Professor Emeritus of Medieval Hebrew Literature
Jewish Theological Seminary of America
Raymond Scheindlin is Professor Emeritus of Medieval Hebrew Literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary and retired director of the Seminary’s Shalom Spiegel Institute of Medieval Hebrew Poetry. He taught there from 1974 to 2016 and served as the Seminary’s provost from 1984 to 1988. He earlier served on the faculties of McGill and Cornell Universities.
A native of Philadelphia, Scheindlin studied at the University of Pennsylvania, the Jewish Theological Seminary, and Columbia University, from which he received his Ph.D. in Arabic literature, for his dissertation on an eleventh-century Arab poet from Seville, later published as a book (1974). As an Arabist, he has also written a widely used reference book entitled 501 Arabic Verbs (2007).
Scheindlin’s main field of research is the encounter of Hebrew and Arabic cultures in Spain, especially as embodied in the poetry of the two traditions. Concurrently he has also pursued an interest in literary translation, publishing translations of medieval and modern literary Hebrew works as well as a verse translation of the biblical book of Job (1998). His books on medieval Hebrew poetry are: Wine, Women, and Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life (1986); The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel, and the Soul (1991) ; The Song of the Distant Dove: Judah Halevi’s Pilgrimage (2007); and Vulture in a Cage: Poems by Solomon Ibn Gabirol (2016). He translated Ismar Elbogen’s monumental work, Jewish Liturgy (1993), wrote a widely-used textbook, A Short History of the Jewish People (1998), and served as a co-editor of The Literature of Al-Andalus (2000), a volume in the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature series.
Scheindlin was a Guggenheim fellow in 1988 and a fellow of the Dorothy and Lewis Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library in 2005-06. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Jewish Research, and a member of the editorial boards of several academic journals. In 2004 he received the Jewish Cultural Achievement Award of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture.
The Book of Job (translated, introduced, and annotated). New York: W. W. Norton, 1998; paperback, 1999.
The Song of the Distant Dove: Pilgrimage Poems by Judah Halevi. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.
“Rabbi Moshe Ibn Ezra on the Legitimacy of Poetry,” Medievalia et Humanistica, n.s. 7 (1976): 101–15.
“Ibn Zabara’s Demon,” in Gazing on the Deep: Ancient Near Eastern and Other Studies in Honor of Tzvi Abusch, ed. J. Stackert, B. N. Porter, and D. P. Wright (Bethesda, Md.: CDL, 2010), 621–35
“Caged Vulture: Ibn Gabirol’s Poetic Manifesto,” in Ot letova (Tova Rosen Festschrift), ed. E. Yassif, H. Ishay, and U. Kfir (Beersheva: Ben-Gurion University Press, 2012).