halakah


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Related to halakah: Halachic

halakah

or

halacha

(both: hälä`khä, häläkhä`) [Heb.,=law], in Judaism, the body of law regulating all aspects of life, including religious ritual, familial and personal status, civil relations, criminal law, and relations with non-Jews. Halakah is the term used to designate both a particular ordinance and the law in the abstract. The adjective halakic means "of a legal nature." The plural, halakoth, designates a collection of laws. It usually refers to the Oral Law as codified in the MishnaMishna
, in Judaism, codified collection of Oral Law—legal interpretations of portions of the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and other legal material. Together with the Gemara, or Amoraic commentary on the Mishna, it comprises the Talmud.
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 and, in particular, to those statements of law that appear in categorical form without immediate regard for scriptural derivation. The most authoritative codifications of these laws are the Mishneh Torah of MaimonidesMaimonides
or Moses ben Maimon
, 1135–1204, Jewish scholar, physician, and philosopher, the most influential Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages, b. Córdoba, Spain, d. Cairo.
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 and the Shulhan Arukh [the set table] by Joseph CaroCaro or Karo, Joseph ben Ephraim
, 1488–1575, eminent Jewish codifier of law, b. Toledo, Spain. He left Spain as a child when the Jews were expelled (1492) and finally settled in Safed, Palestine.
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. Halakah was the important unifying force in world Jewry until modern times, when its authority was challenged by religious reform and secular conceptions of a Jewish nation. Contemporary problems in halakah revolve around its application to technological change, especially in relation to medical issues and Sabbath observance. Halakah is contrasted with aggada (plural aggadoth), the literary, aesthetic elements in the Oral Law and in the Talmud, and MidrashMidrash
[Heb.,=to examine, to investigate], verse by verse interpretation of Hebrew Scriptures, consisting of homily and exegesis, by Jewish teachers since about 400 B.C.
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 generally, which elaborates scriptural meaning through legends, tales, parables, and allegories. Both the halakic and aggadic elements have been extracted and made the subject of commentary.
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus, Shahak declares, "The Halakah forbids Jews to sell immovable property -- fields and houses -- in the land of Israel to Gentiles.
Greenberg had two comments that related inner-Catholic questions to the wider dimensions of the ongoing covenant: "Although the Halakah (the Jewish equivalent of the magisterium) is a touch more accepting of abortion, I sleep better at night knowing that the Catholic church's opposition keeps at bay the potential cheapening of life.
As a "Jewish Gospel" it makes sense that we read Luke not only as narrative, but also as halakah, that is, as depicting an alternative vision of life and practice.
To survive the dispersion, Israel had to become Judaism, a mode of faith able to exist as a minority people amidst alien cultures and their religions by way of synagogue, the Hebrew language, Torah, rabbinate, and Halakah.
From an Orthodox Jewish point of view, what is good is to obey the 613 commandments of the halakah.
It had become apparent to Eisenstein that the teachers at this primary institution of the Conservative movement were "basically Orthodox in their approach to Judaism in general and halakah in particular" and that by remaining within the confines of the Conservative movement reconstructionist philosophy would "get nowhere.