Menachem Mendel

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Archive for May, 2009

Shavuot and Matan Torah

In an interesting article in the Jerusalem Post, Stephen Gabriel Rosenberg wrote that the connection between Shavuot and the giving of the Torah is a post-destruction reinterpretation by the rabbis at Yavneh. But today, for some reason Shavuot is no longer the end of the barley harvest. It is no longer anything agricultural, it is […]

Hispanic, Sephardim, and Eidot ha-Mizrah

There has been much talk about how Sonia Sotomayor, if appointed, will be the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. A number of commentators were quick to point out that the first Hispanic Justice may have been Benjamin Cardozo who was of Portugese-Jewish ancestry. The problems lies in how narrowly or broadly you define “Hispanic.” Does […]

Jacob Shafran-A Post for Memorial Day

Around the time when my grandfather left Poland (app. 1920), three of his uncles made their way to Palestine, eventually settling there. A number of years later, his grandparents also immigrated to Palestine. With the exception of a brother who came with him to America, his parents and the rest of his family were killed […]

Review: A Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud

Joshua Schwartz reviews A Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud: Introduction and Studies Ilan, Tal, Tamara Or, Dorothea Salzer, Christiane Steuer and Irina Wandrey, editors.

Putting Things in Perspective

My Wednesday afternoon very quickly went from sunny to near-disaster. It was one of the rare days when I drive into Manhattan instead of taking the subway. When I went to my car to go home with a stop for some food shopping along the way, I realized that someone else was parked in the […]

Jesus the Rabbi

From Jaroslav Pelikan (also see this post), ‘‘To the Christian disciples of the first century the conception of Jesus as a rabbi was self-evident, to the Christian disciples of the second century it was embarrassing, to the Christian disciples of the third century and beyond it was obscure.’’ Jesus through the Centuries: His Place in […]

Bruce Springsteen Playing Havanagila

It starts at around 2:15. Max Weinberg, the drummer, actually played the bar-mitzvah circuit at numerous times in his life. Jeffrey Goldberg on the concert. I saw him at the Spectrum in Philadelphia a few weeks ago. It was great as always, although the next night he did play London Calling.

Hebrew Books-May 18, 2009

Hebrew Books has their usual impressive additions to their online offerings. These are a few that stood out. 1. Samuel Krauss, Kadmoniyot Ha-Talmud, part I, part II. 2. Solomon Zucrow, Sifrut Ha-Halakhah. Zucrow also published a number of other books on rabbinic literature and Jewish law. All I know about him is that he taught […]

More on the Hebrew translation of the Bible

The Jerusalem Post has two posts about the Hebrew adaptation/translation of the Tanakh which I discussed here and here. Both of these posts discuss the relationship between modern Israeli Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew. For a recent book on the history of Hebrew see Joel Hoffman’s In the Beginning: A Short History of the Hebrew Language […]

Reblen-New Blog on Jewish Philosophy

Rabbi Leonard Levin has inaugurated a new blog on Jewish philosophy, Reblen. From the blog’s description, Topics of this blog will vary. For starters: (1) What does it mean to affirm God in our vision of reality? (Answering the Apikoros); (2) What have the Hebrew and Greek traditions contributed to our mental tool-kit that we […]

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