The Yeshiva University family is saddened by the passing of Rabbi Dr. Yaakov Elman z”l.
Dr. Elman was a professor of Judaic studies at the Bernard Revel Graduate School Graduate School of Jewish Studies and Denenberg Chair in Talmudic Studies at Yeshiva College. He was also a director of the Friedberg Genizah Project, an electronic database of the hundreds of thousands of fragments of the Cairo Genizah.
Dr. Elman was the author of The Living Torah, a two-volume translation and commentary on Nevi’im, together with diagrams and maps. He was the editor of Hazon Nahum: Studies in Jewish Law, Thought and History Presented to Dr. Norman Lamm on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday. He published widely in the field of Talmud, and his research interests included rabbinic theology, unfolding systems of rabbinic legal exegesis and the cultural context of classical rabbinic texts.
For many years, Dr. Elman divided his time between YU and Harvard University, where he was an associate of the Center for Jewish Studies, and conducted research on the relation of the Babylonian Jewish community of Talmudic times to the surrounding Middle Persian culture and religions.
Dr. Elman received his MA in Assyriology from Columbia University and his PhD in Talmud from New York University.
Heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Bryna; three sons: Yitchak, Zeev and Pinhas; and three daughters: Shifra, Chana and Miri (and Sam) Levy.