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Jewish Law as Rebellion
Jewish Law as Rebellion

Jewish Law as Rebellion

A Plea for Religious Authenticity and Halachic Courage


456 Pages, 6.75 x 9.5

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $28.95 (US $28.95) (CA $38.95)

Publication Date: February 2018

ISBN 9789655242768

Rights: WOR X IL

Urim Publications (Feb 2018)

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Jewish Law as Rebellion is unconventional and controversial in its approach to the world of Jewish Law and its response to religious crises. The book delves into the contemporary application and development of halacha and pointedly protests many accepted methods and ideals, offering new solutions to existing halachic dilemmas. Rabbi Cardozo discusses hot topics such as same-sex marriage, conversion, and religion in the State of Israel and presents a critical analysis and explanation of the application of halacha.


"No reader can doubt the brilliance, courage, and deep concern that Rabbi Lopez Cardozo displays in these pages for authentic halachic living." —Yehuda Gellman, Emeritus Professor Ben-Gurion University

"Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is a unique intellectual presence in the rabbinical world today. His new book raises profound questions that disturb our complacency and demand the attention of our hearts and minds. To think with him and the challenges he raises is one of the great experiences of modern Jewish thought." —Professor Susannah Heschel

"Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is that rare entity, a seeker who is unafraid to challenge accepted ideas and norms. His Jewish Law as Rebellion perfectly embodies his own engagement with tradition. It will inspire any who struggle with Judaism's most basic principles." —Professor James Kugel

"Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo has written a challenging, even provocative book, inviting us to restore the iconoclasm with which Judaism was born as a religion of protest against the status quo. Agree or disagree, you will find yourself thinking hard and deep about the current state of Jewish law and life, and that makes it a work well worth reading – a new chapter in one of the great Jewish traditions: the dignity of dissent." —Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

"Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is a rebel fighting for a most worthy cause – to reinvigorate Judaism and infuse it with real spiritual context. He inveighs against the over-codification of Halachah, a sort of pietistic OCD syndrome, which stifles the true spirit of Judaism. He calls for a return to the Talmud and its sources, with its openness, its bewildering variety of opinions, its multifaceted character, its liberality, and its halachic flexibility. This book is the powerful plea of a genuinely pious Jew deeply concerned for our Jewish future. The problems and challenges he presents are real and urgent, requiring creative rethinking on the part of our religious authorities. He is to be admired and congratulated for his courage and the clarity of his vision." —Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber

"What this exceptional book offers is a rationale for halakhic practice as a discipline of resistance – resistance to the corrupting effect of the ordinary, to the hollowing-out of human behaviour and human awareness that a fast-paced and feverish culture produces. It is full of insights that will challenge and inspire Jews and non-Jews alike: a reminder that Orthodoxy of whatever kind is empty if it does not arise from the deep, radical awareness of the divine imperative to be amazed and thankful in the face of every thing and every experience. Immensely enriching." —Dr. Rowan Williams

"In this masterful work, Rav Cardozo not only critiques the great challenges that Jews face in the world but also lays out an inspirational and comprehensive vision of contemporary Judaism.... Rabbi Cardozo's fascinating new book inspires us to roll up our sleeves and to become pioneers as we reorient tradition as the vanguard of an inspired Jewish future." —Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz,

"In his review of Rabbi Cardozo's, work Rabbi Jonathan Sacks writes: 'Agree or disagree, you will find yourself thinking hard and deep about the current state of Jewish law and life, and that makes it a well worth reading—a new chapter in one of the great Jewish traditions: dignity and dissent.' To this observation I say, I agree. Go and enjoy the challenge." —Alan Jay Gerber, The Jewish Star

Author Biography

A sought-after lecturer on the international stage for both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences, Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo is the author of 13 books and numerous articles. Rabbi Cardozo heads a Think Tank focused on finding new Halachic and philosophical approaches to dealing with the crisis of religion and identity among Jews and the State of Israel. Hailing from the Netherlands, Rabbi Cardozo is known for his original and often fearlessly controversial insights into Judaism. Rabbi Cardozo is the Founder and Dean of the David Cardozo Academy and the Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu in Jerusalem.

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