Emet Prize Laureates

Late Prof. Israel M. Ta-Shema

2002 Laureates of Emet Prize

In Category: Humanities
In Field: Talmud

Talmudic Studies

Late Prof. Israel M. Ta-Shema

Jury Statement

“For his contribution to the raising of Talmudic and Rabbinic literature research to new scientific heights.”


Prof. Israel M. Ta-Shema was born in Tel Aviv in 1936. He studied at Yeshivat Hayishuv Hehadash, and completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Talmud at Hebrew University. He earned his living for 18 years as secretary and then junior editor of Jewish studies at the Hebrew Encyclopedia. In conjunction, he conducted research in Jewish studies and published some 40 scientific studies in the area of medieval rabbinic literature. In 1977 he joined Hebrew University’s Institute of Advanced Studies.

He received his doctorate from Bar Ilan University, and in 1978 began to teach in the Department of Talmud of the same university. After ascending the ladder of teaching degrees, he was appointed senior lecturer at Hebrew University and director of the National Library’s Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts in Jerusalem. During these years, he was a member of the Tarbiz editorial board and the scientific secretary of the Mekitzei Nirdamim project and participated in many international conferences. He has published his studies in approximately 170 articles and seven books, which have received scientific recognition.

All of his studies deal with medieval rabbinic literature in Europe between the years 1000-1500, and the study of the development of Jewish Law during this period. The studies identified the different authors and their books, and defined the legal and literary schools of thought that crystallized in Jewish centers in Europe and the relations between prominent centers of Torah study in these years. His life’s work in research has built up a new and autonomous field of research belonging to the history of Jewish intellectual writings in the Middle Ages.