Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies
Maurice Amado Foundation Fellowship

Research Topic

The Redaction and Ratification of Law in Geonic Babylonia: The Siyuma in Cultural Contexts


Paul Mandel is a senior lecturer at the Schechter Institute of Jewish Studies. His areas of research include the critical edition of rabbinic texts and the study of the development of midrash/aggadah and legal exegesis from the Second Temple period through the medieval period, with emphases on poetics, exegesis, philology, Dead Sea Scrolls, and philological studies of Jewish literature of the geonic and early medieval periods.

Mandel received his PhD in Midrash and Aggadic Literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has taught at the University of Haifa, the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Selected publications

  • “Between Tannaim and Amoraim: Changes in Hermeneutic Awareness during the Talmudic Period,” Hebrew; DAAT: A Journal of Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah 86 (2018)
  • The Origins of Midrash: From Teaching to Text, Supplements to the Journal for the Study of Judaism 180 (Brill, 2017) 




Focusing on the broad contexts in which Jewish (and Israelite) law was developed by and for Jews, and in which it operated, treating law as a necessary component for understanding the broader dynamics of culture, history, governance, and economics of each place and period. 


Looking at the relationship of oral and written modes of cultural transmission, the relative values of these modes in different Jewish cultural moments and locales, and the relationship of transmission to authority.