Does the Talmud offer a perspective on police reform, and whether it makes sense to, as the slogan says, defund the police? Rabbi Aryeh Cohen, a Talmudic scholar and an advocate for redirecting police funding, explains what ancient Judaism does and doesn’t have to say about policing. After a quick post-election debrief, Cohen lays out the case for a new approach to policing, one in which far fewer officers would carry arms. He addresses questions about armed guards protecting Jewish institutions during a time of rising antisemitism and touches on how his experience as a soldier in the first Lebanon War shaped his anti-violence worldview.
Read Rabbi Cohen’s Evolve essay: "What Happens When Everything Is Broken? Grappling With #DefundthePolice"
Theme song, “Ilu Finu” by Rabbi Miriam Margles. Her album This is the Day is available for purchase at CDBaby: https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/miriammarglesandthehadarensemb
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- Evolve Essay: What Happens When Everything Is Broken? Grappling With #DefundthePolice — The entire paradigm underlying contemporary policing in the United States is broken. Jewish sources provide a way forward to a new model of policing.
- Justice in the City: An Argument from the Sources of Rabbinic Judaism (Amazon link)
- Daf Shvui/Weekly Daf: Give me forty minutes or so and I'll give you a daf or so on Apple Podcasts — I know that all the cool kids are jumping on to the daf yomi bandwagon. However, if you are looking for something a bit more mellow, a bit more curated, less a part of the rough and tumble of the daf yomi speedway—I invite you to daf shvu'i, a weekly page of Talmud. In about 40-50 minutes you can learn a page of Talmud. No previous experience required.
- Justice in the City | Thinking about Judaism and Social Justice (Blog)
- Murder with Impunity | Washington Post — In the last year, The Washington Post has gathered data on almost 55,000 murders over the past decade in 55 of America’s largest cities. The analysis goes beyond what is known nationally about the unsolved cases, revealing block by block where police fail to catch killers.
- Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America (Amazon link)