Michael L. Chernick - Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion
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Michael L. Chernick , Rabbi; Ph.D.

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Professor Emeritus of Rabbinic Literature

HUC-JIR/New York

Rabbinical Program, New York
Academic Field: 
Rabbinics and Liturgy
Research Interests: 
Rabbinic Hermeneutics; Halakhic Midrashim; Contemporary Jewish legal and ethical issues

Dr. Michael Chernick is the Deutsch Family Chair Emeritus in Jewish Jurisprudence and Social Justice at the HUC-JIR/New York.

His area of expertise is the Talmud. Within that field Professor Chernick’s major field of interest is early rabbinic legal hermeneutics as applied to the Bible.

Professor Chernick received his doctorate in Rabbinics from the Bernard Revel Graduate School and his rabbinic ordination from R. Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary, both affiliates of Yeshiva University.

He has written extensively about Jewish law and lore and has lectured on these topics in the United States, Europe, and Israel. He is the author of two Hebrew volumes on rabbinic hermeneutics, an English language edited volume, Essential Papers on the Talmud, and a forthcoming book titled A Great Voice That Did Not Cease. He founded the Summer Jewish Studies Program at Kibbutz Yahel.




Selected Publications and Edited Works

Hermeneutic Studies I (Lod: Haberman Institute, 1984)

Hermeneutic Studies I (Lod: Haberman Institute, 1984)

Essential Papers on the Talmud (edited volume, New York: NYU Press, 1994)

A Great Voice That Did Not Cease (Cincinnati: Hebrew Union College Press, 2009) 

"The Use of Ribbuyim and Mi'utim in the Halakic Midrash of R. Ishmael," JQR, 1979.

"Halakah (Jewish Law): Its Original Character and Principles for Renewal," Petahim (Hebrew), 1980 


"The Development of Kelal u-Ferat u-Kelal Hermeneutics," Tarbiz (Hebrew), 1982 


“’Ish’ as Man and Adult in the Halakic Midrashim," JQR, 1982

Talmud Of the Land ofI srael: Baba Qama,ed., Jacob Neusner, University of Chicago Press, 1985. ''Notes on the Talmud of the Land of Israel, Baba Qama 


"The Distinction between Mitzvah and Halakah in Maimonides' Thought," CCAR Journal, Spring 1997; revised as a paper presented at the Twelfth Congress of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem, 1997

“Turn It and Turn It Again: Culture and Talmudic Interpretation,” in Turn It and Turn It Again: Jewish Medieval Studies and Literary Theory, ed. Sheila Delany, Pegasus Press, 2004

”Marie de France in the Synagogue,” Examplaria, 2007

“Polysemous Sugyot, the Rishonim, and Normative Halakhah,” Jewish Law Association Studies, 2007

“Neusner, Brisk, and the Stam: Significant Methodologies for Meaningful Talmud Teaching,” Turn It and Turn It Again: Studies in the Learning and Teaching of Classical Texts, eds., Jon A. Levinsohn and Susan P. Fendrick (Brighton: Academic Studies Press, 2013)

Current and Future Courses
Talmudic Aggadah
The Halakhic System and its Meaning for Reform Jews
Chevruta Study
Maimonides’ Philosophy of Jewish Law
Modern Study of the Mishnah
Modern Study of the Talmud of Eretz-Israel
Public Lecture Topics
The Parameters of Jewish Religious Pluralism
Is the Talmud anti-woman?
Does Halakhah Change?
What is the Talmud?
"Rabbi Strangelove": A Talmudic Story
"When God Prays": Talmudic Lore and "Shock" Theology