Yaakov Elman

Dr. Yaakov Elman z"l

PhD, New York University

Areas of Interest: Talmud and rabbinic literature of nearly all periods and genres, including rabbinic theology, unfolding systems of rabbinic legal exegesis, and the cultural context of classical rabbinic texts; relation of the Babylonian Jewish community of Talmudic times to the surrounding Middle Persian culture and religions

A Tribute by Dean Berger:
Yaakov was a remarkable combination of complexity and single-mindedness. He was a traditional talmid chakham and simultaneously an outstanding practitioner of academic study of Talmud at Yeshiva University and Harvard, honored as a Fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research, while continuing to see Rav Hutner as his mentor and inspiration. He was deeply concerned, even pessimistic, about the state of contemporary Judaism and hoped against hope that his own brilliant and wide-ranging work would contribute to its rejuvenation as a home of sophistication, breadth, and enduring commitment. His path-breaking demonstration of the interaction by the Amoraim with their cultural environment, the Maharal's engagement with Renaissance ideas, and the hasidic dimension of Rav Hutner's thought were all part of an integrated, focused quest for this rejuvenated Judaism. His fierce commitment extended to his students, as he worked to place them in academic positions, and as he commented on drafts of doctoral dissertations even in the last months and weeks of his illness. His heroic, awe-inspiring battles against his physical tribulations can be addressed far better by people closer to him than I.

Please click here to read transcripts from An Evening of Tribute for Dr. Yaakov Elman Z"L held at Yeshiva University and published at The Lehrhaus.


Please click on the links below to read tributes to Dr. Elman written by his colleague, Dr. Aaron Koller, and students Rabbi Ari Lamm and Dr. Shai Secunda.