Challenging Boundaries

Main content

Challenging Boundaries

History and Anthropology in Jewish Studies
An Online Exhibition from the Herbert D. Katz Center for Advanced
Judaic Studies 2003-2004 Fellows at the University of Pennsylvania
Armillary sphere

Armillary sphere with Hebrew notations

Please note. This site contains Roman and Hebrew characters. A Unicode (UTF-8) compliant font must be installed, and the exhibit viewed using Internet Explorer 5.X or Netscape 7.X or above browsers. If necessary, go to "View" - "Encoding" (Netscape: "Character Coding") and select "Unicode (UTF-8)" (Netscape users: turn off "Auto-Detect").

Introduction

HISTORY AND ANTHROPOLOGY IN JEWISH STUDIES

This year's seminar focused on the interface between history and anthropology in the study of Jews and Judaism. The central question this year's group addressed was the relationship between the prescriptive traditions mandated by the many strands of Judaism, and the actual practices of Jews. Historians were no more likely to assume that a single, normative Jewish tradition existed than anthropologists were, but the research questions, the methodologies, and the sources of evidence varied significantly from one researcher to another. We asked how to integrate them in order to have a more dynamic understanding of Judaism and Jewish culture.

One of the key questions of the year was how to understand the relationship between sacred texts and practices, and as a corollary, under what social conditions texts become authoritative, to which communities and why. These questions allowed the seminar to focus on a particularly broad spectrum of Jewish life in both time and space: work was conducted on Jews in both the West and the Near East, in virtually every time period, and in Christian, Islamic, and secular societies, as well as in the modern State of Israel. We also reflected on an equally wide range of formulations of Judaism, which included, for example, mysticism, Sephardic saint veneration, Karaite and rabbinic rituals, pilgrimage, magic, Renewal, and nationalism.

These conversations led us to challenge some of the boundaries in the field that separated elite formulations from popular expressions, texts reflecting visual, oral, or embodied practices, and competing expressions of Jewish identity. We asked if an anthropology of Judaism could exist in the way that histories of Judaism do, and in so asking problematized the notion of a single Judaism or the dominance of text and history. The documents in this exhibition will reflect our rethinking of authority, textuality, and representation in the many expressions of Judaism that we study.

Riv-Ellen Prell, University of Minnesota

The Second Benjamin

ישראל בן יוסף בנימין, ספר מסעי ישראל, בו יסופר מאחינו בני ישראל בארצות אסיה ואפריקה, מצבם המדיני והמוסרי, מדותיהם דעותיהם ומנהגיהם, טובם ועשרם, ענים ומרודיהם, דבר לא נעדר, ככל אשר ראה בעיניו והתבונן על כל דרכיהם במסעותיו זה שנים רבות בארצות הקדם, הנוסע המפורסם בימינו אלה.
תרגם דוד גארדאן. ליק, תרי"ט 1859

Israel Joseph Benjamin (1818-1864), who was born in Falticeni, Moldavia, became an explorer by default. A lumber trader, he lost money in his business at the age of 25, and decided to travel in search of the Ten Lost Tribes, leaving behind his pregnant wife and five year old son. Fashioning himself as Binyamin ha-Sheni, (The Second Benjamin)---the medieval Benjamin of Tudela (12th century) being the first---he recorded his travels to the Jewish communities in the Near East, Central Asia, and North Africa in his book Masey Jsrael. The book appeared first in French as Cinq annees de voyage en orient 1846-1851 (Paris: M. Levi, 1856), and later, adding to his reports three more years of travels in German in two successive editions as Acht jahre in Asien und Afrika von 1846 bis 1855 (Hannover, 1858) and in English as Eight Years in Asia and Africa, from 1846-1855(Hanover, 1859). The Hebrew translation, now extremely rare, was done by David Gordon.

In his travels through Turkey, Erez Israel, Syria, Armenia, Iraq, Kurdistan, India, Afghanistan, Singapore, China, Iran and Egypt. After a brief return to Europe, he continued his travels through Spain to North Africa. Benjamin describes the rural and urban landscapes in these countries. In his book descriptions of the Jewish communities he offers not only his impressions of their economic and social conditions, but also record numerous traditions of local legends associated with tombs, caves and other geographical features. In Morocco he recorded a unique version of the martyrdom story of Sol (Suleika) Hachuel, of Tangier (1817-1834), the news of whose death reverberated through Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century.

The Second Benjamin

ישראל בן יוסף בנימין, ספר מסעי ישראל, בו יסופר מאחינו בני ישראל בארצות אסיה ואפריקה, מצבם המדיני והמוסרי, מדותיהם דעותיהם ומנהגיהם, טובם ועשרם, ענים ומרודיהם, דבר לא נעדר, ככל אשר ראה בעיניו והתבונן על כל דרכיהם במסעותיו זה שנים רבות בארצות הקדם, הנוסע המפורסם בימינו אלה.
תרגם דוד גארדאן. ליק, תרי"ט 1859

Israel Joseph Benjamin (1818-1864), who was born in Falticeni, Moldavia, became an explorer by default. A lumber trader, he lost money in his business at the age of 25, and decided to travel in search of the Ten Lost Tribes, leaving behind his pregnant wife and five year old son. Fashioning himself as Binyamin ha-Sheni, (The Second Benjamin)---the medieval Benjamin of Tudela (12th century) being the first---he recorded his travels to the Jewish communities in the Near East, Central Asia, and North Africa in his book Masey Jsrael. The book appeared first in French as Cinq annees de voyage en orient 1846-1851 (Paris: M. Levi, 1856), and later, adding to his reports three more years of travels in German in two successive editions as Acht jahre in Asien und Afrika von 1846 bis 1855 (Hannover, 1858) and in English as Eight Years in Asia and Africa, from 1846-1855(Hanover, 1859). The Hebrew translation, now extremely rare, was done by David Gordon.

In his travels through Turkey, Erez Israel, Syria, Armenia, Iraq, Kurdistan, India, Afghanistan, Singapore, China, Iran and Egypt. After a brief return to Europe, he continued his travels through Spain to North Africa. Benjamin describes the rural and urban landscapes in these countries. In his book descriptions of the Jewish communities he offers not only his impressions of their economic and social conditions, but also record numerous traditions of local legends associated with tombs, caves and other geographical features. In Morocco he recorded a unique version of the martyrdom story of Sol (Suleika) Hachuel, of Tangier (1817-1834), the news of whose death reverberated through Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century.

The Second Benjamin

ישראל בן יוסף בנימין, ספר מסעי ישראל, בו יסופר מאחינו בני ישראל בארצות אסיה ואפריקה, מצבם המדיני והמוסרי, מדותיהם דעותיהם ומנהגיהם, טובם ועשרם, ענים ומרודיהם, דבר לא נעדר, ככל אשר ראה בעיניו והתבונן על כל דרכיהם במסעותיו זה שנים רבות בארצות הקדם, הנוסע המפורסם בימינו אלה.
תרגם דוד גארדאן. ליק, תרי"ט 1859

Israel Joseph Benjamin (1818-1864), who was born in Falticeni, Moldavia, became an explorer by default. A lumber trader, he lost money in his business at the age of 25, and decided to travel in search of the Ten Lost Tribes, leaving behind his pregnant wife and five year old son. Fashioning himself as Binyamin ha-Sheni, (The Second Benjamin)---the medieval Benjamin of Tudela (12th century) being the first---he recorded his travels to the Jewish communities in the Near East, Central Asia, and North Africa in his book Masey Jsrael. The book appeared first in French as Cinq annees de voyage en orient 1846-1851 (Paris: M. Levi, 1856), and later, adding to his reports three more years of travels in German in two successive editions as Acht jahre in Asien und Afrika von 1846 bis 1855 (Hannover, 1858) and in English as Eight Years in Asia and Africa, from 1846-1855(Hanover, 1859). The Hebrew translation, now extremely rare, was done by David Gordon.

In his travels through Turkey, Erez Israel, Syria, Armenia, Iraq, Kurdistan, India, Afghanistan, Singapore, China, Iran and Egypt. After a brief return to Europe, he continued his travels through Spain to North Africa. Benjamin describes the rural and urban landscapes in these countries. In his book descriptions of the Jewish communities he offers not only his impressions of their economic and social conditions, but also record numerous traditions of local legends associated with tombs, caves and other geographical features. In Morocco he recorded a unique version of the martyrdom story of Sol (Suleika) Hachuel, of Tangier (1817-1834), the news of whose death reverberated through Europe in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Less is More, None is All

What are the essential elements that make a ceremony what it is, and what do they mean? Are there commonly agreed upon meanings assigned to ceremonial expressions that would be accepted in more than one culture, context and set of events? And if so how do historians interpret these expressions?

The empty space found around the heads of hierarchical figures is one such expression. A figure represented in this way visually emphasizes his or her importance. In a few "Jewish-National-Ceremonies" of the Middle Ages, this empty space signifies the leader among the people - such as the empty seat next to the Exchilarch and the space between the Gaon and the people before and after him. This feature is well-documented in non-Jewish chancelleries where official documents of the Caliphate were written with capacious line-spacing notably greater than the amount of space allotted for any regular office of the administration. We find the same phenomenon in the original writings of Jewish leaders. In addition, a Jewish leader's signature usually will be found at the end of a document separated from the others by a generous empty space. This spacing pattern points to the hierarchy of the signatories (if more than one name is signed) or to the importance of an individual signatory. Such documents can easily be found in our CAJS collection, among them Halper 365 [Fustat. 1066-1108?], copied by a Hillel ben Eli, in which a certain Sitt al-Dar, wife of Sedaka ha-Levi, promises to comply with the stipulation of her late brother (also named Sedaka), that she should provide for her mother and for her mother's funeral. At bottom, the witnesses Yosef ben Elazar ha-Mumheh, Elazar ben Eli ha-Kohen, Yosef ben Nisim ha-Kohen, and Yakhin ben Avraham sign the document, their signatures appearing in the order and length respective to each witness' status.

Virtual Martyrs

Title page of Sefer Yihus ha-Tsadikim (Genealogy of the Righteous), edited by Abraham Moshe Lunz (Jerusalem, 1896). This text, likely assembled in something resembling its final form in the late fifteenth century, is a fully developed itinerarium for Jewish pilgrims to the Holy Land. Several pages from a first edition edited by Solomon ben Yohai in Constantinople, 1515-1520 are preserved. The oldest extant edition was printed by Gershom ben Asher of Scarmela in Mantua, 1561 and reprinted in the edition pictured here by Abraham Moshe Lunz, the blind researcher and collector of medieval Jewish geographic literature about Palestine.

This text represents the culmination of a long evolutionary process, which shaped Jewish pilgrimage practice in the Middle Ages (on which see Elchanan Reiner, "Traditions of Holy Places in Medieval Palestine: Oral versus Written," in Offerings from Jerusalem: Portrayals of Holy Places by Jewish Artists, ed. R. Sarfati [Jerusalem: The Israel Museum], 9-19 [English] and 9-17 [Hebrew]). The creator(s) of this text collected and edited numerous legal and legendary traditions from earlier rabbinic (and para-rabbinic?) sources into what might best be called "hagiographic catenae." These catenae are to be recited at the tombs of sages as well as at such holy sites as the ruins of the Jerusalem Temple. A hagiography of the R. Ishmael ben Elisha (buried at Kefar Kana) appears on pp. 85-87; this narrative is constructed from: the opening of the martyrology in MekhY, Nezikin 18 on Exod 22:22; sections of the "martyr-narrative" in Hekhalot Rabati (Synopse, ''107-109, 111); parts of the "David-apocalypse" (Synopse, ''122-126); and the beginning of the havurah-account in Hekhalot Rabati (Synopse, ''203). Different hagiographic accounts of "R. Ishmael" (buried at Farod) and "R. Ishmael ben Kohen Gadol" (buried at Shizur) appear on pp. 62-63 and 68-69 respectively, thereby attesting to the dynamism and creativity of this genre of literature. Various legendary traditions concerning "Rabban Gamaliel, who was among the ten martyrs" are collected on p. 88. The sources and composition of this text, especially its reception and use of Hekhalot literature, deserves further consideration.

Virtual Martyrs

Title page of Sefer Yihus ha-Tsadikim (Genealogy of the Righteous), edited by Abraham Moshe Lunz (Jerusalem, 1896). This text, likely assembled in something resembling its final form in the late fifteenth century, is a fully developed itinerarium for Jewish pilgrims to the Holy Land. Several pages from a first edition edited by Solomon ben Yohai in Constantinople, 1515-1520 are preserved. The oldest extant edition was printed by Gershom ben Asher of Scarmela in Mantua, 1561 and reprinted in the edition pictured here by Abraham Moshe Lunz, the blind researcher and collector of medieval Jewish geographic literature about Palestine.

This text represents the culmination of a long evolutionary process, which shaped Jewish pilgrimage practice in the Middle Ages (on which see Elchanan Reiner, "Traditions of Holy Places in Medieval Palestine: Oral versus Written," in Offerings from Jerusalem: Portrayals of Holy Places by Jewish Artists, ed. R. Sarfati [Jerusalem: The Israel Museum], 9-19 [English] and 9-17 [Hebrew]). The creator(s) of this text collected and edited numerous legal and legendary traditions from earlier rabbinic (and para-rabbinic?) sources into what might best be called "hagiographic catenae." These catenae are to be recited at the tombs of sages as well as at such holy sites as the ruins of the Jerusalem Temple. A hagiography of the R. Ishmael ben Elisha (buried at Kefar Kana) appears on pp. 85-87; this narrative is constructed from: the opening of the martyrology in MekhY, Nezikin 18 on Exod 22:22; sections of the "martyr-narrative" in Hekhalot Rabati (Synopse, ''107-109, 111); parts of the "David-apocalypse" (Synopse, ''122-126); and the beginning of the havurah-account in Hekhalot Rabati (Synopse, ''203). Different hagiographic accounts of "R. Ishmael" (buried at Farod) and "R. Ishmael ben Kohen Gadol" (buried at Shizur) appear on pp. 62-63 and 68-69 respectively, thereby attesting to the dynamism and creativity of this genre of literature. Various legendary traditions concerning "Rabban Gamaliel, who was among the ten martyrs" are collected on p. 88. The sources and composition of this text, especially its reception and use of Hekhalot literature, deserves further consideration.

Virtual Martyrs

Title page of Sefer Yihus ha-Tsadikim (Genealogy of the Righteous), edited by Abraham Moshe Lunz (Jerusalem, 1896). This text, likely assembled in something resembling its final form in the late fifteenth century, is a fully developed itinerarium for Jewish pilgrims to the Holy Land. Several pages from a first edition edited by Solomon ben Yohai in Constantinople, 1515-1520 are preserved. The oldest extant edition was printed by Gershom ben Asher of Scarmela in Mantua, 1561 and reprinted in the edition pictured here by Abraham Moshe Lunz, the blind researcher and collector of medieval Jewish geographic literature about Palestine.

This text represents the culmination of a long evolutionary process, which shaped Jewish pilgrimage practice in the Middle Ages (on which see Elchanan Reiner, "Traditions of Holy Places in Medieval Palestine: Oral versus Written," in Offerings from Jerusalem: Portrayals of Holy Places by Jewish Artists, ed. R. Sarfati [Jerusalem: The Israel Museum], 9-19 [English] and 9-17 [Hebrew]). The creator(s) of this text collected and edited numerous legal and legendary traditions from earlier rabbinic (and para-rabbinic?) sources into what might best be called "hagiographic catenae." These catenae are to be recited at the tombs of sages as well as at such holy sites as the ruins of the Jerusalem Temple. A hagiography of the R. Ishmael ben Elisha (buried at Kefar Kana) appears on pp. 85-87; this narrative is constructed from: the opening of the martyrology in MekhY, Nezikin 18 on Exod 22:22; sections of the "martyr-narrative" in Hekhalot Rabati (Synopse, ''107-109, 111); parts of the "David-apocalypse" (Synopse, ''122-126); and the beginning of the havurah-account in Hekhalot Rabati (Synopse, ''203). Different hagiographic accounts of "R. Ishmael" (buried at Farod) and "R. Ishmael ben Kohen Gadol" (buried at Shizur) appear on pp. 62-63 and 68-69 respectively, thereby attesting to the dynamism and creativity of this genre of literature. Various legendary traditions concerning "Rabban Gamaliel, who was among the ten martyrs" are collected on p. 88. The sources and composition of this text, especially its reception and use of Hekhalot literature, deserves further consideration.

Proving the Soul

Nishmat Hayim (Amsterdam, 1652) was written and published by R. Menasseh ben Israel (1604-1657). The work is a sustained attempt to argue for the eternality of the soul against skeptics who argued that such a belief could not be maintained for philosophical (and scriptural) reasons. To confute the skeptics, Menasseh marshalled evidence from a wide range of sources to prove that souls endure after bodily death. Biblical passages, classical rabbinic literature, Gentile scholarship, and kabbalistic texts are all adduced to make this case. On top of them all, Menasseh adds what he considered to be the the best empirical evidence of the existence of a spirit world: contemporary ethnographic accounts (often travelers' reports from the New World) and stories of spirit possession. In an era when belief in God was being questioned by the likes of Spinoza—himself a former pupil of Rabbi Menasseh—eye-witness accounts of demonic activity furnished an indirect proof for His existence in the hip empiricist language of the day.

Writing Orality

Writing in twelfth century France, at a time when variant manuscripts of the Babylonian Talmud were in circulation, the most famous talmudic glossator, the Tosafist Rabbenu Jacob ben Meir Tam, attacked the rampant practice of textual emendation of rabbinic writings in his Introduction to Sefer ha-Yashar, i.e., "The Book of Probity." This critical perspective points to the emergence of two new historical conditions: (a) Written texts of the Oral Torah were no longer be regarded as aides de memoire, for had that been the case, lexical variants would not be a cause for concern. (b) There were now critical readers who paid attention to changes between one manuscript recension and another.

Writing Orality

Writing in twelfth century France, at a time when variant manuscripts of the Babylonian Talmud were in circulation, the most famous talmudic glossator, the Tosafist Rabbenu Jacob ben Meir Tam, attacked the rampant practice of textual emendation of rabbinic writings in his Introduction to Sefer ha-Yashar, i.e., "The Book of Probity." This critical perspective points to the emergence of two new historical conditions: (a) Written texts of the Oral Torah were no longer be regarded as aides de memoire, for had that been the case, lexical variants would not be a cause for concern. (b) There were now critical readers who paid attention to changes between one manuscript recension and another.

Mordecai Ha-Cohen

Mordecai Ha-Cohen (second from left) was born in Tripoli, Libya, in 1856 and died in Benghazi in the late 1920s. His grandfather, originally from Genoa, settled in Tripoli, while his father, a merchant, died in a shipwreck and the family lost all its wealth. Growing up with limited means, Ha-Cohen became an autodidact, persistently seeking Jewish and general knowledge. Influenced by the Hebrew haskala, he authored a book on the history, institutions, and customs of the Jews of his native land, calling the book Highid Mordekhai (Jerusalem, Ben-Zvi Institute, 1978). In 1906 he served as a guide to Russian-born Nahum Slouschz, a Sorbonne-trained orientalist sent on a mission to Tripoli by the Alliance Israilite Universelle. Ha-Cohen guided Slouschz as they visited small Jewish communities in the Tripolitanian hinterland, including mountain areas where Berber-speaking groups lived. Highid Mordekhai contains rich descriptions of these communities, which in many ways are more valuable than the ethnography provided by Slouschz in his publications. This ethnographic material appears in English as The Book of Mordechai (London, Darf, 1993, ed. Harvey E. Goldberg). Later in life, Ha-Cohen moved to Benghazi where he became a member of the rabbinic court. In the picture, the secretary of the court is to his left and two other judges are to his right.

Responsa from Heaven

In the first years of the thirteenth century, Rabbi Jacob of Marvège produced a unique treatise entitled Responsa from Heaven (She'elot u-Teshuvot min ha-Shamayim). He attempted to answer halakhic questions or dilemmas of long standing by addressing these questions to the Almighty, apparently through a mystical technique known as the dream question (she'elat halom). The answers were transmitted to Jacob by a cohort of angels, often in the form of biblical verses. The versions of this work found in manuscript form (which sometimes contain questions not found in the published edition) suggest that it enjoyed a degree of popularity. A number of medieval and modern rabbinic authorities cite this work as an authoritative source, despite the rabbinic interpretation of the biblical phrase ("for it is not in heaven," lo ba-shamayim hi), that Jewish law should not be decided through heavenly means or intervention.

Responsa from Heaven

In the first years of the thirteenth century, Rabbi Jacob of Marvège produced a unique treatise entitled Responsa from Heaven (She'elot u-Teshuvot min ha-Shamayim). He attempted to answer halakhic questions or dilemmas of long standing by addressing these questions to the Almighty, apparently through a mystical technique known as the dream question (she'elat halom). The answers were transmitted to Jacob by a cohort of angels, often in the form of biblical verses. The versions of this work found in manuscript form (which sometimes contain questions not found in the published edition) suggest that it enjoyed a degree of popularity. A number of medieval and modern rabbinic authorities cite this work as an authoritative source, despite the rabbinic interpretation of the biblical phrase ("for it is not in heaven," lo ba-shamayim hi), that Jewish law should not be decided through heavenly means or intervention.

Responsa from Heaven

In the first years of the thirteenth century, Rabbi Jacob of Marvège produced a unique treatise entitled Responsa from Heaven (She'elot u-Teshuvot min ha-Shamayim). He attempted to answer halakhic questions or dilemmas of long standing by addressing these questions to the Almighty, apparently through a mystical technique known as the dream question (she'elat halom). The answers were transmitted to Jacob by a cohort of angels, often in the form of biblical verses. The versions of this work found in manuscript form (which sometimes contain questions not found in the published edition) suggest that it enjoyed a degree of popularity. A number of medieval and modern rabbinic authorities cite this work as an authoritative source, despite the rabbinic interpretation of the biblical phrase ("for it is not in heaven," lo ba-shamayim hi), that Jewish law should not be decided through heavenly means or intervention.

Operations Exodus

The post-independence history of Israel has been punctuated by national events known as aliyot hatzala, which I have translated as "salvage immigrations," which resulted in the transport of practically entire Jewish communities (or what was left of them) to Israel. These rescue projects, such as "Operation Magic Carpet" that brought Jews from Yemen and "Operation Ezra and Nehemia" that trasported Iraqi Jews, both in the early 1950s, or "Operations Moses" and "Operation Solomon" that transported Ethiopian Jews 1984-5 and 1991, respectively, have become part of Israel's foundation mythology. They are also part of a trans-communal narrative of peoplehood within the Jewish world that is grounded in shared belonging and mutual commitment. My study attempts to re-capture the human and national dramas depicted in hegemonic versions of "salvage immigration" narratives, but also attends to the ways in which they have been renegotiated and contested by various participants on the Israeli cultural scene over the years.

Operations Exodus

The post-independence history of Israel has been punctuated by national events known as aliyot hatzala, which I have translated as "salvage immigrations," which resulted in the transport of practically entire Jewish communities (or what was left of them) to Israel. These rescue projects, such as "Operation Magic Carpet" that brought Jews from Yemen and "Operation Ezra and Nehemia" that trasported Iraqi Jews, both in the early 1950s, or "Operations Moses" and "Operation Solomon" that transported Ethiopian Jews 1984-5 and 1991, respectively, have become part of Israel's foundation mythology. They are also part of a trans-communal narrative of peoplehood within the Jewish world that is grounded in shared belonging and mutual commitment. My study attempts to re-capture the human and national dramas depicted in hegemonic versions of "salvage immigration" narratives, but also attends to the ways in which they have been renegotiated and contested by various participants on the Israeli cultural scene over the years.

Pulp Pilgrims

In Jewish Morocco, the twentieth century witnessed the emergence and transformation of new forms of hagiographic literature dedicated to recounting the lives and miracles of deceased, sainted rabbis. These texts, and the social contexts in which they have been animated, demonstrate the ways in which Judaic practice in Morocco is situated at the intersection between authoritative rabbinic traditions and historical developments. The Hebrew text depicted here is the cover of a hagiographic volume entitled Shenot Haim. Published in 1961 as a Judeo-Arabic translation of a Hebrew original, Shenot Haim deals predominantly with a single rabbinic lineage whose past members are buried in shrines which remain the object of pilgrimage. The text is constituted as a hybrid genre drawing on European Jewish literary precedents, rabbinic textual forms of authorization, and local language practices. Shenot Haim is crafted, and in many cases is popularly recognized, as a form of authoritative rabbinic exegesis through which Moroccan hagiographic and pilgrimage traditions are constituted in resolutely Judaic terms.

Despite the obvious formal differences between the Hebrew text and the French comic strip, the latter published at the end of the twentieth century, there are significant continuities between the two. Not only do both deal with the same saint (Rabbi Haim Pinto); the narrative of the comic strip is in fact taken almost verbatim from an episode recounted in Shenot Haim. Moreover, both texts were produced under the guidance of living members of the Pinto lineage who, in their respective times, exploited current technologies and popular idioms to disseminate their message to the widest possible audience. Finally, insofar as both these and similar texts continue to circulate, they contribute to the ongoing vitality of hagiographic and pilgrimage traditions in Morocco and its Jewish diaspora.

Pulp Pilgrims

In Jewish Morocco, the twentieth century witnessed the emergence and transformation of new forms of hagiographic literature dedicated to recounting the lives and miracles of deceased, sainted rabbis. These texts, and the social contexts in which they have been animated, demonstrate the ways in which Judaic practice in Morocco is situated at the intersection between authoritative rabbinic traditions and historical developments. The Hebrew text depicted here is the cover of a hagiographic volume entitled Shenot Haim. Published in 1961 as a Judeo-Arabic translation of a Hebrew original, Shenot Haim deals predominantly with a single rabbinic lineage whose past members are buried in shrines which remain the object of pilgrimage. The text is constituted as a hybrid genre drawing on European Jewish literary precedents, rabbinic textual forms of authorization, and local language practices. Shenot Haim is crafted, and in many cases is popularly recognized, as a form of authoritative rabbinic exegesis through which Moroccan hagiographic and pilgrimage traditions are constituted in resolutely Judaic terms.

Despite the obvious formal differences between the Hebrew text and the French comic strip, the latter published at the end of the twentieth century, there are significant continuities between the two. Not only do both deal with the same saint (Rabbi Haim Pinto); the narrative of the comic strip is in fact taken almost verbatim from an episode recounted in Shenot Haim. Moreover, both texts were produced under the guidance of living members of the Pinto lineage who, in their respective times, exploited current technologies and popular idioms to disseminate their message to the widest possible audience. Finally, insofar as both these and similar texts continue to circulate, they contribute to the ongoing vitality of hagiographic and pilgrimage traditions in Morocco and its Jewish diaspora.

How "to how to"

"How to" books are a strikingly productive genre of American Jewish culture. Basically, parodic etiquette guides, these generally slim volumes focus on the incongruities between Jewish and the majority culture. Given the centrality of language to culture, not surprisingly these books make much of the uniqueness of Jewish American speech styles. The humorous strategies vary from book to book: Molly Katz's Jewish As A Second Language focuses primarily on syntax and conversational style; Lawrence Lariar's Yankee Yiddish plays on the humorous homonymy of parallel speech codes.

How "to how to"

"How to" books are a strikingly productive genre of American Jewish culture. Basically, parodic etiquette guides, these generally slim volumes focus on the incongruities between Jewish and the majority culture. Given the centrality of language to culture, not surprisingly these books make much of the uniqueness of Jewish American speech styles. The humorous strategies vary from book to book: Molly Katz's Jewish As A Second Language focuses primarily on syntax and conversational style; Lawrence Lariar's Yankee Yiddish plays on the humorous homonymy of parallel speech codes.

Messianic Geography: The Mount of Olives in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Tradition

Since the seventh century, believers of the three faiths — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — have lived in Jerusalem side by side, struggling with and influencing each other. While some of their sacred traditions concerning Jerusalem and its particular holy sites are held only by believers of one religion, many others are common to two religions or even to all three. These common traditions were sometimes a basis for dialogue, but more often they became a bone of contention between the believers.

The Mount of Olives, situated to the east of Jerusalem, is an outstanding example of the complex nature of religious processes and religious dialogue revealed in sacred spaces. For believers of all three religions the Mount is charged with messianic tension as the arena of eschatological events at the End of Time, and as bearing signs of messianic promises in the past and in the present. All three groups of believers agreed that the Mount would be the stage of Resurrection and Judgment, where the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth would be launched. They disagreed over the details of the myth: Who would be the Messiah — the Judge, where is the precise site of his future appearance, and who will be redeemed. Thus, my project is a comparative historical research of the traditions and rituals of the three religions relating to one and the same place — the Mount of Olives, using literary, historical, and anthropological investigation of religious practices.

Suburban Judaism

Following World War II American Jews living in major urban centers underwent two related changes. A significant number of them (there are no exact figures) moved to the suburbs and there they joined synagogues. Six hundred new synagogues were built in the period immediately following the end of the war. This period also had the highest rate of synagogue affiliation, about 52%. American Jews made choices similar to other whites in this regard, however a far greater percentage of Jews moved to the suburbs in comparison to other religious and ethnic group.

The impact of suburbanization on Jews was a subject regularly debated in Jewish journals and magazines of the time. Intellectuals, social workers, writers, rabbis, lay leaders and ordinary Jews wrote about the differences between the urban environment where Jewish life was "natural," versus the suburban world in which Jews were a minority and the streets reflected nothing of a public Jewish life. Other Jews defended the suburbs as a place where young families were building new Jewish communal organizations, and in which the synagogue emerged as a more important institution than it had been in the city.

This debate was closely linked to a related one about the post war "religious revival." United Synagogue Review, a magazine directed to the laity of the Conservative movement, posed that revival as a debate. A great many Jewish publications took up this debate as well. Were Jews actually becoming more observant and serious about Judaism or were there other motivations for synagogue membership? In this era, terms like "country club" Judaism or "dancing school" Judaism suggested that synagogue life was simply one more club that conformist suburbanites joined. Furthermore, parents required their children to go to religious school and attend a synagogue. Suburban Judaism was often called "child oriented." Advocates for a vital post war Judaism countered that adult classes, young rabbis, and living among non-Jews allowed American born, new suburbanites to feel pride and excitement about their Judaism for the first time.

These debates signal that a remarkable transformation in what constituted American Jewish life was initiated in the 1940s. The fundamental definitions of what it meant to be a Jew and an American were no less contested than during the period of immigration at the turn of the twentieth century.

Suburban Judaism

Following World War II American Jews living in major urban centers underwent two related changes. A significant number of them (there are no exact figures) moved to the suburbs and there they joined synagogues. Six hundred new synagogues were built in the period immediately following the end of the war. This period also had the highest rate of synagogue affiliation, about 52%. American Jews made choices similar to other whites in this regard, however a far greater percentage of Jews moved to the suburbs in comparison to other religious and ethnic group.

The impact of suburbanization on Jews was a subject regularly debated in Jewish journals and magazines of the time. Intellectuals, social workers, writers, rabbis, lay leaders and ordinary Jews wrote about the differences between the urban environment where Jewish life was "natural," versus the suburban world in which Jews were a minority and the streets reflected nothing of a public Jewish life. Other Jews defended the suburbs as a place where young families were building new Jewish communal organizations, and in which the synagogue emerged as a more important institution than it had been in the city.

This debate was closely linked to a related one about the post war "religious revival." United Synagogue Review, a magazine directed to the laity of the Conservative movement, posed that revival as a debate. A great many Jewish publications took up this debate as well. Were Jews actually becoming more observant and serious about Judaism or were there other motivations for synagogue membership? In this era, terms like "country club" Judaism or "dancing school" Judaism suggested that synagogue life was simply one more club that conformist suburbanites joined. Furthermore, parents required their children to go to religious school and attend a synagogue. Suburban Judaism was often called "child oriented." Advocates for a vital post war Judaism countered that adult classes, young rabbis, and living among non-Jews allowed American born, new suburbanites to feel pride and excitement about their Judaism for the first time.

These debates signal that a remarkable transformation in what constituted American Jewish life was initiated in the 1940s. The fundamental definitions of what it meant to be a Jew and an American were no less contested than during the period of immigration at the turn of the twentieth century.

Suburban Judaism

Following World War II American Jews living in major urban centers underwent two related changes. A significant number of them (there are no exact figures) moved to the suburbs and there they joined synagogues. Six hundred new synagogues were built in the period immediately following the end of the war. This period also had the highest rate of synagogue affiliation, about 52%. American Jews made choices similar to other whites in this regard, however a far greater percentage of Jews moved to the suburbs in comparison to other religious and ethnic group.

The impact of suburbanization on Jews was a subject regularly debated in Jewish journals and magazines of the time. Intellectuals, social workers, writers, rabbis, lay leaders and ordinary Jews wrote about the differences between the urban environment where Jewish life was "natural," versus the suburban world in which Jews were a minority and the streets reflected nothing of a public Jewish life. Other Jews defended the suburbs as a place where young families were building new Jewish communal organizations, and in which the synagogue emerged as a more important institution than it had been in the city.

This debate was closely linked to a related one about the post war "religious revival." United Synagogue Review, a magazine directed to the laity of the Conservative movement, posed that revival as a debate. A great many Jewish publications took up this debate as well. Were Jews actually becoming more observant and serious about Judaism or were there other motivations for synagogue membership? In this era, terms like "country club" Judaism or "dancing school" Judaism suggested that synagogue life was simply one more club that conformist suburbanites joined. Furthermore, parents required their children to go to religious school and attend a synagogue. Suburban Judaism was often called "child oriented." Advocates for a vital post war Judaism countered that adult classes, young rabbis, and living among non-Jews allowed American born, new suburbanites to feel pride and excitement about their Judaism for the first time.

These debates signal that a remarkable transformation in what constituted American Jewish life was initiated in the 1940s. The fundamental definitions of what it meant to be a Jew and an American were no less contested than during the period of immigration at the turn of the twentieth century.

A Jewish Shrine at the Cemetery of Mainz?

A headstone commemorating the eleventh-century liturgical poet R. Shim'on b. Yitzhak was unearthed during construction works in Mainz in 1922. Numerous similar finds indicate that it had been removed from its location and used for building purposes when the Jewish cemetery of that city was vandalized in 1438. Strangely, this particular epitaph was undated; it simply read "This is the grave of rabbana R. Shim'on bar Yitzhak. May his soul have eternal life." In both its shape and the execution of its inscription, the stone did not resemble those preserved from the eleventh century but seemed closer to the headstones produced in the twelfth or even thirteenth century. Apparently, then, this was not an original tombstone but a later replacement, intended to mark the grave after the original had been lost, perhaps during the persecutions of 1096. Similar memorial markers were found for Rabbenu Gershom me'or hagola and the payyetan R. Meshullam b. Kalonymos. The Jews of Mainz, it seems, felt a need to know exactly where these sages had been buried, though possibly only several generations after the original headstones had disappeared. Even after the Jews were expelled from Mainz in 1473, R. Shim'on's grave kept coming up in various hagiographic legends connected to his person, anchoring these tales in a contemporary reality. One narrator, apparently not from Mainz himself, mentions his own visit at his protagonist's grave, another tells us that there was a miraculous spring nearby. After a Jewish community was reestablished in the city in 1583, the grave was localized in a corner of the new cemetery adjacent to the plot used in medieval times; the surrounding area can be shown to have served as a preferred site for the burial of the privileged from the seventeenth century onward. Contemporary sources refer to the place as the "cave" of R. Shim'on, pointing to a certain degree of conflation with the talmudic legends about R. Shim'on bar Yohai. To some extent, then, a sacred grave located in the Holy Land had been transferred to Ashkenazic soil. Perhaps only by way of such an association were Ashkenazic Jews able to sacralize the space they were themselves inhabiting. Or had Ashkenaz indeed replaced the Holy Land in the minds of local Jews?

A Jewish Shrine at the Cemetery of Mainz?

A headstone commemorating the eleventh-century liturgical poet R. Shim'on b. Yitzhak was unearthed during construction works in Mainz in 1922. Numerous similar finds indicate that it had been removed from its location and used for building purposes when the Jewish cemetery of that city was vandalized in 1438. Strangely, this particular epitaph was undated; it simply read "This is the grave of rabbana R. Shim'on bar Yitzhak. May his soul have eternal life." In both its shape and the execution of its inscription, the stone did not resemble those preserved from the eleventh century but seemed closer to the headstones produced in the twelfth or even thirteenth century. Apparently, then, this was not an original tombstone but a later replacement, intended to mark the grave after the original had been lost, perhaps during the persecutions of 1096. Similar memorial markers were found for Rabbenu Gershom me'or hagola and the payyetan R. Meshullam b. Kalonymos. The Jews of Mainz, it seems, felt a need to know exactly where these sages had been buried, though possibly only several generations after the original headstones had disappeared. Even after the Jews were expelled from Mainz in 1473, R. Shim'on's grave kept coming up in various hagiographic legends connected to his person, anchoring these tales in a contemporary reality. One narrator, apparently not from Mainz himself, mentions his own visit at his protagonist's grave, another tells us that there was a miraculous spring nearby. After a Jewish community was reestablished in the city in 1583, the grave was localized in a corner of the new cemetery adjacent to the plot used in medieval times; the surrounding area can be shown to have served as a preferred site for the burial of the privileged from the seventeenth century onward. Contemporary sources refer to the place as the "cave" of R. Shim'on, pointing to a certain degree of conflation with the talmudic legends about R. Shim'on bar Yohai. To some extent, then, a sacred grave located in the Holy Land had been transferred to Ashkenazic soil. Perhaps only by way of such an association were Ashkenazic Jews able to sacralize the space they were themselves inhabiting. Or had Ashkenaz indeed replaced the Holy Land in the minds of local Jews?

The Third Rabbinic Bible of 1547-1548

The four volumes of the interpreted "`Esrim ve-'arba`ah " (the “Twenty Four”, the traditional title to the whole Hebrew Bible) were printed three times in Venice by the end of the first half of the sixteenth century. These editions known as "Mikra'ot gedolot", a partial translation of the Latin name of the edition "Magna Biblica Rabbinica", are one of the most important and influential Hebrew compositions to have been printed. These editions mark a sharp turn in the history of Hebrew culture; they allowed the Jewish scholars as well as Christian Hebraists to read the ‘Rabbinically’ interpreted Bible as a whole.

The first edition of "Mikra'ot gedolot" was printed in Venice in the years 1515-1517, in the printing press of the Christian printer, Daniel Bomberg. It was edited by Felix Pratensis a convert who dedicated it to Pope Leo X. Seven years later, in the years 1525-1526 a second edition of "Mikra'ot gedolot" was printed in the same printing house but it was totally different from the former. It was edited by Jacob ben Hayyim ben Isaac ibn Adonijah, a Tunisian Jewish scholar who also in time converted to Christianity. This was the best and most important edition of the Hebrew Bible. As opposed to the first edition, this one succeeded in bringing the most accurate version of the Rabbinical Bible according to the ‘Masora’ with an apparatus accompanying it (‘Masora magna’ and ‘Masora Parva’). The Biblical text was surrounded by the Aramaic translation and by medieval interpretations. Besides Rashi, all of them were written by Sefaradi interpreters. Printing these interpretations around the text made them canonical also out of their original realm of culture.

The third and last edition printed in the first half of the sixteenth century was printed in the years 1547-1548 by Cornelio Edel Kind (Israel Cornelius Adelkind), one of the most important agents of the Jewish culture in the Early Modern Age, who received his expertise in the printing house of Daniel Bomberg. It seems to be the least interesting edition since not much was added to it that did not exist in the former ones. Yet as opposed to the first two editions that were accepted only gradually and mainly addressed Jewish scholars and Christian Hebraists, this edition appeared at a time when the idea of the whole ‘Rabbinically’ interpreted Bible had already been accepted by the Jewish public even in the Ashkenazi world. The third edition appeared in a cultural climate that had already been prepared by the two former editions and so it made its way easily to the Jewish bate midrash as well as to the desks of learned Jews. Lengthy discussions about the Scriptures, among them discussions for and against the importance of learning them, took place in the second half of the sixteenth century in the Ashkenazi community due to the appearance of this third edition of the Mikra'ot gedolot, thus indicating its acceptance within the Jewish community. This is the reason I have chosen to present this edition from the collection of the library rather than its more famous former editions.

The Third Rabbinic Bible of 1547-1548

The four volumes of the interpreted "`Esrim ve-'arba`ah " (the “Twenty Four”, the traditional title to the whole Hebrew Bible) were printed three times in Venice by the end of the first half of the sixteenth century. These editions known as "Mikra'ot gedolot", a partial translation of the Latin name of the edition "Magna Biblica Rabbinica", are one of the most important and influential Hebrew compositions to have been printed. These editions mark a sharp turn in the history of Hebrew culture; they allowed the Jewish scholars as well as Christian Hebraists to read the ‘Rabbinically’ interpreted Bible as a whole.

The first edition of "Mikra'ot gedolot" was printed in Venice in the years 1515-1517, in the printing press of the Christian printer, Daniel Bomberg. It was edited by Felix Pratensis a convert who dedicated it to Pope Leo X. Seven years later, in the years 1525-1526 a second edition of "Mikra'ot gedolot" was printed in the same printing house but it was totally different from the former. It was edited by Jacob ben Hayyim ben Isaac ibn Adonijah, a Tunisian Jewish scholar who also in time converted to Christianity. This was the best and most important edition of the Hebrew Bible. As opposed to the first edition, this one succeeded in bringing the most accurate version of the Rabbinical Bible according to the ‘Masora’ with an apparatus accompanying it (‘Masora magna’ and ‘Masora Parva’). The Biblical text was surrounded by the Aramaic translation and by medieval interpretations. Besides Rashi, all of them were written by Sefaradi interpreters. Printing these interpretations around the text made them canonical also out of their original realm of culture.

The third and last edition printed in the first half of the sixteenth century was printed in the years 1547-1548 by Cornelio Edel Kind (Israel Cornelius Adelkind), one of the most important agents of the Jewish culture in the Early Modern Age, who received his expertise in the printing house of Daniel Bomberg. It seems to be the least interesting edition since not much was added to it that did not exist in the former ones. Yet as opposed to the first two editions that were accepted only gradually and mainly addressed Jewish scholars and Christian Hebraists, this edition appeared at a time when the idea of the whole ‘Rabbinically’ interpreted Bible had already been accepted by the Jewish public even in the Ashkenazi world. The third edition appeared in a cultural climate that had already been prepared by the two former editions and so it made its way easily to the Jewish bate midrash as well as to the desks of learned Jews. Lengthy discussions about the Scriptures, among them discussions for and against the importance of learning them, took place in the second half of the sixteenth century in the Ashkenazi community due to the appearance of this third edition of the Mikra'ot gedolot, thus indicating its acceptance within the Jewish community. This is the reason I have chosen to present this edition from the collection of the library rather than its more famous former editions.

Ceremonies for Woman in Labor and Confinement

Books on Jewish life and ceremonies, which were written by Christian Hebraists in 17th-18th cent. Europe, are at times accompanied by captivating black and white copper engravings prepared by professional contemporary engravers. Serving to enhance and illustrate the text on the facing pages, these illustrations provide rare glimpses into aspects of Jewish practices and daily life not available in Jewish art of the time. Despite some polemic overtones, the illustrations are generally accurate and filled with captivating and curious details on bygone Jewish customs and practices, Jewish quarters and synagogues, the interiors of Jewish homes and their contents, Jewish daily and festive dress, etc.

The attached cooper-engraving is taken from a book on Jewish ceremonies by Paul Christian Kirchner, the son of a Chazzan from Frankfurt a/Main, who converted to Christianity around 1715, and taught Judaism and Hebrew literature in various German institutions. The engraving depicts in three panels and four episodes events related to the first week in the life of a new Jewish male baby in early 18th c. Germany. The top panel shows two episodes at the actual time of childbirth: at left, the husband (marked with the letter a), the rabbi (b) and other figures are standing outside the room where the baby is going to be delivered, holding open books and reciting biblical passages believed to assist the safe delivery of the baby (e.g., Isaiah 54). At right is the interior of the "birthing room" — a room in the house where the delivery takes place: the birthing woman had been moved from her bed to the special delivery chair, while four women or midwives support and assist her. On the table at left is a Torah scroll (labeled c), which was brought from the Torah ark in the synagogue - in the belief that its holiness may protect the woman. On the wall are written several magic inscriptions in Hebrew — including the names of the three angels, who are supposed to ward off Lilith - the demon who is believed to kill babies at birth.

Two additional episodes are depicted in the two smaller panels underneath. As the custom has been that the birthing woman may not remain alone in the days following delivery, the left panel (labeled d) shows her in the company of visitors. At left is a group of men feasting around the table, and at right women who entertain the birthing woman. The last episode (labeled e) depicts the night before circumcision (in Yiddish Wachnacht) — Lilith's "last chance" to harm the mother or the baby. Men with open books stand around the bed of the woman, guarding her the entire night; she is lying in her bed with the baby safely in her arms; behind her large pillow is a sword with which she would fight Lilith. According to Kirchner, at midnight the mother would stand in the center of the room, take the sword and brandish it in four directions — as if she is attacking Lilith from whichever direction she may come.

Greener Grasses ... Between West and East

Menasseh ben Israel's short treatise Vindiciae Judaeorum (London, 1656) was translated into German by Marcus Herz and published with an introduction and a number of footnotes by Moses Mendelssohn in 1782. The Dutch translation of the German edition illustrates very well the diasporic, "routed" character of the Jewish Enlightenment: The work of a scholar, living in Amsterdam, struggling for the re-admission of the Jews to England, was published in German as part of the debate on Jewish emancipation in Prussia and almost simultaneously transferred to the Netherlands.

While we read in Menasseh ben Israel's work: "Our captivity under the Mahometans is far more burdensome and grievous than under the Christians […] as our nation have found experimentally," Mendelssohn is unable to sum up historical experience so neatly and adds a footnote, stating that "[t]he number of Jews in the Mahometan states, probably, is greater than in the Christian. It is there, that they more frequently attain wealth and distinction by excelling as physicians, or even statesmen." The Ottoman Empire and Morocco are evoked as places that disrupt the prevalent order of hierarchies between West and East, North and South. They certainly did not present alternative political models, but they offered instances of diverging legal and political arrangements, which thoroughly questioned Eurocentric conceptions of rationalization and progress. From the East and the South it could be learned that the present situation in Prussia was not inevitable. The Maskilim drew a map of the diaspora, which showed many places, where some achievements could be observed, while "civil improvement" remained highly desirable — Berlin was just one of them.

The Avodah Genre and Its Popularity

A papyrus fragment (Moscow, Pushkin Museum I.1.b 1028) from Palestine, dating to the end of the Byzantine period. The papyrus contains fragments of an Avodah service for Yom Kippur. The Avodah, which was usually recited in the additional service (musaf) on the morning of Yom Kippur, narrates the sacrifice of expiation that took place in the Temple according to Leviticus 16 and the Mishnah tractate Yoma. Although early examples of the Avodah followed Mishnah Yoma's narration closely, the service developed by the fourth century into a complex example of synagogue poetry (piyyut). Avodah piyyutim included a lengthy preamble relating world history from creation to the selection of Aaron and his sons as priests, and went on to describe the sacrifice as performed by the High Priest. A distinctive feature of this genre is its glorification, in ornate poetry, of the High Priest as physically splendid and pious man who represents Israel before God in the Holy of Holies. The Avodah genre and its popularity in the synagogue testify to the persistence of interest in Israel's sacrificial system among Jews in the Rabbinic period, centuries after the destruction of the Temple.

Four Worlds of Kabbalah

"Aleph: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal," is a contemporary Jewish movement that seeks to promote spirituality among American Jews. The movement draws upon and reinterprets the resources of the Jewish mystical tradition (Kabbalah and Hasidism). A central kabbalistic motif adapted by Renewal Jews is the idea that the cosmos is composed of Four Worlds, ranging from Atzilut ("Emanation": the divine world of the Sefirot, aspects of the Godhead), through Beriah ("Creation": the world of the Divine Chariot and the higher angels), and Yetzirah ("Formation": the world of angelic beings), to Assiyah ("Making": the physical world). As the first illustration shows, these worlds are associated with the letters of the Tetragrammaton, the four-letter Name of God. Renewal Jews stress the identification, found in some later Hasidic material, of these worlds with aspects of human life: spiritual communion, intellect, emotion, and physical being. Typically, Jewish Renewal services are conceptualized as a ladder of ascent through these four worlds, from physical being all the way to spiritual communion. Members of the Renewal movement also consider each of the worlds as holy, and all of them as essential to a balanced spiritual life. Thus, the letters, and the worlds, are also mapped onto the human form, as shown in the second illustration.

Four Worlds of Kabbalah

"Aleph: The Alliance for Jewish Renewal," is a contemporary Jewish movement that seeks to promote spirituality among American Jews. The movement draws upon and reinterprets the resources of the Jewish mystical tradition (Kabbalah and Hasidism). A central kabbalistic motif adapted by Renewal Jews is the idea that the cosmos is composed of Four Worlds, ranging from Atzilut ("Emanation": the divine world of the Sefirot, aspects of the Godhead), through Beriah ("Creation": the world of the Divine Chariot and the higher angels), and Yetzirah ("Formation": the world of angelic beings), to Assiyah ("Making": the physical world). As the first illustration shows, these worlds are associated with the letters of the Tetragrammaton, the four-letter Name of God. Renewal Jews stress the identification, found in some later Hasidic material, of these worlds with aspects of human life: spiritual communion, intellect, emotion, and physical being. Typically, Jewish Renewal services are conceptualized as a ladder of ascent through these four worlds, from physical being all the way to spiritual communion. Members of the Renewal movement also consider each of the worlds as holy, and all of them as essential to a balanced spiritual life. Thus, the letters, and the worlds, are also mapped onto the human form, as shown in the second illustration.

Selected bibliography

  • Abramowicz, Hirsz Profiles of a lost world: memoirs of East European Jewish life before World War II Translated by Eva Zeitlin Dobkin; edited by Dina Abramowicz and Jeffrey Shandler; with introductions by David E. Fishman and Dina Abramowicz Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999
  • Asad, Talal Formations of the secular: Christianity, Islam, modernity Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2003
  • Bar-Yitshak, Hayah Jewish Poland--legends of origin: ethnopoetics and legendary chronicles Detroit, Mich.: Wayne State University Press, 2001
  • Ben-Ami, Issachar Saint veneration among the Jews in Morocco Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1998
  • Ben-Amos, Dan & Mintz, Jerome R. Shivhe ha-Besht. In praise of the Baal Shem Tov: the earliest collection of legends about the founder of Hasidism Ben-Amos, Dan & Mintz, Jerome R., editors and translators Northvale, N.J.: Jason Aronson, 1993
  • Ben-Sasson, Menahem Tsemihat ha-kehilah ha-Yehudit be-artsot ha-Islam: Kairavan, 800-1057 Yerushalayim: Hotsa'at sefarim `a.sh. Y.L. Magnes, ha-Universitah ha-`Ivrit, 1996
  • Bilu, Yoram Without bounds: the life and death of Rabbi Ya'aqov Wazana Detroit, Mich.: Wayne State University Press, 2000
  • Bonfil, Roberto Tra due mondi: cultura ebraica e cultura cristiana nel Medioevo Napoli: Liguori, 1996
  • Boyarin, Jonathan and Boyarin, Daniel Powers of diaspora: two essays on the relevance of Jewish culture Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002
  • Chajes, Jeffrey Howard Between worlds: dybbuks, exorcists, and early modern Judaism Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003
  • Dobroszycki, Lucjan and Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara Image before my eyes: a photographic history of Jewish life in Poland, 1864-1939 New York: Schocken Books, 1977
  • Eilberg-Schwartz, Howard People of the body: Jews and Judaism from an embodied perspective Eilberg-Schwartz, Howard editor Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1992
  • El-Or, Tamar Next year I will know more: literacy and identity among young Orthodox women in Israel Translated from Hebrew by Haim Watzman Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2002
  • Fishman, Talya Shaking the pillars of exile: 'Voice of a fool,' an early modern Jewish critique of rabbinic culture Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1997
  • Goldberg, Harvey E Jewish passages: cycles of Jewish life Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003
  • Goldberg, Sylvie Anne La Clepsydre II: temps de Jerusalem, temps de Babylone Paris: Alban Michel, 2004
  • Goldish, Matt Spirit possession in Judaism : cases and contexts from the Middle Ages to the present Editor Matt Goldish, foreword by Erika Bourguignon and an introduction by Joseph Dan Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2003
  • Hasan-Rokem, Galit Tales of the neighborhood : Jewish narrative dialogues in late antiquity Berkeley: University of California Press, 2003
  • Kanarfogel, Ephraim Peering through the lattices : mystical, magical, and pietistic dimensions in the Tosafist period Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2000
  • Katriel, Tamar Performing the past: a study of Israeli settlement museums Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1997
  • Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara Destination culture: tourism, museums, and heritage Berkeley : University of California Press, 1998
  • Kugelmass, Jack Key texts in American Jewish Culture Edited by Jack Kugelmass New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, 2003
  • Limor, Ora Christian sacred space and the Jew [Wiesbaden]: Harrassowitz, [1996]
  • [Noy, Dov]. Shternheim, Nokhem Hobn mir a nigndl = Hineh lanu nigun yesh : shire ha-"trubador" ha-Yehudi Nahum Shternhaim Yerushalayim: ha-Merkaz le-heker ha-musikah ha-Yehudit, ha-Universitah ha-`Ivrit bi-Yerushalayim, 760, 2000
  • Patai, Raphael Arab folktales from Palestine and Israel Introduction, translation, and annotation by Raphael Patai Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1998
  • Prell, Riv-Ellen Fighting to become Americans: Jews, gender, and the anxiety of assimilation Boston, Mass: Beacon Press, 1999
  • Reiner, Elchanan `Aliyah va-`aliyah le-regel le-Erets Yi4sra'el [Pilgrims and pilgrimage to Eretz Yisrael]: 1099-1517 Thesis (Ph. D.)--ha-Universitah ha-`Ivrit bi-Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, 1988
  • Rustow, Marina Scripture and schism: Samaritan and Karaite treasures from the library of the Jewish Theological Seminary; Catalog of an exhibition: Dec. 14, 2000-April 5, 2001 New York: The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, 2000
  • Sabar, Shalom Ketubbah: the art of the Jewish marriage contract Jerusalem: The Israel Museum ; New York, NY: Rizzoli International Publications, 2000
  • Shmeruk, Chone The Esterke story in Yiddish and Polish literature: a case study in the mutual relations of two cultural traditions Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Center, 1985
  • Swartz, Michael D Scholastic magic: ritual and revelation in early Jewish mysticism Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996
  • Valensi, Lucette and Wachtel, Nathan Jewish memories translated from the French by Barbara Harshav Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991
  • Wachtel, Nathan La foi du souvenir: labyrinthes marranes [Paris?]: Id. du Seuil, 2001
  • Weissler, Chava Voices of the matriarchs: listening to the prayers of early modern Jewish women Boston: Beacon Press, 1998
  • Zenner, Walter P A global community: the Jews from Aleppo, Syria Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2000

Contributors

Dan Ben-Amos - University of Pennsylvania/CAJS 2004
Second Benjamin
Menahem Ben-Sasson - Hebrew University/CAJS 2004
Less is More
Ra'anan (Abusch) Boustan - University of Minnesota/CAJS 2004
Virtual Martyrs
Yossi Chajes - University of Haifa/CAJS 2004
Proving the Soul
Talya Fishman - University of Pennsylvania/CAJS 2004
Writing Orality
Harvey Goldberg - Hebrew University/CAJS 2004
Mordecai Ha-Cohen
Ephraim Kanarfogel - Yeshiva University/CAJS 2004
Responsa from Heaven
Tamar Katriel - University of Haifa/CAJS 2004
Operations Exodus
Oran Kosansky - University of Pennsylvania/CAJS 2004
Pulp Pilgrims
Jack Kugelmass - Arizona State University/CAJS 2004
How "to how to"
Ora Limor - Hebrew University/CAJS 2004
Messianic Geography
Riv-Ellen Prell - University of Minnesota/CAJS 2004
Suburban Judaism
Lucia Raspe - Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main/CAJS 2004
Mainz
Elhanan Reiner - Tel Aviv University/CAJS 2004
Third Rabbinic Bible
Shalom Sabar - Hebrew University/CAJS 2004
Ceremonies for Woman
Andrea Schatz - University of Duisburg/CAJS 2004
Greener Grasses
Michael Swartz - Ohio State University/CAJS 2004
The Avodah Genre
Chava Weissler - Lehigh University/CAJS 2004
Four Worlds
Lehigh University/CAJS 2004

to Etty Lassman, CAJS Administrative Assistant to the Fellows, and to the Klau Library, Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati, Ohio) for providing scanned images; to Leslie Vallhonrat and Michael Winkler of the Penn Library Web Unit for their indefatigable collaboration in the exhibit's design and mounting; and to Arthur Kiron, Penn Library Curator of Judaica Collections for his assistance in organizing this virtual exhibit.