Raymond P. Scheindlin is a translator of Hebrew poetry and an academic specialist in premodern Hebrew literature. His books centering on verse translations include Wine, Women, and Death: Medieval Hebrew Poems on the Good Life (Oxford University Press, 1986); The Gazelle: Medieval Hebrew Poems on God, Israel, and the Soul (Oxford University Press, 1991); and The Book of Job (Norton, 1998). His study of the twelfth-century pilgrim Judah Halevi, entitled The Song of the Distant Dove: Judah Halevi’s Pilgrimage (OUP, 2007), includes many of Halevi’s greatest poems in translation and a detailed narrative of Halevi’s journey. His most recent book, on a poet with whom he strongly identifies, is Vulture in a Cage: Poems by Solomon Ibn Gabirol (to be published by Archipelago Books in 2016).
Trained in Arabic literature at Columbia University (Ph.D., 1971) and in Hebrew literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary (M.H.L., 1963; Rabbi, 1965), Scheindlin is professor of medieval Hebrew literature at the Seminary, having previously taught at McGill and Cornell Universities. He has published numerous academic articles on Hebrew literature in its medieval Golden Age, largely dealing with the interplay between the Hebrew and Arabic literary traditions. He is also author of A Short History of the Jewish People (OUP, 1998) and 501 Arabic Verbs (Barron’s Educational Series, 2007). He has been a visiting professor at the Hochschule für jüdische Studien in Heidelberg and at Harvard University. A former Guggenheim and Cullman Fellow, as well as a recipient of the Cultural Achievement Award of the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, he lives in New York City and Bethel, New York, with his wife (opera singer Janice Meyerson), two cats, two pianos, and a fiberglass cow.