Friday, August 03, 2018

Elman obituary

ANOTHER TRIBUTE: Professor Yaakov Elman, in memoriam. He set out to analyze the glorious messiness, complexity, and depth of thousands of years of human endeavor (Aaron Koller, Times of Israel Blog). Excerpt:
I don’t know whether he left his mark on the fields of meteorology or bookselling, but once he got rolling in Jewish Studies, nothing was safe. Yaakov was intellectually insatiable. He had intensively studied, and contributed to, essentially all of Jewish studies, from Assyriology (in which he did his MA at Columbia, and on which he published a few papers in JANES in the ’70s) through biblical studies, the Dead Sea Scrolls (on which he wrote a few papers, including important studies of MMT), especially of course rabbinics — his book and other articles on the Tosefta, his many “conventionally” significant articles on midrash halakha, the Yerushalmi, and the Bavli from the ’90s, and then his epoch-making studies of the Middle Persian background of the Bavli over the past two decades — but continuing on to medieval intellectual history with a series of articles on Nahmanides, and into the modern period, in studies of R. Zadok of Lublin, the Netziv, Benno Jacob, and his own teacher, Rav Hutner. (The relationship with the latter was never a formal one, but a deeply intimate and formative one for Yaakov.)
HT reader Ellen Birnbaum.

Background here and here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.