King Hamlet Revisited

In last week’s Parshah we read about the laws of the Goel Hadam. I recently cited this excerpt from Hamlet, in which the Ghost demands that Hamlet accept the role of Goel Hadam with respect to his murder, to which the latter enthusiastically acquiesces: Ghost List, list, O, list! If thou didst ever thy dear […]

Justifiable Homicide, Assault and Retaliation – Part II

We recently discussed some parallels between the Halachah and what had been, until fairly recently, the law in various Southern states excusing a husband or father who murdered the paramour of his wife or daughter. The most fascinating of the legal rationales of the Southern states is the idea that a man shouldn’t be punished […]

The Halachic Implications of Ghosts

There is a common trope in Western folklore that the spirit of a murdered man may experience unrest, being possessed of the desire and even need for justice or vengeance against the murderer. From Hamlet: Ghost: Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing To what I shall unfold. HAMLET: Speak; I am bound to […]