Schechter’s Dr. Gila Vachman and Dr. Tamar Kadari Present Research at International Conference


Two Schechter faculty members are speaking this week at an international conference on Midrash. Dr. Gila Vachman, Lecturer in Midrash and Talmud, and Dr. Tamar Kadari, Sr. Lecturer in Midrash, Judaism and the Arts, are presenting their research into the world of Rabbinic Literature.

“Midrash Aggadah in Multidisciplinary Approach” is an international conference at Bar Ilan University bringing scholars from around the globe including North America and Europe to meet with their Israeli counterparts. Lectures from a plethora of viewpoints and from various Jewish Studies disciplines make this an important exchange of knowledge and scholarship.

Dr. Gila Vachman

Dr. Gila Vachman is presenting her paper on a panel dedicated to “Additional Views of Midrashim from Tanhuma-Ye’Lemdenu,” a midrashic genre incorporating a range of aggadic elements.

Her lecture, “Poetics and Politics in Tanhuma Midrashim,” focuses on three stories appearing to the Tanhuma-Ye’Lemdenu Midrashim. All three of these midrashim appeared in earlier sources, thus providing supplemental elements to compare and contrast. The common denominator in all three stories are the interactions between the Sages and the world outside the Beit Midrash. The stories portray tensions with outside forces that can be seen as opponents to the world of the Beit Midrash including the Romans, Samaritans and heretics.

Dr. Vachman’s presentation deals with the poetic characteristics of these stories and the changes expressed as a result of these interactions.  

Dr. Tamar Kadari is presenting at a session focused on “The ‘Codex’ and Printing of Midrash.”

Dr. Tamar Kadari reviews University of Warsaw Library collection Codex no. 258

Her paper examines a Hebrew codex, located at the University of Warsaw Library codex no. 258, whose story is interesting in terms of both its evolution and its contents. The codex underwent a dangerous, tortuous journey, surviving the Nazis only thanks to the resourcefulness of several librarians who hid the codex in the basement. It is the only Hebrew codex to survive from the pre-World War II Warsaw library collection.

The codex became a sort of one-volume library in its own right. The earliest part of the Codex is a siddur for the entire year, according to the Western Ashkenazic rite, from the early fourteenth century (around 1303). Over the years, various scribes added quires and folios that were bound together with the original manuscript. The longest addition, by a scribe named Shual (1430) adds a number of short midrashim containing several fascinating and inspiring seafaring travelogues.

Prof. Ari Ackerman, President of the Schechter Institutes, comments, “The breadth of expertise brought forward by our Schechter scholars is at the forefront of research in Jewish scholarship. Gila and Tamar deploy multi-faceted approaches in their work with aggadah and midrash sources, enabling them to discern and detect novel interpretations.”


Join our mailing list

Sign up to our newsletter for the newest articles, events and updates.

    * We hate spam too! And will never share or sell your email or contact information with anyone