Hebrew Language #20 Hebrew Literature #18 The re-creation of Hebrew as a literary language

As you could notice in the previous postings, can we say that literature has been the home of Jewish artistic activity throughout the ages. We must also remember that Hebrew literature is not synonymous with Jewish literature. For those who study the Bible, the Hebrew language is an important semitic language of the Northern Central […]

Hebrew Language #20 Hebrew Literature #17 Later writers – From the 18th Century into 19th century and Modernizing tendencies

Modernizing tendencies The characteristic of the 18th and 19th centuries is the endeavour, connected with the name of Moses Mendelssohn, to bring Judaism more into relation with external learning, and in using the Hebrew language to purify and develop it in accordance with the biblical standard. The result, while linguistically more uniform and pleasing, often […]

Hebrew Language #19 Hebrew Literature #16 Later writers – From the Renaissance to 18th Century, going into a new religious movement within Judaism

The introduction of printing (first dated Hebrew printed book, Rashi, Reggio, 1475) gave occasion for a number of scholarly compositors and proof-readers, some of whom were also authors, such as Jacob ben Ḥayyīm of Tunis (d. about 1530), proof-reader to Bomberg, chiefly known for his masoretic work in connexion with the Rabbinic Bible and his […]

Hebrew Language #18 Hebrew Literature #15 Limit of Hebrew literature its development

Going into the 13th and14th centuries, Hebrew literature may be said to have reached the limit of its development.

Hebrew Language #17 Hebrew Literature #14 Families, works from France, Germany and the Levant

Looking a.o. at the families Ibn Tibbōn, Kalonymos and Hillel and ibn Ezra of the Levant.

Hebrew Language #16 Hebrew Literature #13 Maimonides, Maimonists and anti-Maimonists

Today we come to one of the most important figures of Jewish literature of the medieval period, the Jewish philosopher, jurist, and physician Maimonides often better known as Rambam.

Hebrew Language #15 Hebrew Literature #12 High level of literature in Spain in the 12th and 13th century

Looking at 12th and 13th centuries literature and Jewish travellers.

Hebrew Language #14 Hebrew Literature #11 French school of the 11th century

The French school of the 11th century was hardly less important. Gershom ben Judah, the “Light of the Exile” (d. in 1040 at Mainz), a famous Talmudist and commentator, his pupil Jacob ben Yaqar, and Moses of Narbonne, called ha-Darshan, the “Exegete,” were the forerunners of the greatest of all Jewish commentators, Solomon ben Isaac […]

Hebrew Language #13 Hebrew Literature #10 Exegesis

The aim of the grammatical studies of the Spanish school was ultimately exegesis. This had already been cultivated in the East. In the 9th century Ḥīvī of Balkh wrote a rationalistic treatise [A fragment of such a work, probably emanating from the school of Ḥīvī was found by Schechter and published in J.Q.R., xiii. 345 […]

Hebrew Language #12 Hebrew Literature #9 Medieval scholarship

Medieval scholarship To return to the period of the Geōnīm. While the schools of Babylonia were flourishing as the religious head of Judaism, the West, and especially Spain under Moorish rule, was becoming the home of Jewish scholarship. On the breaking up of the schools many of the fugitives fled to the West and helped […]

Hebrew Language #11 Hebrew Literature #8 The Qaraites or Karaites

A look at Karaite Judaism (“Followers of the Bible”) which had its base in the Crimea in the Middle Ages, and looking at the influence of its teachers and writings on Christianity and Islam.

Hebrew Language #10 Hebrew Literature #7 The Geōnīm

The Geōnīm The order of the Amoraim, which ended with the close of the Talmud (C.E. 500), was succeeded by that of the Sabōrāīm, who merely continued and explained the work of their predecessors, and these again were followed by the Geōnīm, the heads of the schools of Sura and Pumbeditha in Babylonia. The office […]

Hebrew Language #9 Hebrew Literature #6 Hebrew Liturgy

When looking at Hebrew Liturgy we look at the religious phenomenon of the Jehudiem or Jews where their liturgy represents a communal response to and participation in the sacred through activities reflecting praise, thanksgiving, remembrance, supplication, or repentance, giving themselves to their Bore or Divine Creator, the Elohim Hashem יהוה (YHWH) Jehovah in the hope […]

Hebrew Language #8 Hebrew Literature #5 Talmud and Masorah

In the previous chapter we said that traditional teaching was not confined to halakhah, or the ordinances regulating religious observances. We saw that it was the duty of the teachers to show the connexion of practical rules with the written Law. And as such Midrash, exposition, from darash arised to “investigate” a scriptural passage and […]

Hebrew Language #7 Hebrew Literature #4 Mishnah and Midrash

Last episode we ended by the 2nd century and spoke about a period which followed the later canonical books, not only was translation, and therefore exegesis, cultivated, by Elders and their pupils that form the starting-point of the next series, the Tannāīm, who occupy the first two centuries of this common era. Mishnah By this […]

Hebrew Language #6 Hebrew Literature #3 Halakhah

Halakhah We must now return to the 2nd century. During the period which followed the later canonical books, not only was translation, and therefore exegesis, cultivated, but even more the amplification of the Law. According to Jewish teaching Halakhah. (e.g. Abhoth i. 1) Moses received on Mount Sinai not only the written Law as set […]

Hebrew Language #5 Hebrew Literature #2 Torah, Apocryphal literature and Targum

Apocryphal Hebrew literature It is not to be supposed that all the contents of the Old Testament were immediately accepted as sacred, or that they were ever all regarded as being on the same level. The Torah, the Law delivered to Moses, held among the Apocryphal literature.Jews of the 4th century B.C.E. as it holds […]

Hebrew Language #3 Among Christian scholars

Looking at the Hebraists in the Greek and Latin Church up to the 19th cnetury.

Hebrew Language #2 The name “Hebrew” and Speech of Canaan

Arthur Ernest Cowley looking at Hebrew speech and writing.

2022 Upcoming conferences

24th-26th August 2022: The 11th Nordic Patristic Meeting The 11th Nordic Patristic Meeting will take place at Aarhus University on Wednesday 24th- Friday 26th August 2022. The 1st circular with all the relevant information is here.  This is also the website: https://events.au.dk/nordicpatristic2022. 29th September – 1st October 2022: The Reception of St. Gregory of Nyssa […]