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Current Newsletter

The Orion Center Newsletter

November 2005


Letter from the Director

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As this Newsletter was going to press, we received copies of the seventh Orion symposium volume. This marks an auspicious beginning to what promises to be an exciting year at the Center. Our calendar is brimming with presentations by local and international scholars. We will benefit from having with us two Orion visiting scholars, Dr. Shani Berrin of the University of Sydney, Australia and Prof. Steven Weitzman of Indiana University, as well as two visiting graduate students who have been awarded Orion grants: Jeremy Penner of McMaster University in Ontario, and Alexander Paul Jassen of New York University. The ongoing international, scholarly dialogue taking place at the Center is making an impact on Qumran studies and related fields in Israel and around the globe.
In a break with past tradition, and in order to set the Center’s agenda for the next decade of its operation, we will not be holding an international symposium this year. But, as our calendar of activities and schedule of publications show, we will be as busy as ever! It is my pleasure to invite you, our Orion community of scholars, students, and supporters, to take an active role in our program and our planning for the next ten years.

With all best wishes for a fruitful and peaceful New Year,

Dr. Esther Chazon


New Scrolls from the Judaean Desert
by Prof. Hanan Eshel, Bar-Ilan University

A number of new scroll fragments from the Judaean Desert have surfaced during the past few months. One group of fragments comes from private collections and was unearthed during the 1952–1956 excavations at Qumran; the other group belongs to a scroll discovered in Nahal Arugot near Ein Gedi in 2004. Just about a year ago, Bedouin found four small leather fragments bearing text from Leviticus 23–24 that resembles the Masoretic biblical text. These fragments apparently belonged to a scroll of the Book of Leviticus. The scroll was likely brought to the cave in Nahal Arugot in the summer of 135 C.E., when Jews were seeking refuge from the Roman army in the Judaean Desert caves.
Prior to this discovery, fragments of 14 scrolls from the other four books of Moses were found, dating from the time of the Bar Kochba revolt. The newly discovered fragments, the first of a Leviticus text from this period, were purchased from the Bedouin by the Jesselson Epigraphic Center of Jewish History at Bar-Ilan University and handed over to the Israel Antiquities Authority. They serve to remind us that new scrolls may yet be unearthed in the caves of the Judaean Desert. In September 2003, five scrolls fragments from Qumran, whose existence had previously been a carefully guarded secret, were displayed in Dallas, Texas, in an exhibit entitled, “From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Forbidden Book.” These fragments included material from Genesis and Isaiah and a passage about Abraham. In March 2004, a papyrus fragment with the Aramaic text of the First Book of Enoch, chapters 8–9, was given to Dr. Esther Eshel and myself to publish. The Enochic fragment allows us to correct and improve the reconstruction of the original Aramaic text of two previously available manuscripts of 1 Enoch from Cave 4. These six fragments are published in “New Fragments from Qumran: 4QGen(f), 4QIsa(b), 4Q226, 8QGen, and XQpapEnoch,” Dead Sea Discoveries 12/2 (2005): 134–57. New Scrolls, cont.
Antiquities dealers and collectors now seem to be open to allowing scholars to publish the remaining scroll fragments still in their hands. It is incumbent upon the scholarly community to obtain access to and publish these new materials without delay, in order to provide the entire academic community and the public at large with the complete picture of the scrolls from the desert of Judaea.
Editor’s note: please visit our website at “Scrolls in the News” to follow media coverage of recent finds.


Orion Publications:

The Orion Center is happy to announce its latest publication:
Reworking the Bible: Apocryphal and Related Texts at Qumran. Proceedings of a Joint Symposium by the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature and the Hebrew University Institute for Advanced Studies Research Group on Qumran, 15–17 January, 2002. Edited by Esther G. Chazon, Devorah Dimant and Ruth A. Clements. STDJ 58. Leiden: Brill, 2005.

Forthcoming:
Rabbinical Perspectives: Rabbinic Literature and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium of the Orion Center For the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, 7–9 January, 2003. Edited by Steven G. Fraade, Aharon Shemesh, and Ruth A. Clements.
In Preparation:
Text, Thought, and Practice in Qumran and Early Christianity (Ninth Orion Symposium volume), edited by Daniel M. Schwartz and Ruth A. Clements.
New Perspectives on Old Texts (Tenth Orion Symposium volume), edited by Esther G. Chazon, Betsy Halpern-Amaru, and Ruth A. Clements.
Orion Center Bibliography of the Dead Sea Scrolls, 2000-2005, by Ruth A. Clements and Nadav Sharon.
?We ask our colleagues to check the On-Line Bibliography for your own relevant publications and to send us additions and corrections. Thank you!

Center News

Congratulations to Prof. Michael Stone, Chair of the Orion Center Academic Committee, who has just returned from an extended visit to Armenia, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Armenian National Academy of Sciences in Yerevan. In October, Prof. Stone delivered the keynote address at a two-day Harvard University international conference on the history of the Armenian alphabet.
Dr. Esther Chazon, Orion Center Director, will travel to Philadelphia for the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (November 19–22, 2005), where she will chair a session of the Qumran Section.
Over the past academic year, the Center hosted a number of visiting scholars from North America and Europe, including Prof. Moshe Bernstein of Yeshiva University, New York City; Prof. Crispin Fletcher-Louis of St. Mary’s, London; Prof. Maxine Grossman of the University of Maryland; Prof. Donald Parry of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; and Prof. Eileen Schuller of McMaster University, Ontario. This year’s international visitors will include Dr. Shani Berrin of the University of Sydney, Australia; Prof. Daniel Falk of the University of Oregon; and Prof. Steven Weitzman of Indiana University.
We welcome research grant recipients Alexander Paul Jassen of New York University, and Jeremy Penner of McMaster University, who will also serve as an Orion Intern. Last year’s grant recipients will continue their connection with the Center: Vered Hillel is working on her doctorate here at the Hebrew University, and Jungwa Choi, of Oxford, will be returning in January to give a presentation at the Center.
Congratulations: to Mindy Anderson, Orion Intern, on her marriage; to Yael Eliahoo, Orion Webmaster, on the birth of her daughter; to Nadav Sharon, research assistant, on his marriage.
We want to thank Etka Liebowitz for a commendable job during the past year as Assistant Head of English Publications, and we wish her success in future endeavors. Thanks also go to Nadav Sharon, who has done a tremendous job over the last year of keeping the On-Line Bibliography up to date. And welcome back to Dr. Ruth Clements, who has returned to the Center from her sabbatical in Washington, DC, where she was pursuing research at the Library of Congress. Webmaster Yael Eliahoo and Intern Asher Altshul are bringing Virtual Qumran closer to completion, and Ariella Amir manages the office and coordinates our full program schedule.

In Memoriam: Professor Hartmut Stegemann

by Prof. Eileen Schuller, McMaster University
The Orion Center and its associates were saddened to hear of the death of Professor Hartmut Stegemann on August 22, 2005, and we extend our condolences to his wife, Professor Ursula Spuler-Stegemann, and to his family.
Dr. Stegemann was born on December 18, 1933, in Gummers-bach, Germany. He received his Doctor of Philosophy in 1963 from Heidelberg, completed his habilitation at Bonn in 1969, and received his Doctor of Theology from Bonn in 1971. After teaching for short periods in Z?rich and Heidelberg, he held the Chair of New Testament at Marburg from 1971–1979, and in 1980 was called to the Theological Faculty at Georg-August-University in G?ttingen, as successor to Hans Conzelmann. There he was also Director of the Department for Ancient Judaism, Head of the Qumran Research Center and, for many years, master of a residence for theological students. He became Professor Emeritus in 2002, but continued—despite serious health problems—to offer a New Testament seminar, and had just completed the current term in June 2005. Much of his academic life was devoted to the question of who Jesus was and is, and this was to have been the topic of his next book.
For almost fifty years Dr. Stegemann was passionately involved with the Dead Sea Scrolls. In 1957, he began to work in the Qumran Research Center established by Karl Georg Kuhn in Heidelberg. He took over as its director in 1973, and transferred the Center with him to Marburg and then to G?ttingen. He spent time in Jerusalem beginning in 1964 (and on a very regular basis from 1982), to work with the originals of the scrolls. He trained younger scholars, especially his own student, Dr. Annette Steudel, as well as many others from around the world, in the techniques of material reconstruction of the scrolls that he had developed (popularly called “the Stegemann method” of scrolls reconstruction). For many years his main efforts were devoted to reconstructions of the Thanksgiving (Hodayot) Scroll, the Damascus Document, and 4QMMT. In Discoveries in the Judaean Desert 36 he published a re-edition of two fragments of the Damascus Document, plus new fragments (4Q269). Dr. Stegemann served for many years on the editorial board of the journal Revue de Qumr?n. At the celebration in Israel of the fiftieth anniversary of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, in the summer of 1997, he was invited to give the main address for the gala conclusion at the Qumran site.
Both to the broader scholarly world, and to the general public, Dr. Stegemann was best known for his book The Library of Qumran: On the Essenes, Qumran, John the Baptist and Jesus (published jointly by Eerdmans and Brill, 1998; German original published by Herder, 1993). He devoted much time and energy to presenting in the media and to general audiences an accurate picture of the value and importance of the scrolls, especially during the times of controversy in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Dr. Stegemann was a strong friend and supporter of the Orion Center. He attended four of the Center’s international symposia, and published two major articles in symposium proceedings: “Towards Physical Reconstructions of the Qumran Damascus Document Scrolls” (1998 symposium volume); and “The Number of Psalms in 1QHa and Some of their Sections” (2000 symposium volume).
Dr. Stegemann was particularly kind to young scholars, devoting large amounts of his time to working with them on reconstructions of their texts and discussing scholarly problems. He treasured the many summers that he spent in Jerusalem working with students and colleagues from around the world at the Rockefeller Museum, the Shrine of the Book, and the ?cole Biblique. So, too, we have treasured Prof. Stegemann's presence among us, and his many contributions to Dead Sea Scrolls scholarship; he will be greatly missed.

“. . . It will still take decades of intensive research to process adequately the rich gains in insight that all of these texts have to offer in the study of Judaism, in the investigation of the Old and New Testaments, in the history of Hebrew and Aramaic, in broader Semitic studies, and in the study of religion.”
Hartmut Stegemann, The Library of Qumran (1998), p. 85.

Orion Center Calendar—Winter 2005/2006

NOVEMBER 15. Coffee Hour Presentation
12:00-13:30 p.m. Arieh Amichai (Department of Bible, The Hebrew University): “Interlacement of Biblical Quotations as a Stylistic Feature of the Hodayot Scroll”
NOVEMBER 29. Rothberg International School/ Pontifical Biblical Institute Lectures in Memory of Miriam Sheffer
18:30 p.m. Prof. Yair Zakovitch (Department of Bible, The Hebrew University): “Between Inner-Biblical and Extra-Biblical Interpretation”
The Boyar Building, Room 100, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus
DECEMBER 16. Rothberg International School/ Pontifical Biblical Institute Lectures in Memory of Miriam Sheffer
10:30 a.m. Prof. Benjamin G. Wright (Lehigh University): “The Allegorical Interpretation of the Law in the Letter of Aristeas”
The Pontifical Biblical Institute, 3 Paul Emil Botta Street, Jerusalem
DECEMBER 20. Jonas C. Greenfield Scholars’ Seminar
12:00-14:00 p.m. Prof. Daniel Falk (Department of Religious Studies, University of Oregon): “Community Order at Qumran”
JANUARY 6, 2006. Rothberg International School/ Pontifical Biblical Institute Lectures in Memory of Miriam Sheffer
10:30 a.m.: Dr. Serge Ruzer (Department of Comparative Religion, The Hebrew University): “Early Christian Biblical Exegesis: Inherited Jewish Patterns and the Drawing of Boundaries”
The Pontifical Biblical Institute, 3 Paul Emil Botta Street, Jerusalem
JANUARY 10. Coffee Hour Presentation
12:00-13:30 p.m. Alexander Paul Jassen (Skirball Department of Hebrew and Judaic Studies, New York University): “Prophets, Prophecy and Revelation in the Dead Sea Scrolls”
JANUARY 24. Coffee Hour Presentation

12:00-13:30 p.m. Junghwa Choi (Wolfson College, Oxford,): “Jewish Leadership in Roman Palestine”
Please note: Coffee Hour presentations and the Greenfield Scholars’ Seminar will be held in the Mandel World Center of Jewish Studies, The Rabin Building, Room 3001, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus. Please check the Calendar on our web site for the Spring program.


Research Grants and Awards

The Orion Center awards Research Grants to young scholars once a year. Priority is given to projects that a) can be done uniquely in Jerusalem or at the Hebrew University; and b) help to integrate the new information being gleaned from the Scrolls into the broader historical picture of Second Temple Judaism. Please visit our website for deadlines and application forms.



Orion Center Internships

We still have student internships available for 2005–2006. Interns help research the On-Line Bibliography and participate in other Center activities. Call, e-mail us, or stop by for more information.
The Associates Program offers the opportunity to receive current news about the Dead Sea Scrolls while supporting the Orion Center. You can help us foster innovative research and disseminate information to both scholars and the general public, about the Scrolls and their significance for the study of the history of Judaism and of early Christianity.
To join the Associates for 2005–2006, please visit our website for a printable Associates membership form; mail this form to the Center with your check (made out to “The Orion Center, Hebrew University”). If you do not have access to the form, make sure to include your name, mailing address, and other contact information, along with your gift. Gifts may be earmarked to any of the following funds:

1. Endowment Fund: To assist the Center towards achieving financial independence.

2. Library Fund: To assist in expanding the Center Library, located in the Scholars’ Room. Books and donations of $100 or more may bear the name of the benefactor or a person he/she wishes to honor.

3. Fellowship Fund: To provide yearly grants to both young and established scholars for research in the area of Dead Sea Scrolls and related fields.

We thank our current Associates for their ongoing support!