Academic journal article Shofar

Book Notes

Academic journal article Shofar

Book Notes

Article excerpt

American Jewish Life

Commentary in American Life, edited by Murray Friedman. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2005. 226 pp. $64.50. ISBN 1-59213-106-9.

Founded by the American Jewish Committee in 1945 as a journal of "significant thought and opinion, Jewish affairs and contemporary issues," Commentary magazine has had an impact on American politics and culture. The chapters in this book trace this influence over time, especially in creating the neo-conservative movement. The authors also consider the ways the magazine shaped and reflected major cultural and literary trends in the United States.

The Provincials: A Personal History of Jews in the South, by Eli N. Evans. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005. 391 pp. $34.95 (c); $21.95 (p). ISBN 0-8078-2958-7 (c); 0-8078-5623-1 (p).

In this portrait of Jews in the South, Eli N. Evans takes readers inside the nexus of southern and Jewish histories, from the earliest immigrants to the present day. Evoking the rhythms and heartbeat of Jewish life in the Bible belt, Evans weaves together chapters of recollections from his youth and early years in North Carolina with chapters that explore the experiences of Jews in many cities and small towns across the South. He presents the stories of communities, individuals, and events in this quintessential American landscape that reveal the deeply intertwined strands of what he calls a unique "Southern Jewish consciousness." This new edition includes a gallery of more than two dozen family and historical photographs as well as a new introduction by the author.

Ancient World and Archaeology

A Brief Guide to Philo, by Kenneth Schenck. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2005. 172 pp. $24.95. ISBN 0-664-22735-X.

This is a compact introduction to the works of the Jewish thinker Philo (c. 20 BCE-50 CE). Kenneth Schenck provides a guide for understanding Philo's works, a roadmap for topics and contents of Philo's writings, and a description of contemporary research.

The Life of Adam and Eve in Greek: A Critical Edition, by Johannes Tromp. Leiden: Brill, 2005. 206 pp. $104.00. ISBN 90-04-14317-3.

This volume contains the first critical edition of the Life of Adam and Eve in Greek, based on all available manuscripts. In the introduction the history of previous research is summarized, and the extant manuscripts are presented. Next comes a description of the grammatical characteristics of the manuscripts' texts, followed by a detailed study of the genealogical relationships between them, resulting in a reconstruction of the writing's history of transmission in Greek. On the basis of all this information, the Greek text of the Life of Adam and Eve in its earliest attainable stage, is established. The text edition is accompanied by a full critical apparatus, in which all relevant evidence from the manuscripts is recorded. Several indices complete this volume.

Related Worlds: Studies in Jewish and Arab Ancient and Early Medieval History, by Moshe Gil. Burlington, VT and Aldershot, Hampshire: Ashgate, 2004. $114.95. ISBN 0-86078-935-7

An element common to all the articles collected here is the attempt to make parallel use of sources from different cultures-Biblical and Talmudic Hebrew, Greek and Latin, Arabic and Judaeo-Arabic-in the investigation of topics in Jewish and Arabic history. In the first studies Professor Gil deals primarily with the Roman and Byzantine periods, elucidating how a biblical term was understood, the historical significance of passages from the Mishna, and the origins of the Book of Enoch. The next group is concerned with the history of early Islam, during the years in which the Prophet Muhammad lived and worked, and later traditions of this period. The final studies are based specifically on sources from the Cairo Geniza, and examine a term of Greek origin and questions of taxation and commerce.

Scribal Practices and Approaches Reflected in the Texts Found in the Judean Desert, by Emanuel Tov. …

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