Conference (Death and the Philosophy of Halakhah) (Van Leer Jerusalem Institute)

Death and the Philosophy of Halakhah

The Fifth Conference on the Philosophy of Halakhah Monday-Tuesday, 23-24
December 2013 At The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute

43 Jabotinsky Street, Jerusalem

The conference will be live broadcast

The conference will examine the direct and indirect approaches of Halakhah
to the issue of death. Participants will explore the influence of the
concept of death, as a defining event in human culture, on the shaping of
Halakhic thought on a variety of topics.

Academic Committee:

Dr. Avinoam Rosenak (chairman), Prof. Rachel Elior, Prof. Yonatan Meir,
Prof. Shalom Rosenberg, Prof. Tamar Ross, Rabbi Prof. Naftali Rothenberg,
Dafna Schreiber

Monday, December 23, 2013

10:00 – 11:00

Opening Session

Opening remarks: Avinoam Rosenak

Opening lecture: Gabriel Motzkin, Director, The Van Leer Jerusalem
Institute The Role of Death in Heidegger’s Thought and its Challenge to
Religion

Chair: Naftali Rothenberg

11:00 – 13:00

Life after Death: Halakhah and Aggadah

Chair: Rachel Elior

Shai Wozner, Is Death Good or Bad? Two Perspectives in Halakhah and Aggadah
Arye Edrei, Exiting the World in Purity: The Moment of Death in Rabbinic
Legend Sharon Shalom, Death: Between the Concept of “Fate” In the Ethiopian
Tradition and the Concept of “Destiny” in the Tradition of the Talmudic
Sages Moshe Hallamish, Life and Death are Brothers

14:00 – 16:00

Halakhah and Ritual as Means for the Living to Cope with Death

Chair: Naftali Rothenberg

Yehoyada Amir, Living with the Memory of the Life That Has Ended: Reform
Theological-Liturgical Attitudes to Death Biti Roi, Dying While Living –
From Myth to Ritual: Nefilat Apayim (falling on one’s face) as a
Death-Event in Zoharic Literature Elisha S. Ancselovits, Intellectual Study
as a Means of Confronting Mortality: Traditional Halakhic Discourse on
Death-Impurity/Mourning as a Model for an Anthropological-Psychological
Approach to Academic Study Michael Baris, De-sanctified Space: The Ritual
Laws of Impurity in Halakhic Consciousness

16:15 – 18:15

Religious Thought and Philosophy as a Foundation for Halakhah on Death

Chair: Tamar Ross

Eliezer Sariel, A Battle over Life and Death: Halakhic Discourse on Suicide
as an Arena of Philosophical Contention Nadav Berman-Shifman, Beliefs
Concerning Death and Pragmatic Halakhic Decision-Making in Rabbi Hayyim
Hirschensohn’s Thought Shmuel Wygoda, How to Relate to the Unknown: Between
Levinas and Jankelevitch on Death, and Some Halakhic Implications Avinoam
Rosenak, Models of Anxiety in Confronting Death: The Halakhic Context

18:30 – 20:30

Panel Discussion: The Denial of Death: Psychology, Philosophy, and Halakhah

Chair: Avinoam Rosenak

Rabbi Daniel Epstein

Raanan Kulka

Haviva Pedaya

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

10:00 – 12:00

Attitudes toward the Dead in the Face of Life

Chair: Dafna Schreiber

Haim Gertner, The Relocation of Jewish Cemeteries outside the City and the
Beginning of the Modern Rabbinic Debate on the Excavation of Graves Michael
Wygoda, Exhumation of Bodies in the Public Interest: Theory and Practice
Jeffrey R. Woolf, Death and Death Pollution among the Martyrs of 1096:
Between Law and Perception Yaacov Shapira, “The Living Dead”: Filial
Obligation after Parents’ Death: Memory, Commitment, or Redemption

12:15 – 13:45

Mythological Figures and Folk Beliefs in Halakhah

Chair: Benjamin Brown

Amy Birkan, Rabbinic Attitudes towards Life Emerging from Contemplation of
Death (in English) Chana Friedman, The Attitude of Ancient Jewish Halakhah
to Laws of Mourning: Between Denial and Sublimation Itamar Brenner, Worms
Are as Painful to the Dead as a Needle in the Flesh of the

Living”: “Zombies” in the World of the Babylonian Sages

14:45 – 16:45

On the Brink of Death

Chair: Caterina Rigo

Beni Gesundheit, Confession of the Dying Patient: Halakhic-Philosophical
Analysis with Psychological-Clinical Implications Allan Jotkowitz, Death as
Implacable Enemy or Welcome Friend in the Theology and Halakhic
Decision-Making of Rabbis Moshe Feinstein, Eliezer Waldenberg, and Haim
David Halevy (in English) Irit Offer-Stark, Ethical Considerations in the
Halakhic Discussion about Determining the Moment of Death: A Study of the
Rulings of Rabbi Eliezer Yehuda Waldenberg and Rabbi Shlomo Goren Mimi
(Miriam Sara) Feigelson, Life and Death: Socially Conferred and/or
Biologically Determined?

17:00 – 19:15

Inclusion, Recoiling, and Fear of Death in Halakhah and in Thought

Chair: Jonatan Meir

Shalom Rosenberg, From the Bible to the Sages Shlomo Kassierer, The
Metaphysics and Psychology of Mourning in Nachmanides’s Introduction to
Torat Ha-Adam Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel, Between Life and Death: The Anxiety
of Not Being Born Nissan Rubin, The Sages’ Conception of the Angel of
Death: Between Two Worlds

Participants

Prof. Gabriel Motzkin, Director, The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute Rabbi
Prof. Yehoyada Amir, Jewish Thought, Hebrew Union College Dr. Elisha S.
Ancselovits, Visiting Professor, University of Potsdam; Pardes Institute of
Jewish Studies Dr. Michael Baris, Sha’arei Mishpat College Nadav
Berman-Shifman, PhD Student, Department of Jewish Thought, The Hebrew
University of Jerusalem Amy Birkan, PhD Student, Department of Jewish
Thought, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Dr. Itamar Brenner, Department
of Hebrew Culture, Tel Aviv University; Herzog College Dr. Benjamin Brown,
Department of Jewish Thought, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Prof. Arye
Edrei, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University Prof. Rachel Elior, Department
of Jewish Thought, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; The Van Leer
Jerusalem Institute Rabbi Daniel Epstein, Philosopher Rabbi Mimi (Miriam
Sara) Feigelson, Lecturer on Rabbinic Literature and Hassidic Thought, The
American Jewish University, Los Angeles; PhD Student, Hebrew Union College
Dr. Chana Friedman, Alma – Home for Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv; Kolot;
Havruta; Beit Morasha of Jerusalem Dr. Haim Gertner, Director of the
Archives Division, Yad Vashem Dr. Beni Gesundheit, Basic Jewish Studies
Program, Bar-Ilan University Prof. Moshe Hallamish, Department of Jewish
Philosophy, Bar-Ilan University Prof. Allan Jotkowitz, Director, Jakobovits
Center for Jewish Medical Ethics, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion
University of the Negev; Soroka University Medical Center Dr. Ruth
Kara-Ivanov Kaniel, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; Shalom Hartman
Institute; Tel Aviv Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis Dr. Shlomo
Kassierer, Michlalah-Jerusalem College; Efrata College Raanan Kulka,
Training and Supervising Analyst, Israel Psychoanalytic Society; Chair,
Israel Association for Self Psychology and the Study of Subjectivity;
Psychotherapy Program, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
Prof. Jonatan Meir, The Goldstein-Goren Department of Jewish Thought,
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev Irit Offer-Stark, PhD Student,
Department of Jewish Philosophy, Bar-Ilan University Prof. Haviva Pedaya,
Department of Jewish History, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev; The Van
Leer Jerusalem Institute Dr. Caterina Rigo, Department of Jewish Thought,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Dr. Biti Roi, Department of Jewish
Thought, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Shalom Hartman Institute Dr.
Avinoam Rosenak, Department of Jewish Thought, The Hebrew University of
Jerusalem; The Van Leer Jerusalem Institute Prof. Shalom Rosenberg,
Department of Jewish Thought and Department of Philosophy, The Hebrew
University of Jerusalem Prof. Tamar Ross, Department of Jewish Philosophy,
Bar-Ilan University Rabbi Prof. Naftali Rothenberg, The Van Leer Jerusalem
Institute Prof. Nissan Rubin, Department of Sociology and Anthropology,
Bar-Ilan University; Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Ashkelon
Academic College Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Sariel, Department of History, Shaanan
College; Department of Judaism, Ohalo College, Katzrin Dafna Schreiber, The
Van Leer Jerusalem Institute Rabbi Sharon Shalom, Kedoshei Israel
Congregation, Kiryat Gat; PhD Student, Department of Jewish Philosophy,
Bar-Ilan University Dr. Yaacov Shapira, Jewish Law, Ministry of Justice;
Faculty of Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Dr. Jeffrey R. Woolf,
Department of Talmud, Bar-Ilan University Dr. Shai Wozner, Faculty of Law,
Tel Aviv University Dr. Michael Wygoda, Senior Director, Jewish Law,
Ministry of Justice Dr. Shmuel Wygoda, Head, Department of Jewish Thought,
Herzog College; Department of Jewish Thought, The Hebrew University of
Jerusalem

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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