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Archive for June, 2010

Srugim Meets the Academy

For fans of Srugim who are having trouble in this bein ha-zemanim period, a new study claims that by living in the swamp, or similar swamps, an individual may actually be diminishing their chances of getting married. According to this study, a greater selection of potential mates isn’t necessarily good. It’s the Paradox of Choice […]

The People of the (Digitized) Book

Ynet has an article (Hebrew) about digitized collections of Hebrew books, e.g. Otzar ha-Ḥochma, Hebrew Books, Bar-Ilan, etc. The article addresses how this might affect the culture of the book in traditional Jewish learning and issues which may arise regarding reading digital books on Shabbat. My teacher SW thought about this issue over a decade […]

Ruth’s “Conversion” in the Targum

Targuman describes here what the Targum to Ruth does with Ruth 1:16-17.

Yedid Nefesh

Giluy Milta B’alma has a post about the well-known piyyut, Yedid Nefesh (ignore the version of the piyyut included in this entry, see below), that is recited on Friday night in many synagogues. The post describes the textual history of the piyyut and why it is attributed to R. Elazar Azkari (1533-1600). Pay attention to […]

A New Direction for Shas?

One of the most interesting aspects of the whole Emmanuel school affair has been Shas. As a party, they have kept relatively quiet, trying not to make enemies with anyone. The one Shas MK who has not kept quiet is Rabbi Haim Amsalem. He has repeatedly said that Sephardim have to fight for what is […]

Bork on Barak

The latest from Robert Bork, (hat tip) Former Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork is opposing Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s nomination to the high court because she admires Aharon Barak – the former chief justice of Israel’s supreme court whom conservatives regard as an activist liberal judge. In a conference call sponsored by Americans United for […]

Stories of the Babylonian Talmud

Jeffrey Rubenstein has published a new book, Stories of the Babylonian Talmud. Rubenstein combines a close textual and literary examination of each story with a careful comparison to earlier versions from other rabbinic compilations. This unique approach provides insight not only into the meaning and content of the current forms of the stories but also […]

Bridging Scholarship and Pedagogy

The Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University has been working on bridging the worlds of scholarship and pedagogy. A few years ago they sponsored a conference (video here) devoted to the teaching of Rabbinic literature. Some fruits of their efforts can be found in these working papers, some of which have […]

The World and Middle East Peace

An exception to the shallow, uninformed, biased, and unoriginal writing that one usually finds about the Middle East in American newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc., is Walter Russell Mead. I strongly recommend his most recent post, The World Must Do More For Middle East Peace. (hat tip)

Bible Museum

From the other day’s NY Times. With a goal of establishing a national Bible museum of great depth and size, the evangelical Christian family behind the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores has been spending heavily to amass a collection that has set dealers buzzing in the staid world of rare books. Specialists estimate the […]

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