Myers asks about some of the broader questions that inform Tworek’s recent essay “Mystic, Teacher, Troublemaker: Shimon Engel Horovits of Żelechów and the Challenges of Hasidic Education in Interwar Poland” (JQR 110.2)
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.
When the Jewish war against Rome erupted in 66 C.E., Flavius Josephus was appointed commander of the Galilee, and a substantial portion of his account of the early years of the war concerns his relationship to the region and its inhabitants. His self-professed genius as a military leader and motivator played out there, even as he struggled against certain obdurate local factions. His arch nemesis—the “Galilean” John of Gischala—complicates the landscape, as does an apparent divide between the inhabitants of the region’s major cities and the rural peoples.
The spring issue of JQR (110.2) features an essay called “What Great Transformation? Continuity, Rupture, and Capitalism in Twenty-First-Century Jewish Studies” in which author Samuel Hayim Brody observes that historians of Judaism tend to exempt capitalism from their assessment of the radical impact of modernity on Judaism.
JQR 110.2 is now available, online* and in print.
In this issue: