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Archive for May, 2007

Stephen S. Wise’s Ph.D.

While the late R. Stephen S. Wise is well known for his role as a Zionist activist and his role as a leader during the Shoah (see here for the controversy regarding his actions), what people may not know about him is that for his Ph.D. Wise translated Solomon ibn Gabirol’s Arabic treatise “The Improvement […]

Literature of the Sages v. 2

Andy in a comment pointed out that Literature of the Sages v. 2 is coming out this summer and is available for pre-order from Here is the table of contents. The Literature of the Sages Section One: Midrash and TargumCHAPTER 1: THE HALAKHIC MIDRASHIMby Menahem I. KahanaCHAPTER 2: AGGADIC MIDRASHby Marc HirshmanCHAPTER 3: THE […]

If You Appear as a Pig

One of the richest epigraphic sources for the study of Aramaic and Jewish practice from Babylonia are Aramaic Magic/Incanation Bowls (bibliography here) or Babylonian Demon Bowls. I just saw a new one which was recently published by Dan Levene and I thought that I would bring a few lines from the text just to give […]

Cambridge Companion to Rabbinic Literature

In a few weeks, at least here in the US, the The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature will become available. Although it’s not available yet, I wanted to post about it just in case I forget to post about it when it hits the street. The contributions look very interesting. Here is […]

Secular Court’s Coercision of Religious Divorce

Over at The Volokh Conspiracy, Eugene Volokh has a post on coercion by secular courts of religious divorces. While he does discuss “Get Laws”, this time it was not a Get, rather a Muslim divorce which was contested in courts.

The Library of the Rome Synagogue

PhiloBiblos has some new information on the search for the library of the Rome Synagogue looted by the Nazis.

JSTOR articles now searchable

Some of you are familiar with JSTOR, the large repository of articles from academic journals in electronic format. One major drawback of JSTOR has been that its PDF files were not searchable, since the articles were essentially images in a PDF file. That was so until recently when JSTOR made available their articles in searchable […]

On Book Reviews II

One of the reasons that I decided to write a few postings on book reviews was a article written by the late Guido Kisch. [1] Kisch was the author of many important books and articles, among them The Jews in Medieval Germany. In addition to writing articles and books, during his years in America Kisch […]

A Unique Blessing for a Mezuzah

While discussing the laws of a mezuzah, R. Yehiel Michel Epstein, the author of Arukh ha-Shulhan, says that “ויש מי שרצה לומר כשנכנס לבית שיש שם מזוזה יברך אקב”ו לדור בבית שיש בו מזוזה ואינו עיקר דלא מצינו ברכה זו בשום מקום” (“And there is someone who wanted to say that when one enters a […]

Photos of Herod’s Tomb

Someone sent me a link to a nice photo-essay from Arutz Sheva of the news conference from Hebrew University regarding Herod’s tomb. There are some pictures and diagrams of the tomb and its surroundings.

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