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The Masora on Scripture and Its Methods
The Masora on Scripture and Its Methods
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The starting point for any study of the Bible is the text of the Masora, as designed by the Masoretes. The ancient manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible contain thousands of Masora comments of two types: Masora Magna and Masora Prava. This book presents the way in which the Masoretic comments preserve the Masoretic Text of the Bible throughout generations and all over the world, providing comprehensive information in a short and efficient manner. The book describes the important manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible, and the methods of the Masora in determining the biblical spelling and designing the forms of the parshiot and the biblical Songs. The effectiveness of Masoretic mechanisms and their degree of success in preserving the text is examined. A special explanation is offered for the phenomenon of qere and ketiv. The book discusses the place of the Masoretic text in the history of the Bible, the differences between the Babylonian Masora and that of Tiberias, the special status of the Aleppo Codex and the mystery surrounding it. Special attention is given to the comparison between the Aleppo Codex and the Leningrad Codex (B 19a). In addition, the book discusses the relationship between the Masora and other tangential domains: the grammar of the Hebrew language, the interpretation of the Bible, and the Halakha. The appendix to the book contains a description of books and computer software that are tools for researching the Masora. The book is based on the author's research and the research of the great scholars of the Masora in recent generations. It is a necessary tool for anyone interested in the text of the Bible and its crystallization.
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Death and Philosophy of The Halakhah
Death and Philosophy of The Halakhah
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This collection of articles deals with the connection between the concept of death and the philosophy of the Halakha. Many would argue that recoil from death and flight from it underlie every culture, including the Halakha: To understand a culture one must examine its attitude toward death. The articles in this volume and its special symposium on the denial of death follow this assumption by studying what the Halakha has to say on this subject. Three themes that link death and Halakha lie at the heart of the book: the issue of fear of death and the tools for coping with it; the connection between human experience and Halakhic conceptualizations and tools pertaining to the issue of death; and the influence of meta-Halakhic views on Halakhic rulings and thought on the issue of death. This diverse collection presents the voices of the leading scholars and intellectuals in the field; it touches on existential issues whose sources lie in deep Halakhic and philosophic study, from the Sages and Maimonides to the Holocaust and the technological age. The book, whose foundation is the philosophical discourse of the Halakha, constitutes a cornerstone for broad study that encourages additional scholarship. It presents the Halakhic world’s deep insights on the end of life, coping with these moments, and the Halakhic implications of the concept of death, including all its derivatives in the Halakha and the Aggada.
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The Intention of the Torah and the Intention of Its Readers
The Intention of the Torah and the Intention of Its Readers
Episodes of Contention
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The Intention of the Torah and the Intention of Its Readers surveys how traditional Jewish exegesis throughout the ages has coped with the literary and topical difficulties found in the Torah, in the context of the belief in the Torah’s divine source and sanctity. “All problems stem from expectations.” Readers and exegetes of the Torah throughout the ages supposed, and many continue to suppose, that the Torah is perfect and flawless. They expect the Torah to reflect superior and timeless standards of morality, as well as precise and eternal theological principles. They believe that everything written in the Torah is true, essential, and well thought out. The history of Torah scholarship from the end of the Second Temple period until our day can be conceived of as an uninterrupted continuum of challenges which this unique and, frankly, impossible level of expectations has imposed upon its readers and exegetes. These are glorious attempts to bring the Torah nearer the time and place of its devotees and to adapt its meaning to theirs. This book is the first attempt of its kind to examine the history of the enterprise of Torah exegesis from a distance. It contains an examination of dozens of key texts from the end of the Second Temple period, from Talmudic and Midrashic sources, dicta of medieval Sages, and the reflections and research penned by scholars of the Enlightenment (Haskalah) and the modern era. A bird’s eye view blurs the details which differentiate between these texts, enabling us to more easily focus upon the similarities; this point of view also allows us to note the central crossroads of change and development which characterize each period. This is an indispensable book for anyone interested in the changing nature of biblical exegesis over the generations.
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Why the Puss has Boots?
Why the Puss has Boots?
Reading in Charles Perrault's Fairytale "The Puss in Boots"
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Charles Perrault’s “Puss in Boots” was published in Paris at the end of the seventeenth century in his collection Stories or Tales from Times Past or, Tales of Mother Goose . Yigal Schwartz reveals how Perrault dresses the story in a new and colorful literary garment woven from the fairy tale and the contemporary story of the court of Louis XIV. Perrault’s story and the fairy tale both conceal and reveal things about each other and cruelly illuminate the nature of crowds and the royal court. Among the folds of this literary garment, a social, cultural, and political crossroads can be found. And what do the cat’s boots conceal? This question has excited Yigal Schwartz since childhood and is what sent him on a unique, sometimes perplexing, and multifaceted quest for “Puss in Boots.” In this in-depth literary study, Schwartz analyzes the well-known tale and determinedly examines each of its details, comparing style and content. Why does the cat wear boots? Why a miller’s son? Why the Marquis of de Carabas? And why the ogre’s castle? Schwartz draws his answers from a wide range of perspectives—those of psychoanalysis, phenomenology, sociology, and literary studies—all of which meet at the roots of the anxiety he identifies at the foundation of the tale: the anxiety involved in concealment, which is at the same time anxiety about the mask but also about what may not be concealed behind it at all.
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Devoted Resistance
Devoted Resistance
Jewish-Feminist Art in Israel and the United States
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This book examines the nature, methods, and contribution of Jewish feminist art to the various spheres of art, society, and religion and proposes a theoretical framework for its understanding. The Jewish religious feminist art movement has developed since the late 1990s in the two major Jewish centers—the United States and Israel. This is the first book to treat this phenomenon in a broad and systematic manner and discuss its critique of Jewish tradition, Halakha (religious law), and Jewish religious institutions. The works are analyzed in light of Jewish feminist thought and in comparison with religious Jewish feminist activist practices. The main tool for examining the social effect of the art works is analysis of their reception and of the public discussion that followed. Devoted Resistance focuses on the works of a number of prominent women artists who critique the Jewish religious text, establishment, and rituals. The religious text is the subject of the work of Helène Aylon (US, b. 1931), who marked problematic biblical passages with a pink highlighter, and Nechama Golan (Israel, b. 1947), whose work is critical of the Talmudic debate over women as property in the contraction of marriage (kiddushin). Nurit Jacobs Yinon (Israel, b. 1972) and Hila Karabelnikov Paz (Israel, b. 1984) confront the religious establishment and in particular the exclusion of women from the religious court that oversees the ritual immersion of women converts. The work of Andi Arnovitz (born in the US, 1959, immigrated to Israel, 1999) points up the pornographic dimensions of the extreme modesty laws as interpreted by contemporary halakhic decisors. Hagit Molgan (Israel, b. 1972) demonstrates the male structuring of religious laws regarding menstruation, and Mierle Laderman Ukeles (US, b. 1939) breaches the religious taboo by presenting ritual immersion following menstruation as a dignified ritual to be embraced. The combined study of Jewish feminist art created in the United States and in Israel and the comparison of these artists with other feminist artists, both Jewish and non-Jewish, illuminates local contexts, similarities and differences in the development of Jewish feminist art in Israel and in the US, and the influences of globalization, diasporism, and immigration on the art.
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Disconnected
Disconnected
What Happens When 100 Teenagers Wake Up without their Smartphones?
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Imagine 100 high school-aged teens – boys and girls, city and suburb dwellers, “heavy smartphone users” and regular users – disconnecting from their smartphones for one whole week. It may sound fictional, but this exactly is what occurred as part of a fascinating experiment that we recently conducted, which serves as the basis of this book. For a long and challenging week, these teenagers documented their experiences in personal diaries, and described them in personal and group interviews. They described their physical and psychological feelings about life without their devices, the effect that disconnecting from their devices had on their social life, their family life, and their management of time and routine tasks. The participants described how their lives looked without a smartphone in school and during their free time, how they missed their device and felt its absence upon waking in the morning and in the moments before falling asleep, and how they even felt it in their dreams, which were filled with longing for the digital friend that had been taken from them. This book provides deep insights into the role of the smartphone in the daily lives of teenagers, and the culture of “cellphones natives,” members of Gen Z. The book offers a new point of view on questions occupying researchers, parents, educators, and professionals: how and why did the smartphone become the dominant medium of communication in the lives and culture of teenagers? How does it shape and influence their daily lives? Can the relationship with the smartphone really be characterized as dependence and perhaps even as an addiction, as many claim, or is it relationship of a completely different nature? In a world full of technology, the aspiration to better understand teenagers and even ourselves requires acknowledging the ways in which these technologies are woven into every moment of our daily lives, for good and for bad.
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Liturgy and Art as Constructors of Cultural Memory in the Middle Ages
Liturgy and Art as Constructors of Cultural Memory in the Middle Ages
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The study of liturgy is intrinsically interdisciplinary and comprises elements of music, drama, theater and devotion that are of great consequence to believers and scholars far and wide. Liturgy is both history and theology, purporting to reflect and propagate values that inform individuals and communities alike, playing a vital role in the construction of sacred and lay memory and identity. As a multi-sensory experience, liturgy maintains a dynamic relationship with the surrounding space and its visual components, including art, artifacts and architecture. The essays in this book examine diverse aspects of liturgy and the arts, and were written by scholars working in the disciplines of musicology, social and cultural history, art history, material culture, and the history of the Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages and beyond. The articles engage in a comparative and interdisciplinary discourse, in order to contextualize the liturgical practices within the production of medieval cultural memory, and within the symbolic traditions expressed through liturgy and the arts. Primary sources include texts, rituals, music and visual media from Western Europe (Christian and Jewish) and the Latin Levant. The study of written, visual and musical constructs identifies the values and ideals conveyed and instilled through Jewish and Christian liturgical commemoration, and explores how these activated the faithful's idea of community and their place within it.
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Until Elijah Comes
Until Elijah Comes
The Portrayal of Elijah the Prophet in Tannaitic Literature
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Elijah the Prophet is a remarkably impressive figure whose life is full of dramatic moments: the decree to stop the rain, the fierce tension with King Ahab and Queen Jezebel, the war on idolatry which had its climax on Mount Carmel with the killing of the prophets of Baal, God’s revelation at Horeb, the ascent to heaven in a chariot of fire, etc. These episodes sparked the imagination of readers and commentators, thinkers and artists, who continued to study the figure of Elijah throughout the generations. The book Until Elijah Comes: The Portrayal of Elijah the Prophet in Tannaitic Literature is an examination of Elijah’s multi-faceted character as reflected in Tannaitic sources, the earliest stratum of rabbinic literature. Adiel Kadari presents an in-depth analysis of the major issues related to Elijah the Prophet in the intellectual world of the sages, such as the principles and limits of halakhic discourse, messianism and eschatology, religious and political zealotry, the phenomenon of prophecy and the question of its persistence in the post-biblical era, and the relationship to history, religious piety and asceticism. The analysis of Elijah in this volume is rooted in philological studies concerning the origin and transmission of the text, and branches out to an examination of ideological aspects and worldviews. The synthesis of various approaches employed in the study of rabbinic literature yields a rich and variegated discourse. The book’s various chapters reveal the tremendous importance of Elijah in the eyes of the sages, as well as the exegetical and ideological struggles over the shaping of his image.
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The History of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
The History of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Who’s Who Prior to Statehood: Founders, Designers, Pioneers
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Translation:
The four volume series of the History of the Hebrew University Project is devoted to the development of the idea and of its implementation during the pre-state period. The previous three volumes expanded in a great number of scholarly articles on the complex stories which made up this history from a great variety of aspects – scientific and academic, political and organizational, economic and social. The present volume, the last part of the project, seeks to focus on the individuals, the personalities of the people who made the university become a reality; those who struggled for its foundation, and the pioneering scholars and scientists who laid the basis and shaped the Hebrew University. It opens a window for the wider public to become familiar with the story of the Hebrew University without the need to penetrate into the complexity of scientific and other issues dealt with in previous volumes. The story of the university is the story of the enormous efforts involved in bringing prominent scholars and scientists to Eretz Israel, then a remote and marginal corner in the Middle East. These efforts were accompanied with debates of principle and personal controversies within and outside of the university about academic and national considerations. Despite all difficulties, criticisms and doubts, the founders of the university succeeded in building an institution of intellectual excellence that would become a pillar in the project of Jewish national renaissance and prepared the basis for the Hebrew University academic leadership in Israel and in the Jewish world for many years to come.
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The Book of Jubilees
The Book of Jubilees
Rewritten Bible, Redaction, Ideology and Theology
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Jubilees is a pseudepigraphical composition from the second century BCE, which was preserved among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The book rewrites the Pentateuch until the Sinaitic revelation, by means of additions, omissions and other changes. Scholars tend to the view it as a unified work, composed by one author. In light of numerous contradictions, both in narrative details and in issues of biblical interpretation, Michael Segal suggests a new approach towards understanding the literary development of the work: a redactor relied upon extant sources, generally rewritten biblical narratives, and incorporated them into a new literary framework. The redactor's unique contribution can be identified in the chronological framework and the legal passages. The internal contradictions between the different literary genres are the result of the literary development of the book. This source-critical analysis reveals a unified, complete worldview in the redactional layer of the book, which can be summarized by one fundamental principle: God established the entire world order at the time of creation. This is exemplified through the analysis of the question of the origin of evil in the world, perhaps the most pressing theological issue for any monotheistic religion. Throughout the book, one finds different approaches to this critical question, but when the redactional layer is examined by itself, a clear view emerges – God created both good and evil at the dawn of time as part of a cosmic, dualistic system. This book is intended for all those interested in Bible, Jewish literature of the Second Temple period, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, and Early Biblical Exegesis.
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Introductions to Sources and Traditions
Introductions to Sources and Traditions
Studies in the Formation of the Talmud
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The standard study of Talmud is to accept the given as ultimate, that the sayings and the interpretations recorded therein are faithful to what was actually said. After having checked for the genuine version, for the right GIRSAH, eliminating the scribal errors, the text assumes reliability and serves as a starting point for further discussions and additional deductions. For over forty years, Prof. David Halivni has questioned the given as the authoritative text and argued for the necessity to go back in time and reexamine the veracity of the interpretations. Many of the given interpretations are forced, do not neatly fit the text they interpret and often attribute to the authors of the statements intentions that they did not necessarily share. As a consequence, substitute interpretations were necessary to which the multi volumes of "Sources and Traditions" were dedicated. While the books dealt mainly with the actual Talmudic interpretations, the introductions dealt with the causes responsible for the deviations from the original. It took the writings of a few volumes to become clear that the interpretations, unlike the apodictic statements were not officially transmitted by the Transmitters, the professional reciters and reached the later compilers which are referred to in the volumes as STAMMAIM, anonymous scholars, only through random survival which was not always complete. Sometimes it survived in a truncated form which the later compilers filled in, conjecturing what was missing. The present volume contains all of the introductions which provide the reader not only with the final conclusion but also with the developmental stages which led to that conclusion further strengthening its plausibility.
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Commentary on the Book of Exodus
Commentary on the Book of Exodus
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The late Professor U. Cassuto had originally planned to write, in Hebrew, a monumental commentary on the Bible that would comprise a series of detailed expositions of the Book of Genesis, and less elaborate commentaries, consisting of one volume for each book, devoted to the remaining four books of the Pentateuch. It was also his intention to compose a compendious Introduction to the Torah as a whole, and a comprehensive commentary on the Book of Psalms. Unhappily the author died after completing only three of his commentaries (two on Genesis and one on Exodus). Cassuto's comments have a vivid quality seldom found in the exegetical writings of other Biblical expositors, who all too often prefer a jejune and lifeless approach to their subject. Cassuto succeeds in injecting a sense of dramatic excitement into his interpretations. Without neglecting the scientific data provided by archaeological and philological research, he makes us conscious of the literary attributes of the Bible. Unlike the volumes dealing with the first two pericopes of Genesis, the present work does not separate the annotations from the Biblical text, but forms a continuous, unified commentary in which the Scriptural citations are interlinked with the exposition. The elements are so closely and artistically interwoven as to form a new literary entity not a text with notes, but a homogeneous expository work, which must rank among the finest modern contributions to the treasury of Biblical learning.
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Human Choice
Human Choice
Biblical Narrative and the Drama of Choice
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The book Human Choice: Biblical Narrative and the Drama of Choice suggests, in contrast to the dominant position in the field of theology, that humanity and not God stands at the heart of biblical narrative. Underpinning many biblical narratives is a theology that may be termed a “theology of choice”, a theology predicated on the belief that human’s central task is to choose between good and evil. Theology of choice leads to biblical narratives' focus on the internal conflicts of characters, their struggles and the choices that they must make. The principle that a person’s choices determine one’s destiny lies at the foundation of biblical narrative and is one of the basic tenets of Israelite belief. In contrast to the belief in a predetermined destiny characteristic of idolatrous culture as evident in many ancient mythologies as well as Greek tragedy, the outlook underlying many biblical narratives is that a person is a free being and is responsible for one’s actions and one’s ultimate destiny. The book also argues against the belief that the books of the Bible reflect polarized thinking and a dichotomous worldview. A sophisticated literary analysis treating the different levels of the narrative – the syntagmatic, paradigmatic and dramatic – with a focus on the use of tripartite contrast – a literary device yet to be noticed in biblical research – reveals that the biblical perspectives are not polar in nature, but rather include complexity and a gray zone lying between the dichotomy of black and white. The doubts and wavering of middle-ground characters such as Lot, Saul and Ahab create a drama about choice and infuse the narratives with complexity and interest. Middle-ground characters in biblical narratives represent human complexity, characterized by internal conflict and struggles, and the need to decide between conflicting desires, values and beliefs. This tension creates the biblical drama of choice which focuses on human choice.
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The Antonines of the  Scriptores Historiae Augustae
The Antonines of the Scriptores Historiae Augustae
Translation:
This book contains the biographies of the Antonine Caesars (Aelius-Didius Iulianus) from the Manuscript P(alatinus) 899 in the Vatican Library. The manuscript was already known to men of letters in the late Middle Ages That its contents are essential to a better understanding of Imperial Rome is conventionally accepted by historians. It was published as early as the first generation of printers (Milano 1475). The biographies present a wide array of deeds and indecisions in the history of Rome during the IInd century AD. These were actually the days near the.end of the Pax Romana. The biographies present not only the characters of the Caesars, for they equally reveal the many patterns of Enlightment hovering over Rome during the years of the Antonine patronage. The tendency to base the life of citizens as well as those of the provincials not on the arbitrariness of imperial bureaucrats but law (Roman Law) inspired by philosophy (Hellenic and Hellenistic) is a remarkable signpost of this period Women were in those days considered more as juridical persons and less under the tutelage of men. Indeed the Antonines did not abolish slavery, but the attitude towards them more human. The tolerance these Caesars based on moral principles.aleviated the task of preaching in the name of Christ and winning followers. . Jews were freed by the Caesars from the danger and oppression of the edicts imposed by Hadrian. Their moderation enabled the Jews in Judaea (recently renamed Palaestina by Hadrian) to come close to a rcovery. The author of these biograpies had intentionally disguised his name and identity. Nevertheless (relying on internal evidence of his work) it seems most likely that he had compiled the SHA at the turn of the fifth century. Born as a scion of the old Roman aristocracy, the new religion aggresively imposed on Rome did not attract him. He rather felt close to the Rome of the days bygone, of the liberal temper, its literature and thought and freedom of belief. Aiming to avoid a confrontation on unequal terms with the contemporary authorities in Rome, he prefered to present his work under cover of six differerent pseudonyms. All this makes even the literary aspect of his work of greater interest and admiration Introduced,translated and annotated by David Golan
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When a Jew Laughs
When a Jew Laughs
Yiddish Humor
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You now have before you this volume which contains an assemblage of popular Yiddish humor: jokes both folksy and racy, proverbs and colloquial curses which originated in the hundreds of towns and cities of Eastern Europe up to the Second World War. In recent decades interest in Yiddish has been growing in Israel and in many other countries. It expresses itself as a longing, a nostalgia, for the language that was spoken in people's parents' home, and that they heard from their grandparents. This volume reveals some of the treasures of Yiddish humor to the many lovers of Yiddish around the world. This sampler does not specify the origin of the jokes it contains, because "An anecdote and a cat have no master, they belong to whoever manages to catch them." (N. Stutchkoff, p. 571, see Bibliography.) In order to select the approximately 400 jokes and sayings appearing in this book, the collector spent many months searching through anthologies, joke books, lexicons etc. The most important sources are listed in the Bibliography. In their world of poverty, pogroms, persecutions and evil decrees, the Jewish masses of Eastern Europe were in dire need of spiritual support and psychological defence. They found this support in humor, which relieves tension and makes life more bearable. This book is organized by theme into 51 sections, each section exhibiting a particular aspect or feature of Jewish life in the cities, towns and townlets of Eastern Europe.
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Penalty and Temptation
Penalty and Temptation
Hebrew Tales in Ashkenaz Ms. Parma 2295 (de-Rossi 563)
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Penalty and Temptation: Hebrew Tales in Ashkenaz by Rella Kushelevsky , discusses thirteen tales copied in MS. Parma 2295 (thirteenth century, North France). The tales, which originated in Rabbinic Literature and in medieval story compilations from the East, were re-worked and re-formulated in Ashkenaz. A careful reading of these narrative versions, mostly published here for the first time, and an attentiveness to their unique characteristics compared to classic and modern versions, portrays a broad and panoramic view of Ashkenazi culture: concrete depictions of Paradise and Hell, martyrdom as a central value, repentance practices and other central topics in Ashkenazi piety, as well as images of women and religious symbols from the non-Jewish surroundings. The book offers a double perspective: literary, since these narratives are artistic works in every respect, and hermeneutic, since they trigger a multi-participant dialogue. The readings offered in Penalty and Temptation are the result of the interaction between narratives copied in North France – themselves readings of earlier narrative traditions – and the reader, who becomes acquainted with different modes of being while also similar to his or her own. Ashkenaz in this book is not a historical reality but a fictive entity that bestows this reality with significance, and in which the reader takes part in its establishment.
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The Journals of the Haskalah In Mid-Nineteenth Century
The Journals of the Haskalah In Mid-Nineteenth Century
Hehalutz (1852-1889); Bikurim (1864-1865)
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This is the fifth book in the series of monographs and annotated indices on periodicals of the Haskalah. It covers two major Hebrew periodicals Hehalutz (1852–1889) and Bikurim (1864–1865), and addresses major developments in the history of the Hebrew Haskalah in mid-century: the emergence of radical Haskalah in Galicia which found its mouthpiece in Hehalutz , and the contribution of its prolific editor, Joshua Heschel Schorr, who published 13 volumes of his journal. Bikurim , published in two volumes, was edited by Naphtali Keller, and represented the moderate Haskalah and Hochmat Israel (the scholarly study of Judaism). The Indices to the two journals published in this book are cross-referenced, annotated, Alphabetized, and author-and-subject listed. They cover all articles, essays, and scholarly studies on a variety of topics in Jewish Studies, such as Biblical and Talmudic criticism and commentary, questions regarding the Halachah (the religious code), and studies on the Hebrew language, Jewish history, and Jewish education. They also cite newly discovered medieval Hebrew manuscripts, their critique and studies of their authors. Also included are various genres in belles lettres : poems, stories, satires, biographies, and miscellaneous writings such as editorial comments and announcements. All these subjects are discussed and analyzed in the monographs of the two journals. Now, upon their publication, the annotated indices should serve as a reliable reference tool for viewing and reviewing the major topics and issues that occupied the minds of the editors and the writers of these journals in Galicia and elsewhere in Europe in mid-19 th century. Readers may now examine the scope and the character of the material published in these journals . Likewise, it is now convenient to assess the contribution of participating scholars, authors, and poets, to the Haskalah literature, and to explore their stand on various scholarly or Haskalah-related matters.
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Ideology of Apostasy
Ideology of Apostasy
The Ideology of Jewish Spaniards Who Converted to Christianity
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This research project tries, for the first time, to analyze and compare all the key Spanish Jewish apostates, especially Petrus Alfonsi, Abner of Burgos, Geronimo de Santa Fe, Pablo de Santa Maria and Pedro de la Caballeria. The aim of this research is to understand the ideological background of the mass conversion of the Spanish Jewish community from the perspective of the intellectual elite involved in the conversion itself and not – as has usually been the case in modern scholarship – according to the rabbis who decided to stay Jewish. In the first part of the book, the author explains the impact of the conversion of a part of the Jewish intellectual elite on the Spanish Jewish population. In the second part, he examines the opinion of the various ideological converts regarding Christianity (especially the dogmas of the Trinity and Incarnation). In the third part, he analyzes their criticisms of Judaism. The main conclusion of this research is that there is a very important difference between the various converso intellectuals regarding the essence of Christianity. The conversos who were philosophers or kabbalists before their conversion continued with a similar approach even after their conversion, using their former philosophical/kabbalistic knowledge to try to convince their fellow Jews to convert as they had. The common denominator of the different writings of these apostates is not their opinions on Christianity but rather their similar criticisms of Judaism, and especially with regard to keeping Jewish religious obligations.
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The Political Environment of Policy Making in Israel
The Political Environment of Policy Making in Israel
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Is the role of professional policy analysts and advisers simply to send their recommendations to political leaders? The authors of this book have a different outlook. Of course, in a democracy policy making is the responsibility of elected leaders, and therefore “politics” is a necessity of policy making. Indeed, “politics” has received a bad name in many countries, including Israel, due to unfulfilled expectations as well as the behavior of politicians. In this book the use of the term “politics” is completely neutral, based on familiarity with the difficult task that is placed upon the shoulders of dedicated politicians. At the same time, this book proposes that there is no need for policy analysts to transform themselves into politicians, or to see themselves as a sort of “political assistant” to elected leaders. On the contrary, because the fence that differentiates between the two domains of politics and policy analysis is not clearly marked, it is important to recognize the overlapping areas as well as those areas that remain clearly separate. A good understanding of these demarcations is necessary for the professional formation and implementation of policy, and for the strengthening of democracy. This book is intended for those who work in the separate but overlapping fields of policy analysis and policy implementation, as well as for those interested in improving processes of policy change in Israel. The book reviews skills for analyzing the political environment which impact upon the formation of public policy and upon the identification of common areas of agreement that balance between professional recommendations and legitimate political constraints. The ultimate goal of this book is to provide analysis and training so that recommendations for creative policy solutions will not simply remain on paper. The chapters of this book are based on selected case studies about policy making Israel. Learning through the case method is widespread in leading universities in the study of law, business, medicine, and, more recently, in public policy as well. This approach provides an opportunity to learn from the experience of others – real-world successes and failures alike – in order to avoid repeating the same mistakes, and to search for alternate solutions. The book is based on cases developed for the interactive teaching of graduate students at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ben Gurion University.
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Women in the State of Israel
Women in the State of Israel
The Early Years
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According to its Declaration of Independence, the State of Israel "will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex". However, the equality between men and women in Israel was not de facto. What did Israeli women have to say about that? The book presents views and opinions of Israeli women in the 1950s and the early 1960s about their roles and duties in the public and the domestic spheres, based on contemporary women's sections in the press and women's magazines. It shows what women said about women in the Israeli parliament (Knesset) and about Golda Meir; women's service in the Israeli Defense Force and the exclusion of women from the public sphere; motherhood and parenthood, woman's right to choose to have an abortion and women's struggle for peace; women's duties as housewives and the discrimination of women as employees. The book also uncovers a forgotten feminist journal, sheds light on a famous adoption story of a Yemenite baby and discusses a protest of female cadets in the Israeli Air Force flight course that was ignored and silenced for many years. The book unveils Israeli women's voices from the past, which show that in an era of many fateful decisions, Israeli women also made choices that affected their status in society. Readers might find these decisions relevant vis-à-vis women's status in Israeli society nowadays.
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The National Origins of the Market Economy
The National Origins of the Market Economy
Economic Developmentalism During the Formation of the Israeli Capitalism
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It is rarely noticed, Joan Robinson wrote half a century ago, that "the very nature of economics is rooted in nationalism." This book seeks to examine the relationship between economics and nationalism in the Israeli political economy in its formative years. The book focuses on two aspects of this relationship: the link between national interest and economic ideas and between the state and the markets Two questions are at the core of the book. The first, what was the role of economic ideas in shaping the national interests? A common argument holds that the realization of national interest contradicts behavior in accordance to economic rationales. The book rejects this view and it shows that as early as the 1930s the Zionist organizations shaped national interest on the basis of imported and translated economic ideas. The second question deals with the relationship between the state and the market: how state actors mediated between, on the one hand, the goal of constructing of a market economy in Israeli, and on the other hand the strategy of mobilizing market-actor to state-building project? The book rejects the common argument that state intervention prevented the consolidation of a market economy in Israeli. Rather, it argues that the state intervened, among other things, to create a market economy as a national project of the state. A significant contribution of the book is the analysis of the financial aspects of the Israeli developmental strategy, a topic that so far has not been studied thoroughly. The book traces that the effect of the establishment of the Bank of Israel on the structure of the banking system and the development strategy. It argues that the establishment of the Bank of Israel was a significant milestone in the economic history of Israel, as it provided an effective tool to control the allocation of credit.
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The Prophetic Halakhah
The Prophetic Halakhah
Rabbi A.I H. Kook's Philosophy of the Halakhah
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In Ha-halakhah ha-nevu’it , the author traces the halakhic philosophy of Rabbi Abraham Isaac ha-Kohen Kook, one of the preeminent Jewish thinkers of modern times. Rabbi Kook was called upon to offer his opinions on the raging issues of the day within the Jewish world—enlightenment, secularization, and the Zionist movement—and his influence on Israeli public life was and remains enormous. His complex, poetically formulated pronouncements resonated with the community and gave rise to varied, sometimes contradictory interpretations. Although regarded as philosophically daring and a source of intellectual ferment, he is also recalled as a stringent halakhist. Not surprisingly, most of the literature on Rabbi Kook thus far has concentrated on his thought and has tended to disregard his halakhic rulings. This book is the first to examine the full extent of Rabbi Kook’s philosophical and halakhic writings, taking account of all the contradictions and tensions they embody. At the same time, it illustrates the linkage among halakhah, aggadah, and prophecy. The study shows that there can be no halakhah without aggadah; that every ruling is illuminated by an underlying philosophy. To elucidate Rabbi Kook’s halakhic writings, the book introduces the reader to the areas of his thinking and philosophy that encompass human thought in general as well as the hidden recesses of Jewish literature in all its forms: aggadah and halakhah; poetry and legal decisions; esoteric and exoteric teachings. Against that comprehensive background, the meta-halakhic principles that underlie his halakhic rulings clearly emerge. Rabbi Kook’s jurisprudence touches on the realm of prophecy, and his journals—extensively cited in this book—convey his prophetic sensibility. The sense of prophecy is tied to the experience of the return to the Land of Israel, and it plays a central role in understanding his halakhic writings. The book examines the problematic interplay between prophecy and halakhah in general and Rabbi Kook’s prophetic-halakhic world in particular, along with its wealth of implications.
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Self-Remaking
Self-Remaking
New Perspectives on Setting Out and Self-Direction
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Translation:
Moshe Caspi is the founder of the first Experimental School in Jerusalem and of the Chofen Institute for Open Experimental Education at the David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem. He was among the first to draw up the guiding principles for experimental education in Israel. Caspi teaches a different way of learning. He envisions a process where the student - the Self-Remaker - opens up to personal change, and moves along this path with curiosity, love of learning, creativity and humor. In order to do so, Caspi explains how to combine the refreshing and innovative vision of the child with adult qualities such as discipline and control. In this way, the Self-Remaker can achieve a greater degree of independence, and a whole new level in applying and implementing his ideas in all areas of human activity. The work of Self-Remaking can be carried out within a group framework or on an individual basis. This book offers practical suggestions which can be applied within learning frameworks, for individuals or groups, in order to enrich the learning encounter, and to change the way the student (and the facilitator) perceives the world. The reader is invited to investigate professional and personal wishes and preferences, and to develop a unique "User's Manual," a handbook which will accompany him throughout his life's journey. The material is explained with Professor Caspi's characteristic blend of insight and humor. The book presents elements of Caspi's teaching which have been published in the past in his many books in Hebrew, together with newer ideas developed by the author more recently. Self-Remaking reflects Caspi's entire life's work in this field. The wisdom of children is demonstrated through examples presented in the final section of the book, translated from Moshe Caspi's work: Children’s Wisdom - Cosmic Starlight: - from the gray world of adults to the magical journey of the child, published in Hebrew by Mofet in 2013.
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Biblical and Talmudic Medicine
Biblical and Talmudic Medicine
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Translation:
The book Biblisch- talmudische Medizin , first published in Berlin, in 1911, is a unique life's work bringing together a comprehensive knowledge in medicine, Jewish and general sources. The various chapters include a broad review of the world of medicine in the Bible and the Talmud in light of Jewish law, a detailed description of the biological organs, diseases of body and mind, deformities, gynecological and sexual. There are chapters on legal medicine, preventative medicine, health cures and dietetics. The material is also based on in-depth study of Bible, Mishnah, Talmudic and Rabbinic literature, Midrash, the External Books, the works of Joseph Ben Matityahu, the New Testament, as well as ancient and modern legal literature, Likewise illuminating sources from Greek and Latin literature, western medical literature, referencing hundreds of publications from the eighteen and nineteen hundreds were used. The writer Dr. Julius Preuss (1861-1913) was born in a small town in Prussia, in which his parents' house was the only Jewish family. He studied medicine in Berlin and was close to the orthodox Jewish community, where he acquired much of his extensive knowledge in Judaism. Over the years Preuss published over thirty articles on medicine and Judaism in various scientific journals, all the while maintaining a medical practice in the town of his birth and afterward in Berlin. He passed away two years after publishing his book in German, based on his articles. Preuss' book was translated into English by Dr. Fred Rosner (Biblical and Talmudic Medicine ) and was published in the United State in 1978. At a conference on Jewish and medical law, which took place in Jerusalem in 1998, the book was quoted and it was indicated that a translation into Hebrew was sorely needed. The translator into Hebrew, Uri Wurzburger , remained loyal to the original German, at the same time expanding the quoted references appearing in the book and adding modern interpretations.
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Human, All Too Human
Human, All Too Human
A Book for Free Spirits
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Edited by:
Translation:
The book breaks with Nietzsche's previous essay style (as in The Birth of Tragedy). It is a collection of aphorisms, largely concerned with human psychology. He criticizes social Darwinism in it: Wherever progress is to ensue, deviating natures are of greatest importance. Every progress of the whole must be preceded by a partial weakening. The strongest natures retain the type, the weaker ones help to advance it. Something similar also happens in the individual. There is rarely a degeneration, a truncation, or even a vice or any physical or moral loss without an advantage somewhere else. In a warlike and restless clan, for example, the sicklier man may have occasion to be alone, and may therefore become quieter and wiser; the one-eyed man will have one eye the stronger; the blind man will see deeper inwardly, and certainly hear better. To this extent, the famous theory of the survival of the fittest does not seem to me to be the only viewpoint from which to explain the progress of strengthening of a man or of a race.§224 Nietzsche also distinguishes in this work the obscurantism of the metaphysicians and theologians from the more subtle obscurantism of Kant's critical philosophy and modern philosophical skepticism, claiming that obscurantism is that which obscures existence rather than obscures ideas alone: "The essential element in the black art of obscurantism is not that it wants to darken individual understanding but that it wants to blacken our picture of the world, and darken our idea of existence" (Vol. II, Part 1, 27).
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