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Abstract

Between the years 1650 and 1800, Amsterdam became the center of Yiddish printing. Vernacular medical writings were among the variety of Yiddish books published in Amsterdam. The Yiddish remedies book Seyfer Yerum Moyshe, published in 1679, was written by Moyshe Rofe mi-Kalish. In this article I intend to examine the paratexts of this book and present as a case study the doctor’s recommendations to confront the plague. He explains his remedies are credible and have been tried by many doctors. His book would not only save its readers from having to call a doctor and pay him a lot of money, but also give them remedies they can prepare in their homes or find in their pharmacies. Whether rich or poor, everyone should have access to remedies. Kalish stresses the fact that ultimately leading a pious life, together with these remedies, will promise health and longevity, with G-d’s help.

Open Access
In: Zutot
Authors: and

Abstract

In the book of Daniel, Daniel and his friends all adopt foreign dress to succeed in a foreign setting. We might understand this as a kind of colonization, wrought upon bodies. But this raises questions about their ethnic identity: can one remain Jewish if adopting and adapting to foreign embodied practices, including dress, adornment, and diet? By exploring embodied practices as an issue of ethnicity and identity formation in Daniel 1–6, we will argue that these stories make a bold claim about the embodied colonization of the foreign court: underneath their Persian garb, Daniel and his friends remain thoroughly Jewish after all.

Open Access
In: Journal of Ancient Judaism
Author:

Abstract

This article examines a ḥadīth text that illustrates the complicated interactions between Christian and Islamic sacred spaces in the early period of Islamic rule in the Near East. In this narrative, the Prophet Muḥammad gives a group of Arabs instructions for how to convert a church into a mosque, telling them to use his ablution water for cleansing and repurposing the Christian space for Muslim worship. Contextualizing this narrative in terms of early Muslim-Christian relations, as well as late antique Christian religious texts and practices, my analysis compares this story with Christian traditions regarding the collection and usage of contact relics from holy persons and places. I argue that this story offers an example of early Islamic texts’ engagement with, and adaptation of, Christian literary themes and ritual practices in order to validate early Islamic religious claims.

Open Access
In: Medieval Encounters

Abstract

A letter by the army contractor Eliezer Dileon to the community board of Minsk relating his audience with Tsar Alexander I of Russia in January 1817 sheds light on the significance of the performative dimension of Jewish intercession. In the perception of the intercessor, due to the personal encounter between the sovereign ruler and himself, the Jews in Russia constitute part of the political and societal fabric of the Empire, it sees them as ‘a people.’ The letter is one of the very few documents describing and confirming the symbolic meaning of an encounter between a monarch and a Jewish intercessor. It reflects on the reciprocal nature of negotiations between the state and the Jewish minority, the limitations in concrete outcomes notwithstanding.

Open Access
In: Zutot

Abstract

In a famous passage of the Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5:17–20) Jesus proclaims that he has not come to abolish the law but to fulfil it. The Gospel of Matthew was probably written for a Jewish audience, and its author presumed that Jews continue to obey the legal obligations of the Torah. The passage seems to claim that legal observance is necessary for salvation, which disturbed many of its later Christian readers. The article analyzes how the saying influenced both Western and Eastern Christian legal thought in late antiquity. Through the satirical Talmudic story (Bavli, Shabbat 116ab), which refers specifically to Matthew, the article also shows how rabbinic legal understanding modifies Christian traditions of the passage.

Open Access
In: Religious Identities in Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages

Abstract

The phenomenon of interreligious patronage on the Indian subcontinent in the pre-modern period is best attested in royal inscriptions recording religious endowments. It is striking that most pre-Islamic Indian rulers patronised priests, monks, ascetics, and religious establishments of multiple faiths. The personal religious affiliations of the kings often contrasted remarkably with the patronage patterns followed by them according to the testimony of their epigraphs. The strongest indication for the individual confessions of rulers is given by the religious epithets among their titles. While the ambivalent relationship between the personal beliefs of the kings and their donative practices has been repeatedly described as an expression of Indian religious “tolerance” or of the specific character of Indian religious traditions, this paper emphasises that there were several reasons for the dichotomy. This will be investigated on the basis of the epigraphic material of the Maitraka dynasty, which ruled in Gujarat from the 5th to the 8th centuries. The article also contains an edition and translation of the hitherto unpublished Yodhāvaka Grant of Dharasena iv.

Open Access
In: Endowment Studies
Photography, Modernity and the Biblical Lens, 1918–1948
Imaging and Imagining Palestine is the first comprehensive study of photography during the British Mandate period (1918–1948). It addresses well-known archives, photos from private collections never available before and archives that have until recently remained closed. This interdisciplinary volume argues that photography is central to a different understanding of the social and political complexities of Palestine in this period.

While Biblical and Orientalist images abound, the chapters in this book go further by questioning the impact of photography on the social histories of British Mandate Palestine. This book considers the specific archives, the work of individual photographers, methods for reading historical photography from the present and how we might begin the process of decolonising photography.


"Imaging and Imagining Palestine presents a timely and much-needed critical evaluation of the role of photography in Palestine. Drawing together leading interdisciplinary specialists and engaging a range of innovative methodologies, the volume makes clear the ways in which photography reflects the shifting political, cultural and economic landscape of the British Mandate period, and experiences of modernity in Palestine. Actively problematising conventional understandings of production, circulation and the in/stability of the photographic document, Imaging and Imagining Palestine provides essential reading for decolonial studies of photography and visual culture studies of Palestine." - Chrisoula Lionis, author of Laughter in Occupied Palestine: Comedy and Identity in Art and Film
"Imaging and Imagining Palestine is the first and much needed overview of photography during the British Mandate period. From well-known and accessible photographic archives to private family albums, it deals with the cultural and political relations of the period thinking about both the Western perceptions of Palestine as well as its modern social life. This book brings together an impressive array of material and analyses to form an interdisciplinary perspective that considers just how photography shapes our understanding of the past as well as the ways in which the past might be reclaimed." - Jack Persekian, Founding Director of Al Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art in Jerusalem
"Imaging and Imagining Palestine draws together a plethora of fresh approaches to the field of photography in Palestine. It considers Palestine as a central node in global photographic production and the ways in which photography shaped the modern imaging and imagining from within a fresh regional theoretical perspective." - Salwa Mikdadi, Director al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art, New York University Abu Dhabi
In: Imaging and Imagining Palestine
In: Imaging and Imagining Palestine
In: Imaging and Imagining Palestine