Tzvi Novick

Tzvi Novick

Associate Professor
Abrams Chair of Jewish Thought and Culture
Biblical Studies/Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity


B.A., Yale College, 1998; J.D., Yale Law School, 2002

M.A., Yeshiva University, 2003

Ph.D., Yale University, 2008

Research and Teaching Interests

Novick’s research centers on law and ethics in early Rabbinic Judaism. His book, What is Good, and What God Demands: Normative Structures in Tannaitic Literature (2010), is a revision of his dissertation, which was awarded Yale's Field Prize. He has published articles on topics in the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple exegesis, rabbinic literature, and Jewish liturgical poetry, in such journals as the Journal of Biblical Literature, the Harvard Theological Review, the Jewish Quarterly Review, the Journal of Jewish Studies, and the Hebrew Union College Annual.  He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the Association of Jewish Studies, and serves on the editorial board of Prooftexts: A Journal of Jewish Literary History.

Recent Publications


2010. What is Good and What God Demands: Normative Structures in Tannaitic Literature, SJSJ 144. Leiden: Brill.

Book Chapters:

“Formal Mirroring and Iterative Paraphrase in Tannaitic Midrash,” in Steven Fraade Festschrift (Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht) (forthcoming)

“On the Paucity of Biblical Exemplars in Sectarian Texts,” in Rewriting, Interpreting, and Translating Scripture in the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature: Studies in Honor of Moshe J. Bernstein (Leiden: Brill) (forthcoming)

“Creator, Text, and Law: Torah as Independent Power in Rabbinic Judaism,” in Creation from Nothing (University of Notre Dame Press) (forthcoming)

“Social Justice in Rabbinic Judaism,” in The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Law (ed. Pamela Barmash)

“Laws and Rituals,” in The Jewish Legal Tradition (eds. Ari Mermelstein, Suzanne Last Stone, and Yair Lorberbaum)

“Holiness in Rabbinic Literature,” in Concepts of Holiness in Judaism (ed. Alan Mittleman; Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

“The Wrath of Moses: On the Construction of Exemplary Dichotomies in Rabbinic Literature,” in Die Idee des Mose – Eine rezeptionsgeschichtliche Betrachtung einer identitätsstiftenden Idee (forthcoming)

“Rhetorical Markers in A Fortiori Argumentation in Biblical and Post-Biblical Hebrew,” in Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium on the Hebrew of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Ben Sira (Leiden: Brill) (forthcoming)

“Temurah,” in the Oxford Mishnah Study Edition (Oxford: Oxford University Press) (forthcoming)

2015. “Etiquette and Exemplarity in Rabbinic Judaism,” in Character: New Directions from Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), 522-37

2011. “The Rabbis’ Written Torah and the Heavenly Tablets,” in A Teacher for All Generations: Essays in Honor of James C. VanderKam, pp. 589-600. Leiden: Brill, 2011. 
2011. “The Poetics of Yannai’s Sixth: Between Scripture, God, and Congregation,” in Giving a Diamond: Essays in Honor of Joseph Yahalom on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, pp. 69-81. Leiden: Brill.


“‘I am Not a Butcher’: Authority and Expertise in Rabbinic Laws of Meat Production in Classical Rabbinic Literature,” JAJ

2014. “‘Like an Expert Sharecropper’: Agricultural Halakhah and Agricultural Science in Rabbinic Palestine,” Association for Jewish Studies Review 38 (2014), 303-20.

2014. “Scripture as Rhetor: A Study in Early Rabbinic Midrash,” Hebrew Union College Annual 82-83 (2011-12) [2014], 37-59.

2014. “‘Let Me Flee for Help’: Israel as “I” and the Teqi‘ot of Yose ben Yose,” European Journal of Jewish Studies 8 (2014), 147-74.
2014. “Poverty and Halakhic Agency: Gleanings from the Literature of Rabbinic Palestine,” Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 22 (2014), 25-43.
2013. “Overt Acknowledgement of Practical Considerations in Legal Texts from Qumran,” Dead Sea Discoveries 20 (2013), 1-18.
2013. “Between First Century Apocalyptic and Seventh Century Liturgy: On 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, and Qillir,” Journal for the Study of Judaism in the Persian, Hellenistic and Roman Period 44 (2013), 356-78.
2013. “Column Five of the Community Rule: Two Notes,” Revue de Qûmran 101: 115-26.
2013. “Liturgy and the First Person in Narratives of the Second Temple Period,” Prooftexts 32: 269-91.
2013. “Liturgy and Law: Approaches to Halakhic Material in Yannai’s Kedushta’ot,” Jewish Quarterly Review 103: 475-502.
2013. “Test and Temptation in 4 Ezra,” Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha 22:, 238-44.
2012. “‘Who Resembles You? But They Resemble You’: Israel and the Apophatic in Yannai,” Journal of Jewish Studies 63: 263-84.
2012. “Din and Debate: Some Dialectical Patterns in Tannaitic Texts,” Jewish Studies, an Internet Journal 11: 1-29.
2012. “Eschatological Ignorance and the : On Acts 13:27,” Novum Testamentum 54 : 1-8.
2012. “Charity and Reciprocity: Structures of Benevolence in Rabbinic Literature,” Harvard Theological Review 105: 33-52.
2011. “Wages From God: The Dynamics of a Biblical Metaphor,” Catholic Biblical Quarterly 73: 708-22
2011. “Peddling Scents: Merchandise and Meaning in 2 Cor 2:14-17,” Journal of Biblical Literature 130: 543-49.
2011. “Blessings over : The Origins of a Category,” Hebrew Union College Annual 79:  69-86.
2010. “Succeeding Judas: Exegesis in Acts 1:15-26,” Journal of Biblical Literature 129:  795-99
2010. “The ‘For I Say’ Presumption: A Study in Early Rabbinic Legal Rhetoric,” Journal of Jewish Studies 61: 48-61.
2010. “Naming Normativity: The Early History of the Terms Šurat ha-din and Lifnim miš-šurat ha-din,” Journal of Semitic Studies 55: 391-406.
2010. “Tradition and Truth: Scholastic Virtues in Tannaitic Judaism,” Jewish Quarterly Review 100: 223-43.


341 Malloy Hall