The book of Tobit is among those Hellenistic period writings that convey a strong ideal of Jewish family life and family-centered religious practice. Tobit highly values family loyalty as a guideline for religious behavior, but establishes the Mosaic Law as the ultimate authority overruling requirements of family allegiance. In a world surrounded and threatened by Gentiles, the paterfamilias is responsible for redirecting the family's religious priorities to accord with the Law. Tobit displays close parallels with Jubilees in its use of the patriarchal stories to launch its pious message, which may help to situate the former within ancient Judaism.
In honor of eminent archaeologist and historian of ancient Jewish art, Rachel Hachlili, friends and colleagues offer contributions in this festschrift which span the world of ancient Judaism both in Palestine and the Diaspora. Hachlili's distinctive research interests: synagogues, burial sites, and Jewish iconography receive particular attention in the volume. Archaeologists and historians present new material evidence from Galilee, Jerusalem, and Transjordan, contributing to the honoree’s fields of scholarly study. Fresh analyses of ancient Jewish art, essays on architecture, historical geography, and research history complete the volume and make it an enticing kaleidoscope of the vibrant field of scholarship that owes so much to Rachel.