Academic Year 2012-2013
Adam Mintz is the founding rabbi of Kehilat Rayim Ahuvim in New York City and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Jewish Studies at City College of New York and Queens College. He received his B.S., M.S. and Ordination from Yeshiva University and a Ph.D. from the Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. Experienced as an educator and lecturer, he was the recipient of the Maria and Joel Finkle Prize for Rabbi of the Year in 2002. His research interests include the History of Halakhah in America and his work on this topic has appeared in scholarly journals and collected essays.
The Rabbinic Eruv: A Study in the History and Halakhah of Sacred Space in America
The rabbis in Roman Palestine introduced the institution of eruv hatzerot, the joining of the residents of a limited area or space for the sake of establishing a localized neighborhood in which carrying objects on the Sabbath is allowed.
Based on the extensive research I conducted for my dissertation “Halakhah in America: The History of City Eruvin, 1894-1962”, I plan to expand this research and compare the city eruvin created in America prior to 1970 with the more recent eruvin created in American cities post-1970. The changing political and social position of the Jews in America since 1970 has both allowed for a proliferation in the number of eruvin and contributed to the development of legal roadblocks in the process. I plan to analyze the ways in which the changing conditions of American Jewry has impacted on the creation of city eruvin; how these changes are reflected in the halakhic writings of the rabbinic authorities on this issue and in what ways the legal challenges to the creation of such eruvin are also a reflection of the heightened status of American Jews.