Debra Glasberg Gail is interested in the cultural history of Jewish legal texts, the material history of the book, and the history of science. Her dissertation combined these interests through a close study of the life and work of Italian rabbi and physician Isaac Lampronti (1679–1756), who is best known for producing the first alphabetically organized encyclopedia and the first periodical of halakhah. In her dissertation, Gail showed how Lampronti refashioned the traditional rabbinic system by engaging scientific methodologies and Enlightenment ideas. 

Gail completed her PhD in 2016 at Columbia University. Immediately after, she spent a year as Gruss Scholar-in-Residence at the New York University School of Law. She is currently writing a monograph based on her dissertation.

Select publications:

  • “Scientific Authority and Halakhah in the Paḥad Yitzḥak,” Nuovi Studi su Isacco Lampronti: Storia, Poesia, Scienza e Halakah, ed. Mauro Perani (Giuntina 2017) 
  • “Three Manuscript Editions of the Paḥad Yitzḥak,” Nuovi Studi su Isacco Lampronti: Storia, Poesia, Scienza e Halakah, ed. Mauro Perani (Giuntina 2017) 

For more information about this Katz Center Fellow click here:
Debra Glasberg Gail (2017-2018)