I work on issues of technology, religion, and art. At the moment I do this as a research fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, as the owner of Print-O-Craft Press, and as a program organizer for Sinai and Synapses.

Research Interests

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

I received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 2019. My dissertation is entitled “Unequal Hours: The Jewish Reception of Timekeeping Technology from the Bible to the Twentieth Century.

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 Publications

“The Natural Disaster Theology Dilemma,” Torah in a Time of Plague (Ben Yehuda Press, 2021). This book won a 2021 National Jewish Book Award.

Chapter on Judaism in Cambridge Companion to Religion and Artificial Intelligence, eds. Beth Singler and Fraser Watts (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming)

Chapter on Law and Technology for the Oxford Handbook of Jewish Law, eds. Zev Eleff, Roberta R. Kwall, and Chaim Saiman (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

Academic Talks   (selected)

Arizona State University. “What is Jewish Thought’s Place in Modern AI Discourse?” Judaism, Science, and Medicine Group, February 2023.

Association for Jewish Studies. “The Rabbi and the Calculator: Science and Technology in the Writings of Judah Levin.” Boston, December 2022.

American Academy of Religion. “What Is the Correct Metaphor for Artificial Intelligence?” Denver, November 2022.

“What Should Jewish Law Want Artificial Intelligence to Be?” Institute for the Research of Jewish Law, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, May 2021.

Association for Jewish Studies. “The Telegraph As An Early (Jewish) Response to the Disembodied Human.” Virtual, December 2020.

Society for the History of Technology. “Unintended Messages: The Telegraph, the Jewish Sabbath, and the Construction of Community.” Virtual, October 2020.

Yeshiva University. “The development of the concept of seasonal hours (sha’ot zemaniyyot).” New York, February 2020.

American Academy of Religion. “Artificial Intelligence and Jewish Thought: A Roadmap.” San Diego, November 2019.

Maintainers Conference. “Maintenance in Jewish Thought.” Washington, DC, October 2019.

Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). “Timekeeping as a Minority: The Jewish Relationship to Time in Christian and Islamic Lands.” March 2019.

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

American Academy of Religion. Extraterrestrial Life in Early Modern Jewish Writings.” Denver, 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