Moshe Taube, Tamara and Saveli Grinberg Professor of Russian Studies and Professor in the Departments of Linguistics and of German, Russian and East European Studies at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been awarded the First Prize among the Polonsky Prizes for Creativity and Originality in the Humanistic Disciplines for his book, The Logika of the Judaizers, published in 2016 by the Israel Academy. The prize was presented at a ceremony before the university’s Board of Governors on June 13, 2017.
In the latter part of the fifteenth century, a Jewish translator, working together with a Slavic amanuensis, translated into the East Slavic language of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania three medieval Hebrew translations of Arabic philosophical texts: the Logical Terminology, a short work on logic attributed to Maimonides (but probably by a different medieval Jewish author); and two sections of the Muslim theologian Al-Ghazālī’s famous Intentions of the Philosophers. Highlighting the unexpected role played by Jewish translators as agents of cultural transmission in the heady messianic atmosphere leading up to the year 1492, these texts drew the attention of the Orthodox Church authorities as being in the possession of the enlightened heretical sect known as the Judaizers, which had emerged in Novgorod and spread to Moscow.
Reflecting three and even four layers of translation, Taube’s triple-language critical edition of the Logika of the Judaizers displays the Slavic texts alongside the Hebrew translations on which they are based and accompanies them with a modern English translation.
For the same work, Professor Taube was awarded the Early Slavic Studies Association’s 2016 Translation Prize for the most outstanding recent scholarly translation of primary source material relating to pre-modern Slavdom.
Professor Moshe Taube receives the Polonsky Prize (Photo: Israel Academy)