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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53772
Doc. No:TL23726
Call number:‭3251389‬
Main Entry:Gil S. Perl
Title & Author:'Emek ha -Neziv: A window into the intellectual universe of Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehudah BerlinGil S. Perl
College:Harvard University
Date:2007
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2007
Page No:430
Abstract:Through his position as head of the Ez Hayyim Yeshiva in Volozhin and as a prolific and popular author, Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin (Neziv; 1816-1893) stood at the very center of Lithuanian rabbinic society during the second half of the nineteenth century. This dissertation proposes that unique insight into the creative and highly influential mind of Neziv can be derived from an analysis of his earliest intellectual product, a commentary on the rabbinic compilation of halakhic midrash known as Sifre, posthumously published (1958) under the name 'Emek ha-Neziv. It argues that Neziv's earliest work belongs to the intellectually vibrant, yet heretofore unstudied world of early nineteenth-century midrash commentary. Furthermore, it suggests that the cultural elements which gave rise to this flourish of midrash scholarship, namely the influence of the Ga'on of Vilna, the role of the Lithuanian Maggid, and the rise of Hebrew print, are clearly manifest in the pages of 'Emek ha-Neziv. Armed with an understanding of Neziv's earliest intellectual endeavors we will then examine his later work against the backdrop of 'Emek ha-Neziv. Doing so will demonstrate that much of Neziv's later commentary endeavors are natural outgrowths of his early work and his formative experiences in the world of early nineteenth-century midrash study. At the same time, we will demonstrate that setting his later work against the relief of his earlier endeavors helps to highlight limited, yet critical, points where Neziv's Ha'amek Davar diverges significantly from the exegetical path he had taken in 'Emek ha-Neziv. Much of this divergence will be attributed to the impact of a Jewish society which had greatly changed over the course of Neziv's life. These changes in society confronted the Lithuanian rabbinic establishment with an altered set of norms, expectations, and fears; many of which are reflected in Neziv's Ha'amek Davar. Thus our exploration of Neziv's later work offers important insight into the intellectual and religious development of Neziv, as well as into the history of nineteenth-century Jewish Lithuania as a whole.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Berlin, Naftali Zvi Yehudah; Intellectual; Lithuania; Midrash commentary; Nineteenth century; Sifre; Yeshiva; Religious history; European history; 0335:European history; 0320:Religious history
Added Entry:J. M. Harris
Added Entry:Harvard University