Hebrew U trained Roni Shweka‘s dissertation bears the title Studies in Halakhot Gedolot: Text and Recension. For the past year or so he’s been hanging out at Oxford’s Yarnton Manor analyzing genizah fragments alongside some of the field’s most experienced readers of medieval manuscripts. His new book, Shir Chadash, is a collection of “derashot” on various songs of different musicians in the Israeli rock scene. In an interview, Haaretz’s music reviewer Ben Shalev summarizes Shweka’s contribution to Israeli music criticism:
Nobody else has thought or written about Israeli music like that… Nobody else has dove into the depths of the Talmud and Gemara in order to find possible keys for explaining recent rock songs.
Israeli Renaissance, anyone?