Monthly Archives: July 2013

14 posts

The midrash of the Ten Famines: The challenge of determining historical primacy of exegetical traditions

A long title. I shall have to find a shorter version, but it gets at the challenge we often find in Targumic studies. For those who are not familiar with the Targumim a very simplistic description is this: Aramaic translation of the biblical text PLUS interpretive material. A little more precisely, I would say that most Targumim present a word-for-word representation of the biblical text into Aramaic and occasionally add exegetical material, but in a way […]

Mother and Child in Basler Münster

The Experience of God

Jim West posted this response to an AP tweet: From the twitter- @AP: Rick Warren gives 1st sermon since son’s suicide, saying “God knows what it’s like to lose a son”: -SS But does he? Does God, in infinite knowledge, experience reality just like we do? Such a god seems to be crushed down to little more than a man. Such a god is made in the image of man. The sentiment of the statement is […]

Exegetical Similarities in the Targumim of the Megilloth

We are now just about two weeks away from the 2013 IOTS conference in Munich. My paper, as always seems to be the case, is on the last day, just a few hours before we catch our flight back. My paper is “On Some Exegetical Similarities Between the Targumim of the Megilloth.” I thought I would share my intro with you here. On Some Exegetical Similarities Between the Targumim of the Megilloth The Megilloth, the […]

By sadness of countenance the heart is made glad?

I am finishing off my paper for the 2013 IOTS Conference to be held in just over two weeks. I will be speaking “On Exegetical Similarities between the Targumim of the Megilloth” and in the course of my research I was reading Tg Qohelet again. The Targum transforms this nihilistic text into a treatise on obedience to Torah and rabbinic virtues, but I was struck by this passage in the biblical text. Eccl. 7:2-4 2 […]

Messages from the past – no thanks to Facebook

I get David Pogue’s NYTimes blog postings in my email. I like his reviews and reflections, but today’s Two Tips for Facebook Users was particularly helpful. In it he reveals that there is a hidden “Other” messages mailbox. [H]ere’s the bottom line: Go to your Facebook page. In the left-side panel, click Messages. There, next to the boldfaced word “Inbox,” you see a light gray word “Other.” Click it to see your hidden stash of […]

All I want

I am reading some science fiction for distraction, The Fall of Hyperion, recommended by my friend Rick. This is the second in trilogy and, as seems so often the case now, the themes are far more relevant to my immediate life than I expected. One character, a Jewish Philosopher named Sol, is mourning his daughter and quotes a portion of Yeats’s A Prayer for My Daughter. “All Sol wanted, he realized now, was the same possibility […]

Sente Review: Bibliographic software for the Mac & iPad

This is a repost from January 14, 2011. I had thought about doing a new post, but it is still relevant and came up in my conversation with our new Tombros Librarian Chuck Jones and CLA associate dean Christopher Long. I still find Sente to be most useful for me and their new Sync2 has made it even better and easier to set up the same bibliography on multiple machines (i.e., to share with others). There […]

Comic fans: “Origins of the Sunday Comics” on

If you read this site with any regularity you know that I love comics. Today I noticed that has started a new “strip” that will showcase some of the oldest newspaper comics and thus provide a history to their origins. Should be well worth a daily look! About Origins of the Sunday Comics This is where it all started! From the Yellow Kid and the Katzenjammer Kids to Little Nemo and Little Jimmy, these […]