Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=794784
 


 



Akhnai: Legal Responsibility in the World of the Silent God


Daniel J.H. Greenwood


Hofstra University College of Law


Utah Law Review, Symposium Issue - New Approaches to Comparative Law, pp. 309-358, 1997

Abstract:     
In the Talmudic story of the Oven of Akhnai, Rabbi Eliezer - symbol of unchanging law and original intent - decides a disputed issue of law, supporting his claim with all the arguments in the world and then with miracles including a voice from the Author proclaiming his interpretation correct. Nonetheless, his interpretation is rejected.

The Akhnai story is a complicated commentary on the problems of democracy and justice, with insights into the majoritarian (and counter-majoritarian) difficulties, the status of ancient law, and the meaning of originalist interpretation. I draw out lessons for those who seek to create a single society in a world where we have deep committments to ultimate values and, often, equally deep disagreements as to their content.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 68

Keywords: Akhnai, originalism, counter-majoritarian, democracy, jurisprudence, Constitutional interpretation, Jewish law

JEL Classification: H10

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Date posted: January 1, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Greenwood, Daniel J.H., Akhnai: Legal Responsibility in the World of the Silent God. Utah Law Review, Symposium Issue - New Approaches to Comparative Law, pp. 309-358, 1997. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=794784 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.794784

Contact Information

Daniel J.H. Greenwood (Contact Author)
Hofstra University College of Law ( email )
121 Hofstra University
Hempstead, NY 11549
United States
516-463-7013 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://law.hofstra.edu/greenwood

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