Land and Spirituality in Rabbinic Literature

A Memorial Volume for Yaakov Elman ז''ל


This volume is devoted to the texts, traditions, and practices of the Land of Israel from the end of the Second Temple period through late antiquity. Based upon a conference organized by the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies, this collection uses a range of critical methodologies and sources, including the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmudim, archaeology, and Samaritan and Jewish liturgical poetry. It presents a vibrant, complex, and multi-layered series of snapshots of rabbinic culture, written by leading contemporary scholars.

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Shana Strauch Schick, Ph.D. (2011), Yeshiva University, is a lecturer in Talmud at Shalem College in Jerusalem and a fellow at Yeshiva University’s Center for Israel Studies. Her first book is Intention in Talmudic Jurisprudence: Between Thought and Deed (Brill, 2021).

Contributors are Elisha Fine, Steven Fine, Michal Bar-Asher Siegal, Stuart S. Miller, Yael Wilfand, Nachman Levine, Shlomo Zuckier, Laura Lieber, Moshe Bernstein, Alyssa M. Gray, Barak Cohen, Meira Wolkenfeld, Shana Strauch Schick, Lawrence Schiffman, and Shai Secunda.
List of Illustrations

Part 1 Torat Erets Yisrael

1 Rabbinic Paleontology: Jewish Encounters with Fossil Giants in Roman Antiquity
Elisha Fine and Steven Fine

2 Tosefta Eduyot 1:1 On the Fear of Losing Torah and the Redaction of Tannaitic Materials
Michal Bar-Asher Siegal

3 Minhag and Popular Practice in Roman Palestine
Stuart Miller

4 The Roman Freedman and the Ḥalal: The Legal Models That Shaped Rabbinic Law on the Status of Converts in Marriage
Yael Wilfand

5 Shimon b. Shatah, the Donkey, and the Diamond: The Treasure and the Blessing, Law and Artistry
Nachman Levine

6 Whence Leprosy? An Inquiry into the Theodicies of the Tannaim
Shlomo Zuckier

7 Feasting, Fasting, and the Bounty of the Land: Rituals of Sukkot in Samaritan and Rabbinic Antiquity
Laura Lieber

8 Two Parallel Consolatory Poems for Tisha be’Av in Aramaic and Hebrew
Moshe Bernstein

Part 2 Torat Erets Yisrael in Babylonia

9 The Motif of the Forgetting and Restoration of Law: An Inter-Talmudic Difference about the Divine Role in Rabbinic Law
Alyssa Gray

10 The Use of Literary Considerations as a Key for Assessing the Reliability of Memrot in the Babylonian Talmud: The Case of the Lo Shanu Ela Traditions
Barak Cohen

11 Cultural Attitudes towards Scent in the Interpretation of Isaiah 11:3
Meira Wolkenfeld

12 “And God Blessed Them”: Procreation in Palestinian Halakhah and Babylonian Aggadah
Shana Strauch Schick

Part 3 Tributes to Yaakov Elman

13 Remembering Yaakov Elman ז״ל
Lawrence Schiffman

14 Perpetual Motion
Shai Secunda

15 Professor Yaakov Elman: A Talmud Scholar of Singular Depth and Scope
Shana Strauch Schick

16 A Tribute to Professor Yaakov Elman
Meira Wolkenfeld

List of Yaakov Elman’s Publications
This book will be of interest to academics in the fields of rabbinic literature, critical textual readings of the development of rabbinic texts, aggada and midrash, and philology.
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