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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.
Editor: Ze'ev Strauss
The Maimonides Review of Philosophy and Religion is an annual collection of double-blind peer-reviewed articles that seeks to provide a broad international arena for an intellectual exchange of ideas between the disciplines of philosophy, theology, religion, cultural history, and literature and to showcase their multifarious junctures within the framework of Jewish studies. Contributions to the Review place special thematic emphasis on scepticism within Jewish thought and its links to other religious traditions and secular worldviews. The Review is interested in the tension at the heart of matters of reason and faith, rationalism and mysticism, theory and practice, narrativity and normativity, doubt and dogma. This volume features contributions by Reimund Leicht, Gitit Holzman, Jonathan Garb, Anna Lissa, Gianni Paganini, Adi Louria Hayon, Mark Marion Gondelman, and Jürgen Sarnowsky.
The corpus of Aramaic magic bowls from Sasanian Mesopotamia is perhaps the most important source we have for studying the everyday beliefs and practices of the Jewish, Christian, Mandaean, Manichaean, Zoroastrian and Pagan communities on the eve of the Islamic conquests. The bowls published in this volume are from the Schøyen Collection, which has over 650 texts in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, Mandaic and Syriac, and forms the largest collection of its kind in the world. This volume presents editions of fifty-five Jewish Babylonian Aramaic texts, with accompanying introductions, translations, philological notes, photographs and indices. The themes covered are magical seals and signet-rings. It is the second in a multi-volume project that aims to publish the Schøyen Collection of magic bowls.
This book starts from the assumption that semiotics of culture and social-anthropological studies can offer useful tools to understand large segments and lasting aspects of the kabbalistic tradition. It attempts to study from this perspective the Sephardi Kabbalah, by examining 16th-century emblematic commentaries that collect, rearrange and carry on the earlier kabbalistic interpretation of the rabbinic ritual system. In this unusual light, much kabbalistic culture appears as an ongoing semiotic intensification of deep structures governing the discourse and practice of the Jews – so that, for instance, institutional cultic orders are integrated by other forms of order in imagination, thought, writing and experience.
Author: Joseph Citron
In this book, Joseph Citron offers the first comprehensive analysis of Prague Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz’s (c.1565-c.1626) magnum opus of Jewish ethical literature, the Shnei Luhot Ha-Berit. Citron’s close philological analysis reveals the pioneering nature of the work in creating an organic Jewish theological system rooted in the mystical structures of Kabbalah, cultivating an orthodoxy in thought and legal practice based upon its principles. It provided a platform for laypeople to attain great spiritual heights by emphasising that God could be served and cleaved to through mundane activity, and that Judaism demanded deep emotion and joy as much as Talmudic erudition or meticulous observance. The Shelah's paradigms significantly influenced 17th-century Sabbatean movement, the 18th-century Hasidic movement, and Jewish Orthodoxy in the 19th century. The book is essential for scholars and laypeople alike wishing to understand the evolution of Judaism in Central and Eastern Europe in the early modern period.
King David in the Image of the Shekhinah in Kabbalistic Literature
In The Feminine Messiah: King David in the Image of the Shekhina in Kabbalistic Literature, Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel presents an in-depth study focusing on the centrality of the figure of King David in Jewish culture and mystical literature. King David is one of the most colorful, complex, and controversial personalities in Jewish lore. While numerous studies have focused on David's centrality to biblical literature and late antiquity, to date no comprehensive scholarly attempt has been made to investigate his image in Jewish kabbalistic literature. This innovative study also contributes to the understanding of the connection between the mystical and psychoanalytic perception of the self, as well as illuminating issues of gender fluidity, identity, and sexuality in medieval kabbalistic literature.
No one theory of time is pursued in these essays, but a major theme that threads them together is Wolfson’s signature idea of the timeswerve as a linear circularity or a circular linearity, expressions that are meant to avoid the conventional split between the two temporal modalities of the line and the circle. The conception of time elicited by Wolfson from a host of philosophical and mystical sources—both Jewish and non-Jewish—buttresses the contention that it is precisely structural invariability that engenders interpretive variation. This hermeneutical axiom is justified, in turn, by the presumption regarding the cadence of time as the constant return of what has always been what is yet to be. The telling of time wells forth from the time of telling. One cannot speak of the being of time, consequently, except from the standpoint of the time of being, nor of the time of being except from the standpoint of the being of time.
Proceedings of the 2015 Institute of Jewish Studies Conference Held in Honour of Professor Ada Rapoport-Albert
Editor: Agata Paluch
Representing Jewish Thought originated in the conference, convened in honour of Professor Ada Rapoport-Albert, on the theme of visual representations of Jewish thought from antiquity to the early modern period. The volume encompasses essays on various modes and media of transmitting and re/presenting thought, pertinent to Jewish past and present. It explores several approaches to the study of the transmission of ideas in historical sources, zooming in on textual and visual hermeneutics to material and textual culture to performative arts. The volume has brought together scholars from different subfields of Jewish Studies, covering thousands of years of Jewish history, who invite further scholarly reflection on the expression, transmission, and organisation of knowledge in Jewish contexts.
Author: Ansgar Martins
Translator: Lars Fischer
Ansgar Martins’s The Migration of Metaphysics into the Realm of the Profane is the first book-length study focusing on Adorno’s idiosyncratic appropriation of Jewish mysticism in the light of his relationship to Gershom Scholem and their shared intellectual contexts.

Rather than merely posit vague associative connections, as previous authors have often done, Martins’s close reading of specific references in published and private texts alike allows him to highlight both commonalities and differences between Adorno’s and Scholem’s understanding of Kabbalistic tropes and the issue of metaphysics in the modern world, and to demonstrate the extent to which similarities resulted from mutual and/or third-party influences (especially Benjamin). Martins throws the specifics of their respective idiosyncratic appropriations of (Jewish) tradition into sharp relief.
Editor: Andrei A. Orlov
The essays collected in Jewish Roots of Eastern Christian Mysticism intend to honor Alexander Golitzin, a scholar known for his keen attention to the Jewish matrix of Eastern Orthodox spirituality. Following Golitzin's insights, this Festschrift explores influences of Jewish apocalypticism and mysticism on certain early and late Christian authors, including Irenaeus, Origen, Evagrius of Pontus, Pseudo-Dionysius, and Symeon the New Theologian. Special attention is given to Jewish theophanic traditions regarding the beatific vision of the divine Glory (Kavod), which profoundly shaped Eastern Christian theology and liturgy. This volume demonstrates that recent developments in the study of apocalyptic literature, the Qumran Scrolls, Gnosticism, and later Jewish mysticism throw new and welcome light on the sources and continuities of Orthodox theology, liturgy, and spirituality