In a recently published volume, Jewish Thought and Jewish Belief (ed. Daniel Lasker; Ben Gurion University, 2012), Marc B. Shapiro (University of Scranton) has a very thought-provoking article entitled “Is There a ‘Pesak’ for Jewish Thought?” The volume as a whole is a very worthwhile read; here is the table of contents:

English Section
David Stern (University of Pennsylvania), “Rabbinics and Jewish Identity: An American Perspective”

George Y. Kohler (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), “Judaism Buried or Revitalised? Wissenschaft des Judentums in Nineteenth Century Germany – Impact, Actuality, and Applicability Today”

Hava Tirosh-Samuelson (Arizona State University), “Jewish Environmentalism: Bridging Scholarship, Faith, and Activism”

Marc B. Shapiro (University of Scranton), “Is There a ‘Pesak’ for Jewish Thought?”

David Shatz (Yeshiva University), “Nothing but the Truth? Modern Orthodoxy and the Polemical Uses of History”

Hebrew Section
Daniel J. Lasker (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), “Preface”


Moshe Halbertal (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Between Jewish Studies and Jewish Religion”

Baruch J. Schwartz (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Biblical Scholarship’s Contribution to the Concept of Mattan Torah Past and Present”

Boaz Huss (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), “Theologies of the Research of Jewish Mysticism”


Hannah Kasher (Bar-Ilan University), ” ‘The Philosophers Never Believed in Anything’ (R. Isaac Arama): Notes on the Accusation that Philosophers are Heretics in Medieval Jewish Philosophy”

Haim Kreisel (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), “Between Religion and Knowledge: Three Medieval Hebrew Encyclopedias”

Esti Eisenmann (The Open University of Israel), ” The Limits of the Intellect: Between Rationalism and Arationalism”

Yehoyada Amir (Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion, Jerusalem), “Nachman Krochmal: Philosophy, Scholarship, and Talmud Torah”

Tovah Ganzel (Bar-Ilan University), “‘He who Restrains his Lips is Wise’ (Proverbs 10: 19) – Is That
Really True?”

Avinoam Rosenak (Hebrew University of Jerusalem), “Franz Rosenzweig: Between Historical and Existential Discourses”

Einat Ramon (Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies), “Two are Better than One: Historical Research and Religious Faith in the Thought of Z. Frankel, H. Graetz and S. Schechter”

Zeev Gries (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev), “Zionism, Nationalism and Religion in the Writings of ‘Rav Tzair’ (Rabbi Chaim Tchernowitz)”

Menachem Kellner (Haifa University), “Between the Torah of Moses and the Torah of R. Elhanan”

Forum: Jewish Thought in Israeli Education

Moshe Lichtenstein (Yeshivat Har Etzion), “Presenting the Past: Talmudic Study in Academic and Yeshiva Settings”

Adina Bar Shalom (Jerusalem Haredi College), “The Haredi College”

Ruth Calderon (Alma, Home for Hebrew Culture), “Jewish Studies in the Israeli Culture Realm”

Jeremy Stavisky (Himmelfarb High School, Jerusalem), “Teaching Jewish Thought in the Religious High School: The Tension between the Religious Educational Institution and the World of the Academy”


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