Yitz Landes


Yitz Landes is a scholar of premodern Judaism, focusing on the history of rabbinic Judaism over the course of Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. His research utilizes a variety of methods, including material philology, book history, and social, religious, and intellectual history, and considers a diverse array of primary sources in a variety of languages and media.

Yitz’s dissertation traces the history of the transmission, reception, and study of the Mishnah, the central text of the Rabbinic corpus, from its inception in third-century Galilee until the publication of Maimonides’ commentary to the Mishnah in 12th c. Egypt. Significant attention is given in the dissertation to the religious education of the sub-elite, as well as to the ways that shifting political geographies impacted the very geography of Jews and Judaism in the Early Middle Ages. By centering on the way the rabbinic corpus disseminated across the Near East and Europe in Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages, the dissertation demonstrates that these avenues of textual production and transmission can shed light on the spread of Rabbinic knowledge and on the ways in which Rabbinic Judaism became a hegemonic force in Jewish society.

Yitz received a BA in Talmud and Religion and an MA in Talmud at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. While an MA student, Yitz participated in the Program for the Study of Late Antiquity and was a fellow in the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. His master’s thesis, which traced the development of a central Jewish prayer from the Hellenistic period through the Middle Ages, was published as a book by the Mandel Institute for Jewish Studies in 2018. Outside of Princeton, Yitz teaches Ancient Judaism and Talmud at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. His research has been supported by the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, and by Princeton’s Center for Culture, Society, and Religion.