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Ḥakirah, The Flatbush Journal of Jewish Law and Thought is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the field of halakha and Jewish thought. The journal is currently published by Hakirah, Inc. from editorial offices in Brooklyn with two annual issues. Hakirah is today one of the largest Orthodox journals of Jewish law and thought in the United States with a readership that includes members from major Jewish communities throughout the world.[citation needed]

Ḥakirah, The Flatbush Journal of Jewish Law and Thought  
Hakirah Cover.jpg
DisciplineJewish law and thought
LanguageEnglish and Hebrew
Publication details
After 6 months
Standard abbreviations


Foundation and early yearsEdit

Hakirah is a Jewish journal which publishes articles that reflect a wide range of Orthodox beliefs and ideas. Those who submit articles run the gamut from laypeople, to rabbis, doctors and professors. The first volume of Hakirah was published in the fall of 2004. Each volume generally contains about ten English and two Hebrew articles comprising a total of about 250 pages. A new volume appears about every six to seven months.[1]

Hakirah was created by a small group of individuals in Flatbush, Brooklyn who study together on Shabbat afternoon. Concerned about an alleged lack of sophistication in Torah study and what they believed was an excessive reliance on mysticism and kabbalah, it was the desire of the group to create a journal that would inspire the community toward what they considered a higher level of Torah study and analysis.[citation needed]

The early volumes of Hakirah relied mainly on articles by members of their original study group, Asher Benzion Buchman, David Guttmann, Sheldon Epstein, Yonah Wilamowsky and Heshey Zelcer. From about the third volume, however, Hakirah began to attract international attention whereupon Hakirah redefined its mission to include not just the Flatbush community but those who identified with the Flatbush Orthodox community.

Mission statementEdit

The mission of Hakirah is to encourage members of the Flatbush community to study issues of Jewish law and thought in depth by analyzing original sources, and to provide these same individuals with a forum to disseminate the results of their study for peer review.

Although not stated explicitly on either their Web page or journal, the orientation of the Hakirah board is toward a commitment to Orthodox Judaism that is accepting of the proven natural science and documented history, and cognizant of the general culture and zeitgeist.

Hakirah tries to address what its editors consider important contemporary issues affecting the Orthodox Community as they arise. In this vein, Hakirah has solicited and published articles on "The Eruv”, Mezizah B’Peh", the “Slifkin Affair”[2] and the current “Conversion Controversy" in what its editors believe is a straightforward and detailed manner.[citation needed]

Hakirah is not affiliated with any political or rabbinic institution. Its articles question accepted institutions of both the right as well as works and ideas of the Modern Orthodox Judaism and the left.

Editor and Review BoardEdit

The staff of Hakirah are mainly volunteers and the core members are those on the Editorial Board: Asher Benzion Buchman, Sheldon Epstein, David Guttmann, Shlomo Sprecher and Heshey Zelcer. Two of the board members have semikhah but none are rabbis by profession. R. Asher Benzion Buchman is the Editor-in-Chief.[3]


Upon the release of each new volume Hakirah posts the first two pages of each article on its web page except for the lead article which it publishes in full. When the following volume is published the full text of all the articles in the previous volume are made available on its web page.

Transliteration of Hebrew words into English should follow the conventions of either Encyclopedia Judaica or ArtScroll.

Important articlesEdit

Hakirah contains articles from rabbis, doctors, scholars and lay-people throughout the world. Some of the articles which created a sensation upon publication are:


  1. ^ Hakirah, vol. 1, p.5,
  2. ^ Hakirah vol. 2, p. 5
  3. ^ "Communicate with Hakirah". Retrieved 29 January 2008.
  4. ^ Hakirah, vol. 3, pp. 15-66 (accessed 27 January 2008)
  5. ^ Hakirah, vol. 4, pp. 9-19(accessed 27 January 2008)
  6. ^ Hakirah vol. 4, pp. 115-120 (accessed 27 January 2008)
  7. ^ Hakirah vol. 5. pp. 8-27(accessed 27 January 2008)
  8. ^ Hakirah, vol. 4, pp. 37-67 (accessed 27 January 2008)
  9. ^ Hakirah, vol. 6, pp. 11-56 (accessed 27 January 2008)
  10. ^ Hakirah, vol. 7, pp. 107-154
  11. ^ Hakirah, vol. 7, pp.19-24
  12. ^ Hakirah, vol. 7, pp. 25-50(accessed 27 January 2008)
  13. ^ Hakirah, vol. 7, pp. לא-מ
  14. ^ Hakirah, vol. 9, pp. 81-118 (accessed 23 January 2010)

External linksEdit