This book examines the talmudic writings, politics, and ideology of Y.I. Halevy (1847–1914), one of the most influential representatives of the pre-war eastern European Orthodox Jewish community. It analyzes Halevy’s historical model of the formation of the Babylonian Talmud, which, he argued, was edited by an academy of rabbis beginning in the fourth century and ending by the sixth century. Halevy's model also served as a blueprint for the rabbinic council of Agudath Israel, the Orthodox political body in whose founding he played a leading role.
Foreword by Jay M. Harris, Harry Austryn Wolfson Professor of Jewish Studies at Harvard University and the author of How Do We Know This? Midrash and the Fragmentation of Modern Judaism, among other works.