This book is an analysis of early Jewish thought on human nature, specifically, the complex of characteristics that are understood to be universally innate, and/or God-given, to collective humanity and the manner which they depict human existence in relationship, or lack thereof, to God.
Jewish discourse in the Greco-Roman period (4th c. BCE until 1st c. CE) on human nature was not exclusively particularistic, although the immediate concern was often communal-specific. Evidence shows that many of these these discussions were also an attempt to grasp a general, or universal, human nature. The focus of this work has been narrowed to three categories that encapsulate the most prevalent themes in Second Temple Jewish texts, namely, creation, composition, and condition.
Author: Marc Michaels
In A Critical Edition, Commentary and Reconstruction of Two 10th/11th Century Manuscripts of Parts of Sefer Tagin 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 from the Cairo Genizah that now reside in the Taylor-Schechter Cairo Genizah Collection at Cambridge University Library against the other core and secondary sources of Sefer Tagin (including several pages of a new secondary source also from Cambridge), 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.
Author: 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.

In: Dead Sea Discoveries
Scholarship on ethnicity in modern Latin America has traditionally understood the region’s various societies as fusions of people of European, indigenous, and/or African descent. These are often deployed as stable categories, with European or “white” as a monolith against which studies of indigeneity or blackness are set. The role of post-independence immigration from eastern and western Europe—as well as from Asia, Africa, and Latin-American countries—in constructing the national ethnic landscape remains understudied. The contributors of this volume focus their attention on Jewish, Arab, non-Latin European, Asian, and Latin American immigrants and their experiences in their “new” homes. Rejecting exceptionalist and homogenizing tendencies within immigration history, contributors advocate instead an approach that emphasizes the locally- and nationally-embedded nature of ethnic identification.
Author: Leeor 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.
The Textual History of the Bible (THB) brings together for the first time all available information regarding the manuscripts, textual history and character of each book of the Hebrew Bible and its translations as well as the deuterocanonical scriptures. In addition, THB covers the history of research, the editorial history of the Hebrew Bible, as well as other aspects of text-critical research and its subsidiary fields, such as papyrology, codicology, and the related discipline of linguistics. The THB will consist of 4 volumes.

Volume 2: Deuterocanonical Scriptures. Editors Matthias Henze and Frank Feder
Vol. 2A: overview articles
Vol. 2B: to Ezra
Vol. 2C: Jubilees to 16 Appendix

Abstract

The historiography of medieval Jewish pietism has duly described the development of new forms of pietistic ethics in Judeo-Arabic, as well as the large corpus of Hebrew pietistic and penitential literature by the Rhineland pietists. However, scholars have long clung to the consensus that the contemporaneous appearance of Kabbalah did not give rise to a characteristic mode of penitential pietism of its own. These conclusions reflect the assumption that Kabbalah, in the first three hundred years of its development, never brought forth its own distinctive brand of penitential pietism. Evidence from Moses de León’s writings, in fact, points to the opposite conclusion, namely that, already in thirteenth-century Castile, kabbalists sought to develop a mode of supererogatory living in accord with their esoteric speculations. This article shows how de León attempted to construct different penitential programs based upon his Kabbalah, and that he envisioned at least three such programs.

In: European Journal of Jewish Studies