“What I found surprised me.” This sentiment, voiced by Benjamin Sommer in his essay on biblical theology, was one shared by all of the essayists in our recent forum marking JQR’s 130th anniversary.
If a woman does not immerse after her menstruation according to rabbinic norms, legislates Maimonides in 1176, she will lose her dower to her husband. In her lively and original work of social reconstruction, Eve Krakowski sees this law as a “milestone in the long and winding history of rabbinization.” Digging behind the law, one of Maimonides’s more aggressive legal reforms, she discovers fascinating and largely unseen traces of women’s folk piety.
Update: this issue is free online without a subscription through June 30, 2020.
JQR 110.1 is now available, online* and in print.
In this issue:
Daniel Reifman uses semiotic theory to account for the fact that legal rationales play a relatively peripheral role in the construction of rabbinic legal discourse.
Below is a celebration of the life and scholarship of Professor Joel Kraemer (1933–2018) written by JQR contributor Mordechai A. Friedman (his pieces can be found here and here). Kraemer was a great pioneer of Judeo-Islamic studies, a lovely human being, and a generous teacher of many students, some of whom are currently at the Katz Center both among staff and fellows.