March 1, 2007 | Alan Mittleman
Michael Oakeshott (1901-1990) was a leading British social and political theorist, often credited as a father of libertarian thought. His wide-ranging oeuvre engaged fundamental problems in philosophy, such as epistemology and the analysis of experience, aesthetics, as well as the nature of human conduct and the modern state. Above all, he theorized the necessary postulates of human liberty. Oakeshott's thought was characterized by areas of agreement and of tension with the Jewish political tr
October 21, 2001 | Alan Mittleman
Despite the progress of Emancipation in the nineteenth century, German Jews were required to belong to legally recognized Jewish communities. Even after this requirement was lifted, Jewish communal life remained strong. The community structure that the Prussian state expected the Jews to implement was modeled after German civil administration. This framework, however, resembled both medieval German and medieval Jewish models. Thus, German Jews, while modernizing their own communal institutions,
October 30, 1998 | Alan Mittleman
R. Shimon Federbush, a Mizrachi leader, proposed a blueprint for reconciling Jewish law with the law of modern, democratic Israel. He developed a traditional category, mishpat hamelukhah, as a highly flexible mechanism for accomodating the decisions of a Jewish legislature to the pre-state Jewish legal tradition. Federbush represents a comprehensive attempt to reconcile inherited Judaism and modern republicanism. His contribution shows both the promise and the limits of that still urgent project.