David Stern, "The Lives of Jewish Books"

This talk will trace the lives of two remarkable Jewish books in order to see what they can tell us about the books themselves and the people who figured in their pasts. Both manuscripts are from the Middle Ages—one a Hebrew Bible and the other a Mahzor (Holiday Prayerbook)—and each has an extraordinary history.

Lecture at 5:00pm, followed by a reception. Registration required: Please contact Anna Maria Romano at 416-978-3600 or events.library@utoronto.ca.

David Stern is Moritz and Josephine Berg Professor of Classical Hebrew Literature at the University of Pennsylvania.  He has degrees from Columbia University (BA) and Harvard University (PhD), and has also been a visiting professor at Princeton University, Nanjing University, the Hebrew University, and the University of Washington; he has also won numerous national fellowships, grants, and awards. Stern's fields of specialization are classical Jewish literature and religion and the history of the Jewish book. He is the author of eight books including Parables in Midrash: Narrative and Exegesis in Rabbinic Literature (Harvard University Press) and Rabbinic Fantasies: Imaginative Narratives from Classical Hebrew Literature (Yale University Press), and most recently, he co-authored the facsimile edition, The Washington Haggadah by Joel ben Simeon: A Fifteenth Century Manuscript from The Library of Congress (Harvard University Press). His essays and reviews have appeared in The New Republic, Commentary, The New York Times Book Review, and Kerem. He is currently completing a book "The Jewish Library: Four Jewish Classics and the Jewish Experience," which traces the material history of the Jewish Bible, the Talmud, the Prayerbook, and the Passover Haggadah.

In partnership with the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library to launch the exhibition, "As it is Written": Judaic Treasures from the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, January 26–May 1, 2015.

Date & Time
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - 5:00pm

Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, 120 St. George Street