Thursday, June 25, 2009

End of academic year

There are many reasons why I don't like this time of year. The heat, for one. And the need to focus on revision instead of new and exciting research.

The good Prof Penkower pointed me to the new website of the International Organization of Masoretic Studies. The Organization is sponsoring a couple of sessions at the World Congress of Jewish Studies. In one of them, Prof Penkower will be discussing a late medieval Bukharan Pentateuch. With his ability to make the number of lines in Shirat ha-Yam sound interesting, it should be fascinating.

By the way, if you were unable to open the link to the WCJS programme earlier, try this.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New book on terminology

DK just pointed out to me that Prof. Leib Moscovitz's book on the terminology of the Jerusalem Talmud has been published. According to the foreword, the book covers 220 terms! But not all of the ten terms that he treated in his doctorate. There is also a nice dedication to Prof Jacob Sussman, who supervised the doctorate (in 1988).

Important new blog

One of the world's most distinguished young Talmudists has launched a new blog dedicated to following developments in the study of Babylonian Talmud in its Persian context. Check out The Talmud Blog!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


As noted here, Prof Meir Benayahu died recently, and his son, my friend Hanan, is taking a more active role in making his legacy accessible. As reported here, more manuscripts from the Benayahu collection have been microfilmed. The fragment of Yerushalmi Sanhedrin referred to there was published by Moshe Assis, in Tarbiz 46 (1977), pp. 29-90.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Materia Giudaica

The latest issue of Materia Giudaica (I and II) includes a description of a fragment of Babylonian Talmud found in a convent in Innsbruck.

World Congress of Jewish Studies

A tentative programme for the WCJS has been posted here. Noteworthy here is a double session (Thursday, August 6th, 9am-1.30pm) on the European Genizah, including presentations about fragments from Colmar in Alsace and Frieburg in east Germany.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Talmudic Archeology

The classic book is here and here. And the conference this summer is here.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

New journal

I just came across a website about Okimta, a new journal in Jewish Studies. For the moment, I don't know more than what is on the website.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

A question for grammar people

I spent a while today trying to track this down. I got part of the way, but not all the way. If anyone out there can tell me the source for this quote, I would be most grateful:

lang="HE">כל דבר שאין בו רוח חיים קורא אותו בלשון זכר ובלשון נקבה
Inanimate objects can be both masculine and feminine.

Yad Malachi, Kelale ha-Talmud 309, quotes the Tosafot Yom Tov who says this in the name of Ibn Ezra, and Radbaz in the name of Rabenu Tam. I haven't found it in either of those authors (I skimmed through Ibn Ezra's Yesod ha-Lashon and Sefer Zahut, and R. Tam's comments on the Dunash-Menahem debate). I found examples to that effect in Rashbam, but without expressing it as a rule. And the sentence appears in Hizkuni in a couple of places without attribution. So who first said it?