Prof. Rella Kushelevsky



Prof. Rella Kushelevsky, Associate Professor


Academic Education

Ph.D: Bar Ilan university, 1991 (summa cum laude),

M.A. Literature of the Jewish People, Bar Ilan university, 1986

Editor Certificate, Bar Ilan university, 1986

Teaching Certificate, Jerusalem College for Girls, 1976

B.A, Extensive English Program, Tel Aviv university, 1975


History of Academic Appointments

2005 – Associate Professor

1999 – Senior Lecturer

1995 - Lecturer


Other Professional Appointments and Activities

April, 2011 – member of the advisory board for the Raphael Patai Series in Jewish Folklore and Anthropology.

2011 – representative of the associate professors in the 'Central Committee', Bar Ilan University.

2009-2011: Chair, department of the Literature of the Jewish People

2011--: Member of AIN GIMEL editorial board, an e-journal of Agnon Studies

2008--: Member of Academic Board: The Pathways through Aggadah, Efrata College.

2006--: Co-editor, Thema, a Series of Thematological Studies in the Literature of the Jewish People), Bar-Ilan university.

2003 --: member of scientific board of Israeli Folklore Archives (IFA), academic head Prof. Haya Bar-Itzhak, Haifa University.

2001- : The Sznajderman Chair in the Study of Hassidim

2000--: Co-editor, Criticism and Interpretation, Journal of interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Culture, Bar-Ilan University

1995—2008: co-editor, Encyclopedia of the Jewish Story, Sippur Okev Sippur, Bar Ilan University.


Accademic Profile

Prof. Rella Kushelevsky's main fields of specialization are:

(1) the poetics and thematics of Rabbinic Aggadic narratives in the Talmud and midrash;

(2) the multiversion story in Hebrew story collections from thematological and folkloristic aspects;

(3) the Hebrew Story in medieval Ashkenaz;

(4) 'Midrash Aseret ha'Dibberot [midrash of the Ten Commandments], a story compilation originated in Persia and copied in various versions and editions;

(4) Modern Hebrew Literature in its affinities to multiversion stories (Bialik, M. J. Ben-Gorion [Berdichevski];Agnon);

(5) Modern Hebrew Literature – Y. Hendel; A. Appelpheld..


Grants, Awards and Proposals:

1. 2008/9—2010/1 - Israeli Science Foundation (ISF)::"Sefer ha-Ma'asim Ms. Oxford, Bodleian Library Or. 135 (1466): a Critical Edition"(grant)

2. 2005\06 - Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture::"Ashkenaz as Reflected in Medieval Hebrew Stories (a study of a 13th c. ms. from North France", (grant)

3. 2006-2007; 2009 - Akavyahu Foundation, Bar Ilan University, Stepend for publication of book (Penalty and Temptation, Hebrew Tales in Ashkenaz, Jerusalem: Magnes, 2010)

4. 2003–2005 - Isreali Science Foundation (ISF), 'A Typology of Narrative Collections in Ashkenazi Manuscripts of the 13th and 14th Centuries' (grant)

5. 2005 - "Midrash Aseret ha-Dibbrot, A synoptic edition, development and literary characteristics," The Israel Science Foundation (proposal, highly scored).

6. 1997-2000 - "East and West",German-Israel Foundation (GIF), (grant. coinvestigator, with Yoav Elstein and Avidov Lipsker as principal investigators.)


Organization of Conferences (2006-2012)

1. "Dialogues", The 29th Inter-University Conference for the Research of Folklore, with Dr. Vered Tohar and Dr. Nina Pinto, Bar Ilan University, 3- 4th May 2010

2. "Is there Room for Innovation in the Research of Agnon? 40 Years to his Death" with Prof. Hillel Weiss, Dr. Roman Katsman, Dr. Orna Levin), Bar Ilan University, 2.3.2010.

3. "Theories of Metaphor", an inter-discipline colloquia, Ph.D Study program, 2008/9, with Dr. Roman Katsman (based on guests lecturers).

4. "Rhetoric", an inter-discipline colloquia, Ph.D Study program, 2009/10, with Dr. Roman Katsman (based on guests lecturers).


Conferences and Workshops (2006-2012)

1. The Legend of Alexis in Jewish Folklore: Medieval Notions of Asceticism in Ashkenas", The 30th Inter-University Conference for the Research of Folklore, 5-6, June, 2011

2. "Midreshei Aggadah in Eretz Israel and Their Proliferation", A Work Shop Session, Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, 5.6.2011

3. Cultural aspects in a Story Collection from the 13th C. in North France', an international workshop on: 13th Century France: Continuity and Change, organized by Elisheva Baumgarten and Jehuda Galinsky, sponsored by ISF, February 2011.

4. Border Crossing and Liminallity in Rabbinic Narratives of Moses' Death and the 'Dead of the Desert': Analogical Aspects, an international conference on: Exodus: Exodus: Border Crossings in Jewish, Christian and Islamic Texts and Images, 2th-4th December 2010, Heidelberg, organized by Hoffmann Annette, funded by Thyssen foundation

5. Italy as a Cultural Symbol in Ashkenaz: An Inter-Textual Study of a Tale from North France (13th C): 'The Three Decrees', EAJS, Ravena, 26th July 2010.

6. Between Midrash and a Story Collection: The Cultural Function of 'Midrash Aseret ha-Dibberot' ms Parma 2269, de-Rossi 473), The Fifteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies, 1st August 2009

7. Images of 'Exile' and 'dispersion' in the Folkore of Ghetto Prague and tales on the Maharal', The Maharal of Prague: Leadership, Philosophy and Continuous Imprint, Zagrab Univ. 13th July 2009

8. The Hebrew Story in Ashkenaz in its Historical Contexts: The Case of the Mimesis, the 23rd Inter-University Conference of Hebrew Literature Research, Bar Ilan University, 8.6.2009.

9. Images of Women in East and West: A Study of the Nathan de-Zuzita Tale and its Versions, Jewish Folklore between East and West: the 26th Inter-University Conference of Folklore Research in Israel, May 10th. 2007

10. The Historical Dimention of Multi-Version Tales: A Study of a Medieval Version in Hebrew of: 'Which is the Most Noble Act? in light of the Mimesis Issue in the Hermeneutics of Paul Ricour' (H), the 22nd Inter-University Conference of Hebrew Literature Research, The Hebrew University, Hebrew Department Literature, May 8th 2007.

11. Medieval Jewish Discourses of Cruelty: A Reading of a Medieval Narrative from North France, International Medieval Congress, July 2006



Books (author):

1. Penance and Temptation: Hebrew Tales in Ashkenaz Ms. Parma 2295 (de-Rossi 563), Magness, 2010.

2. Moses and the Angel of Death (Studies on Themes and Motifs in Literature Series, Horst S. Dammrich, ed., Vol. 4), Peter Lang, New-York 1995.


Books (editor)

3. Ma'aseh Sippur, Studies in Jewish Narrative, vol.3, Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University, (co-editor with Avidov Lipsker, forthcoming)

4. Ma'aseh Sippur, Studies in Jewish Narrative, vol. 2, Ramat Gan: Bar Ilan University, 2009 (co-editor with Avidov Lipsker

5. Encyclopedia of the Jewish Story, Sippur Okev Sippur, vol. 2, Bar-Ilan U. P., Ramat-Gan 2009 (co-editor with Yoav Elstein and Avidov Lipsker)

6. Ma’aseh Sippur, Studies in Jewish Narrative,vol. 1 (co-editor with Avidov Lipkser), Bar-Ilan U. P., Ramat-Gan 2006

7. Sippur Okev Sippur, Encyclopedia of the Jewish Story, vol. 1, with Yoav Elstein and Avidov Lipsker, Bar-Ilan U. P., Ramat-Gan: 2004

8. Bialik and Agnon, Criticism and Interpretation 35-36 (Heb. Winter 2002).


Articles in Periodicals:

1. Family Images and Identities in a Medieval Jewish Version of 'Shooting at Father's Corpse' (Tubach 1272): A Comparative Study', Fabula 51, 3-4 (2011)

2. Between Medieval Traditions and the Winds of the Renaissance: Midrash Aseret ha-Dibberot in Ms. Parma 2267, Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore, 28 (2012) (in Hebrew)

3. "The Metaphor of the 'Empty Place' in Yehudit Hendel's Work: from 'My Friend B.'s Solemn Feast' to 'The Empty Place'", Criticism and Interpretation 43 (2010), pp. 213—228 (in Hebrew)

4. "The Story of the Mother and Sons in Light of the Hetrotopus of their Tomb", Studies of Jewish Folklore, 24-25 (2008), pp. 109—125 (in Hebrew)

5. "From 'The Mother and her Sons' to the 'Mother of the Sons' in Medieval Ashkenaz", Zion 71 (2006), pp. 301—342. (in Hebrew)

6. “Hillel as the ‘Image of a Man in the Skylight’: A Hermeneutic Perspective,” R.E.J , 165, 3—4 (2006), pp. 363–381

7. “The Stone that “Transports Itself”: A Comparative Study of Song of Songs Rabbah (1,4) and the Dialogue on Miracles (8:63) by Caesarius of Heisterbach (Tubach 4638)”, Fabula 44 (2003), nos. 3-4, pp. 237-254.

8. “The Figure of the Messiah at the Intersection of Five Themes in ha’mitpachat”, in Rella

Kushelevsky (ed.), Criticism and Interpretation (2002), 35-36, pp.207-230. (in Hebrew)

9. The Image of Woman in Transition from East to West”, Aschkenas 11 (2001), pp. 9-38.

10. Heaven Plead for Me’: From a Midrashic Covension to a Modern Literary Pattern", Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature 17 (1999), pp. 59 - 75.

11. "Some Remarks on the Date and Sources of `Sefer ha-Massiyyiot`, Kiryat-Sefer, Collected Essays, supplement to Volume 68, Jerusalem 1998, pp. 155-157. (in Hebrew)

12. "The Death of Moses: ms. Parma 2785", Kiryat-Sefer , Collected Essays, supplement to Volume 68, Jerusalem 1998, pp157-165 (in Hebrew)

13. The Function of Humor in Three Versions of the Theme “Rabbi Joshua Ben Levi and the Angel of Death”, Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore 19 - 20 (1997 - 1998), pp. 329 -344. (in Hebrew)

14. "Mythic Elements in the theme of 'Ben-Sever and Shefifon ben-Layish': A Story and its Development”, Dapim -Research in Literature 11 (1998), pp. 209 - 220. (in Hebrew)

15. "The Legend of 'ben Dordia': A Monotheistic Reply to a Mythological Perception", Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore, 18 (1996), pp. 7 - 18. (in Hebrew)

16. "The Tanna and the Restless Dead: A Jewish or Non-Jewish Legend?", Criticism and Interpretation 30 (1994): 41-63 (in Hebrew)

17. "The Yearnings for the Land of Israel in the Theme of Moses' Death", Alei-Siah 31-32 (1992): 189-196. (in Hebrew)

18. "Aaron's Rod: An Exploration of One Criterion for Establishing a Thematic Series", Jerusalem Studies in Jewish Folklore 13-14 (1991-92): 249-259 (in Hebrew)


Chapters in Books:

19. "Moses”, in Haya Bar-Itzhak (ed.), Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore, Abc, Clio USA Forthcoming.

20. "Forbidden Love in the Story 'Which Was the Thief?': A Look into Bialik's Workshop in And It Came to Pass", Nathanael Riemer (ed.), Betwwn \heaven and Earth, Festschrift in \honour of \prof. \Karl E. Groezinger, Forthcoming.

21. "The Crossing of Boundaries and Liminality in the Rabbinic Aggadot on the Death of Moses and on 'Those to Die in the Wilderness': Analogous Aspects:", Exodus, Border Crossings in Jewish Christian and Islamic Texts and Images, Proceedings of an interdisciplinary conference held in Hiedelberg (2-4th)

December 2010.

22. "King Solomon and Asmodeus (Ashmedai)", Yoav Elstein, Avidov Lipsker and Rella Kushelevsky (eds.), Encyclopedia of the Jewish Story, Sippur Okev Sippur, vol. 2, Ramat-Gan: Bar Ilan Univ., 2009, pp. 85–111 (in Hebrew)

23. "The Pious Man and the Tax-Collector's Son", Encyclopedia of the Jewish Story, Sippur Okev Sippur, vol. 2, ibid, pp. 233 – 250 (with Vered Tohar, in hebrew)

24. "The Thief who has Given Himself Away", Encyclopedia of the Jewish Story, Sippur Okev Sippur, vol. 2, ibid, pp. 113– 128 (with Vered Tohar)

25. "'The Miracle of Hanukkah'", The Power of a Tale, the Jubilee Book of IFA , IFA And Haifa U.P , 2008, pp. 59-63 (in Hebrew)

26. "How Gaps in Disparate Versions Establish a Theme: 'Solomon and Ashmedai’”, Ma’aseh Sippur,Studies in Jewish Narrative presented to Yoav Elstein , Avidov Lipsker and Rella Kushelevsky eds., Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan U. P., 2006, pp. 221–241 (in Hebrew)

27. "The Tanna and the Restless Dead": Encyclopedia of the Jewish Story, Sippur Okev Sippur, Yoav Elstein,Avidov Lipsker, Rella Kushelevsky (eds.), Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan U. P. 2004, pp. 281-296. (in Hebrew)

28. "Rabbi Joshua ben Levi and the Angel of Death", Sippur Okev Sippur , ibid, pp. 261-279.

29. "Ben Sever and Shefifon ben Lyish", Sippur Okev Sippur , ibid, pp. 324-331 (with Dina Levin).(in Hebrew)

30. From 'Geniza to Death': A Chiastic phenomenon in the narratives on The Death of Moses", Sippur okev Sippur, ibid, pp. 135-167. (in Hebrew)

31. Reading Midrash Today: A Study of `Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa and His Stone” in Songs of Songs Rabbah 1.4”, Torat Imekha: Unheard Women`s Voices on Tanakh, Midrash, Hassidut and Jewish Thought, Ora Wiskind-Elper, Susan Handelman (eds.), Urim Publications, New-York and Jerusalem 2000, pp. 236-245.


Book Reviews in Refereed Journals

32. Folktales of the Jews, edited with commentary by Dan Ben Amos, Consulting editor Dov Noy, Ellen Frankel Series editor, vol. 1: Tales from the Sephardic Dispersion, Philadelphia: The Jewish Publication

Society, 200, in: Fabula 49, 1/2 (2008). pp. 128–132


• Aggada and Midrash – Applying Literary and Hermeneutical Theories

• Medieval Story Compilations in Ashkenas

• The Multiversion Story - Thematology and Folklore

• Modern Hebrew Literature from a thematological perspective

• Modern Hebrew Literature – Yehudit Hendel