I am grateful to the many people whose help went into the making of this book. Foremost, I would like to thank Christopher Ocker for his guidance throughout my research. I continue to be grateful for his advice and mentorship. No less do I thank Daniel Boyarin and Arthur Holder for their contributions. At different stages, this project also benefited from the help and wise guidance of David Biale, Sergey Dolgopolski, Robert Harris, Franklin Harkins, Joshua Holo, Naomi Janowitz, Daniel Joslyn-Siemiatkoski, Deanna Klepper, Lesley Smith, and Mark Zier.
I am also grateful to Kristina Grob, Michele Johnson, Yonah Lavery-Yisraeli, and Garrett Smith for their editorial and translation help, and to Will Cerbone and Eric Newman at Fordham University Press for the work they did in preparing this book for publication.
Some of the manuscript research for this book was conducted at the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in Oxford and supported by a grant from St. Mary's College of Maryland. Manuscripts were consulted at the Bodleian Museum in Oxford, and microfilms were consulted at the Institute for Microfilmed Manuscripts at Hebrew University and at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, which supported me in residence as a Heckman Fellow.
My deepest thanks go to Michael Signer, who believed in this project but did not live to see it published. This book is dedicated to his memory. (p.viii)