Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's really been a while since I wrote anything. The Bar-Asher festschrift arrived at the library, all three weighty volumes of it, and I read another posthumous article by Yisrael Ta-Shma. The article was a short one, with a few notes on the texts published by Nicholas de Lange, Greek-Jewish Texts from the Cairo Genizah. The notes are not extremely important, but they are a reminder of what an amazing eye Ta-Shma had for detail, an ability to reconstruct an obscure custom from a source that would seem unremarkable to anyone else.

Prof. Jordan Penkower's article in the current Shnaton le-heker ha-Mikra utilizes another source (the famous Leipzig Bible) to demonstrate the textual integrity of the Ashkenazic biblical tradition.

A new issue of Tarbiz has been published. I haven't seen it yet, or its TOC, but it contains an article by Menahem Kahana, and another by Simcha Emanuel.

The past couple of weeks, I've been working on my research proposal for the PhD program in Israel that I hope will accept me soon. My topic allows me to both ask how I can possibly cover so much uncharted territory, and at the same time to despair at having anything original left to say, after so many scholars over the past 150 years have tracked their boots over the same ground.