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The Broad Life of the Jewish Lawyer: Integrating Spirituality, Scholarship and Profession

By Samuel J. Levine


The religious individual faces the constant challenge of reconciling religious ideals with the mundane realities of everyday life. Indeed, it is through the performance of ordinary daily activities that a person can truly observe such religious duties as serving God and loving one\u27s neighbor. For the Orthodox Jew, an intricate set of religious laws and principles governs every area of life. In choosing a career, an Orthodox Jew must therefore be concerned that professional obligations not interfere with the fulfillment of religious ones. While religious duties impose obligations on the religious individual, at the same time they provide opportunities to enrich apparently mundane activities, imbuing them with spirituality. As an Orthodox Jew, Levine seeks a career in which he is able not only to reconcile his religious and professional duties, but attempts to incorporate spirituality into his daily activities. In this Essay, Levine relates the efforts he has taken to integrate his legal career with his religious principles. In Part I, he briefly describes some of his experiences in law school, including his discovery that Jewish religious thought has played an increasingly important role in legal scholarship. In Part II, he discusses the religious concerns that confront an Orthodox Jew embarking on a professional career, and presents some advice from Jewish legal and ethical authorities relating to these concerns. In Part III, he offers his view of the way his particular field of law, criminal prosecution, provides opportunities to integrate his professional goals with his religious principles. Finally, Levine concludes this Essay with the hope that his colleagues in other areas of the legal profession will, in their own way, be able to find similar opportunities

Topics: Judism, Law \u26 Religion, jewish law, religious law, jewish religious thought, legal scholarship, Levine, Samuel Levine, Law, Legal Profession, Other Law
Publisher: Digital Commons @ Touro Law Center
Year: 1996
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