Reviews in Brief

The Oxford Handbook of Judaism and Economics

oxford handbookThe Oxford Handbook of Judaism and Economics
Edited by Rabbi Dr. Aaron Levine
Oxford University Press
New York, 2010
690 pages

Few people can take the intellectual step from Talmudic cases of oxen goring each other to their application in modern torts. This unfortunate disconnect between yeshivah studies and boardroom dealings is understandable because financial transactions have changed dramatically over the 1,500 years since the Talmud’s completion. This detachment, however, is lamentable for a number of reasons, among them that a businessman under pressure more easily sets aside abstract religious concepts than specific, relevant rulings. Rabbi Dr. Aaron Levine, a”h, was part of a small group of scholars who mastered the complexities of Jewish economic law and methodically explained the proper applications to contemporary society. In this book, released shortly before he passed away, he published thirty-three essays from a variety of experts dealing with a number of economic theories, policies, practices and histories. The result is comprehensive, authoritative and, although a little overwhelming, very welcome.

Rabbi Gil Student is the managing editor of OU Press and blogs at

This article was featured in the Summer 2011 issue of Jewish Action.