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Prof. Yehiel Kaplan


Jewish law, family law, Law and religion, Children’s rights

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Prof. Yehiel Kaplan is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law ,University of Haifa.His Dr. Jur. is from the Faculty of Law,The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.His Dr. Jur. thesis -“Jewish Public  Law of Franco-German Jewry from the Xth through the XVth Century”-was written  under the direction of prof. Menachem Elon. He was also a visiting scholar at the Law school of The university of California,Berkeley.His training there was in Medieval Roman and Canon Law,

under the direction of Prof Stephan Kuttner and Prof. David Daube.In addition his Post Dr. Research ,in the sphere of Family Law, was in the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies ,at the University of Oxford.He also taught Introduction to Jewish Law at the Law school of Southern Methodist University.His areas of research are Jewish law and Family Law.He published  articles in the Jewish law  law reviews of the Faculty of law of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Faculty of law of Tel Aviv university and in  the law reviews  of all the Faculties of law of universities in Israel and in law reviews in the United States and England.The focus in his articles is upon several aspects of medieval Jewish public law,several aspects of children’s’ rights in Israel, New trends in Family law in Israel and Jewish law,Jewish divorce law and divorce law in the Rabbinical courts,The policy of the Rabbinical Courts in spheres such as human dignity and freedom and best interest of the child,and the legal relationship between parents and their children in Jewish law.


  • 1996 – Post Dr. research, University of Oxford, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies – Family Law.
  • 1986-1993 – Dr. Jur. Thesis Under Direction of Prof. Menachem Elon: “Jewish Public Law of Franco-German Jewry from the Xth through the XVth Century
  • 1987-1988 – Visiting Scholar. Focus of Studies: Medieval Roman and Canon Law, Law School, the University of California, Berkeley
  • 1984-1985 – L.L.M. Thesis Under Direction of Prof. Menachem Elon: “Public in the Legislation of Jewish Medieval Franco-German Communities”.
  • 1979-1983 – L.L.B. Faculty of Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  • 1974-1978 – Hesder Yeshiva, Har-Etzion, Alon Shevut, Gush Etzion

Fields of Intrests

  • Jewish Law
  • Family Law

Participation and Organization in Scholarly Conferences

  • 2012 – “Desirable legislation in an Attempt to Enhance  the Legal Status of Children in Israel “, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa
  • 2011 – International Conference, ” Intellectual Property in Jewish Law” , Yad  Harav Hertzog, Jerusalem
  • 2011 – “New Trends in the Financial  Relationship Between Husband  and Wife-Theory and Practice”, Faculty of Law, University of Haifa
  • 2010 – “Second Marriage of Jews in Israel: The Relationship between Secular Law and Religious Jewish Courts” International Conference, Jewish Law Association
  • 2010 – “The Relationship Between Family Law and Contracts And Torts” , Faculty of Law, University of Haifa

{tab Publications}


  • Mercy in Judgment and Punishment, Tel Aviv University Law Review (forthcoming)
  • Customs as Implied Conditions in Medieval Communities of Franco-German Jewry, Book in Honor of Prof. Jackson (forthcoming)
  • Enforcement of Divorce Judgments in Rabbinical Courts in Light of Constitutional Law in Israel, Middle East Law and Governance, 4 (Avner Emon (University of Toronto), Ellen Lust-Okar (Yale University), Audrey Macklin (University of Toronto) (eds.)) (2012)
  • A Father’s Consent to the Marriage of his Minor Daughter: Feminism and Multiculturalism in Jewish Law, 18 Southern California Review of Law and Social Justice, 393-460 (2009)
  • Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty in the Rabbinical Court: The Balance Between Conflicting Jewish Values and Conflicting Human Rights   , 8 Kiryat Mishpat, 145-250 (2009)
  • Changing Profile of Parent Child Relationship in Jewish Law, 18 The Jewish Law Annual, 21-79 (2009)
  • Child Custody In Jewish Law: From Authority of the Father to the Best Interest of the Child, 24 Journal of Law and Religion, 89-122 (2008-2009)
  • Empowerment of Women by a Tort Suit: The Final Outcome Should be the Result of Prior Thought, 4 Law Culture and Society (Continuation of Plilim) -“Empowerment”, 413-452 (2008)
  • The Power of Interpretation: Religious Scholars Elevate Status of Female Guardians in Jewish Law, 14 Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender, 519-547 (2008)
  • The Legal Status of the Jewish Child: The Interaction Between Law and Morality, The Case for the Child – Towards the Construction of a New Agenda, Chapter 9:201-238 (Dr. Yair Ronen, Prof. Charles W. Greenbaum (Eds.), Intersentia Publishers) (2007)
  • He will be Coerced Until he Declares: ‘I Am Willing’ – The Essence of the Principle and Its Implementation in Contemporary Society, Essays in Jewish Law and Halakhah: Judge and Litigation in Jewish Law, 189-248 ( Bar-Ilan University Press), (2007)
  • Corporal Punishment of Children in Israel – A New Trend in Secular and Religious Law, 14 International Journal of Children’s Rights, 363-421 (2006)
  • Best Interest of the Child in Israel – Between Religious and Secular, Book in Honor of Prof. M. Shava (Prof. Aharon Barak, Prof. Daniel Friedman (eds.), 427-462 (Ramot Publications, Tel Aviv University) (2006)
  • Tort Liability of Recalcitrant Husbands  pp. 773-870, in Hebrew with Ronen Perry, 28 Tel Aviv U.L. Rev. (2005)
  • New Trend Concerning Enforcement of Divorce Judgments: Policy Considerations in Light of Principles of Jewish Law and Basic Laws, 21 Bar-Ilan Law Studies, 609-703 (2005)
  • Punitive Maintenance as a Solution to the Plight of the Wife of the Recalcitrant Husband, 10 Hamishpat, 381-448 (2005)
  • Enforcement of Divorce Judgments by Imprisonment – Principles of Jewish Law, 15 The Jewish Law Annual, 57-145 (2004)
  • Jewish Self-Rule in the Thought of the Tosaphists, Kehal Yisrael: Jewish Self-Rule Through the Ages –2 – The Middle Ages and Early Modern Period, 85-100 (The Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, Jerusalem) (2004)
  • The New Trend Concerning Corporal Punishment as Means of Education, 3 Kiryat Mishpat, 447-487 (2003)
  • The Right of the Child to File Suits Against Parents Concerning Emotional Damage, Trends in Criminology: Theory, Policy and Practice, Essays in Honor of Dr. Menachem Horovitz, published by the Sacher Institute for Legislative Research and Comparative Law, Faculty of Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 463-529 (Jerusalem) (2003)
  • The Right of a Minor in Israel to Participate in the Decision-Making Process Concerning His or Her Medical Treatment, 25 Fordham International Law Journal, 1085-1168 (2002)
  • Children’s Rights in Israeli Case Law: First Stage of Transition from Paternalism to Autonomy, 7 Hamishpat, 303-334 (2002)
  • From Best Interest of the Child to Children’s Rights – Independent Representation of Minors, 31 Mishpatim, 623-692 (2001)
  • Interpretation of the Concept ‘Best Interest of the Child’ in Israel, Children’s Rights and Traditional Values, 47-85 (Aldreshot, Brookfield, Singapore, Sydney) (1998)
  • Book Review: N.S. Hecht, B.S. Jackson, M. Passamaneck, D. Piattelli & A.M. Rabello (eds.), “An Introduction to the History and Sources of Jewish Law” (Oxford, 1996)   , Journal of Jewish Studies, 99, 166-167 (1998)
  • Book Review: Carolyn Hamilton, “Family, Law and Religion” (London, 1995), International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, 11, 394-398 (1997)
  • Majority and Minority in the Decisions of the Jewish Community in the Middle Ages, 20 Shenaton Ha-Mishpat Ha-Ivri, 329-396 (1995-1997)
  • The Status and Authority of Communal Leaders in the Middle Ages, 18 Dine’ Israel, 255-319 (1995-1996)
  • The Non Subjection of the Public to the Limitations of the Private Law in Jewish Law  (Hebrew), 25 Mishpatim, 377- 434 (1995)
  • Decision Making in the Jewish Community, According to Rabbenu Tam – Theory and Practice, 60 Zion, 277- 300 (1995)
  • The Public Welfare (Hebrew), 17 Dine’ Israel, 27-91 (1993-1994)
  • Continuing Validity of Public Norms, 18-19 Shenaton Ha-Mishpat Ha-Ivri, 329-396 (1992-1994)
  • Elements of Torts in the Jewish Law of Surety, 9-10 Shenaton Ha-Mishpat Ha-Ivri, 359-396 (1982-1983)


  • Jewish Medieval Public Law, Harry and Michael Sacher Institute for Legislative Research and Comparative Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Law (forthcoming)


  • Tort Suits in an Attempt to Ameliorate the Plight of the Wife of the Recalcitrant Spouse, Lectures in Annual Conference of Judges in Rabbinical Courts in Israel-5768 ,122-141 (Jerusalem). (2009)
  • Proceedings of Symposium: Gender Equality and Monetary Matters in Divorce-Tel Aviv University ,June 2006, 60-65 (Dr.Dafna Haker,Dr.ayelet Blecher-Prigat,Dr.Ruth Halperin-Kadari (eds.),Tel Aviv) (2007)
  • the Morning He Found Out She Was Leah’ – Breach of a Betrothal Promise, “Sheets of the Weekly Portion” – Ministry of Justice, Jewish Law Division, Volume 186, Vayetse (2004)
  • ‘They Revived the Children’ – Best Interest of The Child as Paramount Consideration, “Sheets of the Weekly Portion” – Ministry of Justice, Jewish Law Division, Volume 152, Shemot (2003)
  • “Preface”, Kolatch, Masters of the Talmud – Their Lives and Views 15-19 (New York). (2003)