ACTS OF THE MIND IN JEWISH RITUAL LAW: An Insight into Rabbinic Psychology

ACTS OF THE MIND IN JEWISH RITUAL LAW: An Insight into Rabbinic Psychology
    Price: $31.50

    ACTS OF THE MIND IN JEWISH RITUAL LAW: An Insight into Rabbinic Psychology

    by Isaac Cohen

    Hardcover, 870 pages (including glossary, bibliography and index)
    Urim Publications, 2008 
    ISBN: 978-965-7108-83-3

    Acts of the Mind in Jewish Ritual Law is an important work of original research embracing the entire gambit of Jewish ritual law.
    The book specializes in describing the role of the mind and thought of an individual in the course of his physical actions, thus deciding their validity or propriety. Jewish law is simply explained in layman's terminology. The authoritative sources of the Rabbinic law are given throughout.
    In many of the differences in law expressed by the Sages it may be seen that they differed not in the basic law, but in reading the purpose and intention in the mind of the individual. From these discussions one may gain an insight into Rabbinic psychology.

    This comprehensive study will be of value to all who wish to study Judaism and Jewish law.

    About the Author:
    Rabbi Dr. Isaac Cohen is the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland, where he distinguished himself in his outstanding leadership of the Jewish community. He previously occupied the position of Rabbi of Edinburgh. During the period of World War II he ministered to the Jewish community in Leeds and served as Officiating Chaplain to H.M. Forces. His first ministerial appointment was to the new London communities of Harrow, Kenton, and district. He has been a prominent member of the Executive of the Conference of European Rabbis. He was educated in the Rabbinical Seminary of Jews' College and University College, London, after graduating from the Portsmouth Grammar School and Aria College. He was born in Wales in 1914. He was married and lived in Jerusalem until his passing on November 30, 2007.

    Praise for Acts of the Mind in Jewish Ritual Law:
    "Rabbi Dr. Isaac Cohen has produced a truly monumental work of Jewish scholarship, majestic in scope and riveting in detail... What he has provided us with is a systematic exploration of the role of mental acts, motives and intentions in virtually every aspect of Jewish law and life... A magnificent achievement, highly recommended."
    Rev. Sir Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the British Commonwealth

    "He has performed a worthy task by exploring the ocean of Talmud and Jewish religious law, ancient and modern, with the aim of bringing to light the views of our Sages on the role of Will, Intention and Intellect in the actions of Man... All who wish to gain a better knowledge of the spiritual and psychological aspects of Jewish law and the Jewish way of life, as well as those completely unfamiliar with these subjects, will discover a wealth of information in Dr. Cohen's book."
    - Judge Zvi Tal, Justice of the Israel Supreme Court (Retired), Jerusalem

    "This is a pioneer study not only in its compass but also in the clarity of analysis and formulation. Complex legal issues are explained in a manner understandable to all... Rabbi Cohen's work will be of interest and value to a broad readership, both those well acquainted with the Talmud and Codes, and those less knowledgeable therof."
    - Rabbi Prof. Daniel Sperber, President, Institute of Advanced Torah Studies, Bar-Ilan University, Israel

    "It has a wealth of interesting content with much good discussion, generally clear presentation and broad coverage of the topic... There is no comparison with other treatments of the subject or any survey of the current state of scholarship in the field."
    - Prof. Stefan C. Reif, Director, Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit, Cambridge University Library

    "I highly recommend this book as a welcome addition to all libraries, public and individual."
    - Rabbi Emanuel Quint, Dean, Jerusalem Institute of Law, Author of A Restatement of Rabbinic Civil Law

    "As any student of Talmud soon learns, the field of ritual law is difficult. This is especially true in the 21st century, when technology and modern life have made our lives more complex. The late Rabbi Isaac Cohen, former head rabbi of Ireland and a noted scholar, developed this encyclopedic summary to clarify the situation. The book's 14 sections move from the general to more specific aspects of our lives. Part 1 is on Faith, Belief, Trust (Emunah). Other sections include Repentance (Teshuvah) (part 4); Shabbat (part 7); "Marriage (Kiddushin) (part 9); and Oaths and Vows (Nedarim) (part 11). In each part Rabbi Cohen begins by exploring the meaning of the term. He then discusses its biblical and talmudic history, including numerous references, and continues with citations from midrash to modern commentators. The final section, "The Rabbinic Concept of Mind and Will," is a summary of his understanding of important concepts in rabbinic literature, including "Kavvanah," "The Rabbinic System of Cosmogony," and "The Universal Mind."

    Rabbi Cohen's book may not generate wide interest, but it is relatively easy for a non-scholar to comprehend. Its price makes it affordable for many institutions that do not have other books on the topic. Acts of the Mind is recommended for libraries with limited collections in halakhah, and for larger institutions, which can use it as a handy reference source." 
    - Fred Isaac, Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) Newsletter