relationship between memory and sacred space in the wake of exile, though the descriptions of the pilgrimage festivals in the talmudic passages read more like fantasy than memory, far from an objective or historical account. In the rabbis’ own terms, however, the stories of the ark are fashioned as memory
In a career spanning over fifty years, the questions Jacob Neusner has asked and the critical methodologies he has developed have shaped the way scholars have come to approach the rabbinic literature as well as the diverse manifestations of Judaism from rabbinic times until the present. The essays collected here honor that legacy, illustrating an influence that is so pervasive that scholars today who engage in the critical study of Judaism and the history of religions more generally work in a laboratory that Professor Neusner created. Addressing topics in ancient and Rabbinic Judaism, the Judaic context of early Christianity, American Judaism, World Religions, and the academic study of the humanities, these essays demarcate the current state of Judaic and religious studies in the academy today.
present the temporal concepts of permanence and endurance. I do argue that increased conceptualization in the Babylonian Talmud, especially in the editorial layer, increases frequency of metaphoric applications of קבע. But rabbis using this root from the tannaitic period onward seem to have been
Philosophers have often described theism as the belief in the existence of a “perfect being”—a being that is said to possess all possible perfections, so that it is all-powerful, all-knowing, immutable, perfectly good, perfectly simple, and necessarily existent, among other qualities. But such a theology is difficult to reconcile with the God we find in the Bible and Talmud. The Question of God’s Perfection brings together leading scholars from the Jewish and Christian traditions to critically examine the theology of perfect being in light of the Hebrew Bible and classical rabbinic sources. Contributors are James A. Diamond, Lenn E. Goodman, Edward C. Halper, Yoram Hazony, Dru Johnson, Brian Leftow, Berel Dov Lerner, Alan L. Mittleman, Heather C. Ohaneson, Randy Ramal, Eleonore Stump, Alex Sztuden, and Joshua I. Weinstein.
The term “medieval” performs a great deal more intellectual work in modern Jewish Thought than simply acting as a referent to a particular historical era. During the nineteenth century, often for Jews who were increasingly alienated from their own tradition, the “medieval” functioned primarily as a bearer of identity in a rapidly changing and secular world. Each chapter in
Encountering the Medieval in Modern Jewish Thought addresses a different return to the medieval, ranging from the Enlightenment to the contemporary period, that clothed itself in the language of renewal and of retrieval. The volume engages the full complexity and range of meaning the term “medieval” carries for modern Jewish Thought.
Taking note of unusual turns of phrase in a narrative, for the Talmud scholar, sometimes opens up well studied texts to new experiences and probes, revealing startling overarching themes. 1 Upon very thick reading, the stories told of and by the rabbis prove as complex as the most difficult pieces
and talmudic literature was unknown to Beta Israel. 38 I did not find any hint of apprehension concerning levirate marriage performed not in order to observe the Torah commandment in any of the written documentation that I examined or any of my interviews. The zemed custom was most probably the