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Archive for February, 2007

The Lost Tomb of Jesus

For anyone who is interested in following what is happening regarding The Lost Tomb of Jesus, Codex has been updating posts about it regularly.

Jewish Law and Sieges

Gil at Hirhurim has two posts which summarize discussions regarding Jewish Law and military sieges. What is brought in those posts and this recent one by me raises a number of important questions, one of which will be illustrated with a statement found in Judah Halevi’s Kuzari that I heard from Prof. Aviezer Ravitzky some […]

Torture and Confession in Jewish Law

Adderabbi makes note of a recent article by Rabbi J.D. Bleich on “Torture and the Ticking Bomb”. I have not read Rabbi Bleich’s article, although I am an avid viewer of the ever more unrealistic 24, but Prof. Aaron Kirschenbaum has written extensively on the legal admissibility of confessions. In a nutshell, according to Jewish […]

Thinking about academia?

Over at Cliopatria Jonathan T. Reynolds has some interesting musings on “Academic Rites of Passage”, and he links to this primer for those interested in pursuing a Ph.D.

Families and Ancient Synagogues

Dr. Philip A. Harland of Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean has posted online a recent article which he has written, “Familial Dimensions of Group Identity (II): “Mothers” and “Fathers” in Associations and Synagogues of the Greek World”.

Eating Blood

Regarding Prof. Ariel Toaff’s recent book, he is quoted as saying, Although the use of blood is prohibited by Jewish law, Toaff says he found proof of rabbinic permission to use blood, even human blood. “The rabbis permitted it both because the blood was already dried,” and because in Ashkenazi communities it was an accepted […]

Jews and Blood Libels

In the wake of Prof. Israel Yuval’s new book, a new one by Prof. Ariel Toaff, even before it has been published, is raising some eyebrows. Read about it here and here. Even Yuval seems to disagree with Toaff’s conclusions. Update: The heat gets turned up, see more here. Update II: My Obiter Dicta, who […]

Book Reviews of Baalei HaTosafot IV

Parts I, II, III Probably one of the more critical reviews of Baalei haTosafot is that penned by Irving Agus in JQR 46,4, April 1956. While also pointing out the importance of Urbach’s work, Agus’s review is almost entirely a scathing criticism of the book. It should be pointed out that Urbach had previously reviewed […]

R. Alfred Kolatch z"l

I have just learned that R. Alfred Kolatch z”l passed away. R. Kolatch was the author of some of the best introductory books about Judaism to have been published in the past several decades. Thousands of people took their first steps in Jewish learning by reading his The Jewish Book of Why. R. Kolatch published […]

From the SOY Seforim Sale

This morning I made a quick visit to the SOY Seforim Sale. Besides the usual merchandise, a few new and “clearance” books which are worth mentioning. First of all, a new type-set edition of the Arukh haShulhan has finally been published. I think that it was around 12-13 volumes, and included some halakhot of the […]

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