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Archive for October, 2009

What about the Talmudic Period?

The journal Zion has recently published an issue devoted to the study of Jewish history in Israel. It includes a number of very interesting historiographical studies by a number of scholars about how Israeli scholarship on certain historical periods has changed (or maybe not) over the years. One thing that I noticed was that there […]

Humrot from Qumran

Vered Noam has a new article, “Stringency in Qumran: A Reassessment,” in Journal for the Study of Judaism XL,3 (2009), 342-355. From the abstract, (emphases are added) The attribution of stringency to the Qumranites is prevalent in scholarly research. Indeed it is indisputable that the Sect generally adopts stringent positions, compared to rabbinic halakah. However, […]

Yes, God Does Have a Body

Adam Kirsch has a very enthusiastic review of Benjamin Sommer’s The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel in Tablet. The title of The Bodies of God and the World of Ancient Israel, the ingenious new book by Benjamin D. Sommer, sounds like a paradox, and a provocative one. After all, if there’s […]

The Israelite Family Album

Last year I bought Israel Knohl’s new book מאין באנו (“From Where did we Come?) which addresses the origins of the Israelites. I have just gotten around to reading it now and I wanted to post about Knohl’s main theses. He claims that the origins of the Israelites can be found in three distinct groups: […]

Rabbi Benny Lau and the Dor Revi’i

Rabbi Benny Lau reacts to this question, whether a man is permitted to hit his wife, by quoting the Dor Revi’i on morality. (Hebrew) Lau’s conclusion is while in the past this may have been a legitimate question and some Jewish authorities may have even answered in the affirmative, see here, today just asking the […]

Methodology and Literary Studies

Mary Kate Hurley has a very interesting post at In the Middle, “Is There a Methodology in this Class.” From the title, it is not surprisingly in response to a talk by Stanley Fish. The post raises a number of very important questions which hopefully many who study Talmudic and Rabbinic literature critically are thinking […]

Studying Genesis Rabbah

Biblia Hebraica has started a series of posts on Genesis Rabbah with the original text, translation, and commentary. The first post is here.

Pirkei Avot on the Best seller List

Today I heard a talk given by Rabbi Zvi Berger about religion in Israel. One thing that he pointed out which I found very interesting is that Avigdor Shinan’s commentary on Pirkei Avot is the number one non-fiction best seller in Israel and has been on the best seller list for sixteen weeks.

From Ottoman, to British, to Israeli Courts

Haviv Retting Gur has a number of good posts about some of the biased and ignorance based fawning over Shlomo Sand’s new book. Gur’s posts address the bureaucratic and legal side of marriage in Israel, and while not denying that there are many problems, argues that there are a number of factors which are responsible […]

What a Night for Springsteen Fans

Bruce Springsteen has been barnstorming around the country and playing some incredible concerts. For many Springsteen fans these days are filled with much trepidation because there are rumors that this may be the last Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band tour for a while, or maybe even forever. I was able to see two […]

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