Levi Cooper, originally from Melbourne, Australia, completed his doctorate in the Faculty of Law, Bar-Ilan University, and has held postdoctoral positions in University of Oxford and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. Levi teaches at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and in Tel Aviv University’s Faculty of Law. His research focuses on legal history in the late modern period and the interplays between Jewish legal writing and broader legal, intellectual, and cultural contexts. He has a particular interest in the interface between Hasidism and Halakha. Levi’s book, Relics for the Present, offers a contemporary commentary on the Talmud, Tractate Berakhot. His forthcoming book, Hasidic Relics, explores cultural and historical aspects of Hasidism. Levi lives in Zur Hadassa, Israel with his wife and their six children, where he volunteers as the community rabbi. For more details, see https://www.pardes.org.il/faculty/levi-cooper.
An image of a pig wearing a shtrayml, a fur hat often associated with hasidic Jews, understandably raises some eyebrows. One could be forgiven for thinking such images are part of an antisemitic propaganda effort, but in fact, the concept of animals wearing shtraymls has commonly been featured in works of Jewish satire…
The concept of Shemittah – the Jewish Sabbatical Year – includes among other things a provision to release people from debts owed to others. Though clearly a noble and moral sentiment, such a law can easily lead to problematic situations and even exploitation. Levi Cooper delves into one possible solution to this issue, provided by a 2000 year-old legal loophole…
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