Further Perspectives on Jewish
Law and Contemporary Issues
by Wayne Allen Trafford Publishing

"It is specifically in the area of the exact sciences where significant advances have been made that appeals to the principle of 'changing times' are the most compelling."

This collection of essays of Halakha, Jewish Law, is divided into six sections. After an introduction with a note on process and another on the differences between men and women, four sections follow the categories of the Shulkan Aruch. These are: Orah Hayyim, laws of prayer, synagogue, the Sabbath, and holidays; Yoreh Deah, laws of kashrut, religious conversion, mourning, laws relating to Israel, and laws of family purity; Even Ha-ezer, laws of marriage, divorce; and Hoshen Mishpat, finances, and rules for Bet Din, or Rabbinic court. A final section covers miscellaneous topics, and an extensive bibliography rounds out the volume.

The essays are carefully reasoned, provide a depth of historical analysis of the issue considered, and provide clear and unambiguous guidelines for the considered conduct in accordance with Jewish principles. Allen shows his generous side in an opinion regarding the refusal to wear a head-covering. With a nod toward the Classic Reform Jew. Allen refers back to the time when wearing a kippah would be banned in the sanctuary. While those days are gone, in deference to the Jew who was raised in them, Allen allows that the demand to require a kippah might alienate such a Jew, which would be "regrettable." On the other hand, Allen shows a less permissible side in disallowing the current trend toward patrilineal descent. The author was ordained by the Conservative movement's Jewish Theological Seminary, holds a PhD from York University in Toronto, and has served as a pulpit rabbi for 35 years.

Return to USR Home