My Blog

Rabbi Moses Hayyim Ephraim of Sudylkow

Rabbi Moses Hayyim Ephraim of Sudylkow

The rise of Hasidism precipitated a strong reaction by a range of prevailing religious authorities. The accusations and basis for concern were quite varied as the edicts of excommunication issued by the Gaon of Vilna and others ultimately revealed. One recurring...

The Concept of Sonship in Jewish Thought

The Concept of Sonship in Jewish Thought

A friend recently asked me whether Christianity had been a topic of discussion at the three traditional Jewish institutions I studied at. I remarked that it was never a central topic of discussion, but that it did arise on occasion. When it did, there were three...

The Beginnings of Jewishness

The Beginnings of Jewishness

The subject of Jewish identity has been a long term interest for me. My thesis at the Siegal College of Judaic Studies was on Jewish identity during the Second Temple period. My dissertation at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies was on Iberian Conversos, or...

The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English

The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English

Every scholar has his or her unique story. Few, however, have as fascinating a story as the legendary Geza Vermes. Even fewer can weave their personal stories and transform their struggles as strengths into their professional work. Geza Vermes was one such person....

Who Was a Jew?

Who Was a Jew?

One of the premier scholars of the Dead Sea Scrolls is Dr. Lawrence H. Schiffman of New York University. In fact, he remains the premier American scholar on the Dead Sea Scrolls to my knowledge. He taught as Yeshiva University and also served as provost there. One of...