How can humans ever attain the knowledge required to administer
and implement divine law and render perfect justice in this world?
Contrary to the belief that religious law is infallible, Chaya T.
Halberstam shows that early rabbinic jurisprudence is characterized
by fundamental uncertainty. She argues that while the Hebrew Bible
created a sense of confidence and transparency before the law, the
rabbis complicated the paths to knowledge and undermined the
stability of personal status and ownership, and notions of guilt or
innocence. Examining the facts of legal judgments through midrashic
discussions of the law and evidence, Halberstam discovers that
rabbinic understandings of the law were riddled with doubt and
challenged the possibility of true justice. This book thoroughly
engages law, narrative, and theology to explicate rabbinic legal
authority and its limits.
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