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Ze'ev Safrai

Seeking out the Land describes the study of the Holy Land in the Roman period and examines the complex connections between theology, social agenda and the intellectual pursuit. Holiness as a theological concept determines the intellectual agenda of the elite society of writers seeking to describe the land, as well as their preoccupation with its physical aspects and their actual knowledge about it.
Ze'ev Safrai succeeds in examining all the ancient monotheistic literature, both Jewish and Christian, up to the fourth century CE, and in demonstrating how all the above-mentioned factors coalesce into a single entity. We learn that in both religions, with all their various subgroups, the same social and religious factors were at work, but with differing intensity.

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Apocalyptic Thinking in Early Judaism

Engaging with John Collins’ The Apocalyptic Imagination

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Edited by Cecilia Wassen and Sidnie White Crawford

It has been over 30 years since John Collins’ seminal study The Apocalyptic Imagination first came out. In this timely volume, Apocalyptic Thinking in Early Judaism: Engaging with John Collins’ The Apocalyptic Imagination, leading international experts of Jewish apocalyptic critically engage with Collins’ work and add to the ongoing debate with articles on current topics in the field of apocalyptic studies. The subjects include the genre and sub categories of apocalypses, demonology, the character of dream visions, the books of Enoch, the significance of Aramaic texts, and apocalyptic traditions in the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as in Paul’s writings. The volume ends with Collins’ response to the articles.
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The Jew in Czech and Slovak Imagination, 1938-89

Antisemitism, the Holocaust, and Zionism

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Hana Kubátová and Jan Láníček

The Jew in Czech and Slovak Imagination,1938-89 is the first critical inquiry into the nature of anti-Jewish prejudices in both main parts of former Czechoslovakia. The authors identify anti-Jewish prejudices over almost fifty years of the twentieth century, focusing primarily on the post-Munich period and the Second World War (1938–45), the post-war reconstruction (1945–48), as well as the Communist rule with both its thaws and returns to hardline rule (1948–89). It is a provocative examination of the construction of the image of ‘the Jew’ in the Czech and Slovak majority societies, the assigning of character and other traits – real or imaginary – to individuals or groups. The book analyses the impact of these constructed images on the attitudes of the majority societies towards the Jews, and on Holocaust memory in the country.
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Edited by Helen Roche and Kyriakos N. Demetriou

The first ever guide to the manifold uses and reinterpretations of the classical tradition in Mussolini’s Italy and Hitler’s Germany, Brill’s Companion to the Classics, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany explores how political propaganda manipulated and reinvented the legacy of ancient Greece and Rome in order to create consensus and historical legitimation for the Fascist and National Socialist dictatorships.
The memory of the past is a powerful tool to justify policy and create consensus, and, under the Fascist and Nazi regimes, the legacy of classical antiquity was often evoked to promote thorough transformations of Italian and German culture, society, and even landscape. At the same time, the classical past was constantly recreated to fit the ideology of each regime.
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Hebrew Literature and the 1948 War

Essays on Philology and Responsibility

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Hannan Hever

Hebrew Literature and the 1948 War: Essays on Philology and Responsibility is the first book-length study that examines the conspicuous absence of the Palestinian Nakba in modern Hebrew literature. Through a rigorous reading of canonical Hebrew literary texts, the author addresses the general failure of Hebrew literature to take responsibility for the Nakba. The book illustrates how the language of modern Hebrew poetry and fiction reflects symptoms of Israeli national violence, in which the literary language produces a picture of Palestine as an arena where the violent clash between the perpetrators and the victims takes place. In doing so, the author develops a new and critical paradigm for reflecting on the moral responsibility of literature and the ethics of reading. The book includes close readings of the works of Avot Yeshurun, S. Yizhar, Nathan Alterman, Yehuda Amichai, Yitzhak Laor, and Amos Oz, among others.

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Golda Akhiezer

The present study is the first of its kind to deal with Eastern European Karaite historical thought. It focuses on the social functions of Karaite historical narratives concerning the rise of Karaism from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. The book also deals with the image of Karaism created by Protestants, and with the perception of Karaism by some leaders of the Haskalah movement, especially the scholars of Hokhmat Israel. In both cases, Karaism was seen as an orientalistic phenomenon whereby the “enlightened” European scholars romanticized the “indigenous” people, while the Karaites (themselves), adopted this romantic images, incorporating it into their own national discourse. Finally, the book sheds new light on several conventional notions that shaped the study of Karaism from the nineteenth century.
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The Academic Middle-Class Rebellion

Socio-Political Conflict Over Wage-Gaps in Israel, 1954-1956

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Avi Bareli and Uri Cohen

This new research investigates socio-political and ethnic-cultural conflicts over wage gaps in Israel during the 1950s. The Academic Middle-Class Rebellion exposes the struggle of the Ashkenazi (European) professional elite to capitalize on its advantages during the first decade of Israeli statehood, by attempting to maximize wage gaps between themselves and the new Oriental Jewish proletariat. This struggle was met with great resistance from the government under the ruling party, Mapai, and its leader David Ben-Gurion. The clash between the two sides revealed diverse, contradictory visions of the optimal socio-economic foundation for establishing collective identity in the new nation-state. The study by Avi Bareli and Uri Cohen uncovers patterns that merged nationalism and socialism in 1950s Israel confronting a liberal and meritocratic vision.
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The Jewish Museum

History and Memory, Identity and Art from Vienna to the Bezalel National Museum, Jerusalem

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Natalia Berger

In The Jewish Museum: History and Memory, Identity and Art from Vienna to the Bezalel National Museum, Jerusalem Natalia Berger traces the history of the Jewish museum in its various manifestations in Central Europe, notably in Vienna, Prague and Budapest, up to the establishment of the Bezalel National Museum in Jerusalem. Accordingly, the book scrutinizes collections and exhibitions and broadens our understanding of the different ways that Jewish individuals and communities sought to map their history, culture and art. It is the comparative method that sheds light on each of the museums, and on the processes that initiated the transition from collection and research to assembling a type of collection that would serve to inspire new art.
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Justifying Christian Aramaism

Editions and Latin Translations of the Targums from the Complutensian to the London Polyglot Bible (1517-1657)

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E. van Staalduine-Sulman

In Justifying Christian Aramaism Eveline van Staalduine-Sulman explores how Christian scholars of the sixteenth and early seventeenth century justify their study of the Targums, the Jewish Aramaic translations of the Hebrew Bible. She focuses on the four polyglot Bibles – Complutum, Antwerp, Paris, and London –, and describes these books in the scholarly world of those days. It appears that quite a few scholars, Roman-Catholic, protestant, and Anglican, edited Targumic books and translated these into Latin. The book reveals a stimulating and conflicting period of the Targum reception history and is therefore relevant for Targum scholars and historians interested in the history of Judaism, Church history, the history of the book, and the history of Jewish-Christian relationships. 
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Pieter B. Hartog

In Pesher and Hypomnema Pieter B. Hartog compares ancient Jewish commentaries on the Hebrew Bible with papyrus commentaries on the Iliad. Hartog shows that members of the movement which produced and preserved the Dead Sea Scrolls adopted classical commentary writing and adapted it to their own needs.
The connection between the Qumran Pesharim and Hypomnemata on the Iliad resulted from exchanges of scholarly knowledge across Hellenistic-Roman Egypt and Palestine. Analysing the effects of these knowledge exchanges, Pesher and Hypomnema demonstrates that members of the Qumran movement were thoroughly embedded within their Hellenistic and Roman environment.