Ben Gurion University of the Negev and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Ruth Meltzer Fellowship

Research Topic

The Debate Over the Oral Law in Nineteenth Century


Chanan Gafni teaches at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. After receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2005 he studied as a postdoctoral fellow at the Kreitman School of Advanced Graduate Studies of Ben-Gurion University. His research interests include the historical and ideological context of Wissenschaft des Judentums, Jewish reactions to biblical criticism, modern scholarship of rabbinic literature, and approaches to Jewish identity in modern times. His book, The Mishnah's Plain Sense, appeared in Hebrew in 2011, and his joint project (with Edward Breuer) on "Jewish Biblical Scholarship between Tradition and Innovation," (in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament: The History of Its Interpretation), was published in 2012. During the fall semester, Professor Gafni will explore the shift from oral to written culture in the Jewish context.



Deepening our understanding of the intellectual revolution at the heart of modern Jewish history.