Remembering Moshe Gil, Historian of Medieval JewryHistorians in the News
tags: obituaries, medieval history, Moshe Gil, Judaica
Moshe Gil, who died in January at 92, was born in Bialystok, Poland in 1921 and raised in Romania. He moved to Palestine in 1945 and was a kibbutznik, later becoming a professor at Tel Aviv University and a prolific historian of medieval Jewry in the Islamic world. What follows is a personal recollection by Gil’s former classmate, friend, and colleague, Noam Stillman.
Although there were a number of older (today politely called “non-traditional”) students in our graduate program in Oriental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 1968, Moshe Gil certainly was—or seemed to be—the oldest. He was old enough to be my father. But with his easygoing manner and wry sense of humor, he quickly became a friend. He had come to Penn to work with the doyen of Geniza studies, Shelomo Dov Goitein, and already had his research topic mapped out.
His devoted wife Shoshana, whom everyone called by her nickname Mausie, took care of the apartment and their three daughters with military efficiency, making sure that he was not disturbed when working. He finished his coursework and dissertation in just two years, and we marched side by side at commencement in 1970. The 600-page book that grew out of his dissertation was published six years later and titled, Documents of the Jewish Pious Foundations from the Cairo Geniza. Many such weighty works were to follow in the decades to come....
comments powered by Disqus
- A New Target for Old Spies: Congress
- Antigua and Barbuda Asks Harvard University for Slavery Reparations
- Historian: Nixon DID contest the 1960 election
- Killer took selfie after stabbing historian over rare ‘Wind in the Willows’ book
- VW fires corporate historian who drew attention to wartime ties to Nazis
- British historian Sheila Lecoeur is on trial for defamation
- Jim Downs laments that Americans still aren’t being taught gay LGBT history
- Historian Jeremy Kuzmarov calls on Obama to pardon Ethel Rosenberg
- Garry Wills says there’s one human test we can use to decide who’s the better candidate: Trump or Clinton
- Get to Know the Semifinalists for the National Book Award