Jewish Law and American Law: A Comparative Study, Volumes 1 & 2

Jewish Law and American Law: A Comparative Study, Volumes 1 & 2


Samuel J. Levine

Series: Touro College Press Books
ISBN: 9781618116550 (Vol. 1) / 9781618116574 (Vol. 2)
Pages: approx. 530 pp. (Vol. 1) / approx. 320 (Vol. 2)
Publication Date: July 2018


These volumes contribute to the growing field of comparative Jewish and American law, presenting twenty-six essays characterized by a number of distinct features. The essays will appeal to legal scholars and, at the same time, will be accessible and of interest to a more general audience of intellectually curious readers. These contributions are faithful to Jewish law on its own terms, while applying comparative methods to offer fresh perspectives on complex issues in the Jewish legal system. Through careful comparative analysis, the essays also turn to Jewish law to provide insights into substantive and conceptual areas of the American legal system, particularly areas of American law that are complex, controversial, and unsettled.

Samuel J. Levine is Professor of Law and Director of the Jewish Law Institute at Touro Law Center. He has also served as the Beznos Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University College of Law, and he has taught at the law schools at Bar-Ilan, Fordham, Pepperdine, and St. John’s Universities.

Table of Contents

Volume 1


Section One. The Comparative Study of Jewish Law and American Law: An Introduction
1. Teaching Jewish Law in American Law Schools: An Emerging Development in Law and Religion
2. Applying Jewish Legal Theory in the Context of American Law and Legal Scholarship: A Methodological Analysis
3. An Introduction to Interpretation in Jewish Law, with References to American Legal Theory
4. An Introduction to Legislation in Jewish Law, with References to the American Legal System

Section Two. Capital Punishment
5. Capital Punishment in Jewish Law and Its Application to the American Legal System: A Conceptual Overview
6. Playing God: An Essay on Law, Philosophy, and American Capital Punishment

Section Three. Self-Incrimination
7. An Introduction to Self-Incrimination in Jewish Law, with Application to the American Legal System: A Psychological and Philosophical Analysis
8. Miranda, Dickerson, and Jewish Legal Theory: The Constitutional Rule in a Comparative Analytical Framework

Section Four. Constitutional Theory
9. Unenumerated Constitutional Rights and Unenumerated Biblical Obligations: A Preliminary Study in Comparative Hermeneutics
10. Rules and Standards in Jewish Law and American Constitutional Law  
11. Of Inkblots and Omnisignificance: Conceptualizing Secondary and Symbolic Functions of the Ninth Amendment in a Comparative Hermeneutic Framework

Section Five. Legal Practice
12. Reflections on the Practice of Law as a Religious Calling from a Perspective of Jewish Law and Ethics
13. A Look at American Legal Practice through a Perspective of Jewish Law, Ethics, and Tradition: A Conceptual Overview
14. Taking Ethics Codes Seriously: Broad Ethics Provisions and Unenumerated Ethical Obligations in a Comparative Hermeneutic Framework
15. Taking Prosecutorial Ethics Seriously: A Consideration of the Prosecutor's Ethical Obligation to “Seek Justice” in a Comparative Analytical Framework  
16. Taking Ethical Obligations Seriously: A Look at American Codes of Professional Responsibility through a Perspective of Jewish Law and Ethics


Volume 2

Section Six. Law and Narrative
17. Halacha and Aggada: Translating Robert Cover’s Nomos and Narrative
18. Professionalism without Parochialism: Julius Henry Cohen, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, and the Stories of Two Sons

Section Seven. Legal History
19. Lost in Translation: The Strange Journey of an Anti-Semitic Fabrication, from a Late Nineteenth Century Russian Newspaper to an Irish Legal Journal to a Leading Twentieth Century American Criminal Law Textbook
20. Louis Marshall, Julius Henry Cohen, Benjamin Cardozo, and the New York Emergency Rent Laws of 1920: A Case Study in the Role of Jewish Lawyers and Jewish Law in Early Twentieth-Century Public Interest Litigation
21. Jewish Law from out of the Depths: Tragic Choices in the Holocaust
22. Untold Stories of Goldman v. Weinberger: Religious Freedom Confronts Military Uniformity
23. Richard Posner Meets Reb Chaim of Brisk: A Comparative Study in the Founding of Intellectual Legal Movements

Section Eight. Law and Public Policy
24. Reflections on Responsibilities in the Public Square through a Perspective of Jewish Tradition: A Brief Biblical Survey
25. Looking beyond the Mercy/Justice Dichotomy: Reflections on the Complementary Roles of Mercy and Justice in Jewish Law and Tradition
26. Teshuva: A Look at Repentance, Forgiveness, and Atonement in Jewish Law and Philosophy and American Legal Thought