judaic Studies, Yeshiva University