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 30

      Josephus Flavius

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

    • MJL Author Article 31

      Did Israel Deserve Redemption?

      Jewish texts have much to say on this subject.

    • MJL Author Article 32

      Drinking on Purim

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

    • MJL Author Article 33

      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 34

      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 35

      A Timeline of Jewish Texts

      How did the different genres of Jewish texts develop chronologically?

    • MJL Author Article 36

      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 37

      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 38

      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 39

      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.


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