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Going West: Migrating Personae and Construction of the Self in Rabbinic Culture
Reuven Kiperwasser
BJS 369
Publication Date
November 2021


This new book by Reuven Kiperwasser examines the social, cultural, and religious aspects of third- to sixth-century narratives involving rabbinic figures migrating between Babylonia and Palestine. Kiperwasser draws on migration and mobility studies, comparative literature, humor and satire studies, as well as social history to reveal how border-crossing rabbis were seen as exporting features of their previous eastern context into their new western homes and vice versa. Through their writing, rabbinic authors articulated the nature and legitimacy of their own scholastic practices, knowledge, and authority in relationship to their internal others.

Reuven Kiperwasser is research associate and lecturer at Ariel University in Israel and a research associate at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He specializes in rabbinic literature, and his research interests include especially the interactions between Iranian mythology, Syriac-Christian storytelling, and rabbinic narrative. His critical edition of Qoheleth Rabbah with introduction and commentary published in 2021.