FINKEL, JOSHUA (1904–1983), U.S. Orientalist and scholar. Finkel was born in Warsaw, Poland, and was taken to the United States in 1913. He was ordained at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He studied the relationship of Islam to Judaism. Part of his research included Persian, Egyptian, and Arabic texts in manuscript. He spent the years 1924–26 in research in *Egypt, where he procured the manuscripts of the three Arabic epistles of al-Jāhiẓ (c. 776–868), a celebrated Muslim polygraph, which he published in *Cairo in 1926. From 1937 he taught Semitic languages at Yeshiva University. His later interest in psychoanalysis produced some studies in which he applied psychoanalytic theories to Jewish cultural phenomena.
Among his published works are Three Essays of … al-Jahiz (1926); "Jewish, Christian, and Samaritan Influences on Arabia" (in The Mac-Donald (Duncan Black) Presentation Volume (1933), 145–66); "Maimonides' Treatise on Resurrection" (in paajr, 9 (1938/39), 57–105); "Old Israelitish Tradition in Koran" (ibid., 2 (1931), 7–21); and "The Arabic Story of Abraham" (in huca, 12–13 (1938), 387–409).
S. Hoenig Sidney (ed.), Joshua Finkel Festschrift (1974).
[Abraham Solomon Halkin]
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