The Study of Hebrew Literature of the Middle Ages: Major Trends and Goals

Tova Rosen*, Eli Yassif

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This article aims at a critical examination of modern research on medieval Hebrew literature. Here, the definition of 'medieval Hebrew literature' excludes writing in Jewish languages other than Hebrew, and singles out literature from other types of non-literary Hebrew writing. The variety of literary types included in this survey ranges from liturgical and secular poetry to artistic storytelling and folk literature. Both early liturgical poetry (piyyut) and the medieval Hebrew story are rooted in the soil of the Talmudic period. The beginnings of medieval Hebrew storytelling were even more deeply connected to the narrative traditions of the Talmud. However, the constitutive moment of the birth of piyyut and narrative as distinct medieval genres had to do with their separation from the encyclopedic, allembracing nature of the Talmud.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Jewish Studies
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191577260
ISBN (Print)0199280320, 9780199280322
StatePublished - 16 Dec 2004


  • Early liturgical poetry
  • Medieval hebrew literature
  • Medieval hebrew story
  • Talmud


Dive into the research topics of 'The Study of Hebrew Literature of the Middle Ages: Major Trends and Goals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this