Daniel Sperber (Hebrew: דניאל שפרבר) is a professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University in Israel, and an expert in classical philology, history of Jewish customs, Jewish art history, Jewish education and Talmudic studies.


Daniel Sperber was born on November 4, 1940 in Gwrych Castle, Wales. He studied for rabbinical ordination at Yeshivat Kol Torah in Israel, earned a doctorate from University College, London in the departments of Ancient History and Hebrew Studies. He is married to Phyllis (Hannah) Magnus, a couples therapist, originally of Highland Park, Illinois. [1] One of their daughters, Abigail, is the founder of Bat Kol, a Jewish religious lesbian group.[1]

Academic and rabbinical career

Sperber is the author of Minhagei Yisrael: Origins and History on the character and evolution of Jewish customs. He has written extensively on many issues regarding how Jewish law can and has evolved. This includes a work in which he calls for a greater inclusion of women in certain ritual services. He is currently a professor of Talmud at Bar-Ilan University in Israel and serves as rabbi of Menachem Zion Synagogue in the Old City of Jerusalem.


in 1992, Sperber won the Israel Prize, for Jewish studies.[2]

Published work

  • Minhagei Yisrael: Origins and History. Mossad Harav Kook, 1998-2007, 8 vol..
  • Masekhet Derekh erets zuṭa u-Fereḳ ha-shalom (3rd Edition) [in Hebrew]. , 1994. OCLC 31267940
  • Magic and Folklore in Rabbinic Literature, Bar-Ilan University Press, 1994. ISBN 9652261653
  • Great is Peace, Jerusalem, 1979. OCLC 9368592
  • Roman Palestine 200-400: Money and Prices, Bar-Ilan University Press, 1974; second edition with supplement 1991 . ISBN 9652261475
  • Daniel Sperber (1978). Roman Palestine, 200-400, the land : crisis and change in agrarian society as reflected in rabbinic sources. Ramat-Gan: Bar-Ilan University. OCLC 5222104. 
  • Daniel Sperber (1984). A dictionary of Greek and Latin legal terms in Rabbinic Literature. Ramat-Gan, Israel: Bar-Ilan University Press. ISBN 9652260509. 
  • Nautica Talmudica, Bar-Ilan University Press and E.J. Brill, 1986. ISBN 9004082492
  • A Commentary on Derech Eretz Zuta Chapters 5-8, Bar-Ilan University Press, 1990. OCLC 10107498
  • Sperber, Daniel (1998). The City in Roman Palestine. Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0585254753. 
  • Essays on Greek and Latin in the Mishna, Talmud and midrashic 1982
  • David Sperber (1992). Reʼayot ha-Reʼiyah : masot u-meḥḳarim be-torato shel ha-Rav Ḳuḳ. Yerushalayim: Bet ha-Rav. OCLC 34010082. 
  • Chana Sperber; Daniel Sperber; Jeffrey Allon (1995). Ten Best Jewish Children's Stories. New York: Pitspopany. ISBN 0943706580. 
  • Sperber, Daniel (1999). Why Jews Do What They Do. New York: Ktav Pub. House. ISBN 0881256048. 
  • Nautica in Talmudic Palestine. Mediterranean History Review, vol. 15, 2001
  • Paralysis in Contemporary Halakhah? Tradition 36:3 (Fall 2002), 1-13.
  • Tarbut Homrit Be'eretz Yisrael Beyemai Hatalmud (Material Culture in Eretz-Israel during the Talmudic Period), Vol. 2, Yad Yitzhak Ben Zvi & Bar Ilan University
  • The Path of Halacha, Women Reading the Torah: A Case of Pesika Policy, Rubin Mass, Jerusalem, 2007 (Hebrew)
  • Daniel Sperber (2002). Resh Kalah u-mai ḥupah. Yerushalayim. OCLC 57331845. 

See also


External sources

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