Research Interests

Medieval Islamic law and culture, History of Technology, Jewish law and culture, legal theory, material culture, lists


I’m writing a dissertation right now. It’s about the invention of the mechanical clock and how rabbis think about timekeeping.

I have a policy of “public first,” which means that I try to put out new research in a publicly accessible format before it gets put in an academic format. Sometimes there is lag between the public and the academic versions.


Master’s Thesis

“Maximizing the Law: Al-Karkhī, the Uṣūl al-Karkhī and their Relationship to the Islamic Legal Maxims Genre,” 2013


Academic Talks   (selected)

Association for Jewish Studies. Roundtable, “The Temporal Turn in Ancient Judaism and Jewish Studies.” (December 2018)

American Academy of Religion. Extraterrestrial Life in Early Modern Jewish Writings.” (November 2018)

Society for the History of Technology. “Rabbinic Legal Responses to Technology in the 19th Century: Lagging or Leading?St. Louis, October 2018.

Association for Jewish Studies. “The Christian Origins of the Purim Grogger.” Washington, D.C., December 2017.

American Academy of Religion. “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? The Invention of the Mechanical Clock in Jewish Law.” San Antonio, November 2016.

Jewish Law Association. “Towards a Theoretical Framework for Technology’s Role in Jewish Legal History.” Tel Aviv, July 2016.

Association for Jewish Studies. “A ‘Fiqh’ Description of Halakhah.” December 2014.

University of Pennsylvania. “Unearthing the Cairo Genizah: The Friedberg Genizah Project.” Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Symposium. May 2013.

Cardozo Law School. “Like Sharī’a, but a Little More Jewish: Medieval Muslim Attempts to Understand Halakha.” Center for Jewish Law and Civilization. April 2013.

Lehigh University. “Comparative Legal Reform: Jewish and Islamic Reactions to the Modern World.” March 2013.

Association for Jewish Studies. “Ribit and Ribā: Contemporary Jewish and Islamic Responses to International Finance.” Chicago, December 2012.

University of Pennsylvania. “The Loss of the Loss of Prophecy: The Decline of a Judicial Institution.” Jewish Studies Interdisciplinary Graduate Symposium. April 2012.

University of Toronto. “Whose Religion? Freedom of Religion as Freedom of Religious Legal Obligation in Canadian Courts.” Socrates Project Colloquium. April 2010.


Working Papers

“Halakhah at the Madrasah: Al-Maqdisī’s Attempt to Understand Jewish Law and Practice,” 2013

Masekhet Mezuzah and the status of the Mishnah in the Amoraic and Geonic Periods,” 2012

“What are ḥiyal? A New Approach to Legal Evasions in Islamic Jurisprudence,” 2012