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Robert Jones

Abstract

This paper evaluates the attitudes toward the contemporary Jerusalem priesthood and cult on evidence in the Visions of Amram. To the extent that this issue has been treated, scholars have generally argued that the Visions of Amram originated among groups that were hostile to the Aaronid priesthood. Such treatments, however, have left some of the most germane fragments unexamined, several of which deal directly with matters pertaining to the cult, Aaron, and his offspring (4Q547 5 1–3; 8 2–4; 9 5–7; 4Q545 4 16–19). My study incorporates these fragments into the larger discussion, and in so doing demonstrates that many of the views expressed in the secondary literature require revision. My analysis shows that, though the social location of the Visions of Amram is difficult to determine, we should not be too quick to dismiss the possibility that the writer was a supporter of the contemporary status quo in the temple, given the elevated status afforded to both Aaron and his eternal posterity throughout the text.

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.

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.

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Edited by Kathleen Gyssels and Christa Stevens

Écrivain inclassable, Hélène Cixous offre une écriture dont les grands thèmes – le père mort, le pays perdu et la mère étrangère –, aux fortes résonances autobiographiques, s’affirment continuellement tout en multipliant les échos poétiques et philosophiques. La question de l’origine, à la fois singulière et plurielle, donne lieu à une écriture-pensée d’une subjectivité qui montre ses enracinements, revisite les lieux et les liens, mais (se) défait aussi des mythes de l’origine.
Ce volume se propose d’étudier les marqueurs de la féminité, de l’« algériance » et de la judéité comme les principaux lieux d’interrogation de l’origine, auxquels s’ajoutent la filiation allemande mise en lumière dans les textes les plus récents, Gare d’Osnabrück à Jérusalem et Une autobiographie allemande. Le volume ouvre par un inédit d’Hélène Cixous, « Un legs empoisonné ».

Hélène Cixous offers us an unclassifiable oeuvre, the main themes of which - the dead father, the lost country and the foreign mother -, all autobiographically inspired, assert themselves as such while offering the reader continuously new poetical and philosophical insights.
The question of origin, either singular or multiple, gives rise to an écriture-pensée of a subjectivity which shows its roots, revisits places and relationships, but also breaks down myths of origin.
This collection of essays proposes to study the markers of femininity, “algériance”, Jewishness and, as expressed in Cixous’ latest works of fiction, the German filiation, as the main places of questioning origin. “Un legs empoisonné”, an unpublished text by Hélène Cixous, opens the collection.

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.

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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.

Vision, Narrative, and Wisdom in the Aramaic Texts from Qumran

Essays from the Copenhagen Symposium, 14-15 August, 2017

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Edited by Mette Bundvad and Kasper Siegismund

The Aramaic Dead Sea Scrolls from Qumran have attracted increasing interest in recent years. These texts predate the “sectarian” Dead Sea scrolls, and they are contemporary with the youngest parts of the Hebrew Bible. They offer a unique glimpse into the situation before the biblical canons were closed. Their highly creative Jewish authors reshaped and rewrote biblical traditions to cope with the concerns of their own time. The essays in this volume examine this fascinating ancient literature from a variety of different perspectives. The book grew out of an international symposium held at the University of Copenhagen in August 2017.