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Visiting researchers

Dr Laliv Clenman


Visiting Research Fellow

Address: Department of Theology & Religious Studies
King's College London
Virginia Woolf Building
22 Kingsway



Dr Laliv Clenman is Senior Lecturer in Rabbinic Literature at the Leo Baeck College and has been teaching and supervising at King’s College London in the Dept. of Theology and Religious Studies as a Visiting Lecturer since 2009.  She holds a PhD in Rabbinics and Hebrew and Aramaic Language and Literature from the University of Toronto and her research explores the nature of rabbinic law and the complex relationship between halakhah and aggadah in talmudic and midrashic discourse.

Dr Clenman teaches classical rabbinic literature including modules in Talmud, Midrash and Aramaic language. She also teaches and consults with the Progressive Jewish rabbinic movements movements on contemporary issues in the rabbinate and Jewish communities.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Talmudic and midrashic literature
  • The interrelationship between halakhah and aggadah in rabbinic thought
  • Identity and status, including intermarriage, matrilineal descent, sexuality, gender, Jewishness and rabbinic identity constructions
  • Violence in rabbinic law and narrative
  • Relationships between Palestinian and Babylonian as well as tannaitic and later rabbinic sources
Selected publications

“The Fire and the Flesh: Self-Destruction of the Male Rabbinic Body” in The Body as Cultural Entity in Biblical, Christian and Jewish Texts, Joan Taylor, ed, T&T Clark, 2014.

“The Faceless Idol and Images of Terror in Rabbinic Tradition on the molekh” in the The Image and the Prohibition of the Image in Ancient Judaism (Journalof Jewish StudiesSupplement Series) 2013.

“Sexual Transgression: Early Judaism” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies, Oxford University Press, 2014.

Volumes in progress:

A Feminist Commentary on the Babylonian Talmud: Ketubot Chapter I, Tal Ilan, et al eds, forthcoming from Mohr Siebeck.

Intermarriage: The Halakhah that Moses Forgot.  


Dr Clenman teaches in the area of classical rabbinic literature, including Mishna, Tosefta, Halakhic and Aggadic Midrash, the Babylonian and Palestinian Talmuds, and various dialects of Aramaic, in particular Babylonian (Eastern) Aramaic. Her modules deal with a range of topics including Kiddushin (rabbinic marriage), rabbinic constructions of Jewish identity (The Ten Lineages or Asarah Yuchasin), intermarriage in midrashic and talmudic sources, and problems related to rabbinic jurisdiction and authority, including heresy, excommunication and zealotry and zealot violence. She has also taught Introductory and Intermediate level Biblical Hebrew at the University of Toronto in the innovative immersion programme run by Prof. R. Holmstedt. 

Expertise and public engagement

Dr Clenman has appeared on “The Talmud” on In Our Time hosted by Melvyn Bragg on BBC Radio 4 (with Rabbi Norman Solomon and Professor Philip Alexander,(2014).  She also lectures and runs courses in the broader community, as well as for rabbis in the progressive movements, on a wide range of topics from Talmudic texts to the Elephantine Letters as well as  issues of Death and Dying and Mental Health and also consults on areas related to Jewish identity and descent, Jewish marriage and halakhic development.

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