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Yeshayahu Leibowitz (1903–1994) was an Israeli philosopher and scientist. For decades, his thinking and persona were the embodiment of a Judaism that was vital, rebuking, involved, and committed to all the Jews of Israel. As seen in this book, Leibowitz’s far-reaching public statements are not a certain aspect of this thinking, but its very essence. They are the essence of this thinking even when he is seemingly involved with other, distant issues, such as his exegesis of Maimonides and his writings on popular science. These broad vistas are an invitation to those interested in Israel to meet an Israeli thinker who greatly impressed several generations of listeners, and to become acquainted with part of Israel’s intellectual life.
From Europe and America to the Middle East, North Africa and other non-European Jewish settlement areas, the Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture covers the recent history of the Jewish people from 1750 through the 1950s. Originally published in German as the Enzyklopädie jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur by J.B. Metzler Verlag (Stuttgart/Weimar) in 2011 the work includes approximately 800 entries that present the state of international research and reveal a complex portrait of Jewish life - illuminated by many maps and illustrations. Central themes convey information on topics such as autonomy, exile, emancipation, literature, liturgy, music, and science of Judaism. The encyclopedia provides knowledge in an overall context and offers academics and other interested readers new insights into Jewish history and culture. The work is an outstanding contribution to the understanding of Judaism and modernity.

The first volume of the English edition appeared in 2017 with subsequent volumes following in due course. The volumes may be purchased individually as they appear or as a set once all 7 are available. Both the German and the English editions will also be available online.
On sait depuis longtemps que les juifs furent, parmi bien d’autres au Caire, victimes de violences pendant la révolte du gouverneur ottoman Ahmed Pacha (1523-1524), et qu’ils commémorèrent chaque année leurs épreuves au cours d’une fête locale de Pourim. Ce livre mobilise pour la première fois une riche documentation en turc, italien et arabe sur ces violences et leur contexte. Il souligne l’apport de Capsali (m. 1550), dont la chronique de la révolte en hébreu, négligée par les chercheurs, est traduite ici ; il invite à reconsidérer l’histoire de la chronique liturgique (megillah) anonyme, donc aussi celle de la fête. Dernier avatar d’une tradition historiographique vieille de cinq siècles, il renouvelle en profondeur l’exposé des faits et l’analyse des dynamiques sociales à l’œuvre dans la révolte, en les inscrivant dans l’histoire de la transition des Mamelouks aux Ottomans en Égypte et en Syrie.

It has been long known that Jews, among many others in Cairo, were victims of violence during the revolt of the Ottoman governor Ahmed Pasha (1523-1524), and that they would commemorate their sufferings each year, during a local Purim festival. For the first time, this book draws on a wealth of documentation in Turkish, Italian and Arabic on these acts of violence and their context. It highlights the contribution of Capsali (d. 1550), whose chronicle of the revolt in Hebrew – neglected by scholars – has been translated here; it also prompts readers to reconsider the history of the anonymous liturgical chronicle (megillah), and therefore that of the festival as well. As the last avatar of a five-century-old historiographical tradition, it thoroughly recasts the presentation of facts along with an analysis of the social dynamics at work in the revolt, contextualizing them within the history of the transition from the Mamluks to the Ottomans in Egypt and Syria.
Established 50 years ago by the late Georges Vajda, the series Études sur le judaïsme médiéval, while specialising in Rabbanite and Qaraite texts in Hebrew, Judaeo-Arabic and Judaeo-Persian, publishes scholarly monographs, collective volumes, conference proceedings, as well as editions and translation in all areas of Medieval Jewish literature, philosophy, science, exegesis, ethics, polemics, mysticism and Genizah studies, focusing on the philological and philosophical approach. The series also publishes two separate subseries, Cambridge Genizah and Karaite Texts and Studies.

The series published an average of 3,5 volumes per year over the last 5 years.


A single folio from MS 119 in the Geneva Genizah includes two unknown and unpublished piyyutim in Aramaic, which are presented in this study for the first time. The two hymns can be precisely dated to the year 1148, the time of the Second Crusade. They resemble each other to a significant extent in terms of content and prosody, referring to a dire historical situation that can be explicitly linked to the siege of Damascus in the summer of 1148. This study presents a critical edition of the two Aramaic piyyutim together with an English translation alongside other textual elements within the remarkable context of this unique folio.

In: Zutot
Volume Editor:
The lost world of East European Jews meets the lost world of life under the Soviet rule. From the Galician shtetl of Mos´ciska (Mostyska)—now in Ukraine near the Polish border—the memoir follows a Jewish family through two World Wars, deportation to a labour settlement under the Soviet regime, through Central Asia, the Middle East, to America. These are the lost worlds that the author vividly brings to life. Holding onto Jewish tradition, surviving mass human rights violations. The vast majority of Polish Jews, who survived the Second World War, did so as refugees and deportees in the Soviet Union. Meier Landau and his family escaped the Germans from Kraków, but were deported by the Soviets from Lviv, along with thousands of other Polish—Catholic and Jewish—families. This text is a testament to the power of remembering—a poignant reading when war and refugees are present again where this real-life story unfolds.


Books are living forms that must be understood not simply as they were at the moment and place of their creation, but also as they changed through time and space. This article focuses on a little-known medieval mahzor from the Rhineland, currently in Houston, which has been published in only three catalogue entries. It begins by introducing the manuscript and then goes on to focus on what is perhaps its most remarkable aspect: its extensive mutilation. After examining how and why other medieval Jewish manuscripts were intentionally altered, this essay explores the various campaigns that modified the Houston Mahzor and what can be known about the manuscript’s missing texts and images. Reimagining the Mahzor as it once was reveals a richly illuminated manuscript with strikingly unusual images. Studying how it was intentionally altered over time uncovers a range of reactions from its varied audience, Jewish and Christian, German and Italian, medieval and modern.