• Center for Israel Studies

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    The CIS is dedicated to disseminating the knowledge cultivated by our affiliated faculty, conferences and programming


    The newest publication of the CIS, based upon our 2011 conference:

    Talmuda de-Eretz Israel: Archaeology and the Rabbis in Late Antique Palestine brings together an international community of historians, literature scholars and archaeologists to explorehow the integrated study of rabbinic texts and archaeology increases our understanding of both types of evidence, and of the complex culture which they together reflect. This volume reflects a growing consensus that rabbinic culture was an “embodied” culture, presenting a series of case studies that demonstrate the value of archaeology for the contextualization of rabbinic literature. It steers away from later twentieth-century trends, particularly in North America, that stressed disjunction between archaeology and rabbinic literature, and seeks a more holistic approach. http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/204 


    Table of Contents


     Steven Fine and Aaron Koller 

     Preface v

     Shawn Zelig Aster 

     Mishnah Baba Metsia 7:7 and the Relationship of Mishnaic Hebrew to

     Northern Biblical Hebrew 1

     Jonathan Milgram 

     Mishnah Baba Batra 8:5 – The Transformation of the Firstborn Son from

     Family Leader to Family Member 19

     Noa Yuval-Hacham 

     Mishnah Avodah Zarah 4:5 – The Faces of Effacement: Between Textual and

     Artistic Evidence 29

     Joshua Weistuch and Ben Zion Rosenfeld 

     Tosefta Ma‘aser Sheni 1:4 – The Rabbis and Roman Civic Coinage in Late

     Antique Palestine 53

     Yonatan Adler 

     Tosefta Shabbat 1:14 – “Come and See the Extent to Which Purity Had Spread”

     An Archaeological Perspective on the Historical Background to a Late

     Tannaitic Passage 63

     Uzi Leibner 

     An Illustrated Midrash of Mekilta de R. Ishmael, Vayehi Beshalah, 1 –

     Rabbis and the Jewish Community Revisited 83

     Lawrence H. Schiffman 

     Jerusalem Talmud Megillah 1 (71b–72a) – “Of the Making of Books”:

     Rabbinic Scribal Arts in Light of the Dead Sea Scrolls 97

     Alexei Sivertsev 

     Jerusalem Talmud Sanhedrin 2,6 (20c) – The Demise of King Solomon and

     Roman Imperial Propaganda in Late Antiquity 111

     Burton L. Visotzky 

     Genesis Rabbah 1:1 – Mosaic Torah as the Blueprint of the Universe –

     Insights from the Roman World 127

     R. Steven Notley 

     Genesis Rabbah 98:17 – “And Why Is It Called Gennosar?” Recent

     Discoveries at Magdala and Jewish Life on the Plain of Gennosar in the Early

     Roman Period. 141

     Galit Hasan-Rokem 

     Leviticus Rabbah 16:1 – “Odysseus and the Sirens” in the Beit Leontis

     Mosaic from Beit She’an 159

     Steven Fine 

     Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 51b – Coloring the Temple: Polychromy and the

     Jerusalem Temple in Late Antiquity 191

     Sacha Stern 

     Babylonian Talmud, Avodah Zarah 16a – Jews and Pagan Cults in Third-

     Century Sepphoris 205

     Steven D. Fraade 

     The Rehov Inscriptions and Rabbinic Literature: Matters of

     Language 225

     Stuart S. Miller 

     “This Is the Beit Midrash of Rabbi Eliezer ha-Qappar” (Dabbura Inscription)

     Were Epigraphical Rabbis Real Sages, or Nothing More Than Donors and

     Honored Deceased? 239

     Laura S. Lieber 

     The Piyyutim le-Hatan of Qallir and Amittai: Jewish Marriage Customs in

     Early Byzantium 275


     Eric Meyers 

     The Use of Archaeology in Understanding Rabbinic Materials:

     An Archaeological Perspective 303

     Daniel Sperber 

     The Use of Archaeology in Understanding Rabbinic Materials: A Talmudic Perspective




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