30 April 2008

Some More Articles on Sleep in Jewish Thought

Since my posting two years ago on the topic of articles on sleep in Jewish thought, I have a few more to add to the list, each of these will be listed topically:
First, mine that appeared in the last two issues of Milin Havivin:
  • Kaplan, Drew. "Birkat Ha-Mapil: The Rabbinic Pre-Sleep Blessing." Milin Havivin 3 (2007): 155-168.
  • Kaplan, Drew. "Rabbinic Sleep Ethics: Jewish Sleep Conduct in Late Antiquity." Milin Havivin 2 (2006): 83-93.
In addition to these, the reader may be interested also in my critique on the latter of these two papers. Also, perhaps of interest, are the two proposed appendices to my former paper: "The Institution of Shema' Recital Upon One's Bed" & "The Phrase 'My Bed' in Rabbinic Literature: A Connotational Shift for the Amoraim" (this latter one is the origin from which pp. 165-166, n. 69 was summarized).
Another article is
in addition to another article that discusses staying awake on Jewish holidays is
  • Horowitz, Elliot. "Coffee, Coffeehouses, and the Nocturnal Rituals of Early Modern Jewry." AJS Review 14: 1 (Spring 1989): 17-46.
Related to beds is
Speaking of Professor Schwartz, there is the following from Shai Secunda, "Dashtana - 'Ki Derekh Nashim Li''': A Study of the Babylonian Rabbinic Laws of Menstruation in Relation to Corresponding Zoroastrian Texts," (Ph.D. diss., Yeshiva University, 2007), 224, n. 532:
In Late Antiquity, beds seem to have been normally big enough for just one person. Even wealthier people probably did not purchase larger, “queen-sized” beds but instead would have created more beautiful, ornate beds without necessarily modifying their size. (Joshua Schwartz, private communication November, 2006). See Joshua Schwartz, “‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’: Prolegomena on Breakage and Repair in Ancient Jewish Society: Broken Beds and Chairs in Mishnah Kelim” JSIJ 5 (2006): 147-80. At the same time, a baraita found at tBer 2:14, and yQid 4:12, and a sugya at bBer 24a, discuss the laws of reciting the shema when sharing a bed [this is according to the printed editions, MS Munich 95 and apparently, the “Ashkenazi tradition” (See Or Zarua vol. 1 §133). The Eastern tradition reads, “a garment (tallit).” See MSS Florence II-I-7, Oxford Opp. Add. 23, and Paris 671] with another male, with one’s wife, or even with one’s entire family. Furthermore, a folk saying found at bSan. 7a may indicate that
couples shared one bed (“when our love was strong we used to sleep on a bed the width of a sword. Now that our love is not strong, a bed of sixty cubits is not enough for us”). Consequently, despite the fact that beds normally did not accommodate two people, in practice, the sharing of beds or bedding may not have been an entirely uncommon, if uncomfortable, occurrence.
Within another footnote (n. 534), Secunda writes
In addition, it seems that people living in Late Antiquity generally did wear some form of nightclothes to sleep [Joshua Schwartz, private communication, November 2006].

If anyone out there knows of any other articles or are publishing any on Jewish sleep-related topics, I am interested in them.

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