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July 11 , 2010

A Guide to the Complex

Contemporary Halakhic Debates


Abortion, stem-cell research, conversion standards, female rabbis, DNA testing, animal cruelty, civil marriages in Israel. While today’s most hot-button halakhic issues elicit strong opinions on all sides, few understand the halakhic origins of their views, their historical development or social implications. Without fully grasping the issues at hand, respectful dialogue between conflicting opinions becomes impossible.

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In A Guide to the Complex, Brody presents over 130 of the most provocative, controversial topics in Jewish law today. The book’s concise, articulate essays, based on the author’s popular “Ask the Rabbi” column in The Jerusalem Post, cite sources and scholars from across the ideological spectrum in an effort to increase respect for the diversity of voices of the halakhic dialogue. This compendium of highly relevant essays gives an accurate picture of the legal, historical, and sociological factors that are fundamental to understanding halakhic debates.

  "Rabbi Shlomo Brody has eminently succeeded in presenting complex and sometimes controversial contemporary issues with exceptional clarity and, most impressively, with a calm and respectful tone. His mastery of a wide range of both academic and traditional sources across the ideological spectrum is extraordinary. Everyone can learn a great deal from this outstanding book, master and novice alike."

-Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, Yeshiva University

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