Suzanne Last Stone (Yeshiva University)
"Norms and Narratives"
One of the most famous divisions of the talmudic corpus is that between halakhah and aggadah, often translated as law and literature or norms and narrative. Traditionally, the aggadah was viewed as an accompaniment to the law, imbuing the law with spiritual, ethical, and intellectual meaning. The question persists, nonetheless, whether aggadah plays a legal role in the Talmudic tradition. This question is all the more pertinent today because there has been a notable turn to aggadah (as well as biblical narratives) as a legal source in contemporary halakhic writings. In this lecture, I will emphasize how familiar jurisprudential debates about "what is law?" have implicitly shaped internal attitudes toward aggadah as a legal source.
Suzanne Last Stone is University Professor of Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization at Yeshiva University, Professor of Law, and Director of the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization and the Israel Supreme Court Translation Project at Cardozo Law School. She is also Visiting Affiliated Professor at Tel Aviv University Law School. Professor Stone writes on the intersection of Jewish law and American legal theory. She has held the Gruss Visiting Chair in Talmudic Civil Law at both the Harvard and University of Pennsylvania Law Schools, and also has visited at Princeton, Columbia Law, and Hebrew University Law. Stone is the co-editor-in-chief of Diné Israel, a Journal of Jewish Law co-edited with Tel Aviv Law School. Her work has been translated into German, French, Italian, Hebrew, and Arabic. In Fall 2010, she delivered the Franz Rosenzweig Lectures at Yale University.
This lecture will be delivered on Zoom. To attend, please click THIS LINK at 4pm on Monday, February 14th, 2022.