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ERIC Number: ED482214
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001
Pages: 59
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Religious Implications of an Historical Approach to Jewish Studies.
Furst, Rachel
This project examines the religious implications of an approach to "limmudei kodesh" (primarily the study of Talmud) and "halakhah" (an integration of academic scholarship with traditional Torah study and the evaluation of the educational pros and cons of a curriculum built on such a synthesis). In the concerted effort over the past century to develop a program of "Torah U-Madda" that synthesizes Torah and worldly pursuits, Torah scholars have endorsed the value of secular knowledge as a complimentary accoutrement to the "Talmud Torah" endeavor, but few have validated the application of secular academic tools and methodologies to Torah study or developed a model for such integrated Torah learning. The Torah scholar committed to synthesis seeks to employ historical knowledge and methodological tools in the decoding of halakhic texts as a means of contributing to the halakhic discourse. Traditional "Talmud Torah" does not address the realm of pesak halakhah, but it is nonetheless considered the highest form of religious expression. This project explores the expansion of "Talmud Torah" boundaries and the religious dimensions of such an expansion. The suggestion is that for students who question the applicability of halakhic practice to contemporary reality, an approach to Torah study that attempts to synthesize historical, academic scholarship with classical Torah learning has the potential to deepen appreciation for the richness and compelling authority of tradition by demonstrating that for 2000 years, halakhic Jews have been struggling with the same essential question: how to make ancient law meaningful to modern man. (Contains 43 references and 75 notes.) (Author/BT)
Academy for Torah Initiatives and Directions, 9 HaNassi Street, Jerusalem 92188, Israel. Tel: 972-2-567-1719; Fax: 972-2-567-1723; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A