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Zeitschrift für deutsch - jüdische Literatur und Kulturgeschichte (Journal of German - Jewish Literature and Culture History)

Managing Editor: Barouch, Lina

Ed. by Pollock, Benjamin / Weidner, Daniel / Wiese, Christian

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Islam in Zion? Yosef Yo’el Rivlin’s Translation of the Qur’an and Its Place Within the New Hebrew Culture

Hanan Harif
  • Corresponding author
  • The Stephen Roth Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism and Racism, Tel-Aviv University, Ramat Aviv, Tel-Aviv 69978, Israel
  • The Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel
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Published Online: 2016-10-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/naha-2016-0003


This article addresses the Hebrew translation of the Qur’an – an exceptional philological and cultural project – in the context of the Hebrew culture of Mandatory Palestine. It examines this project through the figure of the translator, Yosef Yo’el Rivlin, and the various circles within which he operated: the “Jerusalemite Group” of native Jewish intellectuals, the milieu of Oriental Studies in Frankfurt, the Zionist “Kinnus Project,” and the recently-founded Hebrew University. The article scrutinizes the different cultural, social and political trends that lay at the core of this unique project as well as the political and cultural meanings it bore for Rivlin and his colleagues at the Dvir publishing house – first and foremost among them H.N. Bialik, who lent a hand in editing the translation. The article contributes to the understanding of Oriental research in Mandatory Palestine and abroad, and of the development of Jewish national culture in Mandatory Palestine.

Keywords: Rivlin; Yosef Yo’el; Qur’an Translations; Hebrew and Arabic; Kinnus Project; Bialik; Haim Nachman; Semitic Spirit

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Published Online: 2016-10-04

Published in Print: 2016-09-27

Citation Information: Naharaim, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 39–55, ISSN (Online) 1862-9156, ISSN (Print) 1862-9148, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/naha-2016-0003.

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