Prof. Ophir Münz-Manor, an associate professor of Rabbinic Culture at the Open University of Israel, is a specialist in Jewish liturgy and liturgical poetry from Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. His studies focus on the intersections with contemporary Christian texts as well as questions of ritual, performance and gender in late antique Near Eastern cultures. His recent publications include Early Piyyut – An Annotated Anthology (Tel Aviv University Press, 2015) and Gender and Sexuality in Rabbinic Culture (The Open University of Israel Press, 2016).
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Articles by the Author
In Praise of the Hasmoneans: Chanukah Beyond Rabbinic Literature
The relative absence of Chanukah from rabbinic literature has been seen by many scholars as evidence that late antique Jews were ambivalent about the holiday and its Hasmonean founders. However, the highly suggestive evidence of piyyut (liturgical poetry), which extensively and creatively thematizes Chanukah and the Hasmoneans, suggests that this apparent ambivalence was not shared across late antique Jewish society.
Body or Soul: Which is Responsible for Committing Sins?
To illustrate the body and soul’s responsibility for sin, an early midrash presents the parable of the blind and lame watchmen. Curiously, this parable later shows up in Piyyut and in a Christian text. What might this teach us about the spread of rabbinic texts and ideas in late antiquity?