Jewish Law Courses

Credit recommendation: 2 lower level credits each, in History, Judaic Studies, Near Eastern Studies, or Religion

The Laws of the Sabbath: Advanced Topics (Jewish Law 250) Objectives: Students will be able to identify and explain fundamental philosophy behind the prohibition of working Sabbath; identify, explain, analyze, interpret, and apply theoretical law in the following areas: desisting from weekday activities and occupations, avoiding preparations for after Sabbath with the allowance for positive commandments, speaking about work, excessive exertion, doing work on the eve of the Sabbath. Students will also be able to identify the distinction between similar prohibitions and their causes; discuss the underlying principles and determine when leniencies apply; describe their impact on Sabbath behavior; and apply the principles to practical scenarios. Instruction: The Jewish Law 250 examination will assess students’ ability to express an in-depth knowledge about Jewish laws and customs surrounding the Sabbath. It will also require an understanding of concepts related to the Sabbath; identify major principles; analyze underlying premises of the principle laws and customs; and apply them to novel situations.

The Laws of the Sabbath: Time Frame and Rabbinical Institutions (Jewish Law 310) Objectives: Students will demonstrate an ability to identify, explain, analyze, interpret, and apply theoretical law in practical cases for the following areas: non-movable objects (muktza) due to value, forbidden use, non-designation for use; asking a non-Jew to perform work (amira l”akum) including the causes of prohibitions and allowances for the criteria by which they are determined; identify the distinction between different prohibitions and their causes, discuss underlying principles; determine when leniencies apply; describe their impact on the Sabbath behavior; and apply principles to practical scenarios. In regards to the time frame of the Sabbath, students will be able to: discuss the laws pertaining to candle lighting at the commencement of Sabbath; identify who may light and where one may light a candle; apply theory to practice; solve problematic scenarios regarding candle lighting; demonstrate knowledge regarding laws and customs related to the conclusion of Sabbath and the custom of Havdallah. Instruction: The Jewish Law 310 examination will assess students’ ability to express an in-depth knowledge about Jewish laws and customs surrounding the Sabbath. It will also require an understanding of concepts related to the Sabbath; identify major principles; analyze underlying premises of the principle laws and customs; and apply them to novel situations.

The Laws of the Sabbath: Plowing, Planting, Reaping, Gathering, and Winnowing (Jewish Law 320) Objectives: Students will be able to: demonstrate an ability to identify, explain, analyze, interpret, and apply theoretical Torah for the following categories: plowing, weeding, fertilizing, planting, watering, weeding, fumigating, covering plants, reaping, uprooting, scraping, using trees, gathering, methods of gathering, gathering to discard, natural growth and natural stones; identify the distinction between similar prohibitions and their causes; discuss the underlying principles; determine when leniencies apply; describe their impact on Shabbos behavior; and apply principles to practical scenarios. Instruction: The Jewish Law 310 examination will assess students’ ability to express an in-depth knowledge about the Jewish laws and customs concerning the Sabbath. Additionally, an understanding of concepts related to the Sabbath will require students to identify major principles; analyze underlying premises of the principle laws and customs; and apply them to novel situations.

Credit recommendation:3 upper level credits each, in Judaic Studies, Near Eastern Studies, or Religion

The Laws of Kashrus I (Jewish Law 390) Objectives:Students  will be able to identify the categories of kosher and non-kosher foods in  varied categories and levels; distinguish between biblically proscribed  non-kosher foods and foods prohibited by rabbinical decree; determine necessary  rations for bitul; determine when/whether additions to mixtures changes the  status of the mixture; determine when non-koshers tastes can be nullified;  identify media that are capable of transferring tastes; identify heal levels  required to transfer taste; define the theory of na”t  bar na”t and apply the practical ramifications of this rule. Instruction: Jewish  Law 390 is offered as a proficiency examination which includes an extensive  study-guide and required reading administered through The Rechtschaffen  Institute of Judaic Studies. Topics include kosher vs. non-kosher food,  mixtures of kosher and non-kosher foods.

The  Laws of Kashrus II (Jewish Law 395) Objectives:  Students will explain and apply the rules of kashrus concerning the realm of  milk and meat; explain the ramifications of the epic set of principles and its  applications; distinguish between the three independent prohibitions; assist in  the maintenance of a kosher kitchen. Instruction:  Jewish Law 395 is offered as a proficiency examination which includes an  extensive study-guide and required reading administered through The  Rechtschaffen Institute of Judaic Studies. Topics include: major sources of the  milk/meat prohibition, mixtures and interactions, customs and permutations of  consumption, utensils, oven use, kosher kitchen.

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