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Halachah in a changing world

Past Sessions
Tuesday, 8 March, 2022 5 Adar II 5782 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM - Zoom
Tuesday, 1 March, 2022 28 Adar I 5782 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM - Zoom
Tuesday, 22 February, 2022 21 Adar I 5782 - 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM - Zoom

Halachah in a changing world

Tuesday 22 February, 1 and 8 March at 7.00pm
On Zoom

With Rabbi Chaim Weiner

Jewish law is both age-old and brand new. Its roots are in the Torah, but its application is in the here and now. This means that Jewish law constantly needs to be updated and reinterpreted to respond to the ever-changing world in which we live. While change is a constant feature of human society, there is a sense that today the world is changing at a faster pace and in a more fundamental way than it has at any time in the past. What are the implications of these changes in the world of Jewish Law?

In this short series, we will look at three areas that have been deeply impacted by social and technological change: Shabbat, Kashrut and Marriage.

Session 1: Shabbat
Shabbat is first and foremost a day of rest, and the central halachic requirement of Shabbat is the prohibition against doing work. New technologies mean that we no longer do most of the things that were once considered to be 'work' on Shabbat. It is not hard to imagine a world in which our house recognises us as we walk up to it, it unlocks the door, turns the lights and prepares the meals without active participation. What does it mean to keep Shabbat in a world where people no longer do any work?

Watch video of session 1 here

Session 2: Kashrut
Kashrut is a series of rules in the Torah that govern the food we eat. The majority of those rules (shechita, meat and milk, forbidden species) are connected with eating meat, but the meat industry is undergoing fundamental change. We are entering a world of plant-based meat alternatives, where ‘chicken’ and ‘steak’ will be grown in a lab without ever having been part of a living animal or perhaps will be printed on a 3-D printer in a factory controlled by a computer. What will Kashrut look like when our food is no longer connected to the world of farming or nature?

Watch video of session 2 here

Session 3: Marriage
The traditional concept of marriage assumes a man taking a woman as a bride and him standing at the head of the subsequent family. What does the halachah have to say to a world where every one of those notions: man, woman, family, head of family… is being called into question?

Watch video of session 3 here

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Fri, 20 May 2022 19 Iyyar 5782