This project involves the search for
manuscripts and other sources on the Jewish communities in the East, as well as
translation, compilation, commentary and publication of these sources. The project is
unique in its overall scope and methodology, and will make often inaccessible sources
readily available to the scholar. The first four volumes have been published, and two more
are in press.
Saadya Gaon's Book of Deeds and
Decrees: (with R. Brody)
Research focuses on (a) locating book
fragments that had survived in the Cairo Geniza and preparing a scientific edition
for publication; and (b) examination of the sources which were available to Saadya Gaon
when he composed his book and the influence the book had as a practical handbook for
Jewish communities in Muslim countries. It appears that this work was Saadya Gaon's first
halakhic book, as well as the first such work in the rabbinic world to be written in
Arabic. Saadya explained that he wrote it because of the pressing need for such a
handbook. Saadya's book holds a major place in legislative-judicial tradition, as well as
in everyday practice.
This research is innovative in that it
seeks to compile the earliest literature pertaining to deeds, and re-creates Saadya's
work, the first of its kind, which, although lost for centuries, was used extensively by
medieval writers, without reference. (This project is part of a broader planned project
devoted to "Tradition and Changes among Jews of the Muslim World" (see Research
Projects above), to be conducted at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Hebrew University.
The Maimonidean family's influence
among the Eastern Jewish communities:
This study examines the history of the
Maimon dynasty in light of the decline of Eastern Jewry (12th-15th centuries). The study
uncovers new sources of the Maimon family's public activity. A history of the family (both
intellectually and politically) and its impact on Eastern Jewry is being prepared for
publication (first as a series of articles, to be followed by a book with new sources
appended). (Part of a wider program dealing with "Law and Spirituality," during
the 1993/94 academic year at the Center for Judaic Center [formerly the Annenberg
The Ben-Ezra Synagogue and Jewish
neighborhood in Qasr el-Rum, Cairo: (with J.R. Hacker; and C. Le-Quene and P. Sheehan,
The purpose of this project is to study
the life and social world of the Jewish community in Cairo in the Middle Ages. Research is
supplemented by archaeological findings and combines multidisciplinary research
techniques, making use of newly authorized archaeological studies. It thus complements
what has been discovered through the Geniza fragments and sheds light on the
history of Cairo, both Jewish and Muslim.
Several hundred Geniza documents
and other sources have been located, deciphered, translated and analyzed.
Ben-Sasson, M. (1991) The Jews of
Sicily, 825-1068 - Documents and Sources. Jerusalem, Ben-Zvi Institute, 735 + viii pp.
Ben-Sasson, M. (1991) A family at a
time of transition - A study of the encounter between Halakha and history in North Africa
with new evidence on Dunash ben Tamim. In: Sefunot, vol.20, Jerusalem, Ben-Zvi
Institute, pp.51-69 (Hebrew).
Ben-Sasson, M. (1991) Firkovitch's
Second Collection: Notes on historical and Halakhic material. Jewish Studies, 31:
Ben-Sasson, M. (1992) La soci?t?
m?di?vale en pays m?diterran?en. In: La Soci?t? juive ? travers les ages - La Fabrique
du peuple, I, ed. S. Trigano, Paris, Fayard, pp.427-460.
Ben-Sasson, M. (1992) Maimonides in
Egypt - The first stage. Maimonidean Studies, 2: 3-30.
Ben-Sasson, M. (1992) The prayer of the
Anusim. In: Sanctity of Life and Martyrdom, eds. I.M. Gafni and A. Ravitzky,
Jerusalem, The Zalman Shazar Center, pp.153-166 (Hebrew).
Ben-Sasson, M. (1993) The History of
the Jews in Muslim Lands during the Middle Ages. In: The Historical Atlas - The History
of the Jewish People (Editor-in-chief: E. Bar-Navi), London, Hutchinson, pp.74-75,
80-83, 86-93, 116-117.
Ben Sasson, M. (1993) Banque et negoc?
dans le haut Moyen Age. In: La Soci?t? juive ? travers les ages - Le passage d'Israel,
III, ed. S. Trigano, Paris, Fayard, pp.205-240.
Ben-Sasson, M., ed. (1994) Religion
and Economy. Jerusalem, The Zalman Shazar Center, 439 pp. (Hebrew).
Ben-Sasson, M. (1994) Ben Ezra
Synagogue during the medieval period. In: The Ben Ezra Synagogue, ed. P. Lambert, London,
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, pp.200-226.
Ben-Sasson, M. (1994) Appeal to the
congregation in Islamic countries in the early Middle Ages. In: Knesset Ezra, eds.
S. Elizur, M.D. Herr and A. Shinan (eds.), Jerusalem, Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi and the Ben-Zvi
Institute, pp.327-350 (Hebrew).
Ben-Sasson, M. (1994) Mutual relations
between religion and economics through the ages. In: Mutual Relation between Religion
and Economics, ed. M. Ben-Sasson, Jerusalem, The Zalman Shazar Center, pp.11-29
Ben-Sasson, M. (1995) Varieties of
inter-communal relations in the Geonic period. In: Jews of Medieval Islam: Community,
Society and Identity, ed. D. Frank, Leiden, pp.17-31.
Ben-Sasson, M. (1996) The Emergence
of the Local Jewish Community in the Muslim World: Qayrawan, 800-1057. Jerusalem,
Magnes Press, 584 pp. (Hebrew).
Ben-Sasson, M. (1996) The Eretz
Israel-Syria axis: The formal aspects. Peamim, 66: 5-19 (Hebrew).
Ben-Sasson, M. (1995 - in press)
Varieties of inter-communal relations in the Geonic period. Jewish-Muslim Relations,
4: pp. - ???.
Ben-Sasson, M. (199? ) The Jews of
Damascus and Cairo in 1019-1020 Events. In: Moshe Gil Festschrift, eds. Y. Erder et al.,
pp. - (25pp.)
'War in the Palaces Peace for the
Minorities - When Empires Fade (the Jewish case in the Medieval Mediterranean)', in: B.
Cooperman et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the International Conference "When Empires
Fade", 30 pp.
'The Jews of Sicily in the
Mediterranean Society' Jewish Muslim Relations, 20 pp.
'To the Polemical Methods of Maimonides
Descendants', Proceedings of the 6th International Conference of the Society for
Judeo-Arabic Culture (Ramat Gan 1993) 25 pp
Moral and Philosophy in Ibn Aqnin's
Works', in: M.Abitbol and M.Kenbib (eds.), Judeo-Musulims Relations in Morroco -
Perceptions and Realities (Proceedings of the 1st International Conference of the Centre
International de Recherche sur les Juifs du Maroc), Marrakech and Paris
'Poplulation-Movement and Perceptions
of Identity - the Case of Fez under the Idrises and the Zirides', in: M.Abitbol and
M.Kenbib (eds.), Judeo-Musulims Relations in Morroco - Perceptions and Realities
(Proceedings of the 1st Int ernational Conference of the Centre International de Recherche
sur les Juifs du Maroc), Marrakech and Paris
'The Jewish Autonomy in Muslim Lands -
10th-12th Centuries', in: A. Grossmann and Y. Kaplan (eds.), The Jewish Autonomy through
the Ages, 46 pp.
Ben-Sasson, M. The "Corpus of
Early Islamic Sources for West African History" and the History of the Jewish People.
In: I. Gershuni (ed.), Africa - Islam, Christianity and Judaism, 12 pp.