Sliding Down the Slippery Slope of Circumstantial Evidence

My weekly parashah lectures and halachah column for this past פרשת ויקרא discuss the acceptability (or lack thereof) of circumstantial evidence in halachic civil and criminal procedure. A central source is Rambam’s adamant insistence that anything short of eyewitness testimony is absolutely unacceptable in capital cases: המצווה המשלימה ר”צ האזהרה שהזהרנו מלהוציא לפועל את העונשים […]

Passover Wash Sales

The role that the Stamp Act of 1765 played as a triggering event of the American Revolution is well known; in this post we discuss a connection between stamp acts in general and the Jewish festival of freedom, Passover. As we briefly noted five years ago, the nineteenth century saw a debate over whether a […]

Price Gouging the Desperate

A famous scene from Shakespeare’s Richard III: ACT V SCENE IV. Another part of the field. Alarum: excursions. Enter NORFOLK and forces fighting; to him CATESBY CATESBY Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue! The king enacts more wonders than a man, Daring an opposite to every danger: His horse is slain, and all on […]