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Archive for Jewish History

Darchei Daniel in Honor of Daniel Sperber

The Twitter account Seforim Chatter has brought our attention to the recently published jubilee volume in honor of Daniel Sperber, The Paths of Daniel Studies in Judaism and Jewish Culture in Honor of Rabbi Professor Daniel Sperber. It looks like a thousand pages that many will enjoy reading through. This volume is dedicated to Daniel […]

The Languages of the Jews

The different languages that Jews have spoken throughout our history have been varied and numerous. One of the more unfortunate developments of the last few decades is that many of these languages are disappearing. In order to at least provide some record of these languages a website has been created that attempts to document these […]

Did the Sages Forget the Hasmoneans

Many scholars have addressed the place of the Hasmoneans in Talmudic literature. The most well-known treatment in Israel is Gedaliah Alon’s “Did the Jewish People and Its Sages Cause the Hasmoneans to be Forgotten?” Another contribution to the academic discussion around this question has been written by Vered Noam and recently published in Zion, “Did […]

Video: R. Joseph Karo in a Global Perspective

Anyone who is interesting in trying to understanding the Shulhan Arukh in a global perspective and in the context of the Ottoman Empire should try and watch this lecture by Roni Weinstein, “Inter-Religious Encounters and the Law – R. Joseph Karo in a Global Perspective” (Hebrew).

IBA TV Series: A History of the Land of Israel

The Israel Broadcast Authority has produced a multi-part series on the history of the Land of Israel (Hebrew), והארץ היתה תוהו ובוהו: תולדות ארץ ישראל. From what I have seen it looks like a well-made TV program. Below is a link to the most recent episode (no. 6 of 15) which is about the Return […]

More on the Afghan Genizah

The National Library of Israel has announced more acquisitions of material from the “Afghan Genizah.” A description in English of some material from their first acquisition can be found here while a more recent description in Hebrew of the more recent acquisitions can be found here. Among the more recent acquisitions are a few pages […]

New Book: Halakhic Writing in a Changing World

Tomer Persico has a quick summary (Hebrew) of Maoz Kahana’s new book Halakhic Writing in a Changing World, from the ‘Noda Biyhuda’ to the ‘Hatam Sofer’, 1730-1839 (Hebrew). The book, based upon Kahana’s dissertation, examines the differences between the halakhic approaches of the Noda Biyhudah and the Hatam Sofer. The following is from the English […]

Micah Goodman on Israeli Judaism 2.0

Micah Goodman has written an interesting series of articles (Hebrew) in Musaf Shabbat on the future of Judaism, Religious Zionism, and Jewish law in the State of Israel. (Parts I, II, III) Hopefully Micah will write at least a summary in English. Tomer Persico has written two posts (Hebrew) about the series. Below is an […]

Did Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg Refuse Release from Prison

One of the most important figures in Jewish history during the Middle Ages is Rabbi Meir of Rothenberg (Maharam), author of hundreds of responsa and communal leader. A tragic episode of his life is his imprisonment (1286) after a failed attempt to flee Germany, his eventual death in prison (1293), and that it was forbidden […]

New Book: Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz

I can’t wait to get my hands on this new book by Elisheva Baumgarten, Practicing Piety in Medieval Ashkenaz: Men, Women, and Everyday Religious Observance. In the urban communities of medieval Germany and northern France, the beliefs, observances, and practices of Jews allowed them to create and define their communities on their own terms as […]

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