During its first eight years, Aleph: Historical Studies in Science and Judaism has published more than 80 articles, occupying more than 2900 pages, on various facets of the interface between science and Judaism. Chronologically, the topics covered stretch from Antiquity to the twentieth century. The high quality of the articles has made Aleph a reference journal in two disciplines—the history of science and Jewish intellectual history. To celebrate its coming of age, Aleph is switching from an annual to a semi-annual publication schedule (March and September). To maintain the high scholarly level of the journal, however, the total page count per year will remain roughly the same (slightly less than 400).
The first semi-annual issue, 9.1, contains articles by Michael Rand (rabbinic notions of the water cycle), James T. Robinson (passages of logical works by al-Fārābī embedded in Samuel Ibn Tibbon’s popular Peruš ha-millot ha-zarot), Carlos Fraenkel (the relationship between Spinoza’s notion of God as res extensa and Hasdai Crescas’ idea of an infinite void), and Shlomo Berger (views of nature in the Argentinian Yiddish journal Davke). The next issue, 9.2, will feature articles by Mauro Zonta and Gad Freudenthal (knowledge of Nicomachus of Gerasa’s Introduction to Arithmetic in eleventh-century Spain), Shlomo Sela and Renate Smithuis (new discoveries related to Abraham Ibn Ezra’s astrological writings in Hebrew, Latin, and French), Gerrit Bos (medicinal measures and weights in Maimonides), and Tal Kogman (a popular maskilic introduction to science, written in Hebrew, and its indebtedness to German pedagogical movements). The section “Treasure Trove” will offer the first English translation of an important paper (“Pedro Alfonso’s Contribution to Astronomy”) by the noted historian José María Millás Vallicrosa, first published in Spanish in 1943. There will also be Y. Tzvi Langermann’s regular column, “From my Notebooks” and an extensive book-review section.
Other articles scheduled for publication are Gerd Mentgen on unknown Jewish alchemists in fifteenth-century German lands, Sagit Butbul on the translation of Hebrew bird names into Arabic in the ninth century, and Hagar Kahana-Smilansky on an unknown Hebrew redaction of Aristotle’s treatise on sleep and wakefulness.