In his dual role of professor at Yeshiva University's Benjamin N. Cardozo's School of Law, and head of one of the prestigious Kollelim (graduate centers of advanced talmudic studies) of its affiliated Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, the author of this volume is in the happy position of being able to bridge the worlds of Jewish and civil law.
Rabbi Bleich has done so for the third time in this series—always with remarkable erudition and engaging elan, accompanied by a clear and elegant style. In many ways, his writings on contemporary issues in Halakhah are disconcerting to those whose conventional stereotypes of a talmudist are undermined by the broad scholarship and literary grace of our author.
This is only one of the side benefits of the present volume as of its two predecessors. Even more important is the testimony it offers—by the questions raised and the issues discussed, even more than by the solutions proffered—to the vitality of Halakhah and the capacity of its method to meet new challenges.
Professor Bleich's readers will no doubt join me in reminding him that this third effort constitutes, in Jewish law, a hazakah or presumption of continuity, and that we may therefore look forward to many more volumes in this series on issues in contemporary Halakhah.
December 5, 1988
2nd day of Hanukkah, 5749