Long accepted as the standard code of Jewish law and practice, the Shulhan Aruch was written by Joseph Karo in 1565. This tenth and final volume of A Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law by Rabbi Emanuel Quint represents a monumental and unprecedented achievement in the scholarship of rabbinic jurisprudence. In this restatement, as in all previous nine volumes, Rabbi Quint brings fresh insight, modern research methodology, and succinct explication to Hoshen haMishpat, one of the four sections of the Shulhan Aruch.
A Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law: Volume X¾Laws of Prohibition Against Damages of Another's Property, Direct and Indirect Damages, Informers, Laws of Assault, Obligation to a Fellow Jew, and Removal of Dangerous Conditions continues to open the brilliant halachic work of the Shulhan Aruch to the wider audience it deserves: to the educated layperson and advanced scholar alike. The result is a comprehensive, well-organized body of rabbinic jurisprudence, available to the English reader for the first time.
Rabbi Quint, the cofounder of the Jerusalem Institute of Jewish Law (with Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz), an institute dedicated to the study and dissemination of Jewish civil law, brings his professional expertise to bear on the vast array of Jewish legal processes, procedures, and practices encoded here. The reader may be surprised and challenged in the discovery that such a meticulous legal¾yet not overly religious¾system fits under the category of Jewish law. In his unique position as ordained rabbi, successful lawyer, and distinguished Talmudic scholar, Rabbi Quint illuminates Judaism not only as a religion, but also a culture and community.
Containing a wealth of relevant material for even the most talented comparative law students, this tenth volume contains topics such as prohibitions against damaging another's property, damages caused by one's property (such as animals), direct and indirect damages, informers, standards of care in guarding an animal, laws of assault, obligation to a fellow Jew, and removal of dangerous conditions.
A Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law: Volume X provides the author's own commentary and also incorporates the four centuries of scholarship since the Shulhan Aruch was written, including commentaries and responsa literature. Ample footnotes help to guide the reader every step of the way.
If the Shulhan Aruch can be said to be the distilled essence of Jewish law, then A Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law triumphs as a major judicial-literary landmark of its own.
About the Author Emanuel Quint is a rabbi and lawyer and a co-founder (with rabbi Adin Steinsaltz) of the Jerusalem Institute of Jewish Law, where he is dean and rosh kollel. With Professor Neil Hecht he wrote Jewish Jurisprudence, which bears the approbation of the late Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik.
He was one of the founders and a trustee of Touro College, which named him an honorary Doctor of Laws. He was also the president of the Young Israel Council in Israel, head of the beth din of the Young Israel Rabbis in Israel, a member of the board of trustees of Jerusalem College of Technology, and was a senior partner of the New York law firm of Quint, Marx, and Chill.
Rabbi Quint and his wife, Rena, have four children and live in Jerusalem.
Rabbi Israel Meir Lau Chief Rabbi of Israel [1993-2003]
Sunday [February 29, 2004] to the Torah portion that includes “He that I have filled with the spirit of wisdom… the breastplate of justice upon his heart.” (Ex. 28:3, 29) Adar 7, 5764
To my honorable dear friend
The Great Rabbi Emanuel Quint
Jerusalem the Holy, may it soon be rebuilt
My heart rejoiced to hear the good news that the tenth volume of your work on Hoshen Mishpat is about to be published. With this volume, you have completed a monumental collection of the words of the elder and contemporary sages, which compose the foundations of the Judicial Law of the Torah, in the order of the Shulhan Arukh of the ‘Master Adjudicator of the Land of Israel’ R. Joseph Karo.
God’s love for our Father Abraham is expounded in the Torah “so that he will command his offspring to keep the ways of God, to do righteousness and justice” (Gen, 18:19). In the order of the weekly Torah readings, the portion titled “Mishpatim” (Jurisprudence) precedes the portion titled Terumah” (donation), which indicates clearly that Moses puts our grasp on Eretz Israel conditioned to the degree in which we abide by the Torah Law “Justice, Justice you shall seek, so that you will live and inherit the Land” (Deut. 16:20).
The “crowns” that you tie for the Shulhan Arukh, Hoshen Mishpat serve to enhance the Jewish Library, like the proverbial “new pitcher of aged wine” (Avot 4:20), the “wine” of Torah (Midrash Rabba on Song 1:4).
It is an honor for me to encourage your holy work that you have undertaken with great success, and with the help of God, have now completed, “Declaring: grace, grace unto it” (Zech, 4:7).
I hope that your books will be distributed to a broad audience of Torah scholars and the community of Justice and Law worldwide.