Jeffrey L. Rubenstein

Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies; Skirball Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Jewish Theological Seminary, MA 1987; Columbia University, PhD 1992

Office: 53 Washington Square South, Room 108

Phone: (212)998-8978

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

Rabbinic stories; Talmud; Jewish law; Jewish liturgy; ethics; Second Temple literature


Jeffrey L. Rubenstein was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in Chicago, Illinois. He received his B.A. in Religion from Oberlin College, his M.A. in Talmud from the Jewish Theological Seminary, where he also received rabbinic ordination, and his Ph.D. from the Department of Religion of Columbia University. He has taught at Columbia University, the University of Pennsylvania and the Jewish Theological Seminary in addition to New York University. Dr. Rubenstein has written numerous books and articles on the festival of Sukkot, Talmudic stories, the development of Jewish law, and topics in Jewish liturgy and ethics.

External Affiliations

Society of Biblical Literature; American Academy of Religion; Association of Jewish Studies

Select Publications


(edited) The Formation of the Babylonian Talmud. By David Weiss Halivni. Translated, Edited and Introduced by Jeffrey L. Rubenstein.  (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

Stories of the Babylonian Talmud (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010)

(edited) Creation and Composition: The Contribution of the Bavli Redactors (Stammaim) to the Aggada (Mohr-Siebeck, 2005)

The Culture of the Babylonian Talmud (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003)

Rabbinic Stories. In "The Classics of Western Spirtualityā€¯ series. (Paulist Press, 2002)

Talmudic Stories: Narrative Art, Composition and Culture.  (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999)

The History of Sukkot in the Second Temple and Rabbinic Periods. (Scholars Press, 1995)


The Bavli's Ethic of Shame

Bavli Gittin 55B-56B: An Aggadic Narrative in Its Halakhik Context

Context and Genre: Elements of a Literary Approach to the Rabbinic Narrative

Criteria of Stammaitic Intervention in Aggada

Cultic Themes in Sukkot Piyyutim

Elisha ben Abuya: Torah and the Sinful Sage

An Eschatological Drama: Bavli Avoda Zarah 2a-3b

Ethics and the Liturgy of Conservative Judaism

From Mythic Motifs to Sustained Myth: The Revision of Rabbinic Traditions in Medieval Midrashim

The Laws of Heaven in Sefer Hasidim

Mythic Time and The Festival Cycle

Nominalism and Realism in Qumranic and Rabbinic Law: A Reassessment

Purim, Liminality, and Communitas

The Sadducees and the Water Libation

Siddur Sim Shalom and Developing Conservative Theology

Social and Institutional Settings of Rabbinic Literature

Some Structural Patterns of Yerushalmi Sugyot

The Sukka as Temporary or Permanent Dwelling: A Study in the Development of Talmudic Thought

Sukkot, Eschatology and Zechariah 14

The Sukkot Wine Libation

The Symbolism of the Sukkah

The Symbolism of the Sukka (Part 2)

The Talmud Expression "Rabbi X, following his reasoning said"

The Thematization of Dialectics in Bavli Aggada