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GoTriple's project summary

The goal of this project is the study of practical halakhic guides for religious observance written by Sephardi rabbis in Judeo-Spanish between the 16th and 20th centuries, in their social and religious contexts. The Ladino rabbinic texts under discussion were printed in Hebrew letters and include elements of diverse linguistic origins, among them, elements from Hebrew and Aramaic. Researchers dealing with these texts need to have an interdisciplinary background combining both Jewish and Hispanic studies, in addition to other fields. The project description has three foci: 1) the intensive complementary training program of the researcher, who already has solid prior scholarly experience in the field of Ladino rabbinic language and literature; 2) the nature of the cooperation between the research trainee and the local authority in Jewish languages (Ladino, Yiddish), and the means the latter will use to supervise the trainee’s work; 3) the framework in which the training will take place, at the highest-level Ladino studies program in Israel, in its most prestigious faculty of humanities. The principal objectives for the researcher’s training, which are intended to have a significant impact on the furtherance of her scholarly career, are: bibliographical data gathering at the richest libraries of Ladino literature in Israel; a fine-tuning of the researcher’s training in Ladino linguistics and literature; the undertaking of a comparative Jewish interlinguistic study of Ladino and Yiddish rabbinical texts; the organization of an international conference on Ladino and Yiddish rabbinical literature; the assuming by the trainee of teaching responsibilities at the host institution; and the improvement of the researcher’s knowledge of Hebrew, as well as her acquisition of Yiddish linguistic skills and familiarity with Yiddish rabbinical literature. The expected results will include a survey of the most representative authors and works of halakhic literature in Ladino and Yiddish; a formulation of the salient characteristics and subgenres of these works; an analysis of the purposes the halakhic works were meant to serve; a study of their contents (laws, prayers and religious practices; moral teachings, rabbinic tales, folklore, popular culture; and private and public life of the Sephardic Jews scattered thorough the Mediterranean basin); and an analysis of the linguistic varieties of Ladino in which the works were written.

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