Sarah Wolf

Assistant Professor of Talmud and Rabbinics

Phone: (212) 678-8023


Office Hours: By Appointment

Dr. Sarah Wolf’s research focuses on legal textual cultures in rabbinic Judaism. Her dissertation, The Rabbinic Legal Imagination: Narrativity and Scholasticism in the Babylonian Talmud, traced the development of literary elements in the Talmud’s legal passages in the context of the rise of the rabbinic academy. Her current book project examines the construction of emotions as legal categories in rabbinic literature. Dr. Wolf received her PhD from Northwestern University and her BA in Literature from Yale University. She is also a faculty member at the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America.


  • Wabash Center Workshop for Early Career Theological Society Faculty, 2019-2020
  • David Hartman Center Fellow, 2017-2019
  • AJS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Finalist, 2018-2019
  • Northwestern Graduate Fellowship in Legal Studies, 2016-2018
  • Cardozo Fellowship in Law and Interdisciplinary Studies, 2015-2016


  • “Textual Interpretation and the Formation of the Ethical Self,” in Journal of Textual Reasoning (forthcoming)
  • “Rabbi Yirmiyah and the Characterization of Rabbinic Scholasticism,” in AJS Review (forthcoming)
  • “Suffering and Sacrifice: Towards a Hermeneutics of Yisurin in the Babylonian Talmud,” in Studies in Late Antiquity, 2019
  • Review of Ayelet Libson, Law and Self-Knowledge in the Talmud, in AJS Review (forthcoming)
  • Review of Benjamin D. Sommer, Review and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition, in Journal of Law and Religion (accepted for publication)
  • Review of Azzan Yadin-Israel, Scripture and Tradition: Rabbi Akiva and the Triumph of Midrash, in AJS Review 2015
  • Review of Rachel Neis, The Sense of Sight in Rabbinic Culture: Jewish Ways of Seeing in Late Antiquity, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2014.11.39


  • “Considering Shame in Rabbinic Law.” Society of Jewish Ethics Annual Conference (Washington DC), January 2020.
  • “‘Unconscious Despair’ and the Legalization of Affect.” AJS Annual Conference (San Diego, California), December 2019.
  • “What Questions Are Out of Bounds?” Global Day of Jewish Learning (JCC Manhattan), November 2019.
  • “What if God Was One of Us?” Shalom Hartman Institute of North America, May 2019.
  • “The Believable Mouth: Interpretation and Gender in BT Ketubot.” AJS Annual Conference (Boston, Massachusetts), December 2018.
  • “The Construction of a Rabbinic Rebel: Rabbi Yirmiyah and Characterization in the Bavli.” AJS Annual Conference (Philadelpha, Pennsylvania), December 2017.
  • “The Talmud and the Two-Headed Man.” World Congress of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem, Israel), July 2017.
  • “Okimtot as Thought Experiments: Establishing and Modelling Ritual Authority.” Conference on Talmud and Philosophy Between Athens and PumbedithaYale University (New Haven, Connecticut), April 2017.
  • “Narratives of Intention: Case Law and the Accidental Murderer.” Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting (San Antonio, Texas), November 2016.
  • “What Are They Arguing About? Towards a Theory of the Stam as a Legal Interpreter.” AJS Annual Conference (Boston, Massachusetts), 2015.