Learn Virtually
Virtual Halakhah Intensive

Halakhah Intensive at 190 Amsterdam Avenue

May 17 - 21, 2020 | VIRTUAL
Registration for this progam is now closed.

Program Information

Hadar’s virtual Halakhah Intensive is a multi-day learning seminar that will focus on the in-depth study of a targeted area of halakhah. Part independent learning and part teacher-facilitated, participants will immerse themselves in ancient textual sources in order to take their lessons forward to contemporary application. Led by Rabbi Ethan Tucker and Rabbi Aviva Richman of Hadar and Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg of Hebrew College, a stellar faculty will guide this week of intense learning. Bring your deep interest in halakhah and your thirst for more knowledge.

This Intensive is designed for learners who have had prior exposure to Jewish texts and are comfortable navigating a variety of texts on their own. It is an excellent resource for rabbis, rabbinical students, graduate students, or others looking to expand their understanding of the Halakhic process.

Hadar is excited and proud to partner with Hebrew College for the 2020 Halakhah Intensive.

2020 Topic

החשוד לדבר איסור: The Usual Suspects? Trust, Reliability, and Suspicion in the Halakhic Tradition

Religious beliefs and practices often carry the implicit assumption of trust - trust that we take our own commitments seriously and trust that others will respect our boundaries. Encounters between Jews of disparate beliefs and practices lay these assumptions bare and carry the potential to yield great insight and relationship, or acute strain.

This year’s Intensive will focus on the topic of דיני חשוד and probe the Halakhic tradition’s notions of trust, reliability, and suspicion. In studying the intricacies of the Halakhic sources, we hope to gain a greater self-awareness of how our assumptions and suspicions affect our own religious identities and relationships.

We will particularly explore different scenarios where Jews have reason to rely on or be wary of one another and try to answer such questions as:

  • When are we permitted to temporarily accommodate someone else’s terms and when do we need deeper alignment?
  • Is the integrity of an observant Jew compromised by exposure to non-observance and vice versa?
  • Does Halakhah equate the rejection of a single commandment with apostasy of the whole Torah?
  • How does a person’s broader character affect their trustworthiness with regard to specific areas of Jewish law?

Sample Schedule

2020 Virtual Halakhah Intensive Schedule

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it for me?
    • This Intensive is designed for learners who have had prior exposure to Jewish texts and are comfortable navigating a variety of texts on their own. It is an excellent resource for rabbis, rabbinical students, graduate students, or others looking to expand their understanding of the Halakhic process.
  • Where and when is it?
    • The 2020 virtual Halakhah Intensive will take place May 17-21, 2020 completely over zoom
  • How are the days structured? 
    • The learning at this Intensive will be partially teacher-facilitated and partially independent.  There a few different modes:

      1) Morning Introduction -  Each day will open with a brief introduction to that day’s material.
      Seder-  Participants will have the option to learn primary sources in the mornings on their own or with a Havruta.   There will be faculty guidance available for some of this time for textual reading support.
      Shiur -  After a lunch break, there will be daily shiur led by members of our faculty.

      2) Case Studies - Participants will be split into different ‘case study’ groups to dive deeper into the application of our learning in a collaborative mode. Case study small groups will take place in the afternoons and will share insights from their discussions on the final day of the seminar.
  • Can I bring a Havruta? Will you provide one?
    • Given the challenges of learning for long periods of time via Zoom, we are making the Havruta element of this program optional. If possible, we highly recommend bringing a havruta to this program so that you will be able to learn together. Alternatively, you may learn on your own or (if possible and appropriate), we can match you with someone else looking for a Havruta
  • How much does it cost and what’s included?
    • We recognize that the reality of this moment has made finances a complicated and challenging issue. In light of that, the rate for this program will be on a sliding scale between $50-$250. We ask that you pay what you can and please reach out to us at [email protected] if finances pose an obstacle. We would love to learn with you!

      Registration includes access to the full range of programming.
  • Are scholarships available?
    • Yes! Please do not let cost be an obstacle to participate in our Halakhah Intensive! If you are interested in this program and cost is an issue, please reach out to us at [email protected] and we will make it work. We are committed to not turning anyone away because of finances.
  • How can I find out more?
    • We’d love to tell you more about this program! Please reach out to [email protected] with any questions.



Rabbi Ethan Tucker

Rabbi Ethan Tucker is President and Rosh Yeshiva at Hadar and chair in Jewish Law. Ethan also directs Hadar’s Center for Jewish Law and Values.  Ethan was ordained by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and earned a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinics from the Jewish Theological Seminary and a B.A. from Harvard College. A Wexner Graduate Fellow, he was a co-founder of Kehilat Hadar and a winner of the first Grinspoon Foundation Social Entrepreneur Fellowship.  He serves on the board of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation and the Ramaz School.  He is the author, along with Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg, of Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law (2017).


Rabbi Aviva Richman

Rabbi Aviva Richman is a faculty member at Yeshivat Hadar, and directs the Manger Winter Learning Seminar. Aviva has taught at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles, and is a past Rosh Kollel of the Bet Midrash at Camp Ramah in Wisconsin. She has also taught at the National Havurah Institute. She studied in the Pardes Kollel and the Drisha Scholars' Circle and was ordained by a private teacher. Particular interests include Halakhah, gender and sexuality in Judaism and niggunim. A Wexner fellow, Aviva is currently pursuing a doctorate in Rabbinics at NYU.


Hadar is excited to welcome Rabbi Micha'el Rosenberg from Hebrew College as guest faculty for the 2020 Halakhah Intensive:

Rabbi Rosenberg is Associate Professor of Rabbinics and member of the tenured faculty of Hebrew College. He joined the College faculty in August 2012. He is the author of Signs of Virginity: Testing Virgins and Making Men in Late Antiquity (Oxford, 2018), and the co-author with Ethan Tucker of _Gender Equality and Prayer in Jewish Law_ (Ktav, 2017). He formerly served as rabbi of the Fort Tryon Jewish Center and an adjunct professor of Talmud and codes at the Jewish Theological Seminary, both in New York City. He has taught Bible, Talmud and halakhah in a variety of settings, including the Drisha Institute for Jewish Education, the National Havurah Institute and the Northwoods Kollel and Beit Midrash of Ramah Wisconsin, and has a particular interest in the intersection of Jewish studies and legal theory. An alumnus of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship program and Harvard College, Rosenberg holds a doctorate in Talmud and Rabbinic literature from the Jewish Theological Seminary, and rabbinical ordination from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.


Hadar is proud to partner with Hebrew College to host the 2020 Halakhah Intensive.


Registration for this program is now closed.