• REVIEW OF BENJAMIN PORAT, JUSTICE FOR THE POOR: THE PRINCIPLES OF WELFARE REGULATIONS, FROM BIBLICAL LAW TO RABBINIC LITERATURE

    Author(s):
    Amit Gvaryahu (see profile)
    Date:
    2022
    Group(s):
    Late Antiquity, New Testament, Textual Scholarship
    Subject(s):
    Law, Religion and law, Public welfare, Poverty, Bible. Old Testament, Rabbinical literature
    Item Type:
    Book review
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/4vsx-z587
    Abstract:
    Benjamin Porat’s Justice for the Poor differs from these books not only in that it is written in Hebrew (from the list above, only Wilfand’s 2014 book has been translated into Hebrew), but also because it envisions rabbinic charity as a branch of “law.” Porat is a law professor, and his book is jointly published by a law school, a think tank and a legal publisher. Porat thus stretches the mantle of “Jewish Law” over an area which many might consider a pious or religious practice, but not a legal issue. This stretching has a distinguished pedigree: rabbinic scholars throughout the Middle Ages wrote treatises and responsa dedicated to the “laws of charity” just as they did with the “laws of the Sabbath” and the “laws of matza and leaven.” Porat characterizes his book as a work of legal theory, an attempt to explain the “internal halakhic-legal logic of various laws” (16). In so doing, he sidesteps textual criticism (17), comparative legal thinking (17) and historical reasoning (18) as having any significant bearing on his analysis. Porat instead offers to his readers “contemporary conceptual distinctions, to illuminate the meanings that can be inferred from Pentateuchal and rabbinic sources.”
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 months ago
    License:
    Attribution
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