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The Going

A Meditation on Jewish Law
Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Year


In a work that casts philosophical and theological reflections against a backdrop of personal experience, Leon Wiener Dow offers a learned discourse that elucidates the telos of Jewish law and the philosophical-theological commitments that animate it. To the reader gazing upon the halakha from the outside, this book offers a glimpse of its central, orienting concepts. To the reader who lives amidst the rigor of halakha, this book bestows an insightful glance at the law’s orienting ethos and higher aspirations that often remain opaque.


“At once lyrical, lucid, and moving, The Going has much to teach both those interested in what it might mean to live an observant, committed Jewish life as well as anyone concerned with the question of how to live today in a world seemingly replete with endless choices.”
Leora Batinsky, Ronald O. Perelman Professor of Jewish Studies and Chair of Department of Religion at Princeton University

“In this powerful, haunting, exhilarating volume, Leon Wiener Dow bravely explores the halakha from the inside out, and the outside in. He brings into the halakhic conversation arresting new readings of what this ever-changing and so often vexed system can and perhaps must be. Like the halakha, his book challenges us to think hard about our lives and to and act with conviction.”
Yehuda Mirsky, Brandeis University

“Following in the footsteps of his great teacher David Hartman, Wiener Dow brings together into shared conversation the dominant voices in modern Jewish philosophy, rabbinic thinkers, and today’s Jew, whose intimate struggles negotiate the tensions between tradition and the contemporary world.”
Rabbi Asher Lopatin, President of Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbnical School

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