Page 81 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 30

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— S
a u l
ieberm an
composed by the early authorities and to whose elucidation only
few scholars of later generations had devoted themselves. In a
comparatively short period, Lieberman was able to compose
Tosefet Rishonim
(4 vols. 1937-1939), a commentary on the en­
tire Tosefta, with textual corrections based on manuscripts, early
editions and quotations found throughout early rabbinic litera­
ture. During this period he also wrote “Tashlum Tosefta,” an
introductory chapter to the second printing of M. S. Zucker-
mandel’s Tosefta edition (1937), in which he examined Tosefta
quotations in early rabbinic works that are not found in the
Tosefta text.
He subsequently published
(1939), on Jewish legends,
customs and literary sources found in Karaite and Christian po­
lemical writings, and
Midreshe Teman
(1940), where he showed
that the Yemenite midrashim had preserved exegetical material
which had been deliberately omitted by the Rabbis. Also in
1940, Lieberman published a variant version of the Midrash
Rabba on Deuteronomy. In his view, this version had been cur­
rent among Sefardi Jewry, while the standard text had been that
of Ashkenazi Jewry.
Studies on Jewry in Roman Palestine
That year Lieberman resigned as dean of the Harry Fischel
Institute for Talmudic Research in Jerusalem, a post he had
held since 1935, to serve as professor of Palestinian literature
and institutions at The Jewish Theological Seminary of America.
After his arrival in the United States, he began to contribute
to American scholarly publications. Among his more extensive
articles were studies on the life of the Jews in Roman Palestine.
In his two books
Greek in Jewish Palestine
(1942) and
lenism in Jewish Palestine
(1950), he traced the influence of
Hellenistic culture on Palestine Jewry during the Roman period.
In 1945 he published
Hilkhot ha-Yerushalmi,
a treatise on the
Palestinian Talmud which had been discovered in the Cairo
Geniza and which he identified as the work of Maimonides, writ­
ten in the Rambam’s own hand.
In the beginning of the 1950’s, Lieberman, who had been
appointed dean of the Seminary’s rabbinical school in 1949,
returned to the systematic elucidation of the Tosefta. He under­
took the publication of the Tosefta text based on manuscripts,
including fragments from the Geniza, accompanied by explanatory
notes, and an extensive commentary entitled
Tosefta KiFshuta.
The latter work combined philological research and historical
observations with a discussion of the entire Talmudic and rab­