April 4th, 2008

The dilemma of the topics

I'm going to decide soon, but the problem that has been heavily on my mind the last 3 days is 'what topic to do my research paper on Talmudic Law on'.  After much agonizing it has gotten down to 2 possibilities.

(1) an analysis of the disagreement between Maimonides and Nahmanides over when Oral Law can be considered Biblical and when it has to be considered merely Rabbinic, tracing it's implications on the Jewish legal system.

(2) an analysis of the disagreements over who and in what way God's providence extends over mankind, with regards to Maimonides' 10th and 11th principles, and how disagreements over the views on rewards and punishments may affect the motivations influencing Jewish criminal law development.

On a happier note, in the course of research for the assignment I discovered a really nice library!  the 'Birk's Reading Room', a book repository in support of the religious study programme in McGill.  It's one of those places where you take off your shoes before entering because shoes will spoil the exquisite wooden 'parquet' flooring.  And everyone is really quiet and 'reverent' there. 

I think I'll go frequent that place after exams and before I leave Montreal :)