Vale, Jacob Neusner (1932-2016)


A giant has left us in the death of Jacob (Jack) Neusner last Shabbat, a master of Jewish studies and author of over 1000 (yes, one thousand!) books. His many works on Judaism are indispensable—it’s rare that I don’t consult some of them, not least his accessible translation of the MishnahHere’s a fine tribute by one of his collaborators, Jeffrey Salkin, including this lovely joke:

A telephone call: “Hello, Mrs. Neusner, can I speak with Jack?” “I’m sorry – he’s finishing a book.” “That’s OK – I will hold.”

Professor Neusner is pictured meeting the previous Pope, Benedict XVI.