Then and Now
Judaism

Jewish Charity in Antiquity

The online forum Ancient Jew Review recently published three essays on Jewish charity in antiquity, by Alyssa Gray, Gregg Gardner, and Yael Wilfand.  I highly recommend these essays which together provide an excellent introduction to the state of research in this field.  My own response to them was also published here.

Using Video in Religious Studies Classes

A few years back I tried to incorporate video clips into my teaching.  Below is a link to a brief account I recently published in AJS Perspectives on this experiment. What are ways that you find most useful to incorporate sound, images, or other nontextual media into your Jewish Studies classrooms?  

Speaking in Baltimore

I will be giving four talks in Baltimore on April 1-2 on the holiness of the Bible.  I am grateful to the Hoffberger Foundation for Torah Study and the consortium of Baltimore area synagogues for the opportunity to do this.  The details are located on my Events page or on this flyer.

On Jewish Betrothal

I recently wrote an essay for thegemara.com on the origins of Jewish betrothal.  The primary but not only context for this essay is to provide a new, historical lens for those who, working through the “daf yomi” cycle of reading a page of Talmud each day through to its completion, have just started tractate Kiddushin. ...

Workshop: Jewish Attitudes Toward Wealth and Poverty

I am very happy to announce an upcoming workshop at Brown University that I am coordinating, “Jewish Attitudes Toward Wealth and Poverty,” to take place on November 1-3, 2015.  More information can be found on the workshop website. A description: Traditional Jewish texts present different approaches to wealth, poverty, and money. The purpose of this...

The Wisdom of Ben Sira: How Jewish?

I have written a short piece on how the book of Ben Sira (also known as Ecclesiasticus, which today is found in the Apocrypha) was pushed to the Jewish margins and on some recent attempts to bring it back into at least the fringes of Jewish consciousness.  The essay can be found here.

Wealth: Religious Perspectives

I am excited to be co-teaching a new course this semester with my colleague, Professor Susan Harvey.  The course description of “Wealth: Religious Perspectives,” is below: This course will survey religious approaches to the acquisition and use of wealth: How do religious thinkers understand the notion of ownership and private property? Is the fact of...

The Ein Gedi Scroll: What We Could Potentially, Maybe Learn

A bit over a month ago the Israel Antiquities Authority announced a stunning achievement: a burnt scroll found in excavations of the ancient synagogue of Ein Gedi in 1970 has been partially deciphered using micro-CT technology.  It turns out to contain at least the beginning of the book of Leviticus and, after the Dead Sea...

Conference Announcement: Jewish Attitudes Toward Wealth and Poverty

I am delighted to announce a conference that I am organizing on “Jewish Attitudes toward Wealth and Poverty.”  We are now in the “call for proposals” phase; please consider submitting a proposal and spread the word.  A short description is below and more information can be found here. The Program in Judaic Studies at Brown...

Review of The Study of Judaism

  My review of Aaron Hughes, The Study of Judaism, has recently been posted.  You can access it here.

Jewish Time in Early Nineteenth Century America

A new article of mine just appeared in the American Jewish Archives Journal. Abstract: Jewish Time in Early-Nineteenth-Century America: 1–29 In 1806, a clerk in Newport, Rhode Island, by the name of Moses Lopez published the first free-standing Jewish calendar in the Americas. In this article, Satlow investigates both the historical context in which this...
Passover and the Festival of Matzot

Passover and the Festival of Matzot

I have a new essay, “Passover and the Festival of Matzot: Synthesizing Two Holidays,” over at thetorah.com.  Check it out here!