Abstracts

STATUS-JEW

Howard L. Apothaker and Mark Washofsky, "Patrilineality and Presumption", JRJ 31/3 (l984), 39-46. - A review of the difficulties posed by the concept of presumption in the Central Conference of American Rabbis resolution on patrilineality and the suggestion that conditional status be substituted for presumed status. (S.M.P.)

R. Berg and M. Urbah-Bornstein, Les Juifs devant le droit Français, Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 1984, ISBN 2-905248-00-9, Pp. 282, Price: F.165 (Collection Franco-Judaïca, 11). - This is the first monographic study of the position of Jews in French law since 1903. The authors, both lawyers, take account of legislation and case-law from the end of the 19th century to date. The first part, by Berg, deals with the legal organisation of the Jewish religion, and its practice, in public law, including the status of the Consistories (Berg has served as Secretary-General of the Central Consistory). This section concludes with a documentary appendix, including extracts from the 1905 Law on the Separation of Church and State. The second part, contributed by Madame Urbah deals, with private law, and particularly problems of private international law, where immigrant Jews from North Africa have brought with them Jewish law as their personal law. There are chapters on nationality, legal capacity, marriage, divorce, and family property. Professor J. -P. LÈvy contributes an elegant Introduction. (B.S.J.)

Richard A. Block, "You're a Jew, I Presume? (Reflections on the Perils of Drafting Resolutions)", and Herman E. Schaalman, "Response", JRJ 30/4 (l983), 17-28. - Block points out logical difficulties presented by the use of the word presumption in the resolution in favour of patrilineality adopted by the Central Conference of American Rabbis and he offers an alternative phrasing to eliminate the problem. Schaalman defends the use of the word presumption in the resolution. (S.M.P.)

Joseph A. Edelheit and Arthur Meth, "Accepting Non-Jews As Members of the Synagogue", JRJ 27 (l980), 87-92. - The authors discuss the particular needs of small town congregations, in which the synagogue serves as religious, social, and cultural center for all Jews since there is no alternative institution, and the modes of integrating non-Jewish spouses of members into community life. The authors assert that the non-Jewish spouse will pose a more and more significant problem for Jewish institutions as time goes on and this problem will have to be met satisfactorily in order to maintain harmony and unity in both families and communities. (S.M.P.)

Warren Zev Harvey, "The Obligation of Talmud on Women According to Maimonides", Tradition 19/2 (1981), 122-130. - The author concludes that Maimonides manifestly obligates women with five commandments, in consequence of which they must study Talmud. This matter is significant for halakhists who must rule concerning education for women. (S.M.P.)

Phillip Hiat and Bernard M. Zlotowitz, "Biblical and Rabbinic Sources on Patrilineal Descent", JRJ 30/1 (1983), 43-48. - The authors present various sources in support of patrilineality as a legitimate institution in Jewish life. (S.M.P.)

Lawrence H. Schiffman, Who was a Jew? Rabbinic and Halakhic Perspectives on the Jewish Christian Schism, Hoboken, N.J.: Ktav Publishing House, Inc., 1985, ISBN 0-88125-053-8 (054-6, pbk.), Pp. xii, 131, Price: $14.95, $8.95 pbk. - This is an expanded version of a substantial paper contributed by Professor Schiffman to the second volume of the McMaster project on Jewish and Christian Self-Definition. The author considers the tannaitic definition of the Jew by birth, against its biblical background. He considers the various halakhic requirements of conversion to Judaism (acceptance of the Torah, circumcision, immersion, sacrifice), and the rules of heresy and apostasy. Against this background he considers the relationship between tannaitic Judaism and early Christianity, and traces the effects on Rabbinic attitudes of the changing balance within the daughter religion from Jewish Christianity to Gentile Christianity. (B.S.J.)

 

 

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