The appearance of this fourth volume in J. David Bleich's series on "Contemporary Halakhic Problems" is a most welcome link in the chain of his thoughtful and challenging publications for the Library of Jewish Law and Ethics.
Our author's scholarly efforts and literary productivity are important for more than one reason. They not only enrich the literature on Halakhah in English, and not only make the treasures of Jewish law accessible to the English reader untrained in the intricacies of talmudic jurisprudence; they also make a statement that is theologically important: that this ancient legal system is capable of dealing with the most complex problems thrown up by the latest technologies and the most recent changes in social perspective, and that the Halakhah is therefore of the utmost significance to the spiritually sensitive Jew and to a Jewish community that has suddenly discovered that the continuity of the Jewish people is in mortal peril. Halakhah is, after all, but the legal distillation of the essence of Torah, and Torah and Israel are inextricably linked to each other. Any effort to sever that link is an affront to the dignity and, indeed, continuing vitality of both of them.
It is thus with the greatest pleasure that we present this newest volume by Rabbi Bleich, along with the hope that many more such volumes will continue to appear regularly in this series for the Library of Jewish Law and Ethics.
May 28, 1995