Rabbi Ovadya Yosef is one of the most important legal decisors (poskim) of the second half of the twentieth century. This book analyses the way in which Rabbi Ovadya Yosef, facing the challenges of a changing modern Jewish society, forms his rulings. The volume not only traces the Rabbi's halakhic rulings and their implications, but offers as well a new approach in which the research tools of cultural criticism are used to examine halakhic rulings. Insights derived from the field of sociology and cultural criticism assist the author in his study of Rabbi Ovadya Yosef's concept of society. Theories dealing with norms and deviation are used to study the Rabbi's use of the strategy of inclusion and exclusion when dealing with different cultural groups and phenonema. Picard draws from the field of anthropology in his analysis of the Rabbi's attitude towards sexuality, norms for women's attire and laws of nida. Michel Foucault's theory of cultural organization enables the author to reveal the forces underlying the Rabbi's rulings and his efforts to control the halakhic discourse on sexuality that threatens to bring the repressed female voice to the surface. This new perspective affords an understanding of the complexity of the halakhic discourse and the cultural environment in which it takes place.
Interpretation and Culture , A Series
Edited by: Prof. Avi Sagi
Man's nature is to interpret. Human beings, as individuals and as members of a society, are constantly engaged in the interpretation of their deeds, their values, their world and entire realm of activity. The act of interpretation is not the exclusive domain of scholars who research culture. Rather, it is first and foremost, common to every person in this world who strives to find meaning in all spheres of his activity. The act of interpretation is one of the distinguishing characteristics of human existence. Man as a creative thinker is not content with action alone. On the contrary, his acts are accompanied by explanation aimed at understanding. The art of interpretation is usually imbedded in the physical act itself. It is not confined to the light of awareness and methodological consciousness.
However, at times interpretation becomes the main focus of study and our attention is diverted from practice to theory. This transition marks the beginning of a new interpretive approach to the study of different areas of human activity by means of deciphering, analysis and description. Such work is carried out by the theoretician and interpretation becomes an independent research discipline.
The series ''Interpretation and Culture'' deals with interpretative instances. The books in the series treat the field of interpretation in various aspects: interpretation of literary, philosophical and theological texts, and interpretation of cultures and societies. Each and every book strives to propose an original, challenging interpretive reading.
Danacode:   110-20107 ISBN:  965-226-328-1 Language:   Hebrew Pages:   316 Weight:   800 gr Dimensions:  16X23 cm Publication Date:   04/2007 Publisher:   Bar-Ilan University Press
This book examines the concept of inner religion as manifest in Judaism from bibilical times to the early days of Baal Shem Tov Hasidism in the light of religious studies. The book's analysis of the six dimensions of interior religion in diverse Jewish so