Thursday, June 16, 2011

New books

Obviously, this is the season for new books in Israel. Tevunot has released a new volume that I think is very important and useful. The book is titled 'Introduction to the Midrashic Literature', and in Hebrew - מבוא למדרשים. The author is Anat Reizel, a doctoral student at Ben Gurion University who recently finished her MA at Hebrew University with Avigdor Shinan. Her MA thesis dealt with Midrash Eikhah Zuta.
The book, with more than 400 pages, covers all of the major and most of the minor midrashim. For each midrash, Anat reviews the state of research on questions like provenance and text. For each one she provides one or two nice examples of midrashic technique. She also provides bibliographic information on editions and studies.
Earlier versions of some of the chapters can be found here - there's a tab in the sidebar labelled 'Mavo la-Midrashim'.

Reizel's introduction to the midrashim is available now at the Tevunot stand at Shavua ha-Sefer for only 60 shekels. It's also available online for 80 shekels.

Disclosure: the author is an old friend of mine, and I helped a little with the bibliographic aspects of the book. That said, I have no doubt that this is one of the most helpful tools for students and scholars of Midrash to appear in a while. Without purporting to contain original discoveries, it presents a great deal of pertinent information that anyone dealing with the gamut of midrashic literature need but rarely know offhand.


Anonymous Simon Holloway said...

Thanks for the tip: that looks like a great book. Regrettably, my comprehension of academic Hebrew is somewhat below par. In English, I really like Strack and Stemberger's introduction, although I realise that it may be out of date. Do you have any English language recommendations?

6:27 PM  

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