The Evolution of the Law and Politics of Water

by Joseph W. Dellapenna,

According to a famous Talmudic story (Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Shabbat: 31a), a gentile once approached Rabbi Hillel and asked to be taught the entire Torah while standing on one foot. Hillel replied, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself. That is the entire Torah. The rest is simply an explanation. Go and learn it!’ In much the same way, Jewish law can be described in one word—Torah. All the rest is simply an explanation. The Torah, also known as the Bible, the five books of Moses, and the Pentateuch, was written over 3,000 years ago. Since then, Jewish law has developed various interpretations and applications of the Torah, interpretations of those interpre- tions, and so on. Jewish law contains civil dictates as well as religious protocol. Problems that arose in the framework of religious life and problems surrounding civil relationships both found solutions in the same legal source—the Torah and the Halacha, the Jewish legal interpretations and rulings. This chapter on water law in the Jewish tradition provides insight into Jewish law and custom in general, and rules related to the protection of water sources in particular. One should not look, however, to find a written code of Jewish law, as there is none.
  • Springer Netherlands; April 2009
  • ISBN 9781402098673
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: The Evolution of the Law and Politics of Water
  • Author: Joseph W. Dellapenna (ed.); Gupta Joyeeta (ed.)
  • Imprint: Springer

In The Press

From the reviews:

“The volume contains articles on case law on international watercourses, on the concept of international cooperation, on public participation, and on water markets. … The value of The Evolution of the Law and Politics of Water lies primarily in the individual articles. … all articles contain interesting information for those interested in the specific case and some articles are relevant for anyone interested in the evolution of water law in general.” (Erik Mostert, Water History, Vol. 1, 2009)

“This edited book is a welcome addition to the existing scholarly knowledge on water law and policy. It can serve as a useful reference volume as it provides the reader with a wide range of cases to consider the evolution of water law and policy through varied lenses. It is a useful resource for scholars, academic researchers, practitioners, and members of the public who are interested in exploring the evolution of water law over different spatial and temporal scales.” (Lovleen Bhullar, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Vol. 29, 2011)