The present work could not have been completed without the cooperation of numerous people. We could not have asked for more generous and enthusiastic help from the staff of the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library of New York University. Marvin J. Taylor, Head, Special Collections and Fales Library, made possible the removal, preservation and photographing of the New York University Temurah Fragments, and organized the section contributed by his staff. Laura McCann, Conservation Librarian in the Barbara Goldsmith Preservation and Conservation Department of the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library, supervised the library’s work on our behalf and provided easy access to our manuscript fragments. Anne Hillam, Contract Conservator, and Dawn Mankowski, Conservator, Special Collections, beautifully cleaned and mounted the fragments, and provided wonderful photographs of various types.
Dr. Edna Engel of the Hebrew Palaeography Project of the National Library of Israel provided us needed help in dating and determining the provenance of the fragments and contributed a detailed study to this volume. Professor Jeffrey Rubenstein, Skirball Professor of Jewish Thought & Literature, Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, was kind enough to read our entire manuscript and encourage our research. We are also indebted to Marlene Schiffman of the Gottesman Library, Yeshiva University for her editorial comments and for preparing the index. Professor Dr. Andreas Lehnhardt, of the Evangelisch-Theologische Fakultät of Johannes Gutenberg-Universität and Dr. Ezra Chwat of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts of the National Library of Israel advised us regarding other binding fragments of our tractate and made available facsimiles.
Rabbi Moshe Feifer of the Cooperative Development Initiative: The Saul Lieberman Institute for Talmudic Research, The Saul and Evelyn Henkind Talmud Text Databank, www.lieberman-institute.com, was kind enough to quickly prepare for us a synopsis of the manuscript evidence for Babylonian Talmud Temurah, chapter 1. We are indebted to Professor Shamma Friedman, Benjamin and Minna Reeves Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary and Adjunct Professor in the Talmud Department at Bar-Ilan University, for permission to reproduce parts of that synopsis here, albeit with the evidence of our fragments added.
We wish to thank those who were involved in identifying the fragments. Sam Zerin, currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Music at New York University, first confirmed that the writing on the covers of these manuscripts was Hebrew. Dr. Noah Bickart, now Jacob and Hilda Blaustein Postdoctoral Fellow in the Program of Judaic Studies, Department of Religious Studies of Yale University, identified the fragments as belonging to tractate Temurah. Professor Neil Danzig, Professor of Talmud and Rabbinic Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, confirmed the identification. Professor Stanley Boorman of the Department of Music at New York University, for whose research the library had purchased the musical scores from which our fragments were recovered, encouraged both the removal of the fragments and the publication of the Talmudic text.
Without the cooperation of all these colleagues our work would not have come to fruition.
Matthew S. Goldstone and Lawrence H. Schiffman
October 22, 2017