The Grammar of the Eastern European Hasidic Hebrew Tale
May 28, 2015 6:30:00 PM
This lecture will examine key grammatical features of the Hebrew tales composed in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Eastern Europe by followers of the Hasidic spiritual movement. These tales, which focus on the lives and works of the Hasidic rebbes, are of great significance for the historical study of Hebrew for two reasons. Firstly, they are an extremely rich linguistic repository, constituting one of the only extensive sources of narrative Hebrew from nineteenth-century Eastern Europe, and thus shed valuable light on the use of the language in this setting. Secondly, they were composed just prior to the large-scale revival of the language in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Palestine; as many former Hasidim who were probably familiar with Hasidic literature became followers of the early Zionist movement and subsequently participated in the revival project, the language of the tales is likely to have played a role in the development of Modern (Israeli) Hebrew. These points will be considered in the lecture through discussion of a number of noteworthy non-standard elements of Hasidic Hebrew grammar. Attention will be devoted to the historical origins of these forms and constructions, many of which are traceable to Medieval Hebrew literature or attributable to influence from the authors’ native Yiddish.
Ephemeral Metropolis? The History of Jewish Warsaw
Jun 2, 2015 6:00:00 PM
Warsaw was once home to the largest and most diverse Jewish community in the world. It was a centre of rich varieties of Orthodox Judaism, Jewish Socialism, Diaspora Nationalism, Zionism, and Polonisation.
Jewish Women and Books in Medieval and Renaissance Italy
Jun 10, 2015 6:30:00 PM
Prosperous Jews in Italy commissioned illuminated manuscripts for their personal use. Several of these, especially prayer books, were produced specifically for women. In some, the text was adjusted for recitation by a woman. Other manuscripts illustrated women performing religious rituals often assumed to have been practiced solely by men. This lecture will explore the role of women as patrons and how they were depicted in manuscripts from Italy.