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The Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature
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Current Newsletter

The Orion Center Newsletter

November 2007



Letter from the Director

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
The past academic year (2006/2007) has been a busy one at the Orion Center on a variety of fronts.
A series of stimulating seminars and coffee hour presentations culminated in the Eleventh International Orion Symposium, convened June 18–21, 2007 in coop-eration with the HU Center for the Study of Christianity, on the topic, “New Approaches to the Study of Biblical Interpretation in Judaism of the Second Temple Period and in Early Christianity.” Plans are already underway for the Twelfth International Symposium, which will focus on the language of the Scrolls and Ben Sira.
Thanks to the good offices of Dr. Weston W. Fields, the Orion Center is cooperating with Ixlan Inc., to contribute to an exhibition in Seoul, South Korea, on the Dead Sea Scrolls and early Christianity. The exhibition, to run from December 2007 through June 2008, will include videoclips from the Orion Center’s Virtual Qumran website, featuring renowned archaeologist Prof. Jodi Magness, of the University of North Carolina.
The Orion Center salutes Mr. Michael Dunkel of Sydney Australia, one of the initiators of the Orion Foundation and a staunch supporter of the Center, on his Honorary Doctorate from the Hebrew University, in appreciation for his tireless work on behalf of the University. I would like to express my own heartfelt thanks to both the Foundation and the Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund for their continued support, as well as to the staff of the Orion Center, in particular Dr. Ruth Clements and Ms. Ariella Amir, and the interns, scholars, and students who help make Orion the hub of activity it is today. We open our doors to visitors from Israel and abroad and invite you to join us in our programs.
With best wishes for a healthy and productive year,

Prof. Steve Fassberg


From Jerusalem to San Diego:
Scrolls Exhibitions and the
Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation
by Dr. Weston W. Fields

The Dead Sea Scrolls Foundation (DSSF) was first connected with Scrolls exhibitions almost by accident. In 1997, Brigham Young University asked the Foundation to find Dead Sea Scrolls to go along with the Masada Exhibit from Hebrew University, which was to be shown in Provo, Utah. Since members of the LDS (Mormon) community had been both participants in and donors to the publication project, we agreed to explore the possibility of borrowing some of the scrolls owned by the Department of Antiquities of Jordan. After two trips to Amman agreement was reached, and we supplied four plates of scroll fragments to the Provo exhibit.
Two years later another major donor to the publication project, Robert Van Kampen, owner of the Scriptorium Museum (Grand Haven, Michigan), conceived an exhibition of his large private collection of biblical manuscripts and printed editions. The Scriptorium commissioned my wife Diane and myself to travel to St. Petersburg to negotiate for the exhibition of the Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) Codex, the oldest complete copy of the Hebrew Bible. The untimely death of Mr. Van Kampen forced the cancellation of the exhibit itself, but a relationship was begun with the National Library of Russia which was later to bear fruit.
In 2001, we were contacted again by BYU. A Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition was being planned as one of the special events connected with the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake. The University requested that the Foundation assist in finding materials. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the De-partment of Antiquities of Jordan both agreed to participate in the project, as did the National Library of Russia. The exhibit was scheduled to travel on to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts and the Public Museum of Grand Rapids (PMGR), but in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, both the Provo and Houston exhibits were cancelled. However, the PMGR forged ahead and became the first of seven North American venues to mount major Scrolls exhibitions with the assistance of the DSSF.
The exhibit in Grand Rapids was wildly successful. Several major Houston donors to the DSSF were also keen to have an exhibit in their city. With the help of Tim Chester, Director of the PMGR, I approached the Houston Museum of Natural Sciences (HMNS), which hosted a very successful exhibit during the autumn of 2004, using the materials from Grand Rapids with different scrolls provided by the IAA.
The next inquiry about an exhibit came from an unex-pected quarter. The Gold Coast Exploreum Science Center of Mobile, Alabama asked to exhibit the Scrolls immediately following Houston. Its location in the middle of the southern “Bible Belt” was promising—and again, the exhibit was suc-cessful beyond any expectations.
In the meantime several more venues were being ex-plored. At the suggestion of David N. Freedman and Risa Kohn we approached Michael Hager of the San Diego Natural His-tory Museum—a “marriage made in heaven” from the begin-ning. Both the Pacific Science Center and the Phoenix Art Mu-seum were interested as well. In the Midwest, Kansas City’s Union Station Museum had already approached the PMGR during its exhibit; the Milwaukee Public Museum had applied to the DSSF. On the East Coast, Discovery Place in Charlotte, NC, pursed an exhibit aggressively, as did the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, and later, the Fern-bank Museum of Atlanta. As events played out, the successful applicants were Charlotte (winter 2006), Seattle (autumn 2006), Kansas City (winter 2007), and San Diego (summer–winter 2007). The 2006 and early 2007 exhibitions all broke records.
The San Diego Natural History Museum (SDNHM), located in beautiful Balboa Park, has worked for three years to construct the largest and most varied of any DSS Exhibition yet mounted. Building on the models of Charlotte and Seattle, San Diego has focused on “Transmission of the Biblical Text.” My wife and I went once again to St. Petersburg, where we negotiated the loan of eleven ancient Hebrew manuscripts from the National Library of Russia, all older than the St. Petersburg Codex. We also secured several ancient Hebrew manuscripts from the British Library and arranged once more for scrolls from Amman. In addition we worked with the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem to borrow items related to de Vaux’s excavation of Qumran. The SDNHM exhibit, which opened at the end of June 2007, is the first to run for six instead of the usual three months (changing scrolls in the middle; ancient manuscripts may only be displayed for about three months at a time).
Internationally, the Foundation received requests for assis-tance from the British Library and Ixlan, Inc., a Korean Exhibi-tion group using the National (War) Museum in Seoul. The Foundation was able help the British Library to secure a scroll from the Institut Catholique in Paris, for a summer 2007 display of sacred texts of the three monotheistic religions. For the Ko-rean exhibit, scheduled to begin in December 2007 and to run for six months, the DSSF helped supply scrolls from Jordan and other sources. The Korean exhibit will include new facsimiles of the Great Isaiah Scroll, the Habakkuk Commentary, and the Manual of Discipline, artifacts from the Franciscan Museum in Jerusalem, and ancient New Testament manuscripts from various sources in the USA and Europe, as well as the Orion Center’s new video tour of Qumran, featuring Jodi Magness.
For the future, the Foundation has several more American and international exhibits under negotiation. Some of these will combine the Scrolls with other themes, such as the history of Jerusalem and the rise of early Christianity. The DSSF has worked with most of the worldwide sources for Dead Sea texts. In its position of liaison between scholars, donors, museums and the public, the Foundation acts as a consultant to match venues with willing lenders, to advise on the content of exhibits, and to identify potential new audiences for the Scrolls.


The DSSF was established in 1991 to assist in funding the Discoveries in the Judaean Desert Series (DJD). Consultant fees paid to the Foundation for its part in exhibitions are an important source of funding for the as yet incomplete publication project. Scheduled: three more DJD volumes, a complete revision of vol. 5, and two volumes of the Dead Sea Scrolls Concordance. Dr. Weston Fields may be contacted at seascrolls@aol.com.


Center News

We welcome Prof. Michael Stone back from his year-long sabbatical in Charlotte, North Carolina. As the culmination of a productive year away, Prof. Stone presented the 11th Annual Alice Tate Lectures at UNC Charlotte, inaugurating “Ancient Judaism Week” on the campus. Dr. Esther Chazon, back after a semester’s sabbatical at Yale, is headed out again—to the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meetings in San Diego, where she will chair the Qumran section meeting celebrating 60 years of Scrolls scholarship and speak in the Distinguished Lecturer Series connected with the San Diego Scrolls Exhibit.
Dr. Ruth Clements, director of English publications at Orion, and research assistant Nadav Sharon, have just published the second Orion Center Bibliography of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature (2001–2006) (STDJ 71; Leiden: Brill, 2007). The monumental bibliography catalogues more than 4,100 items, with source, subject and language indices to facilitate its use by scholars and students.
The Center was pleased this year to have the awarding of three 3-year long postdoctoral grants in topics related to Qum-ran studies. The three recipients are: Dr. Hanan Berenboim, of the Hebrew University’s Department of Jewish History, whose postdoctoral research will focus on “Gentile impurity from Hasmonean times till Bar Kokhba”; Dr. Guy Stiebel, of the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London, who is investigating military “realia” in the War Scroll; and Dr. Rafael Zer, of the Hebrew University’s Bible Department, who is researching links between Babylonian and Tiberian Masorah notations and Dead Sea biblical manuscripts. We welcome our new Orion Fellows and look forward to hearing more about their research over the next three years.
We are also pleased to have awarded two Jean Matlow Orion Scholarships for the academic year 2007–2008. Dr. Eyal ben Eliahu, of the Jewish History Department, has been researching the connection between Jewish identity and ancient perceptions of the Land of Israel; Noam Mizrahi, a doctoral student in the Bible Department, is writing on “The Lexicon and Phraseology of the Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice.” And finally, congratulations to Roi Porat, recipient of this year’s Masters Thesis Award, for his thesis entitled, “Bar Kokhba Refuge Caves in the Area between Ein Gedi and Qumran, in Light of the Renewed Research Project in the Judean Desert.” We will be hearing from all three of these scholars in Coffee Hour Presentations this year.
The Scholars’ Room has seen many promising developments. We have been proceeding with the project of rounding out the library, through purchase and donation. As more students and senior researchers come through the Center, specific resources are coming to be more used and appreciated—for example, the collection of DJD photo-graphic plates donated by Prof. Emanuel Tov. A special note of thanks goes this year to Prof. Shemaryahu Talmon, who has given the Center an extensive collection of offprints and other materials. We hope to put a catalogue of all of these non-book materials on-line in the course of the year.



Orion Center Academic Committee

Dr. Esther Chazon, Chair
Prof. Steven Fassberg
Prof. Isaiah Gafni
Prof. Deborah Gera
Prof. Joseph Patrich
Prof. Shalom Paul
Dr. David Satran
Prof. Emanuel Tov



“In those Days and at Present”-New Studies from the Judean Desert
by Dr. Guy Stiebel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Recent years have witnessed a growing number of archaeological projects in the Judean Desert, as well as the publication of reports from prior excavations. Of particular interest is the survey of the Dead Sea western escarpment, conducted by a Bar-Ilan University team under the direction of Hanan Eshel. The exploration of caves between Wadi Murabba'at in the north and Ein Gedi in the south has yielded material culture from two main eras: the Chalcolithic period (4500–3300 BCE), and the Second Jewish Revolt (132–135/6 CE). The team uncovered numismatic finds and weapons in refuge caves from the Revolt, as well as two Greek documents from Har-Yishai, north of Ein Gedi. New data on the passes that cross the Dead Sea escarpment were obtained by Roi Porat; an enigmatic tunnel complex near Hyrcania is currently being explored by Oren Gutfeld.
Two final reports on previous Ein Gedi excavations were published last year. Volume I, edited by Ephraim Stern, pre-sents the results of the digs directed by Benjamin Mazar, conducted mainly during the 1960’s. The volume encompasses the analysis of the biblical site of Tel Goren, from the Iron Age to the Hellenistic period. In addition it contains the results of the excavation of an early second century CE Roman military bathhouse on the bay of Ein Gedi. The second volume presents the work of Yizhar Hirschfeld on Byzantine Ein Gedi.
We now have another two final reports from the Yigael Yadin excavations at Masada (1962–1965). The long-awaited study of the pottery by Rachel Bar-Nathan (Masada VII) includes a discussion of storage vessels, tableware, kitchenware, perfume containers, local painted and Nabataean pottery, and some imported wares; analyses of other pottery types are due to be published separately. Of particular interest is the presence of a type of toilet utensil noted in rabbinic literature. Masada VIII assembles a variety of material culture studies, including one on the military equipment of Masada by Guy Stiebel and Jodi Magness. In addition, the book contains studies of limestone ware, spindle whorls, gems, botanical remains and ritual baths.
Excavations at Masada were resumed between 1995 and 2001 under the direction of Ehud Netzer and Guy Stiebel, focusing on the Northern Palace complex, the northwestern sector of the site, the Roman breach, the eastern section of the casemate wall, and water installations throughout the site. The analysis of material culture from these excavations is currently underway. Even at this stage, one may note the presence of stratified material culture from Herod’s time, as well as new epigraphic material from the time of the Revolt. The evidence suggests that the “Essene quarter” at Masada was located south-east of the Western Palace. As I have noted elsewhere, the communal mikveh (L. 625) and nearby hall (L. 809), appear to reflect direct correlation with the Qumran “Assembly Hall” and ritual baths.
Yitzhak Magen and Yuval Peleg recently published important findings from their own excavations at Qumran. Their report is still debated, as part of the broader discussion over the interpretation of the archaeological evidence and its contribution to our identification of the inhabitants of Qumran. Recent years have seen an increasing number of scientific stud-ies of material culture from Qumran and its environs; Jan Gunneweg and Charles Greenblatt spearheaded a 2005 conference in Jerusalem on “Bio- and Material Cultures at Qumran,” reports from which were published this past year.
Naval activity in the Dead Sea has became yet another focus of scholarly attention. To give just one example, the shore near the small anchorage of Kh. Mazin, north of the outlet of the Qidron, yielded thousands of Hasmonean coins, most notably from the reign of Alexander Jannaeus. Hanan Eshel and Boaz Zissu have associated this find with a folk ritual noted in rabbinic literature.
All in all, the last three years have brought forth a wealth of archaeological information to assimilate into our conception of the inhabitants of the Judean Desert and the writings they left us.


Scribes on Scrolls: An Index of 7 years of DSS Scholarship
by Ruth Clements

It’s done. The last proofs are long gone, eyes are firmly closed to any potentially uncaught typos, the indices have been typeset.
Ah, yes, the indices. . . . Subject indices for any scholarly volume are a chore; to make sense of a bibliography containing references to more than 4100 scholarly writings, the task loomed as gargantuan. HOWEVER—with the project behind us, it is possible to see the Subject Index in particular as a nar-rative in its own right, of developments in Scrolls scholarship since the previous Qumran Bibliography.
One of the most striking additions to prior indices is the new category of “Enochic Judaism,” along with a category of “Enochic literature” as distinct from 1 Enoch (which in its turn has a greatly expanded set of listings). These headings, along with a flurry of entries for such standard favorites as “Groningen hypothesis” and “Essene hypothesis” testify to the stimulation the field has received from the challenges posed by G. Boccaccini and others, towards rethinking Qumran origins.
A number of new emphases in the latest index can be aligned with the fact that so few new DJD volumes show in this bibliography. The publication of the majority of the Dead Sea texts by 2001 has meant that much of the scholarship of the past 5 years has taken on an integrative character; thus, for example, the new emphasis in the current index on the relationship between wisdom and apocalyptic. Rewritten Bible has emerged as a category in its own right; Ben Sira and Tobit have come in for a large share of attention as Qumran finds are integrated into the study of the “apocrypha” and vice versa. And the Qumran Jubilees texts have similarly revitalized the study of that docu-ment, as a glance at the Source and Subject indices will show.
The study of Qumran archaeology has been particularly invigorated over these few years. A range of scientific analytical techniques is being applied not only to the Scrolls themselves but to the diverse range of material artifacts from the Judean desert sites. Such analyses have put discussions of what might be called the “ecology” and “economy” of Qumran on a more scientifically sound footing. At the same time, the monographs of Jodi Magness and the late Yizhar Hirschfeld have re-energized the broader discussion of the relationship of the Qumran site to those who deposited the Scrolls.
Much more could be said. A number of areas—including canonical criticism, for example—have only begun to be affect-ed by the greater availability of the Judean desert finds. If this Index of the past provides any kind of a window into the future, we may look towards an ever more interdisciplinary shape to Scrolls research, as Qumran scholarship becomes an increas-ingly integrated facet of the related disciplines of religious studies.



Orion Center Calendar-Winter 2007/2008

November 13. Jonas C. Greenfield Scholars’ Seminar
12:15–14:00 p.m. Prof. Devorah Dimant, (Department of Bible, University of Haifa): “Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphical Literature at Qumran” (in Hebrew)
December 4. Jonas C. Greenfield Scholars’ Seminar
12:15–14:00 p.m. Dr. Hanan Birenboim (Department of Hebrew Literature, The Hebrew University; Orion Center Post-Doctoral Fellow): “The Halakhic Status of Jerusalem in the Dead Sea Scrolls” (in Hebrew)
December 26. Coffee Hour Presentation
12:15–13:30 p.m. Roi Porat (Departments of Archaeology and Geography, The Hebrew University; Orion Master’s Thesis Award Recipient): “Bar Kokhba Refuge Caves in the Area between Ein Gedi and Qumran in Light of the Renewed Research Project in the Judean Desert” (in Hebrew)
January 16. Coffee Hour Presentation
12:15–13:30 p.m. Dr. Eyal ben Eliahu (Department of Jewish History, The Hebrew University; Jean Matlow Orion Scholarship recipient): “Impurity in the Temple Scroll and Rabbinic Literature” (in Hebrew)
Please note: Coffee Hour presentations and the Greenfield Scholars’ Seminar are held in the Mandel World Center of Jewish Studies, The Rabin Building, Room 2001/2, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus. Please check the Calendar on our web site for updates, and for the Spring Semester program.


TBA: Rothberg International School/Pontifical Biblical Institute Lecture Series in Memory of Miriam Sheffer

**Please check our website for information on the PBI series. PBI programs are held at the Rothberg Interna-tional School, Mount Scopus, and at the PBI, 3 Paul Emile Botta Street, Jerusalem. All lectures in this series are given in English.



Orion Center Internships

We still have student internships available for 2007–2008. Interns research the On-Line Bibliography, help maintain the Scholars’ Room Library, and participate in other Center activities. Call, e-mail us, or stop by for more information.


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. Applica-tions are submitted in the Spring. Please visit our website for specific deadlines and application forms.


The 12th Orion International Symposium

SAVE THE DATE! The 12th Orion International Symposium in cooperation with the Eliezer Ben-Yehuda Center for the History of the Hebrew Language at the Hebrew University:
The Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira
December 29–31, 2008
Mount Scopus Campus



Orion Publications

Orion Center Bibliography of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature (2001–2006). Edited by Ruth Clements and Nadav Sharon. STDJ 71. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
In Preparation:
Text, Thought, and Practice in Qumran and Early Christianity: Proceedings of a Joint Symposium by the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature and the Hebrew University Center for the Study of Christianity, 11–13 January, 2004, edited by Daniel M. Schwartz and Ruth A. Clements.
New Perspectives on Old Texts: Proceedings of the Tenth International Symposium of the Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Associated Literature, 9–11 January, 2005, edited by Esther G. Chazon, Betsy Halpern-Amaru, and Ruth A. Clements.



We ask our colleagues to keep checking the On-Line Bibliography for your own relevant publications and to send us additions and corrections. Thank you!


Associates Program

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 2006–2007, please fill in the enclosed form (or visit our website for a printable membership form); mail this form to the Center with your check (made out to “The Orion Center, Hebrew University”). Please be 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
. 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!