Malka Z. Simkovich

Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies

Director of Catholic-Jewish Studies Program

Education

 

MA, Harvard University

PhD, Brandeis University

About

Malka is an Orthodox Jewish scholar whose research focuses on the intersection of Second Temple Judaism, Rabbinic Judaism, and Early Christianity. Her articles have been published in Harvard Theological Review and the Journal for the Study of Judaism, and her book, The Making of Jewish Universalism: From Exile to Alexandria was published in 2016. Her upcoming book, Discovering Second Temple Literature: The Stories and Scriptures That Shaped Early Judaism, will be published by the Jewish Publication Society in 2018. Much of Malka’s research focuses on the Jewish universalist literature that emerged in the late Second Temple period, which was influenced by Stoic thought and in turn served as an influence for early followers of Jesus. Malka is a contributor to TheTorah.com and TheLehrhaus.com, and lectures widely at conferences and synagogues throughout the United States. A native of Philadelphia, Malka lives in Skokie, Illinois, with her husband Aaron and their four children.

The Making of Jewish Universalism: From Exile to Alexandria. (Lexington Press, 2017)

 

“Geography-Based Giving in the Jewish Tradition.” In Poverty and Wealth in the Sacred Texts of Jews, Christians, and Muslims, eds. Nathan R. Kollar and Muhammad Shafiq, 245–261. New York: Palgrave, 2016.

 

“The Book of Jonah.” In Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception, Volume 14: Jesus–Kairos, edited by Christine Helmer, Steven L. McKenzie, Thomas Römer, Jens Schröter, Barry Dov Walfish, and Eric J. Ziolkowski.  Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2016.

 

“A Family’s Witness of Faith (2 Maccabees 7).” The Bible Today 55, no. 3 (2017): 177–186.

 

“The Apocalyptic Visions of Abraham and Paul in Early Judaism and Christianity.” The Bible Today 54, no. 4 (2016): 261–266.

 

Richard Kalmin, Migrating Tales: The Talmud’s Narratives and Their Historical Contexts. Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 12, no. 1 (2017). https://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/scjr/article/view/9782/8592

 

“Echoes of Universalist Testament Literature in Christian and Rabbinic Texts,” Harvard Theological Review, January 2016

 

“Interpretations of Abraham’s Circumcision in Early Christianity,” in From Enoch to Montreal and Back: New Vistas on Early Judaism and Christianity. Papers from the Fifth Enoch Graduate Seminar, Montreal, 20–24 May 2014, eds. Lorenzo DiTommaso and Gerbern S. Oegema. London: T&T Clark, 2015.

 

Greek Influence on the Composition of 2 Maccabees,” Journal for the Study of Judaism, 42.3 (2011) 293–310

Online Essays

“Modest Living: Why Treating Appearance as a Religious Category Needs to go Out of Style.” The Times of Israel. June 27, 2017.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/modest-living-why-treating-appearance-as-a-religious-category-needs-to-go-out-of-style/

 

“The Christian Monks Who Saved Jewish History.” The Lehrhaus. May 11, 2017.

http://www.thelehrhaus.com/scholarship/2017/5/10/jewish-texts-christian-monks?rq=malka%20simkovich

 

“The Decalogue in Rabbinic Literature.”  Modern Torah Leadership. February 16, 2017.

The Decalogue in Rabbinic Literature

“Are Partnership Minyanim Orthodox? A CTML Symposium.”

 

“Wrestling With God: Leonard Cohen’s You Want it Darker.” The Lehrhaus. November 13, 2016.

http://www.thelehrhaus.com/culture/2016/11/13/wrestling-with-god-leonard-cohens-you-want-it-darker?rq=malka%20simkovich

 

“The Origins of Jewish Universalism: What it is, and Why it Matters.” The Lehrhaus. October 6, 2016.

http://www.thelehrhaus.com/scholarship/jewish-universalism?rq=malka%20simkovich

 

“Heteronomy and Hierarchy: Partnership Minyanim and Their Relationship With Halakhic Authority.” Modern Torah Leadership. September 26, 2016.

Heteronomy and Hierarchy: Partnership Minyanim and Their Relationship with Halakhic Authority

 

“The Tale of Susanna: A Story About Daniel.” The Torah.Com. September 1, 2016.

The Tale of Susanna: A Story about Daniel

 

“Working Hard for the Money: Breaking the Taboo of How We Pay Female Orthodox Educators.” The Times of Israel. August 17, 2016.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/working-hard-for-the-money-breaking-the-taboo-of-how-we-pay-female-orthodox-educators/

 

“Queen Berenice: A Woman of Contrasts.” http://thetorah.com/queen-berenice-a-woman-of-contrasts/

 

“Intimacy on the Sabbath: Was it Always a Mitzvah?” http://thetorah.com/intimacy-on-shabbat/

 

“The Haggadah: A New Telling of the Exodus Story.” http://thetorah.com/the-haggadah-a-new-telling-of-the-exodus-story/

 

“Uncovering the Truth About Chanukah.” http://thetorah.com/uncovering-the-truth-about-chanukah/

 

“The Making of Adam: Understanding the Midrash in Light of Plato and the Pseudepigrapha.”

http://thetorah.com/the-making-of-adam/

 

“Abraham as the Great (Un)Circumciser: A Surprising Midrashic Portrait of Abraham.” http://thetorah.com/abraham-circumcision/

 

“Sefer Tuviah–The Book of Tobit.” http://thetorah.com/book-of-tobit/

 

“The Portrayal of Abraham in the Testament of Abraham.” http://thetorah.com/portrayal-of-abraham-testament-of-abraham/

 

“Why Jews Fast.” Co-authored with Dr. Rabbi Zev Farber. http://thetorah.com/why-jews-fast/

 

“Jewish Attitudes Towards the Land of Israel During the Time of the Second Temple.” http://thetorah.com/jewish-attitudes-towards-the-land-of-israel-second-temple/

 

“The Faith of the Martyred Mother and Her Seven Sons.” http://thetorah.com/the-faith-of-the-martyred-mother-and-her-seven-sons/

 

Podcasts

“Solomon Schechter and the Modern Discovery of the Cairo Genizah.” http://www.torahinmotion.org/podcast/solomon-schechter-and-the-modern-discovery-of-the-cairo-genizah

 

“Passover in the Biblical and Second Temple Periods.”

http://www.torahinmotion.org/podcast/passover-in-the-biblical-and-second-temple-periods

 

“Why Should Tanach Matter to Me?” http://www.torahinmotion.org/podcast/why-should-tanach-matter-to-me

 

“How Did the Jews Read the Torah in the Second Temple Period?” http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/882554/dr-malka-simkovich/how-did-jews-read-the-torah-in-the-second-temple-period/

 

“Scientist, Warrior, Philosopher: How Was Moses Viewed in Early Judaism and Why it Matters.” http://www.yutorah.org/search/?s=malka+simkovich&sort=1

 

“Was Zionism an Ideological Concept in Ancient Judaism?” http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/815349/dr-malka-simkovich/was-zionism-an-ideological-concept-in-ancient-judaism-/

 

“The Role of Infertility in the Garden of Eden Story and in the Patriarchal Narratives.”

http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/722997/dr-malka-simkovich/the-role-of-infertility-in-the-gan-eden-story-and-in-the-patriarchal-narratives/