Ishay Rosen-Zvi is an Associate Professor and the Head of the Talmud and Late Antiquity section in the department of Hebrew Culture Studies at Tel-Aviv University, where he teaches Talmudic literature and culture. His maininterests are: Midrashic hermeneutics; the formation of the Mishna; Temple rituals inrabbinic literature; and gender and sexuality in late antiquity. Ishay’s book, titled "The Rite that Was Not: Temple, Midrash and Gender in Tractate Sotah," was published in Magness Press (2008) and an english version is forthcoming in the Journal for the Study of Judaism-Supplement Series, Leiden: Brill. A monograph on the history of the "evil inclination" from the Bibleto rabbinic literature and early Christianity is forthcoming in University of Pennsylvania Press under the title: "Demonic Desires: YETZER HARA and the Problem of Evil in Late Antiquity".

 הטקס שלא היה

 Demonic Desires


Publications (September 2010)

Ishay Rosen-Zvi


A. Books
  1. 1.      The Rite that Was not: Temple, Midrash and Gender in Tractate Sotah  (Jerusalem: Magnes, 2008; Hebrew). 316 pages.
  2. Demonic Desires: Yetzer Hara and the problem of Evil in Late Antiquity, Divinations: Rereading Late Ancient Religion (Philadelphia: Penn Press, 2011). 293 pages.
  3. The Mishnaic Sotah Ritual: Temple, Gender and Midrash (Journal for the Study of Judaism-Supplement Series, Leiden: Brill, 2012). 256 pages. A revised translation of the preceding.
  4. Body and Soul in Ancient Judaism (Tel Aviv: Modan and the Broadcasted University, 2012; Hebrew), 131 pages.


Accepted for Publication

I. Rosen-Zvi, G. Bohak and R. Margolin (eds.), Myth, Mysticism and Rityal: Studies in the relationship between Jewish Studies and Religious Studies: the Prof. Ithamar Gruenwald Festschrift (Teuda 26).


B. Articles Refereed
  1. “The Evil Impulse, Sexuality and Yichud: A Chapter of Talmudic Anthropology," Theory and Criticism 14 (1999), pp. 55-84 [Hebrew]
  2. “The Sin of Concealment of the Suspected Adulteress," Tarbiz 70 (2001), pp. 367-401 [Hebrew]
  3. “Justifying the Holocaust in the school or Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kuk," Democratic Culture 6 (2002), pp. 165-209 [Hebrew]
  4.  "'Even if One Found a More Beautiful Woman': An Analysis of Grounds for Divorce in Rabbinic Literature (Hebrew)," Jewish Studies Internet Journal 3 (2004), pp. 1-11 [Hebrew]
  5. “Another Look at the Adulteress' Punishment in Ezekiel 16 and 23," Beit Mikra 50 (2005), pp 163-193 [Hebrew]
  6.  "'Tractate Kinui': A Forgotten Tannaitic Debate About Marriage, Freedom of Movement and Sexual Supervision (Hebrew)," Jewish Studies Internet Journal 5 (2006), pp. 1-28 [Hebrew]
  7. "Bilhah the Temptress: the Testament of Reuben and the 'Birth of Sexuality'," Jewish Quarterly Review 96 (2006), 65-94
  8. "Measure for Measure as a Hermeneutic Tool in Early Rabbinic Literature," Journal of Jewish Studies 56 (2006), pp. 269-286
  9. “Mishna Sotah Chapter 5 and the Midrash of Rabbi Akiva," Tarbiz 70 (2006), pp. 95-128 [Hebrew]
  10. “Templeof the Body: The List of Priestly Blemishes in Mishna Bekhorot and the Place of the Temple in Tannaitic Discourse," Jewish Studies 43 (2005-2006), pp. 49-87 [Hebrew]
  11. “The Schoolof R. Ishmaeland the Birth of Yetzer Hara”, Tarbiz 75 (2006), pp. 1-39 [Hebrew]
  12. "Blessings of Sight (Birkot haReiyya) and the Emergence of the Tannaitic Liturgical System," Jewish Studies Internet Journal 7 (2008), pp. 1-29
  13. "Two Rabbinic Inclinations?: Rethinking a Scholarly Dogma", Journal for the Study of Judaism 39 (2008), pp. 513-539
  14. "Orality, Narrative, Rhetoric: New Directions in Mishnah Research", AJS Review 32 (2008), pp. 1-15
  15. Yetzer Hara in Amoraic Literature: A Reevaluation” Tarbiz 77 (2007), pp. 71-107 [Hebrew]
  16. "'You Shall Destroy all Places': A Tannaitic Polemic on the Destruction of Idolatry", Reshit 1 (2009), pp. 91-115 [Hebrew]
  17. “Blessings as Mapping: Structure and Content in Mishnah Berakhot Chapter 9”, Hebrew Union College Annual 79 (2009), pp. 1-24 [Hebrew]
  18. "Sexualizing the Evil Inclination: Rabbinic Yetzer and Modern Scholarship," Journal of Jewish Studies 60 (2009), pp. 264-281
  19. "Refuting the Yetzer: The Evil Inclination and the Limits of Rabbinic Discourse", Journal for Jewish Thought and Philosophy 17 (2009), pp. 117-142
  20. “Blessings as Mapping: Structure and Content in Mishnah Berakhot Chapter 9,” Hebrew Union College Annual 78 (2009), Heb. pp. 26-46 [Hebrew]
  21. "Male Jewels/Female Jewels: a New Look at the Religious Obligations of Women in Rabbinic Thought", Reshit 2, pp. 55-79 (With Dror Yinon; Hebrew)
  22. "The Protocol of the Court at Yavne? A new Readingof Tosefta Sanhedrin 7", Tarbiz 78 (2009), pp. 447-477 [Hebrew]
  23. "The Medir and the Muderet: Mishna Ketubot 7 and Tannaitic Conceptions of Marriage", Dine Israel 26 (2010), pp. 91-119 [Hebrew]
  24. “Secularizing the Talmud: Assimilation and Nationalism in Jewish Studies,” Teuda 24 (2012), pp. 73-86
  25. with Adi Ophir, “Goy: Toward a Genealogy,” Dine Israel 28 (2011), 69-112.


Accepted for Publication

“Terminology and its Discontents: towards a Hermeneutic Lexicon of Midrashic Terminology,” Jewish Studies (forthcoming).


C. Chapters in Books

  1.  “Sources and Sources of Inspiration – Rabbinic Literature and its Interpretation in David Hartman's Work," in: A. Sagi and Z. Zohar (eds.), Renewing Jewish Commitment: The Work and Thought of David Hartman (Jerusalem: Shalom Hartman Institute and Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 2001), pp. 407-423 [Hebrew]
  2. “The Standing Woman: Hannah's Prayer in Rabbinic Exegesis," in: N. Ilan and A. Sagi (eds.), Jewish Culture in the Eye of the Storm, a Jubilee Book in honor of Yosef Ahituv (Ein Zurim: Hakibbutz Hameuchad and The Jacob Herzog Center, 2002), pp. 675-698.  [Hebrew]
  3. "Between Sacred and Secular: The Thought of Ariel Rosen-Zvi," in: M. Mautner, et. al.(eds.) Multiculturalism and a Democratic and Jewish State: the Ariel Rosen-Zvi Memorial Book (Tel Aviv: Ramot, 2003), pp. 29-59 [Hebrew]
  4. “The Creation of Metaphysics: The Debate in the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva – A Critical Study," in: G. Bacon et. al. (eds.) A Hundred Years of Religious Zionism, vol. III (Ramat Gan:BarIlanUniversity Press, 2004), pp. 421-445 [Hebrew]
  5. “Leibowitz's Political Radicalism: History, Theology and Ethics," in: A Ravitzky (ed.), Yeshayahu Leibowitz – Conservativism and Radicalism (Jerusalem: Van Leer Institute and Haibbutz Hameuchad, 2006), pp. 335-353 [Hebrew]
  6. "Can the Homilists Cross the Sea Again? Time and Revelation in Mekhilta Shirata," G. Brooke et al. (eds.), The Significance of Sinai, Themes in Biblical Narratives (Leiden: Brill, 2008), pp.  217-246
  7. "Do Women Have a Yetzer? Anthropology, Ethics and Gender in Rabbinic Literature," B. Huss (ed.), Spiritual Authority: Cultural Power Struggles in Jewish Throught (Beersheba:BenGurionUniversity Press, 2010), pp. 21-34
  8. Introduction to D. Boyarin, Intertextuality and the Reading of Midrash (ed. E. Reiner, Jerusalem: Shalom Hartman Institute, 2012) [Hebrew]
  9. "Hyper-Sexualization in the Bavli: An Initial Survey", L. Teugels & R. Ulmer (eds.), Midrash and the Exegetical Mind (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias, 2010), pp. 181-205
  10. "The Sotah in the Temple: a well ordered choreography," T. Ilan (ed.), Introduction to Seder Qodashim. A Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012), pp. 71-84
  11. "Midrash and Reflectivity: Kishmu'o as a Test Case," M. Niehoff (ed.), Homer and the Bible in the Eyes of Ancient Interpreters (Leiden: Brill, 2012), pp. 329-344


Accepted for Publication

  1.  “Rereading Herem: Destruction of Avoda Zara in Tannaitic Literature,” K. Bartlett (ed.) The Gift of the Land and the Fate of the Canaanites in the History of Jewish Thought (Jerusalem: Yad Ben Zvi, forthcoming).
  2. YETZER HARA and DAIMONES: a Shared Jewish Christian Discourse?", Peter J.Tomson and Joshua Schwartz (eds.), Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries: How to Write Their History CRINT 13 (Leiden: Brill, Forthcoming)
  3. "The Birth of the Goy in Rabbinic Literature", I. Rosen Zvi, G. Bohak and R. Margolin (eds.), Myth, Mysticism and Ritual: Studies in the Relations between Jewish and Religious Studies, Ithamar Gruenwald Festschrift.


D. Review Essays and Book Reviews

  1. “A Philosopher Meets the Rabbi: a Review of Three New Books on the Philosophy of Halakha," Theory and Criticism 15 (2000), pp. 109-126 [Hebrew]
  2. Review of: Avraham Melamed, Can the Cushite Change His Skin? Blacks as Others in Jewish Culture, Haifa 2002, Israeli Sociology 5 (2003), pp. 273-278 [Hebrew]
  3. "Blood, Identity and Counter Discourse," Review of: Charlotte Fonrobert, Menstrual Purity: Rabbinic and Christian Reconstructions of Biblical Gender (Stanford University Press: Stanford, 2000), Prooftexts 23 (2003), pp. 210-228
  4. Review Essay: "Joining the Club: Tannaitic Legal Midrash and Ancient Jewish Hermeneutics," The Studia Philonica Annual XVII (2005)
  5. "Misogyny and its Discontents," Review of: Judith Baskin, Midrashic Women: Formations of the Feminine in Rabbinic Literature (University Press of New England: Hanover 2002), Prooftexts 25 (2005), pp. 198-208
  6. Review of: Daniel Boyarin, Borderlines: The partition of Judeo-Christianity (University of Pennsylvania Press: Philadelphia, 2004), Interpretation (April 2006), p. 222
  7. Review of: J. Rubenstein (ed.), Creation and Composition: the Contribution of the Bavli Redactors (Stammaim) to the Aggada (Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore, 2004), Journal for the Study of Judaism 37 (2006), pp. 367-368
  8. Review of: J. A. Brant et al (ed.), Ancient Fiction: The Matrix of Early Christian and Jewish Narrative (Leiden: Brill, 2005), Journal for the Study of Judaism 38 (2007), pp. 351-353
  9. Review of: Ra’anan S. Boustan, From Martyr to Mystic, TSAJ 112, (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2005), Zion 73 (2008), pp. 211-216 [Hebrew]
  10. Review of: R. Kalmin, Jewish Babylonia: between Persia and Roman Palestine (Oxford: Oxford University Press 2006), AJS Review (2008), 32 : 414-417
  11. Review of: G. Kessler, Conceiving Israel: The Fetus in Rabbinic Narratives, (Philadelphia: Penn, 2009), Journal of Jewish Studies 62 (2011): 168-170
  12. Review of: W. Loader, The Pseudepigrapha on Sexuality, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011), JSJ (forthcoming)


E. Other

  1. 'Sotah', 'Tractate Sotah', in: P. Hyman and D. Ofer (eds.) Jewish Women: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia (Philadelphia: JPS), CD-ROM (2007)
  2. "Settler Time," a review essay in Theory and Criticism 31 (2007), pp. 272-282
  3. An English translation and short commentary on Mishnah Sotah as part of The Oxford Mishna: A NewAnnotated Translation of the Mishnah (edited by Shaye Cohen and Hayim Lapin)


2006-2009     Alon Prize,TelAvivUniversity.

2005-2008    Mandel Fellowship,ScholionCenterfor Jewish Studies, the Hebrew


2004/2005    Lady Davies Post Doctoral Fellowships (HebrewUniversity).

2002/2003    Rothschild Fellowships (UC Berkeley).

1999             Aran Prize,SchoolofHistory,Tel-AvivUniversity.

1998-2001   Prize for Academic Excellence, Cohen Institute,Tel-AvivUniversity.

1997             The Israeli Parliament Competitive Prize for Excellent Students.

1996, 1997   Rector List, Bar-IlanUniversity.

Last updated: 21.08.2012