Roee Yakov Goldshmidt
Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:October-December 2017
Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:»Shaping a New Narrative: Orality and Literacy in the Making of Books«
In the 18th century we observe in Frankfurt am Main a unique interaction between various religious, intellectual and cultural traditions from Eastern and Western Europe, esp. with respect to the amalgamation of literary genres from various backgrounds shaping a new narrative and a new identity for certain social and religious groups. The dynamics and synergies of such exchange of knowledge and the positioning of various religious communities will be exemplified through the work of Pinchas Hurwitz (1731‐1805), who by his role as immigrant rabbi from Eastern Europe (Galicia) and by his affiliation to the currents of Hasidism as an intermediary of ideas and agent of change, shows a fascinating transformation and mixing of various literary genres in his writings.
The focus of the project will be on homiletic treatises. The examination of homiletic literature requires the analysis of both oral and literal layers/elements of a text, the selection of material, the criteria of the editorial processes and the comparison to materials originating in literary activity that is not oral. Analyzing the various genres that make up the printed book also makes it possible to examine the rhetoric that characterizes the public speech and its social meanings. However, a book should not be seen as a product of a linear process of an author publishing his/her ideas, but rather, one must take also the book’s editors into account, who, collect and select the material and printers as the designers of the narrative of the community. It may therefore be sustained that all of the factors involved in the printing of the book deal with sorting the sections to be printed, omitting some of the texts and emphasizing other parts of the story, i.e. take part in shaping the new narrative of a community. Therefore, it is not alone the official leadership that shapes the narrative of the community, but rather anonymous elements with economic and ideological interests. An examination of the manuscripts present in a community in comparison to the printed materials may shed light on the role of the above mentioned factors in shaping and transforming the narrative of the community. The method proposed here combines perspectives of orality and literacy, along with other research ethods from the »History of the Book«, in the field of homiletics and social contexts. This intersection of Jewish studies with methodology from historical, sociological, political and literary studies will provide an innovative approach also to similar topics within the humanities.
(Roee Yakov Goldshmidt)
Research partner:Roee Goldschmidt follows the invitation of Rebekka Voss (Profesor of Jewish Studies at Frankfurt University) and the University's research center »Religiöse Positionierung. Modalitäten und Konstellationen in jüdischen, christlichen und islamischen Kontexten« (»Religious Positioning: Modalities and Constellations in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Contexts«).
Scholarly profile of Roee Yakov Goldshmidt In 2017, Roee Yakov Goldschmidt received his PhD from the Ben-Gurion University of The Negev with a dissertation entitled »Rabbi David Shlomo Eibschitz's Arvei Nahal: The sermons editing and printing in light of the editing methods of homiletical literature from the sixteenth century on and the conclusions of it, for the history of the Hasidic movement, founded by the Besht«.
Please find more information about Roee Yakov Goldschmidt here.
Main areas of research:Jewish communities in Eastern Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries; Literary theory; Jewish Studies; Transcription process of oral traditions
- »"Is There a Tree within or Not?”: A Zoharic Passage by R. Menahem Recanati«, In: Daat
- »The Study of Lurianic Kabbalah in the Circle of the Baal Shem Tov - R. Moses Shoham of Dolina's Saraf Pri Es Hayyim'«, In: Kabbalah (29), 2013.