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Archive for June, 2007

Manuscripts and Libraries in the News

At PhiloBiblos, I saw two interesting news items regarding manuscripts and libraries. The first item, something which was also reported in the NY Times, is that the Vatican is planning on closing its library for a three year renovation. Scholars are upset for two reasons. The first is that they are worried about having to […]

A 14th c. Spanish Female Rabbi?

The other day a friend suggested to me that I read David Nirenberg’s Communities of Violence. I subsequently looked at some of Nirenberg’s other writings and saw an interesting title, “A Female Rabbi in Fourteenth Century Zaragoza?” (Sefarad, 51,1 [1991]). In this short article Nirenberg publishes a letter that he found in the Archive of […]

Synoptic Edition of Avot de-Rabbi Natan

I just saw that Mohr Siebeck (i.e. VERY expensive) has published a synoptic edition of Avot de-Rabbi Nathan. There are synopsis of the MSS for both versions A and B, including Genizah fragments. One of the editors, Hans-Jürgen Becker has already helped to publish the Genizah fragments of Avot de-Rabbi Nathan (see a review here). […]

More on the Cambridge Companion

I’ve been able to go over the recently published Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature and here are some first impressions. First of all it seems like Cambridge publishes quality paperback books, because often paperback books are built with a lifespan of a few months and then they fall apart. Let’s hope that […]

Was the Mishnah Written Redux

In an earlier post I contrasted the theories of J.N. Epstein and Saul Lieberman regarding the question of whether the Mishnah was written down. I just bought The Cambridge Companion to the Talmud and Rabbinic Literature, which includes an essay by Dr. Elizabeth Shanks Alexander on orality and rabbinic literature. Shanks Alexander describes the disagreement […]

Judaism 101 from the Haifa Police Chief

‘Women are forbidden from entering the synagogue when there are men present,’ he said. ‘These are the religious rules.’ These are the words of Haifa police chief Dudu Ben Attia who has taken it upon himself to become a posek. See this article for apparently another example of some Jews who can’t seem to help […]

The Jewish Scholar of Canon Law

Over the past few years I have read a number of articles by the person who essentially created the modern study of Canon Law, Stephen Kuttner. Today, while doing some research, I came across an obituary of his (he died in 1996) which said that he was of Jewish ancestry. A little Goggling turned up […]

Modern Talmud Study II

One of the basic foundations of textual study is actually having a reliable text to work with, but before I speak about what we know about the text of the Talmud, I want to first touch upon the question of the oral nature of the Mishnah and then in a later post the Talmud. “Orality” […]

Modern Talmud Study I

The modern study of rabbinic texts has occupied many scholars since the beginning of Wissenschaft des Judentums (“The Scientific Study of Judaism”) in the 19th century. I am intentionally calling it “modern” Talmud study instead of “academic” or “critical”, because the former sounds like it is only for those in academia, and the latter suggests […]

The iPhone and the Talmud

In my recent MacTalmud post, I wrote about the Mac option for those who use Hebrew and Rabbinic Texts with some frequency in their computing. Some of you may be aware of the hype, or anticipation-depending on what you think of it, surrounding the June 29 release of the iPhone. Personally, as one who uses […]

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