Articles By Jeffrey Spitzer

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    Jeffrey Spitzer is Chair of the Department of Talmud and Rabbinics at Gann Academy, The New Jewish High School, Waltham, Mass., and a member of the Institute's Tichon Fellows Program.


    • MJL Author Article 20

      Surrendering to the Romans

      The remarkable parallels in the stories of Josephus' and Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai's surrenders to the Romans reveal more about Jewish memory than Jewish history.

    • MJL Author Article 21

      Pe'ah: The Corners of Our Fields

      Rabbinic commentators interpreted the law of leaving the corners of one's field for those in need in light of their own concerns about the poor.

    • MJL Author Article 22

      The Rabbinic Conversion Ceremony

      The different layers of the rabbinic discussion of conversion reveal the beginnings of a transformation from a citizenship ritual to a theological initiation rite.

    • MJL Author Article 23

      Every Person is a Tree

      The Biblical law protecting fruit trees during war provides an opportunity for Jewish exegetes to reflect on ecology and the wanton destruction of life.

    • MJL Author Article 24

      Different Perspectives on the Authorship of the Torah

      Literary, historical, and theological perspectives on whether the Torah is divine, human, or something in between

    • MJL Author Article 25

      The Way of the Gentiles

      The prohibition against non-Jewish practices, might relate to the practices of ancient Egypt, Canaan or the social and philosophical ways of non-Jews today.

    • MJL Author Article 26

      "Whose Leaves Do Not Wither"

      In Jewish sources, the leaf is a metaphor for the fragility and durability of life.

    • MJL Author Article 27

      Kitniyot: Not Quite Hametz

      Although rice, millet, corn, and legumes are not among the five prohibited grains on Passover, Jews of European origin have traditionally avoided them during the holiday.

    • MJL Author Article 28

      Jewish Peace Offerings

      Deuteronomy's laws of warfare include the requirement that a nation seek a peaceful settlement before engaging in war.

    • MJL Author Article 29

      Making It Better and Better

      Successive generations of Jews have created different ways of enhancing the observance of the Hanukkah lights.


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