Nathan of Rome, Author of the First Jewish Dictionary

March 27 2019

Nathan ben Yeḥiel of Rome (ca. 1035-1110) was one of the most important talmudic scholars of his day, known above all for his Arukh, a massive and comprehensive dictionary of the famously difficult language of the Talmud—a work written in a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic with heavy doses of Greek and Persian. Not satisfied merely to define words, Nathan compiled a great deal of other reference information for each entry, creating a work unlike anything that preceded it. Henry Abramson, after a swift survey of Roman Jewish history in the first millennium, tells what is known of Nathan’s life and work. (Video, 50 minutes.)

 

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Read more at Lectures in Jewish History and Thought

More about: History & Ideas, Italian Jewry, Middle Ages, Rome, Talmud

 

With Talk of Annexation, Benny Gantz Sends a Message to the U.S.

Jan. 24 2020

On Tuesday, the former IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz, who is campaigning for a third time to oust Benjamin Netanyahu from the Israeli premiership, announced that if elected he will seek to annex the Jordan Valley. He added the important caveat that he wants to do so “in coordination with the international community”—a promise that, as many have pointed out, is nearly impossible to fulfill. While it is easy to speculate about the political calculations behind this pledge, Jonathan Tobin suggests that it is also intended as a message to American liberals:

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More about: Benny Gantz, Democrats, Israeli Election 2020, Jordan Valley, U.S. Politics