The Large Reading (“Kriya Gdola”)
In contrast to the conventional argument that a clear method cannot be identified for the compilation of the Mishnah tractates, Dr. Yair Eldan sees these as complete stories dealing with great dilemmas of that period. Among other things the ‘large reading’ that Dr. Eldan suggests teaches us that tractate Sotah actually revolves around Messianism and that tractate Ta’anit is an attempt to cope with the silence of God.
‘Self-Denial and Temptation’ / Rella Kushelevsky
‘Self-Denial and Temptation,’ the new book by Professor Rella Kushelevsky, is devoted to 13 stories taken from Ashkenazi thirteenth century manuscripts. It provides the general public with an opportunity to discover a largely unknown part of Hebrew literature. In her review, Avital Davidovich-Eshed discusses the uniqueness of the Hebrew story in the Middle Ages, which reflects a Jewish world that differs from that of the more familiar rabbinic literature.
A Leisure Pastime that Became a Mitzvah
A study of the texts written by Christians and converted Jews paints a surprising picture of the sources for the custom of Tashlich during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In this article, Dr. Eli Freiman explains how Tashlich began as a light-hearted pastime on Jewish festivals along the rivers of Ashkenaz, and only over the years becoming a meaningful and deeply religious ceremony