By Tzvi C. Marx
In contemporary many years, list numbers of Jews are taking a newfound curiosity of their felony background - the Bible and the Talmud, the legislations codes and the rabbinical responsa literature. during this come across, they are attracted to how those resources relate to the problem of incapacity, and the measure to which halakhic attitudes to incapacity are in concord with modern sensibilities. for instance, can the blind or these in wheelchairs function prayer leaders? want the mentally incompetent discover any ritual legislation? Is institutionalization in a special-education facility the place Jewish nutritional legislation aren't saw authorized if it is going to increase a kid's functioning? and the way are we to interpret teachings that appear inconsonant with present sensibilities?
Disability in Jewish Law solutions the urgent want for perception into the placement of Jewish legislation with admire to the rights and standing of these with actual and psychological impairments, and the corresponding tasks of the non-disabled.
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Extra info for Disability in Jewish Law (Jewish Law in Context)
63 60 See the biblical example of Zipporah, Moses’ wife, carrying out a circumcision, though she is exempt from any legal obligation to so act (Exod. 4:24–6). Legally, circumcision is a woman’s prerogative, though she is not under personal obligation. See BT Avoda Zara 27a, Menahot 42a; Code, Laws concerning Circumcision 1:1; Kesef Mishne, ad loc. Another illustration is the obligation of Megila on Purim. Despite its time-dependent character, the Talmud obligates women because they were “also involved in that miracle” (BT Megila 4a, Tosafot ad loc.
Hanina’s opinion is repeated in the story of R. Joseph. I am indebted to Dr. Y. Silman for much of what follows on the status of voluntary vs non-voluntary observance. 76 How far does the honor of parents [extend]? . Go forth and see what a certain heathen, by the name of Dama son of Netina, did in Askelon. The Sages sought jewels for the sacred breastplate that would yield a profit of 600,000 [denarii ] . . but as the key was lying under his father’s pillow, he did not trouble him. The following year the Holy One, blessed be He, gave him his reward.
79 We see here an appreciation for observance of precepts even by those who have not been charged with this duty. The a fortiori argument turns on the fact that the act of one who is commanded is more weighty than that of one who is not, but implies validation of the uncommanded performance. Immediately following this talmudic text it is related that R. Hanina’s teaching caused a certain blind scholar, R. Joseph, to swing from joy to disappointment: Originally, I thought that if anyone would tell me that the law agrees with R.