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Benny Lau-The Sages: Character, Context, and Creativity

The first volume of Rabbi Benny Lau’s popular work on the sages of the Rabbinic period has been translated into English. The Sages: Character, Context, and Creativity is being published by Koren.

Rabbis and Beards

Life in Israel mentions that some Haredim are finding fault with the incoming Chief Rabbi of the Army that he doesn’t have a beard. First of all, who cares what the “Haredi Street”, i.e. people who have nothing better to do with their time than to envy a person who can be both a rabbi […]

Two New Books on Medieval European Jewry

H-German has a review of two new books on Medieval European Jewry. The first book is Susan L. Einbinder, No Place of Rest: Jewish Literature, Expulsion, and the Memory of Medieval France. The second book is David Joshua Malkiel, Reconstructing Ashkenaz: The Human Face of Franco-German Jewry, 1000-1250. I finally arrived at the AJS conference […]

Book Reviews on Baalei HaTosafot VI

I didn’t think that there would be another installment to this series of posts, but I came across an interesting comment on the reviews of Baalei HaTosafot by the great historian Salo Baron. In a footnote found in vol. VI of his magnum opus A Social and Religious History of the Jews (p. 349 n. […]

Book Reviews on Baalei HaTosafot V

In 1993 Prof. Yaakov Sussman published a bio-bibliographical study of E.E. Urbach’s work. Not surprisingly, much of it was devoted to Urbach’s Baalei ha-Tosafot. Sussman’s essay is full of many important comments and statements, not only on Urbach’s work, but on the study of Rabbinical Literature in general, but we will focus on only one […]

Book Reviews of Baalei HaTosafot IV

Parts I, II, III Probably one of the more critical reviews of Baalei haTosafot is that penned by Irving Agus in JQR 46,4, April 1956. While also pointing out the importance of Urbach’s work, Agus’s review is almost entirely a scathing criticism of the book. It should be pointed out that Urbach had previously reviewed […]

Book Reviews of Baalei HaTosafot III

Parts I, II The third review of Baalei HaTosafot which we will write about is that of Jacob Katz (Kiryat Sefer 31=Halakhah veKabbalah, 340-352). Without a doubt one of the most influential Jewish historians of the 20th century, Katz’s writings are some of the most important in the field of the history of Jewish Law. […]

Book Reviews of Baalei HaTosafot II

Part I here. The second review of E.E. Urbach’s Baalei HaTosafot which we would like to write about is that of Prof. Isadore Twersky (Tarbitz 26). Twersky begins his review by saying that the 19th century scholars who wrote about the Tosafot seemed unable to get beyond biographical and bibliographical information. Twersky feels that they […]

Book Reviews of Baalei HaTosafot I

It is our opinion that there has been probably no book in the field of medieval rabbinic literature that was subject to so many important, sometimes quite critical reviews, as E.E. Urbach’s Baalei HaTosafot. Originally published in 1955 and then republished with revisions in a second edition, Urbach’s work still stands as one of the […]

Abelard, the Tosafot and This Blog

I decided to change around the template of this blog. I will try and do a few more changes in the coming weeks. As to the quote in the header, “Dubitando quippe ad inquisitionem venimus; inquirendo veritatem percipimus”, it is from Abelard’s introduction to his Sic et Non. Its translation is “Therefore, by doubting we […]

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