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When Jews literate in Hebrew (a group that until recently was mostly men) wanted to learn from traditional Jewish sources how to behave in their conjugal bed, what did they find? Did the guidance differ between generations, places, or cultural contexts? How did thinkers in a tradition based on supposedly binding texts deal with changing sensibilities, needs, and realities in this intimate domain? This study explores sources from the Bible to contemporary publications, showing both stability and change in what Jews were instructed to do, or to avoid doing, when having sex with their spouse.
Author: Ari Ackerman
This work focuses on the conception of God of the medieval Jewish philosopher and legal scholar, Hasdai Crescas (1340-1410/11). It demonstrates that Crescas’ God is infinitely creative and good and explores the parallel that Crescas implicitly draws between God as creator and legislator, which is rooted in his understanding of the Deity as continuously involved in generative activity through the outpouring of goodness and love as manifest by multiple, simultaneous and successive worlds and a perpetually expanding Torah. It also reviews the Maimonidean background for Crescas’ position and suggests that Crescas is countering Maimonides’ stance that creation is limited to a single moment and Maimonides’ notion of the Torah as perfect and immutable.
This volume is devoted to the texts, traditions, and practices of the Land of Israel from the end of the Second Temple period through late antiquity. Based upon a conference organized by the Yeshiva University Center for Israel Studies, this collection uses a range of critical methodologies and sources, including the Palestinian and Babylonian Talmudim, archaeology, and Samaritan and Jewish liturgical poetry. It presents a vibrant, complex, and multi-layered series of snapshots of rabbinic culture, written by leading contemporary scholars.
In 1807 Napoleon Bonaparte created the Duchy of Warsaw from the Polish lands that had been ceded to France by Prussia. His Civil Code was enforced in the new Duchy too and, unlike the Catholic Church, it allowed the dissolution of marriage by divorce.

This book sheds new light on the application of Napoleonic divorce regulations in the Polish lands between 1808-1852. Unlike what has been argued so far, this book demonstrates that divorces were happening frequently in 19th century Poland and even with the same rate as in France. In addition to the analysis of the Napoleonic divorce law, the reader is provided with a fully comprehensive description of parties as well as courts and officials involved in divorce proceedings, their course and the grounds for divorce.
David Novak is widely recognized as one of the most prominent Jewish thinkers in North America today and his most important contribution to philosophy has been his work on natural law. This book is an exploration of the shift in the content and context of that theory by reference to the metaphysical meaning that Novak ultimately assigns to reason. This change is then analyzed within the framework of Novak’s covenantal theology and his developing view of redemption in particular. Through this examination, this book highlights the contribution of Novak's natural law theory to the continuing debate over the role of reason in Judaism.
11Q19, 11Q20, 11Q21, 4Q524, 5Q21 with 4Q365a
In this volume, Schiffman and Gross present a new edition of all of the manuscript evidence for the Temple Scroll from Qumran. It includes innumerable new readings and restorations of all of the manuscripts as well as a detailed critical apparatus comparing the manuscripts of the Temple Scroll as well as Qumran biblical manuscripts and the ancient versions. Each manuscript is provided with a new translation, and a commentary is presented for the main text. Also included are a general introduction, bibliography of published works on the text, catalog of photographic evidence, and concordance including all vocables in all the manuscripts and their restorations. This work promises to move research on the Temple Scroll to a new level.
In Intention in Talmudic Law: Between Thought and Deed, Shana Strauch Schick offers the first comprehensive history of intention in classical Jewish law (1st-6th centuries CE). Through close readings of rabbinic texts and explorations of contemporaneous legal-religious traditions, Strauch Schick constructs an intellectual history that reveals remarkable consistency within the rulings of particular sages, locales, and schools of thought. The book carefully traces developments across generations and among groups of rabbis, uncovering competing lineages of evolving legal and religious thought, and demonstrating how intention gradually became a nuanced, differentially applied concept across a wide array of legal realms.
The Joel Roth Jubilee Volume
Hakol Kol Yaakov: The Joel Roth Jubilee Volume contains twenty articles dedicated to Rabbi Joel Roth, written by colleagues and students. Some are academic articles in the general area of Talmud and Rabbinics, while others are rabbinic responsa that treat an issue of contemporary Jewish law. In his career, Joel Roth has been known as a scholar and teacher of Talmud par excellence, and, without question, as the preeminent decisor of Jewish law for the Conservative movement of his generation. In the meticulous style and approach of the Talmud scholarship of his generation, Roth painstakingly and precisely assayed the vast array of rabbinic legal sources, and proceeded to apply these in pedagogy, in scholarship and particularly in the production of contemporary legal responsa. The articles in this volume reflect the unique and integrated voice and vision that Joel Roth has brought to the American Jewish community.
Accounting for the Commandments in Medieval Judaism explores the discursive formation of the commandments as a generative matrix of Jewish thought and life in the posttalmudic period. Each study sheds light on how medieval Jews crafted the commandments out of theretofore underdetermined material. By systematizing, representing, or interrogating the amorphous category of commandment, medieval Jewish authors across both the Islamic and Christian spheres of influence sought to explain, justify, and characterize Israel’s legal system, divine revelation, the cosmos, and even the divine order. This volume correlates bodies of knowledge—such as jurisprudence, philosophy, ethics, pietism, and kabbalah—that are normally treated in isolation into a single conversation about a shared constitutional concern.
A Critical Edition, Commentary and Reconstruction. Cambridge Genizah Studies Series, Volume 12
Author: Marc Michaels
In Sefer Tagin Fragments from the Cairo Genizah, Marc Michaels transcribes and recreates fragments of arguably the earliest found manuscript of the manual for sofrim (scribes) concerning the decorative tagin (tittles) and 'strange' letter forms that adorn certain words in the Torah. Comparing these found fragments against other core and secondary sources of Sefer Tagin (including several pages of a new secondary source), Michaels establishes the most likely readings to assist the reconstruction of the fragments and shed light on the original intention of the author of Sefer Tagin.