The term gezerat ha-katuv designates halakhic rules and institutions that have no reason. Maimonides uses it in his great legal code, the Mishneh Torah, yet it seems to contradict his position that all mitzvot have a reason and a rationale. Combining theology, philosophy of law and halakhah, Prof. Lorberbaum argues that gezerat ha-katuv have two different meanings—theological and legal-jurisprudential.


Yair Lorberbaum was born in Israel, and received his doctorate in Jewish thought from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Lorberbaum is a professor at Bar-Ilan University’s Law School and he is a Senior Researcher at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He has served as a lecturer at Cardozo Law School, University of Pennsylvania Law School, Princeton University, and Yale University. He published numerous articles and books on Jewish thought, Jewish Law and Political and Legal Theory. Yair Lorberbaum won the prestigious Goldstein-Goren Book Award for 2007-2010 for his book, Image of God: Halakha and Aggadah (2004) .