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

      Seder Kodashim (Holy Things)

      The rabbis restored the religious meaning of the sacrificial cult even though the Temple itself had been destroyed.

    • MJL Author Article 21

      Josephus Flavius

      Josephus Flavius both participated in and wrote the history of the Jewish interaction with Rome.

    • MJL Author Article 22

      Did Israel Deserve Redemption?

      Jewish texts have much to say on this subject.

    • MJL Author Article 23

      Drinking on Purim

      A lighthearted look at the source of the obligation to get drunk on the holiday.

    • MJL Author Article 24

      Traditional Commentaries on the Shema

      Commentaries on the three paragraphs of the Shema read Jewish concepts both out of and into the text.

    • MJL Author Article 25

      The Innovative Spirit and Jewish Tradition

      Although the rabbis propagated the belief that rabbinic teaching went back to Moses on Mt. Sinai, many classical texts clearly demonstrate that the rabbis understood the innovative nature of their work.

    • MJL Author Article 26

      A Timeline of Jewish Texts

      How did the different genres of Jewish texts develop chronologically?

    • MJL Author Article 27

      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 28

      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 29

      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.


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