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POVERTY AND TZEDAKAH IN JEWISH LAW

Essays and Responsa

2006 - ISBN 0-929-699-18-1

Contents

Against Poverty - From the Torah to Secular Judaism - Walter Jacob ...............................................................1

Alleviating Poverty - A Halakhic View of Social Security within the Modern Welfare State - Daniel Schiff .......47

Obligations Versus Rights - A Halakhic Contribution to Constitutional Legal Theory - Ronald A. Brauner .....67

The Working Poor in the Halakhah - Richard S. Rheins ................................................................................75

Hakhnassat Orhim B Hospitality for Poor Travelers - Frank Loewenberg ......................................................107

Selected Reform Responsa

Historical Basis for Jewish Social Services ........................................................................................................131

Priorities in Charitable Distribution ....................................................................................................................135

Gifts to Organizations Inimical to Reform Judaism .............................................................................................141

Financial Responsibility Toward Jewish Homes for the Aged ............................................................................145

Asbestos Versus Refugees ..............................................................................................................................149

The Hostages..................................................................................................................................................151

Poverty Project and Shabbat ........................................................................................................................155

Holiday Gift Wrapping Project and Shabbat .................................................................................................159

Contributors

Ronald A. Brauner is Professor of Judaic Studies at Siegal College of Judaic Studies in Cleveland, Ohio. He has previously taught at Gratz College, Temple University and Beaver College. From 1972 until 1983 he was chairman of the Rabbinic Civilization Department of the Reconstructionist Rabbinic College and Academic Dean. He is the author and editor of six books of essays dealing with all aspects of Jewish civilization through the centuries. His latest work Thinking Jewish: The Art of Living in Two Civilizations, 2001.

Solomon B. Freehof (1893B 1990) was rabbi of the Rodef Shalom Congregation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Past President of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the World Union for Progressive Judaism; he was past Chair of the Responsa Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, and the author of twenty-six books including eight volumes of responsa, Stormers of Heaven (1931), Modern Jewish Preaching (1941), Preface to Scripture (1950), Reform Jewish Practice (1947, 1952), The Responsa Literature (1955), The Book of Job (1958), A Treasury of Responsa (1963), New Reform Responsa (1980), Today= s Reform Responsa (1990).

Walter Jacob is President of the Abraham Geiger College in Berlin/Potsdam; Senior Scholar of Rodef Shalom Congregation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; President of the Freehof Institute of Progressive Halakhah and the Associated American Jewish Museums. Author, editor, or translator of thirty-six books including Christianity through Jewish Eyes (1974), American Reform Responsa (1983), The Pittsburgh Platform in Retrospect (1985), Liberal Judaism and Halakhah (1988), The Second Book of the Bible: Exodus Interpreted by Benno Jacob (1992), Die Exegese hat das erste Wort (2002), Pursuing Peace Across the Alleghenies (2005), Hesed and Tzedakah - From the Bible to Modernity (2006); Napoleonís Influence on Jewish Law (2007), and more than twelve hundred published essays and sermons.

Frank M. Loewenberg is a professor emeritus at the School of Social Work, Bar-Ilan University (Israel). He was educated at Harvard, Columbia and Wayne State University. He and his family live in Efrat, Israel. They made aliya in 1971. He is the author of many books and almost 100 professional articles. His publications include Ethical Decisions for Social Work Practice (with Ralph Dolgof, 7th ed., 2004 ), From Charity to Social Justice: the Emergence of Communal Institutions for the Support of the Poor in Ancient Judaism, (New Brunswick NJ, 2001), and Religion and Social Work Practice in Contemporary American Society, (New York, Columbia University Press, 1988).

Richard Rheins is the Senior Rabbi of Temple Sinai, Denver, Colorado. He is a past member of the Responsa Committee opf the Central Conference of American Rabbis and Vice-President of the Freehof Institute for Progressive Jewish Law. He has published A The Professionalization of the Rabbinate@ and A Asu Seyag Latorah: Make a Fence to Protect the Torah@ among other essays.

Daniel Schiff is rabbi of the Agency for Jewish Learning in Pittsburgh. He is also rabbi of Temple B= nai Israel in White Oak, Pennsylvania. Born in Australia, he was educated at the University of Melbourne and the Hebrew Union CollegeB Jewish Institute of Religion from which he was ordained and received his doctorate. Daniel Schiff is the author of essays on halakhic topics and of Abortion in Judaism (2002), a study that deals with this question across denominational lines.

 

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