Assistant Professor of Religion
Department of Religious Studies
Office: Crowe Hall, 1860 Campus Drive, 4-137
Phone: (847) 467-1746
Office Hours: Tuesdays and Thursdays 3:30-4:30 (Spring 2013)
Mira Balberg specializes in ancient Judaism, with a focus on early rabbinic literature. She holds a B.A. and an M.A. from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in which she studied Hebrew Bible and Talmud, and a PhD in Religious Studies from Stanford University. Her areas of teaching include Hebrew Bible, Second Temple literature, Hellenistic Judaism, and Rabbinics. She is particularly interested in the ways in which the Jewish Literature composed in the Hellenistic and Roman era interprets and transforms biblical institutions, concepts, and values, often through dialogue and interaction with Greek, Roman, and early Christian cultures. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled "Recomposed Corporealities: Purity, Body, and Self in the Mishnah" explores the way in which the rabbis who created the Mishnah (a third-century legal code) reshaped the biblical discourse of ritual purity and impurity and refocused it around the self and its subjective relationships with its body and environment. Others topics on which she has worked and is currently working include questions of personhood in rabbinic literature, the human body and its changing cultural meanings in ancient Jewish texts, and the production of rabbinic knowledge.
Introduction to Rabbinic literature (in Hebrew).
Introductory unit to the textbook series Time, Society and Family in the Talmud. Ra'anana: The Open University Press, 2011.
"Pricing Persons: Consecration, Compensation, and Individuality in the Mishnah" Jewish Quarterly Review 103.2 (2013, forthcoming).
“The Emperor’s Daughter’s New Skin: Corporeal Identity in the Dialogues of Rabbi Yehoshua ben Hanania and the Emperor’s Daughter.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 19.3 (2012): 181-226.
“Rabbinic Authority, Medical Rhetoric, and Body Hermeneutics in Mishnah Nega‘im” AJS Review 35.2 (2011): 323-346.
“Between Heterotopia and Utopia: Two Rabbinic Narratives of Journeys to Prostitutes” (in Hebrew). Mekhkare Yerushalyim be-sifrut ivrit 22 (2008):191-214.
“Hilkhot Nedarim and Nazir in the book of Halakhot Gedolot” (in Hebrew). Tarbitz 72:4 (2005): 523-566.