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The Ancient Sefer Torah of Bologna

Features and History. European Genizah Texts and Studies, Volume Four

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Edited by Mauro Perani

The Ancient Sefer Torah of Bologna: Features and History contains studies on the most ancient, complete, Pentateuch scroll known to date, considered by the Jews of Perpignan the archetypal autograph written by Ezra the scribe. The scroll was rediscovered by Mauro Perani in 2013 at the University Library of Bologna. In this volume, leading specialists study the history, structure and different halakhot or norms adopted in the pre-Maimonidean scroll. The Hebrew text is very close to the Aleppo codex, and the scroll was probably copied in a Kabbalistic circle near Perpignan, ca. 1200, where the use of tagin and curled letters flourished, attributing to them mystical and exoteric meanings.

Anna Seghers

The Challenge of History

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Edited by Helen Fehervary, Christiane Zehl Romero and Amy Kepple Strawser

Anna Seghers: The Challenge of History features essays by leading scholars devoted to this most important German writer whose novels and stories have been read by millions worldwide. The volume is intended for teachers and students of literature and for general readers. The contributions address facets of Seghers’s large body of work which is characterized by reflections on political events shaping world history and written in a highly imaginative array of narrative styles. The first section focuses on the author’s famous novel The Seventh Cross. Articles in the next two sections analyze her reactions to crises that marked the twentieth century and her connections to other relevant thinkers of her time. The last section features new translations of Seghers’s works.

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Arik Sadan

This volume consists of an edition of the Arabic translation and commentary on the book of Job by one of the preeminent litterateurs of the Karaite “Golden Age” (10th–11th centuries), Yefet ben ‘Eli ha-Levi. Yefet’s complete translation and commentary on Job, published for the first time, provides fascinating insight into the history and development of exegetical thought on this book, both among the Karaites as well as the Rabbanites. In preparing this edition, all extant twenty-five manuscripts have been consulted, most of them from the Firkovitch Collection. Their length varies from 1 to 340 folios and in total they contain ca. 2,850 folios.

Aramaic Incantation Bowls in Museum Collections

Volume One: The Frau Professor Hilprecht Collection of Babylonian Antiquities, Jena

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James Nathan Ford and Matthew Morgenstern

The Frau Professor Hilprecht Collection of Babylonian Antiquities at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena houses one of the major European collections of incantation bowls. Forty bowls bear texts written in the Jewish, Manichaean Syriac or Mandaic scripts, and most of the rest (some twenty-five objects) in the Pahlavi script or in various pseudoscripts. The present volume comprises new editions of the Aramaic (and Hebrew) bowl texts based on high-resolution photographs taken by the authors, together with brief descriptions and photographs of the remaining material. New readings are often supported with close-up photographs. The volume is intended to serve as a basis for further study of magic in late Antiquity and of the Late Eastern Aramaic dialects in which the texts were composed.

Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism

Ontology, Epistemology, Politics

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Cat Moir

In Ernst Bloch’s Speculative Materialism: Ontology, Epistemology, Politics, Cat Moir offers a new interpretation of the philosophy of Ernst Bloch. The reception of Bloch’s work has seen him variously painted as a naïve realist, a romantic nature philosopher, a totalitarian thinker, and an irrationalist whose obscure literary style stands in for a lack of systematic rigour. Moir challenges these conceptions of Bloch by reconstructing the ontological, epistemological, and political dimensions of his speculative materialism. Through a close, historically contextualised reading of Bloch’s major work of ontology, Das Materialismusproblem, seine Geschichte und Substanz (The Materialism Problem, its History and Substance), Moir presents Bloch as one of the twentieth century’s most significant critical thinkers.

Fragile Images

Jews and Art in Yugoslavia, 1918-1945

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Mirjam Rajner

In Fragile Images: Jews and Art in Yugoslavia, 1918-1945, Mirjam Rajner traces the lives and creativity of seven artists of Jewish origin. The artists - Moša Pijade, Daniel Kabiljo, Adolf Weiller, Bora Baruh, Daniel Ozmo, Ivan Rein and Johanna Lutzer - were characterized by multiple and changeable identities: nationalist and universalist, Zionist and Sephardic, communist and cosmopolitan.

These fluctuating identities found expression in their art, as did their wartime fate as refugees, camp inmates, partisans and survivors. A wealth of newly-discovered images, diaries and letters highlight this little-known aspect of Jewish life and art in Yugoslavia, illuminating a turbulent era that included integration into a newly-founded country, the catastrophe of the Holocaust, and renewal in its aftermath.

Judaism and Islam One God One Music

The History of Jewish Paraliturgical Song in the Context of Arabo-Islamic Culture as Revealed in its Jewish Babylonian Sources

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Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad

In Judaism and Islam One God One Music, Merav Rosenfeld-Hadad offers the first substantial study of the history and nature of the Jewish Paraliturgical Song, which developed in the Arabo-Islamic civilization between the tenth and the twentieth centuries.

Commonly portrayed as clashing cultures, Judaism and Islam appear here as complementary and enriching religio-cultural sources for the Paraliturgical Song’s texts and music, poets and musicians, as well as the worshippers.

Relying chiefly on the Babylonian-Jewish written sources of the genre, Rosenfeld-Hadad gives a fascinating historical account of one thousand years of the rich and vibrant cultural and religious life of Middle Eastern Judaism that endured in Arabo-Islamic settings. She convincingly proves that the Jewish Paraliturgical Song, like its people, reflects a harmonious hybridization of Jewish and Arabo-Islamic aesthetics and ideas.

Law’s Dominion

Jewish Community, Religion, and Family in Early Modern Metz

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Jay R. Berkovitz

In Law’s Dominion, Jay Berkovitz offers a novel approach to the history of early modern Jewry. Set in the city of Metz, on the Moselle river, this study of a vibrant prerevolutionary community draws on a wide spectrum of legal sources that tell a story about community, religion, and family that has not been told before.

Focusing on the community’s leadership, public institutions, and judiciary, this study challenges the assumption that Jewish life was in a steady state of decline before the French Revolution. To the contrary, the evidence reveals a robust community that integrated religious values and civic consciousness, interacted with French society, and showed remarkable signs of collaboration between Jewish law and the French judicial system.

Living under the Evil Pope

The Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV by Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan from Civitanova Marche (16th cent.)

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Martina Mampieri

In Living under the Evil Pope, Martina Mampieri presents the Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV, written in the second half of the sixteenth century by the Italian Jewish moneylender Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan (alias Guglielmo di Diodato) from Civitanova Marche. The text remained in manuscript for about four centuries until the Galician scholar Isaiah Sonne (1887-1960) published a Hebrew annotated edition of the chronicle in the 1930s. This remarkable source offers an account of the events of the Papal States during Paul IV’s pontificate (1555-59). Making use of broad archival materials, Martina Mampieri reflects on the nature of this work, its historical background, and contents, providing a revised edition of the Hebrew text as well as the first unabridged English translation and commentary.

Maimonides, Commentary on Hippocrates’ Aphorisms

A New Parallel Arabic-English Edition and Translation, with Critical Editions of the Medieval Hebrew Translations

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Edited by Gerrit Bos

Hippocrates’ Aphorisms enjoyed great popularity in the ancient and medieval world and, according to Maimonides, it was Hippocrates’ most useful work as it contained aphorisms, which every physician should know by heart. They were translated into Hebrew several times, but it was Maimonides’ Commentary on Hippocrates’ Aphorisms that made the work influential in Jewish circles. For the composition of his commentary, Maimonides consulted the Aphorisms through the commentary by Galen, translated by Ḥunayn ibn Isḥāq. This edition of Maimonides’ Arabic commentary and its Hebrew translations, the first with an English translation based on the Arabic text, is part of a project undertaken by Gerrit Bos to critically edit Maimonides’ medical works.