Scholar in Residence - Rabbi Mark Washofsky
February 24 - 26, 2012
Jewish Law and Reform Judaism:
Applying Ancient Texts to our Lives Today
Friday, February 24 - 7:30 p.m.
Shabbat Service Presentation
The Talmud, the Halakhah, and Reform Judaism: The Enduring Connection
Is traditional Jewish law "orthodox"? Can it mean anything to liberal Jews living in a modern world? Here's an argument that the Rabbis and the legal system they created are relevant and meaningful to us, in our time
Saturday, February 25 - 4:00 p.m.
Lecture and Havdalah $10
Reform Responsa: How Jewish Tradition Responds to Today's Issues Rabbis have written responsa-answers to questions about Jewish practice-for centuries. They are the means by which Jewish scholars have interpreted old texts of Torah and applied them to constantly changing reality. Reform rabbis write responsa, too, seeking to understand the path we should take in accordance with the rules and principles of our sacred texts. A look at how the process works.
Sunday, February 26 - 9:00 a.m.
Bagel Brunch and Learn $10
Jewish Law and Genetic Engineering
A look at a contemporary responsum that demonstrates how ancient texts can be made to speak to very modern issues
Mark Washofsky is the Solomon B. Freehof Professor of Jewish Law at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati. He specializes in the literature of Jewish law (halakhah) and the application of legal theory to the understanding of the Jewish legal process. His publications deal with such subjects as the history of the halakhah the nature of rabbinical decision making, and issues of medical ethics in Jewish law.
He serves as chair of the Responsa Committee of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, which issues advisory opinions on questions of Jewish practice. He is the author of Jewish Living: A Guide to Contemporary Reform Practice and of the two-volume Reform Responsa for the Twenty-First Century, the latest printed collection of Reform responsa.