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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. It was considered in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance as 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, textual and material features, and different halakhot or norms to copy a Sefer Torah, as adopted in the pre-Maimonidean scrolls. The Hebrew text is very close to the Aleppo codex, and the scroll was probably copied in Northern Iberia in ca. 1200 CE. The scroll contains letters with special shapes and tagin linking its production with a Jewish milieu which associated the scribal tradition with mystical and esoteric meanings. Besides its codicological and palaeographical interest, the "Ezra scroll" has been preserved for centuries among the treasures of the Dominican convent of San Domenico in Bologna and, in the early modern period, it was the object of reverence and curiosity among the Christians, before being almost entirely forgotten after its confiscation by the French revolutionary troops. This volume presents a detailed overview of the fascinating history and the peculiar makings of this remarkable artefact.

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.

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.

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.

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Edited by Reimund Leicht and Giuseppe Veltri

This volume contains studies based on papers delivered at the international conference of the PESHAT in Context project entitled “Themes, Terminology, and Translation Procedure in Twelfth-Century Jewish Philosophy.” The central figure in this book is Judah Ibn Tibbon. He sired the Ibn Tibbon family of translators, which influenced philosophical and scientific Hebrew writing for centuries. More broadly, the study of this early phase of the Hebrew translation movement also reveals that the formation of a standardized Hebrew terminology was a long process that was never fully completed. Terminological shifts are frequent even within the Tibbonide family, to say nothing of the fascinating terminological diversity displayed by other authors and translators discussed in this book.

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Leoor Gottlieb

Targum Chronicles and Its Place Among the Late Targums heralds a paradigm shift in the understanding of many of the Jewish-Aramaic translations of individual biblical books and their origins. Leeor Gottlieb provides the most extensive study of Targum Chronicles to date, leading to conclusions that challenge long-accepted truisms with regard to the origin of Targums. This book’s trail of evidence convincingly points to the composition of Targums in a time and place that was heretofore not expected to be the provenance of these Aramaic gems of biblical interpretation. This study also offers detailed comparisons to other Targums and fascinating new explanations for dozens of aggadic expansions in Targum Chronicles, tying them to their rabbinic sources.

Edited by William Gross, Orly Tzion and Falk Wiesemann

Catalog of Catalogs provides a comprehensive index of nearly 2,300 publications documenting the exhibition of Judaica over the past 140 years. This vast corpus of material, ranging from simple leaflets to scholarly catalogs, contains textual and visual material as yet unmined for the study of Jewish art, religion, culture and history.

Through highly-detailed, fully-indexed catalog entries, William Gross, Orly Tzion and Falk Wiesemann elucidate some 2,000 subjects, geographical locations and Judaica objects (ceremonial objects, illuminated manuscripts, printed books, synagogues, cemeteries et al.) addressed in these catalogs. Descriptions of the catalog's bibliographic components, contributors, exhibition history, and contents, all accessible through the volume's five indices, render this volume an unparalleled new resource for the study of Jewish Art, culture and history.

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Sacha Stern

In the year 921/2, the Jewish leaders of Palestine and Babylonia disagreed on how to calculate the calendar. This led the Jews of the entire Near East to celebrate Passover and the other festivals, through two years, on different dates. The controversy was major, but it became forgotten until its late 19th-century rediscovery in the Cairo Genizah. Faulty editions of the texts, in the following decades, led to much misunderstanding about the nature, leadership, and aftermath of the controversy. In this book, Sacha Stern re-edits the texts completely, discovers many new Genizah sources, and challenges the historical consensus. This book sheds light on early medieval Rabbanite leadership and controversies, and on the processes that eventually led to the standardization of the medieval Jewish calendar.

Jewish Religious Architecture

From Biblical Israel to Modern Judaism

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Edited by Steven Fine

Jewish Religious Architecture explores ways that Jews have expressed their tradition in brick and mortar and wood, in stone and word and spirit. This volume stretches from the biblical Tabernacle to Roman Jerusalem, synagogues spanning two millenia and on to contemporary Judaism. Social historians, cultural historians, art historians and philologists have come together here to present this extraordinary architectural tradition. The multidisciplinary approach employed in Jewish Religious Architecture reveals deep continuities over time, together with the distinctly local— sometimes in surprising ways.