Take One

Yevamot 90, 91, and 92

In today’s pages of Talmud, Justice Brandeis on technology, privacy, and liberty

June 7, 2022

Today’s pages of Talmud, Yevamot 90, 91, and 92, deliver one of the most poetic evocations of justice in all of Judaism, instructing us that the law must always pierce the mountain, meaning that we should never abandon our inquiry into what is right in an effort to fashion a more perfect world. One hundred six years ago this week, Louis Brandeis became the first Jew appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Twelve years and one day later, he wrote what would become one of the most famous dissents in court history, arguing that the government had no right to use advanced technology to invade the privacy of its citizens. It’s as rousing a defense of the Talmudic principles of justice as has ever been written, one that is painfully and acutely relevant today, when all of us are constantly surveilled by the government and corporations alike, often without our knowledge and consent. We reproduce Justice Brandeis’ opinion nearly in full here. How can we defend the Constitution against pernicious new technologies? Listen and find out.

Take One
Yevamot 90, 91, and 92
In today's pages of Talmud, Justice Brandeis on technology, privacy, and liberty
June 07, 2022
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Take One is a Tablet Studios production. The show is hosted by Liel Leibovitz and is produced and edited by Darone Ruskay and Quinn Waller. Our team also includes Stephanie Butnick, Josh Kross, Mark Oppenheimer, Sara Fredman Aeder, Robert Scaramuccia, and Tanya Singer. 

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