Saturday, July 16, 2005

THE KEBRA NEGAST has been novelized. The novel's author, Anna Morgan, has an article from the National Post reprinted in the Sudan Tribune. Excerpt:
It was over 20 years ago that I wandered into the Ethiopian Church in Jerusalem and became interested in the connections between Ethiopia and Israel. The incredible history of two ancient kingdoms -- both known for their tremendous achievements -- intrigued me.

My interest led me many years later to the Israel Association of Ethiopian Jewry, where I met Shula Mola, one of the Beyta Yisrael. The story she told me formed the basis of my recent work of historical fiction, Daughters of the Ark.

The book begins in ancient times, when King Solomon ruled over the Israelites and Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, governed over the Ethiopian Axumite kingdom. However, the second and third parts of the novel take place in modern times.

As I wrote the book and travelled back and forth to Ethiopia, I couldn't help but wonder how a place with such a rich cultural heritage had become so poor --how a country that had once attracted immigrants was now a place that so many people were so anxious to leave.

Legends abound as to how Jews arrived in Ethiopia in the first place. Some look to an Ethiopian cultural narrative called the Kebra Negast for answers. That epic tale attributes the Jewish presence in Ethiopia to Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, who made a trip from Axum, the centre of ancient Ethiopia's great civilization, to Jerusalem, the capital of the Israelite Kingdom in 961 BCE.

Friday, July 15, 2005

A NEW DEAD SEA SCROLL! Small Hebrew fragments of Leviticus from a cave used during the Bar Kokhba Revolt (132-135 CE), discovered by the Bedouin and bought by Hanan Eshel.

(Via Biblical Theology.)

UPDATE (16 July): MSNBC has more details and a photograph. This is exciting news, assuming the scroll turns out to be genuine.
MORE ON CONSENSUS: Ken Ristau at Anduril weighs in with "Bibliobloggers debate the meaning of consensus." He corrects a typo in my previous post (thanks, Ken) and dowdifies Mark Goodacre. As for his statement, "There is a general consensus among experts and non-experts that beer impairs judgment," if that's true, then judging by its annual conference, the British New Testament Society is in big trouble. And the Society of Biblical Literature isn't in great shape either.

UPDATE (16 July): Christopher Heard weighs in over at Higgaion.

UPDATE (18 July): a member of the British New Testament Society e-mails to point out that a reference to whiskey would be appropriate as well. Indeed.
MORE ARAMAIC PHILOLOGY from Ed Cook, who gives us another good instalment in his series of posts critiquing Maurice Casey's Aramaic retroversions of Mark's Greek.
Save central Sinai (Al Ahram)

There are few locations in Egypt where evidence of Ancient Egyptian, Semitic and Nabataean culture overlap. Sinai's varied heritage should be given due consideration, says Jill Kamil

The Supreme Council of Antiquities has launched an LE10 million project to upgrade the temple of Serabit Al-Khadem and the nearby turquoise mines in Sinai for what is loosely called "safari tourism". The vagueness of the term is disquieting. "Safari" suggests excursions, either by camel caravan or four-wheel drive; "tourism" brings to mind paved roads and a visitors' centre; while upgrading a temple leads one to suspect an attempt at reconstruction -- a difficult and totally unnecessary exercise.

At this early stage, Al-Ahram Weekly appeals to the project planners to give serious consideration to minimum intervention in the Ancient Egyptian temple, limited intrusion on the environment, and to consider taking advantage of this unique opportunity to present the divergent and overlapping cultures of central Sinai.

Few places on earth have played so decisive a role in the history of mighty nations as this triangular peninsula that juts into the northern end of the Red Sea. Before the construction of the Suez Canal it provided a land-bridge to western Asia. As such it saw the passage, along the "Way of Horus", of the Pharaohs' armies to and from the Levant, the Assyrian hordes, the Persian army of Cambyses, Alexander the Great with his mercenaries, Antiochus and the Roman legions, the Arab army of 'Amr, Crusaders, and Ottoman Turks.


The article continues with a very good overview of the history and legend associated with the Sinai peninsula. Worth a read.
ANOTHER DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBIT is coming to the USA next year, this one in Seattle.
Dead Sea Scrolls set for Seattle exhibition next year

By Sandi Doughton

Seattle Times staff reporter

A portion of the Dead Sea Scrolls, considered the most important archaeological find of the 20th century, is coming to Seattle next year.

At least 10 of the ancient manuscripts will be on display at the Pacific Science Center for three months beginning in September 2006. The exhibit also will include scores of artifacts, from ink wells and coins to leather sandals, that illuminate life in the Middle East shortly before the dawn of Christianity.

"We'll tell a story, based on these historical documents and artifacts, about life 2,000 years ago," said Bryce Seidl, president and CEO of the Pacific Science Center.


The Pacific Science Center still needs to raise quite a lot of money to bring in the Scrolls. The exibit goes to San Diego after Seattle.

(Heads up, Rick Brannan.)
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF COSMIC SYNCHRONICITIES: There are news articles today about two present-day replicas of the Tabernacle, one in Timnah Park, near Eilat, and the other in Arkansas.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

EARLIER POSTS from today and yesterday have been updated. Do have a look.
THE BRITISH OPEN started today in St. Andrews. I'm not a golfing fan, so I seized the opportunity to visit other attractions in the town while hardly anyone else was at them. I took my son and his friend to visit the ruins of the castle first. The weather was cloudy but dry and reasonably warm.

The castle has underground mines and counter-mines, left over from a sixteenth century siege, which we also explored thoroughly.

The picture above was taken from the top of St. Rule's Tower, which we climbed from within after lunch:

This is a twelfth century tower on the Cathedral grounds. St. Rule's Tower is the building in the middle. The Cathedral too is in ruins: there are spires on the left side of the Tower and one wall is on the right. The spires are also visible in the lower right part of the castle photo above.

Here's a picture of St. Andrews which I also took from atop the Tower:

The Cathedral grounds are in the foreground. The clock tower on the right-hand street is at the University Chapel on North Street. The street on the left side is South Street. St. Mary's College is a couple blocks up and on the left-hand side of South Street. The golfing is taking place in the vicinity of the West Sands, to the far right and out beyond the town.

Thanks to all of you who have sent me things today for PaleoJudaica. I'll get to them as soon as I can. As you can see, I've been having a life today.
3 Palestinians nabbed for antiquities theft
By ETGAR LEFKOVITS (Jerusalem Post)

Three Palestinians wanted for a series of antiquities thefts over the last five years are under arrest, Israel's Antiquities Authority announced Tuesday.

The three Palestinian men, from the West Bank village of Beit Ula, were caught red-handed over the weekend plundering antiquities dating back to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods during a night-time Antiquities Authority raid at an archaeological site in the West Bank, said Amir Ganor the head of the Authority's anti-theft division.


Any progress in the fight against antiquities looting is always welcome, but the situation is still very serious. The article concludes with the now standard Jerusalem Post paragraphs telling how looting has increased by more than 50% in the last year and "has taken on gold-rush dimensions."

(Via Bible and Interpretation News.)

UPDATE: Jim West e-mails to note the discussion of this article on the Biblical Studies list.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"WHAT IS CONSENSUS?" asks Michael Pahl. Here's my take. This is longer than I intended and I could probably keep going, but I do want to do some other things this evening. Feedback and criticisms welcome, as always. Drop me an e-mail or post on your blog in response.
First, consensus is a very slippery notion. What is consensus? I wouldn't think it's unanimity, at least not in dealing with such large and diverse groups of people. And it's certainly not simple majority. So what is it? 70%? 80%? Can 90+% safely be considered consensus?

I take consensus to mean that more people think so than not, but not everyone thinks so. Call it 51%-99%.
Second, who gets to be part of the polling sample? Only those working within a particular historical or theological perspective or methodological paradigm? All those who have published scholarly monographs on the subject? All scholars who have studied the subject in depth, whether they've published on it or not? And who determines what makes a "scholar" or appropriate authority on the subject?

I think most people measure consensus on the basis of published work in scholarly monographs and collections of essays, articles in peer-review journals, etc. I would weigh this more heavily than what a scholar thinks but hasn't published, since publication in itself requires more work and more commitment than just studying. When one refers in a publication to a consensus about something, normally a footnote follows with specific references to previous publications. Someone is a "'scholar' or appropriate authority" if he or she publishes monographs with publishers respected in the field or articles in relevant peer-review journals. Scholarly conversation has been going on for many, many years. "Scholars" and "authorities" are people who are familiar with this conversation; who have the necessary training (languages, knowledge of primary sources, methods of a field, etc.) for their opinions to be worth something; and who carry on the conversation in the venues that have developed to continue it. The process is far from perfect, but it works pretty well. And I don't know what one could replace it with which would work better.
Third, how does one actually go about doing the polling to assess consensus? One can meticulously search through all relevant literature on the subject and record opinions in a table (which is sometimes done on specific issues), but this then leads to some of the questions in the previous point, and one often quickly realizes that individual scholarly perspectives on any given issue are too complex to fit neatly into a simplistic table or scale.

So don't be simplistic. Read carefully and widely, particularly the published work of people who disagree with you, and be able to summarize the views of people you read with nuance and accuracy. It's hard work.
Finally, even if one can get past the previous questions, what does consensus prove? The consensus in 1976 on Paul's perspective on the Torah and his understanding of "justification by faith" was pretty strong, I would guess, until Ed Sanders provoked a Kuhnian paradigm shift with his Paul and Palestinian Judaism the following year. Now there is as much variegation in perspective on these issues as some of Sanders' respondents have claimed was evident in the nomism and soteriology of first century Judaism. Did the consensus prior to Sanders' book make that so-called "Lutheran" view correct? Does the lack of consensus since mean that no one has any real grasp of any of the issues?

The consensus is the thing you need to improve on if you want to advance the state of the question -- which is what scholarly research is all about. No one should pretend that a consensus is the final word. It's the starting point for your research. Apply new evidence or new methods or better reasoning to give us a better understanding of the problem. People who challenge Sanders's work don't want to go back to what was before it, they want to show that the problems are more complicated than he realized.

It's like hauling dirt up a hill so that you gradually make the hill higher so that everyone can see farther from its summit. (I like this analogy better than the one about standing on the shoulders of giants. Most people who came before us were not giants in comparison to the rest of us. But there were an awful lot of them and collectively they, each standing on the shoulders of those who came before, do constitute a kind of giant.)

Stipulated: a consensus can be an improvement on previous, wrong answers, and still turn out ultimately to be wrong itself. Newtonian physics was a vast improvement over anything that came before it and is still useful for virtually all everyday purposes today. But special and general relativity and quantum physics have shown that it is actually pretty much entirely wrong. Oh, and relativity theory and quantum physics both fit all the experimental data but are mutually incompatible, so one or both of them must be pretty much wrong too.

Stipulated: there are problems that are intractable with current evidence and on which we spin our wheels. Some of these are the questions we would most like to be able to answer. But there are plenty of problems on which we've made good progress too.

Some currently intractable problems, it seems to me, are the authorship of Joseph and Aseneth; the decipherment of Linear A; the origins of the Temple Scroll; and (to think big) the historical Jesus and the historical Josiah. Some will disagree with me about one or the other of these, but they won't be able to point to a consensus on what the answer is. Often (generally?) the problem in such cases is that we just don't have enough information to narrow down the possibilities very far.

Some random examples of problems on which we've made good, sometimes extraordinary, progress: the relative sequence and absolute dating of ancient ceramic typology in Palestine; the decipherment of ancient Egyptian, various languages in cuneiform (Akkadian, Sumerian, Hittite), Ugaritic, Phoenician, Nabatean, Palmyrene, etc.; the recovery of the previously almost entirely lost history of much of the ancient Near East from c. 2500 BCE to c. 500 BCE; and the basic decipherment of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

If there isn't a clear consensus, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find an answer that is more persuasive than the ones currently available, and that then becomes a consensus.

Until someone else improves on it.

UPDATE (14 July): Jim West replied to Michael Pahl here. (I really don't think things are as bad as all that.) Michael comments further with reference to my post here. (I don't see the difficulty with a "consensus on consensus." It's rare for people to agree unanimously on anything, but that doesn't mean we can't keep groping our way in the general direction of the truth. Let us steer between the Scylla of overconfidence in our own theories and the Charybdis of nihilism.) And Ed Cook and Mark Goodacre have thoughtful posts responding in detail to some of the issues that have been raised.

UPDATE (15 July): More here.
ON THE HISTORICITY OF THE GOSPELS: Mark Goodacre comments on Bishop Tom Wright's claim that there is a scholarly consensus that the canonical Gospels were written no later than fifty years after the time of Jesus and are dependent on earlier traditions that included substantial eyewitness testimony. Mark rightly takes issue with Wright's claim about the date and he wants to qualify the business about eyewitness testimony. But let's assume that Wright is correct on both counts. I am skeptical about how much bearing this has on the historicity of the Gospel accounts, which is the point he is getting at. Fifty years is a very long time, longer than the average life span of the period; eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable even in court cases; and the contemporary followers of charismatic intermediaries typically think those figures have miraculous powers and a direct channel to the divine (there is a substantial secondary literature on the anthropology of magico-religious practitioners). If I may take the liberty of quoting myself on this issue:
Gershom Scholem's book Sabbetai Sevi: The Mystical Messiah (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1973) provides an important cautionary tale for anyone interested in the problem of the historical Jesus. We have a great deal of information about Sabbetai -- who was born in Smyrna in 1626 and grew up to become a manic-depressive with delusions of grandeur -- and the messianic movement that emerged around him in 1665, including much eyewitness testimony and many primary documents written by the major players. When in 1666 he was given the choice of conversion to Islam or execution, he chose the former, and lived until 1676. Strangely, a good many of his followers continued to believe in him, reasoning that only the true messiah would dare to commit apostasy. The movement survived underground in various forms for generations, and for all I know may still exist today.

Scholem's analysis of this material shows that the reinventing of a messianic figure can take place not only immediately after his death but even during his lifetime. The farther removed geographically from the man himself the less interest the movement had in anything to do with the (contemporaneous) "historical" Sabbetai. Miracle stories arose within weeks of the events, sometimes sooner (pp. 480-81, 538-39, 557-64, 592-93). Indeed, before and during Sabbetai's arrest and imprisonment in Constantinople, letters and word-of-mouth gossip from that very city reported that he had raised the dead, healed lepers, passed through the locked doors of his prison, consorted with angels, and called up a pillar of fire (pp. 417-18, 535-36, 605). Within a few years after his death, a legend had arisen of his burial in a cave by the sea and the finding of the empty tomb guarded by a dragon three days later. His followers believed that he hadn't really died, but had experienced an "occultation" into the celestial realm, from which he would return gloriously in due course (pp. 919-20, 922-25).

Gross distortion of the life and message of a charismatic intermediary need not take time. It can arise full blown during the lifetime of the figure, while the true teachings and actions of the actual person are ignored. It can assimilate any and all facts to the contrary by either suppressing them or reinterpreting them. It can present us with a miraculous legendary divine being within no time to speak of after the lifetime of the figure.

From "Melchizedek, the 'Youth,' and Jesus," in The Dead Sea Scrolls as Background to Postbiblical Judaism and Early Christianity: Papers from a Conference at St. Andrews in 2001 (ed. James R. Davila; STDJ 46; Leiden: Brill, 2003), 248-74, quote from pp. 267-68, n. 32.

UPDATE: The next post is related.

UPDATE (14 July): Reader "Sarah" e-mails:
Another good example, with respect to the gospel traditions themselves, may well be Papias. What scraps remain of his voluminous work show that he entertained some rather outlandish stories about Jesus and the apostles (particularly the episodes about the death of Judas Iscariot and "remarkable" and "amazing" events involving the disciples and those raised by Christ). Interestingly, Papias wrote directly from oral tradition (such as things he learned directly from the daughters of "Philip the Apostle") about a century from the death of Jesus, and less than a
century after the age of the apostles. The loss of Papias' work is especially tragic, not in shedding light on the "historical Jesus", but in its potential in taking the obscure world of early Christian storytelling a little bit out of the shadows.

It is heartbreaking to think of how many ancient sources have been lost over the centuries.

UPDATE (24 July): Much more on lost ancient sources here.
THE RACIAL AND RELIGIOUS HATRED BILL, which makes incitement to religious hatred a crime, has passed on its third reading in the House of Commons. I have explained in detail here why it is a very bad idea. The only hope now is that the House of Lords will decline to pass it.
TAX EXEMPT? This is the first time I've heard of this place.
Holy Land exempt from property tax

The religious-themed park wins the break given churches and museums, a judge rules.

By Mark Schlueb
[Sun] Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted July 12 2005

The Holy Land Experience may seem like just another theme park, with its $30 admission charge, $5 parking fee and souvenir shops.

But, ending a four-year legal battle, a judge has ruled that the religious-themed attraction deserves the same tax-exempt status given to churches and museums. The ruling spares its owner from paying a delinquent property-tax bill that would have climbed to more than $1 million by the end of the year.


Modeled after ancient Jerusalem, Holy Land's attractions include a life-sized walled gate and re-creations of Herod's Temple and courtyard, Jesus' garden tomb, a street market with artisans' workshops, a Bedouin tent and the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. It also boasts the Scriptorium, which houses the largest private collection of biblical texts and artifacts in the country.

From the start, The Holy Land Experience was controversial. Local rabbis greeted it with trepidation, given its parent company's stated mission of converting Jews to Christianity. And the owner's decision to prohibit charismatic and Pentecostal Christians from working there prompted picketing early on.


I assume the re-creation of Herod's Temple and courtyard is not life-sized.
A DEAD SEA SCROLLS EXHIBIT is in the works for the Milwaukee Public Museum in 2007, but some funding is still needed.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

CONFERENCE ON PAGAN MONOTHEISM: Peter Van Nuffelen e-mails the following call for papers:
University of Exeter
Department of Classics and Ancient History

Pagan Monotheism in the Roman Empire (1st-4th cent. AD)
Conference at Exeter, 17-20 July 2006

The publication of the volume Pagan Monotheism in Late Antiquity (eds. P. Athanassiadi – M. Frede, Oxford, 1999), in which pagan monotheism was presented as a major religious force in Late Antiquity, has led to an extensive debate on the definition and role of pagan monotheism in Late Antique society.

As part of an AHRB-funded research project concerned with the cultural and intellectual context of pagan monotheism in the Roman empire, directed by Professor Stephen Mitchell, the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter is staging a conference in July 2006. The aim is to examine pagan monotheism as a religious phenomenon and to place it in its social, political and cultural context. The focus will both be on philosophical and literary texts, and on the evidence derived from epigraphy, archaeology and material culture. The conference will also examine the various strands of monotheistic ideas and practices, and the way that these interact with other diverse religious developments in the Roman empire up to the fourth century.

The conference will address six themes:
  • questions of definition and terminology

  • archaeology, epigraphy, and material culture

  • the intellectual basis of pagan monotheism

  • monotheism, politics and social order

  • monotheism and religious pluralism

  • interaction among pagans, Christians and Jews

We invite papers of about 20 minutes in length, which address one of these issues. We welcome in particular contributions which offer new evidence for pagan monotheism and related phenomena, as well as detailed analyses of the contexts in which pagan monotheism must be seen. Please send proposals for papers (length 200 words) by 30 September 2005. Conference booking will begin in October 2005. It is expected that the cost of accommodation (3 nights, full-board) will be in the range £200-250.

More information can be found on the website:

For further information, please contact Dr Peter van Nuffelen, Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of Exeter, Queen’s Building, Exeter EX4 4QH;

A gorgeous, hot -- almost too hot, beach afternoon at Kingsbarns. The fog started to roll in after 4:00, but it does that on San Diego beaches too. You don't see weather like this here very often.
PRETTY QUIET IN THE NEWS, but here are couple of stories. Jim West notes an Arutz Sheva report of First and Second Temple period archaeological finds in the western Galilee, including a late Second-Temple-period village in which a ring inscribed with Hebrew names was found. Even discounting the political slant of the article, the discoveries sound very interesting and I look forward to hearing more.

Also (a bit off topic), there's been a potentially explosive find of hidden treasure in Tel Aviv.

The weather in St. Andrews has been uncharacteristically summery this July and it is beautiful and sunny yet again today. This is too good a chance to miss: forget work and forget blogging, we're going to the beach.

Monday, July 11, 2005


בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ

UPDATE: This Hebrew has held up fine through a couple of updates. If it stays for another posting or two, I'll tell what I did this time to fix the Unicode fonts glitch.

UPDATE (10 July): This post was originally put up on the 9th, but I'm moving it to the top for a while. The Hebrew is still there after a new posting and a couple of updates, so it seems to be stable now.

If you have a problem with non-Roman language fonts, try this: go to the Blogger dashboard, click on the "Settings" menu, then click on the "Formatting" link. The "Encoding" field should be set to "Universal (Unicode UTF-8)." For some reason, mine had been set to one of the "Western" options. I don't know how it got that way, but the result seems to have been to reset everthing on the main page to a Western font every time something new was published.

The world is now safe for language fonts on PaleoJudaica.

UPDATE (12 July): Another biblioblogger conquers Unicode. Well done, Phil.
THE TALMUD AS HYPERTEXT: This idea is not new, but it comes up twice in online articles today.

First, the Global Politician has an article, "The Future of the Book," which discusses "e-books" in relation to other ancient and modern written media. The reference to the Talmud comes up here:
E-books, counter their opponents, have changed little beyond format and medium. Audio books are more revolutionary than e-books because they no longer use visual symbols. Consider the scrolling protocols - lateral and vertical. The papyrus, the broadsheet newspaper, and the computer screen are three examples of the vertical kind. The e-book, the microfilm, the vellum, and the print book are instances of the lateral scroll. Nothing new here.

E-books are a throwback to the days of the papyrus. The text is placed on one side of a series of connected "leaves". Parchment, by comparison, was multi-paged, easily browseable, and printed on both sides of the leaf. It led to a revolution in publishing and, ultimately, to the print book. All these advances are now being reversed by the e-book, bemoan the antagonists.

The truth, as always, is somewhere in mid-ground between derision and fawning.

The e-book retains one innovation of the parchment - the hypertext. Early Jewish and Christian texts as well as Roman legal scholarship were inscribed or, later, printed, with numerous inter-textual links. The Talmud, for instance, comprises a main text (the Mishna) surrounded by references to scholarly interpretations (exegesis).

Second, Michael Frawley has an essay in KPCNews (Indiana): "A ‘words and pictures man’ looks at Web design," in which the Talmud-as-hypertext meme also appears:
The print analogs continue. We talk about "pages," but the pages don't really exist, do they? Of course not. It's just content served up on a monitor, dredged up from various files. We think of hypertext linking (all of those links you click on) as being something brand new and specific to the technology of the Web -- but they're not. Hypertext is simply a way of organizing and retrieving massive amounts of information, and you don't exactly need a computer to do that. The ancient Jewish Talmud, with its maze-like layers of texts and notes, is an early example.

The Talmud: ahead of its time.
CYRUS KAR has been released from detention in Iraq:
U.S. Releases Filmmaker Detained in Iraq

The Associated Press
Sunday, July 10, 2005; 11:46 PM

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- An aspiring Iranian-American filmmaker who has been detained by the U.S. military for nearly two months without being charged was released Sunday, officials said.

Cyrus Kar, 44, of Los Angeles, was taken into custody May 17 near Balad when potential bomb parts were found in a taxi in which he was riding. His family had filed a lawsuit accusing the federal government of violating his civil rights and holding him after the FBI cleared him of suspicion.


With help from independent director-producer Philippe Diaz, Kar began working on a documentary about the Persian king Cyrus the Great. He shot of footage at archaeological sites in Afghanistan and Iran, according to his family and Diaz.

He was visiting Iraq to film in and around the ancient city of Babylon, one of Cyrus the Great's conquests, according to his family.


(Via the IraqCrisis list.)

Sunday, July 10, 2005

CONFERENCE ON JEWISH NAMES: Joseph I. Lauer e-mails:
I was asked by Prof. Aaron Demsky to post the following announcement/program concerning The Seventh International Conference on Jewish Names at The 14th World Congress of Jewish Studies, to be held July 31-August 1, 2005, at The Hebrew University, Mount Scopus Campus, Jerusalem, Israel.

Dr. Demsky is Director, The Project for the Study of Jewish Names, Department of Jewish History, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan 52900 Israel.

He may be reached by phone at 972-2-9931-878 (home) or fax at 972-9932-208 (home).

His e-mail address is:

Joseph I. Lauer
Brooklyn, New York

The Seventh International Conference on Jewish Names
at The 14th World Congress of Jewish Studies

July 31-August 1, 2005
The Hebrew University Mount Scopus Campus
Jerusalem, Israel


520 Antiquity
Chairperson: Yigal Levin
Sunday (31 July 2005) 11:30 - 13:30 Room: 2720
Yael Avrahami (E)
Giving Names to the Newborn in the Hebrew Bible
Siam Bhayro (E)
The Angel Name Shemihazah
Joel S. Burnett (E)
Divine Absence in Biblical Personal Names
Hananel Mack (H)
"Mehetav`el, daughter of Matred, daughter of Me- zahav" (Genesis 36: 39)

521 Toponymy
Chairperson: Yoel Elitzur
Sunday (31 July 2005) 15:00 - 17:00 Room: 2720
Yehuda Ziv (H)
The Israel Government Names Committee - Modus Operandi
Lea Mazor (H)
"Might" and "Strength" in Israeli Place Names during the First Years of
Statehood - Biblical and Ideological Aspects
Ronny Reich (H)
On the Names "Gihon" and "Shiloah"
Yossi Spanier (H)
"From the Sole of the Foot unto the Head": The Usage of the Names of Body
Parts in Geographic Description in the Bible

522 Hebrew Literature
Chairperson: Boris Kotlerman
Sunday (31 July 2005) 17:30 - 19:30 Room: 2720
Ephraim Hazan (H)
The Personal Name as a Linguistic and Stylistic Factor in Jewish Medieval
Poetry from Spain
Juliette Hassine (H)
"Sol-Hatsadique" - Onomastic Characteristics in the Creation of a Cultural
Lea Garfinkel (H)
The Artist as a Creator: Endowing Names in Literary Works
Sara Friedman (H)
Names and Naming in Hebrew Literary Translation

523 Between East and West
Monday (1 Aug 2005) 09:00 - 11:00 Room: 2720
Bracha Yaniv (H)
"Perlsticker" and "Goldsticker": Some Specialist Surnames in Tailoring
Reuven Enoch (H)
Hebrew Names in the Speech of Georgian Jews
Chana Tolmas (E)
Occupational Names of Bukharan Jews in the Modern Period
Zofia Abramowicz (E)
Jewish Names in Bialystok

524 Contemporary
Chairperson: Meir Bar-Ilan
Monday (1 Aug 2005) 11:30 - 13:30 Room: 2720
Jean-Pierre Stroweis (E)
Name Changes during the British Mandate
Michael Falk (E)
The Days of the Week as Jewish Surnames
Ofra Malka Birnboim (H)
Jewish Israeli Identity according to Proper Names of Settlers in Samaria
Aviel Kranzler (H)
Israeliness and Jewishness- Israeli Names versus Jewish Names

525 The Last Millennium
Chairperson: Refael Yankelvitch
Monday (1 Aug 2005) 15:00 - 17:00 Room: 2720
Yisrael Rozenson (H)
Geographic Names in Jewish Sources from the Period of the Crusades
Elinoar Bareket (H)
Jewish Personal Names in Fatimid Egypt during the 11th Century
Yaakov Lattes (H)
Social Stratification and Topography according the Names Contained in the
Register of Jewish Community of Rome
Yosef Rivlin (H)
Double Given Names among Ashkenazic Jewry

526 The Essence of Jewish Names:
Chairperson: Aaron Demsky
Monday (1 Aug 2005) 17:30 - 19:30 Room: Auditorium

Aharon Appelfeld (H)
My Family Names

Panel Discussion: Onomastics and Jewish Studies (E)
Ariel Toaff
James L. Kugel
Shalom Rozenberg