We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to our academic home of many years, the Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and to the Yitzhak Becker Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies and Father Takeji Otsuki Endowed Chair in Bible Studies for their support of our research throughout the years. Thanks are due also to Ms. Yael Shinan-Tzur for preparing the excellent glossary and to our dedicated research assistants, Ms. Esther Bar-On and Mr. Yochai Ofran, for their invaluable help.
Our translator, Ms. Valerie Zakovitch, served as a very sensitive and knowledgeable mediator between the original Hebrew edition of this book and its counterpart for an English-reading audience. Words cannot express our feelings of thanks and gratitude. We would also like to thank the Deborah Harris Agency for finding a good home for the book and the highly dedicated people at the Jewish Publication Society and the University of Nebraska Press, including Carol Hupping, Elisabeth Chretien, Sabrina Stellrecht, and Mary Hill, for their careful and wise handling of our book, “upon them the blessing of good will come” (Proverbs 24:25).