Letter from the Director
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Over this past year, Orion has proved itself a center for
scrolls scholarship on diverse fronts.
The Greenfield Scholars’ seminars featured topics
ranging from the Book of Daniel and its reception to textual
problems and theological notions in the Dead Sea Scrolls
and the New Testament. The highlight of the year was the
14th International Orion Symposium, which was dedicated
to the exploration of the religious worldviews reflected in
the scrolls. Thirteen participants, seven of them from
abroad, gave insightful lectures on a number of facets of this
key area for the understanding of the scrolls in particular and
of Second Temple Judaism more generally. A session in the
World Congress of Jewish Studies dealt with the multifaceted
relationship between the world of Qumran and the
world of the Bible (on all these, see p. 2). We are particularly
happy that young scholars were able to contribute remarkably
original studies in the framework of various Center
activities, alongside more established scholars.
The Center’s Bibliography Project has taken a significant
step forward. A bibliography search now yields much more information
about the content of books and articles, the texts they
interpret, and the passages from the Hebrew Bible upon which
they touch (see facing column, and especially the instructions on
pp. 3–4). At the same time, we have progressed in cataloguing
much more of the material in the bibliography. This work was
financed to a large extent by the Israel Antiquities Authority.
These present achievements are due to the committed and
thoughtful work of the developer of the search database and the
young scholars working on the bibliography team; I extend to
them my thanks for all their efforts.
We are proud to announce the publication of two volumes of
proceedings of previous symposia (see p. 6); my sincere thanks to
Dr. Ruth Clements for her efforts towards this double achievement.
In another exciting development, volume 10 of Meghillot,
the Hebrew journal for the research of the Dead Sea Scrolls, has
just been published (see p. 6). The 11th volume is already in
preparation, and we hope it will appear in less than a year.
I wish to thank Dr. Michael Segal and Dr. Jonathan Ben-
Dov for their invaluable assistance in organizing the symposium
and the Congress session, respectively. I want also to thank Prof.
Shlomo Naeh for his constant support of the Center. As always,
I would like to express my appreciation to the dedicated Orion
staff and researchers. Likewise, I thank the Orion Foundation
and the IAA for their generous funding; and the Hebrew University,
the American and Canadian Friends of the Hebrew University,
the Orion Associates in Israel and abroad, and the Orion
Academic Committee, for the diverse ways in which they support
the work of the Center.
TO OUR READERS: If you would like to receive the electronic
version of the Newsletter please let us know by email: firstname.lastname@example.orgThe Orion Center Newsletter, ed. Ruth Clements © 2013, Orion Center
The Orion Bibliography: New Developments and Continuing Progress
As regular users of the Orion Online Bibliography have probably
discovered by now, this year has seen the development of yet
another phase in our continuing effort to expand the capabilities
of this scholarly tool. We have moved the entire bibliography
(which for all of its previous existence has been “resident” on a
local Orion computer) to an online working database of Drupal
design. In consequence, both the capabilities of the search engine
and the mechanics of maintaining and enlarging the database
have drastically changed, although the user interface remains
basically the same.
The most important addition, powered by Drupal, is a sophisticated
keyword search, accessed by a newly added button
at the top left of the bibliography page (see diagram on p. 3).
One may perform a search either by typing in a search term or
by selecting a term from the primary keyword list. Within that
results list it is possible to further narrow the search using the
bibliographical or content delimiters that are part of the main
search engine (e.g., searching by author or date, searching for
specific Qumran documents). It is also possible to generate a
keyword list from within a particular record. For example, one
might open a record that has “rewritten Bible” as one of the
keywords; a click on that keyword within the record will generate
a list of all other records that contain “rewritten Bible.” We
invite you to experiment with the new capabilities of the search
and to send us feedback, questions, and suggestions for further
In the meantime, we persevere in our project of updating
older (and more recent) items with fulltext and other links, abstracts,
and keyword information according to the new system.
About 60% of existing entries (dating from 1995 to the present)
have been updated. At some point in the near future, we hope to
begin adding links to the photographs in the IAA’s Leon Levy
Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library database (see p. 5).
The bibliography staff has seen a few changes. Meron Piotrkowski
has moved on; Nadav Berger and Hanan Mazeh have
joined the project. In addition, our four new Orion interns (see
p. 2) will be using their talents for various facets of the updating
project. We want to thank both past and present Bibliography
staffers for their dedicated and careful work.
As always, we appeal to our users to help keep us up to
date. Please send us new entries—for both your own work and
that of other people. If you can supplement the reference with
an abstract, a PDF, or a fulltext link (including links to academia.
edu and similar personal posting sites), it is that much
easier to supply the keywords for your reference. We thank our
colleagues for your ongoing support and interest and look forward
to hearing from you.
The Orion Center for the Study of the Dead Sea Scrolls
and Associated Literature
Mandel Institute of Jewish Studies
Rabin World Center of Jewish Studies
The Hebrew University, Mt. Scopus
Jerusalem 91905 Israel
Tel: 972–2–588–1966 Fax: 972–2–588–3584
Web site: http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il
International Scholarship at Orion:
The 14th International Orion Symposium
A primary aim of Orion Center symposia is to create a venue
for international scholarly discussion of cutting-edge issues in
the study of the scrolls. The 14th International Symposium,
“Religious Worldviews Reflected in the Dead Sea Scrolls,”
held this past spring, admirably met this goal. Scholars from
Israel, Europe, and North America convened from May 28 to
30 at the Hebrew University to share their insights. Papers
addressed broad theological themes (dualism, determinism,
election, covenant, divine attributes, human moral agency);
more pointed concepts within the scrolls (notions of heaven,
the spirit, the Son of Man; apocalyptic in the scrolls); and
specific exegetical and interpretive problems. In addition to
the featured papers, short presentations were offered by a few
younger Israeli scholars, including doctoral students. In all
cases, careful attention to texts was able to shed new light on
the worldviews, beliefs, and forms of religious experience
reflected in the scrolls. Symposium sessions were well attended
by academics from across Israel as well as visitors
from abroad; the liveliness of the scholarly interchanges in
symposium sessions testified to the timely importance of
bringing such issues into the center of scrolls study. The resulting
proceedings volume, now in the beginning stages of
preparation, should provide a spur to further work in this
For abstracts of the conference papers, please visit our website:
. . . And the 16th World Congress of
The Orion Center and the Center for the Study of the Dead
Sea Scrolls at the University of Haifa jointly organized a
plenary session on Qumran for the 16th World Congress of
Jewish Studies (July 28–August 1). Entitled “Qumran and
the Bible: Continuity, Innovation and Interpretation,” the
packed session addressed both larger methodological issues
and specific interpretive developments.
Gary Anderson discussed the development of the notion
of “Torah” in the Second Temple period. James Kugel compared
conceptions of the self in Second Temple literature
with biblical views. Devorah Dimant compared the biblical
figures of Jeremiah and Baruch with their representations in
Qumran literature. Jonathan Ben-Dov responded to the three
main lectures. Short papers by Vered Noam, Michael Segal,
and Menahem Kister dealt with other aspects of the relationship
between biblical and postbiblical literature: the problem
of differentiating between “biblical” and “postbiblical”
(Segal); allusions to biblical passages in rabbinic and Qumran
literature (Noam); biblical allusions as a tool for literary and
historical analysis (Kister).
The session provided an international forum for a stimulating
exchange of viewpoints on this important topic. Our
thanks to the World Union of Jewish Studies for making
available the setting for this discussion.
ver the course of this past year, the lineup of Orion Center
speakers and presenters truly reflected our founding mandate
to be a hub of international scrolls scholarship. The year began
with a seminar on the “Son of Man” in Daniel and the
gospels, jointly led by Hebrew University scholars Dr. Michael
Segal (Hebrew Bible) and Dr. Serge Ruzer (New Testament).
Subsequent seminars were conducted by Prof Eileen
Schuller (McMaster University, Canada), on contemporary
questions for the study of the Hodayot; and Dr. Ryan E.
Stokes (Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Texas,
USA), on sin and the Satan in Second Temple literature.
Thought-provoking presentations were also given by last
year’s Orion Matlow Scholars: Arjen Bakker (University of
Leuven, Belgium) spoke about the casting of lots and the concept
of inheritance in some Qumran texts; Nadav Sharon spoke
about the portrayal of the Roman conquest in the Dead Sea
Scrolls. The year finished up with a stimulating workshop led
by Prof. Elisha Qimron (Ben-Gurion University), Dr. Alexey
Yuditsky (Academy of the Hebrew Language) and Chanan
Ariel (of the Academy and the Hebrew University), on identifying
new readings in two Qumran scrolls. This year’s lineup
(Calendar, p. 6) promises an equally stimulating series..
- In many ways, the high point of the year was the 14th
International Orion Symposium, held May 28–30. As always,
special thanks are due to Ariella Amir, Orion administrator,
whose energies and organizational efforts smoothed
out many rough spots, before, during, and after.
- Interns: Magdalena Füllenbach, of Hamburg, Germany,
came to us as a full-time intern in April and May. She finished
cataloguing the Scholars’ Room offprints collection;
helped with an outside research project; and assisted with the
Spring Symposium. Thanks, Magdalena! We are joined this
Fall by four new Orion interns, all master’s students in the
Rothberg International School. Josefin Dolsten comes to us
from Sweden and New York, Ki-Eun Jang from Seoul, Korea;
Neill Brown hails from Tennessee, Janet Safford from
South Carolina. They will put their combined skills to work
on many fronts, but particularly on the Bibliography Project
- Congratulations to Prof. Shalom Paul, Orion Academic
Committee member, whose book, Isaiah 40–66: Translation
and Commentary (Eerdmans, 2012), received the 2013 Biblical
Archaeology Society Publication award for best book
relating to the Hebrew Bible.
- Our good wishes to Orion staffer Oren Ableman, who has
taken a position as staff researcher for the Israel Antiquities
Authorities Leon Levy DSS Digital Library (see p. 5).
- Milestones: Mazal tov! to staffers Meron Piotrkowski
and Hannah Wortzman on the births of their respective
daughters. And our heartfelt condolences to Ruth Clements
on the loss of her mother; and to Orion founder Michael
Stone on the loss of his wife, Dr. Nira Stone.
Damascus Document and Ben Sira Online!
As part of its ongoing drive to digitize all the documents in its collection, the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit of the Cambridge
University Library has just added beautiful digital photographs of the Damascus Document (A and B) and the Cairo Genizah
fragments of Ben Sira to its online digital collection. The images and descriptions were prepared by the Genizah Research
Unit, with funding from the Friedberg Genizah Project and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK:
Introducing: The Orion Bibliography Keyword Search
Dead Sea Scrolls Digitization Project—Update on Work in Progress
Pnina Shor and Oren Ableman
Last year, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) launched the
Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library website
( http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/), in collaboration with
Google and with the support of the Leon Levy and Arcadia
funds. A primary aim of the website is to make available to
the scholarly and general public all photographs of the Dead
Sea documents at the IAA’s disposal, along with other pertinent
data. The website currently includes about 4000 PAM
negatives (the original infrared
under the auspices of the
all photographs taken by
the IAA photographers up
to the beginning of the
digitization project in
2011; 200 new images of
the scroll plates compiled
by the original team of
scholars; and some 1000
new spectral images of individual
fragments in color
and near-infrared wavelengths.
The new images
are captured with a cutting-
edge multispectral imaging
technology developed by
the MegaVision Company. The key aspect of this technology
is the simultaneous production of multiple images of every
fragment in different wavelengths/bands, which are then combined
by the camera into single high-fidelity color images for
viewing and study.
Since its launching, the website has had over 660,000 visitors,
with over 120,000 returnees. The website also includes a
comment section, which has become a forum for lively discussion
among both scholars and the general public.
These high quality images on the website are the best images
of the Dead Sea Scrolls available to date. Thus, scholars
have been able to decipher texts which have been illegible
until now. A taste of the possibilities offered by the new
technology was presented last April in an Orion Center seminar.
Prof. Elisha Qimron, Dr. Alexey Yuditsky, and Chanan
Ariel presented new readings in 4Q180 and 4Q181 (Pesher
on the Periods), based on these new images of the scrolls.
At the time the website went “live” only a small fraction
of the scrolls had been imaged with the MegaVision system.
In the year that has passed since then, we have been
working diligently to capture images of all the scrolls in the
IAA collection. To date, we have photographed approximately
50% of the scroll plates and produced about 20,000
new images. We are preparing now to upload the new color
image and highest near-infrared image of the recto of every
fragment, at the beginning of January 2014. This will greatly
increase the quantity and quality of Dead Sea Scrolls images
In addition to the new images we will be updating the
website and adding a few new features. Problems with the
display or uploading of some images have been fixed. We
have corrected errors in the data and added additional information
about each image. We have also worked to improve
the search function and make the website more user-friendly.
Furthermore, the website will now be available in two additional
languages, German and Russian. In the future we are
planning to upload images of all of the Dead Sea Scrolls to
the website. Other planned improvements include more options
for image manipulation; advanced search options and
tools for scholars; transcriptions and translations.
The first aim of the digitization project, from its inception,
has been the development of a monitoring system to track the
well-being of the scrolls.
The monitoring system is
being developed for the
IAA by a team from the
University of Eastern Piemonte,
Italy and Snapshot
Spectra, USA. It is based
on the comparison of multiple
images of selected
fragments, taken with identical
parameters at different
times, in order to check for
minute changes. This is
the only noninvasive way
to monitor the entire surface
of a fragment; it is
automatic and very quick
—it takes only four
minutes to collect multiple
exposures of one fragment.
Using this method we will be able to track the status of the
scrolls and detect degradation before it is visible to the human
eye. Parallel to the progress with the website, this monitoring
system is now in its final stages of development; we expect to
implement the system by the end of December. To complement
the monitoring process, we are collaborating with the
Casali Institute of the Hebrew University to analyze the
chemical and physical properties of the scroll materials
(parchment and ink).
All in all, we are pleased with the progress of all facets
of the project.
Forthcoming Scrolls Publications:
Several collections of previously unpublished scrolls materials
are now being prepared for publication.
- Gleanings from the Caves: Dead Sea Scrolls and Artefacts
from the Schøyen Collection. Edited by T. Elgvin. London:
T&T Clark, forthcoming, 2014.
The volume includes fragments of thirty scrolls from the
collection of Martin Schøyen, most previously unpublished.
Twenty-three represent biblical texts, another four, apocrypha
or pseudepigrapha (Tobit, 1 Enoch). Artefacts to be published
include a “scroll jar,” the wrapper of the Temple Scroll, and an
inkwell and incense altar. Text editors: T. Elgvin, E. Eshel, J.
Dusek, and others; artefact editors: J. Gunneweg, I. Rabin, N.
Sukenik, and T. Elgvin.
- The Dead Sea Scrolls: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek
Texts with English Translations, Supplementary Volume.
Edited by J.H. Charlesworth and W. Yarchin, et al. PTS Dead
Sea Scrolls Project. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck; Louisville:
Westminster/John Knox, forthcoming.
This volume includes the five scroll fragments (four biblical
texts and an unidentified fragment) acquired in 2009 by
Azusa Pacific University (California).
- Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary collection.
In 2010–2011, SWBTS (Texas) acquired eight scroll
fragments, mostly of biblical manuscripts. The critical edition
is now in preparation
Orion Center Calendar, Winter 2013/2014*
November 14. Jonas C. Greenfield Scholars’ Seminar
10:15 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Prof. Maxine Grossman, Meyerhoff
Center for Jewish Studies, University of Maryland: “Body,
Emotion, and Sectarian Relationships” (in English)
December 17. Jonas C. Greenfield Scholars’ Seminar
4:15–6:00 p.m. Prof. Vered Noam, Department of Hebrew
Culture Studies, Tel-Aviv University: “Why did the Heavenly
Voice Speak Aramaic? Or: On Historical Chronicles
from Qumran to Rabbinic Literature” (in Hebrew)
January 9. Jonas C. Greenfield Scholars’ Seminar
12:15–2:00 p.m. Dr. Jonathan Ben-Dov (Department of
Bible, University of Haifa): “The Aramaic Copies
of the Enochic Astronomical Book: Codicology
and Ideology” (in Hebrew)
Stay tuned to the Orion Website for updates, additions, and the
full Spring program.
*Please note: Unless otherwise specified, Orion programs are
held in the Mandel World Center of Jewish Studies (Rabin
Building), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus.
Hot Off the Press: Meghillot 10
We are happy to announce the publication of volume 10 of
Meghillot: Studies in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Meghillot,
launched in 2003 by the University of Haifa and the Bialik
Institute, is the only Israeli, Hebrew language scholarly periodical
devoted to scrolls study. This will be the first issue
published under the joint auspices of the Orion Center and
the University of Haifa’s Faculty of Humanities. The volume
includes papers by Chanan Ariel and Alexey Yuditsky;
Jonathan Ben-Dov; Hanan Birenboim; Gideon Bohak;
Gregor Geiger and Uri Mor; Liora Goldman; Moshe Lavee;
Menahem Kister; Ronny Reich; and Emanuel Tov; as well
as a review by Devorah Dimant.
Special publisher’s offer for overseas customers in honor of
the publication of vol. 10: Purchase Meghillot 1–10 (8–
volume set) for $150, including free airmail shipping:
keywords=meghillot&x=-357&y=-496 (the discount will automatically
be applied when you order the full 8-volume set).
Contents and abstracts for Meghillot may be accessed here:
Become an Orion Associate -
and help the Orion Center foster innovative research and
disseminate information on the scrolls!
Visit http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il/orion/associates.shtml for
a printable membership form; mail this form to the Center
with your check (made out to “The Orion Center, Hebrew
University”). Gifts may be general or designated for specific
purposes (e.g., the Bibliography Project). A special thanks to
our current Associates—your interest and assistance are
vital to the work of the Center and much appreciated!
Orion Center Academic Committee
Dr. Esther Chazon, Chair; Prof. Menahem Kister;
Prof. Oded Irshai; Prof. Joseph Patrich;
Prof. Shalom Paul; Dr. David Satran;
Dr. Michael Segal; Prof. Emanuel Tov
Orion Research Scholarships
The Orion Center awards research scholarships to young
scholars once a year. Priority is given to research that can be
done uniquely in Jerusalem or at the Hebrew University;
and that integrates the new information gleaned from the
Dead Sea Scrolls into the broader picture of Second Temple
The application deadline for scholarships for 2014 is
February 10, 2014.
*Go to http://orion.mscc.huji.ac.il/educate/fellowships.shtml
for application information and forms.
Newly Published by Orion!
New Approaches to the Study of Biblical Interpretation in
Judaism of the Second Temple Period and in Early Christianity,
edited by Gary A. Anderson, Ruth A. Clements, and
David Satran. Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah
106. Leiden: Brill, 2013. Contents: http://www.brill.com/
Hebrew in the Second Temple Period: The Hebrew of the
Dead Sea Scrolls and of Other Contemporary Sources, edited
by Steven E. Fassberg, Moshe Bar-Asher, and Ruth A.
Clements. Studies on the Texts of the Desert of Judah 108.
Leiden: Brill, 2013. Contents: http://www.brill.com/hebrewsecond-
In Preparation: Tradition, Transmission, and Transformation:
From Second Temple Literature through Judaism
and Christianity in Late Antiquity, edited by Menahem Kister,
Hillel Newman, Michael Segal, and Ruth A. Clements. Studies
on the Texts of the Desert of Judah. Leiden: Brill.
Recently out from Yad Ben-Zvi: Elisha Qimron, ed. מגילות
מדבר יהודה: החיבורים העבריים, כרך שני [The Dead Sea Scrolls:
The Hebrew Writings, Vol. 2]. Between Bible and Mishnah.
Jerusalem: Yad Ben-Zvi, 2013. This is the second of three
planned volumes offering new editions of the Hebrew DSS
texts and fragments. The volume introduces both new material
reconstructions and new textual readings. Its innovative
format utilizes parallel sections from various copies of a
given document to complement one another, presenting as
complete a composite text as possible.
Dead Sea Scrolls on Tour 2013–2014
In North America: “The Dead Sea Scrolls: Life and
Faith in Ancient Times”
May 19 to October 20, 2013
Boston Museum of Science
November 22, 2013 to April 27, 2014
The Leonardo Museum, Salt Lake City
July 9, 2013 to January 5, 2014
The Drents Museum, Assen, Holland http://www.drentsmuseum.nl/exhibitions/exhibitiondetail/
In March 2014, the European exhibit will move to the Schlossmuseum
in Linz, Austria.
For information on upcoming exhibitions, please visit: