Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Shloshim for Rabbi Rosen

במלאת שלושים לפטירתו של
הרב מאיר ( מיקי ) רוזן ז"ל
רב קהילת "יקר" נתכנס בבית "יקר" ביום שני, ט' בטבת תשס"ט , 5.1.09 בשעה 20.00
ללימוד ונשיאת דברים לזכרו.
בסיום הערב תפילת מעריב

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Vatican catalogue

From a note by Benjamin Richler, posted on H-Judaic:
In a previous message I announced the publication of Hebrew Manuscripts in
the Vatican Library; Catalogue, compiled by the staff of the Institute of
Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts in the Jewish National and University
Library, Jerusalem, edited by Benjamin Richler with palaeographical and
codicological descriptions by Malachi Beit-Ari? in collaboration with Nurit
Pasternak, Vatican City, 2008 (Studi e Testi 438) . This catalogue will
shortly be available in PDF form on the website of the National Library of

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Noted as news

Yehoshua Horowitz, a disciple of Victor Aptowitzer, died recently. Not sure when it happened, but the latest (Heshvan 5669) issue of Moriah has a posthumous article by him, on Mordechai Shevuot. Amazing how he was working on manuscripts until the very end. The thesis he wrote under Aptowizter's guidance in 1937 was looted by the Nazis, along with the other manuscripts at the Rabbinical Seminary in Vienna, and is now found in Warsaw (where the Communists left the manuscripts after taking them from the Nazis).

The amazing Yosef Avivi has published a massive, three volume work on Lurianic Kabbalah. Unlike most practioners of Kabbalah studies, Avivi's primary focus is bibliographic. The literary history of Kabbalat ha-Ari is extremely complex, and Avivi is practically the only person capable of making sense of it. But the third volume includes discussions of content as well as form.

And I just saw a new volume of Shalem, a journal for the study of the Land of Israel. It includes several articles of vital Talmudic interest. Neil Danzig publishes new fragments of Pirkoi ben Baboi's tract, and Simcha Emanuel discusses R. Yehiel of Paris and his connections to the Land of Israel.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Rabbi Mickey Rosen

I was deeply upset to hear a few minutes ago that Rabbi Meir (Mickey) Rosen passed away last night. He was a very strong influence on my life at several stages, beginning when I was a high school student. Later, I studied in the Beit Midrash at Yakar, and was even privileged to work there as a teacher for more than a year. He was a gentle person, an original thinker, a learned Talmid Hakhamim, and much more. His book on Hassidut was published recently and the conclusion of his doctorate on the Rashbam was recently defended in the face of its critics.

Here are the funeral details as I received them by email
With deep sadness, we report the news of the passing last night of our friend and teacher, Mickey Rosen. הרב שמואל מאיר בן הרב יעקב קופל ז"ל
The funeral will be held this afternoon at 3:00 pm at Har Hemenuhot, at the Beit ha-Hespedim of Kehillat Yerushalayim.

Monday, December 01, 2008


I recently read Involuntary Marginals, a book by Ephraim Shoham that studies medieval Jewish attitudes towards people who lived in the margins of Jewish society. It's on sale now at Shazar, by the way. A good proportion of the book is devoted to Jewish lepers.

It seems that Jewish society was less zealous about isolating its lepers from the rest of the people (Shoham makes an interesting comparison in this regard with the Crusader kingdoms in the land of Israel).

I was quite surprised to see this article, on the New York Times website, about a Hawaiian village whose inhabitants are lepers who were sent into confinement in the 1950s.