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Archive for Middle Ages

Book Reviews on Non-Jews in Ancient Rabbinic Culture and Medieval Ashkenaz

The blog of the Center for Jewish Law and Contemporary Civilization has posted two recent book reviews that may be of interest. The first is a review of Jenny Labendz’s Socratic Torah: Non-Jews in Rabbinic Intellectual Culture. In Socratic Torah, Jenny Labendz sets out to challenge assumptions of insularity and parochialism among the rabbis of […]

Pictures of the Oldest Sefer Torah

Below are some pictures of what is possibly the oldest Sefer Torah. The pictures are from this article from the Huffington Post in Italian and the Ansa news agency. HT to the person who discovered the Sefer Torah, Mauro Perani, who posted a link on Facebook.

Video on Illustrated Haggadot

Watch this short video (Hebrew) on illustrated Haggadot. (HT to LJ on FB)

Summary of Ashkenaz at the Crossroads of Cultural Transfer

For those who weren’t able to attend the conference on “Ashkenaz at the Crossroads of Cultural Transfer” that was held this Fall in Germany, a summary of the conference proceedings has been posted online. (here) It looks like it was a very good conference with a wide variety of topics addressed, and I hope to […]

Hebrew in Medieval Europe

In Haaretz there is an article by Ephraim Shoham-Steiner that describes the mounting evidence for the use of Hebrew in the public sphere in Medieval Europe. Shoham-Steiner discussed a number of important archaeological discoveries in Germany, among them the “Hebrew Cesspit” discovered in Cologne, and over a thousand tombstones with Hebrew inscriptions from Wurzberg. The […]

Learn the Basics of Palaeography

The Institute for Historical Research, which is associated with the University of London, is offering a free online course in Palaeography. (HT: PhiloBiblos) Medievalists have always found it difficult to interact with primary sources from their period of study due to a lack of training in palaeography (and manuscript studies), that is to say, the […]

Symposium on the Medieval Hebrew Manuscript Today

The Legal Allegiances of Christians and Jews under Early Islam

H-Judaic has a review of Uriel I. Simonsohn’s A Common Justice: The Legal Allegiances of Christians and Jews under Early Islam. In the year 1030 CE, Shelomo ben Yehuda, the Palestinian gaon (medieval Jewish religious authority), wrote a letter lamenting the impossible position he and his fellow leaders were in. As someone charged with upholding […]

Jewish Life in Gaza During the Middle Ages

[My second post on this topic can be found here.] Interior Minister Eli Yishai is quoted as saying that: “The goal of the operation is to send Gaza back to the Middle Ages. Only then will Israel be calm for forty years.” I am not sure if Yishai is aware of the Jewish community that […]

Video: Halakhah in Medieval Provence

Dr. Pinchas Roth gives the first of a series of lectures on “Forgotten Paths of Halakhah: Explorations in Medieval Rabbinic Culture.” HT from a friend on FB.

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