Eyal Ben-Eliyahu, Between Borders: The Boundaries of Eretz-Israel in the Consciousness of the Jewish People in the time of the Second Temple and in the Mishnah and Talmud Period, Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi Press, 2012, 348 pp. $27.
Eyal Ben-Eliyahu‘s Between Borders is the kind of book which deals with such fundamental questions that it makes you wonder how it is that they had not been seriously addressed before. Based on his 2007 Hebrew University dissertation, the book aims to examine the territorial borders of the land of Israel as reflected in a wide array of Palestinian texts – from biblical books through the Amoraic era – and tries to formulate the different concepts of “Eretz Israel” that these borders represent.
Today’s Hebrew date, the 17th of Tevet, marks the 671st anniversary of the completion of the talmudic section of Munich, Cod. hebr. 95, more commonly referred to as “The Munich Manuscript,” by the scribe R. Shlomo the son of R. Shimshon. Continue reading
UPDATE: AUDIO POSTED ONLINE
Tomorrow, Penn Law School will be hosting a workshop whose genesis is an ongoing discussion between myself and Shai, reflected in a previous post on this blog. The workshop is designed to look at the divide between academic and yeshiva approaches to Talmud through the prism of legal theory. Continue reading
The legal systems of Judaism, Islam, and Catholic Christianity each regulate financial transactions in the light of a divine ethical imperative to avoid lending at interest. Yet each has also developed practical, legal means to facilitate a wide range of investment opportunities. The convergence of common ethical aspirations and practical concerns, and the divergence in historical experiences, together present a nearly unique opportunity for comparative study. Continue reading
David Weiss Halivni, TheFormation of the Babylonian Talmud (trans. and ed. Jeffrey L. Rubenstein; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013). 312 (+35) pages
David Weiss Halivni began work on his Talmud commentary, Sources and Traditions, in 1968 with the publication of a volume on Seder Nashim. In the forty-five years since, Halivni has published an additional seven volumes, covering Seder Moed and Seder Nezikin. Continue reading
Last week, the Israeli Talmudist Zvi Arieh Steinfeld passed away. He lived a life filled with religious and intellectual achievements (here is a description from a Festschrift edited in his honor at Sidra, the journal he founded and edited during its first decade), yet for those of us lucky enough to have known him personally, his greatest quality was encapsulated in an infectious smile that conveyed both a self-deprecating humility and a zest for a life dedicated to lernin’. He was one of the sweetest souls I have ever encountered. Continue reading