Revel Year In Review 2021-2022


together, we can imagine an ancient smellscape and the associations it might have evoked. Scent could be an effica- cious agent in remedies, a pleasurable component of cele- bration, a sign of class, or an indication of disease or impurity. It could waft and diffuse; offend and attract. “At Revel I’ve found supportive librarians, intellectual community, and training in careful scholarship. I’m so grateful for the time I’ve been able to spend here! “


Rachel Fried “I am so grateful to the Revel faculty and administration for their warmth, flexibility, and guidance throughout my academic journey. Studying in a program with such a large professor:student ratio has enabled me to forge personal mentorship relationships with leading scholars and to receive individualized support on my coursework. It is only due to Revel’s accessibility to students with full schedules that I am privileged to pursue multiple masters’ degrees simultaneously.” Isaac Entin “At Revel, I acquired a toolkit of source critical, literary, and historical approaches to illuminate my learning. The small class sizes were ideal for engaging with texts and ideas together with caring and knowledgeable professors and classmates, who facilitated independent research into the marvelous world of Hazal and related fields.”

Itamar Rosensweig The Legal Philosophy and Jurisprudence of

Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman (Ramban) The dissertation is a study of Ramban’s jurisprudence, focusing on his defense of geonic legal precedent, his concep- tual method of talmudic analysis, and his use of the biblical verse to derive novel halakhic conclusions.

“Revel is an exceptional school, and it has provided me with the finest tutelage in the history of halakha. I am fortunate to have been mentored at Revel by the leading scholars in the field—Professors David Berger, Moshe Halbertal, Ephraim Kanarfogel, and Haym Soloveitchik—who have all been so generous with their time and knowledge. It’s especially meaningful for me to be a third generation Revel doctorate. My grandfather Rabbi Bernard Rosensweig received his doctorate from Revel in 1970 under the supervision of Professor Agus. My father, Rabbi Michael Rosensweig, received his doctorate from Revel in 1996 under the super- vision of Professors Soloveitchik and Berger. It’s special for me to continue their tradition and to reflect on a half- century relationship with Revel that continues to enrich our appreciation of halakha and its heroes.”

Lynn Horwitz “Studying at Revel provided the opportunity to enhance my formal Jewish education and engage across generations of Jewish learning.”

Samuel Merkin “I really enjoyed my time at Revel. The professors’ enthusiasm and passion for their subject matter made classes engaging and drove home the relevance of much of the Jewish history we learned.” Yoni Paul Reuven “My time at Revel has been transformative. I have always loved Jewish philosophy, but Revel solidified my passion and gave it academic rigor. It gave me the necessary training, background, and confidence to approach any Jewish philosophical text. I am incredibly grateful for my time here.”

Tzvi Sinensky Lo Yilbash as a Case Study in Halakhic Conceptions of Masculinity

Daniel Nugent “My time at Revel has given me new perspec- tives in my learning and life.”

“Whether it was allowing me to pilot the Revel Global program, pursue a certificate degree from Utah State University, or arranging for the leading scholar in my field to sit on my dissertation committee, the administration and teachers have


Meira Wolkenfeld Putrid Fish and Citrons in the Garbage Heaps of Mata Mehasia: Scent and Smelling in the Babylonian Talmud)

had only one goal in mind throughout: to help me succeed in my studies Revel gifted me the opportunity to explore my area of interest without being beholden in any way to a professor’s individual research interests. While this is un- usual in academia, it is very much the norm at Revel. That academic independence enabled me to thrive.

The dissertation is about attitudes towards scent and smelling in the Babylonian Talmud. I also consider how the world might have smelled. The Talmud records anecdotes about walking through reeking alleyways and fragrant banqueting gardens. Putting these sources

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