King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario
Ariel and Joshua Weiner Family Fellowship

Research Topic

Trial Narratives in Jewish Antiquity


Chaya T. Halberstam is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible and Judaism in the department of Religious Studies at King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario, where she works on law and literature in Israelite and Jewish antiquity, specializing in early rabbinic texts. Her research explores the limits of the law and the gestures within legal contexts toward social, emotional, and relational reasoning.

Halberstam received her PhD in Religious Studies from Yale University. She has previously held fellowships at the University of Michigan, Harvard University, and Indiana University.

Selected publications

  • Trial Narratives in Jewish Antiquity (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)
  • Law and Truth in Biblical and Rabbinic Literature (Indiana University Press, 2010)



Focusing on the broad contexts in which Jewish (and Israelite) law was developed by and for Jews, and in which it operated, treating law as a necessary component for understanding the broader dynamics of culture, history, governance, and economics of each place and period.