A brief comment here led me to a blogger who writes about (among many topics) both Harry Potter and Jewish law & ethics. His main blog (Presence… The place to be.), for instance, recently mentions the dynamic between Jewish law and Christian ethics. (A “Judeo-Christian” question addressed here.) He reported:
On the topic of abortion, R. [Bezalel] Rudinsky mentioned that, when it comes to US law, he thought we should not necessarily advocate a pro-life platform that was determined by non-Jewish authorities, since this will likely conflict with halacha in some fashion. Rather, it would be better to support a platform that allowed the Jewish community to set it's own standard regarding abortion. A very libertarian position, motivated not so much by a concern for the individual rights of the masses, but more for the sake of the sovereignty of Halacha in exile for those who choose to submit to it. I find it interesting because his position is both progressive and isolationist at the same time, i.e. - pro-choice political position, but a Jewish community further removed and isolated from the host culture. [emphasis added]
Plus, a Red Sox fan.
Though his Harry Potter site doesn’t deal much with Judaism, Greg did once “prognosticate”:
Harry finds that the truth will not set him free. He learns that there are some mysteries that are better off left unknown, and that by uncovering them, they become cheapened in our eyes. Harry learns that having all the answers will not complete you. This theme, by the way, is pretty popular. I would like to think that it is one of the main themes of the Old Testament (it is rampant through out the Five Books of Moses, and prevalent in Prophets and Writings, Ecclesiastes particularly), as well as a fair explanation of the motivations behind Christianity (I am Jewish, so I have a somewhat limited understanding of Christianity, but I think this is a compelling explanation; email me for details). Philosophy has struggled with these topics since the beginning. Major contributors (this is by no means an exhaustive list) include Maimonides (in The Guide of the Perplexed), … Rabbis Joseph D. Soloveitchik, and Abraham Joshua Heschel both discuss these themes, in The Lonely Man of Faith and God in Search of Man. Others that touch on these themes include … The Big Lebowski. …
Anyway, Greg, thanks for the comment. How about an update on Harry Potter and Jewish themes?