“The Narrow Halakhic Bridge – A Vision of Jewish Law in the Post-Modern Age” by Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth
The 21st century is characterized by an ever-changing reality. The dizzying pace of developments in technology, media, and social networks has accelerated the process of globalization and has turned the world into a small, vulnerable global village. The post-modern spirit that prevails today, offers boundless pluralism and relativism. Equality values are replacing the collapsing hierarchies, and the world view of many is shaped by social media. In such a world, Halakha, which is supposed to serve as a bridge between eternal Torah and changing reality, faces unprecedented challenges, due to the difficulty in bridging the growing gaps. The very foundations of Halakha are the authority of the rabbis and the duty of obedience, components that are becoming eroded in a world of unlimited possibilities and endless freedom.
“The Narrow Halakhic Bridge” by Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth seeks to offer a vision for the future of Halakha in a world of doubts and changes, to ensure Halakha will continue to play its historical role in our generation and subsequent generations. The book presents a comprehensive exploration of the components of the Halakhic system, both its rigid and flexible elements.
This book is not only intended for rabbis, yeshiva students and academics. First and foremost, it was written for the public, both to strengthen their understanding of, and thus their trust in the Halakhic system, and also to empower them with an appreciation of their power and role in shaping the future of Jewish law, to guarantee that Halakha continues to serve as a tool for a social, spiritual and moral rectification.
Testimonials for “The Narrow Halakhic Bridge – A Vision of Jewish Law in the Post-Modern Age”
The sea of Halakhah is boundless, but Rav Ronen tries to make it accessible for his readers to understand the tools that today’s Poskim use when they are requested to cope with contemporary societal challenges. Having known Rav Ronen for many years, I am convinced that this book will contribute a great deal to the halakhic discourse which is so essential in our times.”
Rabbi David Stav, Chief Rabbi of Shoham and Head of the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization
I strongly recommend The Narrow Halakhic Bridge – A Vision of Jewish Law in the Post-Modern Age to everyone for whom the future of the whom the future of the Traditional vision of Torah and Halakhah is dear.”
Rabbi Prof. Jeffrey Woolf, Faculty of Jewish Studies, Bar Ilan University
I was particularly intrigued by the recommendations for solutions to contemporary issues in the last few chapters. On the whole I found it accessibly written and engaging, and for the last part, courageous in attempting to chart a practical path forward on some of our most pressing social issues.”
Rabbi Dr. Stu Halpern, Senior Advisor to the Provost, Yeshiva University
Orthodox Judaism is facing the challenge of a world dominated by moral relativism and post- modernism. At the same time there has been an explosion of Torah knowledge. Rabbi Neuwirth has made a major contribution in bridging these phenomena.”
Rabbi Yosef Blau, Rosh Yeshiva and Mashgiach Ruchani, Yeshiva University
Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth is to be commended for taking a courageous leap towards the future. With care, scholarship and erudition, he explores the challenges that confront the halachic process today, and will – with even greater strength – confront that process in the future.”
Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Ahavath Torah, Englewood, NJ, and Past President, Rabbinical Council of America
I am finding ‘The Narrow Halakhic Bridge’ to be a treasure! Your writing is so clear and honest and you address such challenging and important issues. Even my 18 years old daughter took a look and said she wants to read it. Such an important and deeply thoughtful work.”
Silver Spring MD
In 500 pages, ‘The Narrow Halakhic Bridge’ takes the very complex subject of Halacha and breaks it into its constituent parts to make it understandable. The writing style is so pleasant that I couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter. It was unusual, taking a subject that could be very dry, and presenting it into a style that made me react to it as though it was a novel.”
Fred Ehrman, New York
This is an important book written with a sense of urgency. It is important because it raises compelling questions about the future of rabbinic authority and the power of the Halacha to guide the Jewish people into the future. It has a sense of urgency because it so clearly recognises the deeply challenging issues facing our time ,this generation. The significance and urgency also rest in the capacity of writers and thinkers like Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth to address the issue with passion, compassion, clarity and scholarship. In our divided and fearful Corona age, the voice and vision of Rabbi Ronen in this book are all the more needed and welcomed.”
Rabbi Ralph Genende, Melbourne
Rabbi Ronen Neuwirth tackles, in an age where ideas are relative and tradition is suspect, the historical role of Halakha and its capacity to adapt. His book is as powerful as the question itself. His analysis is grounded in an impeccable understanding of traditional sources, at the same time as it is infused with courageous sensitivity to the needs of the time and the need to remain loyal to tradition. His is a vision worth contemplating, and it should be required reading for anyone, Jews, Gentiles, secular, or religious, who is interested in understanding the Jewish soul, the secret of Jewish survival, and the contribution that the Jews made to intellectual history.”
Prof. Ari Afilalo, Rutgers Law School