J.D. Amusin, "Die Gerim in der sozialen Legislatur des Alten
Testaments", Klio 63 (1981), 15-23. - The various allusions
to the gerim "sojourners" in the social legislation of
the Old Testament are noted, e.g. Lev. 19:9-10, 23:22; Deut.
14:28-9, 24:19, 20-21, 26-12. When we read of "the poor, the ger,
the widow and the orphan" it is probable that "the widow and orphan"
were those of dead gerim, whose position in foreign countries was
especially precarious. So far as the laws in the Mishnah concerning the
gerim are concerned, it is not impossible that some of them embody
early material. The Old Testament contains a number of admonitions employing
the negative imperative (e.g. "do not oppress ...") concerning
the gerim, for the purpose of protecting them (e.g. Ex. 22:20-21,
23:9; Lev. 19:33-4; Deut. 24:14-15; Ezek. 22:7; Ps.
94:6; Mal. 3:5). These remained only admonitions but the Talmud tried
to introduce sanctions for their enforcement. Like native Israelites the
gerim had the right of asylum (cf. Num. 35:15) and they were
also on an equal footing with respect to the lex talionis (cf. Lev.
24:22). They lacked the right to own property, however. (J.D.)
Michael Corinaldi, The Personal Status of the Karaites (Heb.),
Jerusalem: Rubin Mass, 1984, ISBN 965-09-0036-0, Pp. 288 + 44, Price: $20.00.
- This is a pioneering study of modern Karaite law, written by a lawyer
expert in the subject from both the academic and practical points of view.
An introductory chapter traces the history of the Karaites, and is written
by a Karaite collaborator, with the author's assistance. Part One deals
first with the arrangement of marriage, and then with divorce by judicial
decree in Karaite halakhah. An English version of this last section,
previously published in Diné Israel IX (1978-1980),
101-144, is conveniently provided in a pocket attached to the back cover.
It traces the topic through the principal Karaite sources, in historical
sequence, and thus serves also to introduce the reader to the classical
sources of the Karaite system. Part Two deals with intermarriage between
Karaites and other Jews, from the viewpoint of rabbinic authorities. Particular
attention is paid to the contemporary position in Israel, and Appendices
reproduce a letter of Chief Rabbi Ovadya Joseph on the permission of intermarriage,
and that of a rabbinical court in Haifa. Part Three deals with the personal
status of the Karaites in Israel, including their status as a "religious
community" and the millet system as received under the Mandate and
later in Israel; and the question of the applicability of the Rabbinic Courts
Jurisdiction (Marriage and Divorce) Law 1953, culminating in a parallel
Bill for Karaite courts, presented to the Knesset in 1979 (and reproduced
in an Appendix), a Bill which the Knesset decided to "refer back to
the government". A further Appendix publishes for the first time a
study of the Karaite problem by a 16th century scholar, Rabbi Shmuel Ibn
Hakim Halevi. This is an invaluable work to both historians of Jewish law
and those concerned with its modern application. (B.S.J.)
Ernst Roth, "The Definition of Childhood and Adulthood in Talmudic
Literature" (Heb.), Proceedings of the Eighth World Congress of
Jewish Studies, Division C (Jerusalem: World Union of Jewish Studies,
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