Postdoctoral Fellows

Asaf Gayer

Asaf Gayer received his PhD in Bible studies from the University of Haifa in 2021. His dissertation, under the guidance of Professor Jonathan Ben-Dov, focuses on the wisdom composition Instruction, the most prominent representative of the Qumranic wisdom tradition. Combining digital material analysis with a literary philological inquiry into the metaphoric use of weights and measures, Asaf examined the interrelations of the Qumranic wisdom tradition with other sapiential compositions, as reflected in Instruction.  Asaf collected and analysed the relevant literary sources which relates to the motif of measuring and weighing and explored the textual affinities between them. He then engaged in an exegesis of Instruction and examined its interaction with the literary tradition traced above. Finally, He investigated the motif in Greek thought and in Jewish-Hellenistic compositions, suggesting that in the late Hellenistic period the motif of measuring and weighing is a hybrid of Greek and Jewish conventions.

Asaf research focuses on the study of ancient Jewish manuscripts, mainly from the region of the Dead Sea. Emphasizing the material aspects, with the aid of digital tools and techniques, he experts in recreating the original formation of the manuscript, revealing previously unidentified joins, and producing new meanings of the reconstructed composition. His forthcoming Book – “Material and Digital Reconstruction of Fragmentary Dead Sea Scrolls: The Case of 4Q418a,” co-authored with Prof. Jonathan Ben-Dov and Dr. Eshbal Ratzon, draws attention to the various methodological challenges of the digital medium in the study of the DSS. It highlights the production and the development of new methodological methods for the study of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the presents new appropriate digital tools which strive to answer these challenges.

Meron Piotrkowski

Meron M. Piotrkowski, born in Berlin in 1977, Ph.D. 2015 at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Department of the History of the Jewish People and Contemporary Judaism), is a historian of antiquity, specializing in the Second Temple period. The focus of his research is on the Egyptian-Jewish Diaspora. He is the author of Priests in Exile: The History of the Temple of Onias and Its Community in the Hellenistic Period (Berlin and Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2019) and part of the team of commentators and contributors to the new Corpus Papyrorum Judaicarum (vols. IV-VII; ed. by N. Hacham and T. Ilan).

Since August 2021, he is a Visiting Fellow at Princeton’s Department of Religion, working on the history of the Jewish community of Oxyrhynchus in Egypt during the Hellenistic-Roman and Byzantine periods. Within the framework of this research project, Piotrkowski examines Jewish papyri discovered at Oxyrhynchus and seeks to test, inter alia, the generally accepted hypothesis that Egyptian Jews and Judaism were completely annihilated as an immediate outcome of the Jewish Diaspora Revolt (115-117 CE).