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Spiegel, Shalom


SPIEGEL, SHALOM (1899–1984), scholar, writer, and educator. Born in Romania and educated in Vienna, Spiegel was for a number of years a leader of Jewish youth who were preparing to live in collectives in Israel as members of Ha-Shomer ha-Ẓa'ir. He taught in Ereẓ Israel 1923–29, then went to New York, and was professor of medieval Hebrew literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary (1944–84). Trained in art and aesthetics, among other areas, he brought the appreciation of the sensitive critic to what he taught, studied, or wrote. His Hebrew Reborn (1930, repr. 1962), a series of chapters on Jewish men of letters in modern times, is a lucid, cultural analysis of the works of the authors it surveys. He also gave attention to the biblical and the medieval periods of Jewish cultural history. He published studies on Hosea, Amos, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Job. These exhibit both his erudition and thoroughness and also his style and finesse. Spiegel prepared a definitive edition of the liturgical compositions of Eleazar *Kallir. He also prepared a volume of what remains of the religious poetry by Kallir's predecessors and contemporaries. His discussion of the sacrifice of Isaac (*Akedah) in the Hebrew liturgy of the 12th and 13th centuries is a notable example of his penetrating approach (The Last Trial, translated from the Hebrew by J. Goldin, 1967).

In 1996 the Jewish Theological Seminary established the Shalom Spiegel Institute for Medieval Hebrew Literature. The Institute provides fellowships to graduate students in the field, fosters international research projects, and provides access to Spiegel's copious collection of research materials.

He was the brother of film producer Samuel P. *Spiegel.

[Abraham Solomon Halkin /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]

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