Mishpat Ivri and Psak


Law is the concern of all humanity…”Pray for the welfare of the state” (Avot 3:2), for it is the state that establishes law in the land: “The king by justice establishes the land” (Proverbs 29:2). And all of this is equally true of non-Jewish governments, for the descendants of Noah were also commanded concerning dinim. (Rav Avraham Koo, introduction to tractate Sanhedrin (1934) (see R. Moshe Tzvi Neriah, […]

השופט בישראל הקדמה

בס “ד    (click here) pdf  7   בעברית -השופט בישראל   השופט בישראל מאת גרשון פרקוף מקורות אלה יצאו לענות בצורה מאוד ראשונית על שלוש שאלות א. מה היחוד לשופט היהודי? ואיך שופט לפי התורה שונה משופט חילוני  ב. מדוע היו אמוראים וראשונים ואחרונים כל כך נחושים להשמר מבתי המשפט חילוני אפילו שאין לנו שופטים יהודים מוסמכים בעל ידע במשפט העברי? מה העליונות של בית דין של שלוש […]

MISHPAT IVRI by Menachem Elon

 Menachem Elon in Mishpat Ivri: “What is the explanation for the astonishing fact that in the study of a legal system extending over 3000 years, most attention has been centered on only slightly more than the first half of this period, and the last  1300 years have been investigated only in a cursory manner? There is even more reason for wonder if we consider that although the Biblical […]


There is a transition from intuition to Halacha in Jewish thought. In the Hakdama to Mitzvat HaBayit by Rabbi Yosef Epstein ztz’l, section two, he outlines in detail the transition from the Intellect and Intuition of the Avot to the requirement to observe the Mitzvot after Kabbalat HaTorah, (the formal acceptance of the Torah by the Jewish People). Rabbi Epstein observes that human intellect is an intermediary between […]

The Connection Between Godel’s Theorem and Psak

  “We have seen that mathematical propositions which cannot be established by formal deduction from a given set of axioms may, nevertheless, be established by “informal” meta-mathematical reasoning. It would be irresponsible to claim that these formally indemonstrable truths established by meta-mathematical arguments are based on nothing better than bare appeals to intuition.” (Ernest Nagel, Godel’s Proof, p. 112) David Zviel: Godel actually constructs formal statements which must […]


  הקדמה אגרות משה דכיון שיכולין לפרש בתורה כב”ש וכב”ה הרי נמצא שנאמר כתרוייהו כל זמן שלא נתבטלו דעת אחד ברבים החולקים. וזהו פירוש מי מעקב שמשה שאל למה עושה הקב”ה האותיות למלכים, שיעשו כפי משמעות החכמים בלשון הכתוב והמסור, דמי מעקב שתכתוב באופן שלא יהיה אפשר לפרש רק דרך אחד ככוונתך האמתית ולמה נתת כח מלוכה להאותיות שימצא שלפעמים יעשו שלא ככוונתך. והשיב הקב”ה משום שע”י זה […]


INTUITION, ETHICAL REASONING AND TORAH LAW, PDF (click here) FROM INTUITION TO HAR SINAI   Rabbi Yosef Dovid Epstein: Hakdama to Mitzvat HaBayit: “If the Torah would not have been given, Man would have discovered the Parsha on Proper Conduct himself, through his own intellect. The Avot learned Torah from their own internal mental processes. They recognized obligations by themselves. From their great wisdom they came to the […]

The Idea of Law

The idea of Law is very abstract. The arena of the abstract is treacherous to the uninitiated and full of pitfalls and dead ends. In the order of things, real events and experiences, empirical science and history, applied mechanics and optics, and political and social history should be the stepping stones to abstract thought and generalization. Professor Aaron Kirschenbaum navigates with great skill the issue of Abstract Law. […]