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Talmudic Legal Tradition and its Impact on American Law System (Term Paper Sample)




Talmudic Legal Tradition
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The Talmudic Law is one of the oldest legal traditions that are still applicable in modern society despite its limitation to the Jewish people. Many people regard the Talmudic law as a religious legal system based on its features that tend to separate it from non-religious legal systems. There have been debates on what makes the Talmudic law religious and what are these unique features that it has and other legal systems lack. Looking at the legal systems in overall, both religious and non-religious, they will all have content of religious aspects as well as those of non-religious aspects. Therefore, it becomes a challenge to categorically place a legal system under the religious banner unless it meets some recognized features which are not applicable in the non-religious legal system and have the divine aspect on them. Many scholars have argued on whether Talmudic legal tradition is a religious legal system or it falls under the non-religious legal system with a deep history of religion in its development. In order to answer this, an analysis of the Talmudic legal tradition is required to reach a concrete conclusion.
Talmudic System as a religious legal system
There are a number of parameters used to distinguish a religious from a non-religious legal system. Therefore, these parameters will be used in analyzing the Talmudic legal system to help in determining its correct categorization. The first of these parameters is identifying the alleged source of the system. A religious legal system is identified to have a divine origin unlike the non-religious that is derived from human knowledge. The Torah law is believed to have a divine origin as it was passed directly from God to His people (Dorff, 1977). Therefore, under this assumption, the Talmudic legal system is considered as religious based owing to its divine origin and its adopting by the people as the law of the land. The second parameter includes the areas covered by the legal system’s rules. Legal systems have been identified to try and regulate three central spheres in their implementation; interpersonal relations, relationship between individual and society, and individual protection laws. It is therefore, argued that a system that is not content in regulation the first two spheres and spills to the third sphere is regarded as a religious legal system. Analysis of the Talmudic legal tradition identifies that it spills into the third sphere thus falling into the category of religious legal system. The third parameter is the system’s mode of operation in the implementation of its laws and judgment. Analysis of the Talmudic legal system in regard to this parameter involves looking at various elements that are used to determine whether it is of religious or non-religious category. One of the features under this parameter that stands out is the unlimited authority that is provided to the judges when presiding over cases (Ben-Menahem, 2016).
Based on the analysis of Talmudic legal system in regard to the three parameters identified above, it leads to the conclusion that it is a religious based legal system. The origin of the system, the areas covered, and how it is implemented all point to a religious legal system. However, it is important to note that the Talmudic legal system possesses some features that are common in secular legal systems. These aspects are not as pronounced as those of religious aspect thus making it to be recognized as a religious legal system. The same case is applicable in secular laws where some religious based content are provided but majority point to its secularity. The differences in religious and non-religious legal system are significant but in some instances they share similarities that may blur the line (De Blois, 2010).
Talmudic Legal System and Jewish Tradition
The Jewish people have continued 

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