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.
JQR 110.2 is now available, online* and in print.
In this issue:
A Sofer is a Jewish ritual scribe, and Safrut is the ritual writing penned by a Sofer. Ritual writing follows a strict set of rules, and very small details can disqualify the item from ritual use. A misspelled word, certain misshapen letters, disorderliness, and even beginning certain columns with the wrong word can sometimes disqualify an entire scroll. Disqualified Torah scroll fragments, for example, are permitted for study purposes only, but not for ritual contexts.
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.