Volume 16 of The Jewish Law Annual adds to the growing list of articles on Jewish Law that have been published in volumes 1-15 of this series, providing English-speaking readers with scholarly material meeting the highest academic standards. The volume contains seven articles diverse in their scope and focus, encompassing legal, historic, textual, comparitive and conceptual analysis, as well as a chronicle of cases of interest, and a survey of recent literature. Three of the articles, one of which explores references to Genesis in (western) canon law, make up a special section on the book of Genesis. The other topics covered are: suicide as an act of atonement in Jewish law; early interpretations of the Bible and Talmud as reflecting medieval legal realia; Ashkenazic codifiers in Spain; and authority, custom and innovation in the seventeenth-century Italian halakhic encyclopedia, Pahad Yitzhak.
Berachyahu Lifshitzis a professor of law at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Faculty of Law.