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Q&A

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Oded Zinger on Wed 14 Jul 2021

Oded, what are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently working on several court notes (for example Mosseri VII.207.1 and Mosseri VII.189.2). Mosseri VII.207.1 is a small note written by the court clerk (probably Hillel b. Eli or Halfon b. Manasseh in his early years) to the judge. A woman presented a bill of divorce which appeared suspicious. It was dated according to the calendar of deeds (shetarot) though the writer claims that it was not the custom of the judge to use this type of dating, and the bill of divorce also lacked the legal formula on its verso that... Read More

Has tags: agunah, divorce, dowry, Firkovitch, Genizah Fragments, legal, Mosseri, petition, Q&A

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and José Martínez Delgado on Wed 7 Jul 2021

Pepe, what are you working on at the moment?

As always, I’m dealing with grammatical issues, working with the book of Hayyuj, on the study of the transmission of Biblical Hebrew in al-Andalus. But not just that, these days! I started working on grammatical texts in the Genizah back in 2007, but I came to recognise an impediment to many Genizah researchers – we only work on our ‘own’ topics. After I met Nadia Vidro, she introduced me to the world of the Karaites, and Amir Ashur opened up the world of al-Andalus. I realised that, although I deal with grammarians... Read More

Has tags: al-Andalus, Genizah Fragments, grammar, Hayyuj, Judah ha-Levi, Q&A, slave

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Ben Outhwaite on Wed 30 Jun 2021

So, Ben what are you working on today?

Well, life’s pretty varied at the moment. The GRU has a number of projects on the go, and so I’m spending quite a lot of time happily immersed in manuscripts (or, at least, their digital surrogates, since I am still working from home) in a way that I haven’t had the opportunity to for about the last 15 years, since I was a full-time researcher myself. At any one time, I may be describing documentary fragments from the T-S New Series, checking descriptions produced by other GRU researchers, enriching the TEI of descriptions with... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, liturgy, Moses Maimonides, Q&A, Saadiah Gaon, Solomon of Sijilmassa

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Zvi Stampfer on Wed 23 Jun 2021

Hi Zvi, which manuscript are you working on today?

I’m looking at a couple of Genizah manuscripts. In general, I’m now dealing with witches.

Are these magical texts or responsa about witches?

They’re theological texts, on the relations between witches and theologians – not personal relations but of an academic nature. Witchcraft and witches were challenging topics for Jewish rational theologians and they addressed it in their writings. The most challenging case was the biblical story of the Witch of Endor and King Saul.

... Read More

Has tags: Genizah Fragments, mu'tazila, Q&A, Saadiah Gaon, Samuel ben Hofni, theology, witches

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Nadia Vidro on Wed 16 Jun 2021

Nadia, which fragment are you working on today?

I am working on T-S AS 158.147. It’s a fragment of a Karaite calendar chronicle for the end of 410–418 AH (1020–1028 CE). I’m looking at it as part of the project ‘Qaraite and Rabbanite calendars: origins, interaction, and polemic’, funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation. It is a joint project between UCL and LMU (Munich).

What are the key things... Read More

Has tags: calendar, chronicle, Firkovitch, Genizah Fragments, Karaite, Q&A

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Mohamed Ahmed on Wed 9 Jun 2021

Hi Mohamed, which manuscript are you working on today?

I’m working on T-S Ar.42.8. It’s a fragment in Arabic script by an unidentified author and scribe.

Can you tell me about it?

It’s a fragment of a work on poetics, covering the subject of prosody in Classical Arabic poetry and mentioning famous Arabic poetic scholars, such as al-Ḵalīl and al-Aḵṭal. The recto... Read More

Has tags: Arabic, Genizah Fragments, literature, poetry, Q&A

 

By Ben Outhwaite and Melonie Schmierer-Lee on Wed 2 Jun 2021

So, Mel, tell me what are you working on today?

I’m writing a catalogue entry for T-S NS J378. It’s an easy one to do, because — helpfully — several other people have already translated it: Goitein, Gershon Weiss, and Amir Ashur. We still need a catalogue entry for it, though, for Cambridge Digital Library, so I’m writing that. It’s a betrothal agreement, written by our favourite court scribe, Halfon ben Manasseh. The date isn’t preserved, but because we know Halfon’s handwriting, we... Read More

Has tags: betrothal, Genizah Fragments, Goitein, legal, marriage, Q&A

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Amir Ashur on Wed 26 May 2021

Amir, which manuscripts are you working on today?

I'm actually working on dozens of manuscripts relating to Abraham Maimuni, as part of a project led by Mordechai Akiva Friedman. Right now, I’m looking at T-S 10K8.9, T-S 12.205, T-S 13J9.11, T-S 13J26.21 verso, T-S NS 100.74, T-S Ar.18(2).73, T-S AS... Read More

Has tags: Abraham Maimonides, debt, Genizah Fragments, legal, Mordechai Akiva Friedman, Q&A, responsa

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Magdalen Connolly on Wed 19 May 2021

Magdalen - which manuscript are you working on today?

This morning I’m working on fragments from the T-S NS 305 and NS 306 sections of the collection, which contain mainly Arabic-script material of a wide variety of genres. In particular, I’ve been looking at an Arabic-script fragment (T-S NS 306.13), which contains part of Qiṣṣat al-Jumjuma (‘The Story of the Skull’). This story is found fairly frequently in the Cairo Genizah collections in Judaeo-Arabic (e.g., T-S Ar.37.39 and JTS ENA 1275.5, 12, 13, ENA 2700.48, and ENA 3239.34). This fragment is particularly... Read More

Has tags: Arabic, Genizah Fragments, literary, Q&A, tale

 

By Melonie Schmierer-Lee and Nick Posegay on Wed 12 May 2021

Q&A Wednesday gives a short interview with a Genizah researcher: what are they working on today? And why?

Nick, what are you working on this week?

Lately I’ve been working on late-dated manuscripts in Genizah collections. Looking at fragments dated after 1864, trying to work out how they ended up in genizot, and thinking about what that means for “Cairo Genizah” collections as we typically understand them.

Have you found many fragments that are dated that late?

I’ve found about 25 that are explicitly dated, but I suspect... Read More

Has tags: Agnes Lewis, Genizah Fragments, Greville Chester, ketubba, Margaret Gibson, printed, Q&A, Solomon Schechter, Yemen

 

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