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All Jews are Jews by Birth: Are Jews a Faith Community?

November 14, 2019 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


ABOUT THIS LECTURE: A person born as a Jew remains a Jew, however s/he behaves. Surprisingly, this is stated in the Talmud only with regard to one kind of Jew: a former Gentile who became Jewish by the halakhic process of giyyur. Indeed, the Talmud says that such a person is like a newly-born (Jewish) child. We will read together sources that enable us to understand this view of giyyur as birth, and discuss the implications for our understanding of how the halakhic tradition understands Jewishness.

ABOUT THIS SPEAKER: Zvi Zohar is a senior research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is the Chauncey Stillman Professor of Sephardic Law and Ethics at Bar-Ilan University, where he teaches in the Faculties of Law and Jewish Studies and is editor in chief of the international Journal of Law, Religion and State. At Shalom Hartman Institute, he heads the Alan and Loraine Fischer Family Center for Halakha.

Professor Zohar’s main area of research is the history and development of halakha from the earliest times to present. He has a special interest in the halakhic writings of Sephardic and Mizrahi rabbis in modern times. Professor Zohar has published more than 100 books and scholarly articles in Hebrew, English, French, and German.

His most recent book in English, Rabbinic Creativity in the Modern Middle East, was published in 2013 by the Hartman Institute’s Kogod Library of Judaic Studies in conjunction with Bloomington Academic Press.



November 14, 2019
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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Temple Solel
6805 E McDonald Dr
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253 United States
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