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Archive for April, 2006

The Biases of Heinrich Graetz

In a previous post we mentioned the biases of the great historian Heinrich Graetz. I wanted to quote from two important historians who illustrate one of the most important aspects of critical scholarship, the constant need to reevaluate previous scholarship and to always try and refine research and methodology. I am bringing these selections less […]

Wissenschaft and Judaism

Over at On the Main Line there is an interesting post and discussion on the critical/academic study of Judaism, or as it is sometimes referred to, Wissenschaft. I just wanted to add a few comments to the discussion. The first is that those first pioneers of Wissenschaft, be it Zunz, Geiger, Jost, Graetz, etc. , […]

The Tetragrammaton in Newspapers

While reading the most recent issue of The New Republic at breakfast this morning, I noticed that on the cover were two instances of the tetragrammaton (YHVH) appearing in Hebrew. Can I throw the cover in the garbage or do I have to treat it like a page from a humash and put it in […]

Yom Hashoah

A number of years ago James Young, one of the foremost scholars on the role of memory, memorials and their meaning, wrote a very interesting article “When a Day Remembers: A Performative History of Yom Hashoah”. In this article Young discusses the different ways in which Yom Hashoah has been observed in the past and […]

Kuntress Ha-Teshuvot He-hadash

In 1930 Boaz Cohen compiled one of the most important bibliographic tools for the study of the responsa literature, Kuntres HaTeshuvot. In this book Cohen listed alphabetically a large number of the responsa collections that were ever published with bibliographical information on the different editions. This was later updated by Solomon Freehof in Studies in […]

Men of Silk

My friend Glenn Dynner has just published a book, Men of Silk : The Hasidic Conquest of Polish Jewish Society. The book has already received positive reviews from a number of important scholars in the field. Rachel Elior has said that, “Men of Silk is an original research study which contextualizes the emergence of Hasidism […]

Two Versions of the Rambam on "Removing Hametz"

In Asufot v. III Moshe Assis published an article trying to answer the question of which edition of the Mishneh Torah was used by Yoseph Karo when he wrote his commentary on the Mishneh Torah, the Kesef Mishneh. Assis concluded that Karo used the Constantinople edition published in 1509 as his primary text. Assis also […]

Web Sites for Passover

Just in case anybody was looking from some good web sites for last minute Passover resources here are a just a few of the many available on the web. The first is a very nice web site by Rabbi Lawrence Rigal with lots of nice images from various haggadot. His site has nice material for […]

New Chancellor Named for JTS

Today JTS officially announced that Prof. Arnold Eisen of Stanford University will be taking over after the current Chancellor Ismar Schorsch steps down this June. Prof. Eisen is an accomplished scholar in the field of Jewish Studies and we wish him well. Today I had the chance to speak with him for a few minutes […]

Lyrics of Redemption III

In my opinion, Bob Marley’s Redemption Song is by far the greatest song ever written about freedom and redemption. The lyrics evoke Biblical imagery in such a magesterial way that it puts any modern “Jewish” song to shame. On YouTube you can see a video of him singing Redemption Song, along with some video montage […]

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