Prof. Moshe Simon-Shoshan

    קורות חיים



    Moshe Simon-Shoshan specializes in rabbinic literature and the study of narrative. He holds a BA summa cum laude in Comparative Literature and a doctorate from the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of Pennsylvania, where he wrote his dissertation under the supervision of Prof. David Stern. He also studied at the Hebrew University as Fulbright Scholar under Prof. Jonah Fraenkel and at Yeshivat Har Etzion. His book Stories of the Law: Narrative Discourse and the Construction of Authority in the Mishnah (Oxford 2012) was a runner up for the Jordan Schnitzer prize of the Association for the Jewish Studies. Dr. Shoshan teaches courses on Midrash, Aggadah, Bible and Biblical Interpretation, and  approaches to the study of narrative. 


    Resume 2018

    Current Position:

    Senior Lecturer, Department of the Literature of the Jewish People, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel. 2016-present.



    PhD. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. 2005.

    Dissertation: “Narrative and Legal Discourse in the Mishnah.” Advisor: David Stern.

    MA. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. 2001.    

    General examination fields:

    Rabbinic Literature. Examiner, David Stern.

    Biblical Literature. Examiner, Jeffery Tigay.


    Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Student. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. 1993-1995.

    Academic sponsor and supervisor: Jonah Fraenkel.


    AB, summa cum laude. Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, Comparative Literature. 1993.

    Thesis: “Characterization in Biblical Narrative.” Advisor: Robert Alter.



    Previous Positions:

    Teaching Fellow, Rothberg International School, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. 2010-2015.

    Research Fellow, Interdisciplinary Center for Geniza Research, Haifa University, Israel. 2012-2013.

    Kreitman Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Hebrew Literature, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel. 2006-2008.

    Golda Meir Post-Doctoral Fellow, Institute for Jewish Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. 2004-2005.




    Jordan Schnitzer Book Award, Association for Jewish Studies, Second Place, 2013.

    For: Stories of the Law Narrative Discourse and the Construction of Authority in the Mishnah.

    National Foundation for Jewish Culture Dissertation Fellowship, 2002-2003.

    Fulbright Scholarship, Hebrew University, 1993-1994.

    Mellon Fellowship, 1994 – 1995 [declined].

    Phi Beta Kappa, 1993

    National Endowment for the Humanities, Younger Scholar Grant, 1992.




    Stories of the Law: Narrative Discourse and the Construction of Authority in the Mishnah. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012 (287 pp.).

    Second edition, 2013.  


    Books (as editor)




    Articles and Chapters in Books


    1) “Ain’t Nothing But a Hound Dog?: The Meaning of the Noun klb in Northwest Semitic Languages in Light of BT Rosh Hashannah 4b.” In A Common Cultural Heritage: Studies in Mesopotamia and the Biblical World in Honor of Dr. Barry L. Eichler, edited by Grant Frame et al., 177–94. Bethesda: University Press of Maryland, 2011.


    2) “Tanna, Tannaim” and “Rabbi Tarfon.” In The Routledge Dictionary of Ancient Mediterranean Religions, edited by Eric Olin et al., 926, 927. London: Routledge, 2016.


    3) “The Transmission and Evolution of the Story of the Deposition of R. Gamliel.”  In Jews and Christians in the First and Second Centuries: The Interbellum 70–132 CE, edited by Joshua Schwartz and Peter J. Tomson,  197222. Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum 15. Leiden: Brill, 2016.


    4) “Halakhah and Aggadah in Tannaitic Sources.” In The Literature of the Sages, edited by Cristine Hayes. Compendia Rerum Iudaicarum ad Novum Testamentum. Leiden: Brill, 2021


    Articles in periodicals


    1) “Halakhic Mimesis: Rhetorical and Redactional Strategies in Tannaitic Narrative.” Dine Yisrael 24 (2006): 101*123*.


    2) “The Tasks of the Translators: The Rabbis, the Septuagint, and the Cultural Politics of Translation.” Prooftexts 27, no. 1 (2007): 139.


    3) “Between Philology and Foucault: New Syntheses in the Study of the Mishnah.” AJS Review 32, no. 2 (2008): 25162.                                                                                                              


    4) “Narrativity and Textuality in the Study of Stories.” Proceedings of the Computational Models of Narrative Workshop (2013): 22839.


    5) “Sipur Honi Hameagel be-mishnah Taanit 3:8: Miqreh mivhan shel melekhet ha-sipur ba-mishnah.” Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature 26 (2013): 1–20 (HEB).


    6) “‘People Talking Without Speaking’: The Semiotics of the Rabbinic Legal Exemplum as Reflected in Bavli Berakhot 11a.” Journal of Law and Literature 25, no. 2 (2013): 44665.


    7) “Creators of Worlds: The Deposition of R. Gamliel and the Invention of Yavneh.” AJS Review 41, no. 2 (2017): 287–313.


    8)  “Did the Rabbis Believe in Agreus Pan? Rabbinic Relationships with Roman Power, Culture, and Religion in Genesis Rabbah 63.” Harvard Theological Review 111, no. 3 (2018): 425–50.


    9) “Talmud as Novel: Dialogic Discourse and the Feminine Voice in the Babylonian Talmud.” Poetics Today 40, no. 1 (2019): 10534.  


    10)   “A Doorway of Their Own: Female Ethos in Dialogue in the Talmuds.” Nashim: A Journal of Jewish Women's Studies and Gender Issues 35 (2019): 97127. 


    11)  “Past Continuous: The Yerushalmi’s Account of Honi’s Long Sleep and Its Roots in Second Temple Era Literature.” Journal for the Study of Judaism 51, no. 1 (2020): 134. 


    12)   “The Oven of Hakhinai: The Yerushalmi’s Accounts of the Banning of R. Eliezer.” Journal of Jewish Studies 71, no. 1 (2020): 2552. 


    13)  “Haderekh le-Lod, sipuro shel nitzol: Berihato shel Rabban Yohanan ben Zakkai mi-Yerushalayim, al pi midrash Eikha Rabba 1:5.” Jerusalem Studies in Hebrew Literature 31 (2020): 2764 (HEB, in print). 


    14)  “The Death of Beruriah and Its Afterlife: A Reevaluation of the Provenance and Significance of Ma‘aseh de-Beruriah.” Jewish Quarterly Review 110, no. 3 (2020): 383411 (in print).  



    15)  “You Can’t Go Home Again: The Bavli’s Story of Honi’s Big Sleep as Inversion of the Yerushalmi’s Account.” Journal of Jewish Studies 


    16)  “‘These and Those Are the Words of the Living God, but…’: Meaning, Background, and Reception of an Early Rabbinic Teaching.” AJS Review 


    17) “Mi-mehutan le-behor satan: Ha-mahloqet al tsarat ha-bat be-sifrut ha-Eretz Ysraelit, ve-gilgulav shel ha-yahas ha-hazali le-Beyt Shammai.” Sidra 


    18) “The Tradition vs. Individual Talent: Narrative Point of View and the Ideological Counter-Voice in the Story of R. Dosa ben Harkinas (bYevamot 16a).” Jewish Quarterly Review 


    19)  “‘On That Day’: The Deeds of the Seventy-Two (m.Yadayim 3:54:4) as Foundational Narrative for Rabbinic Judaism.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 




    Reviews of Books in periodicals


    1) Talmudic Stories: Narrative Art, Composition, and Culture, by Jeffrey L. Rubenstein, and Women and Womanhood in the Talmud, by Shulamit Valler. AJS Review 26, no. 1 (2002): 129–31.


    2) Narratives of Truth in Islamic Law, edited by Baudouin Dupret, Barbara Drieskens, and Annelies Moors, and Law and Truth in Biblical and Rabbinic Literature, by Chaya T. Halberstam. Journal of Law and Religion 28, no. 2 (2013): 36572.



    1) “‘Many Thoughts in the Heart of Man…’: Irony and Theology in the Book of Esther.” Tradition 31, no. 4 (1997): 527.


    2) “A Study in Rabbinic Cosmology.” BDD 20 (2008): 6796.


    3) “Midrash Matters.” Tradition 44, no. 3 (2011): 3338.


    Last Updated Date : 15/09/2022