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Jewish Law - JURD7641
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Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  School of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 4
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: LAWS1001 and LAWS1011; Corequisite: LAWS2311.
Excluded: JWST2106, LAWS3241
Fee Band:   (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


The course provides a comprehensive introduction to Jewish Law. The first section covers the history, philosophy and principles of Jewish Law. In addition it addresses the nature of halakhic Judaism, the relationship between the Written and Oral Law, the major rabbinic personalities and a study of selected topics, with particular reference to Halakhah and Modernity. The second section introduces text material (in English translation) on Talmudic civil and criminal law. The course is an excellent opportunity to study an important branch of Comparative Law together with Jewish Customary Law and thereby enhance understanding of the Australian legal system by raising awareness of alternative solutions to legal issues.

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

  • To comprehend the nature of Jewish Law, its origins and principles.
  • To have an appreciation of the historical development of Jewish Law from its inception through to modern times.
  • To understand how Jewish Law confronts the challenges of modernity.
  • To compare the Jewish Civil and Criminal Code with Australian Law.
  • To study Talmudic and Post Talmudic texts in translation in order to achieve a knowledge of the processes of Jewish Law.

Main Topics

  • Introduction to Halakhic Judaism
  • The Written Law
  • The Oral Law
  • The Talmud
  • The Commandments
  • The Geonim
  • The Rishonim
  • The Acharonim
  • Halakhah and modernity
  • Women and Jewish Law
  • Selected key terms and principles in civil law


 Class participation:  Attendance and engagement in class:  10%
 Research Essay:  3000 words  40%
 Take Home Exam:  3000 words  50%

Course Texts

Mishnah Sanhedrin, Mishnah Bava Metziah, Mishnah Bava Kama, Maimonides - Mishneh Torah (All texts, in translation, provided).

Refer to reading list provided by lecturer.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.