Rabbinic Rituals
Innovation and Tradition

Devorah Zlochower

The Rabbis seem to update and create new rituals. How can they do this? What gives them the authority to attach berakhot (blessings) to new rituals? Looking through the lens of Shabbat and Hanukah candles, we will examine the boundaries the rabbis needed to negotiate to engage in this enterprise and the role the rabbis saw for themselves as preservers and innovators of the tradition.

Shabbat Candles: Evolution of a Mitzvah
(audio/mpeg, 20MB)

How do the Rabbis Justify Creating Mitzvot?
(audio/mpeg, 23.48MB)

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