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Archive for Ancient Judaism

Geza Vermes RIP

The important scholar of Ancient Judaism, Christianity, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Geza Vermes (1924-2013) has passed away. Besides his important scholarly output, Vermes has an incredible personal story. He was born to Jewish parents in Hungary, and when he was seven years-old he and his parents converted to Catholocism. His parents were then killed […]

Those Jews and Their Witchcraft

All of you have probably heard that the lid has been blown off the secret witchcraft being practiced by Jews and Zionists: In a speech to religious students on April 20, Mehdi Taeb, who heads a think tank and is considered close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, said that Jews are powerful sorcerers who have used […]

Book Review of Demonic Desires: ‘Yetzer Hara’ and the Problem of Evil in Late Antiquity

From the THE BLOG OF THE CENTER FOR JEWISH LAW Review of Ishay Rosen-Zvi, Demonic Desires: ‘Yetzer Hara’ and the Problem of Evil in Late Antiquity. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011. 264 pages. $69.95 By Jason Rubenstein jasonbassirubenstein-at-gmail.com Ishay Rosen-Zvi’s Demonic Desires: ‘Yetzer Hara’ and the Problem of Evil in Late Antiquity is an […]

Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism 2nd edition Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism 2nd edition New Book-Christianity & Rabbinic Judaism 2nd edition

One of my favorite introductory books is now out in a 2nd edition: (HT Lawrence Schiffman on Twitter) Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism (2nd Edition) NEW 2ND EDITION Christianity and Rabbinic Judaism A Parallel History of their Origins and Early Development Edited by Hershel Shanks A unique look at two of the world’s great religions This […]

Evening in Memory of Hannah Safrai

For those who will be in Jerusalem in two weeks, there will be an evening dedicated to the memory and work of Hannah Safrai.

The Dead Sea Scrolls Are More Accessible Than Ever

Approximately twenty years after a number of scholars upped the ante in their pressure to release to the public the Dead Sea Scrolls, the battle for public access may have truly come to an end. From Haaretz: The Israel Antiquities Authority and Google Israel launched the Dead Sea Scrolls digital library on Tuesday. The library, […]

Let Them Believe in Demons

I guess that it shouldn’t be surprising that a number of people have written about the common belief in demons that is found in the first chapter of the Talmud. Basing himself upon the teachings of the Rambam and Rabbi Aharon Soloveitchik, Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky wrote the following: This Rambam comes to mind when trying […]

Bar Kochba Revisited

As Lag B’Omer approaches, on Google Books it’s possible to read some of The Bar Kockba War Revisited, ed. Peter Schäfer. Other recommendations are Negotiating Difference: Genital Mutilation in Roman Slave Law and the History of the Bar Kokhba Revolt by Ra’anan Boustan (from the above cited volume); if you are accessing the Internet from […]

New Book-Defining Jewish Difference

In this week’s Torah reading the following verse will be read (Lev. 18:3): כְּמַעֲשֵׂה אֶרֶץ־מִצְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר יְשַׁבְתֶּם־בָּהּ לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ וּכְמַעֲשֵׂה אֶרֶץ־כְּנַעַן אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי מֵבִיא אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה לֹא תַעֲשׂוּ וּבְחֻקֹּתֵיהֶם לֹא תֵלֵכוּ You shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you shall not do as they do in […]

Daniel Sperber: Greek in Talmudic Palestine

New from Prof. Daniel Sperber, Greek in Talmudic Palestine. (via MB) The following is from the publisher: Some seventy years have passed since Prof. Saul Lieberman first published his seminal Greek in Jewish Palestine (1942), and over a hundred years since the appearance of Samuel Krauss’ great “Lehnwörter”, a dictionary- concordance of Greek and Latin […]

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